Archive for the ‘Financial Services’ Category

List Of Tax Records To Keep

By Richard Chapo

When preparing your taxes, the goal is obviously to deduct every last penny you can. Many people are amazingly good at it. Just keep in mind you need receipts for the deductions.

Filling out and filing tax returns is really a quest to conquer the mountain. In this case, the mountain is your gross income. The IRS helpfully lets you know this by making you write it down right away and repeat it in various places on your 1040 form. How nice of them.

To conquer the mountain, you start shaving it down by claiming deductions. The more you can claim, the better off you are. Some people have lots of deductions that help in this regard. Others create lots of interesting deductions to do the same. Whatever you approach, keep in mind you need receipts to support those deductions should the IRS ask to see proof. Here is a list of common tax records you need to keep to support those deductions.

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1. Mortgage Interest Payments. One of the great things about owning a home is the mortgage. Oh, wait. The great thing is the mortgage interest deduction, not the mortgage. To prove the amount you have been paying the piper, you should keep the form 1098 you receive from your lender each year. Given the fact the deduction is usually sizeable, make sure to keep it in a safe place.

2. Dependent Support. If you claim someone as a dependent, you may be in for a surprise. You need to be able to prove that you provide more than 50 percent of the support for that person. Happily married parents usually do not have problems, but the IRS likes to zing divorced parents on this issue. Keep records in the forms of receipts, checks and invoices in such a situation.

3. Home Repair Receipts. No, you do not have to show the receipts each year. The issue really comes up when you decide to sell your home. To cut your tax bill, you should claim all repairs and improvements you made since owning the home. Guess what, you need receipts to support those claims. In simple terms, save every receipt related to your home or risk losing the deductions.

4. Medical Expenses. Health care costs are out of control as we all know. If you are claiming deductions related to medical care, keep those receipts and bills.

Obviously, there are other areas where you need to keep receipts, but these are some of the more common places where people fall down on the job. In general, you should keep all the receipts for three years, but I suggest doubling that number. With home repair or improvement expenses, you need to keep them for five years after you get around to selling your home.

About the Author: Richard A. Chapo is with

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– everything you need to know about taxes.

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How To Find A Financial Advisor Or Investment Planner}

How to Find a Financial Advisor or Investment Planner

by

Chris RobertsonThe following information will help you find a financial advisor who can address your financial needs and help you achieve your goals.If you are looking for a financial advisor, certified financial planner (CFP), or other investment advisor, you will want to interview several before you make a selection. But even before that, you need to determine your personal financial goals. You will also need to decide what services you want. Financial advisors offer various services, including financial planning, portfolio management, estate planning, insurance, college savings, retirement savings, group benefit plans, business finances, foundation investments, stocks, and bonds.How can you find a good financial professional? Many people rely on references from friends, family, coworkers, or lawyers. Another way is to use Internet search tools that locate professionals based on your needs and desires. Good search tools will screen advisors before recommending them. Among other criteria, they will check advisors’ qualifications and records of any complaints. They will match you with an advisor who offers the services you need. Once you have a few names, whether from recommendations or a search tool, you can start interviewing.Meet a potential advisor face to face before you make any commitment to work together. This is a person with whom you are likely to have a long-term relationship. Make sure you can communicate comfortably. Find out some basic information about how the advisor works, such as:* Does the advisor work on brokerage commissions or a fee-only basis? A financial advisor who works on commission may recommend frequent transactions because he or she makes money on each transaction. A fee-only advisor does not have such conflicts of interest so can focus on what’s best for your portfolio. * Will the advisor rebalance your portfolio periodically? As the values of your investments change, so does the balance between the different asset classes. Rebalancing restores the desired balance.* Will the advisor give you a quarterly assessment of your portfolio’s performance? This is the way to determine if adjustments need to be made.* Will the advisor write an investment policy statement for you? The policy should detail your investment objectives and constraints.* Will the advisor show you a variety of investment models and mixes that can achieve your goals? A fee-only advisor has more options to offer because his suggestions aren’t colored by his or her personal financial gains.* How will the advisor keep you informed of new products? Finance is a rapidly changing field. Investment opportunities change frequently and you need to be able to respond promptly.Unfortunately, most people start looking for a financial advisor when they have financial problems. By starting earlier, you can often avoid the pitfalls that lead to financial crises. Your financial advisor will help you create a financial plan that works for you and keep your plan focused. You can put your day-to-day financial worries aside when you have a plan working for you. A good financial planner will help you reach your goals, whatever they are.Chris Robertson

is an author of

Majon International

, one of the worlds MOST popular

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For tips/information, click here: find a financial advisorVisit Majon’s finance-investment-loans directory.

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Three Benefits That Make The Roth Ira In Colusa One Of The Best Retirement Planning Tools Available

byalex

In this day and age, financial stability is of the utmost importance. As you think about how you’ll allocate the money you’re making now, it’s vital that you do so with a keen eye toward the future. One of the best ways that you can do this is to create a retirement plan that includes investing in an IRA (individual retirement account). For those who haven’t yet begun saving for retirement or have not considered a Roth IRA, here’s how speaking with your financial advisor about setting up this type of account can help you prepare for what’s ahead:

1. Managing your money so that you aren’t spending more than necessary is especially important in retirement. If you’ve invested in a Roth

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2. IRA in Colusa

3. , you’ll be happy to know that the money you withdraw will be tax-free. This is because the contributions you made will have been from your after-tax income, which means you won’t be taxed twice.

4. Although a Roth IRA is used primarily as a savings tool, it can give you peace of mind to know that you can make a withdrawal from your pool of contributions if you need money for an emergency. This can be a great incentive to remain consistent with your contributions since you know that you’ll have money there if a catastrophe occurs.

5. With a Roth IRA, you don’t have any limitations on when you can stop contributing. While a traditional IRA in Colusa requires you to stop contributing and start taking your distributions once you’ve reached the age of 70 and 1/2, there’s no time limit on contributing to your Roth IRA. This means that you can feel free to work and continue to build your retirement account for as long as you want or are able to.

Don’t take chances with your financial future. Instead, give yourself the assurance that you’ll be able to maintain your lifestyle by investing in a Roth IRA today. Whether you’re starting from scratch or would like to roll your income over from a 401(k) or traditional IRA, make it a point to speak to a financial planning professional about your needs. They’ll be able to explain the tax implications of a Roth IRA and assist you in setting up a solutions that will give you a solid reason to look forward to the future.

 

Compassion Is One Aspect Of Finding The Right Divorce Attorneys In Mequon, Wi

byAlma Abell

Divorce is not only complicated legally but can be complicated emotionally as well, and the fact that emotions generally run high during divorce proceedings makes for a challenging situation. The right divorce attorneys can make things a little easier, however, because they are experts in these proceedings and can offer you the expertise you need from start to finish. Most couples have no idea what to expect when they are in the process of a divorce, but competent divorce attorneys can make it a tad simpler because they offer not only expert legal advice, but compassion, too.

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Experience and Compassion Both Matter

Professional divorce attorneys in Mequon, WI have compassion as well as legal experience, which is good because most divorcing couples end up sharing a lot of personal information with their lawyers. In order to do the best job, divorce attorneys need all the information available, so when choosing your lawyer, it is imperative to find someone you can easily talk to. After all, there will be decisions to make regarding both financial and practical arrangements, but a good attorney will be there every step of the way to help you make the right ones.

Getting Started the Easy Way

Researching lawyers so that you can find the right one is crucial, and when you start online it is also simple. Going to websites such as Frakerfamilylaw.com enables you to get the answers to many of your questions, and it also gives you information on the lawyers themselves, which is a big plus. Furthermore, since most of these attorneys offer you your initial consultation for free, it is easy to interview more than one lawyer until you find the one that is right for you. Shopping around for a divorce lawyer is easier than you think, and it can all start with the click of a mouse.

 

Top 15 U.S. Cities With Likely Home Price Reductions

By Real Estate Advisor

There has been a shift in the risk of home price reductions in the U.S. towards Florida and California and some areas of the southwest, according to the PMI Mortgage Insurance Co.’s Summer 2007 U.S. Market Risk Index. The index ranks the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. according to the risk of home price reduction in the next two years.

On an average, the 50 MSAs scored 346, which is 34.6 % possibility that home prices will reduce in the next two years. The PMI risk index model has been updated this year with the inclusion of the recent price volatility in the market. Also this year’s index includes risk ranking where in MSAs with consistent characteristics are grouped under the same rank. Thus we have Riverside, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, and West Palm Beach, FL group ranked on the top of the index having about 60 % chance of home price reductions in the next two years. Five MSAs in California – Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego in California, and four in Florida – Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa, feature among the top 11 that face a home price decline of more than 50 %.

Home price appreciation rates have slowed in almost all the 50 largest MSAs. The number of MSAs that saw a home appreciation in the double digits in the first quarter of 2007 has declined to five, way below last year’s 26.

Markets which have had a history of price volatility are more likely to experience home price decline in the future, according to Mark F. Milner, PMI’s Chief Risk Officer. Still with all these going ons, it is not a bad time to buy a home as a long term investment as long as buyers pick their mortgage package with care and have realistic expectations of their properties appreciation.

The following are the top 15 metro areas that are likely to experience home price declines in the next two years, with their group ranks at the front, and scores at the end.

1 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA – 652

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1 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ – 646

1 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV – 614

1 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL – 607

2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA – 586

2 Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA – 577

2 Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA – 572

2 Orlando-Kissimmee, FL – 563

2 Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA – 560

2 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA – 555

2 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL – 542

2 Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL – 524

2 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL – 506

2 Boston-Quincy, MA – 501

2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MC – 500

Be sure to contact a local Realtor if you are thinking about buying or selling a home, condo, or any other real estate.

About the Author:

San Diego CondosCarmel Valley Real EstatePoint Loma Real Estate

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Bank Basics: A Short History Of Financial Institutions

By Rita Lowman

For centuries, banks have influenced the economies and politics of the world. Traditionally, banks originated as places where businesses could secure loans to purchase inventory, and thereafter collect the funds with interest once the goods were sold. The origin of the word bank is derived from the Italian word, “banco” or desk. During the Renaissance, Florentine bankers conducted their transactions above desks covered in a green tablecloth.

It has been speculated the earliest banks were actually religious temples in the ancient world, where deposits of grain and other goods were made. Considered sacred places, these temples were well protected from potential thieves. There are also historic records which point to loan activity extended by priests to merchants in ancient Babylon. Hammurabi’s Code, the oldest, best preserved law code in existence was created circa 1760 B.C. and includes laws which were used to govern bank operations.

Not surprisingly, the Ancient Greeks further developed the concept of banking. Transactions such as loans, deposits, currency exchanges, and more were conducted in temples as well as private and civic components. Evidence also points to the concept of credit. In return for payment from a client, a creditor in one Greek port would write a note of credit that the client could later cash in another port city. This convenient method saved the client from the danger of carrying coinage with him on his journey. Historic records indicate that a Pythius of the early 5th century B.C. operated as a merchant banker throughout Asia Minor.

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The rise of the Roman Empire brought about greater administrative and financial regulations for banking. The charging of interest on loans was further developed by scrupulous financiers, making the system highly competitive. However, the bank system eventually broke down in large part to the Roman preference for cash transactions. Following the fall of Rome, Western Europe essentially abandoned banking. It did not experience a revival until the need for financing the Crusades stimulated its re-emergence.

Interestingly, the world’s oldest bank has been in existence since its founding in 1427. The Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SPA (MPS) was created in the city state of Siena, Italy. The bank today is comprised of nearly 1,800 branches, 28,000 employees and more than four million customers in Italy and abroad.

Fast forward to Western banking history, which is generally traced to the coffee houses in London. Founded in 1565, the Royal Exchange acted as a center of commerce for the city. A hierarchy of banking started at the top with bankers who conducted business with heads of state, followed by city exchanges, and at the bottom, pawn shops. In 1609, the Amsterdamsche Wisselbank (Amsterdam Exchange Bank) was established, making Amsterdam the financial center of the Western world.

Concepts of capitalism extolled by Adam Smith, considered the father of modern economics, and the advent of the Industrial Revolution gave way to a massive growth in the banking industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the United States, the first banks required special permission from the state government to operate. The state’s supervision proved inadequate as individual banks began issuing their own notes. By 1860, more than 10,000 various bank notes were circulating throughout the country. Counterfeiting was rampant and hundreds of banks failed. Government reforms created a new system of banking which included an involved method for producing authentic bank notes.

With the onset of the worldwide depression in the early 1930s, banks took a hard hit, which led to Congress’ creation of federal deposit insurance. President Franklin D. Roosevelt oversaw the implementation of laws aimed at limiting risks to banks and restoring Americans’ confidence in the banking system.

Since then, banking has undergone a revolution with technology transforming the way Americans bank. First telephone banking, and then ATMs, debit and credit cards, have lead the way to new innovations. Today, online banking and electronic money are evolving. Banks strive to serve the greater public in a competitive market that ensures a safe and sound banking system. From religious temples and Italian desks to coffee houses and the Industrial Revolution, banking has forever changed the way we live.

About the Author:

AmericanMomentumBank.com

provides a wide array of personal banking and business banking options and banking solutions tailored to your individual needs. For more information, please visit

AmericanMomentumBank.com

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Beautiful And Tasteful Senior Apartments In Louisville Ky

byAlma Abell

Maintaining a large home can be a daunting task as you grow older. You may long for a more carefree lifestyle and one where you can be a lot more active. Senior Apartments in Louisville KY are a popular option because some have a lot to offer. Planned activities, trips, menu style dining and a wealth of amenities can help you to enjoy yourself a lot more. It is important to choose a community that can provide you with a beautiful and tasteful apartment and a fantastic staff to work with. Each person has their own unique needs. They should provide a variety of service options for this very reason.

Some senior citizens wish that they could socialize more and meet new friends. Many opt for a community that provides great amenities such as a spa, a salon and barber shop, a movie theater, a bistro, a bar and lounge, a health club and much more. Your days will be spent doing things that you enjoy and being around others who share the same interests. Many love the menu style dining services that are offered. It is also great to get out and to go on planned outings with a group.

Some communities offer several different types of living arrangements. This -hour emergency services, great security and an inviting environment. Magnolia Springs Senior Living Apartments is an excellent choice in this area. They most definitely have much to offer. It is helpful to visit the website of the community that you wish to learn more about.

It is also helpful to choose a community that offers several different floor plans to choose from. You will want to feel comfortable and at home when choosing Senior Apartments in Louisville KY. There are some excellent choices available, and it is wise to schedule a tour of the ones that are of interest to you.

 

Creating Your Own Personal Financing Strategies}

Submitted by: James Brown

Most people would be able to create personal financing plans if they understood how finance charges affected the purchase price of the things they buy for personal or business use. Being aware of how an interest rate will affect finance charges would help people make personal financing plans that saved them money and not make decisions based on promises that came from a carefully planned out marketing campaign. Personal financing plans made on the spur of the moment can have detrimental influence on a sound financial future.

People are realizing that personal financing plans can affect any plans for the future. Without a solid financial plan in place, people are realizing that nothing worth having can be gained from financing offers that promise low rates for only six months, which then turn into financed luxuries that will take many years to pay for. A financial plan that allows buyers to use the six months of interest free payments to reduce debt to nil makes buying something on credit a worthwhile venture, that can be used again through other credit card marketing campaign offers.

Consumers finance products to achieve an end to a need. By doing research and comparing interest rates on various credit cards, people can usually take care of several financial plans from one credit lending institution. While a home refinance might help the homeowner achieve a lower interest rate and a reduction in monthly house payments, the homeowner could stipulate a cash out on that refinance that would make many debts disappear without applying for cash through any other financing plan.

People have changed their buying habits to accommodate personal financing plans established by a financial planner. They establish a plan to pay cash for all large purchases and forego paying high interest rates that come with long-term financing plans. A financial plan might have designated a monthly allotment into a savings account at a local bank. That money can be used to purchase items for the home or office and the business owner would still have an available line of credit to draw on if the business plan identified expansion in the future.

People have used personal financing plans to purchase automobiles with deep discounts applied to the final price simply by selecting a credit card that offered rewards that have been widely recognized and promoted by a major automobile manufacturer. Every credit card purchase earns a cash rebate that can be applied to an automobile purchase and consumers are learning how to make personal financing payment plans from these benefits of automobile ownership.

Personal financing payment plans can put emergency cash within reach whenever people are traveling. People can use the title of the automobile they drive to pay for repairs in a strange city. Other personal financing plans would earmark funds for use in emergencies and those funds are often kept in an interest bearing account at a banking institution. People that use personal financing payment plans through places where they work, can use the health insurance plans can save money on medical emergencies that occur anywhere in the world.

About the Author: James Brown writes about

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What You Should Know Before Subscribing To An Identity Theft Protection Company

By Bernard Pragides

Are you thinking of subscribing to an Identity Theft Protection company? Given the growing crime rate of identity theft, it is definitely wise to take this particular action in protecting yourself from identity theft. Here’s what you should know before subscribing to an Identity Theft Protection company.

An Identity Theft Protection company usually offers the following services:

1. Tracking of credit report, police report and medical records. Whenever your credit card is used or whenever your social security number is included in an application form, your Identity Theft Protection company will notify you. If the transaction was unauthorized, the company would then make a trace to find out who tried to use your identity. The company will also track down any unknown addresses that are affiliated with your name and will also take a look at the DMV records in your state.

2. Alerts in case of any suspicious activity. Once detected, your account will be frozen and you will have to confirm if it is indeed unauthorized. If it is unauthorized, your account will continue be frozen and the company will notify the authorities. If it is authorized however, your account will be reactivated immediately. This is very helpful as normally the only way you would know of this is if you are already harassed by collection agencies or when you try to get credit only to find your credit rating has been thrashed.

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3. Assistance in the process of clearing credit. Should the thieves be successful in using your identity, the company will help you with the police regarding warrants, as well as assist you in getting collection agencies to stop harassing you for debts that aren’t yours.

An Identity Theft Protection company offers various plans:

The basic plan usually covers tracking of your credit report and alerts in case of suspicious transactions. You will also receive notifications every time a new account is opened or a new inquiry appears on your report. Given the rise of competition in lending, note that many lenders offer this basic plan for free.

Meanwhile, in a more detailed plan, you can receive monthly reports (as compared to yearly reports in a basic plan) and counseling services. Some Identity Theft Protection companies also cover out-of-pocket fees in case you become an identity theft victim. This detailed plan usually charges a reasonable fee of $100 per individual or $150 per household annually.

There are also comprehensive plans available which covers each and every cost the consumer incurs through identity theft. Obviously, this service would warrant higher fees.

A few examples of top-notch Identity Theft Protection Companies include LifeLock Identity Theft Protection and Equifax Credit Monitoring Service. Note that LifeLock offers $1,000,000 Identity Theft Protection Service Guarantee.

Subscribing to an Identity Theft Protection company is just one of the ways you can protect yourself from identity theft. There are other simple steps you can take like being more cautious in all your transactions and being more careful with regards to your personal information. You certainly can’t go wrong with taking extra precautions when it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft.

About the Author: Author and internet entrepreneur Bernard Pragides offers expert advice and tips regarding identity theft. Learn more about identity theft and fraud by visiting his

identity theft blog

at http://www.LifeLockBlog.com for more helpful information.

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