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Asset Sheltering and Financial Aid

It’s that time of year – time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid used by more than 99% of public universities. Many parents take the “why bother” approach.  “We have too much money.  We’ll never get any aid.” The first thought is usually “why did I have kids” while the second, [...]

Summary of Tax Changes

This chart does a nice job showing the prior laws, the competing Senate/House proposals for change and how things were resolved during the reconciliation process to create the new laws to go into effect beginning in 2018. Missing from the chart is discussion of the changes to §529s.  Previously distributions in order to qualify for [...]

Stock Market Records Mean Little to Most Americans

Takeaways from the above: more than half of American households own no stock roughly 1/3 maintain indirect ownership and with the rise in passive strategies (i.e. indexing) have endowed giants like Vanguard with enormous voting power over corporations Now consider the following:   60% of American families combined own less than 2% of stock wealth [...]

Denial Isn’t Just a River in Egypt

It’s a poor joke but it seems appropriate given data released yesterday by the Hartford Funds. A decade after the deep financial crisis the majority of survey respondents said there was no impact upon their lives.  Really?  Wow! And yet... 42% of respondents reported that they avoid investing in financial markets 46% have altered their [...]

2018 Social Security Wage Base and Cost of Living Adjustments

Recently announced changes by the Social Security Administration: WORKERS:  If you have a job then you pay 6.2% of your earnings into the Social Security system.   The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax – the so-called “wage base” – will increase from $127,200 to $128,700.  Of the estimated 175 million workers [...]