The Classic Story of a Spender and a Saver

The untypical financial planning blog! Yes, my wife came up with the title as I get teased a bit for being a little frugal. However, we do try to find some humor in it. Hopefully some of these random thoughts will help you in your financial journey, So enjoy! - James Daniel, CFP®, CFA, CMT, EA Now for the DISCLAIMER: This blog is not intended as financial advice. We encourage you to consult with your personal advisor before acting on anything you read here.

Do you remember?

Written on January 22nd, 2018 by Jamesno shouts

Just a few short years ago Greece was about to implode and default on its debt, so their interest rates skyrocketed. Would you believe that now Greece’s 2 year treasury yield is lower the the US 2 year treasury yield (1.26% vs. 2.06%)? What do you think this is telling us?

2018 Tax reference / Key Financial Facts

Written on January 5th, 2018 by Jamesno shouts

Interested in the tax reform info for 2018? Or maybe SS/Medicare info? Or simply retirement plan limits? Here is the latest quick reference guide:

The Advisory Firm Tax Facts 2018

Video: Tax changes 2018 – How it affects you.

Written on December 18th, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

Trying to understand Medicare?

Written on November 13th, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

This document is one of the better ones I’ve found for Medicare basics.  If you know someone nearing age 65 pass it along:Medicare basics (1)

Tax reform bill summary

Written on November 3rd, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

From a quick scan it appears to me that congress is trying to get folks to take the standard deduction vs. itemizing on their taxes.  On the schedule A they are trying to eliminate deductions for Medical expenses, state taxes and capping property tax deductions at $10k.  Higher income folks and those that live in states with high property and state income taxes are not going to be happy.  Any new home purchases will also have a cap of $500k for mortgage interest deductions.

This website has a good summary:

https://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2017/11/02/Read-House-GOPs-Tax-Bill-or-Summary-Key-Points

social security benefits rise for 2018 but……….

Written on October 13th, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

You are getting a 2% bump in benefits in 2018, but it will probably be offset by higher medicare premiums:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2017/10/13/gotcha-social-security-benefits-rising-2-in-2018-but-most-retirees-wont-see-extra-cash/#43a72fef5831

Financial Advisor Credentials?

Written on October 12th, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

Resource on Clark Howards website to wade through the bogus ones:  http://clark.com/personal-finance-credit/investing-retirement/financial-advisor-designations-this-free-tool-sorts-through-the-alphabet-soup

Decent savings rate + $200 bonus

Written on September 21st, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

I get asked quite frequently about where you can get “any” return on Cash Reserves.  Most banks are paying a fraction of a percent if anything, but here is something I just came across:  Capital One 360 Money Market is offering 1.2% annual yield on balances of $10,000 or more.  If you deposit before Oct 31, 2017 you will also get a $200 bonus.  The website is www.capitalone.com/200atlanta and use the code MY200.

Personal Finance FYI: are you due a tax refund on your stock options or grants?

Written on September 7th, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

medicare plan F vs. plan G

Written on August 21st, 2017 by Jamesno shouts

Came across these two videos that compare Medicare supplement plans F and G.  Most folks naturally gravitate toward Plan F since it covers the deductible, but that may not be the best choice.  Especially once you consider the higher premiums and higher annual increases associated with Plan F.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHj3-Y_gwUs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmU0KdQuxbU