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Retirement Starts Today Radio

Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Ask Benjamin a question here: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ask-a-question/
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 4, 2021

I’m thrilled to be back sharing the latest retirement headlines with you after my short holiday break. The biggest news on the retirement radar this week is that the 2nd Coronavirus stimulus package has passed. Together, we’ll take a look at the most relevant parts. Then I’ll answer the question: do you need a Roth IRA even if you make more than the income limits allow for? Let’s start preparing for tomorrow by learning today. Press play now. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] What will the Coronavirus stimulus package bring for us?
  • [7:19] Health expenses are now deductible after 7.5% AGI
  • [9:07] Standard deduction + $600 if you are married filing jointly in 2021
  • [10:45] Unemployment benefits have been extended
  • [13:09] Does Janet need a Roth IRA?

Will you be cashing a $600 stimulus check?

The 2nd Coronavirus stimulus package has recently been passed and rather than have you read this 5500 page piece of legislation, I’ll cover the highlights that most pertain to you. Jeff Levine, @CPAPlanner on Twitter was a great source to help me understand the most important information in this bill. 

Perhaps the biggest news out of the stimulus package is that new stimulus checks are heading our way. These checks aren’t structured exactly the same as the last ones. The checks are $600 for each person in your household if your income falls under a certain amount. Find out the income limitations by listening to the details here. 

If you subscribe to the Every Day is Saturday newsletter this week, we’ll have a link to a calculator that can help you calculate the amount you’ll receive. 

Health expenses are now deductible after 7.5%

Another change brought about by the Coronavirus stimulus package is that healthcare expenses are deductible after 7.5% of your income. This number often bounces back and forth between 10% and 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). This means that your healthcare expenses must be 7.5% of your income to be deductible and even then it only counts for the amount that is over 7.5% of your income. 

Unemployment benefits have been extended

If you found yourself unemployed, like many this year, there’s good news. The stimulus package added federal unemployment benefits for another 11 weeks. This means that $300 per week will be added to your state’s traditional unemployment benefit. 

These weren’t the only changes in the bill. You can learn more about how the latest Coronavirus stimulus bill could affect you by listening to this episode of Retirement Starts Today Radio.

Do you really need a Roth IRA?

Janet’s financial advisor told her that since she is over the income limitations to save in a Roth IRA that she doesn’t need to open one. However, Janet is a few years away from retiring and she is worried about retiring without one. 

In my opinion, everyone could use a Roth IRA eventually. If your current income doesn’t allow for it, you can always fund a Roth IRA with a Roth conversion. Listen in to hear how you can fund your Roth most effectively while filling up your tax bracket. 

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