Resources for Navigating FAFSA Updates

college-grads.jpg college grads Families that have tried completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) recently have discovered that it’s gotten harder. In March, a valuable IRS tool that parents use to file the application suddenly disappeared from the FAFSA website. The Data Retrieval Tool...
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Smart Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

parachute-of-money.jpg parachute of money Are you getting a tax refund this year? Through the first week of April, most American taxpayers were owed a refund. Of the nearly 101 million tax returns filed, 80.2 million were due a tax refund averaging $2,851. If you don’t yet have a plan for your refund,...
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15 Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

shutterstock_97474436_small.jpg questions for financial advisors The federal regulation that was intended to protect retirement investors from dubious financial advice is in jeopardy. The April implementation of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule that was six years...
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Don’t Make This Mistake With Your College Loans

The average debt that college students are graduating with continues to rise. Nearly seven out of 10 graduating seniors in 2015 left college with student debt, according to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). The average debt of the Class of 2015 was just over $30,000. That’s a four percent rise over the previous year and represents a historic high. Borrowers repaying the average debt will face college loan payments of more than $300 a month for 10 years. Nineteen percent of the college debt came from private lenders, as well as state programs, while the rest...
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Is There Still Time to Contribute to Your IRA or Roth IRA for 2016?

shutterstock_146760890_small.jpg Is there still time to contribute to your IRA? If you would like to maximize your tax-deferred assets and you have not fully funded your traditional IRA or Roth IRA for 2016, you have until April 18 to make a...
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Beware of These Two Tax Scams

shutterstock_94126492.jpg Tax Scams Completing your tax return every year is a hard enough task without worrying about tax scams. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scam artists out there who have ripped off countless Americans. Here are two common fraudulent tax schemes to be aware of:  1. Impersonation of...
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10 Things You Should Shred

shutterstock_57302521.jpg Recycled shredded paper It’s almost time for spring cleaning. While you’re thinking about what needs cleaning in your house, don’t forget to declutter by getting rid of unnecessary documents. When contemplating this thankless task, a major hang-up, besides time, is determining what...
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Focus on Your Own Ship; Not the Unpredictable Seas

Nearly 105 years ago, on April 15, 1912, the famed Titanic ship sank into the Atlantic Ocean after a fateful collision with an iceberg. Several theories have been proposed as to how the ship—which was an engineering marvel at the time—was brought down on its maiden voyage. A recent documentary entitled, "Titanic: The New Evidence1," explores the premise that the iceberg may not have been the sole cause of the Titanic's sinking after all. New evidence and research presented in the documentary focuses on reports of a coal fire which may have started in one of the ship's bunkers before the ship...
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20 Ways to Cut Your Tax Bill

Have you completed your tax returns yet? If not, there is still time to make sure that you claim every deduction for which you qualify. Here are 20 common deductions: 1. Contributions to 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. Contributions to these workplace accounts are automatically withdrawn from your paychecks, which will lower your taxable income. 2. Contributions to traditional IRAs. You can obtain a deduction for contributions to traditional IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and SEP-IRAs, but you won’t get an upfront tax deduction for contributions to Roth IRAs. 3. Health savings account contributions. Money you...
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Lessons About 2016 Financial Markets from “Mr. Market”

Benjamin Graham, the well-known value investor, in The Intelligent Investor created Mr. Market as an analogy to describe how the stock market works. “Every day he tells you what he thinks your interest [in your business partnership with him] is worth and furthermore offers either to buy you out or to sell you an additional interest on that basis. Sometimes his idea of value appears plausible… Often, on the other hand, Mr. Market lets his enthusiasm or his fears run away with him, and the value he proposes seems to you little short of silly.” Given this appraisal, it might seem absurd to try...
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