Don’t Make These 7 IRA Mistakes

The biggest source of wealth for most Americans is their retirement accounts and much of that money is tucked away in Individual Retirement Accounts. Roughly $7.4 trillion dollars is sitting in Individual Retirement Accounts, which exceeds the $6.8 trillion invested in workplace defined contribution plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. With so much money invested in these IRA accounts, it’s important to avoid costly mistakes. Here...
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States With the Greatest Tax Pain

As tax season approaches, here is a bit of good news from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation:  State and local taxes, as a percentage of Americans’ income, have decreased across the country. The foundation’s analysis of 2012 tax data concluded that the tax burden declined because Americans’ income increased at a faster rate then tax collections. You might assume that Americans pay the most taxes to the federal government, but in reality state and local taxes take a bigger bite. The foundation’s research revealed that 78 percent of taxes collected were from state and local governments. The average...
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Starting the Year With a Crazy Financial Resolution

It’s a brand new year to create new habits. And creating better financial habits can bring great rewards.  Here are some financial self-improvement tips for the months ahead: Financial Resolutions for 2016 Since there are countless ways to improve your financial lives, this post will provide a few more ideas to get you motivated. And we’re starting the list with the most unusual suggestion first. 1. Save later. This is going to sound like...
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Why You Shouldn't Panic

The stock market is the only market where things go on sale and all the customers run out of the store....           Twitter Tweet We are sharing this tweet, which takes a wry look at investor behavior, because it’s important to remember the impulse of investors to bolt when the stock market is struggling like it has since the start of 2016. Long-term investors should try not to get stressed out about the short-term direction of the market. Of course, if your time horizon isn’t long, your money should be invested elsewhere.   There certainly has been a tremendous amount of coverage of the...
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Financial Resolutions for 2016

The new year is just days old which means that millions of Americans have already vowed to improve their lives in 2016. Uppermost on the minds of many individuals is this goal:  becoming more financially secure. If you would like to improve your own dollars and cents, here are a few great ways to start fresh. Increase your retirement savings. According to a report by The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, about half...
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Tax Update for 2016

The new year always brings tax changes and for 2016 one of the big developments is the federal government’s determination to crack down on tax fraud. With taxpayer data stolen from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration, crooks have been filing fake electronic tax returns that generate refunds. The government has estimated that criminals bilked the U.S. Treasury out of $5.8 billion in fraudulent tax...
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8 Tips for Year-End Charitable Giving

Year-End Charitable Giving    If you are feeling charitable this holiday season, you should understand the rules about giving – if you want the IRS to reward you for your generosity. Here are eight tips to keep in mind when you are donating to charities: 1. To capture a tax deduction for your donation, you must itemize deductions on your tax return. 2. You can only deduct gifts to qualified charities. Use the charity tool on the...
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Tips to Make the Holidays More Affordable

The holidays can be a strain on many household budgets, as Americans plan to spend more on gifts this season than they have in eight years. According to a new Gallup survey, consumers said they will spend an average of $830 on gifts for the 2015 holiday season, which is up sharply from $720 a year ago. The average anticipated spending rises to $908 when people, who won’t spend anything on the holiday (eight percent), are excluded....
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Healthcare Plans: Six Things You Need to Consider

November is traditionally healthcare insurance month.  This is the month when employees choose whether to select a different healthcare plan or make adjustments to the one they have. Americans who are covered by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, must also decide whether to stick with their current provider or find a different one. Here are six things that individuals need to know as they contemplate their healthcare choices: 1....
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Eight Ways to Survive a Divorce

Divorce can do much more than officially shred a marriage certificate. The dissolution can create emotional bleeding and the financial impact can be equally destructive. There are ways, however, to get through these difficult times and experience an emotionally healthy divorce while defusing the anger. If the couple can pull this off, they increase their chances of not falling into the same trap again. Here are eight divorce...
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