Top of Mind


Random Nuggets I’ve Learned From the Internet

One of the benefits of scanning the internet for content is that, even after nearly 28 years in the business, I still learn an amazing amount of new things about retirement. So, I thought it might be prudent to start a new feature in Top of Mind to share this wisdom with you - we’ll call it “Random Nuggets I’ve Learned From the Internet,” for now (but feel free to suggest a better name!).

Here are some of the things that I recently learned:

  • Yet another advantage of pre-tax 401(k)/403(b)/457(b) deferrals is reducing your taxable income for purposes of an income-driven student loan repayment program, thus lowering your student loan payment. Although interest will still accrue on the loan, if you are enrolled in a public service loan forgiveness program, lowering your monthly payment is a win-win.
  • A disadvantage of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) is that if an HSA account holder dies, and the account balance goes to a non-spouse beneficiary, the IRS considers that money to be taxable income in the year in which it is received. Yikes! Far from a deal-breaker for HSAs, but certainly something to keep in mind if a participant is unable to name a spouse as the beneficiary.
  • The term “widex” refers to the “widow/er” of an ex-spouse! Why is this term important for retirement purposes? Because, under certain circumstances, “widexes” might be entitled to Social Security survivor benefits with respect to their deceased ex-spouses.
  • My home state of New Jersey is the only state in the nation that taxes both 403(b) and HSA contributions. I knew about the 403(b) taxation, but the HSA one was a surprise!
  • If the SECURE Act becomes law, it does NOT mean that the Stretch IRA is completely dead.

And that was what I discovered in the month of July, alone! Want to learn along with me? Follow me on LinkedIn and/or Twitter!

Note: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.

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