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Review Category : Financial Bites

Can you Fund your HSA from your IRA???

If you have an HSA (Health Savings Account), you know the great value is that you can use funds from the account Tax-Free to pay for medical expenses.  Unfortunately like most government created financial instruments, there is a limit on how munch you can contribute to the account each year.  But even with a contribution limit, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reports that in 2017 only 13% of all HSA accounts were fully funded and 36% of HSA accounts were not funded at all. Typically, the reason accounts are not fully funded is the owner is either not educated on how the accounts work; or they do not have the cash flow/income to make the contribution. So, there is a strategy that most people do not know about, where you can take dollars from your IRA and move them to your HSA.  And most importantly you pay no tax or penalty to do this.  It is called a QHFD (Qualified ...

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The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got

“This is a reprint of an article from the Wall Street Journal, where Ted was featured as a national expert on the best advice he ever got.“ We asked financial experts to tell us the piece of guidance that has made the biggest difference in their lives. There’s no shortage of financial advice out there. But what advice has resonated most with the people in the business of doling out financial advice or teaching finance? What advice did they receive that has changed their lives for the better? Invest 2% of your income in you When we think about investments, we often direct our attention to categories such as stocks, bonds and real estate. What we often don’t think about is our most valuable asset: our ability to earn an income and to make that income grow faster. Almost 20 years ago, I met a successful business owner who gave me a simple lesson: Invest 2% of everything you earn ...

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23 Orders NOT On The Menu At Fast Food Restaurants

We all like the idea of belonging to a special club.   From time to time, I’ve found myself in line at Starbucks’s and swear that the person in front of me was speaking in a foreign language while they place their order. If you want to be in the world of food ‘prohibilition’ here is a list of 23 orders not on the menu at some of your favorite fast food restaurants across the country.   Since it is holiday season, perhaps on one of your days off you might just stroll in and shock the people on line with you by placing one of these fast food orders. (all the credit for these 23 go to my friends at www.hlntv.com) Breakfasts of champions: 10:35 Sandwich (McDonald’s): So named because you can pretty much only get it during the magical few minutes between breakfast and lunch. It’s basically the innards of a McDouble (meat, cheese, condiments if you want ’em), plus the egg, ...

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A Donation Line On Your Dining Out Bill?

As I finished up a business breakfast the other day at J. Christopher’s in Atlanta, I handed over my credit card and waited for the bill to come over to the table. As I filled out the credit card receipt, I began to write down the tip I quickly calculated in my head and add up the numbers for the final bill. Then, something struck me. It looked like there was an extra line and I wasn’t sure that I had filled out the credit card receipt correctly. It dawned on me as I re-read the line items that there was a new line on this receipt titled “donation”. Donation? Since when did donation become a line item on a breakfast, lunch, or dinner bill? I wrote an article several years ago http://bit.ly/1PaR5rB called Santa Clause at Five Below about the growing trend in department stores and supermarkets who ask you if you want to make a donation every single ...

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The $11 Lunch You Didn’t Enjoy

You get rushed right around lunchtime and once again realize that you didn’t prepare something to eat today.   Your stomach is grumbling, so you rush to the basement floor of your building complex to just pick up a little something for lunch.   You notice the salad bar and begin to pile up a few things on your plate to eat for lunch.  You grab a bag of chips and then a drink to wash it all down.   The deli cashier rings it all up and tells you it will cost $10.89 for your meal.   As you shake your head in a state of shock, you only kick yourself further down the road for not preparing something that will cost you less and you’ll enjoy more.   How many $11 lunches have you had over the last year that happened just like this?   Here are five fast food places you could go to for $5 or less (and eat reasonably healthy as ...

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Five Financial Moves To Make When You Change Jobs

Whether you leave your employer or your employer leaves you, changing jobs can be one of those money triggering events when you begin to take stock of where you are financially.    Job changes often bring along new responsibilities and challenges, and experience tells us that analyzing and maximizing your new benefits package normally goes to the bottom of the barrel.    This makes a ton of sense as typically the first three to six months in a new position you are immersed with the learning curve of a new role at a new company.    Having a financial advisor by your side can be a valuable resource to make these important decisions.   Here are five financial moves to make when you change jobs. Get all of your 401(k)’s in one backyard– When you hop from job to job, you may have left your 401(k) at your former employer.    I often refer to these as orphan 401(k)’s because most participants don’t pay attention ...

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You Thief: How To Stop The Office Refrigerator Bandit

Has anyone ever stolen your day old turkey sandwich from the refrigerator or the bag of almonds that you had hiding out in the cabinets at work?  You know what I mean, the work of the sneaky office food thief who sends your blood pressure skyrocketing up to epic levels.  I have witnessed this happen at many different workplaces and I know I am not alone when I pray that the food gods send these people into a lifetime of stomach problems. I always wondered what kind of individual would steal someone else’s lunch. I must admit that I too have been tempted from time to time when there is a half of a coconut crème pie left over in the fridge, but I would NEVER take the food of a co-worker without either a) leaving money and a note or b) asking permission first. But who is the office refrigerator bandit?   Is it . . . . . A ...

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10 Money Saving Deals On Veterans Day

There are so many ways we should thank our Veterans on this special day.   In this great country of ours, many restaurants and shops across American are giving back to our military and offering them some really amazing deals.  Here are ten of my favorites for Veterans to check out and please go to a great military blog http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/ to check out the full list. (source: TheMilitaryWallet)  Make sure to have the appropriate I.D. with you before you go and always check local stores to make sure they are participating in the program. Applebee’s, free meal, Nov. 11, 2014: Last year, Applebee’s served over one million free meals to military veterans and active service members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. There will be 7 entrées to choose from, beverage and gratuity not included. Military ID or proof of service required. More. California Pizza Kitchen, Nov. 11, 2014. Choose ...

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How You Can Beat The All You Can Eat Restaurant

While buffets have been around for centuries, the “all-you-can-eat” buffet has been rumored to originate in the 1950’s in Las Vegas where some of the best buffets in the world are located.    The All You Can Eat platform has been implemented on colleges, cruise ships, and even at a section in the Dodger Stadium.   Our eyes can become bigger than our stomachs when we glance at all of the delicious items on the buffet.  Crab claws, pizza, egg rolls, pasta, shrimp, and every dessert imaginable.   Here are my three smart money moves on how you can ‘beat’ the all you can eat restaurant. Learn How To Prepare For The Meal–  First, do not drink sugary soda or alcoholic drinks when dining at a buffet.  You should stick to water if at all possible.  These sugar drinks tend to require more water to digest them.  This will not be good if your strategy is to eat more.   Consider starting your meal ...

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I Said I Would Never Go Back To That Restaurant

There are more than 125 large scale national fast food chain restaurants (source: Wikipedia). These range from McDonalds to Buffalo Wild Wings to Bonefish Grill. You should take a look at the list when you have some free time. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fast_food_restaurant_chains). Whether it is a local restaurant in your neighborhood or a national fast food chain, we have all had that experience of going to a restaurant only to complete the meal thinking to ourselves, “This is the last time that I ever eat here!” Our memories seem to work in mysterious ways. As clear as we can recall some things in life, it appears that the time machine tricks us into thinking that the bad experiences or bad food in restaurants we hated may not have been as awful as we once remembered. Why is that? Surely, when we leave feeling deathly sick for the next three days you’d think the experience would stick with us? Or the ‘miscellaneous stuff’ ...

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