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Traditional IRA VS. Roth IRA

Posted on September 20th, 2018

More commonly known as an IRA, the Individual Retirement Account is exactly what it sounds like. An IRA is a tool used to put away investments for your retirement. An IRA allows you the opportunity to earn and earmark funds for yourself later on in life.
Understanding the difference between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA is very important as using one or the other can have a great impact on yourself and your family’s savings in the long term. While there are a great many variables between the two, but we are going to look at the primary differences that will ultimately affect your decision on which option is best for you and yours.
Traditional IRAs come with a specific age restriction. Any individual who is receiving an earned income from their employer and is under the age of 70 & ½ may contribute to their Roth IRA. Now, there are some variables when it comes to whether or not what you contribute to your IRA is tax deductible. If you or your spouse have a 401(k), or a similar retirement plan already in place that can change your contribution’s tax deductible status as can the level of your income.
Roth IRAs do not bear an age restriction. This means that you’re never too young (or too old, for that matter) to get started. The restrictions that Roth IRAs carry are more related to your income. The breakdown can be a bit tricky so allow us to explain.
If you are a single tax filer then your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) may not exceed $135,000.00 (up $2,00.00 from 2017).
If you are a married couple that is filing jointly then your modified AGI may not exceed $199,000.00 (up $3,000.00 from 2017).
Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs both offer tax breaks. Contributions to your Traditional IRA are tax-deductible on both the State & Federal level for the calendar year in which the contributions were made. Neither your Roth nor your Traditional IRAs offer tax breaks for your contributions, but you are generally able to avoid taxes when retrieving your funds during retirement. You should also know that (as long as the funds are still in their respective accounts) you will pay no taxes on the increases that you see to the funds you’ve contributed.
There are rules in regards to the withdrawal process for you your IRA, specifically when you may begin withdrawing your funds. Once you’ve reached 70 & ½ years of age your Traditional IRS will require that you begin withdrawing from your account. Roth IRAs do not require this. In fact, with a Roth IRA, you can leave that money untouched for the entirety of your life, if you so desire. Both Roth and Traditional IRAs will allow you to begin making withdrawals at the age of 59 & ½.
Lastly, it is important to note that Both Roth and Traditional IRAs have a plethora of investment opportunities, from individual stocks to index funds.


Reducing Tax Liabilities for High Income Earners

Posted on May 29th, 2018

Preparing for end-of-the-year taxes can be daunting, but understanding good tax-planning practices can help to increase your chances of receiving higher returns on your investments. Income from investments can be one of the best places to look when searching for places to cut costs and increase your revenue. Creating a proactive tax-plan can prevent you from paying thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes.

Tax-saving Solutions

While high-income taxpayers are required to pay the most income tax, there are a few practices these individuals can engage in to lower the amount they pay at the end of the year. Purchasing stock for at least one year prevents you from paying additional costs from unnecessary taxes. Allowing your stock to become eligible for long-term treatment helps to reduce the amount you pay in taxes. Failing to hold stock for at least a year causes you to pay short-term capital gains on investments rather than just the 15 to 20 percent of normal capital gains tax, in short paying more.

Regular reviews of your taxable assets make’s sure you’re aware of all the areas that may be costing you extra money. Routine checks develop good practices and habits that help to reduce what you pay. Reduce the amount of taxable interest, which means reducing the amount of money stored in low-profit areas. Banks give their clients close to nothing, while clients are still required to pay at least half of that interest in taxes. Utilizing high-profitable places to store your money will not only increase your dividend but also reduce the amount of taxes you pay.

Give away assets, that is, giving or donating assets to charities and family members using appreciated stock, may reduce the amount of taxable income you own. Neither party associated in the exchange is required to pay capital-gains taxes when the stock is transferred. Additionally, family members may qualify for a different tax bracket that is lower than your costs, in turn reducing the overall amount of gains lost through the process. Since the New Year is just around the corner, it’s best to engage in proper tax-planning practices to best increase your chances for reducing the amount of money you pay and increase the amount of profit you actually keep.


5 Budgeting Tips to Save Cash

Posted on March 6th, 2018

Saving money is a difficult commitment to make, but it provides benefits in the long run. Life throws unpredictable events at us, and preparing our budgets to account for accidents or emergencies grants peace of mind. Saving is also one way to hold off on wanton spending that drains accounts rapidly. The following tips to save money can inspire balance in your daily financial habits.

Stick to a 30 Percent or Less Rule

It’s hard to save money without setting up a cap on your spending. When payday rolls around and there are new products or items grabbing our attention, it’s incredibly difficult. We recommend setting a limit of 30 percent of your paycheck to spend on entertainment and leisure. This reserves 70 percent use for essentials. Use 30 percent as a starting point and decrease the limit to save even more money as you become more confident in your saving strategy.

Establish Financial Goals

Nothing helps curtail personal spending and establish a direction more than creating a strategy. By writing down financial goals, such as paying off your car by a certain date, you lay a foundation for future success. Knowing where your money flows is liberating and strengthens resolve in saying no to frivolous purchases.

Manage Personal Cash Flow Daily

Dedicating one minute a day to looking over your bank account makes you aware of where you spend the most. This also promotes comfortability in managing one’s finances. Get cash out daily or weekly to keep to a specific spending amount, which is a research-proven technique that keeps your cash account stable. When swiping cards is the go-to, the convenience causes individuals to spend much more.

Shop Realistically

When new products appear on the market, whether a new gadget or guilty pleasure, it is important to hold back the impulse to buy it. Impulsive shopping tends to influence purchasing habits and tricks us into buying items we don’t need.

Pay off Larger Debts First

When paying off credit card debt or loans, it’s beneficial to chip away at a loan with a higher interest rate. If you wait to pay, amounts owed increases exponentially. Although paying off smaller amounts of debt with smaller interest rates seems more manageable, they won’t cost as much as high interest debt. By hedging larger loans and limiting the traction their high interest gains, the debt is more manageable over time.


Small Business Tips: How to Expand Your Business

Posted on January 20th, 2018

Congratulations on successfully starting your business! If you’re ready to take the next step, but don’t know exactly how to go about that, here are some ideas for thinking about growing your business. Depending on the industry your business is in, and the type of business you own, the available resources, time, and money on hand, will determine the proper idea or ideas that is right for you and your business.


Open another location – If you’re first business location is successful and under control, consider expanding by opening a new location. Look for specific areas in which your customer demographic prevalently frequents or is well known.


Collaborate with other businesses – By opening yourself up to another business that is similar or related to your own industry, take advantage of that network relationship and collaborate on a joint event. It’s a chance to market yourself to new customers that may have not known of your business.


Diversify your product – Look into seasonal voids, is there a product similar to your own that can be introduced? Diversifying is a great way to increase sales and profit margins. Seasonal or complimentary products or services, or offer to export other colleague’s products.


Turn your business into a franchise – If your business model is easily replicated, and you want to see your business grow quickly, think about franchising. As the owner, now referred to as a franchiser, of the name or trademark sells that right to a franchisee. However, be prepared to work through various regulatory and legal rules and obstacles when it comes to franchising your business. Look into the federal government rules, as well as state requirements, in order to sell your business.


Expand to the internet – In this digital age, it’s important to have a superior online presence to maximize your exposure to new and old customers. Look into creating a website so customer can discover your business through an online search engine.


Understand your limitations, resources available, and your capacity as a business owner before looking to grow your business. However, with a successful business plan, market savviness and dedication, there is always room to grow!


Why and How- Proactive Tax Planning

Posted on October 20th, 2017

Many business owners and taxpayers are accustomed to the idea of “reactive” taxes. In this style of filing, you make your various expenditures throughout the year, see your company’s sales and expenses, and determine how much you owe at the end of the year. However, this form of filing often leads to business owners owing more in taxes. As a result many accountants work with businesses to curb the amount you would owe during tax season.


Why engage in Proactive Planning?
Proactive tax planning allows a business owner to limit tax liability by working within the various state and federal tax laws. Not only does this approach save business owners money, but allows your accountant more time in finding the best deductions and tax credits each year.
The tax landscape is always changing, and implementing an effective tax plan can also help to ensure that your business’ books are kept up to date. This continuous knowledge of the state of your business and the developing tax laws can also help you find beneficial reductions to how much you need to pay.


Business owners looking to expand, incorporate, or otherwise change their business model during the year are especially well served by an adaptive tax plan. This way, you will be able to account for the change in your company and can have a strategy in place to mitigate the corresponding differences in the tax code.


How to start your Proactive Tax Plan
The first step in planning for the upcoming tax season is to find an experienced accountant or CPA. Hiring a professional will allow you to keep your attention on your business ventures, without needing to focus too much on current tax laws. Additionally when creating your tax plan, it is always beneficial to allow your tax professional to assess the current state of your company to strategize a savings plan.
If you have questions about tax planning or are looking for a strategy that is tailored to your specific income or business, contact our firm today.


Helpful Tips for Any Small Business Owner

Posted on July 20th, 2017

People looking to start small businesses face a daunting task. With the dominance of larger companies, global competition provided by the internet, and the increasing number of competitors within other small businesses, you may feel overwhelmed. However, these simple yet effective tips should help keep you ahead of the curve and competitive in the modern market.


1) Make Yourself Known: A great way to get your name out is through community outreach efforts, or even sponsorships of local sports teams. These efforts go beyond regular marketing efforts in that they allow local communities to know you, as well as your business, and make purchasing your goods and services personal.


2) Have a Plan: Before even starting your business, have a strong business plan that acknowledges your company’s niche, market potential, and values your current assets. This can help you in deciding a direction for your venture, and can cut back on unnecessary expenditures in the future.


3) Quality over Price: With the constant presence of corporations like Walmart and Amazon, trying to price match competitors can lead to a loss of profit, as well as confidence. Instead of trying to compete fiscally, focus on honing your service in a way that these companies cannot. Not only will your product benefit from your drive for excellence, but patrons will overlook price differences for superior quality products and service.


4) Acknowledge Missteps: Nobody likes to be wrong, but being able to accept flaws in your business’ model or your product are essential in setting yourself apart from your competitor. Accept criticisms as opportunities to improve. Adaptability is essential in the modern marketplace.


5) Use Technology: With the internet and technologies focused on the management of small businesses, the barrier for marketing and sales in greater regions has more or less been lifted. Be sure to use all of the resources at your disposal, whether this means creating a web-based storefront, or managing your accounts with programs like QuickBooks.


While these strategies are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of establishing a successful business, they are helpful in getting your business a leg up over the competition.


How to make the most of your 401(k)

Posted on April 20th, 2017

If investing in your future is something that rests entirely on your shoulders, know that there are options. If you have employer-sponsored plans like 401(k)s, it’s imperative to that you properly optimize that plan to its fullest. But saving for retirement is a process, and its best to understand your avenues even if you’re just starting out. So here are some tips on how to start preparing for retirement.


– Consider maximizing your contribution which is matched by your employer in the 401(k) program at your company. In some cases you could get a 50 percent return on your investment. By having the money taken directly out of your paycheck, you have an easier time saving money without really thinking about it. If you match your contribution and had a direct deposit set up to add more, you will be on a good path towards affording retirement.


– Consider opening a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) account with an investment firm. There are tax differences between the two, so it is important to discuss the pay taxes now vs. late discussion with an advisor or tax accountant.


– Look into a myRA – A singular investment option by use of U.S. Treasury retirement savings bond. This is a great option for those who do not have a 401(k) account at work, but have dispensable income. The myRA is convenient in that it accept smaller contributions, with low-balance fees and a higher interest rate than a savings account. Contribute your next tax refund, payroll deduction, or a deposit from a checking or savings account. You have options in size, just know with this plan that once you save $15,000, the money must be rolled into a private Roth IRA.


Start saving and keep saving! Whether you’re saving for retirement or for another goal – don’t give up. If you’re just starting to save, start small and try to increase the amount each month, know you’re options as you get into more opportunities to save more money for that end goal.



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