Close up of padlock and credit card for credit card safety concept

Credit Freezes, Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft

Credit freezes are one of the most effective ways for consumers to protect themselves against identity theft.  Data breaches at banks, healthcare providers, insurance companies and credit processors have left consumers vulnerable to fraudsters, and freezing access to your credit file may help you avoid becoming a victim. What exactly is a credit freeze?  A credit freeze […]

antiques in market

Are you thinking about donating “big ticket” items of property to charity? Beware of these IRS new regulations

Ten years ago, the Internal Revenue Service proposed regulations that would define how to value (and prove the actual value) of non-cash donations of $5,000 and over to charity.  The regulations involved things like artwork, jewelry, antiques and other possessions whose value is often in the eye of the beholder. Now, a decade later, the IRS has[…..]

saving

U.S. Savings Rate: Better than we thought (but not good enough)

Quick: What is America’s national savings rate?  If you guessed less than 5%, you’d be close, but the scarier figure reported by the U.S. government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) this year was just over 2%. This precipitous decline in savings by Americans has been the source of a lot of hand-wringing especially when compared to their[…..]

US dollar versus China yuan

What to Make of the 2018 “Trade War”

The past few weeks, we’ve finally seen evidence that the investment markets are getting jittery about the escalating tit-for-tat tariffs and threats of tariffs that some economists are calling “America vs. the World.”  Many investors are wondering whether new taxes on items flowing into and out of the U.S. really are something to worry about and the[…..]

Apps for Boosting Brain Power

It’s no secret that as we age, our brain function declines.  Whether it’s to focus, stay sharp, or reduce stress and anxiety, there are various reasons for wanting to boost brainpower and improve mood. Studies have suggested that keeping mentally active may help maintain cognitive functioning and psychological well-being.  Brain training apps may improve memory, problem solving[…..]

graduation

Beware of Scholarship Scams

Figuring out how to pay for college is stressful for most parents and may be out-of-reach for some families. My husband and I have three college-bound teenage daughters, and our oldest will be attending St. Lawrence University in New York this year. Tuition, books, and room and board will exceed $70,000 annually, not including countless round-trip flights[…..]

tax charity

States vs. SALT or “How to turn taxes into charity”

Each year, thousands of CPAs and financial planners—like us—use their creativity and ingenuity to try to determine the best (legal) ways to lower your federal taxes.  You know you’re living in interesting times when state lawmakers join that crowd! The reason state legislators are working so hard to lower your federal taxes is something popularly known as[…..]