2018 Tax Changes You Need to Know

by Tim Estes on Sep 26, 2018

As we draw closer to the last quarter of 2018, Americans are starting to think more about the changes to the U.S. tax code. Though the tax code has been tweaked in recent years, it’s been 27 years since the last major revision that took place under President Reagan. Whether you plan on doing your own taxes, or will be consulting with a CPA or other tax professional, take some time to familiarize yourself with the multiple changes that will take effect in 2019 for the 2018 tax year:

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Financial Literacy for Children

by Tim Estes on Sep 19, 2018

In a recent survey by JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy, only 26 percent of those between the ages of 13-21 said that they had been taught how to manage money. Yet, when they turn 18, kids are signing contracts for student loans, opening credit card accounts, and in many instances, living away from home with little financial guidance available.

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Financial FAQs

by Tim Estes on Sep 12, 2018

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked financial questions.  

I’ve just started my first job.  Do I really have to start saving for retirement now?

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Time to Break That Shopping Habit!

by Tim Estes on Sep 5, 2018

It seems like we’ve been conditioned to shop since birth.  While an occasional splurge is nothing to get worked up about, we’ve become incredibly wasteful in the process.  Landfills from coast to coast are full of our discarded belongings such as furniture, equipment, appliances, and electronic items like computers and cellphones.  We no longer repair an item, we simply replace it. Some of our spending habits can certainly be tied to the incessant marketing and advertising that target consumers on a daily basis.

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All Donations Are Not Created Equal

by Tim Estes on Aug 29, 2018

Giving money to philanthropic causes is important to many of us. Year end giving in particular is popular with both donors and charitable organizations. The most common way to give money for most people is to simply write a check or put a donation on a credit card. The charity then typically sends us a receipt for our donation, and everyone is happy.

Not so fast.

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Financial Missteps to Avoid

by Tim Estes on Aug 22, 2018

While so much of personal finance is common sense – don’t spend more than you make, don’t buy a house you can’t afford, start to invest money while you’re young, many young people today enter the workforce fresh out of college, with a boatload of student loans, and with no clue how to properly manage their money.

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401(k) vs. IRA

by Tim Estes on Aug 15, 2018

As the go-to investment option for most companies and their employees, 401(k) plans provide many benefits to plan participants, including deferment of taxes, the likelihood of an employer match, and a high maximum allowable for annual contributions.  But for those that are self-employed, or whose employer does not offer a 401(k), a traditional or Roth IRA is an option.

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Retiring Abroad

by Tim Estes on Aug 8, 2018

If you’ve always dreamed of living abroad, now may be the best time. Today, there are around 400,000 American retirees residing outside the United States, with that number expected to grow over the next few years. Cost of living is often cited as one of the main reasons for the move. For example, in places like Mexico and Costa Rica, it’s possible to live off of a Social Security check, while enjoying a relaxing lifestyle in the process. Other retirees cite rising health care costs as a contributing factor in their decision to move out of the U.S.

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