Entries by bfsadmin

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The A, B, C, & D of Medicare

Breaking down the basics. Whether your 65th birthday is on the horizon or decades away, understanding the different parts of Medicare is critical, as this government-sponsored program may play a role in your future health care decisions. Parts A & B: Original Medicare. There are two components. In general, Part A covers inpatient hospital care, […]

A Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes

An overview of some of the fundamental steps to take. When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist […]

What is an Annuity?

What you should know about them. Individuals hold about $2.2 trillion in annuity contracts; a tidy sum considering an estimated $9.2 trillion is held in all types of IRAs.1 Annuity contracts are purchased from an insurance company. In exchange, the insurance company makes regular payments to the buyer — either immediately or at some future […]

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A Look at HSAs

Health Savings Accounts may provide you with remarkable tax advantages. Why do higher-income households inquire about Health Savings Accounts? They have heard about what an HSA can potentially offer them: a pool of tax-exempt dollars for health care, a path to tax savings, even a possible source of retirement income after age 65. You may […]

Ways to Repair Your Credit Score

Steps to get your credit rating back toward 720.   We all know the value of a good credit score. We all try to maintain one. Sometimes, though, life throws us a financial curve and that score declines. What steps can we take to repair it? Reduce your credit utilization ratio (CUR). CUR is credit […]

The Different Types of IRAs

This popular retirement savings vehicle comes in several varieties.   What don’t you know? Many Americans know about Roth and traditional IRAs, but there are other types of Individual Retirement Arrangements. Here’s a quick look at all the different types of IRAs: Traditional IRAs (occasionally called deductible IRAs) are the “original” IRAs. In most cases, […]

Talking to Your Heirs About Your Estate Plan

They should not be left ill-informed or unaware.   Talking about “the end” is not the easiest thing to do, and this is one reason why some people never adequately plan for the transfer of their wealth. Those who do create estate plans with help from financial and legal professionals sometimes leave their heirs out […]

Minimizing Probate When Setting Up Your Estate

What can you do to lessen its impact for your heirs? Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees, and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s assets. Probating a “routine” estate valued at $400,000 […]

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Is a Home an Investment?

From one perspective, the answer is yes; from another, no.   When you buy a home, are you investing? If you buy it to flip it or buy it as a rental property, the answer is yes. If you buy a home simply to live in it, the answer may be no. Your home is […]

When Is Social Security Income Taxable?

The answer depends on your income.   Your Social Security income could be taxed. That may seem unfair, or unfathomable. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a possibility. Seniors have had to contend with this possibility since 1984. Social Security benefits became taxable above certain yearly income thresholds in that year. Frustratingly […]