Senior Editor, Money Team

Eileen Ambrose is a senior editor and writer for the Money Team. She previously was a personal finance columnist with the Baltimore Sun.

Obama Budget Would Drastically Alter IRA Rules

President Barack Obama calls them loopholes, although investors consider them playing by the rules. Yet under the president’s newly released budget, some of the tax strategies used by high-income earners to contribute to Roth IRAs or maximize the tax benefits on inherited IRAs would go away. Right now, to make a full or partial contribution to a tax-friendly Roth IRA, income must be under $131,000 for an individual and $193,000 for a married couple. High earners have gotten around this by …

President’s Budget Would Trim Estate Exemptions

President Barack Obama’s proposals to increase middle-income tax cuts would come partly at a price to the estates of higher-income households. Under the new budget released Monday, the president calls for turning back the clock on estate taxes to 2009, when an individual could shelter $3.5 million — double that for married couples — from the federal estate tax. Currently, the exemption amount is $5.43 million per person. The top tax rate on estates would also go up under the president’s …

Social Security Expands Office Hours

Beginning March 16, Social Security field offices across the country will be open an extra hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This change is thanks in part to the agency’s new budget, which gave it the resources for the longer office hours. Previously, hours were reduced because of congressional budget cuts, along with a reduction in staff, amid a growing workload, the agency says. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter Social Security offices …

Obama Proposes Middle-Class Tax Breaks

In his penultimate State of the Union address, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night announced wide-ranging proposals he said would improve the economic prospects of the middle class, including helping families pay for college and child care, while giving more workers access to retirement plans. To help pay for these expanded benefits, the president also wants to increase the taxes paid on inherited assets of higher-income households. Many agree that it’s a long shot the president will get his wish list — …

Illinois Is First State With New Savings Plan for Workers

Illinois will become the first state with a broad-based effort to automatically enroll private-sector employees without retirement plans into a new savings program. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation on Sunday that creates the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program. Employers with at least 25 workers and no retirement plan will be required to offer employees the option of enrolling in Secure Choice, which allows employees to invest in a Roth IRA through payroll deduction. Employees can decline. “This turnkey program will make it …