Category Archives: Personal Finance

The Importance of Knowing the Value of Your Assets

With the gift and estate tax exemptions currently at $5.43 million, you might think that estate valuations are less important. But even if you believe that your estate’s value is under the exemption amount, it’s still important to know the value of … Continue reading

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Tax Planning for the Self-Employed

Self-employment is the opportunity to be your own boss, to come and go as you please, and oh yes, to establish a lifelong bond with your accountant. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to pay your own FICA taxes and take … Continue reading

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I’m marrying someone with bad credit. How will this affect me?

Question:  I’m marrying someone with bad credit. How will this affect me? Answer:  You are not responsible for your future spouse’s bad credit or debt, unless you choose to take it on by getting a loan together to pay off … Continue reading

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I’ve finally paid off my credit cards. Should I close them or leave them open with zero balances?

Question:  I’ve finally paid off my credit cards. Should I close the accounts or leave them open with zero balances? Answer:  It’s a good idea to close redundant or unused accounts you do not consider necessary. Here are a few … Continue reading

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I get a lot of credit card offers. How can I tell which one is best?

Question:  I get a lot of credit card offers. How can I tell which one is best? Answer:  Start by carefully reading the advertisement or application you’ve seen or received. It may seem like a lot of jargon, but that … Continue reading

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How can I pay off my credit card debt?

Question:  How can I pay off my credit card debt? Answer:  Certainly the best way to pay off your credit card debt is with a single payment. If you can find the money to pay off all your credit card … Continue reading

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How do I get a copy of my credit report?

Question:  How do I get a copy of my credit report? Answer:  You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies: Experian,TransUnion, and Equifax. You are also entitled to … Continue reading

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How can I lower the interest rate on my credit card?

Question:  How can I lower the interest rate on my credit card? Answer:  One way is to call your existing lender and try to negotiate a lower rate. Often, the threat of losing a customer and the associated income from … Continue reading

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Will debt consolidation hurt or help my credit rating?

Question:  Will debt consolidation hurt or help my credit rating? Answer:  Debt consolidation can lead to an improvement in your credit rating by making your debt easier to manage. Sometimes, debt consolidation means taking a loan at a lower interest … Continue reading

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How much money should I keep in a savings account for emergencies?

Question:  How much money should I keep in a savings account for emergencies? Answer:  Many financial professionals suggest that you put away three to six months’ worth of living expenses for emergencies. If you lose your job, or become disabled … Continue reading

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