Posts by plfarnworth

Beware You May Owe Taxes!

Posted by on Dec 11, 2018 in Certified Financial Planner Boise ID, Certified Senior Advisor Boise ID, Financial Advisor Boise ID, Financial Services Advisors Boise ID | Comments Off on Beware You May Owe Taxes!

Beware You May Owe Taxes!

Beware You May Owe Taxes!   Did you see a bump in your net paycheck in February this year? The new tax laws aimed to lower taxes. However, not everybody will see lower taxes. Some will remain similar or higher. At a recent tax seminar, I attended, underpayment of taxes is a potential issue for 2018. The tax law was passed in December of 2017. The new withholding tables were issued the first of February 2018. It is these new withholding tables that resulted in people seeing a bump in their net paycheck. The withholding tables have seen further refinement with more clarity on the new tax laws. You may find you owe Uncle Sam.  It is late in the year to adjust your withholding to compensate for the last year. But be prepared for a tax bill come April 15th. Look at your tax bill for 2017 and compare it to your current withholding statement. You might want to earmark that difference for 2018 taxes – if you need it. If you don’t- celebrate! If you do, adjust your W-4 for 2019. Unfortunately, the Idaho State Tax Commission indicated their withholding tables do not withhold enough. Again, look at last year’s state tax bill and compare to your current withholding. With the state you can still reduce your tax bill with donations to non-profits that create a credit for your Idaho taxes. (Itemizing isn’t required to receive these credits.) Organizations that provide rehabilitative and youth services receive a credit equal to 50% of your contribution up to a maximum. A single individual can contribute $200 for $100 credit. Married couple is a $400 donation to receive a $200 credit. Rehabilitative and youth organizations are ones like Idaho Youth Ranch, Women and Children’s Alliance, ARC, Hope House and others* Educational organizations also qualify for credits on Idaho’s tax return. Educational organizations include schools, libraries, museums and several more options found in Form 39R instructions. * The credit is maxed out at $500 for singles and $1000 for married couples. A little due diligence today may prevent an unpleasant surprise come April 15th next year.   *(link for complete list of approved organizations:  https://tax.idaho.gov/forms/EIN00046_10-30-2017.pdf ) . . . . #taxes #tax  #paycheck #withholding#unclesam #idahostatetaxcommission #taxbill #donations #nonprofits #IdahoYouthRanch #IYR #WAC #ARC #HopeHouse  #schools #museums #libraries #April15th...

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Is a Health Savings Account for You?

Posted by on Nov 15, 2018 in Financial Advisor Boise ID, Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Is a Health Savings Account for You?

Is a Health Savings Account for you?   Health Savings Account are growing in popularity.  It is not surprising since HSAs have triple tax benefits.  Contributions are tax deductible. Withdrawals for medical expenses are tax free. Earnings are tax free. In addition, there are no required distributions like you have with IRAs. Also, there are no income limits for contributing to an HSA like you have with a ROTH.   The 2017 Devenir HSA Research Report shows the number of HSAs have grown to 22 million since their start 15 years ago. These accounts hold over $45 billion in assets.   Health Care Kitty Many are using HSAs as a retirement healthcare Kitty.    Fidelity study shows the cost of healthcare for a 65 year old couple in retirement to be $275,000. This includes health care premiums and out of pocket expenses. Costs that can be covered by an HSA healthcare kitty. Yet 1 in 5 HSA owners are making a mistake.  They are not contributing to their HSA. A minimum contribution would be the $1,350+ deductible for your insurance. An alternative would be to contribute monies to cover your current medical expenses. Then turn around and pay your medical bill from your HSA.   How much can I contribute? The 2019 guidelines for HSA contributions is $3,500 for singles and $7,000 for families.  If you are over 55, you can contribute an additional $1,000. However, be aware that in 2019 the contribution your employer makes to your HSA, reduces the amount you can contribute. For example, you have a family HSA and your employer contributes $500 to your account. Your maximum contribution is $6,500 ($7,000 family limit less $500). Caution:  some restrictions Once you are on Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA. If you are 65+ and on your employer’s health coverage, you can delay enrolling in Medicare. Even enrolling in the free Part A-hospital coverage with Medicare, will disqualify you for making HSA contributions. Health Savings accounts allow you to name a beneficiary. A spousal beneficiary is allowed to rollover the account and make it their own. A non-spouse beneficiary cannot. They must disburse the account in the year the owner dies. This disbursement is taxable. Preserving an HSA for a non-spouse beneficiary is handing them a tax problem. Retirement accounts allow the beneficiary to stretch the disbursement over their lifetime. This is the better account to leave an heir. Use your HSA on your medical expenses. An HSA has many benefits – use them...

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Freezing Your Credit is Now Free

Posted by on Oct 31, 2018 in Certified Financial Planner Boise ID, Certified Senior Advisor Boise ID, Financial Advisor Boise ID, Financial Planner Boise ID, Financial Planners Boise ID, Financial Planning Consultant Boise ID, Financial Services Advisors Boise ID, Peggy's Pearls | Comments Off on Freezing Your Credit is Now Free

  It’s Free! It is now free to freeze your credit with all 3 credit bureaus- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. AARP did a survey in Massachusetts, only 13% of those who had fraudulent charges on their credit card took action. Many feel overwhelmed with all the security breaches occurring at companies holding sensitive data. They feel it is inevitable they will have their identity stolen. Don’t Give In! Thieves won’t exert extra effort to hack your identity. They will go for the low-lying fruit- don’t let it be yours. – Freeze your credit. A credit freeze is the best way to stop hackers from opening new lines of credit in your name. A credit freeze locks your files with a PIN. New credit can only be approved when the PIN is temporarily lifted from your account. In order to be secure, you must freeze your credit at all three of the big credit bureaus. This can be done online or over the phone. Equifax- www.Equifax.com – 1-888-548-7878 Experian- www.Experian.com – 1-888-397-3742 TransUnion- www.TransUnion.com – 1-800-916-8800 This is a relatively easy process. You do need to put your PIN for each credit bureau in a secure place. New credit can only be approved when the PIN is temporarily lifted from the account. Ask the creditor which bureau they use and lift the freeze for only 1 bureau. If you visit the websites, don’t get drawn into their credit protection program for a fee. You don’t want notification after a breach has occurred. You want to prevent it. Yes, they may cover costs of restoring your identity but so do most homeowner policies. A credit freeze won’t prevent an existing credit card from being used fraudulently. You will need to report the fraudulent use to have charges removed. You will also need to have a new credit card issued. These steps are minor to correcting Identity theft. That is a painful disruptive process that can take months to correct. Take preventive measures- Freeze your...

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Is the stock market sliding?

Posted by on Oct 18, 2018 in Certified Financial Planner Boise ID, Certified Senior Advisor Boise ID, Financial Advisor Boise ID, Financial Planner Boise ID, Financial Planners Boise ID, Financial Planning Consultant Boise ID, Financial Services Advisors Boise ID, Peggy's Pearls | Comments Off on Is the stock market sliding?

Is the stock market sliding?   Have you been watching the stock market slide since hitting a record high in early October? The chart shows the last 10 years of activity in the market starting with 2008. It reflects all the trauma and drama we have seen over the last 10 years. All the reasons not to invest in the stock market. Yet if you had invested $10,000 at the time it would now be worth almost $25,000. A return of 8.89%. The S&Ps record high on 10/1/18 of 2,924.69 dropped over 10 days to $2,728.37, a change of 6.7%. The numbers for the DOW look scarier. The record high of 26,828.39 on 10/3/18 slid to 25,052.83 on 10/11/18. A correction of almost 1,800 points. Yet the percentage of change is 6.62%. About the same as the S&P correction. It is the percentage of change that is important to monitor. The media will focus on the drop-in points-1,800 points sounds scarier than 6.62%. The lesson is- “Stay the course through...

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Don’t Flunk at Retirement

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Don’t Flunk at Retirement

A quality, satisfying retirement doesn’t just happen. While you are working, a thought of leisure time seems wonderful. Yet when all you have is leisure time, it isn’t as satisfying. A little planning, can make your retirement years fulfilling. However, the good thing about leisure time- you have the time to follow your passions. Don’t wait until retirement to begin exploring new interests. Exploring your interests now while you are working makes the transition into retirement smoother. Ask yourself- what dreams or projects have you set aside? What hobbies have you let go? Have you created a bucket list? Discovering what you are interested in or passionate about may take some nurturing. If you have been on the wheel of life- doing a job; raising a family- you may have stuffed down your own interests and desires. You may be in survivor mode. It is time to dream- give passion room to grow. In you’re dreaming- remove money from the equation. Focus on what brings pleasure, what do you enjoy doing; what would you like to try? Once you have some possibilities, you can think about the how. Worrying about the money drains creativity and blocks your brainstorming. Talk with your friends and family. What do they see as your natural giftings? What do you do well? What do they believe makes you happy? My sister had left HR in the business world. She got tired of hearing adults whine. She had the opportunity to substitute at the private school where her kids attend. Her family saw how much she enjoyed teaching children. In Virginia, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you have a short journey to get a teacher’s certification. Now 10 years later she’s still teaching at the same school, and loving it. Who is doing what you want to do? Who is your professional hero? Read about their life. How did they get started? What obstacles did they encounter? There are unlimited resources in books, blogs, and articles that can help you. Personally, I listen to CDs on my 45-minute commute to the office. I’m always in the learning mode. Don’t go it alone- find others pursuing similar passions. Check out Meet-up or Reddit. Both have groups on a wide range of interests and passions. Leverage social media to find groups or forums on your interest. You can learn from others experience. I encourage you to pursue what you are passionate about. If that requires a job change, seek the help of a career counselor. (http://yourfulfillinglife.com/)   Resources that can help you make a connection in your community are: Volunteer Match  www.volunteermatch.org They match you with a non-profit needing your skills and matching your interests. Senior Corps www.nationalservice.gov/programs/seniorcorps Senior volunteers over 55 helping with social issues like foster grandparents and senior companions. Encore www.encore.org is more paid opportunities to do short term, temporary assignments. Retirement is an encore- more to your own design. You have skills and talents that are valuable to the community. Many non-profits and schools can use your skill set. As my neighbor says, “I have retired from my job but not my profession.”...

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