Personal Finance

Does it make sense to max out my 401k?

By |2020-10-01T23:24:25+00:00October 1st, 2020|Benefits, Personal Finance|

This is a common question that I’ve heard even more frequently this year. Some background – The limit on individual contributions to a 401k plan in 2020 is $19,500.  You can contribute an additional $6500 if you are at least 50 years old by the end of the year. There are some benefits to [...]

Annual Financial Housekeeping

By |2020-06-10T12:52:27+00:00January 10th, 2020|Personal Finance|

As we start off on a brand new year, it’s a great time to do some financial housekeeping.  You’ll be pulling your documents together for tax preparation soon.  Some of these organizing steps will help with your tax return preparation. What should I keep and what should I throw away?  Generally you’ll divide up [...]

More tax benefits for higher education

By |2019-11-24T14:25:44+00:00November 16th, 2019|College, Personal Finance, Taxes|

One way the government encourages behavior that it sees as beneficial is by offering tax breaks. They offer a mortgage interest deduction to encourage homeownership.  They offer deductions to encourage charitable giving. And, they offer tax credits for some college expenses. We wrote about the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) in an earlier post.  Here [...]

Didn’t qualify for federal aid…? Consider this!

By |2019-11-24T00:47:26+00:00November 9th, 2019|College, Personal Finance, Taxes|

Most people know that they should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year that their student is in college (see this post for more info).  The FAFSA will be used as the application for federal student loans and to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – or whether your family will [...]

What’s next for you?

By |2019-11-03T20:25:53+00:00November 3rd, 2019|Best Life, College, Personal Finance|

So, your son or daughter has finished up their applications.  You have the list of schools divided up into top choices, middle choices and safety schools.  You’re making plans for the holidays and soon you’ll be making plans for graduation.  Looking back, you’ve attended countless games, recitals and performances and scheduled around practices and rehearsals [...]

What to consider for Open Enrollment

By |2019-11-02T01:09:37+00:00October 21st, 2019|Benefits, Personal Finance|

Fall is open enrollment time for many companies and for some people, open enrollment is stressful.  Like most financial decisions, your choice of benefits should be based on your personal financial situation or your family’s financial situation.  I see people get tripped up every year when they listen to the co-worker in the next office [...]

Learning from FIRE and financial freedom

By |2019-09-30T17:14:57+00:00September 30th, 2019|Personal Finance, Uncategorized|

I attended a great conference earlier this month where I had the opportunity to talk to a group of folks who are part of the FIRE movement.  FIRE stands for Financial Independence Retire Early.  We had some interesting discussions and I’ve thought a lot about those conversations since then. Many of the people I spoke [...]

Will you reduce expenses in retirement?

By |2019-03-01T05:26:57+00:00March 1st, 2019|Personal Finance|

This post is another in a series about the dangers of using rules of thumb as a basis for your financial plan.  As I’ve mentioned before, many of these so-called rules were only marginally true and only in limited circumstances.  And, even if they were true 30 years ago, many of them are outdated.  The [...]