2016 vs 2015 401k, 403b Contribution Limits and Catch-up Amounts

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[Updated with 2016 contribution limits] The IRS has released 2016 employer sponsored retirement plan limits, which covers 401(k), 403(b), and Government Thrift Savings (TSP) plans.  The  annual contribution limit, which is indexed to inflation, remained unchanged. So like 2015, the maximum amount employees will be able to contribute on a pre-tax basis in 2016 will be $18,000. The catch-up pre-tax […]

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2016 Federal Employee GS Pay Scale Chart Following 1% Raise Over 2015 Levels

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[Updated for 2016 GS Pay Raise] In 2016, employees paid under the General Schedule (GS) system will get another 1% pay raise following the executive order signed into law by President Obama. This is the third consecutive year that GS eligible federal employees have received a 1% pay increase. The 2016 GS Pay table is show below and […]

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2016 Tax Brackets vs 2015 Tax Rates and Other Tax Updates (After Official IRS Figures Released)

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With the continued low inflation environment 2016 IRS Tax Brackets, standard deductions and personal exemptions (for taxes paid in 2017) only moderately increase over 2015 levels (shown in the table below). Federal income tax brackets and related tax items are adjusted annually, under the tax code, to provide for mandatory adjustments based on inflation. The tables below reflect […]

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2016 Marketplace Health Insurance Plans & Prices Rising Under Obamacare (Affordable Care Act)

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[2016 updates] 2016 health insurance premiums under the state and federal health care system (Affordable Care Act) are rising. No doubt about that. The question is by how much. Recent reports and have a broad range (from 6% to 15%) as health insurance companies have started submitting requests to the regulator (insurance commissions) for big price increases in […]

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Investing Lessons to Live By

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Here are some of John C. Bogle’s, former CEO of the Vanguard Group and founder of the “index” fund, timeless investing lessons and market philosophies. I know it reaffirmed some of my changing views around investing and saving for retirement. 1) Beware of market forecasts, even by experts. As the new year begins, strategists from Wall Street’s major […]

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Quick and Practical Ways to Improve your Finances – Automatic Saving, Education, Refinancing to Tax Planning

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NOW is always a good time to reassess your financial situation and try and determine how you can improve your personal finances. Based on my experiences and observations, here are five simple and relatively cheap strategies to improve your finances. All it requires is a little discipline and overcoming normal procrastination that is associated when dealing […]

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2014-2015 Tax Season Deadline Tips – Filing Late, Requesting an Extension, Installment Plans and Refund Status

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With yet another tax season coming to a close here are some frequently asked questions and answers that come up around this time of the year: I’ve filed, but where is my refund? You can go online to check the status of your tax refund 72 hours after IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, […]

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Tax Extension Deadline – Should You File a Tax Return or File an Extension?

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In these economically tough times you might not have enough money to pay your entire tax bill when due. Inside your head, you scream, “I need more time!” But before you stress out realize that the IRS offers a 6-month tax filing deadline extension that is not that hard to get.  So ask yourself, “Should I […]

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Has my Financial and Personal Information Been Compromised if I used TurboTax, H&R Block or Tax Act?

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There has been a lot of publicity of late around electronic security breaches with a focus on tax software related breaches. The majority of people file their taxes electronically and with tax returns containing your most sensitive personal information it is no surprise that hacking or compromised data that leads to identity theft and other online […]

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2015 IRS Average Tax Refund

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[Updated with latest refund details] As of April 13th, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said it has received more than 115 million tax returns, with more than 95% of those returns filed electronically and over 80% of those returns resulting in refunds. The IRS generally receives over 140 million returns over the tax season. The IRS also […]

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iPhone or Samsung Trade-in and Upgrade? Then Skip Best Buy and Go For Verizon or AT&T Stores to Get The Best Deal

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Just a quick money saving tip. If you are looking to upgrade your old iPhone or Samsung then avoid Best Buy and other big box electronic store and go to the network provider (AT&T, Sprint Verizon) for the best deals. See the screenshots below for the trade-in prices I got at various sites on my […]

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2016 IRS Refund Schedule and Direct Deposit Cycle Chart for 2015 Tax Returns

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While the IRS has officially discontinued releasing refund cycle charts, below are estimated refund dates based on past refund cycles and IRS guidelines. For refund dates specific to your tax filing go to the Where is my Refund (WMR) page at IRS.gov. You will need information from your tax return to get your specific refund processing and […]

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