Author Archives: JP

What’s Good/Bad About High Deductible Health Care Plans

What’s Good/Bad About High Deductible Health Care Plans

I just received a notification that a new high deductible health care plan is being added to my employer’s list of policies this fall. They’ve held out on this option for a long time, but many employers have already made the switch. These days, high deductible health care plans are all the rage. Many employers don’t even offer traditional plans anymore.Continue Reading

When are you ready to buy a house?

When are you ready to buy a house?

It’s the time of year where many of the 20-somethings who fall into the renting population of my pool of friends start talking about buying a house. The justifications are usually the same, regardless of the person I talk to. They want to build up equity. They want to get mortgages with low rates. They want to buy while prices are low.Continue Reading

Families are Better Off When Women are the Breadwinners?

Families are Better Off When Women are the Breadwinners?

According to a recent study by Pew Social Trends, the median income for a family with a woman breadwinner is higher than that of families with a male breadwinner. However, it’s better to be a breadwinner than have no breadwinner at all. Families where husband and wife tied in income had over 10 percent less in family income.Continue Reading

My Story: Will a College Degree Increase Income?

My Story: Will a College Degree Increase Income?

I don’t relish the decisions that young high school graduates have to make these days. College is expensive – much more so than when I went only 10 years ago. Students have to consider how much they can borrow and what income they are likely to earn at graduation, then cram those two critical decisions into a desirable college. It makes writing about the benefits of college just as difficult. I find myself fearful that I will discourage those likely to have bright futures with difficult stories and encouraging those who could use a little dose of reality with brighter news.Continue Reading

Does Charitable Giving Make Financial Sense?

Does Charitable Giving Make Financial Sense?

This isn’t the post about how charitable giving can help your tax bill (although it can). It’s a post about how a practice of charitable giving can fit in with the idea of financial discipline.Continue Reading

How Much Will Men Spend on Mom this Mother’s Day?

How Much Will Men Spend on Mom this Mother’s Day?

What’s the most important holiday for consumers in May? Hopefully, you didn’t forget Mother’s Day before you answered – because when it comes to spending, Mom is a big deal every year. In fact, it’s the second most expensive holiday next to Christmas. Research from the National Retail Federation’s Mother’s Day survey shows that the holiday is even more expensive for the average male.Continue Reading

Tax Deductions for Having a Baby

Tax Deductions for Having a Baby

Your life changes dramatically when you have a baby. Your taxes change too. I know. After becoming a mother or a father, the last thing on your mind is taxes. You are thinking about waking up in the middle of the night and whether your relatives have washed their hands before handling the baby. I’m sure the price of diapers would be a higher priority for your finances.Continue Reading

Preparing for Next Year’s Taxes

Preparing for Next Year’s Taxes

Tax season has come and gone. The forms, the paperwork and all the worksheets are closed for another year. Before you forget the words “income taxes” for another 9 months (and before you put the tax folder in the box for the next 7 years), stop and think: “what could I be doing to make this all easier?”Continue Reading

Is It Bad to Get a Large Tax Refund?

Is It Bad to Get a Large Tax Refund?

Of course tax time is stressful and confusing. We can list any number of mundane tasks that we’d rather have engaging our free time. I believe that cleaning bathrooms would even contend. However, for a large majority of Americans, completing your tax forms is not all pain for no gain.Continue Reading

Why Seller’s Concessions are Popular

Why Seller’s Concessions are Popular

There is this famous phrase that gets bandied about in the housing market called a “seller’s concession.” It is not a hot dog stand out in front of an open house. It’s also not the seller signing away his first born to a new home buyer. If you are in the home buying or selling market, you want to know exactly what a seller’s concession is and how it can help you.Continue Reading