Entries by Tom DelPup

Never Assume – Here’s Another Reason Why.

People can be surprisingly nonchalant when it comes to beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies. They assume even if they have missed a beneficiary designation or it is out-of-date, the remaining account balance will automatically go to their surviving spouse or children upon death. However, a recent survey done by the National […]

December 31 Deadline Approaches For Mandatory Distributions From IRAs.

The December 31 deadline for taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from individual retirement accounts is approaching.  One either takes the mandatory RMD from their IRA by year end or suffers the 50% excess accumulations penalty (plus interest!) on any required withdrawals that aren’t taken. Generally, an IRA owner who is at least age 70½ must take […]

Short Sales and Straw Men

A prospective client contacted me regarding the purchase of a house being sold at “short sale.” The prospect explained that the property owner is a relative, and the money to buy the property would be coming to the prospect through other relatives. The family desires to keep the property owner in the house after the […]

“I Don’t Want To Include My House In My Bankruptcy!”

And so began my conversation with a caller who wanted information regarding bankruptcy. He explained that he and his wife are afraid they will lose their house if their lender discovers they filed for bankruptcy. What bankruptcy filers sometimes don’t understand is that under the bankruptcy code, all of their assets and debts must be […]

2015 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits Released.

The US Treasury Department recently announced its inflation adjusted amounts for retirement account contributions for 2015. Among the details: IRAs: The limit on annual contributions remains $5,500 (no change for the third year in a row). 401(k)s: For employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, the […]

Sad, Maddening, And Possibly the Longest of Long Waiting Lines.

The Social Security Administration judges who hear appeals for disability benefit claims are a staggering 990,399 cases behind. According to a recent Washington Post story, the Social Security Administration first fell behind during the administration of President Ford – almost 40 years ago! The primary factors identified in the story as contributing to the backlog: […]

Michigan Right-To-Try Law Enacted

  A law giving terminally ill patients in Michigan the opportunity to try experimental drugs and other treatments was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder earlier this week. The “Right-to-Try” Act gives those suffering from advanced illnesses the choice to try experimental drugs and similar treatments which have yet to be approved by the […]

Michigan Land Owners Will Get Property Tax Relief in 2015

Michigan House Bill 5552, signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder, will add much needed exemptions to Michigan’s property tax uncapping law effective for transfers occurring after December 31, 2014. If you are a Michigan land owner, you know that the annual increase of a property’s taxable value is “capped,” which means that although the […]

Is There Life After Death? Maybe

An article from The Telegraph published in the National Post reports that, according to a British study into near-death and out-of-body experiences, awareness may continue for a short time after the brain has shut down completely. Scientists at the University of Southampton spent 4 years studying more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrest at […]

New Social Security Booklet Released

The Social Security Administration has released a handy booklet entitled Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2014.  From the Preface: Fast Facts & Figures answers the most frequently asked questions about the programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It highlights basic program data for the Social Security (retirement, survivors, and disability) and […]