Archive for April, 2017

Don’t Let These IRA Myths Deter Your Savings

Monday, April 24th, 2017

How do myths about Traditional or Roth IRAs get started? Typically, you’ve heard myths from an acquaintance who knows someone who knows someone. That person then tells you that they once had either a bad advisor, or had a bad experience, and there starts a rumor/myth. Let’s move past all of that, and get to the truth of the matter.

I make too much/too little to make contributions

Even if you’re only able to contribute $50 a month to your retirement account, it’s SO much better than nothing. Starting to save in your early 20s means you can set aside less and come away with more once you reach retirement age. Set goals for yourself, and make a decision today that will impact your future.

It’s true that if you make $196,000, or more if you’re filing jointly (married), you cannot fund a Roth IRA. But you will, however, be able to fund a traditional IRA with no problem. But there’s a caveat that can make the rules more confusing. Your household income, as well as whether you or your spouse have access to a workplace retirement plan, like a 401K, can change eligibility. These factors impact how much of your traditional IRA contribution the IRS will allow you to deduct from your taxes.

All IRAs are the same

With a traditional IRA, the money you contribute into your account is contributed in tax-free. Once you reach retirement, your withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income.

Roth IRAs basically work the opposite way. Your contributions are made with after-tax dollars, but withdrawals can be made tax-free in retirement. The annual contribution limit for both traditional and Roth IRAs in 2017 is $5,500 if you’re under 50, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older.

However, as stated above, not everyone can open a Roth IRA. If you earn more than $133,000 as a single tax filer this year, or more than $196,000 as a married couple filing jointly, you won’t be eligible to contribute to a Roth.

I’m too young to start saving for retirement

Impossible. The sooner that you start saving for retirement, the more interest you’ll accrue over your lifetime, also referred to as compound interest. Starting retirement savings in your 20s gives you a huge advantage over those who start a decade later. Again, due to compound interest. If you’re able to save just $2,000 a year beginning at age 25, (about $166 a month), you will have saved more than $500,000 by retirement age. If you start saving ten years later in your thirties, you will save less than $250,000 saved. Kind of speaks for itself. Start as early as possible.

Accupod Episode 14: Finance Rant

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

This week, we’re talking about the things that bug us most in regards to all thing finance. Sometimes, you just want to rant, and this week happens to be our finance rant. Maybe you’ll find that you feel the same as we do in some of these finance wants. Come listen.

Accupod Episode 13: Private Placements

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

This week, we’re talking about the investment option of private placements. Private placements are an investment option inside an IRA. We explain what a private placement is, and how it works with a retirement account.

It’s Almost Tax Day, How You Can Prepare

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

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The deadline for filing and submitting your 2016 tax returns is April 18th, 2017, rather than the regular annual date of April 15th. We only get those three days after taxes were stalled until January 23rd of this year. It leaves precious little time to trim and prune your tax bill.
The good news is that there are a few steps you can take now to help organize your affairs as to keep the damage to a minimum.

Maximizing deductions

With those few extra days to file, take a second look at your income and deductions. Simple errors can cause unwanted attention from the IRS, or even worse, you may miss deductions and pay more tax than you owe simply due to rushing through your records and forms.
So, for instance, if you itemize deductions, then you need to maximize every possible deduction available. If you have over 2% of your AGI, remember to include your tax preparation fees on the return in which you pay them and the investment fees, custodial fees, trust administration fees, and other expenses you paid for managing your investment that produces taxable income accounts as commonly overlooked deductions.

Do you have a rental property?

Did you buy or invest in a rental property in 2016? If so, don’t forget to take depreciation expense and any other expenses you may be entitled to. If you typically do your own return, this could definitely be the year to hire a CPA or other professional tax preparer to be sure you don’t miss anything related to the new rental property.

Go talk to your tax guy

As always, it’s usually a good idea to with your tax preparer — even if they are crazed this time of year — about tax-trimming tactics. You especially want to avoid whatever penalties you might face for making easily avoided mistakes with your tax return.
Good accountants make the entire process go smoothly while ensuring that you get the highest refund possible, but they also help you understand the tax code, and that code is not an easy one to understand.

Don’t call your tax preparer at the last minute. The last thing he or she needs is a call at 8 a.m. on April 18th saying ‘I’m bringing my stuff in and need to get my return filed today,’ Call now and set an appointment as soon as their schedule allows to avoid a last-minute crisis.

Accupod Episode 12: Our Top Six Favorite Finance Apps

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

This week, we’re talking about the top 6 finance apps. While these are our personal favorites, we’re confident you’ll love them too. Heck, you’ll probably want to download one of them to start improving your finances.