May 1 is known as National College Decision Day, the deadline for students to commit to a school. In 2017, the most selective colleges admitted 14% of waitlisted students, the National Association for College Admission Counseling found. Aside from considering the odds of making it off the waitlist, think about what this might mean for financial aid and housing availability.
One of the big challenges today’s retirees face is how to make their money last in retirement. Guaranteed income, such as through pensions or Social Security, can help reduce your risk of going broke. A new tool aims to assess whether you’re on track to create a steady income stream that will last for the rest of your life.
About half of parents with children over 18 say that they’ve put their own retirement savings on the backburner to help their kids, a Bankrate.com survey found. College expenses aren’t the only costs that are draining parents’ resources. Kids’ car payments, cell phone bills and housing expenses add to the stress. Not ready to cut your children off cold turkey? Work together to reach a compromise.
Financial advisors hoping to tap middle-class clientele are now adopting a subscription-fee model, charging clients monthly or quarterly for comprehensive financial planning. Charles Schwab recently announced it would charge clients in its Intelligent Portfolios Premium service a one-time fee of $300 for financial planning, plus $30 a month.
The government took single mom’s $3,063 tax refund to cover her student loans. She’s trying to get it back
Tax refunds are a lifeline for many low-income people. For the increasing number of people who’ve fallen behind on their student loans, however, that relief never comes. Borrowers can try to get their refunds back, but the process is not easy.
Increasingly, there is fierce competition for admission to the country’s top colleges. Those who do gain admittance to a highly selective school – particularly women – have a leg up over the course of their careers, according to a recent report.
New research from Morningstar finds that 72% of all investors are at least moderately interested in sustainable investments. While younger investors have a reputation for investing with environmental and social causes in mind, interest in these investments actually spans generations, research shows. One key distinction in how different generations view sustainable investments: They are keeping different causes and time horizons in mind.
Taxpayers are expected to submit about 153 million income tax returns for 2018, according to the IRS. The loss of certain itemized deductions, as well as failure to withhold the right amount last year, may have led to some surprises for taxpayers this spring. You’ll need accurate inputs to get the best results from the IRS withholding calculator. Even then, it doesn’t tell you how to best withhold for state taxes.
Those armed with a newly minted diploma will find the best job market in years. Employers plan to hire nearly 11% more graduates from the class of 2019 than they did from the class of 2018, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Salaries for new grads are also up from last year.
More than 40% of participants in a Bankrate.com poll believe the political environment in Washington is the biggest threat to the U.S. economy over the next six months. About 10% cited a stock market decline as a concern, while 8% pointed to Fed interest rate decisions.
The median household income in the U.S. today is around $61,300. Earn less? Here are cities where a smaller income will go further.
These common moves can cause your credit score to drop. They include closing a line of credit, paying an old debt and failing to regularly check your credit report.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you’re likely to make some mistakes, particularly when it comes to making an offer. All homeowners are prone to certain blind spots, often when it comes to shopping for a mortgage and coming up with the down payment. Being pragmatic about the process and setting the right priorities increases your chances of finding an affordable home.
Tax time is when filers uncover IRA errors, including missed required minimum distributions that you must take after you turn 70½. The period between Jan. 1 and April 15 is when you can make an IRA contribution for either 2018 or 2019. In 2018, savers could put away up to $5,500 into their IRA, plus $1,000 if they’re 50 or over.
A new study reveals that 47 percent of Americans with children at or under the age of 17 had no clue how new legislation would affect their 2018 tax returns. The child credit has been doubled for families with kids: It’s now $2,000 per qualifying child. Six out of 10 respondents indicated that they would use their tax refund money to pay down their debts.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the standard deduction increased to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for married filing jointly in 2018. Nine out of 10 filers are expected to take the standard deduction for 2018. A number of itemized tax breaks are now limited, including a new $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions. Others are gone.
It’s not a Powerball jackpot but a tax refund could be the closest thing to a windfall most people will ever experience. For many Americans, this may be their one shot at building an emergency fund or jump starting a retirement account. Here’s how to prioritize those dollars.
Whether your spouse is holding a secret brokerage account or increasing federal tax withholding to hide income, income tax returns offer a treasure trove of evidence. Sniffing out an affair? Tax returns, bank statements and credit card statements will show you the red flags.
Many Oscar nominees are sent some serious swag. From a Costa Rican adventure to cannabis-infused edibles, here’s this year’s eclectic selection of freebies.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect in 2018, led the IRS and Treasury to adjust the tax withholding tables, which factor into the amount of income taxes withheld from your pay. The average refund check is $2,640, down more than 16 percent from last year, according to the IRS. Have a side gig? Do you have dependents? Did you itemize deductions in the past? Review your withholding.
Americans’ collective debt surpasses $4 trillion for the first time. Holiday spending, rising student loan balances and a jump in automobile financing at the end of last year helped consumer borrowing reach the new milestone.
If you paid a household employee — for instance, a nanny or a cook — $2,100 or more in cash wages in 2018, you must report and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. You also should have given this worker a Form W-2, reporting wages and taxes withheld, by Jan. 31. The average weekly cost of a nanny for an infant child is $580, according to Care.com.
In Montana, nearly 8 percent of filers paid exactly what they owe on their 2016 taxes — resulting in no refund and no tax bill from the IRS, according to an analysis by SmartAsset. About 3 out of 4 taxpayers received a refund for their 2016 taxes, while close to 20 percent underpaid and wound up owing the taxman. Received an outsized refund or a large bill from the IRS? Review your withholding at work.
The IRS is expecting to receive more than 150 million individual income tax returns for the 2018 tax year. Most eligible filers are expected to get their refunds in less than 21 days, but additional review could lengthen the process. Mid-February to early March is the ideal time to gather your items and review them with your accountant.
Tidying up isn’t just for closets and junk drawers. Financial advisors recommend purging old financial documents and records, too. Since none of it sparks joy, here’s a guide to determine what to keep and what to toss.
A new cap on the deduction for state and local taxes has prompted some New Jersey residents to shop around for lower property taxes. The surprise for these surburban New York City residents: Moving to one nearby town enabled them to substantially reduce their bills. More homebuyers will likely put lower taxes on the top of their priority list once the full effects of new federal tax rules become clear.
A man in Tampa, Florida, reported he had received $18,497 in wages on his 2016 income tax return. He also fraudulently claimed that he withheld $1 million in income taxes that year, which led to a tax refund of $980,000.
Half of the respondents in a recent Gallup poll say they are in better financial shape now than they were a year ago. This is the first time since 2007 that at least half of the public has reported a generally positive state of current finances.
Want to retire abroad? Don’t forget to research discount programs for older residents at your destination. Panama’s pensionado program places it at the top of the list in terms of benefits and discounts, according to International Living.
Lawmakers are proposing a massive overhaul to the student debt system. Borrowers’ monthly loan bills would be automatically deducted from their paychecks. The plan quickly drew criticism from consumer advocates, who called it “mandatory wage garnishment.”
Seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually from financial exploitation, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Impersonating the IRS was the number one scam targeting seniors in 2018. One in 10 Americans age 65 or older who lives at home will become a victim of abuse, according to recent testimony from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the way you will file your 2018 taxes by eliminating personal exemptions, doubling the standard deduction and limiting itemized deductions. Credits for child-care costs and retirement savings, as well as the student loan interest deduction and more, are still on the table, however.
Just as sure as Tax Day comes every April, scammers will try to cheat individuals out of their refunds and important personal financial information. Watch out for fraudsters who try to obtain your personal information by impersonating the IRS or who ask you to divulge more details than necessary. Be wary of tax professionals who promise too good to be true results or who are willing to embellish the truth for bigger refunds.
Illinois ranked as the least tax-friendly state for middle-income households, while Alaska took top honors, according to a study from GOBankingRates. Though individual income tax rates matter, so do sales and property taxes. Be sure to consider the overall tax picture when deciding where to live.
Money is many Americans’ top worry, ranking higher than health, family and work, according to a recent report from BlackRock. But there is a cure. “Focusing on retirement planning helps alleviate stress and improves your overall well-being today,” BlackRock President Robert Kapito says.
Tax refunds checks are 8.4 percent less compared to this time last year, thanks to changes ushered in by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While many individuals could receive less back or even owe the IRS, there are still some who will actually receive bigger checks this year. Even if you do get more money back, that’s not all bad news, according to one tax expert.
As of the first week of the filing season, the IRS issued an average refund of $1,865. That’s down from $2,035 last year. The new tax law lowered individual income tax rates, roughly doubled the standard deduction, and limited itemized deductions. A large refund suggests you overpaid on taxes in the prior year.
Two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy cite medical issues as a key contributor to their financial downfall. While the high cost of health care has historically been a trigger for bankruptcy filings, the research shows that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has not improved things. What most people do not realize, according to one researcher, is that their health insurance may not be enough to protect them.
Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k) plans provide investors with an opportunity to pay taxes on savings now, have it accumulate tax-free and take withdrawals without taxes in retirement. In 2019, you can put away up to $19,000 in aggregate in your traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k), plus $6,000 if you’re 50 and over. There are tax implications when you contribute to these accounts, so talk to your financial advisor or accountant.
More people are working “side gigs” outside of their 9-to-5 job. Second jobs or side hustles can offer them more opportunities to save for retirement. “Be very goal-focused with your side hustle, instead of spending-focused,” said Christine Russell, senior manager of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade.
Some early filers took to Twitter to complain about owing taxes or receiving smaller refunds after submitting their 2018 tax returns. As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS and Treasury adjusted the tax withholding tables, which affects the amount of income taxes withheld from your pay. Be sure to review your return and your paycheck to ensure you’re withholding sufficient pay in 2019.
Three out of four millennials are open to finding a new gig, according to a study from LaSalle Network. The top three reasons why millennials leave their jobs: to seek a new role, better benefits and dissatisfaction with their career path at their current employer. Companies are offering student loan assistance and pet insurance to retain younger hires.
Finances hold back 57 percent of people from completing bucket list goals, according to a survey. Traveling is the most popular item, with financial goals a close second.
President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address mentioned one key proposal: paid leave for workers who take time off for family or medical issues. Most Americans are weary of the costs that could come with such a plan, including higher taxes, less funding for Medicare or Social Security, or a higher federal deficit.
Elected officials must clear a package of breaks in order for you to claim them on your 2018 taxes. These so-called tax extenders include deductions for mortgage insurance and college tuition and fees. You can either wait to file, or you can submit your Form 1040 to the IRS now and file an amended return later if these breaks are renewed.
Consumers ages 23 to 29 expect to spend an average of $266 on Valentine’s Day gifts, dining and more, according to Bankrate.com. Going all out to show on Instagram? Dinner for two, chocolates and the works adds up to more than $600.
Health care and health-care costs rank high among the top concerns of Americans, along with the economy and terrorism. More Americans are embracing expanding health-care accessibility. Medicare for All — the latest idea to emerge in the national health-care debate — is still in its formative stages.
Share classes in your college savings plan influence the fees you pay: A-shares assess an average upfront cost of 4.4 percent, according to Morningstar. C-share classes have no upfront costs, but charge annual fees. Whether a particular share class is right for you will depend on when your child will need the money.
More banks are offering rewards for dining out than ever before, says Julian Mark Kheel, senior analyst at The Points Guy. “The competition to reward credit card users with bonuses at restaurants has become fierce in recent years,” he says.
The vast majority of singles say that someone with bad credit is a turnoff. In fact, the higher your credit score when a relationship starts, the less likely you are to break up after the first few years, according to research by the Federal Reserve Board. With Valentine’s Day coming up, this is a good time to get your finances in order.