Q&A: American Opportunity Credit for college expenses

Dear Liz: I am confused regarding my ability to take advantage of the American Opportunity Credit for college expenses in filing my 2014 tax return. My accountant told me I didn’t qualify because my adjusted gross income exceeds $80,000. Yet when I researched on the IRS website, I seem to qualify. I paid qualified education […]

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Q&A: “File and suspend”

Dear Liz: You recently encouraged a reader to listen to his financial advisor, who wanted him to file for his Social Security benefit at his full retirement age of 66 but then suspend the application until his benefit maxes out at age 70. Another good feature of this “file and suspend” maneuver is the ability […]

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Weekend reading: Purging paperwork, unpayable taxes and saving for college

One of the great things about being a columnist is getting access to experts who can help you with problems in your own life–under the guise of helping your readers, of course. Recently I was lucky enough to interview three smart CPAs who had great advice about purging paperwork from our lives, and have already […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Balance transfer mistakes to avoid. Also in the news: What to do with an unexpected windfall, the savings cell phone carriers don’t want you to know about, and the eight loans to use for paying college tuition. 4 Balance Transfer Credit Card Mistakes Making sure your transfers go smoothly. Got a load […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: What to do when you’ve reached retirement age and don’t have anything saved. Also in the news: Social Security taxes, learning from your tax filing mistakes, and how to get cash from transferring your retirement account. You’re Retirement Age With Nothing Saved For Retirement. Now What? Don’t panic. For some Social Security […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: Time for some financial spring cleaning. Also in the news: Apps that can make your summer vacation less expensive, how to appeal a college financial aid offer, and how banks and credit unions protect your information. Financial Spring Cleaning; 5 Steps To Get Your House In Order Getting rid of the winter […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to trick yourself into saving more money. Also in the news: States with the highest rate of identity theft complaints, the new face of consumer banking, and mistakes that could ruin your retirement. 4 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving More Money You won’t even know you’re not spending it! States […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What you need to ask before hiring a financial adviser. Also in the news: How often you should check your credit report, the benefits of tracking all of your expenses, and retirement savings mythbusting. 20 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Financial Adviser Making sure you hire the right one. How Often […]

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Q&A: Max contributions to 401(k)s

Dear Liz: I understand that anybody with a 401(k) can contribute up to $18,000. Does the amount you can contribute depend on your salary? Say you make $45,000. Therefore I would assume you could put in the full $18,000, or 40% of your salary. Am I wrong? Answer: The maximum the IRS allows someone under […]

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Q&A: Capital gains taxes

Dear Liz: My wife owns a house that was separate property before our marriage. She has since fallen ill and needs round-the-clock care. I am selling the house to support this and will net about $250,000 at close. Will we have to pay capital gains taxes, or can I claim a one-time exemption, based upon […]

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