Analyzing The 2019 Proposal to Eliminate the Michigan Pension Tax

Wait, Democrats and Republicans can actually agree on something? Well, every Democrat and Republican running for governor of Michigan at least. The Michigan “Pension Tax”, is so unpopular with Michigan retirees, that it actually brought together people on both sides of the political spectrum.  Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Bill Schuette both campaigned for eliminating the pension tax during the 2018 governor race. Governor Rick … Continue reading Analyzing The 2019 Proposal to Eliminate the Michigan Pension Tax

CPP Spousal and Survivor Benefits in the U.S.

An interesting question came up the other day while meeting with a family. Will my wife get part of my CPP benefit now or if I were to die first? Here in the U.S., typically if you qualify for a social security benefit, your spouse qualifies for a benefit as well. Even if your spouse never worked or paid into social security. This would include … Continue reading CPP Spousal and Survivor Benefits in the U.S.

Michigan Retiree: Get a Bigger Tax Refund

Anyone who does their own taxes has been there before.  The moment you input all of your taxes, hit the submit button, and close your eyes and hope that you don’t owe money.  Taxes are pretty simple. Have enough withheld throughout the year and you won’t owe any during tax time, and may even get a refund. Don’t have enough taxes withheld, and you may … Continue reading Michigan Retiree: Get a Bigger Tax Refund

7 Things You Must do in Michigan When You Retire

If you’re like many of us, we forget just all Michigan has to offer while we are working. On our rare vacations we fly somewhere warm in the winter. Our summer trips are driving up-north, but many times that doesn’t bring us much further than Traverse City. Now that you are retired you have more time to explore all Michigan has to offer. This is … Continue reading 7 Things You Must do in Michigan When You Retire

Retirement Withdrawal Strategy:  Which Accounts First?  

Your withdrawal strategy in retirement shouldn’t just focus on maximizing your income. It should maximize the amount of income that ends up in your pocket. This can be tricky when considering many people have a combination of pre-tax, Roth, and after-tax accounts.  Do you withdraw everything from the Roth accounts first, and have no taxable income? Or, does it make sense to withdraw money from … Continue reading Retirement Withdrawal Strategy:  Which Accounts First?  

Michigan Snowbird: Should You Make Florida Your Primary Residence?

I’m writing this is the midst of another “polar vortex”. The car read negative twelve as I made my way through the icy wonder that is Michigan in February. The conversation with my parents at their Florida home didn’t help much either. I’m sorry that you can’t use the pool for a few days because it has been getting a little chilly at night. It … Continue reading Michigan Snowbird: Should You Make Florida Your Primary Residence?

What College Expenses Can Be Paid From The MESP?

A client called the other day with an odd question. She asked, “Can I use my MESP to buy my son a car, so that he can drive to school each day?” I get questions about using the Michigan Education Savings Plan (MESP) almost daily, but that was a new one. Still, I can see her point. You have to get to school somehow, and … Continue reading What College Expenses Can Be Paid From The MESP?