How Divorce Impacts Social Security Benefits

It’s no secret that a significant number of marriages end in divorce.

Couples over the age of 50 in particular are experiencing higher rates of divorce, with their numbers doubling between 1990 and 2014. People aged 50 or older made up about 8% of all Americans who got divorced in 1990; that figure jumped to 25% by 2014.1 A big question for those facing divorce after 50 may be how it could impact Social Security benefits.

The basics of Social Security and divorce.

If your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you can file a claim based on your ex’s benefit if all the following points are true:

  • You’re age 62 or older and unmarried.
  • Your ex-spouse qualifies for Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
  • The Social Security benefit you’re qualified for is less than your divorced spouse’s benefit.

If you start collecting your divorced spouse’s benefit at your full retirement age (FRA), you’ll generally receive half of what his or her full benefit amount would be at FRA. If you file for it before FRA, the benefit amount will be reduced.

It’s also important to know that if your ex-spouse is eligible for Social Security benefits but not yet collecting them, you can still file a claim based on his or her benefit if you’re eligible. You need to have been divorced for at least two years.

A bit beyond the basics.

Generally, if someone is collecting Social Security as a divorced spouse, it won’t impact the ex-spouse’s benefit amount or how much the ex-spouse’s new husband, wife or children could receive. Let’s consider the following example:

  • John and Sally are married for 15 years and then divorce. Sally is eligible for a divorced spouse’s Social Security benefit at age 62 if unmarried.
  • John remarries Jennifer and they have four children.
  • When John becomes eligible to collect Social Security, the amount that Sally collects as an ex-spouse won’t reduce what John, Jennifer or their children can receive if and when eligible.

Also, if you’re eligible for Social Security benefits based on your own work record and eligible to claim as an ex-spouse, you can’t “double dip.” For example, say you’re eligible for $100 per month based on your own earnings record and eligible for $300 per month based on your ex’s record. The maximum monthly benefit you can receive would be the greater of the two amounts, or $300 – not the sum of the two amounts.

Divorce can be complicated and Social Security considerations can make the situation even more so.

The more you know about how Social Security works in divorces, the better equipped you can be to navigate such a challenging landscape should you or someone you know be faced with it.


1 Hymowitz, C. (2016, September 29). Older Americans Are Jeopardizing Their Retirement With Divorce. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from


Are You Saving in an Employer-sponsored Retirement Plan? Many Americans Aren’t.

An estimated 79% of Americans work for an employer that provides a retirement plan to at least some employees.

Yet new research suggests only 41% of those employees contribute to their retirement plans.

They’re either not eligible or not enrolled, according to a recent working paper from the U.S. Census Bureau that examined 2012 W-2 tax records.1

Employer-sponsored defined contribution plans (which include 401(k) plans) are valuable benefits aimed at helping workers save for retirement. A 2013 Aon Hewitt survey found that “for three-quarters of employers, a defined contribution plan is the primary source of retirement income for their employees.”2

If you are lucky enough to have access to a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan, take advantage of it! Here’s where to start:

Sign up.

Get started. Don’t let the legalese and financial jargon in the paperwork deter you.

Review your company’s retirement options to make sure you understand them and are using the ones that make sense for you. If you need help answering questions or more education around maximizing your workplace retirement plan, reach out to a professional.

Take full advantage of your company match program.

If your employer offers a 401(k) or another defined contribution plan, they want you to save for your retirement. One way of encouraging you is by offering a match. For every dollar you contribute, they’ll match your contribution up to a certain amount.

Our 2015 report3 found that the typical employee leaves $1,336 of unclaimed match contributions on the table each year. How? By not saving enough in their 401(k) to receive the full company match. If your company offers a match, contribute enough to reap the full reward.

Don’t procrastinate.

Retirement may seem far away, but there’s a good chance that it will sneak up faster than you’d expect. Even 68% of adults age 55 or older admit to procrastinating on retirement savings.4 This delay can have staggering effects. Consider the following scenario:

An employee who starts contributing 6% of their pay at age 25, takes advantage of a 3% 401(k) employer match and has typical market returns could have close to $500,000 at age 65. Yet, if that same employee started saving at age 35, they would have to save 11.69% of their salary to reach $480,000 at 65.5

Procrastination can be costly, so get started saving early.

Don’t have access to a retirement savings plan through your employer? You still have options.

Think about contributing to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). An IRA is a place to put your money so you can invest it while saving for your retirement. Unlike employer retirement plan accounts, an IRA is an account you set up on your own with a bank, brokerage firm or a mutual fund company.

If you’re eligible for an employer-sponsored retirement plan but aren’t contributing to it, don’t delay – get started now! Following the simple steps outlined above can start you off toward a more solid financial future.


1 Steverman, B. (21 Feb. 2017). Two-Thirds of Americans Aren’t Putting Money in Their 401(k). Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from

2 Aon Hewitt, “2013 Trends & Experience in Defined Contribution Plans.” Retrieved March 20, 2017, from

3 Financial Engines, “Missing Out: How Much Employer 401(k) Matching Contributions do Employees Leave on the Table?”

4 Financial Engines, “The Cost of Financial Procrastination.”

5 In the hypothetical scenario, we calculated the starting salary as $36,000 at age 25 and increases by 1.5% (net of inflation) per year, with the increase occurring at the end of each year. Contributions are made at the end of each year. A 3% company match is added to the savings amounts shown and is also contributed at the end of each year. Investments grow at a rate of 5% (net of inflation) per year. Under these assumptions, an individual who starts saving when they turn 25 will have accumulated a portfolio balance of $483,776 by the time they turn 65. The savings rates for individuals starting to save at ages 35 and 40 were calculated so that they will have the exact same portfolio balances (i.e., $483,776) when they turn 65.


Is Your Financial Advisor Acting in Your Best Interest? Possibly Not…

The fate of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Rule, which would require those offering retirement investment advice to serve as fiduciaries and put their customers’ best interest first, is now uncertain.

But a growing number of Americans are aware of the fiduciary standard, favor the intent of the rule and can take action if they discover their financial advisor is not a fiduciary.1


1 “In Whose Best Interest? (Part 2),” a Financial Engines Survey on the Conflict of Interest Rule, April 2017.


What Impacts Your Credit – and How to Improve Your Score

If you’ve ever applied for a loan, you know your credit score is important. After all, it can be the difference between buying a new car or continuing to drive your old one – or even the determining factor when it comes to the type of house you’re approved to purchase. What specifically impacts your credit score, though, and how can you improve it if it’s less than optimal?

What goes into your credit score?

The three credit-reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) develop your credit report and score by looking at your recent financial activity, including:

  • When you applied for credit, regardless of whether you were approved.
  • Loans you currently have. They review when you took out the loan, your credit limit, payment history and balance on the account as of the last statement date.
  • Closed accounts. These will stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
  • Bills that have been sold to collections agencies.
  • Public records, such as court judgments or bankruptcies.

How to improve your credit score.

It may not be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but you should see progress if you consider these tips:

  • Give yourself time. There’s no fast track to a good credit score. It takes two years of solid credit management to even begin digging yourself out of a bad credit-score hole. If your score isn’t where you’d like it to be, the sooner you start improving it, the better.
  • Stay current on your payments. Your payment history makes up about 35% of your credit score and is the most weighted of all the score factors.1 Even a couple of days’ delay on one or two payments can harm your score. Set calendar reminders or automatic payments to help yourself stay current. Be sure, though, that you have enough funds in your bank account to cover automatic payments.
  • Keep an eye on your debt. At 30%, debt is the second-most-important factor in determining your credit score.2 Reporting agencies look at your “utilization ratio” — how much of a balance you’re carrying compared to your available credit. Using a high percentage of your available credit can negatively impact your score, even if you pay it off each month. Work around this by paying off all or most of your balance the day before the billing period closes. This way, the reporting companies will see a low balance and utilization ratio.
  • Mix up your debt. If you only use credit cards or only have loans, this could hurt your score. Instead, try to keep a balance of different types of debt.
  • Keep credit accounts open. If you have an old card you’re not using, don’t cancel it unless you need to. This goes back to the function of time. Reporting agencies like to see that you’ve responsibly held onto a line of credit for an extended period.

Like many aspects of personal finance, credit can be a double-edged sword. While it can help your ability to fund major purchases, it can be harmful if not managed properly. Understand what goes into your credit score and how to manage it. Make your credit work for you as an asset, not a liability.


1, 2 Weliver, D. (30 August 2016). How Credit Works: Understand The Credit Reporting System. Money Under 30. Retrieved April 13, 2017, from


Is A Roth 401(k) Right for You?

When it comes to retirement, a lot of investors choose either a traditional 401(k) plan or a Roth IRA. But what if you could have the best of both in one account? Enter the Roth 401(k).

Introduced just 11 years ago, Roth 401(k)s are now offered in about 60% of all U.S. workplace retirement plans 1 and provide participants with a  chance to contribute after-tax money up to their plans’ contribution limits.

Keep reading to see if a Roth 401(k) may be right for you, too.

Income and contribution limits.

You may contribute to a Roth 401(k) regardless of your income. In 2017, a Roth IRA doesn’t allow you to contribute if your income exceeds $133,000 ($196,000 for married couples filing jointly).2 Speaking of contributions, you can save up to $18,000 in a Roth 401(k) (just as you can in a traditional 401(k)) in 2017. That’s three times more than you can contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA ($5,500). If you’ll be age 50 or older this year, you can save another $6,000 in your Roth 401(k) — six times more than the extra $1,000 you can save in a Roth or traditional IRA.3 You can also keep contributing to your Roth 401(k) after age 70 ½ if you’re still working and don’t own 5% or more of the company you work for.3

Benefits of after-tax contributions.

You contribute after-tax dollars to your Roth 401(k). This means you won’t realize any immediate tax benefits like you do with pre-tax 401(k) contributions. But you won’t have to pay taxes later on those contributions. The earnings, including dividends and capital gains could come back tax-free also if the withdrawal is qualified, meaning it has been in the account for at least five years and you are 59 ½ or older at the time of the withdrawal. That tax-free cash could come in handy during retirement, especially if you end up in a higher tax bracket than you’re in now.

Employer matching contributions.

Not all employers offer a matching contribution, but if yours does, you’ll want to take advantage of it. It’s one of the biggest benefits you have, whether you make Roth 401(k) or pre-tax contributions. Matching contributions easily boost your savings, and with compounding, those contributions and their earnings grow over time.4 Keep in mind that matching contributions are made with pre-tax dollars. You’ll have to pay taxes on them and their earnings when you start taking distributions.5

Loans available, distributions required.

If your workplace retirement plan allows loans, you can borrow up to 50% of your Roth 401(k) account balance or $50,000 minus the highest outstanding loan balance in the past 12 months, whichever is less (just as you can with a traditional 401(k)). Keep in mind that a loan could be considered a taxable distribution if you’re under age 59 ½ and you don’t pay it back according to its terms.6 You can’t avoid Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) with a Roth 401(k) like you can with a Roth IRA, which means you’ll have to start withdrawing money at age 70 ½. But you can roll over your Roth 401(k) account to a Roth IRA, which may help you avoid RMDs altogether.7

Roth 401(k)s may not be right for everyone, but they could be a good fit for some. If you have access to a workplace retirement plan and aren’t making Roth 401(k) contributions already, it’s worthwhile to at least check it out. This one simple step could have you taking advantage of one of the best benefits your plan offers.


1 Austin, R. (2015). 2015 Trends & Experience in Defined Contribution Plans. Retrieved April 01, 2017, from

2 Amount of Roth IRA Contributions That You Can Make For 2017. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved April 02, 2017, from

3, 5, 6 Richmond, S. (2017, March 30). Roth 401(k) vs. Roth IRA: Is One Better? Retrieved April 02, 2017, from

4 Frankel, M. (1970, January 01). The 4 Best Roth IRA Benefits. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from

7 O’Shea, A. (2016, December 08). You Know About the 401(k) – But What About the Roth 401(k)? Retrieved April 02, 2017, from


In Your Portfolio, Not All Risk Is Created Equal

Most seasoned investors are familiar with the concept of risk and return. If an investment like a stock has a higher risk associated with it, it’s sometimes assumed that there’s likely a higher potential return. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see this isn’t necessarily true.

When it comes to investments, not all risk is created equal. Not all risky assets have high expected returns.

This is particularly true of assets that have non-market risks.  For example, the stock of a company that’s undergoing a major transition or experiencing a scandal (think Enron). These are company-related risks and not related to the market. You’re not guaranteed to get high returns. This is one reason why it’s important not to hold too much stock of a single company.

To illustrate this point, consider three different kinds of assets. One is a bond that has a guaranteed $5,000 payoff next year. The other two are “coin-flip stocks”: One will pay off $10,000 if it lands on heads (but $0 for tails). The other will pay off $10,000 if the same coin flip lands on tails (but $0 for heads). The consensus is that bonds are less risky than stocks, but in this instance, that’s not the case. The random risk associated with the coin-flip stocks can be diversified away.

Hold just one of the coin-flip stocks and you’ll have a 50% chance of earning $10,000 and a 50% chance of earning nothing at all. But if you hold both stocks they diversify the risk. You can be confident that you will earn $5,000 – the same return promised by the less risky bond.

As Christopher Jones, chief investment officer of Financial Engines, writes in his book The Intelligent Portfolio, “As long as the additional risk is not correlated with the overall market, you should not expect any additional expected return. You can eliminate risks not correlated with the market by holding lots of different kinds of assets. On average, the nonmarket risks – those risks that are not correlated with the overall market – will cancel out. So while high expected return assets always come with risk, not all high-risk assets come with high expected returns.”

Determining which investments are unnecessarily risky is a complex process.

This is why it helps to have an expert on your side. Understanding these fundamentals is a good place to start:

  • Not all risk comes with expected reward. Market-correlated risks are compensated with higher expected returns. You can diversify away other forms of risk.
  • There is no reason to take on investment risk unless you are being compensated for it.

The bottom line? That adage about risk and return being directly related isn’t necessarily true in all cases.

A well-thought out investment strategy understands this and takes it into consideration.

This post is based on Chapter 2 from the book, The Intelligent Portfolio, by Christopher Jones, Financial Engines’ chief investment officer. The content has been revised for the purposes of this blog.


Chipping Away at Debt

Debt can be one of the biggest roadblocks to setting and achieving long-term financial goals.

With debt weighing you down, everything from growing your emergency savings to saving for retirement can feel out of reach.

So how do you chip away at it?

Don’t normalize debt.

Some debt, like a mortgage or education expenses, can be “good debt” because it has the potential to benefit you financially in the long-run. Credit card debt, however, is mostly bad.

Whether good or bad, the consensus is that less debt is better. If debt becomes one more bill you pay at the end of the month, it’s easy to push it to the back of your mind. But often, debt is not an ongoing essential living expense, so don’t treat it like one. Outline an aggressive payment plan and keep track of your progress. Put paying down debt at the top of your financial to-dos.

Say no to credit card debt and pay down debt with the highest interest rates first.

It should be a priority to reduce all debt as quickly as you can, but consider prioritizing debt that carries the highest interest rate. Credit cards typically have very high interest rates. This means you could end up paying much more than you first spent if you’re making only the minimum payment.

Think about transferring credit card debt to a card with no annual fee and a lower interest rate to avoid growing interest. Then concentrate on paying off that single credit card and don’t add any more debt on other cards.

Quantify the full cost of debt.

Debt consists of the principal balance plus interest, which can compound quickly. Need motivation to pay down your debt? Imagine what your finances may look like if you could take the money you pay in interest each month and put it toward something else. Debt plus its compounding interest mean you have less to invest in your financial future. That’s a good reason to stay focused.

There is no silver bullet.

There are lot of “tips and tricks” to reducing debt. You can limit going out to eat, pick up a side gig, or organize low-cost hangouts with friends and family to save money, and use those savings to reduce debt. The bottom line is there is no trick. Outline a payment plan. Pay down debt with the highest interest rates first. Stick to your budget and payment plan. Don’t accrue more debt in the process.

Debt, like everything in your financial life, is incredibly personal. Refinancing a mortgage or consolidating student loans might be a good option for you.

The satisfaction of sending that last payment and seeing a zero balance will be well worth the effort!



Financial Engines Market Update, Q1 2017: A Strong Start for 2017

Building on positive momentum from the end of the year, equity markets got off to a strong start in 2017. They were boosted by strong economic data and increased consumer confidence. The S&P 500 index gained a solid +6.1% in the first quarter. The stocks of smaller companies, as represented by the S&P Small Cap 600 index, had more modest gains returning +1.1% for the first quarter.

International stock markets had a strong first quarter, too. The MSCI Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) index gained +7.3% over the last three months. Emerging markets did even better, gaining +11.5%.

Bonds were relatively quiet during the first quarter, with the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond index gaining +0.8%. While short-term interest rates gained slightly because of actions by the Federal Reserve, longer-term rates decreased a bit from the run-up after the 2016 presidential election.

The Financial Engines perspective

Last year ended with substantial political and economic uncertainty in the wake of a tumultuous U.S. election. However, strengthening growth in China, continued good news on the U.S. economy and improved investor sentiment led to broad market gains and strong portfolio returns. As we exit the first quarter of 2017, many economic and policy questions remain. These uncertainties include the fate of healthcare legislation, tax-code reform and international trade agreements. At Financial Engines, we believe in a diversified investment approach to achieve growth while protecting your assets from unexpected events, and we continue to monitor markets to keep your portfolio on track. Have questions? Financial Engines advisors can help.

Three Ways to Minimize Your RMD Taxes

If you’re over the age of 70 or approaching your 70th birthday soon, you’re likely aware of the “birthday gift” you’ll receive from the IRS – your required minimum distribution (RMD). In most cases, once you turn 70 ½, you are required to start taking money out of IRAs, 401(k)s and other qualified retirement plan accounts.

While RMDs can provide some helpful extra cash flow, they’re taxed as ordinary income and could bump you into a higher tax bracket than you’d like.

Fortunately, there are ways you can minimize taxes on your RMDs, which can help reduce the risk that you’ll find yourself in a higher tax bracket. Here are three simple ways to go about this:

Make a charitable donation.

You can use all or part of your RMD as a qualified charitable distribution and give up to $100,000 from your IRAs to charity, tax-free, every year. Essentially, this means you move money from your IRA to a qualified charity. (Learn about eligible charities or search the IRS qualified charity database at the IRS website). Have your IRA custodian transfer the funds from your IRA directly to the charity. If you skip this step, the IRS may not recognize the contribution, and you risk your RMD being taxed as income.

Buy longevity insurance.

If you’re worried about outliving your retirement savings, you could buy a qualified longevity annuity contract (known as a QLAC). QLACs begin paying out later than most annuities (generally between age 70 ½ and 80), and payments grow larger the longer you wait to take them. Under current IRS rules, you’re allowed to invest up to 25% of your IRA or 401(k) plan (or $125,000, whichever is less) in a QLAC without having to take RMDs on that money when you turn 70 ½. You’ll still have to pay taxes when you start receiving payments from the annuity, but you can delay payouts until age 85. If you choose to take this option, you’re killing two birds with one stone: helping protect against outliving your savings while deferring the taxable distributions from your IRA.

Keep working.

Another item to note is that if you’re 70 ½ and still working, you may not be required to take RMDs from your employer’s 401(k). You will, however, have to take RMDs from previous employers’ 401(k) plans or traditional IRAs – but you can get around this by rolling those accounts into your current employer’s 401(k) before you turn 70 ½,  if your company allows it. You’ll still have to take RMDs when you quit, but you’ll reduce or eliminate RMDs while you’re working, when your tax rate could be higher.

RMDs are a necessary part of life for most people over the age of 70 – but you can always plan to make the most of the situation. Do some research and explore your options. You can help manage the taxes on them so the money that you’ve worked hard for keeps working hard for you.



The information provided is general in nature, is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Financial Engines does not provide legal or tax advice. Financial Engines cannot guarantee that such information is accurate, complete, or timely. Laws of a particular state or laws which may be applicable to a particular situation may have an impact on the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of such information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Changes in such laws and regulations may have a material impact on pre- and/or after-tax investment results. Financial Engines makes no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use. Financial Engines disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, such information. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. CPY18669

Tax advantages, Roth-style: IRAs

What do 4,758,6001 investors know about Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs) that others don’t? Hard to say, really, but if pressed, they might offer this tip: tax-advantaged savings.

Roth IRAs are individual retirement plans that look a lot like traditional IRAs.

Instead of investing before-tax savings as you can with traditional IRAs (providing that you’re eligible), you can save after-tax money and withdraw it tax free later as long as the money meets certain requirements.

Introduced with the Tax Relief Act of 1997, Roth IRAs have grown in popularity. As of 2013, more than 23% of all IRA investors use them.1 Not bad for an investment vehicle that’s only been around for 20 years!

Here’s a look at a few of the benefits you might receive if you invest in a Roth IRA:

Tax-free compounding.

Says it all, right? When you invest in a Roth IRA, your contributions and earnings, which include dividends and capital gains, can grow tax free over time. Because you’ve already paid taxes up front, you won’t have to pay any taxes (including on those same dividends and capital gains) when you take qualified money out.2

Easier access.

Unlike other IRAs, Roth IRAs don’t penalize you when you make withdrawals from your contributions because the money has already been taxed. It’s important to note, however, that while you can withdraw any contributions you’ve made to your Roth IRA tax-free at any point, you will be taxed if you withdraw any gains the account earns if you’ve had the account for less than five years and you are less than 59 ½ years old. If you withdraw gains earlier than five years, you’ll be taxed on it. The five year rule for your Roth IRA earnings starts on Jan. 1 of the year you make your first contribution.

Another point to consider when it comes to Roth IRAs being easier to access is that they aren’t subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs). You can keep contributing to your account long after you reach age 70 ½, when other retirement accounts force investors to begin withdrawing their money.2

Fast access.

On a fixed income in retirement? Even if you’re not, it’s handy to be able to quickly get to your money. You’ll know exactly how much you can withdraw without tax worries if you get hit with unexpected expenses.

Benefits for you and your beneficiaries.

Saving money in a Roth IRA not only can cut the size of your taxable estate, it can also provide your heirs with tax-free income when you’re gone. Sure, the IRS requires minimum distributions based on life expectancy factors, but those annual distributions, which begin in the year after your death, may help to supplement your loved ones’ incomes for years to come.2

Tax-hike protection.

If you’re in the early stages of your career, chances are you’re in a relatively low tax bracket, which makes saving in a Roth IRA even more beneficial. You’ll probably earn more money as you get older, which puts you in a higher tax bracket come retirement. Being able to withdraw from your Roth IRA without worrying about a bump into an even-higher tax bracket can be helpful.3

If you’re looking at types of individual retirement plans, a Roth IRA may be right for you. Roth 401(k)s are another option that could be worth looking into as well. We’ll cover the details about those in an upcoming blog post. Before you invest, however, you may want to talk with a tax professional to understand your options and how Roth accounts can help you optimize your tax benefits.


1Copeland, C. (2015, May 01). Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, and Rollovers, 2013; With Longitudinal Results 2010–2013. The EBRI IRA Database. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from

2Frankel, M. (1970, January 01). The 4 Best Roth IRA Benefits. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from

3Yochim, D. (2017, March 17). Roth vs. Traditional IRA: Which Is Best for You? Retrieved March 21, 2017, from


The information provided is general in nature, is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Financial Engines does not provide legal or tax advice. Financial Engines cannot guarantee that such information is accurate, complete, or timely. Laws of a particular state or laws which may be applicable to a particular situation may have an impact on the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of such information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Changes in such laws and regulations may have a material impact on pre- and/or after-tax investment results. Financial Engines makes no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use. Financial Engines disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, such information. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. CPY18670