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Tag Archives: Financial Planning

The IRS Will Tax Less of an Estate in 2023

In 2012, the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) established, for the first time, a permanent estate tax and gift tax exemption. The exemption is the amount an individual can pass on at death without paying estate taxes. The legislation set the exemption at $5 million per person, indexed for inflation. Five years later, Congress decided the exemption was not large enough and passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), which increased the lifetime exemption...

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2023 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Worried about saving enough for retirement? You can put away more next year. The IRS has just announced the new retirement plan contribution limits for 2023. The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan increases to $22,500, up from $20,500. For individuals 50 and older, the catch-up contribution limit goes to $7,500, up from $6,500. So, if you qualify for catch-up...

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It’s Time to Tackle the Year-End Financial Checklist

Here we are again in the final quarter of the year when thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and Christmas and… reviewing your financial house. Oh, that’s not on your list? Well, let’s put it there because financial issues cannot be on automatic pilot. Things change and you need to keep current. Here are 16 items you need to review before the end of the year. Tax Loss Harvesting No one wants to pay more taxes than necessary (at least no one I know) and harvesting capital...

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Medicare Part B Premiums Will Go Down in 2023

In a world where the price of everything is going up, Medicare recipients get a price cut beginning January 1, 2023. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced that the monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and other outpatient services, is decreasing $5.20 per month to $164.90. That’s good news in light of the 14.5% increase in Part B premiums in 2022, the largest dollar increase in the history...

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Be Sure to Read the Medicare Fine Print

Medicare. The government defines it as “The federal health insurance program for people 65 and older.” That seems simple enough. But there’s more to it than meets the eye because Medicare, like so many other things, has fine print that could end up costing you a lot of money if you don’t know about it. Since Medicare began in 1965, a myth has developed that Medicare pays for all your healthcare costs. Absolutely not true! The Medicare website says, “Original...

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How Working Longer Affects Your Social Security Benefits

Since 1935, Social Security has been synonymous with retirement. It was always intended to supplement retirement income, never be a person’s total retirement income. Unfortunately, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about half of older Americans rely on Social Security for at least 50% of their income, and 25% of retirees rely on it for 90% of their income. That’s why more Americans are choosing to work longer. For decades, labor force...

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Tips for Buying a Medicare Supplement Policy

The clock is ticking and it gets louder the closer you get to the magic age of 65. That’s when you sign up for Medicare. But there’s more than one way to receive Medicare coverage. There are Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes referred to as all-in-one plans, because they provide medical coverage and can also provide benefits for vision, dental, hearing, and prescriptions. There is Original Medicare, which comes packaged as Part A, which provides hospital insurance,...

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Another Historic Social Security Cost of Living Increase is on the Way

It’s almost time for the Social Security Administration to break out pencil and calculator to find out how much more it costs to live this year than it did last, and then decide how much of a raise Social Security beneficiaries will get in 2023. For 2022, the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) was 5.9%, the largest increase since 1982. Well, hang on to your hat boys and girls because, in the words of Bachman Turner Overdrive, “you ain’t see nuthin’...

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4 Social Security Changes to Expect in 2023

Looking into a crystal ball and prognosticating the future is always a risky endeavor, but when it comes to Social Security and the year 2023 there are 4 things that have a high probability of happening. Cost of Living Increase In 2022, Social Security recipients received a 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). It was the biggest increase in 40 years. Inflation continued to pick up speed and the 2023 COLA will almost certainly be higher. Social Security sets the...

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Wasting Money on Medicare

How would you like to waste a lot of the money you spend on Medicare coverage and miss a bunch of the benefits Medicare provides? Crazy question. But that’s exactly what’s happening to millions of Medicare beneficiaries. In October 2021, the insurance website MedicareAdvantage.com published the results of its most recent survey of Medicare beneficiaries. What it found was disturbing. Three out of four Medicare beneficiaries describe the program as “confusing and...

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