Before you file away your 2016 tax forms, spend a few minutes to see how it can help plan your finances and taxes for 2017.
Some of these are more important at different times in one’s life. If you are relying on your investments to provide income to pay your expenses, you are rightfully concerned about the stability of income. How concerned you are depends on whether this income is needed to cover basic expenses or is used for discretionary purposes.
Everyone should own bonds or bond-like investments, though you might ask why would
anyone want to own bonds at this time. Interest rates are going up and the math says
the financial value of bonds will decrease. The value in owning bonds is not just for the
known rate of income but also to provide a less-volatile rate of return and to provide
stability to a portfolio. Providing stability and helping us deal with our instinctual desire to
make the wrong moves at the wrong times may have the most value for investors.
This begs the question: Should the average investor hold bonds? For most investors, the answer remains yes. However, it will pay to be more selective than you might have been in the past.
Here are a few things you can do to help smooth doing your taxes and 2015 tax law changes that might affect you.
Many of us are fortunate and have many reasons to be thankful. Gifts of our time, skills or money can assist individuals, institutions in the community or people we personally know. These gifts can help to raise everyone to a higher level. If think about how we give, we can leverage our financial gifts and increase the benefits to all.
It would be wonderful if you were saving more than you need. Unfortunately, for many it is a struggle to
balance out current expenses, savings and income. Saving for your future is important, no matter what your
goals or how far away they are. How can you tell if you are saving too much?
One way to protect yourself from outlasting your savings is to purchase "longevity insurance".
Are you interested in increasing your credit score? There is no silver bullet but you can take steps to improve your credit history and score.
First, understand how the most common credit score, Fair Isaac (FICO) is calculated. The major factors in your score are your payment history and how much debt you carry. Your payment history makes up 35% of your score. A single late payment will ding you and stay on your report for two years. A history of payment problems will hurt you even more. How much debt you carry is worth 30%. It is calculated based on your debt as a percentage of your credit limit. For example, if you have charged $1,000 on a credit card with a limit of $3,500, you are at 29% of your limit. Staying below 10% of your limit will give you the highest score in this area.
All investment markets, including stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities, experience price and total return volatility. In the last few months, volatility has increased in markets due to global economic and political conditions. This is part of a long term trend that has seen volatility increase in all markets over the last 15 years. For longer term investors, not traders, this leads to higher risks in all types of investments.
Moving from full time work to partial or full retirement is a huge change in our lifestyle. We have to adjust to how we spend our time, fit into our relationships, and our finances. Trying out your new lifestyle can make the transition more enjoyable.
With Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaching, giving back to the community comes into focus. Many of us have reasons to be thankful and share our wealth. Gifts of time or money can assist causes, individuals or institutions in the community, or to people we personally know. If we use leverage we can increase the benefits to the recipient and the giver.
Tax regulation and rate changes have made it more important to your investments in the right account to achieve the greatest possible tax benefits. You can see more benefit by dividing your investments in different tax buckets.
With April 15th in the rear view mirror, many of us can breathe a sigh of relief until we start on our 2013 taxes. Before you file away that copy of your 2012 tax form, spend a few minutes to see what it can tell you about your finances. You can quickly get an idea on how much you are spending, paying in taxes and saving for the future. This is valuable information to help you move closer to your financial goals. Here is how to do it:
It is time that we talk about our money. No, I'm not proposing we broadcast our wealth, or lack of it, to the community. I'm suggesting we talk about how we feel about money and what it means to us. If we are single, an honest talk increases our self knowledge and points out areas that could use some improvement. If we are in a relationship, talking about money can make you happier while avoiding breakdowns, high stress and increased debt. Most of us don't know how to constructively talk about money but we can learn.
With the arrival of the new year, we receive an avalanche of global, national and local economic and market predictions. In considering how to use these predictions, you will first need to break them down to usable pieces and then decide how to apply them to your portfolio. From my review, it seems the majority of economists expect next year to be very similar to 2012. However, the probability of a US or global slowdown is relatively high and the chances for faster growth are small. Here are some ideas to consider when applying these predictions to your investments.
If you want to feel better, you need to be fit. That doesn't just mean being physically fit but also having a healthy financial life. Being financially healthy has many of the same benefits as physical fitness. You can lower your stress level, sleep better, be energized and have more control over your future. Like getting physically fit, it does take some effort to get started. If you are feeling a little nervous about your future or just want to tone up your finances, here are the steps to getting financially fit.