Tax Breaks Brought Back From the Dead

Federal lawmakers will simplify tax planning for many by making certain tax breaks permanent — including one for charitably inclined older investors. Many tax breaks expire after a year or so, requiring an act of Congress to briefly extend them again. That has made tax strategizing difficult, because people don’t know if Congress will let an expired deduction or credit lapse for good or revive it at the last minute. As part of the omnibus spending bill that the U.S. …

The Fast Track to Saving Is to Pay Yourself First

Let’s face it, for most of us one of the biggest obstacles to saving is that sometimes there isn’t enough paycheck at the end of the month. Even for those of us who educate people about managing their finances, it can get hard when the budget is already stretched thin. Here are a few ways to get you started. Put Savings on Autopilot A good way to jump-start your savings is to pay yourself first. Do this and you will soon …

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Achieving Financial Resilience

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month each May is a time to celebrate, reflect on and pay homage to the many generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who contributed their talents to America’s history. They came here with hopes of getting a slice of the American pie, such as starting a business or securing a good job, and having the financial resources to raise a family and enjoy a comfortable retirement. For some older members of the AAPI …

Labor Department Proposes Rule to Save Retirees Billions

Financial advisers would have to adhere to more stringent standards when giving advice on 401(k) plans, IRAs and other retirement accounts under a rule proposed Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor. The proposed rule would protect people saving for retirement from being steered into accounts with high fees and commissions that benefit the adviser at the expense of the saver. It would force financial professionals to act in the best interest of their clients — a move that advocates say would …

Why You Should Consider a Roth Conversion

Soon we’ll be looking at tax day in the rearview mirror, which is the perfect time to plan for future tax consequences. One strategy that’s especially good for recent retirees is converting part of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. First, a little background. Generally speaking, when you contribute to a traditional IRA, you get a tax break immediately but your money is taxed as ordinary income when you take it out later to live on. A Roth is …

3 Ways to Cut Your Investment Tax Bill

As tax season draws to a close for another year, you may be among those feeling the pinch from taxes paid on investments. I admit that paying taxes is not exactly my favorite thing, so I always look for ways to be more tax-efficient. Here are three things you can do to keep more of what you earn: First, buy tax-efficient investments. Mutual funds that turn over stocks in the portfolio pass along any taxable gains to their holders. Many active funds …