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1
Why Do I Need Emergency Savings?
2
Credit Card Accountability Act Leaves Room For Bank Shenanigans
3
The Fight Over Who Will Guard Your Nest Egg
4
Health Savings Accounts
5
How does the “Tax Gap” affect you?

Why Do I Need Emergency Savings?

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, one third of all Americans do not have any emergency savings- ZERO SAVINGS. Of those households that do have an emergency fund in place, only 43% have adequate savings available for emergencies. If you genuinely want to reach a state of financial liberation then you need to be different from the average person. As indicated above, the majority of people in this country have no emergency savings. Financial freedom requires being a renegade who approaches money matters in a unique way. Planning for unforeseen events and the unpredictable in life is not …

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Credit Card Accountability Act Leaves Room For Bank Shenanigans

Credit Card AccountabilityThe Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009 Act, signed last month, was supposed to drastically improve protections for consumers. While the new law eliminates some problems, banks are good at finding loopholes.

In the last couple of months, the banks that issue my credit cards have been sending me notices informing me of changes in their account terms.  I threw the first one away unread.  But I started saving the notices when I realized that Citibank, Bank of America, and my other issuers all seemed to be changing their terms at almost the same time.  Apparently, a lot …

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The Fight Over Who Will Guard Your Nest Egg

050 - Nest Egg

photo by: Dasroofless

Jason Zweig is a highly respected personal finance writer and editor of The Intelligent Investor column in the Wall Street Journal.  He raises the issue of a “fiduciary standard” versus a “suitability standard” in his most recent column.

One of the key differences between a NAPFA Fee-Only advisor and a broker is that NAPFA advisors serve their clients in a fiduciary capacity.  A fiduciary standard means that your advisor is putting your interests first.  Jason describes why this is important:

“A key factor still is missing from Finra’s suitability requirements: cost. Let’s say you tell your …

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Health Savings Accounts

Six years after health savings accounts were introduced, only 59% of the population has heard of them, only half of these people actually understand them, and only 14% of the overall population own them, Guardian Life Insurance found in its Spotlight on Consumer-Driven Health Plans Survey.

Fifty-two percent did not know that contributions to HSAs are tax deductible, and 55% did not know that withdrawals used for qualified medical expenses are also not subject to taxes. In addition, 60% did not know that they can take the HSA with them when they switch jobs. For their part, employers also mistakenly …

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How does the “Tax Gap” affect you?

The IRS and the Economic Policy Institute recently estimated the amount of taxes owed but not paid at $353 billion, equal to about 15% of the total taxes owed. These taxes not paid through our “voluntary and timely” system of taxation are often known as the “tax gap”.

Unpaid taxes mean that the average law abiding citizen is paying more than his or her fair share. If you are one of the millions that are not current with your taxes the tax gap has a different effect on you. The IRS is seeking to increase its collection efforts. Lawmakers will …

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