Author - Danielle L. Schultz, CFP®, CDFA

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Giving to charity: doing the best you can
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How will the election affect your financial plans?
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Financial planning for a freelance or self-employed income
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How will working or not working affect my Social Security?
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Bernie Sanders’s “ridiculous” proposals

Giving to charity: doing the best you can

By now, your mailboxes (IRL and virtual) are probably crammed with year-end catalogs and heart-rending appeals for donations. But just as with spending, we want to maximize the use of our hard-earned dollars when we make charitable donations.

As I’ve suggested before, it’s worth checking out any potential charity with Guidestar.org and Charity Navigator. These ratings groups aren’t infallible, but they can give you some idea of how well your money will be spent. There are lots of well-known charities whose funds seem to go mainly to publicity and their CEO’s salary. Really, look up a few that come …

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How will the election affect your financial plans?

What now? It’s very early to make predictions but I have at least as good a chance as the pollsters, right? We really don’t know what this incoming president will do, since his policy statements have been so thin, simplistic, and utterly without actionable detail. Nevertheless, some things seem obvious, so here are my thoughts on possible steps.

Never has saving been so important

One thing that seems pretty clear is that support for the vulnerable, the disabled, the elderly, and the ill will be diminished or eliminated. Even under Republican presidents there was opposition to much of the social …

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Financial planning for a freelance or self-employed income

It’s easy to divvy up a paycheck. Freelance income, not so much. The biggest problem with making a spending plan (because we all hate the word budget, right?) is that you’re never sure how much you’re going to get, and when it’s going to show up. This is a huge problem when you’re first starting out, but it’s still an issue even after your established—while you might know your average earnings, you still don’t know exactly when the check will be in the mail.

I’ve long recommended Ramit Sethi’s concept of dividing your income into percentages, rather than amounts. …

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How will working or not working affect my Social Security?

Will Social Security be affected if I work longer, or quit earlier than full retirement age? This question comes up a lot whenever I speak on Social Security strategies, as I did last night at Mt. Prospect Library. As with most things about Social Security, it’s not a snap answer, and it depends on your personal situation. But here’s some pointers.

Situation #1

You’ve been out of the workforce for a number of years: being a stay at home parent, going back to school, taking care of an elderly family member, working for free in a family business.  Can you …

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Bernie Sanders’s “ridiculous” proposals

I can hardly open the Wall Street Journal without seeing an article about why Bernie Sanders’ proposals won’t work, but I’m not buying it. Sure, any sort of change at all is going to have some unintended consequences. But that’s been true of just about every single governmental policy in the last, oh, 100 years or so. Of course, some people will benefit more than others—just as they did under the Republican presidencies. But, like Bernie, I’d like to see the greatest good for the greatest number, and I’d most like to see policies that will benefit the hard working …

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