Posts Tagged "Retirement"

IS YOUR HSA A RETIREMENT TOOL? THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Posted on Aug 2, 2017

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a great way to pay for medical expenses, and since unused funds roll over from year to year, the account can also provide a source of retirement funds in addition to other plans like 401(k)s or IRAs. But be aware that HSAs have significant disadvantages when compared to other retirement investment tools. The Good HSAs work best when they are used to pay for qualified medical expenses. Neither your original contributions to an HSA nor your investment earnings are taxed when used this way. There is no required distribution after you reach age 70½, like there is with 401(k)s and IRAs. The Bad You can only contribute to an HSA if you have a high deductible health insurance plan. This means you will pay more out of pocket each year when you need to use health services. Annual contributions to HSAs are limited to $3,400 a year for individuals and $6,750 a year for families (add $1,000 for people aged 55 or older). HSAs typically have fewer investment options compared with other investment tools including 401(k)s and IRAs. They also often have high management and administrative fees. The Ugly Before you reach age 65, non-medical withdrawals from HSAs come with a whopping 20 percent penalty, plus they are taxed as income. Even after age 65, both contributions and earnings are taxed when they are withdrawn for non-medical expenses. In this way, HSAs compare unfavorably with 401(k)s and IRAs, which end their early withdrawal period earlier, at age 59½. They also have lower early withdrawal penalties of just 10 percent. HSAs are a powerful tool to help manage the ever-rising costs of health care. Knowing the rules and the costs associated with them can help you position an HSA with your other retirement options. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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New job? Four choices for your existing 401(k)

Posted on Jul 28, 2017

Changing jobs and companies can be an exciting opportunity, but you have a choice to make. What will you do with the retirement savings you have accrued in your 401(k)? Consider these four choices: Withdraw the money and don’t reinvest it. This is usually the worst choice you can make. Generally, you’ll owe taxes on the distribution at ordinary income rates. (Special rules may apply if you own company stock in the plan.) Unless you’re over age 59½, you’ll pay a 10 percent penalty tax, too. More importantly, you’ll lose the opportunity for future tax-deferred growth of your retirement savings. And once you have the funds readily available, it’s all too easy to spend the money instead of saving for your retirement. Roll the money into an IRA. You can avoid immediate taxes and preserve the tax-favored status of your savings by rolling the money into an IRA. This option also gives you full control over how you invest the balances in the future. You have a 60-day window to complete the rollover from the time you close out your 401(k). However, you should always ask for a “trustee-to-trustee” rollover to avoid potential problems. Roll the balance into your new employer’s plan. If your new employer allows it, you can roll the balance into your new plan and invest it according to your new investment choices. However, there may be a waiting period before you can join your new plan. Leave the money in your old employer’s plan. You may be able to leave the balance in your old plan, at least temporarily. Then you can do a rollover to an IRA or a new plan later. Check with your employer to see if this is an option. Call if you need help making the right choice for your particular circumstances. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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How much do you need to retire?

Posted on Jul 24, 2017

Most Americans simply don’t save enough for retirement. Nearly half (45 percent) of working-age households don’t have any retirement assets, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. Of those working-age households close to retirement (age 55 and older) nearly two-thirds have less than one year’s worth of their annual salary in retirement savings. The goal So how much do you actually need to retire comfortably? There are many variables to consider, including retirement age, available pensions, and investment return assumptions. Mutual fund broker, Fidelity, estimates you need enough savings to replace roughly 85 percent of your pre-retirement income. Many experts estimate you will have to save between 8 and 12 times your pre-retirement annual income to reach this goal. But the amount you need depends on when you plan to retire. For example, Fidelity estimates a person planning on retiring at age 65 will need to save 12 times their pre-retirement income. By delaying retirement by just five years, to age 70, your savings estimate lowers to 8 times your annual income. This may be why an increasing number of Americans plan on delaying retirement or working during retirement. A majority (51 percent) of workers surveyed in 2016 by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies said they plan on working during retirement. Some ideas to consider now These are sobering realities, but there are actions you can take to be in a better position during your golden years. Contribute as much as possible every year to your employer provided retirement plans. With a 401(k) pretax retirement plan, for instance, up to $18,000 can be contributed each year, or $24,000 if you are age 50 or older. Contribute as much as possible to a Traditional or Roth IRA every year, up to the $5,500 maximum, or $6,500 if you are age 50 or older. If available, contribute as much as possible to a health savings account (HSA), which can be used to offset medical expenses, up to $3,400 a year, or $4,400 if you are age 55 or older. If you’d like to review your tax-advantaged retirement strategy, call to schedule an appointment. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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Couples and money: Five resolutions for 2017

Posted on Jan 17, 2017

Do you have a financial plan that works for both you and your spouse? Here are suggestions that can help. Organize your finances. Get a handle on your income and spending, by both of you individually and as a couple. By reviewing the overall picture of how you spend money, you can focus on potential problem areas. Set goals. How much will you accumulate in bank accounts and investments over the next three years? Five years? Ten years? Have you anticipated future expenses? Say, for example, you’re dreaming of a vacation in Europe for your anniversary. You’ll want to start saving now so you won’t need to finance the trip with credit cards. Build an emergency fund. How much is enough for emergencies? As a general rule, set aside three to six months of your combined gross income in easily accessible accounts, such as savings or money market accounts. Save for retirement. Participate in your employer’s retirement plan and contribute at least as much as the amount your employer will match. The earlier you start saving, the more you’ll accumulate. It’s that simple. Formalize an estate plan. Have an attorney draft a will and set up a financial power of attorney so your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of death or incapacity. For more financial planning advice, contact us. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter....

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College or retirement?

Posted on Jul 9, 2014

What’s more important – saving for your children’s education or your retirement? A typical retirement will generally last longer and cost more than your child’s education. If you cannot adequately fund both, maximize your retirement savings first. There are far more options for financing a college education than for funding one’s retirement. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in the McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates specializes known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws, we help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+ <https://plus.google.com/108764776146415485651/posts> , LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/gillilandcpa> , Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/gillilandcpa> , and Twitter...

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