Archive - October 2019

1
Why your taxes went up
2
Estate Planning for Blended Families
3
Should You Leave a Balance on a Credit Card?
4
Can A Grandchild Get Social Security Benefits?
5
Get Set Up for Less Stress at Tax Time Next Year

Why your taxes went up

Many of us are still pondering why we didn’t benefit from the alleged tax cut and worrying about what will happen this year, again. After all, tax brackets went down 3-4% for the first 4 tax brackets. But (and this continues this year) your taxable income most likely went up. Don’t expect that to improve for 2019. At a recent conference I attended, this was much discussed. Why?

You live in a blue state. Clever how that worked, huh? Because in many blue states and urban areas, your property taxes on a middle-class home probably exceeded the $10K cap. Add …

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Estate Planning for Blended Families

If you do not leave a specific, legally executed estate plan with the appropriate documents, then you are leaving it up to your state to decide how your resources are distributed. This could make things quite difficult for your heirs (at least for the people whom the law determines are your heirs if you didn’t name any.) 

And when you are becoming a stepparent or blending your family with another person’s family, it is especially important to consider estate planning. While it isn’t romantic, it can make things smoother down the road. As you can imagine there are a number …

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Should You Leave a Balance on a Credit Card?

Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary took on the “counterintuitive” advice a reader wrote in about: The reader, who was trying to refinance a mortgage, was told to leave a small balance on her credit card (rather than paying the card off). That didn’t seem quite right and the reader wanted another opinion.

While there may have been a time when many Americans didn’t even know they were being judged using a credit score, that has changed. However, even though more people are aware of the credit scoring system, it still remains a mystery to some.

The overall advice …

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Can A Grandchild Get Social Security Benefits?

In today’s complicated world, there are many cases where a grandparent is the primary person responsible for a minor grandchild. The reasons are far and wide; regardless, many times the primary support for a minor child comes from an grandparent. If the grandparent in question is receiving Social Security benefits, can a grandchild also get Social Security?

After all, we know that the minor child of a parent who is receiving Social Security benefits may be eligible for child’s benefits, so why would it be any different with a grandparent?

The primary difference is in the relationship. The Social Security …

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Get Set Up for Less Stress at Tax Time Next Year

While you perhaps breathed a sigh of relief that it was over, experts began tax planning for 2020 right after the 2019 tax season ended (if they hadn’t started before). It’s okay if you didn’t start thinking about next year’s taxes that early, however, are still things you can do during the last quarter of the year to set yourself up for a less stressful tax season next year and the “5 Ways to Boost Next Year’s Tax Refund Now” offers tips.

Look at your tax deductions: If you find yourself in a tizzy each year trying to get …

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