Money Tree's Financial Planning Software Blog


Social Security Benefits Increase by 2% for 2018


by Carolyn Rothwell

Social Security Administration announced last week that benefit payouts will increase by 2% for 2018, raising the average benefit by about $27 a month.  This is the biggest bump in five years. 


2017 State Income Taxes


by Carolyn Rothwell

2017 state tax income tax information is now available.  If you plan with TOTAL, Money Tree's in-depth financial planning software, it's standard practice to ensure the state tax rates are entered for all of the states your clients reside in and the rates are up-to-date each year. The Tax Foundation is an excellent resource for 2017 state tax rates.  

The online edition of TOTAL includes a feature allowing Money Tree to populate the tax information for all states in the program's settings.  For planners using the desktop edition, or anyone who would like to see the state tax updates, the 2017 state tax data entered in TOTAL Online is included in this post. 


2017 State Tax Update for TOTAL Online: Opt-In by Thursday, April 20th


by Carolyn Rothwell

TOTAL Online includes a feature allowing Money Tree to populate the tax information for all states in the program's settings. The most recent state tax information for 2017 ready to send to participating TOTAL Online customers. Please see a related blog post, 2017 State Tax Rates, for details about the 2017 state tax changes.


2017 Tax Updates Available Now for Silver and TOTAL


by Carolyn Rothwell

The 2017 tax updates for Silver and TOTAL are available now. The latest version includes updated income taxes, estate taxes, retirement plan contribution limits and Social Security estimates for 2017. 


Social Security Planning One Year After BBA


by Carolyn Rothwell

A year ago today the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 was signed into law. The rule changes moved to simplify the system and close what are now being called “loopholes." The simplified rules mean that once an individual files for any of their Social Security benefits, they are deemed to have filed for all Social Security benefits for which they are eligible. Suspension of benefits will allow for Delayed Retirement Benefits to begin to accrue. However any benefits based on the wage earners benefits are also suspended, and when benefits are re-filed there are no retroactive benefits available.

One Year Later... 


Tax Changes for the 2017 Tax Year


by Carolyn Rothwell

The IRS announced tax adjustments for inflation for the 2017 tax year last week. This year marks the fourth year in a row of straightforward tax changes primarily made up of minor adjustments due to indexing for inflation. Income tax brackets were adjusted slightly upwards.


Social Security Taxable Wages Increase by 7.3% for 2017


by Carolyn Rothwell

As predicted, Social Security benefits will not have any meaningful increase for 2017. Social Security Administration announced last week that benefit payouts will increase by 0.3% for 2017, raising the average benefit by about $5 a month. 


New Year, New Tax Rules: Straightforward Changes for 2016


by Carolyn Rothwell

The new year brings new tax rules. This year marks the third year in a row of straightforward tax changes primarily made up of minor adjustments due to indexing for inflation. Income tax rates remained unchanged while income tax brackets were adjusted slightly upwards. The personal exemption increased $50 to $4,050 for 2016. The standard deduction amounts were unchanged, with the exception of the heads of households amount which increased by $50 to $9,300 for 2016. The AMT exemption amount was increased slightly from $83,400 to $83,800 for married filing joint filers in 2016. The estate tax exemption grew by $20,000 per person to $5,450,000. For more details, view Revenue Procedure 2015-53


Silver's Social Security Visualizer™ Updated to Reflect BBA of 2015


by Carolyn Rothwell

Silver's Social Security Visualizer™ has been updated to reflect new law:

Desktop Edition:  Download and install the latest version
Online Edition: Silver Online is updated - simply log in

 

 

Learn more about the new law and changes to Silver below.


As of November 2, 2015 the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 has been signed into law. The rule changes move to simplify the system and close what are now being called “loopholes." The simplified rules mean that once an individual files for any of their Social Security benefits, they are deemed to have filed for all Social Security benefits for which they are eligible. Suspension of benefits will allow for Delayed Retirement Benefits to begin to accrue, however any benefits based on the wage earners benefits are also suspended, and when benefits are re-filed there are no retroactive benefits available.


Social Security Planning in the Post-Bipartisan Budget Act World


by Donnie Carpenter

This post is a follow up to Social Security Game Changer: Bipartisan Budget Act 2015, which discusses the history of Social Security optimization strategies, the new rules and important planning caveats. This post explores Social Security strategies for an example client not eligible for either a File and Suspend Strategy or a Restricted Filing Strategy.  For those who are not eligible for either of the above strategies this does limit the Social Security optimization tools available, but it does not eliminate them. Below are some of the strategies that remain available. In addition to these, it is still important to know the break-even age when delaying benefits provides for more life-time income, and results in a higher asset balance than having claimed benefits earlier.

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