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Richard Behrendt


Financial resolutions for the New Year

Now that the last chorus of Auld Lang Syne has been sung and the champagne and noise-makers have all been put away, many of us turn our attention to making New Year's resolutions.

Time to ramp up your retirement savings?

The IRS recently announced increases to the contribution limits on retirement plans for tax year 2015. The higher limits provide an opportunity for savers to accelerate pre-tax contributions to their retirement plans. An employee aged 50 or older will be able to make pre-tax contributions of as much as $24,000 ($18,000 plus a $6,000 catch-up contribution) into some of the more common types of qualified retirement plans starting next year.

Don’t count on an estate tax repeal

"To the dismay of most observers, Congress has ended its 2009 session without resolving the frustrating uncertainty surrounding federal estate tax rules. Efforts in the Senate to extend the 2009 estate tax rules, which included a $3.5 million exemption and a 45 percent tax rate, stalled just before the Christmas holiday.

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