What is the Buffett Rule Tax Plan and Why Are We Hearing So Much About It?

Warren Buffett has publicly stated many times that he thinks the richest individuals in the United States don’t pay enough in income tax.

He consistently gives the example that he pays a smaller percentage of his overall income in tax than his secretary does.

He’s been so adamant that the Obama administration picked up the baton and ran with it, dubbing a new proposal the “Buffett Tax Rule”.

What is the Buffett Tax Rule?

So what exactly is the Buffet tax rule?

The administration’s proposal would set a floor of a 30% income tax on those with incomes over $1,000,000 in a given year.  The goal is that no middle income taxpayer would pay a larger share of his or her income than someone making millions of dollars.

Why is the Buffett Rule So Popular Right Now?

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Should You Discuss Money In Front of Your Kids?

The economic downturn beginning in 2007 caused financial hardship for many families who had to cope with job loss, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. 

While not every family may have had such a difficult time financially, there are still other strains on family finances such as rising gas and grocery prices.

As a parent, should you talk about money with your spouse in front of the children?

Of course, this is a deeply personal issue, and many will have differing views.  However, there is a valid reason to talk about money issues in front of your kids.

Benefit of Talking about Finances in Front of Your Kids

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Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits for 2012

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A Roth IRA can be a great way to build up retirement savings.  

One of the great advantages is that since you are putting money in after it’s taxed you get to take the money out, in retirement, tax-free.  And that includes the money’s growth over the years as well.

Another great advantage to the Roth IRA is that you can take out the contributions you put in without any penalties. This is due to the fact that you have already paid taxes on that money (opposed to a traditional IRA where you put pre-tax money in and get the tax break now).

As wonderful as the Roth IRA can be you can only put so much into it each year and there are limits to how much you can make as well.

Congress is always tinkering with the tax code and making changes nearly every year and in nearly all categories, and that includes Roth IRA contribution and income limits.

Below are the Roth IRA contribution limits for 2012.

Contribution limits

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What Do Bank Routing Numbers Mean?

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Bank routing numbers, or “routing transfer numbers” (RTN’s) appear on virtually all of our checks and other demand instruments, but as common as they are most of us have no idea what their purpose is.

Occasionally we’re asked to provide our bank’s routing number—such as for direct deposit of income tax refunds—but this does little to clear up the mystery behind them or why they’re so important.

Think of it this way: each of us has a checking account number—the bank has its own identification number, and that’s the bank routing number.  That number is at least as important to the bank as our checking account numbers are to us.

Where do you find a bank routing number?

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What Insurance Policies Does Your Family Need?

Picking the appropriate level of insurance coverage for your family can be a confusing and overwhelming task.

Not only are there multiple insurance companies to choose from for the various insurance needs you have, but there are so many different types of insurance that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Critical Insurance Policies to Have For Your Family

There are five critical insurance policies every family should have.

Life Insurance

The most critical insurance policy for a family is life insurance coverage on both spouses or parents regardless if they are working or not.
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Should Every Student Pursue a Four Year College Education?

The availability of student loans has changed our financial and employment landscape. 

While attending college used to be something just a few did, “We now send 70 percent of high-school graduates to college, up from 40 percent in 1970,”according to Marty Nemko, a career counselor based in Oakland California (The Chronicle of Higher Education).

While 70 percent of high school graduates attend college, the number of students who graduate with a degree is smaller.  Even when a student does obtain an undergraduate degree, a job is not guaranteed.

“Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56% had held at least one job” (The New York Times) by the spring of 2011.

This naturally begs the question, should all high school graduates attend a college?  Should attending college be something we encourage our children to do?
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Are Credit Monitoring Services Worth It?

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You know that your credit is important.

From getting a mortgage, to buying a car, to getting the best insurance rates, your credit can impact how much you pay, and whether you get the loan you need.

Staying on top of your credit is important if you want to save thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

On top of that, identity theft is the fastest growing crime, and everyone is vulnerable.

No matter how hard you try to keep your information safe, there is no way to completely guarantee that you won’t end up the victim of identity theft.

One of the earliest ways to catch identity fraud is to keep tabs on what is happening with your credit.

Because good credit is such a concern, and because identity theft is a very real fear, many people turn to credit monitoring services.  These services can help you keep track of whether or not your credit is improving, as well as notify you when someone opens credit in your name (and signaling that someone else might be using your identity).

But are credit monitoring services worth it? Continue Reading

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