All Posts By

Bill Schwartz, CPA, CFP®

The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022: What You Need to Know

By Blog
The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (aka SECURE Act 2.0) recently passed the House (by a 414-5 margin, so, believe it or not, on a bipartisan basis), and looks to have enough support to pass the Senate sometime this year. Introduced by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts), who led the original SECURE Act of 2019, the bill looks to encourage Americans to save for retirement. Below are the current highlights: The original SECURE Act raised the age at which you must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s to age 72 from age…
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2021 tax law proposals

The Shape of Things to Come: 2021 Tax Law Proposals

By Blog
Although I am writing this in early April, I promise you, this is no April Fools’ Day joke. There are many potential tax law changes on the horizon, but today I will address two of the most recent proposals. On March 25, 2021, Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced what they call the “For the 99.5% Act.” The title refers to the authors’ attempt to make the estate tax system more progressive so that it will result in a stronger economy for 99.5% of Americans, only impacting the top 0.5%. Under current law, the estate and gift…
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biden tax proposal

Back to the Future? A Look at Biden’s Tax Proposals

By Blog
Somehow lost in all of the news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, Joe Biden, the former Vice President and current Democratic nominee for President, has proposed a number of individual, payroll, and corporate tax increases to fund new or expanded government programs. The proposal comes as Biden has partnered with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders to further attract progressives to his campaign and allure voters in November. These proposals will have a material impact on higher-income taxpayers. Individual Taxes Summary In general, higher-income taxpayers would face significantly increased income and payroll taxes. The changes would repeal the income…
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medicare

Medicare: Everything You Always Wanted to Know

By Guides & Whitepapers
Medicare: The Basics Medicare is the Federal health insurance program for people ages 65 and older. The program helps pay for various medical expenses including hospital stays, physicians, prescription drugs, and more. The number of people enrolled in Medicare has tripled since 1970, climbing from roughly 20 million in 1970 to 60 million today, and is projected to reach almost 90 million in another 30 years. A common misconception about Medicare is that it is self-financed through premiums paid by current beneficiaries and payroll taxes by future beneficiaries. Unfortunately, payroll taxes and premiums only cover about half of the programs…
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social security

Social Security Optimization: What You Should Know

By , and Guides & Whitepapers
It is no secret that many Americans are ill prepared for retirement (excluding our clients, of course). With the continued disappearance of defined-benefit pension plans (apart from public sector employees), inadequate savings, and low interest rates, people are depending on Social Security now more than ever before. Despite these facts, billions of dollars in lifetime benefits are lost each year because retirees make uninformed decisions about claiming Social Security benefits. This white paper will discuss various concepts to consider in order to help maximize lifetime Social Security benefits. Regardless of whether you feel Social Security will be a major factor…
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retirement savings

A “How To” Guide to Retirement Savings for the Self-Employed

By Blog
In the past, I've received calls from clients who had already retired but decided to get back into the game and provide consulting services as an independent contractor. Part of the conversation was a discussion of the different approaches to consider in deferring income recognition and investing some of these newly earned funds in a tax efficient manner. Below we review some of the most common retirement savings strategies a self-employed person could utilize, and explore the pros and cons of each: Traditional IRA A traditional IRA is a method to save for retirement with tax benefits. Contributions made to…
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secure act

SECURE Act: Changes May Be Coming Soon to Retirement Savings

By Blog
Believe it or not, there is something that Democrats and Republicans in Congress can agree on, and that is the need for all Americans to increase their retirement savings. Although there is not yet consensus on what any final legislation may look like, there are enough similarities between House and Senate proposals to believe that there could be some movement here. The Senate Finance Committee first reported the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA) in November of 2016, followed by a House version known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act (SECURE), which passed the House Ways &…
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2019 1st Quarter Commentary: “When Hindsight Isn’t 20/20”

Market Commentary
“Before, You Are Wise; After, You Are Wise. In Between, You Are Otherwise.” -David Zindell Most of us are attracted to round numbers.  Attentions peak around calendar years and familiar anniversaries that have meaning beyond the numbers themselves.  Rarely do we celebrate someone being at a company for 28.14 years or ask about performance over the last 3,147 days, but we do celebrate 20-year reunions and the beginning of a new century.  So, for a society fond of round numbers, the opportunity arrived in early March to count and reflect.  Ten.  In our experience, ten is the number kids get…
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tax season

Tax Season: It’s Getting to Be That Time of the Year!

By Blog
A Recap of Impending Tax Law Changes I know, it’s not April 15th yet, and I’m not necessarily in any hurry to get there.  But with some substantial changes to the tax law made effective in 2018, I figured it’s not too early to remind everyone what is in store for them from an individual tax perspective heading into filing season 2019: Forms 1040A and 1040EZ have been eliminated, so everyone will be using the standard Form 1040. The Form 1040 has been redesigned and is supplemented by new Schedules 1 through 6: Schedule 1 reports various types of income,…
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quarter recap

2018 4th Quarter Review: “Holidays, Goldilocks, Resolutions and Strolling Along the Laffer Curve”

Market Commentary
In the grand scheme of things, this holiday season was probably no different from those of the past. Like many others, my family went through some combination of joy, distress, kindness, alienation, reconciliation and everything in between (sometimes all in a matter of minutes). Ultimately, the kids were happy to be out of school and together with the family, and although they occasionally fought and complained, there were still glimpses of heartwarming Rockwellian moments. On the other end of the spectrum, the adult dinner conversations were probably more Orwellian in nature, highlighting how polarized any discussion can become. The topics…
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