September Newsletter (Joint IRAs?, Student loan deferrals, a budget friendly recipe & more!)Submitted by Dorval & Chorne on September 1st, 2020
By Keagan Kinsella | September 1, 2020
Welcome back to this month’s newsletter, and welcome to September! Here’s a preview of what’s in the lineup for today!
- Question of the week: A joint IRA? Is that “a thing?”
- COVID continues student loan payment deferral
- Update: Little Green Machine… was it worth the splurge?
- Back to school meal prep idea—healthy, simple, Mexican rice dish
Question of the week: We’re leaving our jobs. Can we roll my wife’s 401k and my 401k into a joint account?
This question makes a ton of sense when you think about it simplistically, money is money—right? We love the idea of consolidating and making your financial situation as simple as possible, but when it comes to retirement accounts, there are some rules that need to be followed.
Retirement accounts are like a credit score, each person has their own…and getting married doesn’t mean you can merge them! By definition, IRA stands for “Individual Retirement Account,” so there is no way to make it joint. The government (IRS) has reasons for this rule. For example, did you know once you turn 72 (as the rule stands today), you must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your pretax accounts such as an IRA, 401k, etc.? The government wants the tax money you’ve been deferring for years! If it was a joint IRA, what age would they use for calculating the RMD? Fun fact, Roth IRAs do not have these RMDs, which may be attractive to you if you don’t like the idea of the government telling you when you have to begin pulling your money out of your account!
So, all in all, each spouse will create their own IRA, associated with their own social security number, and personal information. You can designate a spouse to be your primary beneficiary, meaning that if you died, the account would be passed on to them. Check out an article Dan wrote about reviewing your beneficiary designations here!
No student loan payments until 2021? What you need to know about the loan deferral extension
With the passing of the CARES Act in March of this year, federal (and some private) student loan borrowers are already in an automatic interest-free pause on payments as part of the original coronavirus relief bill. However, that was set to expire at the end of this month (September 30, 2020).
In case you haven’t heard, on August 8th, the president signed an order extending the forbearance through December 31, 2020.
Since that is still a ways down the road, it would be a good time to create a plan of action for what you want to do, because unfortunately this won’t continue forever, and the loans will need to be paid back eventually! Here are some considerations:
- Do you have a job? Has your income been affected by COVID?
If your income has been affected significantly, then it may be in your best interest to hold off making loan payments until you feel stable again. However, if you have no other immediate goals—and you were making your loan payments easily before COVID, it is actually an advantageous time to knock down your principal more quickly!
- Are you doing Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Up until September 30th, the months of nonpayment were counting towards your 120 months of payments you needed to qualify for the PSLF programs! In the latest extension of the suspension, there was NO language regarding how it affects PSLF borrowers. That means if you don’t make payments during the next three-month suspension, you might not receive credit toward the required 120 payments for loan forgiveness under the PSLF program.
- Are your loans public or private?
The initial CARES Act was intended for federal loans only, but the House of Representatives extended those same protections to private loans as well. This is unclear for the latest extension though, so if they are private, you may want to see if they have communicated any kind of extension.
Budget friendly, easy InstaPot meal prep recipe!
One of financial advisors’ favorite splurges to nix is the “out to eat lunch.” In fact, the Brown Bag Challenge was invented to help you save all that wasted fast-food money into something “smarter!” From a quality of life perspective, some people get a ton of happiness from breaking up their day at the office and eating out with coworkers. It isn’t for me to judge! It just depends on your personal values and priorities—but for me, eating out isn’t one of them!
I love packing a lunch, and the idea of meal prep has made that even easier when I’m headed to work every morning. My go-to recipe is this simple rice mixture, that I love to mix with salad! You can really mix it up and change the ingredients, meat, or base (quinoa is good too!)
Mexican Meal-prep Medley
- 1 pound ground turkey, browned
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1-2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 2 cups of frozen spinach, chopped (can use fresh)
- 5 cups of brown rice (I use minute rice)
- 5 cups of water
- 1 chopped onion, minced
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- Seasoning to taste (salt, pepper)
Cook the rice according to your InstaPot instructions. Brown the ground turkey. Rinse the black beans, chop the peppers, spinach, and onion. Brown those in a skillet. Once the rice is done, I add the seasoning mix along with some water. Then I mix in the vegetables and season to taste!
For the meal prep aspect, you can use plastic storage containers or Ziploc bags. I break it out into about a dozen bags, seal tightly, and freeze them. When I pack my lunch, it thaws in the fridge and I heat it in the microwave prior to mixing in with salad! The rough cost per serving is a fraction of a Chipotle bowl, and you get a healthy, filling lunch!
Update from last month's newsletter: Was my Bissell splurge worth it?
Last month, I talked all about my impulse Amazon purchase (inspired by watching too many satisfying Tik Toks). Well, it’s been about a month, and it’s time for my official review! I have been loving it so far. I am getting used to the surfaces it works best on, and how much cleaning solution to apply, but I have had some really good transformations!
The best of which being this car seat before and after (it's a little hard to see with the lighting, but believe me!). I’d say I’m getting my money’s worth so far…I guess I just need more messes to clean up!?
Last, but certainly not least...In addition to all the exhilarating car cleaning I did in August, I had an even more exciting event take place a month ago from today (August 1st)!...I got engaged, and it was the best day ever. I can say, typing this newsletter with a ring on my finger is certainly more fun!
All right, that’s it for this month! Stay tuned for my next newsletter where I will continue to share and inform in new and creative ways. If you want to sign up for the newsletter email, click here! And let others know they can sign up! Also, let’s connect on LinkedIn!
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