Articles by Jill

How to Qualify for Social Security Benefits

Posted by Jill on May 31, 2010

The Social Security program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget. The actual name for Social Security is the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. It consists of many parts, including guaranteed income to the retired, disabled, and qualified survivors, insurance in the […]

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3 Ways to Use Life Insurance During Life

Posted by Jill on May 24, 2010

One of the main tenants of financial planning is minimizing risk. Having an emergency fund is one way of doing this, as are health insurance and disability insurance. But perhaps the biggest way of minimizing financial risk for your loved ones is life insurance. Life insurance is an absolute must for anyone with dependents, as […]

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SmartyPig: The Virtual Piggy Bank

Posted by Jill on May 11, 2010

A little over a year ago, I won a SmartyPig gift card. I had heard of SmartyPig, but since I had an established ING account as well as a few others, I had never seriously considered opening an account there. Once I got the gift card though, I decided to try out SmartyPig Bank. Since […]

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Approaching My Financial “Scary Age”

Posted by Jill on April 19, 2010

In season 4 of Sex and The City, the main characters talk about their “scary age”– basically the age they are afraid of and dreading for various reasons. Everyone has their own scary age when it comes to life – details on mine are for another post! But when it comes to finances, 25 is […]

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Surprising Things That Count as Taxable Income

Posted by Jill on April 13, 2010

We all know that we must pay both income and social security taxes on employment income as well as any contract labor. But the IRS levies income taxes on some other sources of income too – some more surprising than others. If you received a windfall or other unexpected funds in 2010, chances are the […]

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Should You Do a Roth Conversion?

Posted by Jill on March 17, 2010

This is the final article is a series on Roth IRA conversions. We’ve been talking about Roth IRA conversions all week. To recap, the 2010 Roth conversion rules mark the first year that there is no income limit for Roth IRA conversion eligibility. Because of that, many people have access to a Roth IRA for […]

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Roth Conversion Rules

Posted by Jill on March 16, 2010

Today we’re covering the Roth conversion rules in the second of a series on Roth IRA conversions. As mentioned yesterday in How to Make a Roth IRA Conversion, some special rules went into effect on January 1 that make 2010 Roth IRA conversions more attractive than ever. Roth Conversion Rules If you haven’t yet, you […]

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How to Make a Roth IRA Conversion

Posted by Jill on March 15, 2010

This is the first article in a series on Roth IRA conversions this week. As you probably know, there are no longer income limits for future retirees hoping to convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. Previously, only those with income under $100,000 could take advantage of the superior tax treatment of a Roth. Today, the Roth IRA […]

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Do You Have to File a Gift Tax Return?

Posted by Jill on February 24, 2010

We pay lots of attention to income tax returns around here, but they’re not the only tax returns with a tax deadline on April 15th. If you made a significant gift during 2009, you will also need to file a gift tax return. Update: The 2016 annual gift tax exclusion is $14,000. Gift Tax Basics […]

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Do You Have to Repay the Making Work Pay Tax Credit?

Posted by Jill on February 15, 2010

Running into making work pay tax credit problems? As you probably know, early this year congress enacted the Making Work Pay Credit as part of the stimulus package. The Making Work Pay Credit is valid in 2009 and 2010 and is worth 6.2% of earned income (up to $400) for each qualified individual. Companies were […]

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