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How Does The My RA Work?

Trapped in my office by the Snowpocalypse that hit Atlanta on last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to watch the State of the Union (#sotu) Address delivered by President Obama.   There is a whole lot of financial topics we could talk about on Your Smart Money Moves, but I’d like to review the topic around the new proposed investment vehicle called the MyRA.  Since we already have the SEP-IRA, SIMPLE-IRA, Rollover IRA, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Beneficial IRA, etc., wouldn’t it have just been easier to call it the My IRA instead of the new urban dictionary word called MyRA? The concept behind the MyRA account would be a new type of bond within a Roth IRA-type umbrella.  Contributions would not be tax-deductible, but earnings would be tax-free when you withdraw it in the future.  It’s unclear about how closely the rules on this account shadow the rules of the current Roth IRA. The investment vehicle would be a new ...

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Is A Roth 401(k) Right For Me?

Since 1997, Roth IRA accounts have been around as an investment vehicle. In the past several years, participants at many work places have been offered the opportunity to do a Roth 401(k). Readers have e-mailed me over the past year about whether or not the Roth 401(k) is a good idea. The Roth 401(k) follows many of the same rules as your current Traditional 401(k). There are two very large distinctions between doing a Traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k): 1) How contributions are taxed – In a traditional 401(k) plan, all of your contributions will be put in your plan on a pre-tax basis.  Thus, your reportable w-2 income at year end will be lowered by the amount of Traditional 401(k) contributions that you make over the course of the year. In a Roth 401(k), your contributions will be taxed now and put in your plan on an after tax basis.  Thus, you will have no change in your ...

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Is it smart to get tax refund?

Around tax time, we often hear the question, “Is it smart to get a tax refund?”  The answer really falls into the ‘it depends’ category. In general, I am not a big fan of getting refunds.  Anytime in today’s world that you give the Government an interest free loan of your money for a year is probably not a good idea.  When you get a refund, you withheld too much money out of your paycheck over the course of the year.  When your actual tax calculation is done at year end, you will receive the excess withholding back in the form of a refund.   This means that you should really sit with your accountant, CPA, or financial advisor and adjust that withholding number for the current tax year.   If you are going to put more money back into your paycheck, make sure you have those dollars systematically saved into some type of savings or investment vehicle so you don’t spend ...

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