Personal Finance

Tax

Wrangling Continues over the Payroll Tax Cut

This morning (December 19), the Associated Press reported that "Boehner spoke after a chaotic weekend in which Senate leaders first failed to agree on a full-year bill, then coalesced around the two-month extension that passed overwhelmingly, only to spark a revolt among GOP conservatives in the House."
Tax

Is It Time for Your Clients to Refinance?

The going rate for a conventional, thirty-year mortgage has dipped below 4 percent, and the rates for fifteen-year mortgages are even lower. Given this environment, should your clients refinance?
Education & Careers

New Financial Assessment Tool Helps Consumers with Financial Health

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has launched a free online financial resource tool for consumers. MyMoneyCheckUp is designed to provide an assessment of a consumer’s overall financial health and behavior.
Education & Careers

How to save money on the first year of college

Parents of freshmen are often very surprised by the price of books, travel, dorm accessories and other college necessities. The Texas Society of CPAs offers six tips on how to save on these and other expenses.
Tax

IRS explains dependent care credits for kindergarten costs

As a new school year beckons, parents may be enrolling their young children in kindergarten and various other after-school programs. Can taxpayers claim the dependent care credit for any part of those expenses?
Tax

Tax tip: Summer day camp expenses may qualify for a tax credit

Along with the summer come some extra expenses, including (possibly) day camp for children. It may be a pleasant surprise for some parents that the costs of sending their children to these camps may qualify for the child and dependent care tax credit.

Five questions to ask in your financial tune up

Accountants from the Texas Society of CPAs have put together a collection of five key questions to ask yourself when doing a review of your personal finances.

Poor record keeping can cause big bankruptcy headaches

In the bankruptcy world, failure to keep accurate financial records can be grounds for denial of a discharge of debts. The bankruptcy trustee can actually sue you if your records aren’t in order.

New Baby Boomer budget item: Taking care of the parents

It is estimated that nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for their aging parents. These Baby Boomers should be finalizing plans for their own retirement, but they are putting their parents first.
Tax

IRAs for minors are an investment in a child's future

As traditional retirement age draws near for the Baby Boomer generation, many are wishing they had started saving earlier and more aggressively. If you want to help your children avoid that mistake, now is a perfect time to start them on the road to saving for a comfortable retirement.

How to invest effectively by being contrarian

In the world of investing, herding is usually quite detrimental to financial returns. And, ironically, the herding impulse is quite strong among investors, who often look to others for confirmation on their investing positions.
A&A

Debit cards rewards may be gone; more changes coming

JPMorgan Chase has announced that it will end its popular debit card rewards program for existing customers on July 19. Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and PNC have announced that they will either end their rewards programs or close them to new customers.
A&A

Mint.com adds home loans feature to help homeowners make financial decisions

To help people make better decisions about dealing with mortgage debt, online personal finance aide Mint.com has added a home loans feature that can help individuals reduce interest rates or lower monthly payments.
A&A

April is Financial Literacy Month; financial fitness programs abound

The end of busy season, when a client's financial position is in clear focus, is the best time to talk about ways to improve their personal and business financial management and results.
Education & Careers

From cell phone expenses to retirement: High school students test their knowledge

It is the rare high school student who can get interested in planning for retirement, but managing cell phone expenses? Now you're talking.
A&A

SEC Shadow NAV rule means greater transparency for investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that, for the first time, investors can access detailed information that money market funds file with the Commission.
Practice

Forget retirement - let's work forever!

Sixty percent of wealthy individuals say they never plan to retire. This group of "Neveretirees" is expected to grow over the next several years as more than 70 percent of respondents under the age of 45 say they will always be involved in some form of work.
Technology

Mint.com personal finance service launches in Canada

Mint.com, an online personal finance service from Intuit Inc., is now available to Canadians at mint.com/Canada. Canada is the first country outside of the United States to have a unique version of Mint.
A&A

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index continues decline

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index declined in October, primarily due to softness in the housing market. The index is designed to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.
A&A

Consumers expected to tighten belt with holiday spending budgets

While the National Retail Federation is predicting a modest 2.3 percent increase in holiday retail sales this year, some consumers are not planning to open their wallets too far – or at all.

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