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Book Review: Money Tales

Looking for a good way to teach your kids about financial topics or a Christmas gift that keeps on giving for your children or grandchildren? Take a peak at the Money Tales series from Sheila Bair.

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What if you won the Lotto?!

Everyone has big dreams of hitting the Lottery, especially now when the jackpot is so huge. What they do with those winning varies slightly from person to person but you can often hear the typical “I’d buy a house” or “A personal jet” huge purchases or the more practical “pay off all my debt”. Although, we all know the winning is taxable, less discussed is the payout options available to winners.

Lump Sum Payment

The lotto winner receives the entire value of the prize at once, taxes are due on the total amount when you file their taxes for that year. You can invest the money right away to capitalize on potential returns and you have access to liquid funds. This option is best suited for prudent individuals who can manage their money wisely.

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Student Loans Part 2

Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

  • On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced $10,000 of debt relief per federal student loan borrower for those who did not attend college on Pell Grants. He announced $20,000 for those who did attend college on Pell Grants.
  • The loan forgiveness is for individuals making under $125,000 a year and families making under $250,000 a year. Loans must have been taken out by June 30, 2022.
  • If you’re a current borrower and a dependent student, you will be eligible for relief based on your parents’ income rather than your own.
  • Borrowers for whom the Department of Education does not have accurate income information (the majority of borrowers) will need to apply for loan forgiveness. The application should be available by early October. It will take four to six weeks for the forgiveness to appear in a borrower's loan profile, so the government recommends borrowers apply before November 15 to ensure the relief is applied by the time payments resume in January 2023. Sign up at to be notified when the application opens.
  • Borrowers will be able to apply for student loan forgiveness through December 31, 2023.
  • President Biden also extended the pause on student loan repayments that was set to expire on August 31. Payments will begin again in January 2023.
  • Something getting less attention than it should: If you made student loan payments during the pandemic pause, you can now receive a refund. Simply contact your loan servicer to begin the refund process.
  • Certain states will be taxing your forgiven loan, be sure to let your accountant know that you had a forgiven loan

Proposed Changes to Income-Driven Repayment Plans

The Department of Education has proposed changes to income-driven repayment plans:

Student Loans Part 1

Paying down student loans versus adding to retirement

Many people question the best use of expendable income as to whether or not additional payments should be made toward student loan debt or if those extra funds should be allocated toward savings or investments. If you have a reasonable expectation of high returns in the market the question becomes debatable however, if you are paying high interest, have a high balance or have unpredictable cash flow it is more than likely more prudent to try to pay down the student loan debt faster.

Here are some pros and cons for paying down the student loan debt or investing:

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Handling an Inheritance

After managing the grief of losing a loved one comes the potential burden and stress of managing an inheritance. Here are a few tips to help you through the process.

Consult a financial professional AND a tax professional. The laws surrounding inheritance are currently in flux and it is hard to know what the news rules are and how they apply to your situation. Working with professionals can help you navigate those rules easily and they can help guide you in how the different types of inheritance may affect your financial situation.

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Budgeting During Inflation

Bloomberg economists have estimated that the average household in the U.S. will be spending upwards of $433 more per month in 2022 than they did last year. This is a minimum of $5,200 per year if you make no changes to your style of living. If your budget has little room for additional expenses, you will need to make some difficult decisions about your budget.

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Recession or Blip?

You’re likely reading about an “impending recession,” which sounds kind of scary, especially for those of us who remember the Great Recession of 2008-9. The question right now is: are we already in a recession, or just experiencing another bump in the roller coaster?

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The CalSavers Program

If you are a small business owner in the State of California and do not carry a retirement benefit plan for your employees, the deadline for the CalSavers Program is quickly approaching. If you have 5 or more employees and do not currently offer a workplace retirement plan you must register by June 30, 2022.

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Coordinating Your Professionals

Financial Planning is often a term used colloquially to mean managing one’s money, but it isn’t exclusive to saving and implementing market strategies. It is also safeguarding those assets for the future through analyzing special financial needs (death, disability, job loss, monetary windfall), taxation implications, medical/health planning, and liability concerns. Most professionals offer a couple specialized services but not all.

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Understanding Inflation

Inflation causes prices of goods and services to increase. Consumers can purchase fewer goods per dollar, input prices go up and revenues and profits go down. If economic growth accelerates very rapidly, demand grows even faster, and producers raise prices continually. In all, this action, slows down the economy so that supply & demand can recoup and become stable again. So, we understand on a base level what this does to our pocketbook but what does it mean for our savings and investments.

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