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These tips will help you max out your retirement contributions this year

As the calendar crosses the mid-year mark, are you on track to reach your retirement savings goals? The IRS has raised the limits for what you can put away in pre-tax retirement savings account this year. That means you can sock away as much as $19,000 in your 401(k), 403(b), Thrift Savings Plan and most 457 plans, up from $18,500 in 2018. You can also save as much as $6,000 in an IRA, up from $5,500 in 2018. If you’re age 50 and over, you can put in an additional $6,000 in your 401(k) and other employee plans and another $1,000 in your IRA. Even if your personal savings will be nowhere near those limits, now is a great time to check on whether your savings rates will get you to your goals for this year and beyond. Read full article here: ...

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Five Last Minute Tax Tips

Tax season is upon us and you might be asking what can you still do that can potentially reduce your overall tax liability.  Here are 5 big deductions that people often don’t ask about or overlook come tax time. Charitable Mileage- Most taxpayers are very good at keeping receipts of their cash donations that they make to the organizations they donate to during the course of the year. One of the deductions few taxpayers pay attention to is the charitable mileage deduction.  For 2018, you can deduct .14 cents per mile driven for rendering gratuitous services for charitable organizations.  Don’t forget fees and tolls as well (irs.gov). Consider the amount of time that you give gratuitously during the course of the year for your religious organizations, charitable causes you support, or possibly coaching a one of your kid’s teams. Non-Cash Charitable Contributions Most taxpayers literally get a blank receipt from the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or some other charitable organization and ...

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Five Tips For Ordering Wine When You Dine Out

We’ve all had that dinner where you go out with someone who is truly a wine snob.  Or so they think so.   There are few movie scenes better than watching Paul Giamatti in the movie Sideways as he sits alone in a fast food restaurant drinking his prized 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc from a disposable coffee cup while he aggressively cuts away at his steak.   Going out to a fancy restaurant can be very intimidating when they wine list is present to you on your lap.   However, you shouldn’t get overly nervous because here are five smart money moves for ordering wine when you dine out. Avoid Ordering By The Glass– Restaurant owners generally try to make back the cost of a bottle of wine from the price of just one glass.  What sucks for you as well is that it’s likely the wine was opened already possibly even from the day before.   The bottom line is that you’ll get ...

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How To Maximize Your Holiday Gift Cards

Ho! Ho! Ho!  It appears that you’ll need Santa’s sleigh to get around town to return the clothes you didn’t like and the mountain of gift cards you received to all of the stores around town.  Place your bets! Place your bets! My bet is that one of every three gifts you garnered this holiday season was a gift card.   Now, you have to make a game plan over the next few days into the first January weekend to figure out how you’ll actually spend these gift cards.   The big question you should be pondering is whether or not there are any smart money moves you can make to maximize those holiday swipeables.   Here are five tips from your smart money moves to improve the holiday take: Read The Back Of The Card– Some of the gift cards you got this holiday season have an expiration date and some do not.   Cards that carry an expiration date can start to ...

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