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Personal Finance Applications

Having an easy to manage spending plan is the cornerstone for financial success. It’s important to know your cash inflows and outflows so that you make the most of your hard-earned money. Knowing how much you spend on categories like groceries, eating out, or gas can help you identify areas where maybe you are spending too much. Then, you can direct funds towards something else that has greater importance to you, such as saving for retirement, a new home, or…

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AI OR HUMAN FINANCIAL ADVISORS?

Artificial intelligence (AI) made a dramatic appearance in 2023. As often happens with hot topics, an initial flurry of attention on AI kicked off a cascade of articles, podcasts, interviews, and commentaries on how AI would transform society. This led to a frenzy of buying from investors hoping to cash in on the AI gravy train. While AI is likely to have a significant impact on business, science, and society over the next few decades, we’ve been pondering how it…

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CAN YOU MAKE ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PREVIOUS YEARS?

As tax time comes around each year, clients often ask us, “can I still make an IRA/ Roth IRA contribution for last year?” The good news is if it is before the tax filing deadline (i.e., April 15, 2024 for the 2023 tax year), yes, you might be able to. Who can make a retroactive IRA or Roth IRA contribution? Roth IRA contribution eligibility is determined by your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) and your age. Traditional IRA contribution eligibility…

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WHAT ARE NORMAL INTEREST RATES?

For the last 15 years since the Financial Crisis in 2008 interest rates as set by the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) have been at or near 0%. Home buyers got used to mortgage rates under 3% much of the time. Savers also, grudgingly, put up with paltry rates on their money market accounts, bond funds, and certificates of deposit. Now that the Fed has increased their interest rate from 0% to over 5% to combat inflation, rates have risen in…

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Blue book cover - I'm Dead, Now What?

“I’M DEAD, NOW WHAT?” BY PETER PAUPER PRESS

The death of a loved one is emotional, stressful, and can put such a huge strain on those left behind. Why not be prepared for the inevitable? “I’m dead, Now What?” is an excellent workbook to help you prepare your loved ones for your passing. This book walks you through gathering all the information your loved ones will need to take care of your belongings, financial or business affairs, and your wishes. Instead of leaving them panicking or arguing over…

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MARKET UPDATE: WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Before last year started, roughly 85% of economists were confident that the U.S. would have a recession in 2023. We didn’t. It is still not clear if or when we will have one. Virtually every other time that interest rates have risen as much as they did in 2022 and 2023 a decline in economic growth has occurred. What was different this time? What many economists did not factor in was the size and impact of the unprecedented government stimulus…

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CAN YOU MAKE QUALIFIED CHARITABLE DONATIONS FROM YOUR IRA?

The last few months of the year are when many people make charitable donations. Did you know that those who are over 70½ may make this donation from their IRA account (also known as a qualified charitable donation (QCD))? Instead of sending a charitable donation via check from your bank account, request that a check be sent out from your IRA to your chosen charity. Why Should I Make a Charitable Donation From my IRA? There are several different benefits…

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HOW TO AVOID A SPENDING HANGOVER AFTER THE HOLIDAYS

The holidays can be an expensive time of year. Between trying to please everyone and buying for everyone, your finances may suffer. Here are 6 tips to make the gift buying season easier for your wallet and your stress level. Make a list and stick to it. Make a list of all the people you need to buy for this year, set a spending limit for each gift, and then follow it! It is never too early to start a…

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WHY TO INVEST IN U.S. TREASURY BONDS

For most of the last 15 years, savers have been penalized. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008, interest rates have been kept near 0% more than 60% of the time. This has meant that money market funds, bank accounts, Certificates of Deposit, and many types of bonds paid little or NO interest for several years. Circumstances have dramatically changed since the beginning of 2022. To bring down inflation, interest rates have been rising steadily. Once all…

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WHERE IS THE RECESSION?

With interest rates rising rapidly last autumn, calls for an imminent recession were widespread. But, here we are nearly a year later, and there are few signs of a temporary decrease in economic activity on the horizon. Why Are We Not in a Recession Yet? Expectations of a recession were everywhere roughly a year ago based on historical circumstances. In virtually every instance when short term rates have exceeded long term rates for a considerable period, a recession has followed…

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