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Retirement Account Limits Increased for 2018+

The Treasury Department has announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,500 to $19,000. The limit on annual contributions to an IRA is increased from $5,500 t...

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Third Party Verification Letter- Can Your CPA Help You?

Your CPA is often the first person you think of to help with financial issues. While most of the time they can help, there are instances when the information requested can create unique challenges.  One of those times is when a request for a third-party verification letter comes across his or her desk. The third-party verification letter, sometimes called a “comfort letter,” usually comes from lenders, employers, and even insurance providers. The most common information requests are to: ...

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Independent Contractor or Employee?

Much of the time, people are hired as employees of a company.  Occasionally, someone may be hired as an independent contractor.  Although there are rules to follow for each - what circumstances differentiate the two options?  What are the reasons to choose one option over the other (if you are offered such a choice)?  Let's compare the two in the chart below:  Business & Personal Circumstances Employee Independent Contractor Payroll Taxes: Only pays employee portion of...

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Want vs. Need: Do You Know The Difference?

Want vs. Need: Do You Know The Difference?

Are you thinking of starting a budget? One thing you will need to determine is the difference between want and need. Do you know the difference? Here’s an example, a woman calls her friend and says “I need to get my hair dyed but I don’t know how to fit it in my budget.” The friend replies “No, you WANT to get your hair dyed.” Again friend #1 states “You don’t understand, if I don’t get my hair dyed I’ll have a ton of gray hair.” Friend #2 “I understand, but getting ...

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Got my tax return….Now what?

Got my tax return….Now what?

YAY! You are getting money back on your taxes, that’s great! Now you need to figure out what to do with it. There are financially responsible ways to spend it, and there are ways to blow it. I’d like to cover some of the best ways to utilize this money. When we “googled” what to do with tax returns we found multiple topics. So we listed the topics here and then Kari Apel herself, went a little deeper into the meaning. Start or Increase Your Emergency Fund…A good rule of thumb is t...

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How Can I Plan for Retirement?

How Can I Plan for Retirement?

It’s never too early to think about retirement and how to plan for it. The biggest key is to sit down and ask yourself “where would I like to see myself financially during retirement and what kind of plans do I have?” Below are a few steps that can help. Set a goal. Analyze your finances and determine how much you could set aside from each paycheck. Do you think you could save $25 a paycheck? It doesn’t matter if the money goes to a 401(k), and IRA, or even your savings account...

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