Lending to Friends and Family

The first thing which may come to mind when lending money to friends or family may be thoughts around impact on your relationship, because this is just a personal matter, right? Well, the Internal Revenue Service may feel differently.

There are some things which you should keep in mind, and some things you […]

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Dwindling Dividends

There is no shortage of online articles promising great success for retirees who buy into stocks and live off the dividends. However, there is often little, or no, historical information provided.

Consider this – in 1873, a basket of large-cap stocks (like the S&P 500) paid a dividend yield of 7.5%. Receiving $7.5 […]

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FAFSA Changes Benefit Grandparent 529s

FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the main form used by universities and colleges that determines a student’s eligibility to receive financial aid. To simplify, there is a formula that assesses the income and assets of both parents and students. This formula is used to calculate […]

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Social Security And Inflation

Since 1975, the Social Security Administration has adjusted benefit payments to account for inflation. The goal is to have what recipients receive to keep pace with inflation. For the past decade, these inflation adjustments have been modest, as you can see in the chart. In 2009, 2010 and 2015, there was no […]

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U.S. Economy By State

It is common knowledge that the U.S. economy is the largest in the world. But, we may not realize the magnitude of the size difference. A recent graphic published by the GZero organization gives a pretty good hint.

Look at the map and notice that North Dakota — one of the smallest states […]

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State Tax Return on Investment

State governments provide, by taxing its citizens, a variety of services such as police and fire protection, schools, roads / bridges, and a social safety net. But are we getting what we pay for?

A recent study by the WalletHub website asked a team of experts to calculate which states offer the highest return […]

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Investments for the Long Run

A common tool used by financial advisors is something called the Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns. As you can see from the following chart, the rank order of different asset classes (color coded; top is highest performers, lowest is worst returns), is generally random.

See for yourself whether you can discern any pattern. […]

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Costly States

Which state has the highest (lowest) taxes? The answer turns out to be surprisingly complicated.

If you look at state income taxes, and assuming a decent to high level of income, California immediately jumps to the bottom of the list. It’s highest state income tax bracket is 13.3% — higher than second-place Hawaii […]

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Challenges of Being an Executor

When you are asked to be an executor of someone’s estate, what are those responsibilities?

A NerdWallet website article provides many insights into the various tasks you would be agreeing to take on. For example, the executor must find the deceased’s relevant documents, inventory the assets and debts, and arrange appraisals for the […]

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Spending and the Brain

Many people will spend money irrationally – and for a variety of reasons. Maybe to make themselves feel better, satisfy a mid-life crisis, or to “keep up with the Joneses”. What is less commonly known is that these behaviors are embedded in our brains? But, what is the actual reason why spending […]

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