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Articles on Wealth Management Topics

"Stealth" IRA Contributions

As we begin to prepare for tax season, IRA contributions are on the minds of many taxpayers. This should be no surprise since not only do tax-deductible IRA contributions reduce current tax bills, but non-tax-deductible IRA contributions have the potential to reduce future tax bills as well. With these tax benefits in mind, here are three ways to effectively increase your household's IRA contributions that often fly under the radar:

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"Ten Ways You're Probably Leaving Money on the Table" Updated for 2018-9

The Tax Policy Center estimates that recent changes to the tax code in the form of last year's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) "... will cut individual income taxes for 65 percent of households overall, but raise taxes for about 6 percent of households." Even so, why not resolve to improve your financial situation even more in the New Year. Depending on your circumstances, there may be a variety of moves to make to reduce your tax bills (or to offset them by saving money in other ways).

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Use a 457 (Retirement Plan Account) to Blow Away Your Tax Bill

457(b) plans are retirement plans for government workers and for highly-compensated employees of non-profit organizations. As such, 457's are offered by some of Utah's largest employers, including Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Utah. These plans are analogous to 401(k)'s and 403(b)'s, but they differ in one critical way.

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Making the Most of Health Savings Accounts (HSA's)

Health Savings Accounts, or HSA's, were only introduced in 2004, and already there are over 20 million of them. Much of that growth, however, has taken place in the last few years, driven by the recent popularity of high-deductible health insurance plans. I've owned an HSA since 2011 and am a big fan of them, so let's discuss the benefits of these relatively new accounts.

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When to Pay Off Your Debt and When to Invest

Your ability to successfully fund your retirement and to finance your other financial objectives is dependent on your net worth, i.e. your assets less your liabilities. So whenever you have excess cash flow, whether as a result of a one-time windfall like an inheritance or simply by virtue of your income exceeding your expenses on an ongoing basis, a conscious decision should be made whether to invest/save on the one hand or to reduce debt on the other.

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Cost-Effective Annuities to Exchange for Those You've Been Sold

To pick up where we left off in our last blog post, immediate annuities can play a useful role in a retirement portfolio. But like any other financial product, there are cost-effective, well-engineered annuities and expensive, poorly-designed ones. Here are some welcome and interesting annuity features that you may be unaware of if your only prior experience with annuities is through an insurance salesperson:

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Do Annuities Have a Role to Play in Your Retirement Portfolio?

If there's one investment vehicle that causes more controversy than any other, it has to be the annuity. Opinions among financial professionals are usually divided along the lines of compensation model. Commission-based brokers and insurance salespeople tend to think more highly of them, and to recommend them more frequently, than Fee-Only financial planners.

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