Tax Time Reprieve for Obamacare Procrastinators

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow a special health law enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 for consumers who realize while filling out their taxes that they owe a fee for not signing up for coverage last year. The special enrollment period applies to people in the 37 states covered by the federal marketplace, though some state-run exchanges are also expected to follow suit. >> See how Life@50+ can impact your life – Register today » …

You’ve Got Skills You Can Use in Retirement

Some people aspire to retire at 60, 62 or 66, reducing the amount of their Social Security payment by 20 percent. Others are in it for the long haul, planning to work to 70 and beyond. Indeed, 1 in 5 older adults plan to work after 66. Where will they work? Some companies have mandatory retirement at 70 — or earlier. Others may make exceptions for highly skilled employees. As you consider retirement, review ways you can be of added value …

Are Longevity Annuities in Your Future?

I’ve been pretty critical of many annuities in the past, but there is one out there that might be worth a serious look. It’s called a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) — yes, that’s a mouthful. Recent technical changes to this annuity OK’d by the U.S. Treasury offer a partial solution to the not-outliving-your-money challenge. Unlike many other annuities, this one is fairly straightforward and easy to understand. It also has some tax advantages. In fact, in five years, says Stan Haithcock, aka …

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 …

Prep for Safe Tax Filing … and for Scammers

There’s good reason — several, actually — why Monday kicks off Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. As the tax-filing season gets under way for 2014 returns, the Internal Revenue Service faces massive budget cuts while two widespread tax scams continue. In addition to the epidemic IRS impostor scam, in which scammers pose as agents of that agency or the U.S. Treasury Department to extort supposedly “owed taxes,” there is another threat in the coming weeks: early filing of bogus tax returns to …

House Rule Sets Up Election-Year Battle Over Social Security

Buried in new rules that will govern the House for the next two years is a provision that could force an explosive battle over Social Security’s finances on the eve of the 2016 presidential election. The Social Security disability program has been swamped by aging boomers, and unless Congress acts, the trust fund that supports it is projected to run dry in late 2016. At that point, the program will collect only enough payroll taxes to pay 81 percent of …