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  • Filling Up Tax Brackets with Roth IRA Conversions August 7, 2017 John ShanleyRoth IRA’s are a powerful retirement savings vehicle. When you contribute money to a Roth you don’t receive a tax deduction, however any growth on those funds and future withdrawals are tax-free. An added benefit ... Read more
  • Summer Reads: “The Great Depression: A Diary” July 28, 2017 John ShanleyBill Bernstein, bestselling author and financial theorist, considers having an understanding of the history of investing one of the key ingredients to being a successful investor. He mentions in his book “If You Can”
     
    The new ... Read more
  • 6 Strategies to Minimize Required Minimum Distributions July 20, 2017 John Shanley 
    When you turn 70.5, you have to start taking withdrawals from your retirement accounts.  These withdrawals are known as Minimum Required Distributions (MRD’s). The amount that you must take out at age 70.5 is roughly ... Read more
  • How Much Will Health Care Cost in Retirement? June 26, 2017 John ShanleyMost know that healthcare can be a big expense in retirement. But what is hard to figure out is just how “big” of an expense we are talking about. Luckily, ever year HealthView Services (a ... Read more
  • Longevity Insurance June 16, 2017 John Shanley“If I retire, I’m 65 years old, a question is not so much how I will create money tomorrow. It’s how will I create money if I’m alive 25 years from now?”
    – David Blanchett, PhD, ... Read more
  • Timing Matters in Retirement June 12, 2017 John ShanleyInvesting in retirement is different than investing for retirement. One of the most important differences is that the impact of market volatility (the ups and downs of your investments) gets amplified once you switch from ... Read more
  • Will my Social Security Benefits be Taxed? June 8, 2017 John ShanleyLike most things with Social Security, this answer isn’t always straightforward. Your Social Security benefit may not be taxed at all or, up to 85% of it may be taxed.
    The determination of it being taxable ... Read more
  • The Basics of a Reverse Mortgage June 1, 2017 John ShanleyIn a previous post we tackled some of the pre-conceived notions attached to Reverse Mortgages. In this post we will look into how Reverse Mortgages work and the payment options available.
     
    THE BASICS
    • In order to ... Read more
  • Tax Breaks for College May 12, 2017 John Shanley 
    Paying for college can be a huge burden for parents and students. Luckily, Uncle Sam does offer some help through various tax benefits. By utilizing these tax advantages you can help lower the final cost ... Read more
  • Should I Buy Individual Stocks? April 21, 2017 John Shanley 
    There is an excitement with investing in individual stocks. And it’s understandable. There is always news about the Apple’s of the world and ideas are constantly shared about how to find the next one. If ... Read more
  • Saving More For Retirement with Spousal IRA’s April 5, 2017 John Shanley 
    In order to make an IRA contribution (whether to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA) you must have earned income. So if you want to contribute the max amount of $5,500 to your IRA than you ... Read more
  • The Fundamentals March 3, 2017 John ShanleyAt the beginning of the 1961 football season, Coach Vince Lombardi walked into the Packers dressing room, grabbed a football, and said to the players, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Like many great coaches, Vince ... Read more
  • Fixed vs. Variable Retirement Spending February 21, 2017 John ShanleyFiguring out how much you can withdraw from your savings in retirement is a critical question for retirees. Trying to balance spending today vs preserving your savings to support spending in future years requires juggling ... Read more
  • An Overlooked Way to Lower Your Medicare Premiums February 17, 2017 John ShanleyWe mentioned in a previous post that some retirees will pay more for their Part B and D premiums due to having a higher income. As a refresher, higher earners have to pay the base ... Read more
  • Reverse Mortgages: Myths & Misconceptions February 1, 2017 John ShanleyOver the last 5 years or so there have been a number of research articles that have espoused the virtues of utilizing a reverse mortgage as part of a retirement plan. Like many, I started ... Read more
  • How Rising Interest Rates Impact Bonds January 12, 2017 John ShanleyA common theme that we hear as we enter 2017 is the real possibility of interest rates increasing. As we look into this topic its important to understand what rising rates mean for bonds and ... Read more
  • Social Security and Spousal Benefits December 14, 2016 John Shanley 
    One of the most misunderstood (or unknown) areas of Social Security is spousal benefits. According to a survey by AARP, only 48% of more than 2,000 respondents aged 52-70 knew that they could collect Social ... Read more
  • What is the 4% Rule? November 29, 2016 John Shanley 
    One of the most important questions for a retiree is “How much income can I safely withdraw from my portfolio without running out of money?” Answering this question is anything but simple, as it requires ... Read more
  • 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Retire November 1, 2016 John Shanley 
    Any new chapter or transition in life can be both exciting and nerve racking. Retirement is a perfect case in point. After working and saving for most of your life, how do you know if ... Read more
  • How Grandparents Can Help Pay for College October 11, 2016 John Shanley 
    More than 70% of grandparents believe that it is important to help pay for their grandchild’s college education, according to a 2014 study conducted by Fidelity. With the rising costs of college education, the help ... Read more
  • Social Security & Divorce September 20, 2016 John ShanleyThere can be a lot of confusion around the benefits for Divorced Spouses and Social Security. In this post, we will cover the eligibility rules, what a divorced spouse may be entitled to, and also ... Read more
  • Medicare Premiums, Your Income, and Being “Held Harmless” September 7, 2016 John ShanleyThe 2016 Annual Trustees report for Social Security and Medicare are projecting that the Cost of Living Increase (COLA) on Social Security for 2017 will be only .2%, following no increase in 2016. It is ... Read more
  • Investing with Patience August 22, 2016 John ShanleyBlaise Pascal, the 17th Century French mathematician and philosopher, once stated:
    “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
    In our world of instant gratification, these words apply as much ... Read more
  • Health Savings Accounts- The Basics August 8, 2016 John Shanley 
    A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax advantaged savings account that is used in conjunction with a High Deductible Health Plan. In this post we will review the basics of a HSA account and ... Read more
  • Longevity- Your Greatest Risk in Retirement July 20, 2016 John Shanley 
    The concept of longevity is a relatively recent phenomena. For most of human history, life expectancy was around 20 years. That number slowly crept up until the 20th century, when life expectancy all of a ... Read more
  • When to Enroll in Medicare July 6, 2016 John ShanleyFiguring out when you should enroll in Medicare can be complicated. You can’t just sign up any time. You are only allowed to sign up during certain enrollment periods, and the enrollment period that will ... Read more
  • The Vocabulary of Social Security June 23, 2016 John Shanley 
    Social Security is an integral part of most American’s retirements. However, its importance is not to be outdone by its complexity. With hundreds of different rules and regulations it’s easy to get lost in the details of how ... Read more
  • 529 Plans- Financial Aid Considerations June 7, 2016 John Shanley 
    Financial Aid
    One common misconception of 529 plans is that they will ruin your chances of receiving financial aid. Luckily, this is largely incorrect as the 529 plan is relatively financial aid friendly.
    The details of financial ... Read more
  • 529 Plans- Taxes May 31, 2016 John Shanley 
    Tax Benefits
    529 accounts offer a number of potential tax benefits and its worth being aware of how 529’s interact with federal and state income taxes, gift taxes, and estate taxes.
    Federal
    The contributions made into a 529 ... Read more
  • 529 Plans- The Basics May 27, 2016 John Shanley 
    May 29th (5/29) is National 529 College Savings Plan Day—so what better time than now to look at the ins and outs of 529 accounts and how they may fit into your educational savings plan.
    When ... Read more
  • The Impact of Inflation May 17, 2016 John Shanley 
    On October 8, 1974 President Gerald Ford addressed Congress and the American people and discussed what he considered one of the gravest threats to the country: inflation. In his speech he stated:

    I say to you ... Read more

  • Why Diversify May 5, 2016 John ShanleyAs you may have heard many times before, its best not to put all your eggs in one basket. This same advise applies to investing. The idea of diversifying your investments is one of the ... Read more
  • Saving More In Your 401(k) April 14, 2016 John ShanleyThe 401(k) is one of the most widely utilized retirement savings plans. In fact for many, the 401(k) is, or will be, the largest asset they have for retirement. Prudently saving in your 401(k) is ... Read more
  • Loss Aversion April 6, 2016 John Shanley“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, maybe you haven’t heard the news.
    -Adam Smith, “The Money Game”
     
    A basic tenet of standard finance is that human beings are rational. In ... Read more
  • Important Social Security Changes March 29, 2016 John ShanleyAs many of you may have heard, The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 has made some significant changes to Social Security. Specifically, two popular claiming strategies have been cut: File & Suspend, and Restricted Application.
    Before ... Read more