Archive - August 2010

1
The Dirty Dozen: Popular Tax Scams That Can Affect Everyone
2
10 Tips For Working With Your Financial Advisor
3
5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Just About Anything
4
Calculating How Much You’ll Need To Save For College
5
6 Benefits of the Health Savings Account

The Dirty Dozen: Popular Tax Scams That Can Affect Everyone

Each year, the IRS produces a list of tax scams that they have uncovered – which they call the Dirty Dozen.  Unfortunately, this Dirty Dozen doesn’t star Lee Marvin (or any of the others), and it’s nowhere near as much fun to help you while away a Sunday afternoon.  No, these are illegal activities that you need to be aware of, because you can be caught off-guard by some of these, as they can be quite sophisticated, appearing to be legitimate and above-board.

As with all situations, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  The list …

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10 Tips For Working With Your Financial Advisor

For many financial advisors, client service is paramount.  They live it, they breathe it, they instill it in their own employees.  Really good financial advisors are always trying to be better at client service.  So I am always astounded when I talk to someone who has been with an advisor for years and never hears from him, doesn’t think he or she is a very good advisor but they’ve never moved on to something better.  Family legacy?  Maybe.  Inertia? Likely.  As a client, you deserve better!

If you really don’t like your advisor, by all means – pick a new …

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5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Just About Anything

Walking on salmonella-laced eggshells, wondering whether we’ve finally seen the worst of the BP oil spill, it’s clear that the world remains as risky as ever. By the time I post this blog, there will probably be yet another new headline with another unlikely risk that few of us saw coming.

As a financial planner, I think about unlikely risks all the time. While we can only do so much to avoid a bad egg before it’s been recalled, there are reasonable steps you can take to mitigate some of the bigger “unlikely” risks. Here are some examples.

1.) Premature

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Calculating How Much You’ll Need To Save For College

Fidelity Investments today released its 4th annual College Savings Indicator study, in which it calculates the percentage of future college costs that parents are prepared to meet. In addition, Fidelity offered guidelines on the amounts that families need to save for college as a % of household income.

Despite the fact that two-thirds of parents are saving for their children’s college education, Fidelity concluded that parents are only prepared to cover 16% of the cost of a college education.

To give parents guidance as to how much they should be saving for college, Fidelity also did a series of calculations …

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6 Benefits of the Health Savings Account

Why do people open up Health Savings Accounts in tandem with high-deductible insurance plans? Well, here are some of the compelling reasons why younger, healthier employees decide to have HSAs.

#1: Tax-deductible contributions. These accounts are funded with pre-tax income. Your annual contribution limit to an HSA depends on your age and the type of insurance plan you have in conjunction with the account. For 2010, the limit is set at $3,050 (individual plan) and $6,150 (family plan). If you are older than 55, those limits are nudged $1,000 higher.(source)
#2: Tax-free growth. The money in an HSA …

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