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Tax strategies for homeowners

Tax strategies for homeowners

Be aware that important tax consequences are often associated with some fairly common events involving your home. Here are some handy things to know. Home purchase. When purchasing a home, you may pay a portion of the mortgage interest in advance. This loan origination fee, or “points,” is a percentage of the total amount borrowed. If points are paid for…

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High medical bills? Consider these 3 tips to save…

High medical bills? Consider these 3 tips to save…

With increasingly high costs of medications, doctor visits and hospital stays, remaining healthy has become an expensive proposition. In addition, it seems as though health insurers are passing along more and more costs in the form of higher deductibles, increased premiums and larger co-payments. Out-of-pocket costs for even one hospital stay could break a household budget. Fortunately, you can control…

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Your 2019 Social Security benefits recap

Your 2019 Social Security benefits recap

The Social Security Administration (SSA) made a 2.8 percent increase to monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2019. Take a look at some of the most significant changes as you create and update your financial plan for 2019: 2019 Social Security benefit highlights Up to $132,900 in wages will be subject to Social Security taxes (up…

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5 ways to get smart when giving

5 ways to get smart when giving

You probably participated in many charity events and fundraisers during the holiday season. If you plan to give again during 2019, here are a handful of charitable donation strategies to consider if you want to boost your deductions: Audit-proof your claims. The IRS imposes strict substantiation rules for charitable donations. In fact, you’re required to keep records for all monetary…

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Seasonal spender or credit card addict?

Seasonal spender or credit card addict?

It’s not a big surprise if you found yourself reaching for your credit card more often around the holidays. The National Retail Federation projected that consumers would spend an average of $1,007 on gifts, decorations,and candy this season. However, if you’ve noticed your plastic habits don’t fluctuate throughout the year, it could mean you’re living beyond your means … and…

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Take Advantage of Being Self-Employed

Take Advantage of Being Self-Employed

When it comes to taxes, being self-employed has some advantages. Whether you work for yourself on a full-time basis or just do a little moonlighting on the side, the government has provided you with a variety of tax breaks: Build up your retirement funds. When you’re self-employed, you’re allowed to set up a retirement plan for your business. Remember, contributing…

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2018 Executive of the Year

2018 Executive of the Year

We are delighted to announce that our own L. Scott Elwell has been recognized as a “2018 Executive of the Year” by South Jersey Biz. Scott has been ranked one of twenty-two leaders who excel in shaping the future of business in South Jersey. This achievement is such an honor and our team couldn’t be more proud! Congratulations, Scott! Below…

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Want to Minimize Rent and Storage Costs? Consider This

Want to Minimize Rent and Storage Costs? Consider This

For many small businesses, office rent and inventory storage costs are perceived as fixed. But are such expenses truly inflexible? Oftentimes, no. Because rent and storage costs often constitute a significant portion of a business’s total expense budget, creative owners who find ways to minimize those costs may reap substantial rewards. Consider the following questions when trying to shave some…

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Protect Your Privacy in 5 Simple Steps

Protect Your Privacy in 5 Simple Steps

Do you use a smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer to connect with friends and make purchases, as well as share health concerns with your doctor? If so, your privacy may be at risk. Companies called “data brokers” routinely compile information about your habits and preferences, including your favorite brands, recreational pursuits, and credit habits. Data brokers use this information…

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Survive Financial Stress with These 3 Mindset Changers

Survive Financial Stress with These 3 Mindset Changers

Because financial stress is a normal part of life for most people, learning to cope with money worries is important — vital, in fact — for maintaining positive relationships, job productivity, and personal health. If you’re dealing with excessive anxiety about your finances, consider implementing the following three policies: Move forward and control what you can. If you’ve been laid off…

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Do You Have Misclassified Workers?

Do You Have Misclassified Workers?

Independent contractor and employee —Do you know the difference between the two classifications? As you prepare your third-quarter 2018 payroll reports, take time to review the status of your workers to help you stay away from misclassification issues down the road. Knowing the difference is crucial Often, figuring out if a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or…

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3 Natural Disaster Prep Tax Tips

3 Natural Disaster Prep Tax Tips

The storms and wildfires during the last year are a good reminder that one of the best ways to manage the aftermath of a natural disaster is to plan ahead. If you live in a natural disaster high-risk area, you can take steps to alleviate tax and financial issues post-disaster by following these tips: Check your homeowners or renters insurance…

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Schooling Your Children on Money Matters

Schooling Your Children on Money Matters

Teaching your child about money and finances is easiest when you start early. Here’s a quick review of what you should teach your children at each age if you want them to become financially competent adults: Preschool Identify coins and bills, and learn what each is worth. Understand that you can’t buy everything (choices are necessary). Save money in a…

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5 questions to ask before starting a home-based business

A lot of people consider self-employment because they’ve lost their seemingly stable jobs in the corporate world. Others just dream of making it on their own. As online marketing becomes easier and more accessible, and employees discover the advantages of telecommuting, home-based work alternatives are becoming increasingly attractive. If running a business out of your home sounds good to you,…

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Audit-proof your shareholder loan

If you’re a business owner and your company lends you money, you’ll enter it in the books as a shareholder loan. However, if your return is audited, the IRS will scrutinize the loan to see whether it is really disguised wages or a dividend taxable to you as income. Knowing what the IRS might look at may be useful when…

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Why a business appraisal may be your best friend

Why a business appraisal may be your best friend

For many business owners, business appraisals can provide vital planning information and help mitigate risk. Consider what it may be able to do for you: Establish a verifiable value for your business. This can show whether assets have appreciated at a reasonable rate. If not, you may need to adjust your firm’s strategy. Create documentation to support new financing. Lenders…

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How to Make the Most of Your Tax Refund

Are you receiving a tax refund this year? No doubt you’ve already heard about why you shouldn’t be giving the government an interest-free loan. Maybe you’ve decided to revise your withholding or estimated tax payments to reduce the amount of next year’s refund. Either way, you have options. Financial planning means creating effective strategies that work for you. The more…

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3 Reasons Why Your Child Should (or shouldn’t) Have Life Insurance

3 Reasons Why Your Child Should (or shouldn’t) Have Life Insurance

When determining whether or not to carry life insurance on your children, you’ll find that people have a variety of opinions. Here’s a look at some of the most common considerations for and against life insurance policies on children: Financial security. Traditionally, you take out life insurance to provide for the financial security of dependents. The policy should include funds to…

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Emergency Funds: Why They’re Worth It

Emergency Funds: Why They’re Worth It

Emergency funds can be helpful for everyone. Any unexpected hit to your finances, and unanticipated illness or a natural disaster might all be reasons you may need money right away. What is an emergency fund? An emergency fund is designed to keep your life intact during temporary setbacks and to help you avoid unnecessary debt. That means things like car…

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Tax-Time Review

Tax-Time Review

Now is the perfect time to review your financial affairs. You have to gather information to prepare your tax return at this time. Why not take one more step and do something positive for the wellbeing of your wallet?   The following suggestions will help you with your financial review:   Talk to your family. You should factor in the…

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Is it time to update your beneficiary list?

Is it time to update your beneficiary list?

It’s not uncommon to lose track of your beneficiaries, including which accounts have them, and who you designated. However, it is important to keep them current. Make your beneficiary designations a priority When you designate a beneficiary for an account, that person inherits the assets in the account, regardless of what your will says. That’s why updating your will periodically…

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Your Business’ Annual Health Check

Your Business’ Annual Health Check

Business owners and managers spend most of their time monitoring operations and dealing with everyday problems. But just as an annual checkup from your doctor helps monitor and manage your personal health, an annual checkup can do the same for your business. Here are seven checkup tasks that you should make time to do every year. These are important for…

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5 Year-End Tax Tips

5 Year-End Tax Tips

The clock is ticking down to 2018 … but you still have a few weeks left to make some last-minute tax moves. Take a look at these five tips and save a little more this year. Check the amount of 2017 tax you have prepaid through withholding and quarterly estimates ASAP. If you’ve underpaid, consider increasing your withholding before year-end.…

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Keep Your Kids Occupied During the Upcoming Holiday Break Teach Them These 4 Smart Money Lessons

Keep Your Kids Occupied During the Upcoming Holiday Break Teach Them These 4 Smart Money Lessons

Personal finance is often learned through experience. Fortunately, you can give your kids a hand-up on their journey to becoming financially responsible adults. Preschoolers and teenagers obviously have different financial concerns and abilities. But there are a few basic lessons that all children should learn by the time they enter college or start a career: Money = choices. Teach your…

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Tax Reform: What You Need to Know

Tax Reform: What You Need to Know

There is now a ton of media chatter about the recently introduced federal tax reform package being passed around in Washington, D.C. While it’s still early in the process, here are some of the key elements of the current proposal. For individuals: Individual tax rate brackets trimmed to three rates of 12, 25 and 35 percent, down from the current…

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Conquer your financial clutter

Conquer your financial clutter

Financial records are notorious for being messy. Bills, paycheck stubs, tax returns and bank statements have a way of getting tucked into random places. Luckily, there are a few pretty painless ways to organize your important documents.   Put all your financial records in one dedicated spot To ensure that bills are paid on time, bank statements are reconciled and…

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4 smart ways to cut business costs

4 smart ways to cut business costs

Keeping costs under control is crucial in today’s challenging business environment. Without a doubt, one of the quickest ways for a business to cut costs is through staff reduction. But cutting jobs is not always the best cost-cutting strategy. Drastic job cuts can lead to a vicious cycle of reduced productivity, followed by even slower growth and decreased profitability. Replacing…

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Tips On Tip Reporting

Tips On Tip Reporting

If you are like millions of taxpayers who work in the service industry, you may receive tips. The tax code is clear; if you receive tips you must report them as income. Some employers have systems to make this easy, while others do not. Here are some suggestions: Think 1-2-3 Proper tip reporting has three components. 1. Keeping a daily…

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How To Cut Car Maintenance Costs

How To Cut Car Maintenance Costs

Insurance, fuel, loan interest, maintenance, repairs, depreciation – all the expenses associated with owning and driving an automobile can take a huge bite out of your family budget. Some of these are sunk costs. Because the money is already spent – the down payment to purchase your car, for example – such costs are irrelevant when budgeting for the future.…

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Do A Business Valuation When You’re Ready To Sell Your Company

Do A Business Valuation When You’re Ready To Sell Your Company

Well before you’re ready to sell your company, you’ll want to determine its fair market value as a starting point for negotiations. Of course, obtaining a reasonably precise value for your business is often a complicated and time-consuming task. Accurate appraisals must weigh a variety of factors and incorporate numerous assumptions. The more precise the underlying numbers and suppositions, the…

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Four Tips For Building An Emergency Fund

Planning for business emergencies is like buying insurance: you pay into an account and hope you’ll never have to use it. But life happens. Equipment breaks down. Electrical problems occur. Employees leave. Having money in the bank to cover those unexpected expenses can reduce stress and keep you from relying on credit cards and loans to keep your business afloat.…

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Get to Know These Tax-Saving Terms

Get to Know These Tax-Saving Terms

As you begin to think about scheduling your midyear tax planning appointment, refresh your memory on the meanings of terms that can save you money. Here are three. Exclusion. Exclusions are items that would generally be included on your return, but are specifically excluded by a tax law provision. For example, gifts and inheritances you receive are excluded from your income…

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