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Why Do We Save So Little?

Our parents & grandparents saved much more than we do. Most people who have read up on the economy for any length of time have heard of the personal saving rate (PSAVERT), which the Commerce Department calculates as the ratio of personal saving to disposable personal income. The January personal spending report released by the […]

By |April 21st, 2014|Financial Article|

Organizing Your Paperwork for Tax Season

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If you haven’t done it, now’s the time.
How prepared are you to prepare your 1040? The earlier you compile and organize the relevant paperwork, the easier things may be for you (or the tax preparer working for you) this winter. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

As a first step, look at your 2012 return. Unless your job, living situation or financial situation has changed notably since you last filed your taxes, chances are you will need the same set of forms, schedules and receipts this year as you did last year. So open that manila folder (or online vault) and make or print a list of the items that accompanied your 2012 return. You should receive the TY 2013 versions of everything you need by early February at the latest.

By |February 21st, 2014|Financial Article, Financial Planning|

Tax Perks of Year-End Charitable Gifting

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Help the causes you care about & help your finances in the process.
An opportunity for you to give & save. As 2013 ends, you may be considering making one or more charitable gifts. In most instances, they are tax-deductible with benefits for the donor as well as the recipient.

As you make any charitable gift, keep three things in mind. One, the organization must be a qualified charity. An Internal Revenue Service letter certifies this status. Some charities post such letters on their websites; others don’t, but will produce one for you if there is any question in your mind. You can check up on a charity yourself at irs.gov, using the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check. (For the record, the IRS considers churches, mosques, temples and others houses of worship de facto charities; they may not be on the Select Check list, but they are eligible to receive charitable gifts. If there is any question at all, simply ask.)   1,2

Two, remember that charitable contributions are only deductible if itemized on Form 1040, Schedule A (lines 16-19). They are deductible in the tax year that they are made.  1,2

Three, you will want a receipt or some form of bank record – a credit card receipt, a canceled check – plainly denoting the name of the charity and the date and amount of the donation. You don’t have to file these receipts with your 1040, but you should have them in case of an audit. The IRS now requires written evidence of cash donations to charities, regardless of amount.  1,2

How should you contribute? There are a few popular options.

By |December 26th, 2013|Financial Article, Financial Planning|

Reassessing Retirement Assumptions

What makes financial sense for some baby boomers may not make sense for you.
There is no “typical” retirement. Many baby boomers want one and believe that they will have one, and their futures may indeed unfold as planned. For others, the story will be different. Just as there is no routine retirement, there are no […]

By |April 30th, 2013|Financial Article, Financial Planning|
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