Archive - March 2017

1
Taxability of Social Security
2
Five Little-Known Services Your Financial Planner Should Be Offering
3
Consider Famous Women Financial Advisors as Role Models
4
Adjusting Withholding Saved 44% of the Tax Bill
5
Are Democrats Or Republicans Better For The Stock Market?

Taxability of Social Security

In a comment on the article last week (Adjusting Withholding Saved 44% of the Tax Bill), a question came up about the taxability of Social Security benefits. It can be complicated, hopefully this explanation will help you understand taxability of Social Security a bit better.

Social Security is taxable at three different levels, based upon how much other income you have and your income tax filing status.

First, you need to calculate your Provisional Income – which is 50% of your household Social Security benefits plus all of your other taxable income, plus any tax-free income.

Next, there …

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Five Little-Known Services Your Financial Planner Should Be Offering

The financial planning landscape can be pretty confusing.  Not only is it difficult to figure out who has your best interests in mind (as the debate over the fiduciary standard is pretty confusing), but it’s also difficult to figure out who is in the business of EARNING their fee, vice collecting it.  This article should serve as a quick snapshot (and starting point for discussions) on what a consumer should consider to be the minimum standard for hiring a financial planner.  Meeting these criteria doesn’t necessarily mean success, but failing to do so should prompt you to keep looking for …

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Consider Famous Women Financial Advisors as Role Models

March is Women’s History Month and in the past we’ve discussed famous historical women in finance like Hetty Green and Abigail Adams who may serve as role models. It is also important to highlight contemporary women who have made their mark in the financial world.

Last year Investopedia published a list of famous female financial advisors and noted, “Although most famous women financial advisors aren’t well known in celebrity circles, their accomplishments are noteworthy.”

You may already know of Suze Orman and Mellody Hobson, the first two women on the Investopedia list, but the other four may be less familiar.…

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Adjusting Withholding Saved 44% of the Tax Bill

adjusting withholdingAdjusting withholding can sometimes produce a surprise.

While preparing a client’s tax return the other day, the result was that he had nearly a $5,000 refund coming. Often when we have a large refund coming we think “Nice! It’s like an unexpected gift!” But as you’ll see below, this is not a gift – it’s actually costing quite a lot in taxes in this particular case.

Naturally, as in most cases like this, I reviewed his income sources and withholding to see if there was anything obvious that we could change for him that would make his withholding more efficient.…

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Are Democrats Or Republicans Better For The Stock Market?

For decades now, politicians have been arguing about which party is better for stock returns.

Leading up to the 2016 Presidential election, the argument was made that the stock market does better with a Democrat President than a Republican President. After the 2016 election and the subsequent stock market appreciation, the argument has been made that Donald Trump as President will be great for U.S. stocks.

Republicans are perceived to be the party of big business. If Democrats can show that electing a Democrat to the White House correlates to better stock returns, they believe that they can negate some …

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