ESPP Exit: What’s Your Financial Advice for Us?

I can’t help but realize that writing this blog each week almost always involves me giving some advice about some money issue. Sometimes it has been very specific on things like saving money at the grocery store or preparing yourself for retirement and at other times it’s been more spiritual like when I refer to things that can motivate you and good money habits to develop that help protect your financial well-being.

My wife and I need to make a decision about what to do with her old ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) shares. What's your financial advice for us?

Sometimes when I look back on what I’ve written, I realize I definitely have had a tendency to pontificate and yes, even ramble. I’m being kind to myself more than a little here. I really think writing a 2,000+ word post can lose even the most diehard readers. Who has the time for that much stuff to read on a regular basis?

Continue reading“ESPP Exit: What’s Your Financial Advice for Us?”

It’s Time to Get Your Federal Taxes in Order, Part 2

Getting ready for your next tax return due by April 15, 2019 should be on your mind as this year ends. That’s why Part 1 and Part 2 of this post are so important! So here is Part 2, but first…

There have been some important changes in the tax law, so now it's time to review your 2018 federal taxes and make any last-minute necessary moves.Stop and Think

Before splurging on holiday gifts this year, ask yourself if you’re going to get a big or far bigger tax bill than you’re accustomed to next year. Or if you get a tax refund, is it likely to be smaller? Millions of Americans won’t get their usual tax refunds next year because of the confusing tax law changes.Continue reading“It’s Time to Get Your Federal Taxes in Order, Part 2”

It’s Time to Get Your Federal Taxes in Order, Part 1

This year, for 2018, it’s more confusing than ever to try to get yourself ready for income tax season and decide on your deductions, if any, because of the changes that the tax bill passed earlier this year in congress. So you should start to get your federal taxes in order now.

There have been some important changes in the tax law, so now it's time to review your 2018 federal taxes and make any last-minute necessary moves.

Check Your Withholding

The IRS says that checking your withholding can help protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year. The average tax refund was $2,825 in 2018, up $9 from 2017, based on IRS data.Continue reading“It’s Time to Get Your Federal Taxes in Order, Part 1”

2018 Finances: How Do They Look, So Far?

One of the very most important things you can do when it comes to your personal finances is to take a good hard look at how things are going right now and make some adjustments whenever necessary.

So we're 5 months into the year, and now is a good time to see where we are when it comes to finances. Today's post looks at how the new tax law is affecting income, and how inflation is affecting expenses.Many years ago, when I was a young man working as an assistant buyer at Macy’s, I learned about making a good plan and how to evaluate and then re-evaluate how that plan was doing. The most important part of that concept isn’t a requirement to make changes after evaluating, but rather it’s the actual necessity to take a close look. Even if you don’t make a change in a plan, looking and doing nothing is actually doing something! Not looking is doing nothing and that can hurt your financial plans.

That’s why today I want to look at where we are in 2018, so far.Continue reading“2018 Finances: How Do They Look, So Far?”

11 New Tax Law Changes That Can Affect You

Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Now that I have filed my tax returns for the year 2017, I have had the time to really examine some of the new tax law changes signed last December by the president. Many of the big items have been written about quite a bit like the lower income tax brackets and the projected overall tax savings for almost all taxpayers (particularly for the wealthiest people). But are you aware of some of the other provisions and changes in the new law? Provisions that just might affect you on a grand scale that you may not have heard about at all!

The new tax law changes may not affect the 2017 taxes you're filing now, but they could affect what you do in 2018 and the deductions you take next year. It's important to know in advance to be able to minimize your tax burden.

If there is any good rule of thumb about taxes and your money it’s this: Always plan your tax strategies ahead in order to maximize your income and minimize your taxes.Continue reading“11 New Tax Law Changes That Can Affect You”

The Strange Case of Taxing Your Social Security Benefits

Almost 62 million people, most of them retired workers, receive a Social Security check every month. That’s about 20% of all Americans these days and I’m one of them. For the vast majority of retirees, their Social Security income isn’t just some extra cash to count at the end of the month. It’s actually an indispensable source of income that they couldn’t do without. Social Security Administration (SSA) data shows that 62% of all retired workers get at least half their income, if not more, from Social Security. In some cases, it is the difference between life and death. And now that it’s tax time, many of us wonder “do you pay taxes on Social Security?”

Many seniors wonder "do you pay taxes on Social Security?" Well here is the strange case of how Social Security benefits are taxed and why it's unlikely to change.

The sad facts are that America’s most important social program isn’t in the best of shape. You probably know that Social Security will begin paying out more in benefits than it generates in revenue by 2022. By 2034, Social Security’s asset reserves are expected to be depleted.Continue reading“The Strange Case of Taxing Your Social Security Benefits”

You Can Pay No Income Tax and Still Get a Huge Tax Refund!

Believe it or not, about 50% of all Americans pay no federal income tax. Zero, nada, zilch, nothing, a huge goose egg! Today’s Super Saving Tips post might just be the biggest money saver ever and could be worth thousands of dollars to you and your family right now. There are two reasons for it: your income level and certain tax laws and benefits, like the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

It's possible to pay no income tax and still get a big tax refund if you qualify for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Here are the details...see whether it can benefit you and your family.

The tax system in the United States is designed to be progressive, meaning that higher incomes are asked to pay a larger percentage in income taxes. If your income level is relatively low, standard deductions and exemptions can quickly lower your tax burden to zero according to the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan research center. But then there’s something else. Because of credits, you can actually get a “refund” of real money without having paid any taxes at all!Continue reading“You Can Pay No Income Tax and Still Get a Huge Tax Refund!”

Your Tax Forms: Very Important Info and Dates for 2018

Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Even though I can never quite figure out why people want to do it, many people are expecting and excited to get a federal tax refund every year. As I have written before, in almost all cases, the money you get back from Uncle Sam is your very own money that you have overpaid. It’s money you are literally lending to the government at no interest and they are very happy to just return it to you when you file your tax return. First though, this year there is an extra monkey wrench in the picture you need to know about!

It's important to understand when to expect your tax forms to file your 2017 taxes, as well as how to fill out your 2018 tax forms. Here's the details you need to know.

New Withholding Amounts for Your Paycheck

The Trump administration is pushing American businesses to withhold less in taxes from paychecks by February, aiming to quickly deliver the boost in take-home pay that Republicans promised their new tax law would bring. Sounds like a really good thing, right?Continue reading“Your Tax Forms: Very Important Info and Dates for 2018”