Tax Planning for 2019

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How did you do with your 2018 tax bill? Did you pay more or less tax in 2018 than you did in previous years?

Whether you were a beneficiary of the 2017 Tax Cuts and jobs Act or not, now is a good time to begin tax planning for the year ahead.

Below are 5 ideas to help you pay less tax this year.

How To Estimate Your IRA RMD

IRA RMD Calculator

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With trillions of dollars in assets, IRAs have proven themselves to be a popular and effective way to save for retirement. Eventually, however, you will need to start taking some money out of (and paying taxes on) your IRAs.

The IRS requires that you take a minimum distribution from your IRA and other retirement accounts every year starting no later than April 1, of the year after the year you turn age 70 1/2. This means if your birthday was on or before July 1.

Most IRA custodians will do this calculation for you, but for planning purposes it can be helpful to estimate in advance what your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) may be. Although you may take your entire IRA RMD from one IRA or a combination of them, you will need to tally up the year end balances for ALL your IRAs in order to do an accurate calculation.

To see what your IRA RMD for 2019 might be, click here: IRA RMD Calculator

College Sports Scholarships: Hoop Dreams or Pipe Dreams?

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Odds makers pick UVA as the favorite to win the Final Four when the NCAA College Basketball tournament comes to the Twin Cities in just a few days.

While the excitement of a national championship may inspire hoop dreams of your own, the odds of your student-athlete winning a Division 1 athletic scholarship are quite small.

College Admission Scandal: Insights from a national college planning expert

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Lynn O’Shaughnessy, author, journalist and national college planning expert, recently wrote about the recent college admissions scandal involving wealthy parents who skirt the rules to get their kids into the country’s most prestigious schools.

You can read the entire article by going directly to Lynn’s website, The College Solution or by clicking here… College Admission Scandal: Symptom of a Larger Problem.

To learn more about how to pay for college, subscribe to her wildly popular college planning blog, The College Solution.

Or better yet, become a smarter college consumer by enrolling in her online college planning course, The College Cost Lab.

To learn how to give your kids the education they deserve without sacrificing your retirement dreams, contact me directly at 651.379.3935. Or email at mpbranch@focusfinancial.com