Archive - February 24, 2012

1
How To Break Up With Your Bank and Get More From Your Money
2
Here’s Everything You Can Use Your 529 Account For
3
How to Make the Most of Your Charitable Donations
4
The Importance of Talking with Your Parents About Retirement
5
Here Are the Most Important Tax Changes To Prepare For

How To Break Up With Your Bank and Get More From Your Money

If you are looking to switch banks, here are is what you need to do starting now to make that switch:

Stop auto-pays at your current bank

The big banks focus on convenience; they were the first to figure out banking online makes it difficult to switch institutions. Auto-pays make it that much tougher to leave.

To prepare for the break-up, stop auto-pays; paying everyone manually through your online banking system is fine. Consider getting a regular paycheck instead of direct deposits. Or, find out what your payroll department will require for you to change the direct deposit of your …

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Here’s Everything You Can Use Your 529 Account For

$334,000; that is approximately how much it will cost to send your newborn to a 4-year private college starting in the year 2030. If you have two children, that future expense comes close to current home prices in Los Angeles. The cost of higher education is rising faster than inflation (including food and energy.) It’s no wonder then that many parents are starting to save early for their children’s college education costs. One of the most efficient investment vehicles to help parents accumulate the necessary funds is the recently introduced 529 plan. Officially known as “Qualified Tuition Programs”, 529 plans …

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How to Make the Most of Your Charitable Donations

As a financial advisor who prepares taxes, I see various degrees of substantiation when it comes to non-cash charitable donations (i.e. Goodwill). Everything from handwritten receipts (which don’t work) to detailed records show up in my office.  The difference between the two can affect your taxable bottom line. Remember, the better the substantiation, the easier it is to properly value your donation.

This past Sunday, while the weather was cold and dreary, we decided it was time to clean out our closets.  Molly and I went to work piling up Goodwill items.  We enlisted the help of our kids with …

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The Importance of Talking with Your Parents About Retirement

As we get older the parent-child relationship changes: it can become more of a friendship and in some cases, parents and children completely reverse roles. If your parents have already taken the time to speak to you about the steps they have taken towards retirement planning, consider yourself fortunate. If they haven’t, and you are in communication with them, you should consider talking to them about their financial future.

Parents may assume that their children don’t want to talk about finances and children may feel presumptuous asking about their parents’ money. One thing you might want to do is …

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Here Are the Most Important Tax Changes To Prepare For

The tax guessing game continues because some proposed 2013 tax changes may – or may not –go into effect .  Congress may keep us guessing until the end of this year but it’s clear overall taxes must and will increase.

Uncertainty is the enemy of planning, but here are the most items being “kicked around”:

1. Dividends will be taxed again at ordinary income tax rates after a long hiatus. Out goes the maximum 15% rates, in come ordinary income taxes. Wealthier Americans will pay more since the highest income tax rate is scheduled to rise from 35% to 39.6% …

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