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Financial Planning for New Parents

Setting up a 529 Plan It may seem daunting to consider college planning already with a newborn, but higher education is expensive. A $25,000 per year university today could cost a total of $260,000 in 18 years (assuming annual inflation of 5.5%)!  The easiest way to start saving is by opening a 529 college savings plan where earnings on contributions grow tax-free over time. We suggest the Utah 529...
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Teaching Your Teenagers About Money

Teaching about money to teenagerOpen a Roth IRA and match their contributions If your child has a part-time job, one of the easiest ways for them to start saving is by opening a Roth IRA. Any earned income (e.g., wages, salary, tips) is eligible for contribution to a Roth IRA. The maximum contribution is currently $5,500 per year.  One way to incentivize saving is to propose matching any contribution they make to...
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A Financial Scorecard: Millennials vs. Baby Boomers

Girl thinking about financial decisions.For many years, it’s been conventional wisdom that children will enjoy a better standard of living than their parents. This axiom, however, is no longer a given. On many different fronts, Millennials are faring worse financially than their parents. A report conducted by Young Invincibles and funded by the Ford Foundation illustrates a variety of ways in which Millennials have...
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5 Ways to Protect Your ATM Use

Protect yourself at the ATMYou might think it’s perfectly safe to pull money out of ATM machines, but thieves have other ideas. Last year, the number of debit cards compromised at ATMs and merchant card readers increased by 10%.1 Even more alarming, the jump follows two years of major increases in this type of fraud, according to FICO, which released the report.  In 2016, for instance, fraud targeting these...
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Your Odds of Being Audited by the IRS

Odds of been auditedTax season is officially over, but the Internal Revenue Service may not be finished with you. There is always the chance that the IRS will audit your returns. The good news for taxpayers, however, is that the odds of getting audited are at their lowest level since 2002. With budget cuts reducing IRS enforcement employees by a third since 2010, audits have declined for six straight years. At its...
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Financial Documents You Need to Keep

Financial Document to keepIf you’re in the mood for some spring cleaning, you might be wondering if you can safely get rid of the boxes of tax documents that are stacked up in your garage or basement. To help answer that question, here are a few guidelines on what you should keep and what you can toss: The Internal Revenue Service expects you to maintain your tax returns and the supporting documentation for three years...
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Seven Things Newlyweds Can Do to Avoid Arguing Over Money

Couple arguing about moneyA significant factor in marital success is how couples handle their financial lives. In fact financial discord could be the biggest marriage warning sign, according to a study conducted by researchers at Kansas State University. "Arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce," said Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher and program director of its personal...
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Five Tips for Appealing a Financial Aid Award

Mini graduation cap on rolled up cashThis is the time of year when families review college financial aid awards and agonize over whether they can afford the tab. Many parents don’t realize that students don’t have to accept the first award they receive from a college.  One reason is because it’s a buyer’s market at many institutions. Conventional wisdom suggests that it’s harder than ever to get into...
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Tax Efficient Strategies for Your 2018 Charitable Giving

Strategic chess pieces on financial documentAs a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, many taxpayers may not itemize deductions in the future.  Therefore, the benefit of deductions of smaller charitable donations you may have had in the past, could end up being eliminated under the new rules with the doubling of the standard deduction and removal of many other itemized deductions...
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An Easy Way to Check Your Future Social Security Benefits

Couple checking their future Social Security BenefitsDo you know how much your monthly Social Security check will be when you retire? The Social Security Administration used to mail Americans annual paper statements, but now you will only receive a statement if you are over 60, not receiving benefits, and have not established an online account. The statement is mailed three months before your birthday. You can, however,...
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