You want your money to work hard for you when you invest it. Helping my clients make the best decisions about investments is part of what I do in my financial planning practice. Shouldn’t you also want the money you donate to charities to work hard doing good things for your chosen cause? Unfortunately, too many people are drawn to give to a charity by a guilt-tripping phone solicitation and sympathetic sounding name. The Center for Investigative Reporting found in a recent in depth investigation that:
“The 50 worst charities in America devote less than 4 percent of donations raised to direct cash aid. Some charities give even less. Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent nothing at all on direct cash aid.” http://cironline.org/americasworstcharities READ MORE
I know, I know….you’re locked into a contract. Well, that won’t last forever; and then you have some choices. Of course, you can pick out the latest phone and start another two-year contract. Or you may also want to consider how much you’re paying for that “free” phone. You might want to take a look at your cell phone and consider how you’re using it. READ MORE
What’s better than saving money on a $1,000 purchase? Saving on a $1,000 purchase you make year after year. For me, and most likely, a good portion of our aging population, prescription drugs is just such an expense, so I was especially excited to hear that there are websites that will tell me what local pharmacy has the lowest price for a prescription. READ MORE
While our representatives in Washington attempt to come up with a plan to avoid a national financial cliff, many of my clients are attempting to deal with the uncertainty that abounds. My advice is to focus on what you know, and what you can control.
Here’s a short list of the more significant tax changes scheduled for January:
- In California, sales tax will increase by .25%.
- Medical deductions on your Federal return will have to exceed 10%, and not 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income.
- Flexible spending account deductions will be reduced. READ MORE