What can I do if I can’t file my income taxes by April 15, 2020?

The IRS announced on March 21, 2020 that the 2019 federal tax filing deadline is extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020.  In addition, federal tax payments due on April 15, 2020 are deferred to July 15, 2020, regardless of the amount, with no penalties and no interest.  This federal extension applies to individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and … [Read more...]

How to Protect yourself against Phone Call and Email Scams

The #1 Financial Scam against seniors is the Social Security scam.  It is very easy to become a victim.  The Department of Justice is cracking down on robo calls but the calls continue to increase. One of the latest scams is a phone call that your social security number is being suspended due to suspicious activity.  You are instructed to call right away … [Read more...]

What is the best way to save for a child’s college education?

529 Plans are great savings and investment vehicles to grow money for your children’s education.   529 plans are established by each state.  Contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax, but many states, including Virginia, offer their residents a deduction from state income tax.  Earnings grow tax free for both federal and state income taxes … [Read more...]

Question: Can I name a Beneficiary on a Non-IRA account?

Yes, there is a way to designate a beneficiary on a non-IRA account and it is called a Transfer on Death agreement or TOD.  Some financial institutions use the term Payable on Death or POD.  It means the same thing.  This provision is used less often than the beneficiary designation on an IRA because it is seldom presented to clients as an option by banks … [Read more...]

Question: What is a Fiduciary and what does the Fiduciary Rule mean for Investors?

A Fiduciary is an investment advisor who works only for the investor and always provides advice that is in the investor’s best interest.  In the past, the conventional broker model has worked to avoid the responsibility of being a Fiduciary.  Many offering investment advice work under a rule that says the advice must only be Suitable.  That is a much weaker … [Read more...]

Question: Should I take my employer pension plan in a lump sum or take annuity payments at retirement?

Like many questions, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this important question.  Professional advice is very important before you make a decision about how to receive your pension benefits. Here are some things to consider: What is your health status and possible life expectancy? If you are in poor health when you retire or you are convinced … [Read more...]

Question: Are bonds a safe place to put money that I don’t want at risk in the stock market?

Answer:  Conventional thinking says that bonds are a buffer and offer diversification from the stock market, and many people don’t realize that bonds can lose value, too.  A bond is a debt instrument.  When you buy a bond you are loaning your money to the government or a municipality or a corporation.  In return for the loan, the issuer of the bond promises … [Read more...]