By Sandra Parsons Debt is a major barrier to financial well-being among Americans. While we tend to think of debt as an issue affecting young and middle-aged people, the truth is that senior citizens carry debt, too. Among seniors approaching retirement, debt can be an obstacle to maximizing savings. Retirees living on a reduced income
0 Comments
Are you having trouble getting a date? Could be your rap, your looks, or your excessive debt. According to a recent survey by Finder.com, 72% of respondents say they would re-think a relationship with a partner in significant debt. (That’s similar to the percentage in last year’s Finder.com survey, so don’t expect debt to
0 Comments
Survey Suggests Economic Overconfidence If the economy is so great and unemployment is so low, why do so many Americans live paycheck to paycheck? And why don’t we seem to care? The February PYMNTS.com Financial Invisibles Report attempts to answer these questions, noting, “For three consecutive quarters, consumers have been optimistic about their financial futures
0 Comments
After the 2017 announcement of the Equifax data breach that potentially compromised the personal information of almost 150 million consumers, you’d probably expect Congress to take significant action to prevent future breaches. To date, you’d be wrong – but that may change with a Democratic House eager to address consumer protection issues. The Consumer Financial
0 Comments
First-time homebuyers face many obstacles, but perhaps the most frustrating one is accumulating down payment money. Traditional loans require a 20% down payment. Using Zillow’s $229,800 median home sale price for November 2018, that’s over $45,000 – and in many urban markets, a 20% down payment will easily top $100,000. How long will it take
0 Comments
Like most Americans, you probably want to get through your taxes as quickly as possible. For the 2018 tax year, fewer of us will itemize, and those who do may find fewer deductions available due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). However, do not rush through your return so quickly that
0 Comments
Valentine’s Day may be one of the few times per year that you go out and buy fresh flowers, but that is no excuse for rookie mistakes. The gift of flowers is a reminder that you are thinking of someone and February 14 is an excellent opportunity to send this message. Make that gesture count
0 Comments
Are credit scores a mystery to you? Do they seem like random numbers generated by bureaucrats armed with dartboards and Ouija boards? A new survey by CompareCards.com finds that 37% of Americans have no idea how their credit score is calculated. Worse yet, another 14% wouldn’t indicate whether they knew how their credit
0 Comments
To paraphrase the old adage, there are only three absolutes in life: death, taxes, and the rise of scams during tax season. A major tax scam since 2013 involves phone calls by fictional IRS agents that demand immediate payment for alleged tax debts, threatening lawsuits or even jail time to those who refused to comply.
0 Comments
Your Medicare eligibility date impacts the coverage that you qualify for. If you are eligible for Medicare before 2020, then your options will be different than those of Americans who become eligible from January 1, 2020 on. Since Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2015, the plans with no
0 Comments
Tax filing season is upon us. Soon you will be filing your paperwork and perhaps receiving a nice check — unless thieves file a return in your name first and falsely claim your refund. Unfortunately, if a thief has your Social Security number and other relevant information, tax identity theft is very hard to prevent.
0 Comments
While many deductions were cut or modified with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, most tax credits were retained. Tax credits are more powerful than tax deductions because they directly subtract from your tax bill (deductions only reduce taxable income). Refundable tax credits are even better, since refunds can be greater
0 Comments
Are you ready to cut your tax bill as much as possible? Consider these thirteen ways to keep your contributions to Uncle Sam as low as possible. 1. Filing Status – Are you filing under the correct status? It’s usually best for couples to file jointly, but married couples filing separate returns could
0 Comments
By Amy Beardsley You are given the option of “debit or credit” when making purchases with your debit card. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to consider before swiping your debit card to pay for that next purchase. Although debit cards may look like credit cards, they don’t function like credit cards. When
0 Comments
One of the most controversial provisions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was the limit it placed on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The TCJA capped the deduction on combined payments for state and local property, sales, and income taxes at $10,000 beginning in the 2018 tax year. According to the
0 Comments
The Shutdown’s Housing Market Woes It’s a great time to buy a home, and you’re ready. You’ve saved up a suitable down payment, found a home, and settled on a lender. As an added bonus, interest rates are at their lowest point in the last nine months – despite the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.
0 Comments
A balance transfer card with a 0% introductory interest rate can be an excellent way to consolidate high-interest debt and efficiently pay it down. It can also be a way to avoid reality and rack up even greater interest payments in the end. A new study by CompareCards.com finds that too many Americans are taking
0 Comments
Is it tax time already? You may not want to admit it, but tax time starts well before the filing deadline. Your important tax forms start arriving in the mail in January. If you simply let them accumulate in a pile, it will be April before you realize it, and you will be scrambling around,
0 Comments
Identity thieves have many ways to steal your money – including fraudulent tax returns. They file a return in your name as early as possible to beat your legitimate return, with fake financial data designed to claim a large refund. You won’t realize this until your tax return is denied because there’s already been a
0 Comments
Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,230 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer confidence are
0 Comments