Financial Wellness @ Work

You Have Less Than a Week to Make These Tax Saving Moves

Have you filed your taxes yet? April 15th is largely known as tax day, the deadline for filing and paying our taxes for the previous year. But it’s also the deadline to make 2014 contributions to three types of accounts that can reduce your taxes now, later, or both: Read more

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Are You Up To Our 30 Day Challenge?

Last Tuesday, President Obama proclaimed April 2015 as National Financial Capability Month and called “upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices.” The goal is to “take time to increase our knowledge of our finances and encourage our friends and family to do the same.” He then pointed out the free financial resources available at MyMoney.gov, ConsumerFinance.gov, and 1-800-FED-INFO.  Read more

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How To Tell If You Are Getting Advice Or A Sales Pitch

I recently spoke with a friend who has been talking to advisors about retirement planning. Since I am always curious about the client-advisor experience, I asked her what she was told. After hearing her, I told her that she was not getting advice. She was getting a sales pitch.  Read more

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Stop Going Through the Motions of Filing a Tax Return

Spring is a busy time of year here at Financial Finesse. While we are always busy providing financial guidance with passion and objectivity, the tax season and the April 15th deadline provide an extra sense of urgency for many callers reaching out to us on the Financial Helpline. Many of the income tax specific calls we receive can be characterized as information seeking and tend to be reactive discussions. When you think about the tax filing burdens created by a complicated tax code, the IRS can strike fear into hard working taxpayers to try and get things right.  Read more

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the New Student Loan Forgiveness Program

I recently received a panicked call from a friend of mine who had just graduated from graduate school with $120k of student loan debt. Since she had trouble making the payments, she signed up with the new “Pay As You Earn” student loan forgiveness program. Then she got an ugly surprise… Read more

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Don’t Turn Divorce Into A Costly Donation

When marital relationships come to a messy end, it can be difficult for the couple to find anything to agree on. One thing that men and women going through divorce generally do agree on is that arguing about money is a top predictor of divorce. Research suggests that arguments about money early during a relationship increase the likelihood of divorce. Many individuals who have gone through a divorce can attest to the fact that money quarrels don’t always end after the divorce proceedings have ended. In today’s blog post, my colleague Paul Wannemacher explores the financial impact of this emotional life transition. Read more

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Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Worth Losing The Tax Deduction?

I recently received a question after one of my workshops from a woman who was wondering if she made a mistake paying her mortgage off early because she no longer has the mortgage interest deduction. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten different versions of that same question (including after a later workshop session that same day). Here are several reasons why this is a classic case of letting the tax tail wag the dog: Read more

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Last Minute Tax Savings With An HSA

In recent weeks, millions of taxpayers have been realizing the true impact of the Affordable Care Act as they file their tax returns. It’s probably no surprise the individual mandate required most Americans to have health insurance coverage as of January 1, 2014. If you had employer-provided health insurance coverage for most of 2014 or you purchased coverage through a private exchange or directly from an insurance company, the health insurance mandate will not have an impact your taxes. Read more

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Conflating and Misremembering

It’s been hard to not pay attention to what is going on in the news business lately.Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show. Brian Williams has stopped reporting the news and has become the news.  Read more

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A Time Tested Approach to Financial Advisors

Years ago, I had a brilliant WWII veteran as a client, one of the smartest women I had ever met. She told me that she was so glad that women were finally advisors because it took her almost a decade to find the right advisor when she started looking in the 1950s and I asked her why. Her answer was that her due diligence saved her from many “Bernie Maddoffs” over the years. Her process can be almost a textbook case for how to look for and work with an advisor: Read more

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Financial Finesse’s unbiased financial planning blog wins Gold for "Blog of the Year" in the 2014 Best in Biz Awards!

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