Personal Finance

Summer staycations and other ways to beat the high cost of holiday travel

There's been quite a bit of talk this summer about the "new" concept of staycations - staying at home instead of traveling for a vacation, but making the at-home time fun, just like a real vacation. The high cost of gas has lots of people pulling in the reins on travel and looking for summer holiday alternatives.
AccountingWEB Life

Freshman Finance 101: Money management skills for college students

Don't wait until your college freshman heads off to school to teach them how to manage money. The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) says that parents can prepare their children for the rigors of managing a college budget by discussing monetary issues openly and teaching them the basics of personal finance. Here are some guidelines to help you get started.

AICPA offers tips for recovering from financial disaster

Disasters such as the floods in the Midwest and fires in Northern California take an enormous emotional and financial toll on victims.Here are some tips on regaining financial balance in the days following a disaster from Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues, published as a public service by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, American Red Cross, and National Endowment for Financial Education:Try to avoid making major financial decisions.If your home is damaged and uninhabitable, contact the Red Cross, your county office of emerge

New CFP ethical standards about to go into effect

New ethical standards for financial planners who are authorized to use the CFP certification marks go into effect on July 1.

Boomers not following parental examples regarding retirement planning

Some lessons are never learned. This is the key finding of a new study by NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions. The "Generational Differences in Retirement Planning (GDRP): Adult Children of Retired Parents" study revealed that baby boomers are failing to follow the tried-and-true retirement planning disciplines that enabled their parents to achieve a satisfying retirement.

10 tips for summer savings

Summer is a great time to kick back and relax — just don't plan on taking a vacation from saving money! As the summer heats up, the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) offers ten saving tips to help you enjoy some fun in the sun without worrying about your wallet.Give your dishwasher a break. If you have a dishwasher, turn off the dry cycle and air dry your dishes instead. This can save you up to 1 percent of your energy bill.
Education & Careers

Virginia CPAs offer financial tips to college graduates

Graduation, for millions of college students, means it's time to trade in books and binders for bills and budgets. The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) provides the following advice to help college graduates become financially independent. Decide whether to move back homeThere are two schools of thought when it comes to moving back in with your parents after college. Some believe that it's best to live independently. Others maintain that by living at home for a year or two and saving money, you can get a head start on a financially secure future.

Thrift is focus of new national campaign

A diverse coalition of leaders have launched a national campaign -- with a groundbreaking report, three new books, and artifact exhibit -- today at a conference in Washington, D.C.
Tax

SEC attempts to educate taxpayers with investor tips

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that investors receiving their refund checks from the Internal Revenue Service will simultaneously be receiving information about a new SEC phone-based resource that can help them learn more about various investing topics and avoid investment scams.More than 3 million Americans received an SEC investor information card as an insert with IRS refund checks that were mailed on May 3.

Retirement income outlook bleak for single women

Women are at a much higher risk than men of facing economic uncertainty in retirement and, on average, they'll enter retirement with considerably less savings than men. Women face these unique challenges because they spend fewer years in the workforce, earn less income, and have longer life spans than men, according to a report released today entitled, The Female Factor 2008: Why Women are at Greater Financial Risk in Retirement. Multiple factors combine to cloud women's retirement security, including less time in the workforce and lower lifetime earnings then men.
Technology

Geezeo: A new personal finance tool for those who don’t mind sharing

People will discuss anything and everything online, so why not confessions of silly money mistakes, mountains of college debt, or a credit card balance that your husband doesn't know about?Geezeo.com is combining social networking with free, online Web tools. Users can access their accounts through their cell phones using text messaging, and talk about money issues in discussion groups.Some even use Geezeo's online confessional. One woman said she's $30,000 in debt and her husband has no idea.

AICPA poll shows many adults using smart spending as savings strategy

As the U.S. economy slows, more and more Americans are cutting back on spending to in order to save money, according to a recent nationwide survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Twenty-five percent of respondents in the survey of 1,026 adults said they were spending wisely or not spending as much as a means of saving money.
Community News

Growth of CPA financial planning practices is subject of new AICPA study

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Moss Adams LLP have published jointly a wide-ranging analysis of personal financial planning and investment advisory practices, drawing on information provided by 431 CPA firms using various business models for their financial planning practices. The solo practitioner model (37 percent of respondents) was the most commonly reported, as it is the most commonly observed model among CPA firms, according to the study.

More employers offering Roth 401(k)

As employers look for more ways to help their employees save for retirement, Charles Schwab has released new data showing an increase in the number of plan sponsors making the Roth 401k available to employees. As of December 31, 2007, 35 percent of Schwab-administered retirement plans were offering the Roth 401k, a significant increase from 26 percent at the end of 2006. This number is also well above the industry average of around 22 percent, according to a Profit Sharing/401k Council of America 2007 Roth 401k survey.
A&A

Secure interest-free loans for company shareholders

Banks recently lowered their interest rates nationwide. Now it won't be as painful for clients to borrow funds if a family needs cash for an unexpected home repair or some other emergency. But business owners might do even better than a low-interest loan from the bank.Strategy: Arrange a no-interest loan from a client's company to the owner. This fringe benefit is perfectly legal, but some drawbacks exist:1. The business owner is subject to tax on this benefit.2.

Gender gap widens on outlook for retirement security

While half of Americans don't think it's possible for a middle income family to retire, the gap between men and women's sentiments on the subject continues to widen, according to a new survey by Country Financial.

Health care costs daunting for new retirees

With the oldest baby boomers turning 62 – that magic age when they can start collecting Social Security checks – the call to retire grows stronger.A new study suggests they might want to ignore that voice in their heads. For one thing, Social Security checks are at least 25 percent smaller than if recipients wait until full retirement age to start collecting. And Fidelity Investments estimates that it would cost $225,000 to cover medical costs through retirement for a couple, aged 65, who retires this year.

SEC goes after infomercial personalities in investor workshop fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil fraud charges against two promoters who illegally made millions selling a get-rich-quick stock trading system they touted on TV and at investor workshops at hotels in dozens of cities nationwide.The Commission's complaint alleges that Linda Woolf and David Gengler, both of Utah, duped seniors and others who had attended free introductory seminars into believing they would make extraordinary stock market profits if they bought expensive "Teach Me to Trade" (TMTT) classes, mentoring, and computer software.In order to con victims into p

Court rules 401(k) participants may sue plan administrators

In a unanimous decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in February that individual participants of defined contribution pension plans such as 401(k) plans are protected under section 502(a)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and may sue for losses resulting from a breach of fiduciary duties.

Companies not prepared to meet health, wealth needs of Baby Boomers

Throw conventional wisdom and industry fault lines out the window. Financial services firms, insurers, and healthcare payers admit they will need to add new capabilities as they prepare to serve baby boomers, who will control some $40 trillion in retirement assets by 2020.Boomers, who make up the wealthiest generation in history, face tremendous uncertainties about how they will fund their retirement, and how wealthy they will be during those years.

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