Certified Senior Advisor Boise ID

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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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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Be Happy!! Give!!

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 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 | Comments Off on Be Happy!! Give!!

“It is better to give then receive.” That is more than a quote. Generosity is one of the measurements that the World Happiness Report uses to evaluate the happiness of a nation. The more generous a nation is; the more likely the people are content. The US rated #2 on the World Happiness Report. The World Giving Index is used to score a nation’s generosity. It uses a few criteria like: Helping a stranger Donating money Volunteering time Being generous doesn’t always require money. Giving of your time, simple acts of kindness can impact others. If your giving isn’t generating a “happy” response maybe it is time to create a giving plan. A giving plan allows you to be intentional about your giving. And it is relatively easy to create. Creating a Giving Plan The first step is to identify 2 or 3 causes that are important to you. Those causes may be varied from environmental issues to animal protection. My top two causes are children and veterans. The second step look for charities that support your causes. This is the step that may take some time. The charity needs to meet the needs, have results and be good stewards. Fortunately, tools like www.charitynavigator.org and www.guidestar.org can help you evaluate your options. Established, effective charities will provide reports sharing how many they have served, the increase in activity from prior years. They will also keep administrative expenses under 25% of total expenses. With my cause for children, I support One Child Matters, and Idaho Youth Ranch. I will be adding a children’s charity in 2018 that is serving the Idaho City population. For my veteran’s cause, I support Helping the Home Front and Mighty Oak Warriors. And our office organizes a Christmas for a veteran family in need. I had been “advertising” in a resource newspaper for Idaho veterans. However, after several requests, they did not provide information on how many they were serving, what needs were being met. I was told 100% of the money remained in Idaho. My response was, “How much of that paid salaries? Are you volunteering your time?” Administrative costs are a part of operations, but they need to be reasonable. We are currently looking at a new resource for veterans for the 2018 year. The third step is to establish on annual donation target. How much do you want to give to each organization? What is your total donation goal? I read a book on giving that inspired me to donate one million dollars over my lifetime. That won’t happen without intentional giving. Creating a Giving Plan has many benefits: Intentional giving increases the impact on issues that matter to you. Giving to local charities can develop rewarding relationships. Eventual decline in charity solicitations and junk mail. Easy to say “no” to solicitations that don’t match your giving plan. I believe the US is a generous nation. The World Giving Index says we are. Make a difference in your community, state, nation or world. Be an intentional giver- Create a Giving...

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Is Medicare an option at 65? Do you have to sign up for Medicare?

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Certified Financial Planner Boise ID, Certified Senior Advisor Boise ID, Financial Advisor Boise ID, Financial Planner Boise ID, Financial Planners Boise ID | Comments Off on Is Medicare an option at 65? Do you have to sign up for Medicare?

Is Medicare an option at 65? Do you have to sign up for Medicare? Turning 65 is a well celebrated birthday- especially if you have been buying your own health insurance. You are now eligible for Medicare! You have a 7-month window to sign- up. 3 months before your birthday month Your birthday month 3 months after your birthday month. If you are receiving social security benefits when you reach 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare. Otherwise, you have to reach out to Medicare when you are ready to enroll. Many are still employed when they reach 65 and are covered by an employer plan. Or they may be covered by a spouse’s plan. As long as you have credible insurance coverage, you do not have to sign up at 65. You do need to check with your HR department. They may expect you to sign up for Medicare- at least Part A- hospital coverage- which is free. If HR is expecting you to sign up for Medicare, they are expecting Medicare to be the primary payer. In that case, if you don’t sign up for Medicare you may be responsible for medical expenses. If you are on an employer health care plan, you can sign up for Part A only. Part A is hospital coverage. You can delay signing up for Part B, – outpatient services-, and Part D which covers prescription drugs. However, if you have an employer provided, high deductible insurance plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA), don’t sign up for ANY part of Medicare. Once you begin Medicare you can no longer Fund an HSA. You may use your HSA to pay Medicare premiums and medical expenses. But you can no longer put new money into your HSA. If you delay Part B and Part D past age 65, then you have new deadlines to worry about. Once you stop working and no longer have group health coverage, you have 8 months to enroll in Part B. Miss that deadline, for the rest of your life, you will pay a late enrollment penalty. The penalty is 10% of your premium for each 12-month period you don’t have coverage. The window for Part D is shorter. You need to sign up within 2 months of losing drug coverage. You miss that window and it is 1% of your monthly base premium. The penalties can add up quickly. You may be farther ahead to have the cheapest drug plan then incur a lifetime of premium penalty. Making the choices on Medicare insurance coverage can be confusing and time consuming. Once a decision is made, you are not likely to revisit the plan. However, you should periodically evaluate your plan. Especially your drug plans as the formularies can change. Medical expenses are a large part of your retirement expenses. Take the time to plan and reduce your total...

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FSA or HSA- Which should you use?

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 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 | Comments Off on FSA or HSA- Which should you use?

FSA or HSA- Which should you use?   FSA or HSA- Which should you use? Which employer health plan should you use? Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)? If you have both options available, consider the following:       Flexible Spending Account (FSA)         Health Savings Account (HSA) Best used when you expect major medical expenses such as surgery or braces.   Best used when you are mostly healthy and want to save for future medical expenses. Based on your tax bracket your deduction could save as much as 35%.   Based on your tax bracket your deduction could save as much as 35%. This plan is available only through an employer.   May be offered by employer.  Individuals and self-employed may also use this plan. Usually partnered with a health insurance plan that has smaller deductibles such as $500.   Must be partnered with High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).  The lowest deductible for a single is $1,300 and family is $2,600.   You can deduct up to $2,550 from your paycheck per year. The maximum is the same for singles and families. You may deduct contributions of up to $3,350 for single and $6,650 for a family each year. An extra $1,000 is available for those over 55.   Must ‘use it or lose it’ each year! Your employer may allow for $500 rollover into the next plan year OR an additional two months extension to use your benefit.   No “lose it” with this account. No limit on the amount you can accumulate.  However, to remain tax free, you can use this money only for medical expenses.   You can withdrawal money before you can put it in, up to the amount you have chosen to contribute for the year   You pay your medical expenses directly from the Health Savings Account. FSAs are tied to your employer and cannot be moved.   HSAs are portable and can be moved.  If possible, keep HSA separate from your health insurance.  It makes changing insurance easier. If your employer has both the FSA and HSA Programs, evaluate your choice on a year by year case. You can move between the programs. HSA’s are good to fund heavily to help with medical expenses during your retirement years. Rules change for HSA when you start on Medicare. (More on Medicare in the next blog post.)    ...

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