Who Will Take Care Of Mom and Dad?

Haven’t you been sitting around with your brother(s) and sister(s) and had the infamous discussion on who ranks where on Mom and Dad’s favorite list.   While siblings usually joke around who is at the top of the ladder, usually someone cracks the comment, “I’m sure they cut me out of the will years ago.”   For Generation X’ers, you are probably beginning to see the early stages of your parents slowing down or perhaps one of them had a mild health scare over the last five years that got you thinking who is going to take of Mom and Dad?    Before each one of your brothers and sisters rush to put their finger on their nose and scream “NOT IT!”, it may be time to have a serious discussion about who will bear the responsibility should your Mom and Dad need someone by their side for financial or medical decisions. I believe that over the next 5 to 10 years, the ...

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5 Potential IRA Mistakes

Look out IRA investors because the IRS looks like it will be turning its attention to taxpayers who make mistakes with their IRA accounts. (source: www.wsj.com)    This includes matching distributions to your tax returns, stepped up audits, and tighter reporting overall when it comes to scrutinizing IRA accounts.    As I have shared for the last couple of years on Your Smart Money Moves, the Government is in dire need to increase revenue to balance the budget and pay off our voluminous debt.    One way to do this is to crack down on the mistakes that we make as taxpayers.   Nobody likes coming home and getting a letter in the mail from the IRS.  So here are five mistakes you might be making for the IRS to take a closer look at your tax return. Contributions To Roth IRA Accounts –   While some of you did Roth IRA conversions back in 2010 (and some are still converting), a Roth ‘conversion’ and ...

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Does Your Charity Event Need Bid Pal?

It never ceases to amaze me about how technology is transforming the way we go about doing things in our daily lives.    From the smart phones to applications we literally learn about some new advancement in technology that is going to change our life. Many of us do everything we can to help out charities during the course of the year.   This may be donating money or clothes to a local religious organization.   Perhaps you give some money back to your alma mater or some other charity within your city that you feel to be worthy of a generous donation.    Generally, during the course of the year I will attend four to six charity events filled with silent and live auction items to bid on during the evening.   Before the normal 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. final call on the silent auction items, people will scurry around the piece of paper in front of the item they want to win ...

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Do I Need A Store Credit Card?

If you have played a game of credit card poker with yourself it could surely be a sign that you have too many credit cards from too many places.    I am a big advocate of having fewer credit cards and establishing a longer credit history with those creditors by upping your credit lines over the years and showing your ability to pay them off regularly.   However, I often get asked about store credit cards from places like a Best Buy or a Target and whether it is a good idea to have one of these cards.  Do you need a store credit card? Most the store credit cards that get issued generally happen at the cash register.    The smiling face at the checkout counter tabs your bill up and then tells you that if you opened up a store card today that they will take 10%, 20%, or more off of your first purchase.     You quickly do the math in ...

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How to Invest in Facebook With Less Risk (If You Still Want To)

By Ross Kenneth Urken (As Published On – www.dailyfinance.com) Even for expert stock pickers, it’s difficult to make a fully educated investment in the social media sphere. As Friday’s Facebook IPO — and its gory aftermath — proves, any theory one might have is ultimately little better than speculation. After all, the first few trading days following any IPO generally bring a lot of short-term plays with share values jumping up and down — and Facebook was no exception. It’s also difficult to predict — as Groupon likewise demonstrated this year — when a social media stock will tank. However, if you’re still looking to get in on the Facebook action, but want to mitigate your risks, the social media ETF from Global X Funds might be the right choice. A New Breed of ETF Much like a traditional mutual fund, an exchange-traded fund is an investment fund that offers a stake in a pool of investments — stocks, bonds, ...

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Your Butt Dialing Costs Us All Big Money

We’ve all done it before.    It’s that infamous term people call ‘pocket dialing’ or ‘butt dialing’.   It’s that time when you get a call from someone unexpected and after the third time you’ve said ‘hello’, you realize that the phone calling you from the other end is lodged somewhere deep in the pocket of somebody else who has no idea you are eaves dropping on their conversation.    It can be embarrassing at times.    Remember that morning after where you check the sent and received calls from the night before and aren’t quite sure why you called three or four of the names on the list.   Pocket dialing can be a costly ‘un’smart money move especially if you leave the wrong message for the wrong person at the wrong time.  Recently, I read a story about how this phenomenon is costing us all big money. Nearly 40% of the time a New York City dispatcher answers a 911 call, there’s no ...

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Are My Withholdings For Taxes Correct?

Since tax season has just passed, you are probably in one of two states of minds.   Either a) you love your CPA because you got a big refund, or b) you hate your CPA because you owed money.   It generally falls into one of those two camps when returns are filed.   Remember, if you get a tax refund that means you essentially gave an interest free loan to the Government.    Some people see this as an effective way to force savings during the year, but you really lose out on the opportunity cost of having these resources in your hands during the course of the year. As of April 27, the Internal Revenue Service had authorized more than 99.1 million refunds for the 2011 tax year—up about 1% a year earlier. It also represents more than three-fourths of all the individual income-tax returns processed by the IRS by that date. The total dollar amount of refunds this year was about ...

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