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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
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How will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affect you? Inflation Adjustments, IRAs, 529 Plans, ABLE Accounts, Student Loans, & Estate Tax

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affected so many different parts of the tax code that it's taken us three posts to cover them (see Part 1 – a line by line comparison for 1040 and Schedule A , and Part 2 – Tax Rates ). But that's OK because these rules don't affect the taxes you're filing now for 2017. They went into e...

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Pay Down Debt or Invest My Money?

Should I pay extra on my student loan or invest in a Roth IRA? Build up an emergency savings fund or pay off my credit card debt? Pay off my mortgage or put more money in my 401(k) retirement plan? In one form or another, the trending question lately has been, "Is it better to pay down debt or build up savings and investments?" Like many real-life questions, the answer is not black and...

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Tax Rates: How Will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 Affect You, Part 2

How much income tax you owe is depends on two things: 1) how much taxable income you have and 2) the tax rate applied to that income. Taxes = Taxable Income x Tax Rate Last month , I showed you how the new tax law will impact the calculation of your taxable income, as a result of numerous changes to deductions, ex...

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Utilizing the Library to Keep Costs Down

Utilizing the Library to Keep Costs Down

For many people it may be obvious that by using your local library, you would save money, but many people don't even utilize their library! According to a 2016 Study on Libraries by the Pew Research Center , "just under half of all those age 16 and older (48 percent) say they have visited a public library…in person...

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Singing the Credit Card Blues

Now is when the holiday bills arrive and our budgets feel stretched! It's easy to feel overwhelmed by debt payments and end up avoiding them. But when you don't take control of your debt payments, the interest charges pile up – and grow and grow! Let's consider strategies to help take control of credit card bills. First, get organized. Make a list of each credit card or...

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how insurance saved the day!

Lost my Wedding Ring! How insurance saved the day!

Last August, I lost something very important to me – my wedding ring! I took it off to wash the dishes and when I went to find it the next morning, it was gone. I searched my trash can, recycle bins as well as all through the house. At first, I was really upset until I remember that we had insured it! Insuring personal property isn't hard, but you have to remember to do it. Sometimes it...

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1040 2017 NOT VALID FOR 2018

How will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affect you? Check this head-to-head, line-by-line comparison of your 2017 and 2018 tax returns

As you're filling out your 2017 tax return, take the opportunity to think about how the new tax law will impact you for 2018 and beyond. To help, I've put together a list of the changes, organized by line number on the 1040 and Schedule A (Itemized Deductions). If you file the 1040A or 1040 EZ, your lines numbers will be different. There's been a lot in the news about the changes, but i...

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