Sun Post http://post.mnsun.com Local News for Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope and Robbinsdale Minnesota Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:00:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CEAP, Toys for Tots drive in Brooklyn Park municipal buildings end this weekend http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/ceap-toys-for-tots-drive-in-brooklyn-park-municipal-buildings-end-this-weekend/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/ceap-toys-for-tots-drive-in-brooklyn-park-municipal-buildings-end-this-weekend/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:00:13 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=128733 The CEAP food drive and Toys for Tots drive, with one donation site at the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center, is ending on Saturday, Dec. 20. Other city-sponsored donation sites include Zanewood Recreation Center, City Hall and the North Precinct police station. (Sun Post staff photo by Paul Groessel)

The CEAP food drive and Toys for Tots drive, with one donation site at the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center, is ending on Saturday, Dec. 20. Other city-sponsored donation sites include Zanewood Recreation Center, City Hall and the North Precinct police station. (Sun Post staff photo by Paul Groessel)

The city of Brooklyn Park’s Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP) food drive and Toys for Tots drive is ending Saturday, Dec. 20. It will be the final opportunity for residents to drop off nonperishable food items for CEAP and new, unwrapped toys in four different city-owned buildings.

Drop off sites are at the Community Activity Center, Zanewood Recreation Center, City Hall and the North Precinct Police Station. Items will be accepted during business hours. Bins are located inside the buildings.

Building locations:

• The Community Activity Center, 5600 85th Ave. N.

• Zanewood Recreation Center, 7100 Zane Ave. N.

• City Hall, 5200 85th Ave. N.

• Police station – North Precinct, 5400 85th Ave. N.

Info: Brooklynpark.org.

 

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Things to Do Before 2015 http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/things-to-do-before-2015/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/things-to-do-before-2015/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:30:55 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?guid=5a1138e84f8d308d6b092e66fd80f04a The year-end holidays approach, and bring lots of things to do. Yet with holiday cheer there are financial plans to make, too.

Consider these financial opportunities before 2015 arrives.

Making financial gifts. As we count our many blessings and share time with our loved ones, we can express our thanks through giving to others. Donate appreciated securities to your favorite charity before year-end. You may take a deduction amounting to the current market value at the time of the donation, and you can use it on your tax returns for 2014 to counterbalance up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. That’s your taxable income – your gross income minus deductions.

You can gift assets or cash to your child, any relative or even a friend, and take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion. Any individual can gift up to $14,000 this year to as many other individuals as he or she desires; a couple may jointly gift up to $28,000. Whether you choose to gift singly or jointly, you’ve probably got a long way to go before using up the current $5.34 million ($10.68 million for couples) lifetime exemption.

Grandparents and aunts uncles and parents too can fund 529 college saving plans this way, so it is worth noting that Dec. 31 is the 529 funding deadline for the 2014 tax year.  

Max out retirement plans. Most employers offer a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, and you have until Dec. 31 to boost your 2014 contribution. This year, the contribution limit on both 401(k) and 403(b) plans is $17,500 for those under 50, $23,000 for those 50 and older. This year, the traditional and Roth individual retirement account contribution limit is $5,500 for those under 50, $6,500 for those 50 and older.

High earners may face a lower Roth IRA contribution ceiling per their adjusted gross income level – above $129,000 AGI, an individual filing as single or head of household can’t make a Roth contribution for 2014, and neither can joint filers with AGI exceeding $191,000. Recently, the IRS raised limits for retirement plan contributions to $18,000 for those under 50 and $24,000 for those older than 50.

Remember IRA cash-outs. For those 70½ and older, who own one or more traditional IRAs, you have to take your annual required minimum distribution (RMD) from one or more of those IRAs by Dec. 31. If this is your very first RMD, you actually have until April 15 next year to take it, although note that this pushes up your 2015 overall taxable income. Also, original owners of Roth IRAs never have to take RMDs from those accounts.

Did you inherit an IRA? If you have and you weren’t married to the person who started that IRA, you must take the first RMD from that IRA by Dec. 31 of the year after the death of that original IRA owner. You have to do it whether the account is a traditional or a Roth IRA.

Consider dividing it into multiple inherited IRAs, thus extending the payout schedule for younger inheritors of those assets. Any co-beneficiaries receive distributions per the life expectancy of the oldest beneficiary. If you want to make this move, it must be done by the end of the year that follows the year in which the original IRA owner died.

If your spouse died, then, you should file Form 706 no later than nine months after his or her passing. This notifies the IRS that some or all of a decedent’s estate tax exemption is carried over to the surviving spouse. If your spouse died in 2011, 2012 or 2013, the IRS is allows you until Dec. 31, 2014 to file the pertinent Form 706, which reflects the transfer of the deceased loved one’s estate to yours, provided your spouse was a U.S. citizen or resident.  

Business owners’ retirement plans. If you have income from self-employment, you can save for the future using a self-directed retirement plan, such as a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan or a one-person 401(k), the so-called Solo (k). You don’t have to be exclusively self-employed to set one of these up – you can work full-time for someone else and contribute to one of these while also deferring some of your salary into the retirement plan sponsored by your employer.2

Contributions to SEPs and Solo (k) s are tax-deductible. December 31 is the deadline to set one up for 2014, and if you meet that deadline, you can make your contributions for 2014 as late as April 15, 2015 (or October 15, 2015 with a federal extension).

You can contribute up to $52,000 to SEP for 2014, $57,500 if you are 50 or older. For a Solo (k), the same limits apply but they break down to $17,500-plus, up to 20%, and $23,000 and higher for the over-50s – both up to 20% of net self-employment income if you are 50 or older.

If you contribute to a 401(k) at work, the sum of your employee salary deferrals plus your Solo (k) contributions can’t be greater than the $17,500/$23,000 limits. But even so, you can still pour up to 20% of your net self-employment income into a Solo (k).

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Walid L. Petiri, AAMS, RFC, is chief strategist at Financial Management Strategies LLC in Baltimore. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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The year-end holidays approach, and bring lots of things to do. Yet with holiday cheer there are financial plans to make, too.

Consider these financial opportunities before 2015 arrives.

Making financial gifts. As we count our many blessings and share time with our loved ones, we can express our thanks through giving to others. Donate appreciated securities to your favorite charity before year-end. You may take a deduction amounting to the current market value at the time of the donation, and you can use it on your tax returns for 2014 to counterbalance up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. That’s your taxable income – your gross income minus deductions.

You can gift assets or cash to your child, any relative or even a friend, and take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion. Any individual can gift up to $14,000 this year to as many other individuals as he or she desires; a couple may jointly gift up to $28,000. Whether you choose to gift singly or jointly, you’ve probably got a long way to go before using up the current $5.34 million ($10.68 million for couples) lifetime exemption.

Grandparents and aunts uncles and parents too can fund 529 college saving plans this way, so it is worth noting that Dec. 31 is the 529 funding deadline for the 2014 tax year.  

Max out retirement plans. Most employers offer a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, and you have until Dec. 31 to boost your 2014 contribution. This year, the contribution limit on both 401(k) and 403(b) plans is $17,500 for those under 50, $23,000 for those 50 and older. This year, the traditional and Roth individual retirement account contribution limit is $5,500 for those under 50, $6,500 for those 50 and older.

High earners may face a lower Roth IRA contribution ceiling per their adjusted gross income level – above $129,000 AGI, an individual filing as single or head of household can’t make a Roth contribution for 2014, and neither can joint filers with AGI exceeding $191,000. Recently, the IRS raised limits for retirement plan contributions to $18,000 for those under 50 and $24,000 for those older than 50.

Remember IRA cash-outs. For those 70½ and older, who own one or more traditional IRAs, you have to take your annual required minimum distribution (RMD) from one or more of those IRAs by Dec. 31. If this is your very first RMD, you actually have until April 15 next year to take it, although note that this pushes up your 2015 overall taxable income. Also, original owners of Roth IRAs never have to take RMDs from those accounts.

Did you inherit an IRA? If you have and you weren’t married to the person who started that IRA, you must take the first RMD from that IRA by Dec. 31 of the year after the death of that original IRA owner. You have to do it whether the account is a traditional or a Roth IRA.

Consider dividing it into multiple inherited IRAs, thus extending the payout schedule for younger inheritors of those assets. Any co-beneficiaries receive distributions per the life expectancy of the oldest beneficiary. If you want to make this move, it must be done by the end of the year that follows the year in which the original IRA owner died.

If your spouse died, then, you should file Form 706 no later than nine months after his or her passing. This notifies the IRS that some or all of a decedent’s estate tax exemption is carried over to the surviving spouse. If your spouse died in 2011, 2012 or 2013, the IRS is allows you until Dec. 31, 2014 to file the pertinent Form 706, which reflects the transfer of the deceased loved one’s estate to yours, provided your spouse was a U.S. citizen or resident.  

Business owners’ retirement plans. If you have income from self-employment, you can save for the future using a self-directed retirement plan, such as a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan or a one-person 401(k), the so-called Solo (k). You don’t have to be exclusively self-employed to set one of these up – you can work full-time for someone else and contribute to one of these while also deferring some of your salary into the retirement plan sponsored by your employer.2

Contributions to SEPs and Solo (k) s are tax-deductible. December 31 is the deadline to set one up for 2014, and if you meet that deadline, you can make your contributions for 2014 as late as April 15, 2015 (or October 15, 2015 with a federal extension).

You can contribute up to $52,000 to SEP for 2014, $57,500 if you are 50 or older. For a Solo (k), the same limits apply but they break down to $17,500-plus, up to 20%, and $23,000 and higher for the over-50s – both up to 20% of net self-employment income if you are 50 or older.

If you contribute to a 401(k) at work, the sum of your employee salary deferrals plus your Solo (k) contributions can’t be greater than the $17,500/$23,000 limits. But even so, you can still pour up to 20% of your net self-employment income into a Solo (k).

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Walid L. Petiri, AAMS, RFC, is chief strategist at Financial Management Strategies LLC in Baltimore. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Ax Corporate Income Taxes http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/ax-corporate-income-taxes/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/ax-corporate-income-taxes/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:30:34 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?guid=2dc640c2723eb33c7f407336545f4aa0 Talk of overhauling the tax code is stirring in Washington, but the overwhelming complexity of the task makes it difficult to accomplish, at least in the near term. Here’s a good, clean, quick way to tackle part of tax reform – and produce an economic bonanza: abolish the corporate income tax.

In the recent election cycle, hot issues were job outsourcing overseas and demands that corporations “pay their fair share of taxes.” What are the facts and why are these issues important to the job needs of American workers and your investment accumulation and retirement funding plans?

In the Georgia U.S. Senate contest in Georgia, Republican David Perdue’s unsuccessful opponent attacked him for “outsourcing jobs to China,” as part of his efforts to rescue several underperforming corporations. Castigating business, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asserted, “Despite record breaking profits, corporations bring in less than 9% of federal taxes. It’s time for tax reform.” Tax reform is needed, but not as Sanders would propose.

According to politifact.com, in 2013 corporations accounted for 10% of the federal tax take. The rest came from individuals (50%), social insurance and retirement taxes (36%), excise taxes and other (4%). In other words, the largest source of federal taxes came from taxes on work and investment. Washington taxes corporations up to 35%, the highest rate among major economies.

Here’s a proposal. Let’s create jobs, boost taxable worker pay, and increase stock values in retirement plans so that when money is taken out, taxes rise. How? Cut the corporate tax rate to zero.

No one starts a business and takes a risk unless they believe they will make a profit. Investors will not risk capital unless they can foresee a return from it. What else can a business do with profits? Pay people, provide benefits, pay for outside services, invest in or lease plants, other real estate and equipment. A company can invest in new product design and research, plus advertise products and services. This is the kind of healthy economic activity needed to expand our economy and create jobs.

A company can pay dividends to shareholders. It can buy back stock to increase earnings per share, thereby increasing stock values. Does this just benefit the maligned 1%? No. It benefits small investors, mom and pop Main Street, people saving for retirement in their individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans, union pension plans and mutual funds.

Think about it. With no income tax, companies of every ilk would have more money to spend on economic activity, all of which creates tax revenue on the part of people who benefit. The U.S. would be the world’s hottest tax haven with our rule of law, political stability and global currency. The billions in corporate profits stashed overseas would come home and go to work.

As to outsourcing, if a company goes broke because it cannot compete, everybody loses. But increasingly you hear about insourcing, where American jobs stay in the U.S. or come here from overseas.

Auto plants moved from high-cost Northern states to the Southeast. Boeing is building 787 Dreamliners in a non-union plant near Charleston, S.C., where labor unrest is not a factor and costs are lower. An Australian company is building ships in Mobile, Ala. A number of American and foreign companies have “outsourced jobs” to the southeast, Texas, and other states where taxes are less and entrenched unions are not a factor. Who said, “Taxes don’t matter”?

Despite competition from cheap labor abroad, the U.S. remains a manufacturing powerhouse. As an NBC News report points out, the U.S. produced 18.2% of the world’s goods versus China at 17.6%.

Now, with costs rising in Tier 1 Chinese coastal cities, more production is being outsourced from China to the U.S. The Chinese company Haier Group makes refrigerators in South Carolina. Lenovo is making ThinkPads in NC. In September with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group set a record for the biggest initial public offering in the world.

Europe’s Airbus will build A320 airliners in Alabama. Foreign automakers Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen, along with tire giant Michelin, among others, have expanded manufacturing activity in the South.

Money goes where it is best treated. Taxes matter. If we made America the world’s most favored tax haven, money will flow to the USA. Jobs will be created. Gross domestic product will grow. The money not drained off of business in taxes and payments to tax lawyers will go to other uses, and the multiplier effect will more than make up for corporate tax revenue lost.

Corporations don’t pay taxes, people do, whether in lower wages, lost jobs and diminished opportunities. It is time for tax reform.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Talk of overhauling the tax code is stirring in Washington, but the overwhelming complexity of the task makes it difficult to accomplish, at least in the near term. Here’s a good, clean, quick way to tackle part of tax reform – and produce an economic bonanza: abolish the corporate income tax.

In the recent election cycle, hot issues were job outsourcing overseas and demands that corporations “pay their fair share of taxes.” What are the facts and why are these issues important to the job needs of American workers and your investment accumulation and retirement funding plans?

In the Georgia U.S. Senate contest in Georgia, Republican David Perdue’s unsuccessful opponent attacked him for “outsourcing jobs to China,” as part of his efforts to rescue several underperforming corporations. Castigating business, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asserted, “Despite record breaking profits, corporations bring in less than 9% of federal taxes. It’s time for tax reform.” Tax reform is needed, but not as Sanders would propose.

According to politifact.com, in 2013 corporations accounted for 10% of the federal tax take. The rest came from individuals (50%), social insurance and retirement taxes (36%), excise taxes and other (4%). In other words, the largest source of federal taxes came from taxes on work and investment. Washington taxes corporations up to 35%, the highest rate among major economies.

Here’s a proposal. Let’s create jobs, boost taxable worker pay, and increase stock values in retirement plans so that when money is taken out, taxes rise. How? Cut the corporate tax rate to zero.

No one starts a business and takes a risk unless they believe they will make a profit. Investors will not risk capital unless they can foresee a return from it. What else can a business do with profits? Pay people, provide benefits, pay for outside services, invest in or lease plants, other real estate and equipment. A company can invest in new product design and research, plus advertise products and services. This is the kind of healthy economic activity needed to expand our economy and create jobs.

A company can pay dividends to shareholders. It can buy back stock to increase earnings per share, thereby increasing stock values. Does this just benefit the maligned 1%? No. It benefits small investors, mom and pop Main Street, people saving for retirement in their individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans, union pension plans and mutual funds.

Think about it. With no income tax, companies of every ilk would have more money to spend on economic activity, all of which creates tax revenue on the part of people who benefit. The U.S. would be the world’s hottest tax haven with our rule of law, political stability and global currency. The billions in corporate profits stashed overseas would come home and go to work.

As to outsourcing, if a company goes broke because it cannot compete, everybody loses. But increasingly you hear about insourcing, where American jobs stay in the U.S. or come here from overseas.

Auto plants moved from high-cost Northern states to the Southeast. Boeing is building 787 Dreamliners in a non-union plant near Charleston, S.C., where labor unrest is not a factor and costs are lower. An Australian company is building ships in Mobile, Ala. A number of American and foreign companies have “outsourced jobs” to the southeast, Texas, and other states where taxes are less and entrenched unions are not a factor. Who said, “Taxes don’t matter”?

Despite competition from cheap labor abroad, the U.S. remains a manufacturing powerhouse. As an NBC News report points out, the U.S. produced 18.2% of the world’s goods versus China at 17.6%.

Now, with costs rising in Tier 1 Chinese coastal cities, more production is being outsourced from China to the U.S. The Chinese company Haier Group makes refrigerators in South Carolina. Lenovo is making ThinkPads in NC. In September with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group set a record for the biggest initial public offering in the world.

Europe’s Airbus will build A320 airliners in Alabama. Foreign automakers Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen, along with tire giant Michelin, among others, have expanded manufacturing activity in the South.

Money goes where it is best treated. Taxes matter. If we made America the world’s most favored tax haven, money will flow to the USA. Jobs will be created. Gross domestic product will grow. The money not drained off of business in taxes and payments to tax lawyers will go to other uses, and the multiplier effect will more than make up for corporate tax revenue lost.

Corporations don’t pay taxes, people do, whether in lower wages, lost jobs and diminished opportunities. It is time for tax reform.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Osseo Area Schools enrollment steady, district says http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/osseo-area-schools-enrollment-steady-district-says/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/osseo-area-schools-enrollment-steady-district-says/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:31:47 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=128731 Osseo Area Schools’ enrollment expects to remain steady in the district’s five-year outlook, based on its annual enrollment review, said Executive Director of Finance and Operations Patricia Magnuson.

The opening of the charter school Athlos Leadership Academy in Brooklyn Park drew many kids out of the Osseo Area Schools’ classrooms, but the initial hit appears to have bounced back, Magnuson told the Osseo Area School board during a Dec. 9 meeting.

For a district with approximately 20,000 students, the three years prior to this school year have been relatively steady, she said.

“We’ve had fairly stable enrollment, and that trend continues,” Magnuson said.

In the past five years, the average grade-level size has declined by 43 students, she said, from 1,560 students to 1,518 students.

“If you think of an average grade level, it’s just gone down a little bit,” she said.

Of the students who live within the Osseo Area School district boundary and choose to attend some type of public school, 77.5 percent choose the Osseo Area School District, Magnuson said. Ten percent choose another public school and 11 percent choose charter schools, according to her presentation.

That breakdown did not include students who attend private school, she said, and School Board Chair Teresa Lunt noted that the 77.5 percent capture rate would likely be lower.

Among the list of area charter schools, Athlos Leadership Academy has 505 enrolled students who reside within the district’s boundaries, according to Magnuson. Parnassus Preparatory School in Maple Grove had the most students enrolled from within the district’s boundary at 530 students.

Things are trending upward, however.

Month-to-month enrollment figures have been increasing since October, and this year’s largest class size – at 1,666 students – is first grade, a positive sign for stable enrollment in the future, Magnuson said. In previous years, the largest class sizes have been in high school, she said.

With statewide open enrollment, which allows students to attend a public school district outside of the school boundary in which they live, Osseo Area Schools has more resident students going out than students from outside the district coming in; there is a net loss.

Lunt noted that the net decline results in millions of lost dollars.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time analyzing this, understanding what the needs of our families are,” Magnuson said of overall enrollment trends.

To better understand these trends, the district will form a task force, the Enrollment and Capacity Management Task Force, according to Magnuson, which would be intended to gather insight from staff, parents and community members about enrollment management.

“The task force will design a comprehensive, long-range enrollment and capacity management framework that is aligned with our mission and strategies,” according to the presentation.

The district is seeking 19 community members for the task force, and applications are available at the district and due by early January 2015.

Contact Paul Groessel at paul.groessel@ecm-inc.com or follow the Sun Post on Twitter @ECMSunPost

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A housing development proposal begins for 610 http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/a-housing-development-proposal-begins-for-610/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/a-housing-development-proposal-begins-for-610/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:30:18 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=128728 Kelly Doran shows renderings of the housing development he is proposing for Brooklyn Park during an open house on Thursday, Dec. 11, at Brooklyn Park City Hall. (Sun Post staff photo by Paul Groessel)

Kelly Doran shows renderings of the housing development he is proposing for Brooklyn Park during an open house on Thursday, Dec. 11, at Brooklyn Park City Hall. (Sun Post staff photo by Paul Groessel)

A developer is proposing to some community  members a multi-unit, up-scale apartment complex along the Highway 610 corridor before officially submitting an application to the city.

Doran Companies hosted an open house Thursday, Dec. 11, regarding plans for a 500-unit complex with multiple amenities and underground parking with one- and two-bedroom apartments starting at $1,300 per month, based on preliminary estimates.

The complex would be located at the southeast corner of Hampshire Avenue North and Oak Grove Parkway and include multiple amenities, according to Kelly Doran, principal at Doran Companies.

“I think people – I think there’s a really growing segment who – this option doesn’t exist in the suburbs,” Doran said. “If they want this type of lifestyle they’re moving out into the city … (It is) very much of a condo quality from a construction standpoint.”

Amenities would include an exercise equipment area, indoor pool, spa, golf simulator, card room, game room, gathering space, hot tub, dog park and more, according to Doran.

“So just about every kind of amenity you’d ever want,” Doran said.

He said the rental rates would be determined by the square foot. He estimated it would be about $1.60 to $1.70 per square foot each month. A complex of similar quality in Minneapolis would be about $2 to $2.20 per square foot, he said.

An open house attendee asked Doran if they would be asking for any financial aid from the city. Doran said they would ask for the city to help make up the difference between the two rental rates, which would be paid back through the taxes generated by the complex, which could reach $1.5 million annually.

Doran said the construction would be done in two phases. The first phase would be 297 units over what he estimated would be an 18-month construction period. Once the application is submitted and considered by the city, and if it is ultimately approved, construction could begin in the middle of next year, Doran said, and it would be completed by late fall 2016.

Doran said the increasing commercial and industrial developments and interest in the Highway 610 area prompted him to consider north Brooklyn Park.

Contact Paul Groessel at paul.groessel@ecm-inc.com or follow the Sun Post on Twitter @ECMSunPost

 
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Skate with Santa Dec. 19 at New Hope Ice Arena http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/skate-with-santa-dec-19-at-new-hope-ice-arena/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/skate-with-santa-dec-19-at-new-hope-ice-arena/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:00:24 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=128717 New Hope Ice Arena — 4949 Louisiana Ave. N. – will welcome a special guest 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19.

Attendants will have the opportunity to skate with Santa before he begins his worldly travels on Christmas Eve.

Admission is $3.50 per person.

Those who bring a canned food donation will receive hot chocolate and a cookie.

Info: 763-531-5151.

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Column: Midwest hospitality at its finest http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/column-midwest-hospitality-at-its-finest/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/column-midwest-hospitality-at-its-finest/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:00:24 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=128713 Community Editor Gina Purcell, center, with Mike and Allison Isenberg at the 2014 Toy Fest. (Submitted photo)

Community Editor Gina Purcell, center, with Mike and Allison Isenberg at the 2014 Toy Fest. (Submitted photo)

I’ve met a lot of people within the New Hope, Golden Valley community since beginning at Sun Newspapers April 2013.

While some individuals have come and gone, others have left a lasting impression on me and I think of them often. Two of those individuals are Mike and Allison Isenberg, the nicest people you will ever meet.

Last December, I learned of the gregarious couple through the New Hope Police Department.

Wait, that doesn’t sound good. Let me explain.

Each year the New Hope Police Department collects toy donations to be distributed to less fortunate children through organizations like NEAR, PRISM and Toys For Tots during the holiday season.

In 2007, the Isenbergs decided to host an event inviting neighbors to their home for food and beverages. The only catch? Bring a toy to donate.

The event quickly grew as word spread of the couple’s contagious optimism and friendliness. What began as a guest list of 8-10 households soon expanded to more than 100.

Attendants began donating more than just toys — homemade snacks, home-brewed beer, catering and more are donated for visitors to enjoy.

Each year the party seems to grow as friendships blossom and word continues to spread.

While the event is not open to the public per se, the Isenbergs welcome their invited guests to invite others.

The rule? If you would trust them in your home, we will trust them in ours.

Can you believe that?

This couple embodies the terms generous and hospitable.

In a society overwhelmed with technology and lack of personal interactions, the Isenbergs strive to extend their social group year after year.

Last year, my first year attending, I timidly entered a home full of complete strangers.

This year, I burst through the door excited to reunite with friendly faces and meet several more.

The event had gone on for two straight days by the time I arrived and the party was winding down. Allison seemed exhausted yet not surprisingly upbeat. Mike acted as if it was the first day of the event.

Slowly the house transitioned from quiet chatter to noisy conversations and laughter.

One of the neat things about this annual event is learning how others got involved with Toy Fest.

Some know the Isenbergs through work, some through social media communities, some were invited by guests and some were merely strangers days prior.

Community Editor Gina Purcell browses through a photo book of last year’s Toy Fest when she stumbles upon a page featuring her articles. (Submitted photo)

Community Editor Gina Purcell browses through a photo book of last year’s Toy Fest when she stumbles upon a page featuring her articles. (Submitted photo)

As luck would have it, I happened to arrive the same day as Erica Barnes, a woman I interviewed regarding her two-year-old daughter, Chloe, who died of a very rare disease.

Chloe Fest has become another annual event the Isenbergs host at their New Hope home raising money for rare childhood disease research.

Having never met Erica, I was thrilled to meet her in person. Over the phone she seemed like such an open and kind person.

I was not disappointed when I finally met her face to face.

I was ecstatic to learn this wonderful family would be welcoming a baby boy to the world any day now in addition to pursuing an adoption.

It seems in the case of the Isenbergs that good people attract good people and bring out the best in one another.

The extent of extraordinary individuals I have the opportunity to meet through journalism will never cease to amaze me.

Whether it be the Isenbergs, Barnes or countless others I will never forget, this job is truly a blessing.

If one day you find yourself invited to Toy Fest at the Isenbergs I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity.

Sure, you will feel awkward at first. Who doesn’t in a room full of strangers? But I promise they will make you feel welcome and you will leave feeling as though you’ve known them your whole life.

Contact Gina Purcell at gina.purcell@ecm-inc.com

 
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Third-ranked Rebels invade Osseo http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/third-ranked-rebels-invade-osseo/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/third-ranked-rebels-invade-osseo/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:00:03 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=128722 McKinley Wright soars to the basket in a 92-54 drubbing by Champlin Park at Osseo on Tuesday night. (Photo by Rich Moll - richmollphotography.com)

McKinley Wright soars to the basket in a 92-54 drubbing by Champlin Park at Osseo on Tuesday night. (Photo by Rich Moll – richmollphotography.com)

Payback or not, Champlin Park dominated a vastly different Osseo team from the one that ended the Rebels’ state tournament bid last March.

Osseo’s boys basketball team graduated eight seniors from last year. Only Allan Anderson and Elliot Kane returned among last season’s lettermen.

Champlin Park limited both Anderson and Kane to four points apiece as the Rebels ran away from the Orioles 92-54 on Tuesday night in Osseo. Marty Hill scored a game-high 25 points for the Navy and Silver.

Division I Nebraska-Omaha recruit JT Gibson and McKinley Wright each scored 19 to help the No. 3-ranked Rebels cruise to 7-0 on the season. Aaron Kloeppner chipped in ten points as four Rebels finished in double figures.

Champlin Park opened a 56-27 first-half lead, well on their way to avenging last March’s 72-67 loss to Osseo in the Class 4A Section 5 championship game. The Rebels also snapped a two-game losing streak to the Orioles and kept the momentum going after a big win over No. 2-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall on Saturday, Dec. 13.

In the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic, the Rebels edged the Raiders 65-62 at Minnetonka High School. With the momentum still well in hand, Champlin Park will look to close out its pre-Christmas break schedule strong when they go to Elk River on Friday at 7 p.m.

 

Contact Matthew Davis at matthew.davis@ecm-inc.com

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The Land of the Setting Sun http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/the-land-of-the-setting-sun/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/the-land-of-the-setting-sun/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:00:51 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?guid=01be449ddd7ae6c4cb03ec183f4ef471 Japan’s attempts to pull itself out of its longstanding economic torpor, via heavy government spending and central bank bond buying, is sputtering. Small wonder. This tonic hasn’t worked elsewhere, including in the U.S. Why should it work in Japan?

If a nation were a football team and repeatedly kept running the ball up the middle for a loss, wouldn’t the coach wise up? Evidently not.

The actions of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demonstrate that failure vividly. His nostrums are monumentally ineffective.

Japan is formerly the world’s No. 2 economy behind the U.S. Its future couldn’t have been brighter back in the 1980s, when “Japan Inc.” was all the rage. Today, if there really was a Japan Inc., it would have long ago declared bankruptcy. The Land of the Rising Sun has become the Land of the Setting Sun.

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:Japan-300x137.png

 “I’d say it’s time to call Abenomics a failure,” according to Jeff Kingston, a professor of politics at Temple University in Tokyo, who was quoted in The New York Times. “The recession means Abe has failed to deliver on growth, and he has whiffed the structural reforms. All that is left is disappointment.”

Japan has followed the United States down the quantitative easing rabbit hole with the same results – a low rate of growth, fewer high-paying jobs and, of course, a booming stock market to cite as proof that quantitative easing works.

Quantitative easing, where the central bank buys bonds to keep interest rates low, is almost always accompanied by government “stimulus” spending. That’s one area where Japan has the U.S. beat – though not by much. That’s difficult to do, considering the $1 trillion-plus budget deficits the U.S. has run since President Barack Obama took office. This year, the U.S. federal deficit is down to a half trillion dollars, but it remains far from being under control.

In Japan, government spending is 42% of gross domestic product, while in the U.S., government spending is over 40% of GDP, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. Look at the chart above, though, showing the increase in government debt as a percentage of GDP and you may conclude that Japan is the new Greece.

Japan’s government debt has soared from 50% of GDP in 1981 to about 230% today.

So what has all of that government spending and quantitative easing bought? A triple-dip recession, with GDP now falling back to what it was before Abenomics began. Not helping was a hike in the nation’s consumption tax last spring, from 5% to 8%.

Japan’s economy was expected to grow 2.2% in the third quarter. Instead, it had an “unexpected” drop of 1.6%. So has the prime minster concluded that massive government spending and easy money are bad for the economy? No. Instead he’s calling an election to gather public support for more of the same.

“This is getting hard to believe,” says David Stockman, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan Administration. “The announcement that Japan has plunged into a triple dip recession should have been lights out for Abenomics. But, no, its madman prime minister has now called a snap election to enlist more public support for his campaign to destroy what remains of Japan’s economy. And what’s worse, he’s not likely to be stopped by the electorate or even the leadership of Japan Inc, which presumably should know better.”

You could argue that the U.S. is in better shape than Japan. After all, federal debt in the U.S. is about 102% of GDP, which is less than half of Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio. But Japan had a head start with its “lost decade,” its stagnation that began in the 1990s and now is quickly becoming its lost two decades. 

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:U.S.-Debt-to-GDP-Ratio-300x180.png

And the U.S. is doing its best to catch up. Note that the slope of the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is steeper than Japan’s. And it could just be that the U.S. disguises its debt better than Japan. The U.S. chart doesn’t include state and local debt, and it doesn’t include unfunded liabilities for programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

So if Keynesian economics doesn’t work, why are world leaders still relying on it? Why don’t they try other ways of stimulating the economy?

One reason is that doing so would be admitting they are wrong. That just doesn’t happen in politics. Another is that they’re government employees; they’ve been bred for Keynesian economics. It’s all they know. The overriding reason, though, is that more money for government programs means more power. When the government becomes big enough, you can even ignore Congress and rule by executive order.

So government policymakers will continue to follow Keynesian policies until, as Professor Kingston put it, “All that’s left is disappointment.”

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Japan’s attempts to pull itself out of its longstanding economic torpor, via heavy government spending and central bank bond buying, is sputtering. Small wonder. This tonic hasn’t worked elsewhere, including in the U.S. Why should it work in Japan?

If a nation were a football team and repeatedly kept running the ball up the middle for a loss, wouldn’t the coach wise up? Evidently not.

The actions of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demonstrate that failure vividly. His nostrums are monumentally ineffective.

Japan is formerly the world’s No. 2 economy behind the U.S. Its future couldn’t have been brighter back in the 1980s, when “Japan Inc.” was all the rage. Today, if there really was a Japan Inc., it would have long ago declared bankruptcy. The Land of the Rising Sun has become the Land of the Setting Sun.

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:Japan-300x137.png

 “I’d say it’s time to call Abenomics a failure,” according to Jeff Kingston, a professor of politics at Temple University in Tokyo, who was quoted in The New York Times. “The recession means Abe has failed to deliver on growth, and he has whiffed the structural reforms. All that is left is disappointment.”

Japan has followed the United States down the quantitative easing rabbit hole with the same results – a low rate of growth, fewer high-paying jobs and, of course, a booming stock market to cite as proof that quantitative easing works.

Quantitative easing, where the central bank buys bonds to keep interest rates low, is almost always accompanied by government “stimulus” spending. That’s one area where Japan has the U.S. beat – though not by much. That’s difficult to do, considering the $1 trillion-plus budget deficits the U.S. has run since President Barack Obama took office. This year, the U.S. federal deficit is down to a half trillion dollars, but it remains far from being under control.

In Japan, government spending is 42% of gross domestic product, while in the U.S., government spending is over 40% of GDP, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. Look at the chart above, though, showing the increase in government debt as a percentage of GDP and you may conclude that Japan is the new Greece.

Japan’s government debt has soared from 50% of GDP in 1981 to about 230% today.

So what has all of that government spending and quantitative easing bought? A triple-dip recession, with GDP now falling back to what it was before Abenomics began. Not helping was a hike in the nation’s consumption tax last spring, from 5% to 8%.

Japan’s economy was expected to grow 2.2% in the third quarter. Instead, it had an “unexpected” drop of 1.6%. So has the prime minster concluded that massive government spending and easy money are bad for the economy? No. Instead he’s calling an election to gather public support for more of the same.

“This is getting hard to believe,” says David Stockman, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan Administration. “The announcement that Japan has plunged into a triple dip recession should have been lights out for Abenomics. But, no, its madman prime minister has now called a snap election to enlist more public support for his campaign to destroy what remains of Japan’s economy. And what’s worse, he’s not likely to be stopped by the electorate or even the leadership of Japan Inc, which presumably should know better.”

You could argue that the U.S. is in better shape than Japan. After all, federal debt in the U.S. is about 102% of GDP, which is less than half of Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio. But Japan had a head start with its “lost decade,” its stagnation that began in the 1990s and now is quickly becoming its lost two decades. 

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:U.S.-Debt-to-GDP-Ratio-300x180.png

And the U.S. is doing its best to catch up. Note that the slope of the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is steeper than Japan’s. And it could just be that the U.S. disguises its debt better than Japan. The U.S. chart doesn’t include state and local debt, and it doesn’t include unfunded liabilities for programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

So if Keynesian economics doesn’t work, why are world leaders still relying on it? Why don’t they try other ways of stimulating the economy?

One reason is that doing so would be admitting they are wrong. That just doesn’t happen in politics. Another is that they’re government employees; they’ve been bred for Keynesian economics. It’s all they know. The overriding reason, though, is that more money for government programs means more power. When the government becomes big enough, you can even ignore Congress and rule by executive order.

So government policymakers will continue to follow Keynesian policies until, as Professor Kingston put it, “All that’s left is disappointment.”

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Best Use for Your IRA http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/best-use-for-your-ira/ http://post.mnsun.com/2014/12/best-use-for-your-ira/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:00:46 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?guid=ee12752b30ce3bb34126a56676694031 An individual retirement account is a powerful tool to save for retirement outside of an employer plan. If you have an IRA, read on for tips that help you make the most out of it.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the IRA, so let’s run down the history for a moment. In 1974, via the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Congress made this retirement plan available for workers whose employers could not provide them with a traditional type of retirement plan.

In 1981, Congress made the IRA generally available to all taxpayers. As a part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, we saw the launch of the Roth IRA. Unlike a traditional IRA, contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax-deductible, but earnings (and contributions) are tax-free upon distribution. This year, the Treasury introduced the Roth-IRA-like myRA that only invests in government bonds.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, as of the most recent data available (2012), 19.9 million Americans had at least one IRA account. The total amount of money in those accounts was approximately $2.09 trillion. These accounts represent a powerful option for average investors to meet their retirement goals, so it is important to understand how to make the best use of them, traditional or Roth.

  • Make contributions as early in the year as you can. A year’s worth of tax-advantaged compounding on each annual contribution over the course of your pre-retirement life betters your results dramatically. For example, a 35-year-old who makes the maximum annual IRA contribution every Jan. 1 ($5,500, with an extra $1,000 starting at age 50) could accumulate $582,787 after 30 years, assuming a market average growth of 7%. If that same person waits until Dec. 31 to make each annual contribution, the total is $535,434, almost $47,000 less.
  • Take advantage of the time extension. Even if you’re unable to make the full contribution early in the year, you have until April 15 of the following year to catch up. Many taxpayers don’t realize that there is an extension for previous years’ contributions. You can, for example, wait until next April 15 to make contributions for the 2014 tax year.
  • Make contributions even though they are not deductible. The Internal Revenue Service sets income limits for IRA contributions to be tax deductible. For married couples filing jointly, for example, if your adjusted gross income, or AGI, is higher than $116,000, you are not be able to make deductible contributions. But this doesn’t make an IRA any less valuable. The tax-deferral feature is still there, even if you are unable to deduct the contributions. And Roth IRA contributions are never deductible, but the back-end non-taxable distribution feature makes up for that.
  • Double your deduction with a non-working spouse’s IRA. Single-income couples can contribute to an IRA for both spouses. Even if only one person has an income for the year, as long as the income is within the limits, you can contribute to IRAs for two people.

As valuable as the tax-deferral feature is for both the traditional and the Roth IRA, you are literally throwing money away if you don’t take advantage of these accounts. Use these tips to optimize your ability to save taxes and secure a comfortable retirement.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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An individual retirement account is a powerful tool to save for retirement outside of an employer plan. If you have an IRA, read on for tips that help you make the most out of it.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the IRA, so let’s run down the history for a moment. In 1974, via the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Congress made this retirement plan available for workers whose employers could not provide them with a traditional type of retirement plan.

In 1981, Congress made the IRA generally available to all taxpayers. As a part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, we saw the launch of the Roth IRA. Unlike a traditional IRA, contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax-deductible, but earnings (and contributions) are tax-free upon distribution. This year, the Treasury introduced the Roth-IRA-like myRA that only invests in government bonds.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, as of the most recent data available (2012), 19.9 million Americans had at least one IRA account. The total amount of money in those accounts was approximately $2.09 trillion. These accounts represent a powerful option for average investors to meet their retirement goals, so it is important to understand how to make the best use of them, traditional or Roth.

  • Make contributions as early in the year as you can. A year’s worth of tax-advantaged compounding on each annual contribution over the course of your pre-retirement life betters your results dramatically. For example, a 35-year-old who makes the maximum annual IRA contribution every Jan. 1 ($5,500, with an extra $1,000 starting at age 50) could accumulate $582,787 after 30 years, assuming a market average growth of 7%. If that same person waits until Dec. 31 to make each annual contribution, the total is $535,434, almost $47,000 less.
  • Take advantage of the time extension. Even if you’re unable to make the full contribution early in the year, you have until April 15 of the following year to catch up. Many taxpayers don’t realize that there is an extension for previous years’ contributions. You can, for example, wait until next April 15 to make contributions for the 2014 tax year.
  • Make contributions even though they are not deductible. The Internal Revenue Service sets income limits for IRA contributions to be tax deductible. For married couples filing jointly, for example, if your adjusted gross income, or AGI, is higher than $116,000, you are not be able to make deductible contributions. But this doesn’t make an IRA any less valuable. The tax-deferral feature is still there, even if you are unable to deduct the contributions. And Roth IRA contributions are never deductible, but the back-end non-taxable distribution feature makes up for that.
  • Double your deduction with a non-working spouse’s IRA. Single-income couples can contribute to an IRA for both spouses. Even if only one person has an income for the year, as long as the income is within the limits, you can contribute to IRAs for two people.

As valuable as the tax-deferral feature is for both the traditional and the Roth IRA, you are literally throwing money away if you don’t take advantage of these accounts. Use these tips to optimize your ability to save taxes and secure a comfortable retirement.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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