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The Rules For Retirement Are Changing And You Better Be Listening

I am sure you have heard that phrase from many financial professionals over the years.  This time I want you to really hear it THE RULES FOR RETIREMENT ARE CHANGING!!  Hopefully I have your attention now because what I am about to tell you will scare the hell out of you.  Whether you are in your 40s or 50s you have been hearing that you need to save for retirement in traditional vehicles such as 401ks, IRAs, and sometimes someone mentions Roth IRA.  The reason you are told this is because of the tax deferral and the amount of money you can grow your nest egg for retirement. If you are a business owner or an employee of a company what I am about to say is a very bold statement and I will take heat for it.  Your investment guy, your Certified Financial Planner™, your insurance representative, your CPA, your estate planning attorney and anyone in between I believe ...

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Ten Common Mistakes Tax Filers Make

Don’t you hate that thought of getting your taxes done only to realize later that you make a common mistake that could cost you time or money? The tax code seems to be getting more and more complicated every year (500 changes alone in 2008), and we all seem to be strapped for time these days. Here are 10 mistakes we see taxpayers make all the time which could put a few dollars in your pocket this tax season. 1) If you are single and are caring for an elderly parent, you should investigate seeing if you qualify for ‘head of household’ for your filing status. As a general rule of thumb, you should be paying for 50% or more of the elderly parent’s expenses. 2) You should make sure you have kept track of your charitable mileage that you drove during the year. Eligible miles will have a .14 cents on the mile write off on your tax return ...

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What will you do with 2% more in your paycheck?

If Santa Clause didn’t come down your chimney with anything good this year, Congress has decided to give you a stocking stuffer for the New Year.   With nearly 160 million workers that will benefit from the extension of the reduced payroll tax that passed just before Christmas, it’s time to figure out whether you’ll be naughty or nice with your gift.   The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act temporarily extends the two percentage point payroll tax cut for employees, continuing the reduction of your Social Security withholding rate from 6.2% to 4.2% of wages paid through February 29th, 2012.  (source: www.irs.gov) Of course, this is supposed to have no effect on your future Social Security benefits.  Yeah, right! If you weren’t aware, this payroll tax cut was in effect for all of 2011.   This means that for those who earned W-2 income last year up to your first $106,800 of waged income, you actually got a 2% pay raise in ...

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Life Insurance For My Children?

Someone asked me the other day, “Ted, is it morbid to ask you whether I should buy life insurance on my children?”   It was an interesting question, and one we often get from parents.   The American Council of Life Insurers says that only about 15% of the people under the age of 18 have life insurance.  An average policy for people under 18 is around $5,000 with the primary purpose to cover funeral expenses and burial costs.  There are varying schools of thought on this subject in the financial community, and here are some considerations to think about around this subject. Remember that you as the parent are the real wage earner and the person that needs to be insured the most.   It is not recommended to buy life insurance on your children until you are adequately insured.   Since children for the large part don’t earn wages, any additional cost will be an extraneous expense to your budget. On the ...

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