Retirement Plans

Courts Weight Adult’s Children’s Responsibilities in Parents’ Care Costs

Court Weight Adult'sChildren - Patti Spencer

Can an Adult Child be Held Responsible for a Parent’s Nursing Home Costs? On May 7, 2012 the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued an opinion in the case of Healthcare Retirement Corporation of America v. Pittas. The court found a son liable for his mother’s $93,000 nursing home bill under Pennsylvania’s Filial Responsibility Law. This high-profile… Read More

Spousal Consent or Who Owns your Retirement Plan?

Spousal Consent - Patti Spencer

In general, property law is state law. There are a few exceptions and one of them is Spousal Consent to change a beneficiary on qualified plans. Many employees are surprised to find out that they must name their spouse as primary beneficiary of their retirement benefits unless the spouse consents to their naming another beneficiary.… Read More

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

The Bipartisan Budget Act - Patti Spencer

President Obama, Nov. 2, signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a two-year budget deal. The legislation raises the federal debt limit and is paid for in part by provisions eliminating two Social Security retirement benefit claiming strategies, a provision to prevent a significant increase in Medicare Part B premiums for some, and… Read More

Payout Options for ROTH IRA Beneficiaries

Roth IRAs do not have minimum distribution requirements during the account owner’s lifetime. Age 70½ can come and go and no distributions are required. This allows more wealth to accumulate tax-free as the assets stay in the Roth IRA and earnings are reinvested tax-free. Roth IRAs are a great tool to consider in estate planning.… Read More

Is your 403 (b) plan a good investment?

403 (b) plans are the retirement savings plans for educators and employees of tax-exempt organizations. They are also known as tax sheltered annuity plans (TSAs). Participants include teachers, school administrators and other personnel, nurses, doctors, professors, librarians, and ministers. Many of these folks also receive a pension, but often the pension is not enough to… Read More

The Jury is Out on 2010 Roth Conversions

If you did a Roth IRA conversion in 2010, congratulations. The next smart thing to do is to review that decision and see if it still makes sense for your situation. When a traditional IRA is converted to a Roth, all before-tax contributions made to the IRA become taxable; and the income tax must be… Read More

How Much Money Is Enough?

“Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot.” – Pirkei Avos (4:1) At my seminars on the New Tax Act, I told the audiences about the unprecedented estate planning opportunity over the next two years of making gifts. The Estate Tax, Gift Tax and Generation-Skipping Tax exemptions are all at $5 million. For… Read More

Advantages to Converting to a Roth IRA in 2010

2011 is the first year that taxpayers with more than $100,000 of income can convert to a Roth IRA. 2011 may also be the best year for taxpayers to do a Roth IRA conversion because of the scheduled tax increases in future years. In addition, after 2010, increasing income could cause a person’s investment income… Read More

Savings Bonds – Part 2 Purchase and Ownership

Savings Bonds are registered securities. They cannot be sold to anyone other than the U.S. Treasury and its agent banks. They are not marketable. Some of the consequences that follow from this status is that they can’t be used a collateral for a loan and they can’t be given to anyone without re-registering them. Savings… Read More

Who gets your Property if you Die Without A Will?

A person who dies without a will dies intestate. Each state has a statute that specifies to whom the decedent’s property is distributed if there is no will. You can check out who would receive your property if you die without a will at Intestacy Calculators TM. This site and the calculators it contains were… Read More