Financial Planner Boise ID

Financial Planner Boise ID

What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!

What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!     Tax identity theft has been a massive threat for years. Recently, however, the IRS has made progress on catching fraudulent tax returns before money is paid out. Last year, the IRS stopped $4 billion in fraudulent tax returns. This year, it may be a different story. Experts worry that this tax season could bring more fraud than we’ve seen in recent years. The reason? The Equifax breach exposed 143 million consumer’s Social Security numbers and other personal data. That other personal data was just discovered by Congress to include tax identification numbers. Protect Yourself The amount of personal data exposed makes it easy for tax identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns in your name, collecting your tax refund check for themselves. The best way to protect yourself from this threat is to file your taxes as early as possible—before the thief has time to file in your name. If a tax return has already been filed with your information, the IRS will alert you. If you file your taxes online, you will be notified right away. If you send your documents in through the mail, you will receive notice via a mailed letter. If someone has filed in your name, be sure to alert the IRS of the fraud immediately by filling out Form 14039.   Be On The Lookout But it’s important to be on the lookout for other tax scams as well. The IRS is already reporting on a multitude of scams this season. For example, in one scam, a fraudulent tax return is filed in the victim’s name and the check is deposited in their account. The victim is then contacted by a thief posing as a debt collector who informs them that the deposit was a mistake and the funds must be paid back immediately.     Scammers Are Calling Scammers claim to be calling from a company called DebtCredit and have created a realistic-looking website that they direct victims to visit. The website includes a video that explains the frequency of mistake payments from the IRS and references personal information of the victim such as Social Security number and bank routing information. The webpage also shows details of the debt collector, including a photo, name, telephone number, and email address. This scam, in particular, is believed to have begun with phishing messages targeting tax preparers’ offices. Experts believe that malware was loaded onto tax preparers’ computers and was designed to steal information saved on the device.   IRS Will Only Contact You Via Mail It’s important for tax preparers and individuals keep an eye out for scams over the next few months. Remember that the IRS will only contact you via mail about an issue. If you receive a call or an email and you are unsure, hang up and call the IRS directly to inquire....

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Highs & Lows of America’s Pastor

Posted by on Mar 3, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Highs & Lows of America’s Pastor

Highs & Lows of America’s Pastor   Who knew Billy Graham would become America’s pastor with his humble beginnings on a dairy farm in North Carolina. Who knew Billy Graham would provide prayer and council to 12 presidents beginning with Truman. His advisor at Bob Jones University told Billy Graham he wouldn’t amount to anything. Yet Billy Graham persisted. He changed colleges attending Florida Bible Institute where he enjoyed open discussions of theology. He continued his education at Wheaton college where he met his wife Ruth Bell daughter of Chinese medical missionaries. Beginning in Chicago at Wheaton college, exposed Billy Graham to new people and opportunities. As Graham finished college, he was asked to preach for Youth for Christ. This began his traveling ministry. He held 417 crusades in 185 countries and territories.   Bridge Building It was on a crusade in Germany, that the Kennedy family saw Billy Graham preaching. After Kennedy became president, he reached out to Billy Graham. This began the bridge building between Protestants and Catholics in the U.S. Billy Graham also built bridges among the churches in communities, calling on their help with crusades. He was an ecumenical preacher.       Politics and The Press Billy Graham learned the hard way not to enter the political arena.  His Crusades had received excellent coverage by William Randolph Hurst’s newspapers and Time Magazine. He was not prepared for the press’s ambush after visiting Truman’s White House.  The press asked questions about their discussion and if they prayed for the president. The press had Billy Graham ‘pose’ in prayer for pictures. Front page news was not very flattering to Truman or Billy Graham. Billy Graham strived to be apolitical being better able to serve the nation as needed. Joining Bill Clinton in Oklahoma City after the bombing. Being invited by Bush to preach at the National Cathedral after 9/11 to give solace to a grieving nation. Fighting the Segregation Battle However, Billy Graham did not see segregation as a political issue. He felt hatred and racism was a moral and spiritual issue. While raised in a Jim Crow state, he searched the scriptures for truth. Billy Graham developed a relationship with Martin Luther King. He desired to know more about the issues colored people were facing. When asked how he could help the cause, Marin Luther King opened doors for Billy Graham to preach at black churches. Martin Luther King said he would take the fight to the streets with marches. Billy Graham could fight from the pulpit – preaching to white and black. Billy Graham removed segregation from his crusades in 1953 before Brown vs. Wade decision. He received death threats for this action. Yet he continued to proclaim that Christ belonged to ALL people.  Humanitarian As Billy Graham traveled the world, he saw vast poverty and travesty of floods & earthquakes. He began humanitarian efforts under Samaritan’s Purse; putting hands and feet to the message of God’s Love. Billy Graham’s service has been honored with a Congressional medal, receiving a unanimous vote from the senate. He is also one of few citizens that has laid in state in the capital rotunda. Regrets Even with such honors, meeting dignitaries, impacting millions of people worldwide, Billy Graham still had regrets. Graham had moments he wasn’t neutral on policies. He learned quickly if he was going to be a trusted pastor & counsel to leaders of nations, he needed to restrict conversations publicly and privately to spiritual concerns. Perhaps the biggest regret is all the traveling. He spent months on end away from the family. His children’s...

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The Quality of Life

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on The Quality of Life

People getting ready to retire think about all the things they plan to do – things that were restricted due to working. They plan extensive trips, take care of grand-kids, volunteer, play golf. What is not usually on the radar for many retirees is what will retirement look like in 10 or 20 years. Watch this video and answer 3 simple questions. You may not need an answer today, but let these questions guide some of the decisions you make during retirement. More information on Quality of Life ...

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Beware! Thieves!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Beware! Thieves!

IRS is open for business. However, refunds can be held up for closer scrutiny – especially if you are claiming refundable child tax credit or earned income credit. Measures to help detect tax identity theft and refund fraud could result in delays. Emerging Threats New tax bill may increase tax fraud this year. Experts warn that the combination of new laws, IRS budget cuts, and data breaches gives way for hackers to commit tax identity theft. For example, the Equifax breach in 2017 exposed the Social Security numbers of 143 million people, which can be used to file fraudulent tax returns. The IRS has also already warned about phishing emails appearing to come from the IRS and ask for personal tax information. The best advice for avoiding tax fraud is to file your taxes as early as possible. What to know about the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities Every year, we face new major cybersecurity incidents that seem more broadly damaging than those in the past. This year has started off no differently, with the discovery of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, which affect nearly every type of device made in 1995 or later. Meltdown and Spectre are hardware vulnerabilities that were discovered in nearly every processor, the main hardware in devices such as computers and smartphones. The flaws allow hackers to access your device’s memory, including your passwords stored in a manager or browser, emails, photos, browsing history, private documents saved on your device, and more. The flaws were shared with technology industries before being shared with the public to give the companies a chance to create patches for the vulnerabilities. It is very likely that your devices are affected by these flaws. Thus, it is imperative that you update all of your devices quickly and regularly as more patches become available. It is also important to update your browsers, operating system, and software programs. Below is a list of patch details for some popular devices and operating systems. Apple: Apple users should be running iOS 11.2.2 on iPhones and iPads to protect themselves against the vulnerabilities. Mac users should be using macOS 10.13.2 and AppleTV should be running tvOS 11.2. If you use Safari, be sure it has been updated to version 11.0.2. Your devices should prompt you to update automatically, but you can learn more about the update here. Google/Android: Android users should update their devices using the Android 2018-01-05 Security Patch Level. If Google Chrome is your preferred browser, be sure to update to version 64 but note that more updates may become available later. Chomebooks should all be updated to version 63, which started being pushed out in December of 2017. You can get more details on other Google products and patches here. Microsoft/Windows: Windows has pushed updates following the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities but was forced to shut down the updates temporarily as they caused issues on some devices. Older Windows devices may experience slower performance after applying the patch. You can check if a patch is available your device here. Your device should prompt you to update automatically. Linux: Linux released an update for devices back in December 2017. You can access the update here....

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Is the stock market giving you indigestion?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Is the stock market giving you indigestion?

Is the stock market giving you indigestion? The last week has seen 2000 points disappear on the Dow.  This seems like a large amount of change. Let’s put it in perspective.  The Dow was at 26,600.  A 10% correction is a move of 2,660 points.  The market changes are within normal correction movement. Many economists and fund managers have been anticipating a market correction.  It was a matter of when. Listen to Brian Wesbury’s short video on the stock market.  He says the market is experiencing some heart burn but it is not a heart...

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Are We On A Sugar High?

Posted by on Jan 23, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Are We On A Sugar High?

The stock market has been on a terror. The Dow blowing through a 1000 point increase in just a few days from the end of 2017 into the new year. The S&P rose 19.4% excluding dividends, in 2017 and is up again in 2018. Are we on a sugar high? Can this growth be sustained? Aren’t we do for a market correction? Following several economists and market strategists, there is a consensus that growth will continue in the US and international economies for 2018. Fidelity ‘simplified’ a complicated topic. Fidelity states there are 3 basic concepts for a bright economic outlook. We have resolved many of our structural issues. Economy is doing better than people think. Labor market remains strong. Unemployment rates are the lowest they have been in decades. No immediate inflation concerns CPI total and CPI core total hovering at 2% (per Factset) Company earnings have been growing again after S&P Dow Jones indices being flat for 2014, 2015 & 2016. (Stock prices follow earnings.) There is more stimulus coming out of Washington. Taxes- Tax Bill is estimated to cut 2018 tax obligations by about $200 Billion. Fidelity estimates that will increase GDP by 0.3%. Cut in corporate taxes will add about $10 in earnings to companies that are a part of the S&P 500 Index. Significant repatriation of cash sitting on foreign balance sheets is likely. ($2.3 Trillion available for S&P 500 Companies alone.) Deregulation (e.g. Energy, Financial, Healthcare) Fiscal Stimulus           -Infrastructure (next?)           -Increase in Defense spending           -Rebuilding of Houston, Florida & Puerto Rico The future is not without risks Geopolitical (North Korea, Iran/Saudi Arabia) US Trade Policy- (NAFTA, China i.e. protectionism) Slowdown in China? Monetary policy mistake? What is an investor to do? Be diversified among asset classes i.e. stock, international, bonds. (Multiple funds invested in Large Cap is not diversified.) Brian Westbury, Chief Economist for First Trust, states “The better strategy for most investors is don’t sell. Some sort of correction is inevitable but know one knows for sure when it will happen and few have discipline to take advantage of the situation.”  ...

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