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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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Wedding Gift Etiquette

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 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 Wedding Gift Etiquette

It’s June and the wedding invitations are arriving, and the question becomes how much do you spend on a wedding gift?  The answer is:  It depends…           At no time do you spend more than your budget allows. You are encouraged to buy items off the registry.  You can plug either the bride or grooms name into RegistryFinder.com and discover where the couple has registered.  Start early to give yourself more options. Can you give cash?  Cash is the ultimate wedding gift, both for giver and recipient.  Cash doesn’t have to be bought at a certain store, is never the wrong color, and is easy to wrap by enclosing it in a thoughtful wedding card.  For the couple, cash does not need to be returned with a gift receipt, will match any household décor, and can be used for many purchases and expenses no matter what the amount, cash is useful and practical gift to help a couple start their life together. Whether you are buying a gift from the couple’s registry or giving cash, the guidelines for the amount are similar. Relationship – Close friends and family members would receive more than a co-worker. Travel Distance – If attending a wedding requires a plane ride and a hotel stay, you can buy something less expensive off the registry. Wedding Party Status – In general, the wedding party gives more, but if there were above and beyond expenses – like an extremely expensive bridesmaid dress or a bachelorette getaway in Mexico – you can give less. Other Gifts – If you are participating in other wedding activities, you can allocate your budget over these events.  The general rule is 20% on an engagement party or bachelorette party (depending on what part of the country you live), 20% on the bridal shower and 60% on the wedding gift. So how much is the right amount? The following is a guide: Wedding Gift Young person with limited budget = $50 Co-worker or acquaintance = $50 – $75 Friend or relative = $75 – $150 Close friend or relative = $100 – $200 (more in urban areas) In 2014, RegistryFinder.com reflected the average amount spent on a wedding gift was $120.  This is comparable to the average gift of $125 that Tendr.com registered. You can send your gift ahead, bring it to the wedding or deliver it up to 1 year later.  However, try to deliver within a two month period from the wedding. Again the guiding rule is “what does your budget allow.”  It isn’t about what they gave you in the past.  Personal budgets and financial situations change over time.  What may be an appropriate amount for a cash gift at one time may not be suitable for another event. Securities and advisory services through KMS Financial Services, Inc.  ...

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Do’s & Don’ts of College Planning: Roth IRA for College

Posted by on May 19, 2016 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 Do’s & Don’ts of College Planning: Roth IRA for College

Roth IRA’s are another option that can be part of your game plan for college funding. One of the challenges in planning for college is to know what your newborn’s talents will be, what college they should attend, or will they get scholarships or have great athletic talent.  Add the fact, that if you over fund your 529 plan or educational savings account, you will have a 10% penalty to use the monies for non-qualified expenditures. I know of an instance where the child attended college in England in order to absorb the monies accumulated in the 529 plan. So how do you adequately fund without over funding?   One means is to use a Roth IRA.  You can withdraw principal contributions from a Roth, if it has been established for at least 5 years, without incurring income tax or a penalty.  This is a means to save tax free and use it for college if necessary. You can fund a Roth IRA up to $5,500 a year.  There are income restrictions.  Your contributions is phased out if you are married filing jointly and your Adjusted Gross Income is over $167,000.  And you aren’t eligible if your income is over $181,000.   If you are single, your adjusted gross income phase out range is between $105,000 and $120,000. A word of caution is careful to not jeopardize your own retirement to fund your child’s college.  Or you may decide to work a few years more to replenish the funds distributed from your retirement...

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Do’s and Don’ts of College Planning – U.S. Savings Bonds for College

Posted by on May 11, 2016 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 Do’s and Don’ts of College Planning – U.S. Savings Bonds for College

Double the money!  Another college savings option with relatively low risk is the U. S. Savings Bonds.  These types of bonds are usually purchased and redeemed at your bank.  They are issued in denominations of $50 to $10,000.  For example a $50 bond would cost you $25. The typical bond issue is Series EE.  The earnings are usually tax deferred for Federal and tax free for state.  Some post 1989 EE bonds may be redeemed federally tax free if used for qualified higher education.    To be federally tax free, the bond owner must be at least 24 years old before the bond’s issue date.  Bonds purchased for grandchildren in the grandchild’s name usually won’t qualify for this exemption. Parents have a restriction of income for the bonds to be tax free.  If you are married filing jointly, your phase out range for tax exemption of savings bonds for education currently is from $113,950 to $143,950.  As head of household, the range is $76,000 to $91,000. However, giving a series EE bond to grandchildren may build a nice fund for the child.  There is more flexibility in how the money can be spent – without penalty.  And anybody can give a gift of a bond.   Parents may encourage gifts of this kind to keep children from being over indulged with the latest, greatest toys. The series EE bond has a 20 year cycle.  It can be redeemed before the 20 year period.  However, if you redeem within the first 5 years, you will have a penalty of 3 months interest – similar to a Certificate of Deposit.  To determine the value of your Series EE bond you can go to the bond calculator at...

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Do’s and Don’ts of College Planning – 529 Plans

Posted by on May 5, 2016 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 Do’s and Don’ts of College Planning – 529 Plans

A more commonly known college savings plan is the Qualified Tuition Program or 529 plans.  What is less well known is there are 2 types of this plan under this program. A lesser known program is the prepaid tuition plan.  Prepaid tuition plans allow you to buy future tuition at today’s prices.  With 6% inflation per year in college costs, locking in a price has some advantages.  The drawback is, knowing which college your child will want to attend.   Once you fund at a college, you are locked in – very few exceptions for refunds. The more recognized 529 plans act similarly to the educational savings plan.  The contributions are not deductible.  But the earnings grow tax free.  The monies are withdrawn tax free if they are used for qualified college expenses and ONLY for college expenses.   If they are used for other purposes, the gains on the funds are included in taxable income and subject to a 10% penalty. The amount you may fund is limited to the $14,000 annual gift tax exclusion.  Unless you select the 5 year election, then your maximum is $70,000.  The collective maximum you invest is determined by the program and may be as much as $300,000 per beneficiary. Nearly every mutual fund family has a 529 program.  However, your state may have a specific plan.  For example, Idaho has the Ideal plan.  If you contribute under this program, you may deduct up to $8,000 per year on your Idaho income tax return.  You are restricted to the investment choices of the program. The 529 plans maintain some flexibility.  There is no age restriction of when you have to use the funds.  Also, you can change the beneficiary on the plan to another family member. One key to college planning is flexibility.  Life brings changes and you need to be able to adapt your...

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