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..
If you’re a retiree dealing with Medicare, you’ve just noticed that your increased (5.9%) Social Security benefit is being reduced substantially by rising costs for Medicare Part B and Part D (your drug plan), as well as increased costs for drugs that may be only partially covered by insurance. Additionally, most Medicare supplement policies raised..
The $1.7 billion dollar settlement with Navient that 39 state attorneys-general just announced has millions of student loan borrowers hoping they will get out from under the burden of their debt. But don't expect much. Only about 350,000 borrowers will qualify for this settlement. And the qualifications are stringent, applying mostly to people who took..
If you’re going to read just one financial book this year, read Money Magic by well-known economist Laurence Kotlikoff, who also co-authored the definitive book on Social Security, “Get What’s Yours.” Kotlikoff has the extraordinary ability to make complicated money matters understandable – and to debunk the lures of Wall Street and the financial planning..
Well, here’s a topic I hate to bring up this early in the year, but it’s time to think about filing your 2021 income taxes sometime in the next two months! Because of holidays, the official tax filing deadline this spring will be April 18th. But the IRS forms will be made available in the..
A quick reminder: If you are age 72 or older, you MUST take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) before year end from your traditional retirement accounts (not Roth). The penalty for failure to do so is steep: 50% of the amount that should have been withdrawn! A few key points: What number is the RMD..
In the last-minute rush for holiday gifts, and then the post-holiday rush to return, please take one more minute to reconsider your holiday giving. You have a few more days to make a big difference before the end of the year. The changes in the tax law made in 2018 increased the standard deduction and..
Inflation is very simply the debasement of the currency. Your money buys less stuff. Inflation starts out barely noticeably -- and is often welcomed as a sign of growth and prosperity. But like kudzu – that fast-growing green vine that has taken over many landscapes – the devastation takes a while to reveal. With kudzu,..
Update on 12/23/21: See first paragraph below written two weeks ago. Well, ,a "student loan forgiveness miracle" has happened! The day of reckoning has been postponed to May 1, 2022! The politicians felt the pressure! Now what should you do? Will this be followed by another extension -- or perhaps a fixed amount of loan..
In last week’s column, I provided some holiday gifting ideas for children – ranging from 529 accounts to gift cards for $5 worth of shares in almost any company from Stockpile. But what do you gift grownups – especially to those who already “have everything”? Or if they are millennials who already ‘know everything”? Consider..
My annual holiday money gift column for children and young adults arrives just at the start of the holiday shopping season. In a time when many are hesitant to shop in stores, all of these ideas can be accessed online. And unlike presents that will be quickly outgrown or broken, these gifts are meant to..
This is the third in a series of columns designed to help with this season of healthcare decisions. The first was for seniors making Medicare Open Enrollment decisions about prescription drug and all-in-one advantage plans. The next could explained how more individuals could purchase Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at Healthcare.gov, with new higher subsidies and..
All of you patient "chicken money" holders have something to cheer about -- if you understand the rules and restrictions. The headline is that for the next six months, Series I savings bonds will carry an interest rate of 7.12%. Now, before you jump into this deal, please read the details below! Series I U.S...
Remember when you promised to pay down your credit card debt? Millions have forgotten that promise as consumer spending soars in a post-Covid rebound. And now, just as the original Covid-19 mutated, there is a new mutation in consumer debt that is spreading widely and could be even more toxic than the original credit card..