Avoiding the Cybercrooks

Avoiding the Cybercrooks How can you protect yourself against ransomware, phishing, and other tactics?  Imagine finding out that your computer has been hacked. The hackers leave you a message: if you want your data back, you must pay them $300 in bitcoin. This was what happened to hundreds of thousands of PC users in May 2017 when they were attacked by the WannaCry malware, which exploited security flaws in Windows.  How can you plan to avoid cyberattacks and other attempts [...]

Is a Home an Investment?

Is a Home an Investment? From one perspective, the answer is yes; from another, no. When you buy a home, are you investing? If you buy it to flip it or buy it as a rental property, the answer is yes. If you buy a home simply to live in it, the answer may be no.  Your home is an expression of your lifestyle, a wonderful setting for your life, and a place you can enjoy in privacy and comfort. [...]

The Financial Toll of Addiction

The Financial Toll of Addiction Opioid abuse threatens to wreak havoc on family finances and retirement plans.  Imagine your retirement dreams put on hold or compromised, your savings and investment accounts reduced, and your loved ones uncommunicative or at odds with each other. This terrible state is reality for families ravaged by addiction.    OxyContin, heroin, and other opioids can cost an addict hundreds of dollars per day. Where will an addict find the thousands of dollars needed, over time, to [...]

By | 2017-10-19T11:13:10+00:00 October 19th, 2017|Personal Finance, Savings and Investing, Well-being|Comments Off on The Financial Toll of Addiction

Retiring Before 60

Retiring Before 60 If that is your dream, explore whether these steps could be useful to take.   How could you retire in your fifties by choice? You will need abundant retirement savings and ways to access your retirement assets that lessen or avoid early withdrawal penalties. You may also need to have other, sometimes overlooked, components of retirement planning in place. There are ways to tap retirement savings accounts before 60. True, the I.R.S. discourages this with 10% penalties [...]

By | 2017-10-10T11:25:59+00:00 October 5th, 2017|Personal Finance, Retirement, Savings and Investing|Comments Off on Retiring Before 60

What Are Your Odds of Being Audited?

What Are Your Odds of Being Audited? They are low, unless you show the I.R.S. some conspicuous “red flags” on your return.   Fewer than 1% of Americans have their federal taxes audited. The percentage has declined recently due to Internal Revenue Service budget cuts. In 2016, just 0.7% of individual returns were audited (1 of every 143). That compares to 1.1% of individual returns in 2010.1,2 The rich are more likely to be audited – and so are the [...]

By | 2017-09-22T15:04:23+00:00 September 21st, 2017|Financial Fitness, Personal Finance|Comments Off on What Are Your Odds of Being Audited?