Should I withdraw funds from my 401k to help with expenses due to COVID 19?

As part of the CARES Act, Congress expanded distribution rules and added favorable tax treatment for 401k’s and IRAs.  In order to qualify under the CARES Act provision, you, your spouse, or a dependent must have received a positive COVID diagnosis or you have suffered a financial blow from the quarantine.  This means you have been furloughed, laid off, had … [Read more...]

What is the Paycheck Protection Program and who can apply?

The CARES Act contains programs to help small businesses survive this crisis and keep their workers employed. The Paycheck Protection Program provides up to $349 Billion from the US Treasury for loans to small businesses facilitated through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and approved banks. The purpose of these loans is to provide liquidity to … [Read more...]

What do I need to do to receive the payment the government is sending to taxpayers?

Most people will not need to do anything to receive the “Economic Impact Payment to Taxpayers.” The IRS is scheduled to send out a one-time payment beginning later this month to individuals and families to help replace lost wages in the short term. Individuals whose adjusted gross income does not exceed $75,000 will receive $1,200. Married couples filing … [Read more...]

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...]