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1. Details of new myRA retirement savings vehicle revealed   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
Following up on announcement made by President Barack Obama in his annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday, the White House released details of a new retirement savings account to be made available to employees through their employers. These accounts, myRAs (presumably an abbreviation for “my retirement account”), which are being established under the president’s executive authority, are described as “starter” savings accounts aimed at the 50% of employees who have no access to employer 401(k) plans (White House press release, “Fact Sheet: Opportunity for All: Securing a Dignified Retirement for All Americans,” 1/29/14).MyRAs will be

2. How to help clients make the right Social Security election   CPEDirect

BY James Sullivan, CPA/PFS
As the wave of Baby Boomer retirements continues, it is more important than ever for CPAs to understand how to help clients be in the best position to maximize Social Security benefits. Mastering the intricacies of the rules is no easy task, especially for accountants who don’t concentrate full time on financial planning.

3. Loan guarantee terminates IRA  

BY Charles J. Reichert, CPA
The Tax Court held that two taxpayers’ personal guarantees of a loan to a company whose stock was owned by their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) were indirect extensions of credit to the IRAs, a prohibited transaction. Thus, the IRAs ceased to qualify as IRAs at the beginning of the tax

4. PFP Q&A: Planning for change   CPEDirect

BY Chris Baysden
With the Baby Boomer generation hitting retirement age, personal financial planning has become an increasingly important service for many accounting firms. But practitioners are dealing with plenty of changes, including the implementation of new tax laws and the landmark rollout of new standards. The JofA assembled a team of industry insiders for a round-table discussion of the important issues affecting CPAs who advise individual clients in retirement, tax, estate, risk management, and/or investment planning at such an important time.

5. Making a “backdoor” Roth IRA contribution   CPEDirect

BY Kim T. Mollberg, CPA, CGMA, CMA, MBT
Sec. 408(d)(1) ordinarily requires a pro rata allocation between taxable and nontaxable amounts (using the Sec. 72 annuity rules) when reporting distributions received from an individual retirement plan (an individual retirement account or annuity (IRA)). The practical effect is that a taxpayer must recover any nontaxable amount (basis) ratably as distributions are received, by tracking basis on Form 8606, Nondeductible IRAs.

6. Properly assessing the reverse mortgage option   CPEDirect

BY Nicholas C. Lynch, Ph.D. and Charles R. Pryor, Ph.D.
The recent recession left no age group untouched, but baby boomers were hit especially hard. High unemployment and an uncertain stock market have caused older Americans to realize that their retirement funds might not support their desired lifestyle. Many seniors are facing foreclosure, while others are unable to meet their basic needs, such as paying medical, energy, and other daily living expenses.

7. Financial matters are top cause of couples’ spats, survey shows   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Couples argue more about financial matters than any other topic, according to a Harris Interactive survey conducted for the AICPA. Twenty-seven percent of respondents in a national survey who are married or living with a partner said disagreements over money are most likely to prompt an argument. None of the other common causes of discord – children, chores, work, or friends – causes as many spats.

8. Young Americans fail to frequently check bank balances, survey shows   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Although technology has made it easier to track finances, many Americans aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity, according to a new survey. Seventeen percent of 18- to 34-year-olds check their bank accounts daily, according to a national telephone survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris Interactive in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month.

9. Technology extracts a big price from Americans, survey shows   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Americans’ infatuation with technology such as cellphones, cable TV, and satellite radio isn’t helping them fatten their bank accounts, according to a survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris Interactive for National Financial Literacy Month. Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults said they believe that technology has made it easier to spend money, and just 3% said it has made it easier to save.

10. Americans dedicated to long-term financial well-being, survey shows   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Americans are devoted to preserving their long-term financial well-being and would rather give up eating at restaurants and using technology than stop saving for retirement, a new survey shows. Just 2% of the 1,005 U.S. adults participating in a telephone survey said the one action they most likely would take in a financial pinch would be to stop contributing to their retirement accounts.
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