Mason & Associates, LLC

Our Blog

IRS extends relief on 2020 RMDs through August 31, 2020.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) have been through quite the whirl wind in the past seven months.First there was the SECURE Act, which among many things, shifted the beginning age for RMDs from 70 to 72 for those who were not already 70 by the end of 2019. Further, the SECURE Act generally eliminated the ability of beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts to .....
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The RMD Waiver - What does it mean for you?

The United States Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27th in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The CARES Act provided for Recovery Rebates for eligible individuals and households, waiver of the 10% penalty on distributions from qualified retirement plans (Coronavirus-related), business tax relief provisions, and much more.....
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Federal Employee Health Benefits Medicare Reimbursement

Approximately three years ago, BlueCross BlueShield began offering partial Medicare Premium Reimbursements for retired federal employees who are: Enrolled in BCBS Basic (Self, Self +1, or Family) AND Enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. How much is Medicare? Medicare Part A is typically free and is often referred to as premium-free Part A. Most individuals are eligible for premium-free Part A at age 65 if...
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Mason & Associates Office Update July 6, 2020

We hope everyone had a fantastic Independence Day weekend. Thank you to the members of the Armed Forces and to everyone who is contributing or has contributed to maintaining our free nation. The Mason & Associates office re-opened a little over a month ago. Since our re-opening, we have not been exposed to COVID-19 and everyone on the team has a clean bill of health. Although we feel safe in our environment, we must remain vigilant and aware of the potential risks...
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Michael Mason Live on Macrini’s Morning News Team Radio Show

Mr. Macrini will conduct a live interview with Michael Mason, President of Mason & Associates, LLC, on Monday June 22nd at 7:30am. The interview will address: The Mason & Associates strategy during the Pandemic How Mason & Associates clients reacted and held steadfast to their financial pan during the quickest stock market drop in history...
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Thrift Savings Plan Lifecyle Fund Updates

The Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is unveiling new fund options on July 1, 2020. The addition of the new funds will coincide with the termination of the L 2020.
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Check Your Mail! U.S. Stimulus Card Update

Check your mail before tossing it! It may be your U.S. Stimulus prepaid debit card! While you likely have a standard operating procedure for the disposal of junk mail, in the short term carefully check all incoming mail even if you don't recognize the sender. It could be your Economic Impact Payment Card that contains up to $2400 for those who file their tax return as Married Filing Jointly, and up to $1,200 for those who file Single as a result of....
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Tax Rebates: Should you delay filing your 2019 taxes?

Because of a provision of the CARES Act, there will be rebates sent to individuals and families who meet certain income requirements. The rebate is up to $1,200 for people who file single and $2,400 for people who file married filing jointly. Additionally, there may be a rebate of up to $500 per qualifying child....
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College Refunds and Qualified Tuition (529) Plans

COVID-19 sent college students home early for the Spring 2020 semester. Colleges and Universities have quickly pivoted to online education and other methods for this semester. Although some colleges and universities are issuing refunds for tuition, other institutions are not issuing refunds claiming that the costs of delivering these classes has actually gone up...
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Additional Coronavirus Relief (CARES ACT)

As COVID-19 continues to affect the nation, Congress has been working on additional measures to provide relief to Americans. Having passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18 in an effort to limit the spread of the pandemic and support relief efforts, Congress has now turned to stabilizing the economy. The Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with a $2.2 trillion price tag, on March 25, 2020, which now heads to the House.
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Coronavirus Tax Relief

As the nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the United States government has begun taking measures to offer tax relief.  Such initial measures include paid sick leave and tax credits for employers to compensate for this sick leave, and extending the deadline for tax payments until July 15th.  Additional measures appear likely, and we will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.  To read further, please click here to view a special report
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

In consideration of the health and well- being for all, we have decided to operate from a closed office environment.Normal business hours will be held, but effective 3/16/2020 all appointments will be held via telephone or by video conference.We are committed to uninterrupted service to you in addition to maintaining a physically safe and financially secure work environment for our team to operate in.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Contingency Plan

Concern over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has not only rattled world stock and bond markets it has disrupted daily activities we have taken for granted for years.  Although we believe as most do, that this will subside in the near future, we want to be proactive in our response.  We have a recovery plan in place for most anticipated disruptions to normal business.
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SECURE Act (“Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement”)

The SECURE Act and certain “Tax Extenders” were passed by both the House and Senate in conjunction with the recent budget, appropriations, and spending legislation. The SECURE Act and the Tax Extenders were added quietly and somewhat surprisingly as many believed that these two items were dead in the water. The SECURE Act has several large implications that will impact our clients, their children, and future generations of Americans.
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Federal Employees’ Group Life (FEGLI) - Option B

Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance is a benefit available to active and retired federal employees. Unlike many private sector group insurance policies, federal employees are able to continue group life insurance in retirement, assuming they’ve satisfied the requirements to maintain coverage.
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Mortgage Rates Drop – Near historic Lows

The global landscape for mortgage rates has changed drastically over the last decade.
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Almost Tax Time!

1099’s, W-2’s, and other tax documents are arriving on a daily basis.  Our goal is to minimize the stress associated with tax season. The tax strategies implemented by Mason & Associates are well thought out and designed to help clients achieve specific financial planning goals.  At times, these strategies involve a significant repositioning of assets and are designed to either increase or decrease taxable income.  The strategies implemented in 2019 should not resu
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End of Year Tax Planning- Part 2

Taxes are a critical part of each client's financial plan. Our job as financial planners is to look at the ENTIRE picture and make recommendations accordingly. Unfortunately, most "financial planners" are only money managers or asset gathers and focus primarily on rate of return with little knowledge of the other areas of financial planning.
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Increased Employer Retirement Savings Limits (TSP, 401k, 403b)

New Savings Limits The IRS recently announced increased contribution limits for retirement plans such as TSP, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s for 2020.
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End of Year Tax Planning Part 1

2019 is quickly coming to an end.  As the holidays and end of year approaches, it is a good time to review the tax planning components of your financial plan.  
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Two Little Pumpkins Have Arrived!

Little pumpkins have arrived!
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Virginia Disability Subtraction

Taxes and tax planning are a critical part of the financial planning process. When taxes are discussed, the conversation is often focused purely on federal taxes, whereas state taxes are glossed over. This results in missed financial planning / tax planning opportunities. At Mason & Associates, we place an equally important emphasis on state taxes. The Virginia Tax Code, in particular, provides a number of opportunities, one of which is a deduction for disability income.The Tax Code of
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Cybersecurity Awareness

At Mason & Associates, security is always on our mind. We want to encourage our clients to educate and protect themselves to eliminate phishing-related risks. Check out SEM’s recent technology blog post and watch their phishing webinar if you have not yet seen, or as a refresher. The more you take precautions such as these, the less likely you’ll fall for a cyber-attack. “Education is arguably the single most important part of any cybersecurity prog
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Update - Virginia Retirement System Employees LTC Open Season

Virginia Group Long Term Care Insurance ProgramThe VRS Long Term Care Open Season for active employees has been extended that concludes on October 11, 2019.  “Open Season” does not adequately describe this rare opportunity. The public typically associates an open season with an annual open enrollment period for company benefits; however, these two events are not the same.Open enrollments occur annually, whereas open seasons are rare and may NEVER happen again. To put t
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Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Long Term Care (LTC) Abbreviated Underwriting!

Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Long Term Care (LTC) Abbreviated Underwriting! Alert: Virginia Retirement System Employees LTC Open Season September 16 – October 11, 2019 Virginia Group Long Term Care Insurance Program Mason & Associates was recently notified of the VRS Long Term Care Open Season for active employees that concludes on October 11, 2019.  “Open Season” does not adequately describe this rare opportunity. The public typically associates an open season
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Virginia 2019 Tax Relief Refunds Coming - Be on the lookout!

As a result of the 2017 Federal Tax Reform Law that took effect in 2018, many taxpayers took the standard deduction ($24,000 married filing jointly) because it was higher than the total of itemized deductions.For Virginia taxpayers, the state requires if you take the standard deduction on your Federal tax return, you must do the same on your Virginia return. Many people were better off at the Federal level taking the larger standard deduction ($24,000 increased from $12,000). An unintended. . .
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TSP Modernization Act

The TSP Modernization Act is here! The new rules appear to be: Increased flexibility 4 in service distributions per year – 1 per quarter No limit on the number of partial withdrawals after separating from services, except limited to no more than one every 30 days Ability to specify the type of distribution, such as Roth or Traditional, or some combination of the two Not required to make a full withdrawal after 70 1/2, though
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College Expenses, 529s, and Tax Credits

Student loan debt has become the second highest consumer debt category, exceeding $1.5 trillion for over 44 million borrowers in the United States. A student in the 2017 graduating class started his or her career with an average debt of $28,650 (Friedman). Parents advising their children to take on this liability are unknowingly facilitating the first, and perhaps the most devastating, financial
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Federal Employee Benefits Open Season

Open Season for the 2020 plan year of federal benefit programs is just around the corner: Monday, November 11 - Monday, December 9, 2019. Make sure you're informed to evaluate your coverage, plan options, enrollment type, and make appropriate updates to the following benefits:
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Top 3 Financial Services in Newport News!

We are honored to be named one of the Top 3 Financial Services in Newport News, VA. Three Best Rated® selects local business and professionals based on a rigorous 50-Point Inspection which includes everything from checking
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Social Security Scam Phone Call Alert

Please beware of a scam phone call from individuals impersonating Social Security employees. If you suspect you have received a scam phone call, report the details to
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It's a. . .

Just over halfway there! Both babies are growing healthy and we can't wait to meet them!THE OFFICE IS ALSO GROWING!We would like to introduce two new full-time employees, and our summer intern.Grecie and Jan come to us with industry experience and we are thrilled to have them on board. They serve as Investment Operations Assistants, and help prepare and process annual reviews, client service requests, and new business.  Jan has over 22 years of community banking experience, and has spen
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Welcome, Tommy Blackburn, CFP®, CPA, PFS

Mason & Associates has a new Advisor!   We are excited to announce the latest addition to our financial planning team, Tommy Blackburn, CFP®, CPA, PFS. Tommy and his wife, Jess, have relocated from Richmond to Williamsburg in order to join the Mason financial planning team. Tommy and John Mason were classmates and 2010 graduates of the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech. Since graduation, Tommy has earned the following credentials, CERTIFIED FINANCIA
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