Study Finds That Social Security Workers Often Provide Incomplete Information

Americans are misinformed about many aspects of Social Security, and local Social Security offices may not be helping, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The study found that the Social Security field offices often did not provide key information that would help people make well-informed decisions […]


Tax-Wise Portfolio Rebalancing

Studies indicate that savvy asset allocation may lead to long-term investment success. Individuals can find a desired mix of riskier asset classes, such as stocks, and relatively lower risk asset classes, such as bonds. Sticking with a chosen strategy might deliver acceptable returns from the volatile assets, as well as […]


Social Security Strategies That Still Work

Recent legislation has reduced Social Security claiming strategies for married couples. For example, if you failed to initiate a “file-and-suspend” plan before April 30, 2016, that opportunity is no longer available.   Still available Another popular approach for married couples—filing restricted applications for spousal benefits—is still viable, but only for […]


With Retirement Plans, SIMPLE May Be Better

In 2017, if a company sponsors a profit-sharing plan, the company could make a contribution on behalf of the business owner of as much as $54,000 (see the CPA Client Bulletin Select, January 2017). With a SIMPLE IRA, the maximum amount this year is $31,000. If that’s the case, why […]


Four Provisions People Forget to Include in Their Estate Plan

Even if you’ve created an estate plan, are you sure you included everything you need to? There are certain provisions that people often forget to put in in a will or estate plan that can have a big impact on your family. 1. Alternate Beneficiaries One of the most important […]


Aging Drivers and the Law

For better or for worse, our current culture is very car-dependant; in many places, cars are the only convenient link to the outside world. Unfortunately, as people age, driving can become more difficult and more dangerous. The elderly drive less, but have more crashes per mile than younger drivers. This […]


New Book Offers Guidance Through the Medicare Maze

Philip Moeller. Get What’s Yours for Medicare: Maximize Your Coverage, Minimize Your Costs. Simon & Schuster. New York, N.Y. 2016. 291 pages.  Medicare is a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, it provides guaranteed coverage for Americans over age 65 or who are disabled, and the program has improved the […]


Hospitals Now Must Provide Notice About Observation Status

All hospitals must now give Medicare recipients notice when they are in the hospital under observation status. The notice requirement is part of a law enacted in 2015 but that just took effect. Signed by President Obama in August 2015, the law was intended to prevent surprises after a Medicare […]


Dealing With an IRS Audit

IRS data indicate that fewer than 1% of all individual income tax returns are audited each year. That’s true, but some taxpayers are more vulnerable than others. For starters, the IRS is more likely to audit taxpayers who report high incomes because that’s where larger amounts of underpaid taxes might […]


Deciding About a Vacation Home

Whether you live in the thawing North or in the always mild South, the onset of spring leads to thoughts of summer vacations. After all, next month will be May, which includes Memorial Day, often considered the unofficial beginning of weekend and weeklong getaways. At this time, you might be […]