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Money

March 2015
Ambord
Dollar Sense

Potpourri: Stuff You Should Know to Help Keep Your Money and Your Identity Safe… Plus a Few Freebies

I had never heard of the firm, yet I supposedly have filed a judicial complaint through them. Obviously the con artists hoped I would be curious enough or frightened enough to open the handy link they provided, and download their malicious software into my computer.

Ambord
Dollar Sense

Seven Signs that You May Have a Bad Financial Adviser

My grandfather passed up the chance to buy property in Orange County, California, which later became the Disneyland parking lot. True stories like that make us believe – sometimes that which is too good to be true really can be true. We want to believe! Unfortunately, that’s how otherwise smart individuals get taken to the cleaners.

Ambord
Dollar Sense

Tax Information that Could Save You Money or Help You Avoid IRS-Stress, Plus Some Nice-Try-But-No-Deduction Stories

If you did not pay at least 90% of the amount you owed in 2013, and you end up owing more than $1,000 when you file your tax return for 2014, you may be hit with a penalty for underpayment of taxes, of 3% of the amount you didn’t pay. If you retired in 2014 you may be able to request a waiver of the penalty, using Form 2210. Be sure to ask your tax preparer if you qualify.

David
Legal Ease

Giving It Away Free of Taxes

The federal estate tax exemption will increase in 2015 from 2014’s amount of $5.34 million to $5.43 million dollars for a single person. A husband and wife will be able to shelter $10.86 million dollars from federal estate taxes in 2015.

Telleen-Lawton
Financial Fortitude

Marriage – Straight or Gay – Not a Good Choice Just for Finances

Finally, with marriage comes the potential for divorce. When a spouse becomes a "fife" (former wife) or a "was-band," the process is still difficult, costly, and time-consuming by design. Given these complexities, I would not suggest a marriage for financial reasons.

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The benefits accrue largely because a spouse leap-frogs over the rest of the family to becoming your next of kin. Retirement plans such as 401(k)s require that the spouse be the beneficiary unless he or she waives that right. Likewise, spousal and survivor Social Security benefits accrue to legally married partners.

February 2015
Ambord
Dollar Sense

Caring for an Older, Dependent Family Member? Claim Your Tax Deductions

If your parent or relative qualifies as your dependent, for 2014 this is worth a deduction of $3,950 against your taxable income. (On your 2015 tax this rises to $4,000.)

Ambord
Dollar Sense

How Your Age May Affect Your Credit Score

Creditcards.com says, “In the world of the FICO credit score, age and experience trump youth and enthusiasm.” At last – someone recognizes the value of gray hair!

Ambord
Dollar Sense

Tax-related Scams That Target the Elderly and Vulnerable and What to Watch For

The tax credit is real, and is called the American Opportunity Tax Credit or AOTC. To qualify, the taxpayer must be currently enrolled in higher education. Con artists rope in unsuspecting seniors by convincing them the credit is available to them even if they went to college many years ago.

Ambord
Dollar Sense

The Cost of Some Home Care Workers Won’t Change After All

In plain English, if you employ a household worker whose duties go well beyond companionship, you may still have to pay overtime and minimum wages to that worker. And this is true whether you employ the worker privately or through a third party agency.

January 2015
Ambord
Dollar Sense

Consider This Lower Cost Way to Pay Big Expenses: A Home Equity Line of Credit

A HELOC is good for one-time or rare expenses, like the dental care mentioned, or a needed expensive home repair, like a new roof. Don't seek a HELOC if you need it to meet day to-day expenses. If that's your situation, you are already in financial hot water and a HELOC will only make it worse.

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