Author - Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA

1
Your Year-End Bonus
2
Making Every Month Count – Excerpt from A Social Security Owner’s Manual, 3rd Edition
3
5 Tips To Avoid Overspending for the Holidays
4
College Costs Increase for 2014/2015
5
An End of Year Financial Checklist

Your Year-End Bonus

As the end of the year approaches many employers will pay and many employees will receive year-end bonuses. While often the icing on the cake for a productive year employee should be aware of the tax consequences of their bonus.

Percent vs. Aggregate Method

When it comes to taxing the bonus an employer may choose the percentage method versus the aggregate method. Under the aggregate or wage holding bracket method the employer will use the withholding tables generally used for the employee normal paycheck. Then, the supplemental wages are aggregated with the employee’s normal pay and taxes are withheld accordingly.…

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Making Every Month Count – Excerpt from A Social Security Owner’s Manual, 3rd Edition

You can listen to this article by using the podcast player below if you’re on the blog; if you’re reading this via RSS, there should be a “Play Now” link just below the title to access the audio.

monthDid you realize that even delaying a few months can have a significant impact on your Social Security benefit? This is the case for all Social Security benefits, including your own, a Spousal Benefit, or a Survivor Benefit. This applies whether you are taking the benefit before FRA or after, since your age is always calculated by the month. Increase or reduction …

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5 Tips To Avoid Overspending for the Holidays

wpid-Photo-Nov-22-2012-933-AM.jpgThe Holiday season is the time of year when we get into the spirit of giving and start our lists of who’s been naughty and nice. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday over, there are still plenty of days left to shop for friends and loved ones.

It can be tempting to get caught up in the spirit of giving so much that after the Holidays are over we’ve put ourselves in a financial bind. The following are five tips to consider this Holiday season to avoid overspending.

  1. Make a list (check it twice). Write down a list of the
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College Costs Increase for 2014/2015

411417417_9dd1963fd4_nBackground

Every year, the College Board releases  its Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports that highlight current college costs and trends in financial aid. While costs can vary significantly depending on the region and college, the College Board publishes average cost figures, which are based on its survey of nearly 4,000 colleges across the country.

Following are cost highlights. Total cost figures include tuition and fees, room and board, and a sum for books, transportation, and personal expenses. Together, these expenditures are officially referred to as the “total cost of attendance.”

Public colleges (in-state students)
  • Tuition
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An End of Year Financial Checklist

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s hard to imagine but another year is almost over. Soon, 2014 will make way for 2015. As you prepare for the end of the year here are some good tips to keep in mind before January 1st.

  • Have you put as much as you can into your 401k, 403b or other employer sponsored plan? If you’re expecting a bonus, consider saving some or all of it to your plan.
  • Did you get a raise? If you got raise, did you remember to give yourself a raise in your retirement savings? Many
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