As the end of the year draws near, the last thing anyone wants to think about is taxes. But if you are looking for ways to minimize your tax bill, there's no better time for tax planning than before year-end. That's because there are a number of tax-smart strategies you can implement now that will reduce your tax bill come April 15.
With rates as low and competitive as they have ever been, it’s as close to a “buyers” market in life insurance as you’ll see. Still, with a goal to be as efficient as possible with financial resources, curbing all costs and expenses is a priority for most people, and buying life insurance is no different.
When preparing for your retirement, think about how much income you may need each year to fund the lifestyle you want. To help maintain your living standard, you may need to save enough money to supplement other sources of retirement income, such as a company pension and/or Social Security. It is also important to be aware of how your age factors into your retirement decisions.
Federal law requires that participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans designate their spouse as their beneficiary unless the spouse waives this right in writing. Assuming that you and your spouse adhered to this practice, a document known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which is part of a divorce settlement, specifies how retirement assets are divided.
What recent graduates (and their parents) need to think about
Spring is here, summer weather has begun in Austin, and graduation time has arrived. Across Central Texas, students are finishing their high school, college, and even graduate school lives, after years of hard work, stress, excitement, and even some boredom.
There are two great reasons for buying a vacation home: You want one and you can afford to buy it. Buying a vacation home as an investment, however, should not be your primary motivation.
Some vacation properties can also be good investments. Others aren't. As recent history has shown, real estate prices can go down as well as up, and there are no guarantees.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 created several changes to claiming strategies for Social Security benefits. After April 29, 2016, the option, where one spouse delays benefits while the other collects benefits based on the first spouse’s record, will be gone. You have a limited window in which to take advantage of a special grandfathering of the new law.
If you come from a typical family, finances were rarely discussed in detail even as you matured into adulthood, which was fine as long as your parents were fully capable of running their own lives. But, as your parents age, and with today’s life expectancies that could span another 20 to 30 years at age 60, there is a strong likelihood that they might lose their cognitive function o