College tuition might be fresh on your mind now that the kids and grandkids have been back to school for a while. You may be considering helping a child, grandchild or loved one with the cost of higher education.
Record-high tuition costs have many families exploring the various options available to them, including 529 plans and Coverdell accounts, but many fail to realize that a Roth IRA could also be a viable option to help fund a college education. Roth IRAs provide a flexible alternative to 529 plans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are for everyone. FAFSA eligibility, taxes, as well as account limitations and requirements are all factors that should be considered in order to select the investment options that best fit you and your loved one’s needs.
Dennis Prout goes over some items from Ed Slott's Year End Checklist for IRAs.
Dennis is back from his adventures to the great Northwest. Guess what else is back? October deadlines. Yup. You heard us right. Here’s the list:
October 1, 2017
Deadline for self-employed persons or small employers to establish a SIMPLE IRA for the year 2017.
October 16, 2017
Final deadline to file individual tax returns for the year 2016 (Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ).
Last day the IRS will accept an electronically filed tax return for the year 2016. If filing after October 15, you'll have to mail in your tax return for processing.
Final deadline to fund a SEP IRA or solo 401(k) for tax year 2016 if you requested an automatic extension of time to file.
The headline read, “People in rich countries are dying of loneliness.” I couldn’t resist, I had to read it and I had to know why. Turns out, this is a blurry issue without hard lines drawn between demographics. Instead, it’s about emotional isolation. We are living longer, moving away from our families, marrying less and living in a culture that promotes autonomy over community. This is the perfect storm for loneliness. In its wake is the higher risk of Alzheimer’s, depression, obesity and early death.
Think this is a problem just for single people? Think again. According to The New York Times, “It is not the same thing as being alone: 62.5 percent of older adults who reported being lonely in this new study were married.”
Grant Porteous, local therapist and life coach, joins me (Shea) in the studio today to talk about how to identify loneliness and cope with it. He says, "You need to look at your 401(k) but you also need to look at this … you need to look at your emotional health.”
I was born an old soul, preferring adult conversations over play dates with my peers. One conversation I remember my grandmother and mother having went like this: “Well, you know. They didn’t have a rainy day fund, so they lost everything.” In my five-year-old mind I couldn’t understand how a rainy day could be more expensive than a sunny one, but it sounded awful.
This literal interpretation has context today as we watch the devastation in Houston. It also has the intended metaphorical context when we look ahead into retirement. The unexpected storms of life take preparation and sometimes, despite what we have done, it’s not enough.
In this episode Dennis and Shea talk about the ways to protect your financial assets and documents should a disaster occur. We will also discuss how to be prepared for the unexpected health expenses that will more than likely happen while you’re in retirement.
According to Pew Research Center, one in seven middle-aged adults (15%) is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child. People in this situation are considered the “Sandwich Generation”. Listen to this episode as Dennis and Shea discuss the “Sandwich Generation” and hear from Prout Financial Design's very own Heidi Thompson, who is currently a member of this group.
In this episode Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja get back into some retirement account technicalities from Ed Slott’s August Newsletter for advisors. This is the “inside scoop” for those of you wanting to understand required minimum distributions, Social Security, taxes and the oh-so-famous Roth IRAs!
Last week Dennis talked about an ice cream scoop of his mother’s that he wanted after his parents passed away. Though it wasn’t inherently valuable, it held much sentimental value – and many memories – for him. For me (Shea), it was my grandmother’s Renaissance painting, a reprint with no name. It reminds me of her and my time at the family farm. When it comes to liquidating the “stuff” (heirlooms are apparently a thing of the past), it’s important to know that the “IKEA generation” probably doesn’t want it. But if they do, you might want to make a plan.
Tune in today to talk about the disbursement of personal property. Our guest, Judy Albaugh, created the business “Simply Sales” to help families with estate sales and appraisal of personal property. She has a process in place to help you part with a lifetime of memories.
As a kid, it was always a race to ride in the front seat of my parents’ car. When it was time to go somewhere, we would hurtle ourselves toward the car yelling, “SHOTGUN!” Regardless of who said it first, it was the kid who made it to the car first who won. As the oldest, I had a clear advantage until my little brother’s athleticism won out. By then, though, I had my driver’s license … the ultimate ticket to freedom!
Now, as adults, my siblings and I squabble over family schedules to coordinate vacation time in order to see each other. I’m not naive enough to believe that it will always be this simple, but I am hopeful. Turns out, unfortunately, that when adult siblings do fight, it’s typically over their parents’ money.
Join us today to talk about the Top Three Money Fights Among Siblings and how to avoid them (Next Avenue).
As mentioned in the article, “Siblings are often the longest relationship people have in their lives. You know your siblings longer than anyone else,” said Keckler. “It’s really important to come together and work together to care for, and support, your aging parents.”
I (Dennis) have spent the summer nurturing my garden. Just last week my asparagus plant began to show off its leaves. For reasons unknown to me, there is an incredible sense of accomplishment in watching a garden grow. This year, I’ll have enough produce to share with friends and family, which gives me an even deeper level of satisfaction. Your investments aren’t much different. After years of labor and attention, they can produce enough for you to live on. If you’re intentional, it can be something for you to share.
We’ve been told that after we’re gone we lose all control of what we’ve left for others, but what if that weren’t true? What if you could protect your investments in a Trusteed IRA? This is a HOT TOPIC in the financial industry, and I’m going to spend today telling you why. Get ready for a deep dive into detail that can protect so much more than money … it can protect the relationships within your family.
Summertime is the magical season that erases almost all our desire to focus on finances. It's hard to think of the details when there's so many wonderful distractions. We are with you in this ... every day the sun keeps ours eyes wandering outside the office thinking of an excuse to run an errand or two. And just like the seasons in northern Michigan cause us to focus on different priorities, there are different seasons in life that force us to think about finances differently.
Listen to this episode as we look at the different decades of life as seasons. This will help you benchmark your progress and give you ideas to help you focus.
We’ve been doing something in the hopes of helping you. We’ve been talking about how to have “the money talk” with your adult children as beneficiaries. In doing this, however, we made a huge assumption: that your kids were ready for this discussion. If it turns out that your hard work to “button things up” has backfired by their resistance, tune in to this episode. There are both emotional and logistical reasons they aren’t ready. MarketWatch contributor Richard Watts sums it up perfectly: “Money is like a narcotic; a little more is always welcome, and the last amount never quite fills your present need. Give your children enough that they do something, but not so much that they do nothing.” There are many options available to create this balance. Tune in to find out more.
You may have a retirement account, but do you have a financial plan? The difference between the two is accumulation and deciding how to use what you have accumulated. At Prout Financial Design, we have incredibly sophisticated financial planning software that will help you navigate your financial future with a sense of control and purpose. Join Dennis and Jeannie Thaxton in this episode as they discuss why creating a financial plan could help relieve some of your anxiety moving forward.
Traverse City has made many lists this year, including “Best Place to Retire.” Statistics show that Northern Michigan is one of the fastest-aging areas in the nation. For the first time in our region’s history, there are more people dying than being born. It’s being called a “Silver Tsunami” as more than 10,000 people turn 65 every day until 2030. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “The 65 and over population will more than double, and the 85 and over population will more than triple by 2050.” In 2015, the median annual cost for nursing facility care was $91,250.
No one likes to talk about long-term care. Most of us are forced into the discussion by way of circumstance. In this episode Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja try to bridge the gap between future possibilities and current options to plan for your care.
Retirement accounts have multiple investment vehicles that can look a lot like Jay Leno’s garage. You can choose from hybrids (mutual funds), or classics (fixed accounts), sports cars (stocks) or utility vehicles (bonds). However, the most common retirement transportation is the 401(k), which is more like an Amtrak train. There are a lot of passengers heading in the same direction until it’s time to get off and choose a personal vehicle (an IRA) to get you to your final destination (retirement). When you leave a job you can choose to leave the 401(k) and “roll it over” into that personal vehicle that will carry you into retirement. In this episode of New Retirement Radio, Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja focus on six rollover options for your 401(k).
In this week’s show Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja review items from Ed Slott’s recent newsletter which provided 14 great tips for non-spouse beneficiaries. The first tip is “touch nothing”! Before you make a move, talk to an advisor to avoid expensive tax mistakes. More than likely, you are splitting the inherited account and the mandated deadlines are important to be aware of. Also, you will need to name a beneficiary to these accounts as well. Who knew there was so much to know!
For more than 30 years you've been programmed to "save, save, save" and invest wisely so that you can retire. When you retire you then have to learn how to "spend, spend, spend" wisely. It's hard to make "The Switch" from one mentality to the next. You lose freedom with income, but you gain freedom with time. It's a series of trade-offs that we talk about in this episode. How can you change your strategy and make little pivots to ease the shock (or excitement) of transition?
More than 800,000 Americans lose their spouses each year, and 700,000 of them are women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Because women generally outlive men, they spend an average of 14 years without a spouse. There are now more than 14 million widows and widowers, accounting for about one-quarter of those over 65. And yet, it's the topic most clients avoid simply because, "we don't want to think about it." Twenty-five percent of the population has found themselves in a difficult situation. If you haven't started the planning process for your personal finances and estate, listen to this episode and Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja can get you started.
In this episode Dennis Prout weighs in on what some of the top economists are saying and gives practical tips on how to review your portfolio in light of our current political and economic climates.
Aging Baby Boomers (the wealthiest generation) are inheriting from their parents and preparing to pass more than $30 trillion in assets to their Gen X and millennial children (CNBC) in the next several decades. Do you know the rules when inheriting IRAs, non-qualified annuities, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and even the kitchen sink? Do your children? Considering that most U.S. middle income households (81%) had flat or falling income between 2004 and 2014 (MarketWatch), every dollar counts. Secondly, we are going to briefly cover whether or not your IRA is protected from creditors and bankruptcy. Our guest expert, Shannon L. Evans, Esq. of Evans & Associates in Las Vegas, Nevada, contributed to the Ed Slott Newsletter with charts to help us navigate. The laws vary state and affect owners and beneficiaries. With 76.4 million Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964, 20% will be 65 or older by 2029. There will be a lot of funds passing from one generation to the next. Join us today as Dennis teaches you how to inherit.
Listen as Dennis Prout chats about the importance of estate planning with local attorney Timothy White from Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge of Traverse City, Michigan. Tim practices law in the areas of Business Law, Probate Litigation, Tax Law and Trusts & Estates.
Listen to this week's episode as Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja explain the Roth option of various retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b). They also explain the TSP Distribution rules.
If you waited to do your taxes, be depressed no more! The odds might be in your favor. This show is about last minute tax tips. Waiting allows you to catch a few things you might have missed. It buys time for you to consult about what to do better next year too. You have until April 18 this year, which is another bonus. Also included in this episode is a fun Social Security quiz from Kiplinger.
Regardless of one's interest in technology, it’s here and we dependent on it every day. The same goes for retirement planning. While so far off in the future, it’s actually happening right now. You can Google how to retire and find fairly helpful information. But you and I both know that it’s not for lack of information that we don’t plan, it’s the psychology behind it. Listen to this week's episode to find out where you’re stuck when it comes to moving forward. The information is there, but how will you choose to use it?
In recent news, the conversations have been changing about Health Savings Accounts. Contributions are deductible and distributions are tax-free. Could it be a better option than investing in your IRA or 401(k)? Are there other opportunities you might be missing? For example, should you invest in life insurance or a Roth IRA? What about a trust vs a will? There are so many decisions to make in a week’s time that we often don’t have time to investigate opportunities like this. In this episode Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja explore the different options available.