The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013 – The Fiscal Cliff Averted

In an unusual act, Congress convened and passed a big time piece of legislation on a major holiday – New Year’s Day.

The bill, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013,  prevents the country from slipping off of the so-called fiscal cliff and it seems to have worked–at least temporarily.  Instead of collapsing on the first trading day of the new year, the financial markets had a strong rally on news of the passage of even an imperfect bill.

What Just Happened with Congress and the Fiscal Cliff?

The fiscal cliff negotiations were originally expected to include tax issues, spending, deficit reduction and even a hint of real tax reform.  Nothing that dramatic came about, but here are some highlights of what has been delivered:

  • Most Bush-era tax cuts have been made permanent
  • Jobless unemployed insurance benefits for 2 million long-term unemployed were extended for a full year
  • A Medicare reimbursement cut of 27% has been prevented
  • The top tax rate has been increased from 35% to 39.6% for individuals earning over $400,000 and couples earning over $450,000
  • Taxes on high income taxpayers will also increase on income from capital gains and dividends as well as inherited estates
  • Blocked a provision that would have made millions of middle class taxpayers subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

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The Debt Movement – Pay Down Your Debt, An Interview With Jeff Rose

Are you in debt?

I don’t mean to get all personal on you.  It’s OK to admit though, many of us are in debt in some way, shape, or form (we are).

If you want to get rid of your debt help is here – The Debt Movement.  

This will be a HUGE 3-month push to pay down debt.  You will have the opportunity to join together with personal finance bloggers as well as people like yourself who are working their way out of debt.

I had the fortune of shooting a few questions to Jeff Rose, The Debt Movement’s founder and chief evangelist , also known for his excellent site Good Financial Cents.

Me: Jeff, what is The Debt Movement all about?

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Best Careers for the Future

What are the best careers for the future?

Rather than doing the usual “Top 10 Careers for the Future”, I’ve decided instead to look at several broad career fields and highlight the better performing careers in each field.

Not everyone is cut out to be a doctor or an engineer, so we’ll take a look at a number of careers and hopefully you’ll find one that works for you.

Each career listed will include median pay level and projected job growth from 2010 through 2020.  Source: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Occupational Employment Statistics

Healthcare

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Chase Ink Cash® Business Card – Review

Small business owner?  Looking for a line of credit as well as helpful tools to manage your business?

Take a serious look at the Ink Cash® Business Card.

Here’s a card for your small business offering a nice introductory bonus right now.  This one’s a credit card (as opposed to the Ink Bold® Business card which is a charge card and you must pay in full every month) and it has the added benefit of no annual fee.

Reward Yourself With Cash

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PerkStreet – Free Online Checking, Cash Back Rewards and More – Review

Who PerkStreet Free Online Checking is For
Sadly PerkStreet will be closing its doors for good on September 26th, 2013.  They are not accepting any new applications.  If you have money with them already then your money is safe.  For more information on PerkStreet’s closing take a look at their announcement article: http://www.perkstreet.com/announcement.aspx

We’ve done a write-up about the closure and what your next steps should be if you have a PerkStreet account: PerkStreet Financial Online Checking is Shutting Down (What Happens to My Money?)

 

Are you looking for a free checking account that offers more than just basic checking services?

How about an alternative to using a credit card for your purchases (but don’t want to carry cash)?

PerkStreet(SM)’s online checking account is not only free, but offers up a generous cash back rewards when you use their debit card.

Read on for our PerkSreet review.

PerkStreet offers the debit card that helps you get debt free.  By using a debit card for your purchases you can PerkStreet Financialeasily manage your money and budget for what you spend rather than risk the possibility of incurring credit card debt.

Their rewards checking helps further being debt free by giving you up to 25% cash back on purchases (depending on the purchase).  They offer free online checking accounts and perks like bill pay, free ATM usage, excellent rewards, easy mailed-in deposits, and more.

The premise behind the bank is to offer superior service and you can talk to a live person 24 hours a day with any questions you might have.  The company’s focus is to serve people who want to manage their money responsibly and not go into debt with offering generous rewards for debit card use.
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The Roth vs. Traditional IRA – Which is Best for You?

If you’re considering adding an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) as part of your overall retirement plan, you may be wondering whether a Roth or traditional account will work better.

Depending on your circumstances, it could be either, or it can even be both.

What is a Traditional IRA? – Basics

Traditional IRAs allow you to save up to $5,000 ($5,500 for 2013) in a self-directed, tax deferred account.  You can also increase the amount of that contribution by $1,000 if you are age 50 or older.

Not only will this allow you to build your own retirement portfolio, but you can also contribute to an IRA even though you’re covered by another retirement plan.  However there are limits on the tax deductibility if you are covered by another plan.

For single taxpayers, the IRA deductibility begins to phase out with an income of $58,000 per year.  It completely phases out at $68,000.
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British Airways Visa Signature Card Review – 50,000 Bonus Avios

British_airways_visa_signature

Do you fly British Airways?  (They have over 300 destinations BTW.)

If you do then you should take a look at the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is what many consider an airline miles credit card.  It’s a card that is issued on behalf of the airline where you can typically earn that airline’s miles faster when you buy flights with the card and you can earn additional miles on general purchases.  These miles can then be redeemed for free flights with the airline.

You can also see lots of other great perks in an airline miles card that help make owning the airline’s credit card well worth it.Continue Reading

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