Maximizing Your Health (Savings Account)

If you are enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) through work or on your own, funding a Health Savings Account (HSA) could be considered a top priority.doctor holding clipboard First of all, contributions to your HSA are tax deductible “above-the-line” reducing adjusted gross income (AGI), regardless of your tax filing status or income level. Unlike IRA contributions, you do not even need to have earned income to receive a tax...
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Strategies for College Grads with Soft Majors

Look at the lists of occupations that pay the most for young college graduates and they are dominated by majors in the STEMS (science, technology, engineering, math).college grads STEM occupations pay more, and sometimes significantly more, than the mean annual wage for all workers of $50,620, according to federal statistics. In 2017, the mean wage for STEM jobs was $91,310. Roughly half of recent college graduates, who have a soft degree, are...
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12 Tips for a Great Vacation

With the summer travel season upon us, here are 12 tips to make your vacation a memorable one. 1. Make a list. Before traveling write down what you want to take. Start the list a week before you leave because inevitably, you’ll think of new items to add. Forgetting little things like your phone charger can really make the start of your vacation stressful! 2. Travel light. Try hard to pack just one carry-on suitcase. Being able to carry your luggage on to the plane will reduce the likelihood of theft or loss. In addition, you’ll be happier not having to drag so much weight around during the...
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Six Things You Need to Know About the College Admission Process

mini graduation cap on rolled up cashThe college admission scandal that hit the press recently generated a tremendous amount of outrage, as well as endless questions about the entire college process. Here are some realities that parents and teenagers need to know: 1. It’s highly doubtful that the kind of cheating that the federal indictments against a California college consultant, college coaches,...
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Consider This When “Treating Yourself”

woman looking at her phone while holding coffee and shopping bagsThere is a lot of advice out there that suggests what you should do with a financial windfall. Extra money could come from a tax refund, a workplace bonus, or an inheritance. This post, however, isn’t going to focus on the most sensible things that you could do with this money. Prudent advice will often include paying down debt, contributing to a retirement or...
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The Slipping Reality of Home Ownership

Home OwnershipHome ownership has long been part of the American Dream, but it’s become an unattainable luxury for a growing number of Americans. A new report from Stanford University illustrates how younger Americans are falling behind their parents in their ability to buy a home. Forty-eight percent of Baby Boomers had bought a house by the time they were 30 years of age, but only 36% of Millennials have managed to do so...
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Answers to Seven Common Social Security Questions

Couple with questions about Social SecurityHere are answers to seven common questions that the Social Security Administration receives about the retirement benefit program. 1. The age of full Social Security benefits. Individuals are eligible for full Social Security benefits depending upon the year they were born. Full retirement age is currently between 66 and 67. You can receive Social Security benefits as...
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Has Someone Stolen Your Child’s Identity?

Child identity theftWe’ve all heard horror stories about consumers who have had their credit information stolen and the incredible hassle of undoing the mess. But what you probably don’t know is that children can be the victims of identity theft too.  In fact, identity theft that targets youngsters has been on the rise. According to the credit bureau Experian, more than one million children, as young as 12, were the victims...
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How to Apply for Financial Aid

mini graduation cap on rolled up cashFinancial aid season is about to begin. Starting October 1, parents whose children will be in college for the 2019-2020 academic year will be able to fill out financial aid applications. That means parents can complete these forms nearly one year before their children enroll. Here are six facts you should know about applying for financial aid. No. 1:  The biggest...
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Back-Door Roth Conversions May Be Your Best Option

For most Americans, the Roth Individual Retirement Account is an excellent way to save for retirement. Once the money is deposited into a Roth IRA, it can potentially grow tax-free for many decades. And when retirees eventually tap into these accounts, they won’t owe tax on the withdrawals. Investors enjoy these significant tax perks because the initial contributions into a Roth are done with after-tax money. While the Roth is an extremely attractive vehicle to save long term for retirement, not everyone is allowed to set aside retirement money this way.  There is an income cap that prevents...
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