Archive - January 2014

1
Is Housing Really More Affordable?
2
Social Security and the Non-Citizen Spouse
3
Interesting Financial Blogs – Really!
4
Health Savings Accounts for 2014

Is Housing Really More Affordable?

Housing affordability indexes have been published recently showing that even with higher interest rates homes are 10% more affordable than in 1994 when interest rates increased a lot. However any comparison of affordability before 2009 is dubious and unreliable because of the use of Easy Qualifier loans from 1984-2009. These loans allowed borrowers to use stated income so that if a borrower had enough current income to qualify but didn’t have that income consistently for the past two years then he couldn’t qualify for the loan under current “fully documented income” rules, but he could qualify under the old method. …

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Social Security and the Non-Citizen Spouse

With our increasingly global society today, many married couples are made up of a US citizen and a non-citizen.  In some cases, the non-citizen spouse has never been covered by the US Social Security system – he or she may have been covered by another system in his or her home country.  In other cases, the non-citizen spouse may have worked in a Social Security-covered job while living in the US, and so may have generated a Social Security earnings record of his or her own.

At any rate, it is important to know that your lawful spouse who is …

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Interesting Financial Blogs – Really!

When I get an extra hour in a day, I like to go on-line and read my favorite financial blogs. Not only do they keep me up-to-date on business news, but I always learn something that I can use in my life or share with clients. I have a feeling that this pastime is not shared with many (other than my financial advisor friends) but I do know that we all want to be smarter about our money. Be honest – how many of you made a New Year’s resolution that had something to do with your finances?

The following …

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Health Savings Accounts for 2014

When you have a Health Savings Account, you’re allowed to make contributions to the account that are deductible from your income.  There are limits to the amount that is deductible each year, and these limits are set by the IRS.

In order to have a HSA, you must also have a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), which is a health insurance policy that, as the name implies, has a high deductible.  Qualified plans have a minimum deductible of $2,500 for families (for 2014) or $1,250 for singles.  In addition, HDHPs have a maximum annual limit on the sum of the deductible …

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