Four Things You May Not Know About 529 Plans

As much discussion as there is about trying to control the cost of college education, just talk to any parent who is paying to deal with college that no gravity is defying this rising cost.  Amidst all of the projections you read on the college websites, when you add in the cost of your family travel, stops at the bookstore, and home care packages, the overall cost to send your child away for a four-year degree could cost you a long delay in your retirement. In the mid 1990’s Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code was created.  In 1997 (just twenty years ago) Section 529 was amended by the Taxpayer Relief Act, which provided a handful of higher education tax incentives including the deductibility of student loan interest.  We know how much children are struggling with student loans, and in 2001 the earnings on 529 plans became completely tax free if they were used for college.  As people learn ...

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The Best Five Places To Invest In 2018

We are a few weeks into 2018, and you might be wondering where are the best five places to invest for the rest of 2018.   With the stock markets hitting all time highs, cloudiness over the rise in interest rates, and the bitcoin practically on the news every day, this can make sorting out the best place to invest difficult for the average investor.  As we sort through all of the mazes of information and news, here are five places you should consider investing for the rest of 2018. Artificial Intelligence – AI’s growing market potential, which is estimated to be worth $46 billion dollars in just three years from has several paths to consider when investing. AI can seem confusing to people, but consider something just as Amazon’s just walk out technology http://bit.ly/2rnY8YJ or the new bill shopping chatbot Ask Trim which can automatically shop bills such as your cable bill or mobile phone bill.  AI can be used ...

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The Best 2018 Tax Moves To Make Now

As the new tax law goes into effect, many people are starting to wonder how this will affect their overall paychecks.  You should see some bump in your paychecks when the new tax tables go into effect somewhere in Mid-February or early March, but there are a host of financial decisions that you need to start considering now in order to maximize your own tax situation. Adjust your withholdings – It’s ironic that most people give themselves a high five when they get a refund come tax time. Not only do you allow the Government the use of your money for a year, you also get taxed on your own state refund federally the following year.  Since we have new tax brackets and tax tables, you should really look at your withholdings here in the spring to maximize your cash flow here in 2018. Remember, if you are getting your taxes done, Turbo Tax and Tax Slayer are two low ...

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Can Amazon Get Bigger?

Well, Yes. It seems all we heard about in 2017 was Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.  Weather it was the news of their purchase of Whole Foods, the super successful PrimeDay event, or the addition live Thursday Night NFL games on their video service; it seems that CEO Jeff Bezos (the richest man on the planet) knows exactly how to make Amazon grow. When you look at one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, Wal-Mart; you will see that Amazon’s Market Capitalization is almost double that of Walmart ($558Billion to $286B)1.  But the interesting number is annual sales revenue. Walmart is crushing it at number one in the world at $486 Billion annually.  While Amazon is only at $89B per year.  This might be an indication that there is still plenty of revenue to gain from the competition.  So how is Mr. Bezos going to grow Amazon in 2018. Business to Business. Amazon’s business platform lets small businesses order supplies from other businesses. Their ...

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5 2018 Sticky Financial New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 2018, and that means that most of you have made at least one New Year’s resolution.  For most of you it will surround either diet or exercise, but for some of you getting your financial plan in order may rise to the top of the list. With the average American now surpassing more than $16,000 of household credit card debt, it may appear that feeling flush has left us spending out of control.  In your smart money moves fashion, here are my ideas for a sticky 2018 financial New Year’s resolution that can help you grow your bottom line. Get Your Financial House In Order Set Up An Online Account Aggregation System – At oXYGen Financial, we have been using a personal financial dashboard for almost 10 years in helping our clients get their financial house in order. You can learn more about this by going to oXYGen Financial, but there are also other systems online including Mint and ...

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Five Tips To Improve Your Credit Score

It’s never too late to improve how you use credit.  Whether your credit score is high or could use some work, here are some tips to maintain your best credit score. BE ALERT. Checking your credit history for errors or unfamiliar/suspicious activity should be done on a regular basis. Identity theft is a problem, and if left undetected, can harm your credit. Georgia state law enables consumers the right to a free credit report once each year. You can pull your report at www.annualcreditreport.com. BE ON TIME. One of the biggest factors in pulling down your credit score is paying bills late. Pay on time every month and you will see your score rise. APPLY FOR CREDIT ONLY WHEN NEEDED. Only apply for new credit cards if you really need them. Multiple loan applications within a short time period will often harm your credit score. CREDIT UTILIZATION RATE. Your credit utilization rate is your total amount of debt divided by ...

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What Itemized Deductions Will Look Like In 2018

To itemize or not to itemize, that is the question?  With all of the tax law changes recently passed by President Trump in the GOP tax bill, one of the considerations you’ll need to get your arms wrapped around quickly is whether you will want to itemize your deductions when you file your taxes in 2019 or you will simply use the standard deduction. For 2018, the standard deduction amounts will increase from $6,500 for individuals, $9,550 for heads of households (HOH), and $13,000 for married couples filing jointly, to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for HOH, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. Since the personal exemption is being completely eliminated, you’ll need to do the math about whether this was a good deal for you or not.  For those married couples filing jointly, if you have three or more children, I actually think you went backwards on the new tax plan if you were filing the standard deduction. For ...

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Never Worry About a Traffic Ticket Again

We all (well, most of us) have been in this dreaded position before. You’re in the car, listening to music or your new favorite podcast, and you hear sirens. You start pleading: “No, no, no, please not me. Not today.” It is when the police car does not pass you by & the blue lights stick around that you realize a ticket is most likely in your future. Minor traffic violations that result in a ticket are more of a nuisance than anything. Traffic tickets can not only result in an increase in insurance premium, but the most annoying part is often initially when 1) you have to pay an extra expense this month that you weren’t budgeting for and 2) you really just don’t have the time. This is where the new startup TIKD comes in. They know your struggle, and using their own phrase, they want to be your “Traffic Ticket Champion.” You simply enter the amount of ...

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