Silver Lining to Tax Policy Debate

AS IF we need to hear any further “noise” about the debate in Washington, DC regarding tax policy.  There is a basic silver lining (or two) to the discussion worth pointing out.  First, a quick review of the big-picture elements in the limelight:

  • The number and rate of Individual tax payer brackets (15%, 25%, 35%, etc.)
  • The corporate tax rate (20%? 35%? pass-through? etc.)
  • Individual retirement savings vehicles and allowances (IRAs, 401k, “Roth-i-fication”, etc.)

Might I offer TWO “silver linings” to this prolonged, politically entrenched back-and-forth on tax policy:  

GOP Tax Plan

Continue reading “Silver Lining to Tax Policy Debate”

5 Year-end Questions

Under the topic of “Give me service”, it is nearing year-end and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to double-check certain items NOW.  A great financial adviser (especially an experienced CFP®) can be of service in opening your eyes to certain items making year-end easier and less stressful for you.  By the way, for those of you reading this who are not my clients and you have not been asked these by your adviser, then your adviser is not doing his or her job.  

calendar

Continue reading “5 Year-end Questions”

Scariest Financial Things

Halloween can be pretty scary — but not as scary as Open Enrollment for health coverage!  Enrolling for healthcare (Flexible Spending/FSA, Dental, Health Savings Accounts/HSAs, or Medicare, among others) can scare the living daylights out of even the smartest, strongest person.  We are presently in or near the “Open Enrollment for Healthcare” season.

Pumpkin

Continue reading “Scariest Financial Things”

A Very Cool Nobel Prize Winner

Under the heading of ICYMI and because of how meaningful this man’s work is to every human being:

The Nobel Prize in Economics, announced a week and a half ago, may be a real yawn for most people.  But this year, the winner is practically a rock star.  He made a cameo appearance in a hit movie with Selena Gomez and has written multiple best-sellers.  His name is Richard Thaler and he is an economist by trade but over the years chose to combine his studies of economics with psychology — and is widely known as “The Father of Behavioral Economics”.  Are you still yawning?  Read on.

Richard Thaler
Source: Personal Financial News

 

Continue reading “A Very Cool Nobel Prize Winner”

Year-End Tax Planning

Tax planning is important stuff.  Not as exciting as the markets, but saving money on taxes can be more exciting than you think.  The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter…and the countdown begins to year-end. The following is a handy Tax Planning Checklist.*  Some of these items, if done now, could make a big difference to your 2017 tax situation AND add to your savings. Continue reading “Year-End Tax Planning”

On Hugh Hefner, Rick Pitino…and Markets

One look at the headlines this week and it may leave us lamenting the end of a life “well-lived” by an American icon …or shaking our heads in disgust at a major figure in sports (and the end of a different kind of life well-lived).  All this amidst US markets that continue to go UP, UP, UP leaving investors happy, perhaps carefree and with a sense of confidence in their portfolios and savings.

Time

Continue reading “On Hugh Hefner, Rick Pitino…and Markets”

The Equifax Breach

By now, amidst two major, debilitating hurricanes in the South and Southeastern parts of our country, most Americans also know that a major security breach occurred at Equifax, the global consumer credit reporting company.

Equifax

According to news reports and press releases from Equifax the security breach — or leak of personal data — affected as many as 143 million Americans (that is more than HALF of the adults in the US with a credit history).  There are numerous ways to react to this maddening occurrence.  But most important, there are certain steps within your control that can be taken to defend against (while not entirely preventing) an identity theft incident happening to you.  Continue reading “The Equifax Breach”

Quadrant #4 of Saving: Protecting Your Savings

This recent series has been all about Saving Money.  Just as with any task, saving money can be broken down into stages.  In this case I outlined “4 Quadrants of Saving” to illustrate how each quadrant (or stage) builds on the previous one, and how the task can be made more achievable.  

protecting money

Continue reading “Quadrant #4 of Saving: Protecting Your Savings”