New Investor Blog Series from BFG – IRA Basics

Baron Financial Group’s New Investor Blog Series will consist of monthly blog posts that provide general information on a range of investment topics. The series aims to provide new investors with basic investment information.

*This blog post is the first in the series*

 A 60-second read by the Baron Team:  What is an IRA? An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account. There are two types of IRAs – Traditional and Roth. 

Traditional IRA:

  • Who is eligible? Anyone can invest in an IRA if they are under the age of 70 ½ and are still working
  • How much can you contribute? For 2019, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year based on your earned income (or $7,000 if you are over the age of 50)
  • What are the tax implications? Investment income and growth is tax-deferred until you begin to make withdrawals
  • Are contributions tax-deductible? Yes (In most Cases)
  • Are there withdrawal penalties? Yes, withdrawals made before age 59 ½ are subject to a 10% penalty (There are exceptions)
  • What are the distribution rules? Withdrawal is mandatory starting at age 70 ½

Roth IRA:

  • Who is eligible? Working taxpayers with gross income below $137,00  or $203,000 for married couples for 2019 tax year (Phaseouts apply)
  • How much can you contribute? For 2019, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year based on your earned income (or $7,000 if you are over the age of 50)
  • What are the tax implications? With Roth IRAs you pay taxes upfront, so withdrawals made upon retirement are tax-free
  • Are contributions tax deductible? No
  • Are there withdrawal penalties? None, if a qualified distribution
  • What are the distribution rules? No requirement to make withdrawals by age 70 ½

What are the main differences between the two?

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Saving For a Home Purchase When You Still Have Outstanding Student Loans

A 45-second read by Nicholas Scheibner: Many young people face the dilemma of looking to purchase a home while still having student loan obligations. For example, you might question, is it better to pay off the student loan in its entirety and then work towards saving for a home purchase? Or continue paying off the student loan while saving for the home purchase?

Of course, the answer depends on your specific circumstance, but here are some ideas to consider:

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Social Security Increases Benefits by 2.80% for 2019

A 30-second read by Nicholas Scheibner:  Social Security will begin increasing payments beginning in January of 2019. 

Why did this happen – because October 11th is the date when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its report of inflation. Social Security uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) as their measure of inflation. 

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is Social Security’s term for inflation. Social Security uses the CPI-W to determine if an adjustment is needed to Social Security benefits. 

(Note: Social Security benefits do not go lower if inflation decreases)

You can read the official press release from Social Security here: https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/2018/#10-2018-1

Contact your Baron Team for more information on social security benefits.