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Retirement planning – using all your tools

 

In recent years with the uncertainty in the economy and Baby Boomers coming into retirement age, Social Security has been a hot topic. 

What is there not to worry about!?  Will it be there when you are ready to retire?  Should you take it early? Should you postpone benefits?

A recent article by Dan Kadlec for Time showed that the number of retirees taking early social security has fallen for the second consecutive year to a 35 year low.  According to Kadlec, this is possibly a return to the downward trend that was broken up by the recession, which caused many workers to opt for early retirement in frustration over their inability to find work.  Social security can be taken as early as 62 with reduced payments, but benefits can by maximized by delaying payouts to age 70.  Social security plays a varying role in retirement planning. For some it is supplemental to 401K and savings, but for others, it may be their only source of income.

In May of 2012, the Social Security Administration announced that the online version of the Social Security Statement was now available on their website at:  http://www.ssa.gov/mystatement/.  You have to jump through a few security hoops to get your statement, but it is there for your convenience.  The statement provides estimates for retirement and disability plus gives the user an opportunity to verify that their income has been properly reported. Setting up an account also helps you with information about qualifying for benefits and allows you to apply for benefits online when you are ready to take that step.

Not quite ready to retire, but looking for some planning guidelines?   

The Social Security Administration also offers a variety of benefit calculators  and tools for estimating retirement benefits.

Even if Social Security is only a supplemental part of your retirement plan, it is important to keep tabs on your account. Keeping the full picture of your retirement in view will give you a clear idea of what to expect.

It’s spring time in the Truckee Meadows. The river is running high, the trees are green, and students of all ages are getting spring fever.

With graduation on the horizon, it’s hard not to think about what is coming next. Whether your student is finishing kindergarten, graduating high school, or currently in college, it’s always a wise idea to be thinking about a plan for higher education.

It’s never too late to start saving, but just like planning for retirement, the earlier the better. These days there are a lot of options available for consideration including Section 529 plans, education savings bonds, Coverdell education savings accounts, and education loans. As the cost of college continues to increase it is important to be prepared. According to the Project on Student Debt, two-thirds of college seniors in the class of 2010 graduated with loans, and the average debt carried was $25,250.

The cost of college continues to be on the rise. Make sure you look into all your options for investing in your child’s future as well as for deducting your current costs.

If your student is already in college or will be starting this year, make sure your CPA is making the most of education deductions and credits. For those that meet the requirements, student loan interest can be deductible on a qualified education loan. Taxpayers may also be able to claim a deduction for qualified tuition and fees. Education credits include the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit . These deductions and credits should be coordinated to maximize the tax benefit. While taking this all into account, it is also important to review the dependency exemption and determine when it is the optimum time for your child to no longer be claimed as a dependent.

 





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Barnard Vogler & Co.
100 W. Liberty St., Suite 1100
Reno, NV 89501

T: (775) 786-6141
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