By: Raymond Kirk, Ph. D., Federal Benefits Specialist
Published: April 20, 2018
You had an unexpected car repair; a squirrel got into your attic, your water heater ruptured. Sudden unplanned expenses can play havoc with your budget and you are not alone. More than one-third of households (34 percent) endured a major unexpected expense over the past year, according to Bankrate’s latest Financial Security Index survey.
Only 39 percent said they could cover a $1,000 expense with savings. A quarter of the households would borrow from friends or cut back on other regular monthly expenses. One out of five would use a credit card and pay off over time, making the total cost even greater. Your best protection is to have an emergency savings fund as a cushion.
By: Karen Schaeffer, Certified Financial Planner®
Published: March 20, 2018
So, which is better, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)? Such a deceptively simple question can fill countless, “well, it depends” paragraphs without getting to an answer. Rather than ramble on about endless variables, lets walk through some of the strengths of each, trying to keep in mind the correct answer might:
- Be both instead of either/or;
- Differ based on whether we’re in the accumulation phase or the spending phase of life; and
- Be different for you than for someone else – its personal financial planning after all.
By: Michele Bollier, Federal Benefits Specialist
Published: February 20, 2018
There are a vast number of Federal benefits resources at your fingertips. All have websites and one even has an app. This article provides some you may want to explore.
By: Kari Utz-Wolsky, Nutrition and Conditioning Specialist
Published: January 19, 2018
As we head into the New Year, many of us desire to make positive health changes. And for those who make New Years resolutions, a large majority of these goals revolve around diet and/or exercise. We may hope to give up poor habits, or embark on a new exercise routine. Or possibly we even hope to make a complete overhaul to our nutrition plan. Unfortunately, the odds are not in our favor. Eighty percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February! Continue reading
By: Justin B. Dean, CFP®
Published: December 20, 2017
Everyone makes mistakes. Learning from them is what really matters. Consider these common money mistakes and tips to move past them:
- “I live within my means. If I have anything left over after paying my bills, I put it in my savings account.” If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Develop a well-defined strategy to ensure you are making intentional decisions with your money. Having a plan to follow can help increase your chances of sticking to it. Continue reading
By: Michael Townshend
Published: November 20, 2017
“We have both been working for many years and our retirements are approaching. Hooray!”
But, we’ve realized that our eligibility dates won’t coincide, often, not even close. Is that going to be a problem? Are there ways to prepare for the time in between when one of us is still working while the other is at home enjoying retirement?”
These are not uncommon questions. Many couples with dual careers realize that they will not be able to retire simultaneously. In fact, most dual retirement horizons will have some period in between. Continue reading
By: Raymond Kirk, Ph.D., Federal Benefits Specialist
Published: October 20, 2017
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) give employees the opportunity to save hundreds, potentially thousands, of dollars a year on health care and dependent care expenses. Yet, fewer than 20% of employees take advantage of them. There are two types of FSAs: Health Care (HCFSA) and Dependent Care (DCFSA). Both operate the same way. Employees have money withheld from their pay and deposited in their FSA accounts. When you have eligible expenses they are paid out of the money withheld from your pay. The benefit is the money is put into your FSA account on a pre-tax basis and you never have to pay the taxes.
By: Bob Leins, CPA
Published: August 30, 2017
September is an ideal time to project your 2017 income tax liability.
Begin by projecting your 2017 sources of income, deductions and tax withholding:
- Use the same tax software used to prepare your 2016 Tax Return(s)
- If your 2016 return(s) were prepared for you – please review them first and then contact your tax professional and ask for a “2017 tax projection”
- Self-prepared returns should follow the same procedures but use 2017 tax rates (2017 tax rates were determined in late Fall 2016)
By: Norman Handler, Esquire
Published: July 20, 2017
Everybody knows the expression, “There is nothing certain in life except for death and taxes”. The ‘taxes’ referred to, are income taxes that are paid on earnings while alive. But following death, your estate and your beneficiaries have to deal with numerous taxes: Continue reading