Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

1
Divorced with Children? Social Security Benefits for You
2
529 vs. Life Insurance
3
Where To Establish Your IRA Account
4
The Retirement Answer
5
Traveling for Charity? You may have deductions

Divorced with Children? Social Security Benefits for You

There are special rules that apply for Social Security benefits when you are divorced with children. While the ex-spouse is living, there is a discriminatory effect on benefits, but after the ex-spouse dies, a surviving ex-spouse with children under age 16 has one advantage over a surviving ex-spouse with no children. (The age of the child is not a factor if the child is permanently disabled and the disability began before age 22.)

During the life of your ex-spouse

Beth and Steve are divorced with children, three kids under age 16. Steve, age 62, started receiving Social Security benefits this …

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529 vs. Life Insurance

Over the past few weeks I have been asked (and pitched) the idea of whether cash-value life insurance makes sense as a vehicle for saving and paying for college. By cash-value life insurance, I am including whole life, variable life, universal life and variable universal life policies.

First, in almost all cases, it does not. The very few cases where it may make sense will be covered shortly.

Here are some reasons why a 529 college savings plan is better than cash-value life insurance.

  1. 529 plans have very high contribution amounts. Depending on your state, the total amount you can
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Where To Establish Your IRA Account

Establishing and contributing to an IRA (Traditional or Roth) is pretty simple and straightforward. There are many institutions where you can establish your IRA accounts:  banks, savings and loans, credit unions, insurance companies, mutual fund companies, and brokerages.  There are pros and cons to each type of institution, as we’ll list below.  These alternatives represent the major options for opening your IRA, in no particular order.

where to establish your IRA

Institution

Pros

Cons

Banks, Savings and Loans & Credit Unions

Banks are well-known as some of the most stable and conservative institutions in our financial industry.  For many folks, this is an assurance that
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The Retirement Answer

Although I will admit that the title of this post is a bit glamorous, I wanted to share the simplicity of the message.

Typically, every morning we will sit down to eat breakfast. Meals at our house are generally jovial, with discussions ranging from which animal would win in a fight to how my kids will spend their day.

A few mornings ago, however, my oldest asked me a rather interesting question. Knowing what I do for a living she asked, “Daddy, what do you have to do to retire?” My immediate response was, “That’s a great question!” At age …

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Traveling for Charity? You may have deductions

Most of us realize that donating money and goods to a charity can be beneficial on our tax returns. But did you know that traveling for charity can also be deducted? It’s true – with some limitations, of course.

When you do work for a charity, whether building houses, manning a recruitment booth, or picking up items donated, travel may be required. If you use your own personal vehicle (or your company vehicle if you own the company) your travel involved with this work can often be deducted as well.

For example, you might volunteer at your church to help …

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