The college acceptance letters have arrived, and many families now are facing the scramble to find money to pay for the dream that has landed in their child’s inbox. It’s an issue that should have been discussed many months ago. Most financial aid packages offered by colleges will leave families with sticker shock. But there..
It’s been a long time since we had a real bear market, and memories of pain fade amidst subsequent gains. For a generation of recent investors, and those with short memories, some perspective is in order. In the past 3 years, the entire stock market outperformed its historic averages. Over the past 75 years, the..
(updated 5/11 with answers to your questions about purchasing savings bonds.) The interest in savings bonds has never been higher. That’s because in an era of low CD rates, I-bond rates are astounding! From May 1 through November 1st the Series I-bond interest rate is 9.62%! That rate will be paid on all outstanding I-bonds..
As a record number of Americans are heading into their retirement years with impressive balances in their 40l(k) plans, the potential disruption of this long bull market has many people trembling. The prospect of actually losing money just as they need to plan retirement living withdrawals is truly frightening for this generation of amateur investors...
It's the most important financial headline of this century: Inflation! A new generation of Americans is about to face the impact of inflation – on their daily lives, their financial decisions, their investment choices, and their retirement lifestyle. While many pundits proclaim that this period of inflation will come to a quick end, history shows..
The spring wedding season is upon us, and around the country brides, grooms and their parents are making arrangements for extravagant celebrations now that the Covid era is (hopefully) far behind us. According to a survey by The Knot there will be more weddings in the United States in 2022 than any other year since..
When tax time comes, your children can be worth a lot of money – even if you didn’t earn any income. There are two main tax credits that apply to children, and they are frequently confused. One gives a significant refundable credit simply for their existence. The second gives a refundable credit (this year) for..
As I was answering a post on my blog this morning, I realized that many people may be missing out on big refunds this year -- simply because they don't know how to claim them. (Please read my nearby column on both the Child Tax Credit and the Child CARE Credit for some background.) Others..
Do you think you can "beat" the market? Well, take a look at these new statistics. Even the highly-paid money managers fail dismally at the challenge of beating their benchmark indexes. This morning S&P Dow Jones Indices released the latest damning figures! The numbers speak for themselves, so here is a "cut and paste" from..
The volatility of the stock market based on fighting in Ukraine and soaring gas prices presents a significant challenge to your future if you’re nearing retirement or already in it. Over the long run – 20 years – a diversified portfolio of large company stocks has always given a positive return, even adjusted for inflation...
If you waited and waited to refinance your mortgage, only to see rates rise recently, you now may have one last chance. But it’s a narrow window. The Fed has made headlines, promising to raise rates enough to control spiraling inflation. The war in Ukraine will make inflation worse – as oil prices soar along..
This is the typically the slow season of the year for personal finances – a perfect time to get things in order. I firmly believe that if you leave financial projects undone, you are tempting fate. Here’s my starter to-do list. 1. Open an IRS account at ID.me. It will give you the latest info..
I can’t stress enough the importance of naming the “correct” beneficiary for your retirement accounts – IRA, 40l(k), and 403(b) plans. It’s equally critical to update the named beneficiary on your old pension plans and life insurance policies, which you may have started years ago and likely forgotten. Otherwise, after your death a huge fight..
So the market rallied today (Friday). It rallied starting midday Thursday on the news that the sanctions on Russia would not be so severe as to disrupt the European economies or the banking system or the profits of the global oil companies or the cruise industry. Basically, the stock market rallied on the news that..
The IRS has admitted it still has more than 11 million returns from last year (2020) to review! Yes, they cashed your check or accepted your direct deposit, but for one reason or another those returns (mostly paper, but some electronic) are still waiting to be processed. In fact, they started sending out CP80 notices,..
The IRS is taking a closer look at your fintech transactions. Starting in 2022, any transactions exceeding $600 and made through payment cards or apps (think Venmo and PayPal) must be reported by those platforms. They will send you, the recipient of the money, IRS Form 1099K next January. And it will be your job..
Give someone you love – or yourself – a financial Valentine this week. Americans are expected to spend $21 billion this year, expressing their love in this season of hearts and flowers. But you can do better. Roses and chocolate are fine, but the truly loving gift is to help someone move ahead in their..
The American Rescue Act sent $350 billion of federal tax dollars to states, cities, and tribal governments around the country to help them offset the costs and impact of Covid. That’s on top of the $150 billion that went to municipalities in 2020 under the Cares Act. To the surprise of many, these governments didn’t..
It’s not fair that savers are losing money by trying to keep their money safe. With inflation running at 7% and the average money market deposit account paying only 0.5% savers are losing out to inflation in a big way. At only 3% inflation, the buying power of your money is cut in half in..
You may not know that I post a weekly podcast with my friends Pam Krueger, founder of Wealthramp, and Richard Eisenberg of PBS' Next Avenue. This week's podcast is a discussion of the wild markets of last week --and the lessons to be learned. You can find it at: https://friendstalkmoney.org/podcast/lessons-from-a-wild-stock-market-week/ And listen to our past..