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1
Planning for College – Managing Wants and Desires
2
When Your Parent’s Financial Problems Become Your Problems…
3
The Greek Tragedy and a Chinese Fire Drill
4
Can I Fund My Roth With Book Publishing Royalties?
5
Are There Any Disadvantages Associated With Paying off a Mortgage Early?

Planning for College – Managing Wants and Desires

Children are often influenced in ways that are not always obvious.  As mentioned in part 1 of this 3 part series on planning for college, family conversations about fond college memories and experiences, likely occur long before a child narrows their choice about where to apply and enroll.  Children will also be influenced by friends and their ideas or maybe where a teacher encourages them to explore.  Ideally, they consider their intellectual and vocational gifts and settle on a few schools that align well with their longer term professional or vocational aspirations.

All the while, parents may be trying to …

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When Your Parent’s Financial Problems Become Your Problems…

By Eve Kaplan, CFP® Professional

What should you do when your parent or parents’ financial problems become your problems? We Americans are notoriously private about financial matters; it’s common for adult children and parents to share very little in the way of financial information. This kind of privacy can come back to bite us, however, when issues or problems our aging parents face become our financial problems, too. Here are two examples of how adult children tackled these issues.

  1. Janice and her mother, Joy:

Janice’s mother, Joy, is in her early 80s. Her father passed away several years ago. Both …

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The Greek Tragedy and a Chinese Fire Drill

Greece had been edging towards an exit of the Eurozone.  Global market risk, while elevated from the news, had generally suggested that the direct outcome of this event would be limited / falling well short of anything that would constitute a genuine crisis.  China, on the other hand, has emerged as a much more substantial issue with the weakness in the local Chinese market spilling into Hong Kong and global equity markets.

Until matters stabilize in China this will certainly continue to be the main driver of financial markets, and even the impact of a favorable end to the Greek …

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Can I Fund My Roth With Book Publishing Royalties?

All I have are publishing royalties, but I want to fund my Roth IRA. Do publishing royalties count as earned income to the IRS?

Roth IRAs can only be funded with earned income (which the IRS call “compensation”). In the IRS’ guide for IRA Contributions (Publication 590), they say compensation explicitly includes: wages, salaries, commissions, self-employment income, alimony, nontaxable combat pay, and “other amounts you receive for providing personal services”. Meanwhile, the following explicitly do not count as compensation: “earnings and profits from property, such as rental income, interest income, and dividend income,” pensions and annuities, deferred compensation, …

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Are There Any Disadvantages Associated With Paying off a Mortgage Early?

I’m often asked if it makes sense to pay off a mortgage early or invest the cash in the markets. As is often the case in personal finance, the answer is, wait for it…..it depends.

The disadvantages, if any, may stem from the financial trade-offs that a mortgage holder needs to make when paying off the mortgage. Paying it off typically requires a cash outlay equal to the amount of the principal. If the principal is sizeable, this payment could potentially jeopardize a middle-income family’s ability to save for retirement, invest for college, maintain an emergency fund, and take care …

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