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Brian J. O'Connor

Posts by Brian J. O'Connor

Taxes

My Dad Left Me $450k in an IRA, But I’m in the 32% Tax Bracket. How Should I Structure My Withdrawals?

There are a couple of different sets of rules around inherited IRAs and you’re subject to theleast flexible. While there are more options for a spouse or someone who’s chronically ill ordisabled, a minor child, or someone not more than 10 years younger than the deceased IRAowner, you have just 10 years to withdraw the… read more…

Financial Advisor

I Turn 73 This Year. How Do I Avoid RMD Taxes?

The IRS allows workers to put aside pre-tax earnings in traditional Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k) and similar workplace accounts, and for all the money to grow – tax-deferred – to give you cash for retirement. But the national tax collector only waits so long to collect, and once you turn 73, the law forces retirees… read more…

Retirement

Is It Better to Take My RMD Later or Earlier in the Year? How Do I Decide?

People often think they don’t have any choice about taking the IRS-mandated required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts – but they do. While you can’t skip making the withdrawal they can choose how to time it in a way that works best for their individual financial situation. Required minimum distributions – RMDs, for short… read more…

Retirement

Is It Better to Take Annuity Payments Monthly or Once Per Year?

A lot of retirees use annuities to simplify their income stream in retirement but that doesn’t mean annuities are simple. Beyond choosing what kind of annuity to purchase – immediate vs. deferred and fixed, indexed or variable, you’ll also need to consider how to receive your annuity payments. You can receive a lump sum from… read more…

Retirement

Which of These Retirement Savings Trends Fit Your Financial Situation?

Despite recent years of inflationary spikes and stock market volatility, most Americans haven’t cut their retirement savings rate. They also don’t plan to sell assets or investments and are taking action to get professional advice to plan their retirement. If you need help saving and planning for retirement, consider working with a financial advisor. Those… read more…

Taxes

Important Tax Changes to Know Before You File in 2024

If there’s one thing you can depend on when it comes to taxes, it’s that at least some of the rules, exemptions and deductions are sure to change every year. This year was no exception, as many things have changed for 2023 taxes being filed by April 2024. So before you start pulling together the… read more…

Retirement

This Proposed Roth IRA Rollover Legislation Could Revolutionize Roth Retirement Savings Accounts

Workers with their own personal Roth IRAs would be able to roll those accounts into a workplace Roth 401(k) and some similar accounts under legislation recently introduced in the House of Representatives by two of its members. These other accounts types could include 403(b)s and 457(b)s. If signed into law, this proposal could change the… read more…

Retirement

Study Shows Major Differences in How People and Their Employers View Their Retirement Readiness

The bosses who sponsor retirement investment plans think their employees are well prepared for retirement. However, many of those workers don’t feel the same way. This difference in opinion could cause a disparity on the decision-making side of employee retirement account management. Do you have questions about building a retirement plan? Speak with a financial… read more…

Taxes

The Ultimate List of End-of-Year Tax Tips

As the end of the year nears, calendars are crowded but make sure you set aside time to make sure your 2023 taxes won’t come back to bite you in 2024. Year-end tax moves fall into two categories: options that can save you money and required chores that can cost you money if not done… read more…

Retirement

Are Annuities Actually as Valuable as They Seem?

A new study titled “How Much Do People Value Annuities and Their Added Features?” from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College finds that while just 12% of investors with assets of more than $100,000 open an annuity, more than 50% of investors who could benefit from a simple annuity don’t buy one because… read more…

Retirement

The 4% Rule for Retirement Withdrawals Might Finally Be Safe to Use Again, Says Morningstar

There’s been an ongoing debate about whether retirees should abandon the “4% rule” for withdrawals from retirement accounts, a retirement income rule of thumb for decades. The market volatility of recent years made that rule suspect for many new retirees, but a new study from Morningstar finds that the rule can still apply. Do you… read more…

Retirement

High Cost of Living Surpasses Retirement Preparedness as Top Financial Concern, Study Says

A recent survey of employers from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) uncovered a major shift taking place among American companies and their workers. Instead of putting retirement readiness at the top of their list of financial concerns, they’re increasingly becoming more worried about cost of living. This shouldn’t come as a total surprise, considering… read more…

Estate Planning

‘Upstream Gifting’ Can Help You Avoid Estate Taxes and Preserve Your Stepped-Up Basis

Estate planning usually involves determining how to pass assets on to younger generations. But instead of leaving a piece of real estate, bank account or burgeoning stock portfolio to your children, the smarter tax move might be to leave those assets to your parents. That’s the crux of a clever tax minimization strategy known as… read more…

Retirement

This New Federal Proposal Could Give You a 5% Match on Your Retirement Contributions

Low- and middle-income workers who aren’t covered by a workplace retirement savings plan would get access to the federal Thrift Savings Plan, under a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate recently. “Americans who work hard their entire lives deserve to retire with dignity,” Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-CO, said in a statement. “This bill helps… read more…

Retirement

401(k)s Are Investing Your Retirement Money in This Asset – What It Means

Managers of 401(k) and similar workplace retirement plans are putting an increasing amount of money in private real estate investments, including commercial real estate funds and real estate investment trusts. This news comes according to a 2023 survey from the Defined Contribution Real Estate Council. In fact, as of Dec. 31, 2022, $59.1 billion was… read more…

Retirement

J.D. Power Ranks the Best Retirement Plan Digital Experiences for 2023

If you’re looking to build a long-term retirement account relationship with a specific financial advisor or company, you may want to check out the firm’s digital app before you move your money. That’s the upshot of the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Retirement Plan Digital Experience Study. In fact, the report found that customers who are… read more…

Retirement

Just How Important Is It to Begin Planning Early for Retirement?

An unpredictable economy and unforeseen life events can create a “financial vortex” that makes it difficult to save over the long term and invest for retirement, according to a recent survey from Goldman Sachs. The list of volatile economic factors won’t surprise anyone living in today’s economy who’s experiencing higher interest rates, inflation and the… read more…

Financial Advisor

What Financial Advisor Clients Value More Than Returns, and Why

It won’t come as a surprise that when investors talk to their financial advisors, their top concerns these days are focused on inflation, market volatility and the possibility of a recession. And while any investor wants to maximize their gains, recent research published by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) indicates that right now, investors are… read more…

Retirement

Does Your 401(k) Need to Be Protected?

When choosing among the mutual funds, target-date funds and other investments offered in a 401(k) plan, nobody sets out to select a costly investment that could affect their future. But, according to law professors Ian Ayres of Yale University and Quinn Curtis of the University of Virginia, that’s often exactly what can happen. Taking personalized… read more…

Retirement

You Should Know These 20 Popular Retirement Books and Podcasts

It’s no surprise that Americans want more information about how to plan and save for retirement. Besides figuring out how much to save and invest and how long they might live, workers also need to figure out how to claim Social Security, where to retire, what kind of lifestyle they want, how to handle taxes… read more…

Retirement

New Study Finds That Planning for Retirement Is Linked to Overall Well-Being

The fact that Americans are living longer has made the usual approach to financial planning incomplete, according to a new study of approximately 1,200 people and 10 focus groups by MIT AgeLab and Transamerica. The traditional three-part plan of education, work and retirement and aiming to ensure that people have enough to live comfortably in… read more…

Investing

TIPS Bonds Offer Retirees Inflation Protection – Plus a Profit

Often overlooked by retail investors, TIPS, or Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, are U.S. government-backed, fixed-income securities that offer inflation protection – and often more. After jumping 2% on all maturity lengths last month, TIPS yields are offering the best yields in more than 10 years. A financial advisor can help you pick the best savings and… read more…

A man and woman sit at a table looking at paperwork together.
Estate Planning

Report Shows the Importance of Estate Planning for the Wealthy: Are You on Track?

Baby Boomers are expected to hand over more than $70 trillion in assets to their heirs. Many are concerned about making sure that their leftover assets go to the right people and purposes. And they may well be right to worry, according to a new study from Raymond James. Even though 84% of the 1,000… read more…

Retirement

How Much Should You Save and Withdraw for Retirement?

One of the most important questions to answer as you plan your retirement is how much money you need. The answer depends on a lot of factors, from your potential longevity to your lifestyle to how much you’ll be getting from Social Security. However, according to Fidelity, there are four key guidelines that retirement planning… read more…

SmartAsset: There Are More 401(k) and IRA Millionaires Than Ever in 2023: Here's How You Can Get There
Retirement

There Are More 401(k) and IRA Millionaires Than Ever in 2023: Here’s How You Can Get There

Financial services firm Fidelity revealed in a recent study that nearly 80,000 of its retirement account investors achieved millionaire status during the second quarter, for 10% more 401(k) clients and 13% more IRA clients holding balances worth $1 million or more. Planning for retirement on your own can be difficult. Talk to a financial advisor… read more…