Taxpayers may open an IRA account for 2016 up until the due date for filing their tax returns - April 15, 2017. This includes traditional IRAs and ROTH IRAs. The maximum limit for contributions in 2016 to either type of IRA is $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 or older). For traditional IRAs, there are various restrictions that apply to opening and contributing to an IRA, and these restrictions may also limit deductibility, but what about opening a ROTH IRA – any restrictions? There are, but there are also ways around it.
Not many people disagree with the notion that federal income taxes are so complex that few people can actually understand their income tax returns, not to mention state, city, and local taxes. From a federal income tax perspective, Americans essentially have four tax regimes to deal with – ordinary income tax, capital gain tax, alternative minimum tax, and the net investment income tax.
Although the current economic climate has impacted many of us greatly, the low interest rate environment also creates a great opportunity to leverage an economic recovery to create a legacy for our children and heirs in a more tax-efficient manner – all without giving anything away. The way to do that is through intra-family loans.
For Americans who aren’t confident they are saving enough for a comfortable retirement, one response is to work longer. Theoretically, this gives you more years to save and fewer years to live on savings. The math for extending your earning years makes sense, but research and anecdotal evidence suggest it’s not as easy as telling your employer you’ve decided to stay on the job until 70. In fact, working longer may require considerable thought and planning.
Every conventional retirement plan involves assumptions about the future. Some of these assumptions are essential to plan execution, but hard to quantify. How can you mathematically value assumptions that one will stay married, maintain good health, live in a house, keep a job, and be able to save?
Financial behaviorists attempt to provide strategies or incentives that minimize or eliminate agent failure. In some instances, a fix attempts to remove the human element altogether. At first glance, there are obvious perceived advantages to removing humans from the personal finance equation. A robo-advisory service is generally less expensive because a computer program doesn’t have a family to feed, want to own a home, or have to save for retirement. And computers are “honest.” A machine with a pre-determined program has no conflicts of interest. But while technology can do a lot of heavy lifting, the human element remains essential. It takes wisdom to make sure those piles of analysis and communication are properly interpreted and rightly applied to individual circumstances.