Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

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6 Strategies for Social Security Benefits That Are Still Available
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How to Take a Loan from Your 401k
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Your Year End Financial Checklist
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Social Security Ground Rules
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5 Ways to Avoid Overspending for the Holidays

6 Strategies for Social Security Benefits That Are Still Available

Earlier this fall the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was passed. This was important to folks looking to maximize Social Security benefits because two of the primary strategies for maximization were eliminated with the passage of this legislation. You may be wondering if there are any strategies left to help maximize benefits – and as it turns out, there are still a few things you can do. Four of these strategies apply to anyone, while the last two only apply to married couples. (Note: if you were born in 1953 or before, you have more options available to you as

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How to Take a Loan from Your 401k

loanYou have this 401k account that you’ve been contributing to over the years, and now you’ve found yourself in need of a bit of extra cash. Maybe you need to cover the cost of a new furnace, or possibly you have some extra medical bills that need attention, and you don’t have the extra cash to cover. Whatever the reason, a loan from your 401k might be just the ticket.

A 401k (or other employer-based plan like a 403b, 457, etc.) is unique from an IRA in that you are allowed to borrow against the account. An IRA can never …

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Your Year End Financial Checklist

As 2015 winds down it may be an ideal time to consider wrapping up (pun intended) some loose ends regarding your finances and getting ready to welcome 2016 financially prepared. Here’s a list of things to consider as 2015 comes to an end.

  1. Have you made your maximum IRA contribution for 2015?

If you have yet to contribute the maximum to your IRA there’s still time. Individuals under age 50 can contribute $5,500 while those 50 and over can contribute $6,500. Individuals have until they file their 2015 taxes or the 2015 tax deadline (whichever comes first) to make their …

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Social Security Ground Rules

Social Security Owners Manual 4th Edition(In celebration of the release, here is an excerpt with some extras, from A Social Security Owner’s Manual, 4th Edition.)

There are certain rules that will be helpful to fully accept as facts while you learn about your Social Security benefits. If this is your first reading of the list, skim through before moving on. Don’t expect to fully understand these rules on the start – but keep in mind you may need to refer back to this list of Ground Rules from time to time so you can keep things straight.

Basic Social Security Rules

  • The earliest age
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5 Ways to Avoid Overspending for the Holidays

Tis the season! With just over three weeks until Christmas day arrives there’s still plenty of time to get your Christmas shopping done and be able to do so without breaking your budget. To help individuals manage their Holiday spending, here are five tips to keep your Holidays budget from exceeding your limits.
  1. Set a budget. This can be done by setting a budget per family you are giving to, or per child in your home. In addition, you could also set a budget regarding how much you’ll give to charity as well.
  1. Stick to your budget. A budget is
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