Best Retirement Plans For The Self Employed or Small Business Owner

This is a guest post by Jeff Rose. Jeff Rose is an Illinois Certified Financial Planner and co-founder of Alliance Investment Planning Group.  He is also the author of Good Financial Cents, a financial planning and investment blog and he is currently working on his first book entitled Soldier of Finance.  You can see more about his mission at the same titled blog Soldier of Finance.com.
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Freeze Your Credit To Protect Your Identity

Two years ago, my online identity was compromised; I have an eBay account, and someone hacked into it and bought $1,000 worth of electronics.  Luckily I caught the theft the very next day, and eBay was wonderful and took care of the charges.  However, that spooked me and my husband, so we decided to take the radical step of freezing our credit to protect our identity, in part because we plan to buy a home in the next few years and do not want anything to compromise our credit score.

Benefits of Freezing Your Credit

When you use a security freeze, you essentially lock down your credit.  If your information is stolen and thieves try to open up an account, they will be thwarted.  Ultimately, this is the best way to protect your identity.  Credit monitoring may help you recognize theft has occurred, but a freeze keeps the theft from ever occurring.
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The 8 Least-Evil Banks as Determined by CNNMoney

CNNMoney has put together a list of the 8 least-evil banks.

What do they mean by least-evil?

Since legislation passed not long ago to reign in bank fees and unfair practices, more and more free banking is disappearing and many banks have been implementing all sorts of fees to make up for lost revenue from the new laws.  Some banks offer ways to avoid their fees but you have to jump through hoops to figure out how to qualify.

Why is this important? Bank fees can drain your account!  You can easily find yourself paying a good amount of money in bank fees every month.  According to a Wall Street Journal article (The New Bank Fees: How to Fight Back, June 19, 2010), the average fee for falling below the minimum balance on an interest-bearing account is $12.55 while the average overdraft fee was $29.58.  Add to that the fact that banks will be looking to either limit debit card transactions or add fees to the transactions and you can see how it’s getting expensive to bank!
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Do You Need to Adjust Your Tax Withholding?

With yet another tax season under way, it is time to evaluate your tax withholding and determine whether or not you should adjust it. There are a number of reasons to consider changing your tax withholding:

Life Changes

Major life changes might mean a necessary change in your withholding.  Marriage, divorce, death of a dependent, and the birth of a child are all life changes that can result in a need to change the number of exemptions that you claim on your W-4.  This change will mean a difference in your withholdings.

You Ended Up with a Big Refund

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A Better and Less Risky Way to Invest in Stocks

Valur informed investing can make stock investing less risky.

Stocks provide great returns.  There’s really only one thing wrong with this investment classIt’s the risk!  Lots of middle-class people feel that they must invest in stocks to have any realistic hope of attaining a good retirement but live in fear of the stock crashes that can wipe out the accumulated savings of a lifetime in a few years.  If only there were a better way!

There is.

Valur informed investing can make stock investing less risky.Like all of the most powerful ideas, the new way of stock investing that I will describe here is rooted in something so simple that it will amaze you that you and thousands of others did not think of it before.  Please don’t let that sway you.  This checks out.  I’ve been studying the new approach (Valuation-Informed Indexing) for nine years and I have put it before tens of thousands of people, both experts in the field and regular people.  None has yet identified a significant flaw.
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More Money in Your Paycheck – The Payroll Tax Cut (Social Security Tax Cut)

In late 2010, Congress and President Obama passed new tax laws that take effect in 2011 (Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010).

The Making Work Pay tax credit is gone.

As a result, most people will benefit from a cut in Social Security taxes (also known as Payroll Taxes).

Previously, people paid 6.2% toward Social Security.  Under the new law, people will be paying 4.2%, a reduction of 2% in their Social Security tax withholding rate.

That is good news for many Americans as it essentially means a 2% increase in your paycheck.
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How to Make Your Financial Goals a Reality

Supre Charged Guide to Financial Freedom

Do you have a solid plan that will make your financial goals a reality?

Craig has recently written some excellent articles on how to create SMART goals.  These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

However, setting financial goals is just the first step.  Once you have your aspirations properly identified, you’ve got to follow a concrete, actionable plan to move from where you are to where you want to be.

You need a map and directions to reach your desired destination, one that lays out your path in a step-by-step manner.

Financial Goals without a Plan are Pointless

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