Monthly Archives November 2017

The Truth About Your Credit Score

For a lot of us, our lives all seem to boil down to numbers. We analyze our status and make decisions based upon how much money we earn, how much we’re saving for retirement, how many years we plan to work before retiring, the interest rate on our mortgages, and so on. One of those important numbers is your credit score. The good news is that you have a lot of control over your score, but the bad news is that a variety of factors can impact it. Since your credit score affects other parts of your life such as
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Categories: Blog.

Start Planning for Income Taxes Now

Most people don’t even think about federal income taxes until January, or even as late as March or April each year. But this can often be a mistake, since some decisions that you make before December 31 each year will greatly impact that year’s tax burden. So, before the holidays get into full swing, you might want to take a look at your likely income tax liability for 2017 – and at ways you could reduce your bill. Standard deductions, or itemized deductions? The IRS has raised standard deductions just a bit this year, to the following amounts: $9,350 for
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Categories: Blog.

Great News for Those Planning for Retirement

As you continue to plan for retirement, your tax-advantaged retirement account offers several distinct advantages. First, there is the obvious benefit of being able to stash money in a fund that allows for untaxed growth over the years, helping you save for a more comfortable retirement. That is the primary reason most people open and fund a retirement savings account. Then, of course, you also enjoy distinct tax advantages from utilizing a 401(k), 403(b), or Thrift Savings Account (for federal employees). All contributions, up to a certain limit, go into your retirement fund on a pre-tax basis. This lowers your
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Categories: Blog.

A “Raise” for Social Security Beneficiaries

Whether you have already claimed your Social Security benefits, or are still planning for your eventual retirement, you should probably pay attention to this news: The Social Security Administration announced last month that beneficiaries will receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to their benefits checks. The COLA will begin on January 1, and has been set at a 2 percent increase. That doesn’t sound like much, but it is actually the largest COLA we’ve seen in five years. Since 2012, COLAs have been nonexistent or extremely small, due to the inflation rate remaining historically low. If you’re wondering how
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Categories: Blog.