Increasing Interest Rates

On December 16, 2015, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by .25%. This was the first rate increase by the Fed in over nine years!   Generally the Fed makes interest rate moves in cycles. The chart shows the Fed Funds Rate rollercoaster over the past 25 years. So what does this mean

Retirement Planning Guide For 401k’s and IRA’s

Below is a guide we put together for you to use in assessing the tax implications of different retirement plans, along with the benefits and negatives of each……… 401K’S Benefits: Employer matching Higher contribution levels ($18,000 for under 50…$24k for over 50) Contributions are pre-tax (or “tax deferred”)…lower taxable income No income limits for contributions

Seize Each Season!

Do you feel the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, yet?  For a month or so, Christmas décor has been on sale in our local stores.  AND although I absolutely LOVE Christmas, I really do love each of the holidays leading up to it.  In an effort to celebrate each season in it’s own

Should You Purchase A Home Warranty Plan?

Generally when you buy a home, the seller will pay for you to have a home warranty plan in force for one year. After that first year, you then have to choose whether you want to continue paying the premiums to extend that plan.   This can be a confusing decision, but one with which

CA Property Tax Assessments Explained

The information below outlines the procedure California uses to determine the amount of property taxes you pay on your home: In 1978, California adopted Proposition 13, which defined how your property taxes are calculated. Annual Taxable Value The annual taxable value of a home is determined by calculating which of the following amounts is lower: Market

Tips for Leasing Your Home

Here are several tips you’ll want to utilize when leasing your house to tenants:   1)    Keep Good Tax Records Most landlords aren’t very good at keeping records for their rental home(s). It is critical to keep rental property transactions separate from your personal transactions. This means having a separate bank account for your rental.

Easier Loan Qualifying for Self-Employed Homebuyers

The days of “Stated Income” loans for self-employed homebuyers are a thing of the past. Government rules now require borrowers to prove their ability to repay loans by way of an income source.   This can make things very difficult for self-employed borrowers who take heavy deductions on their tax returns, resulting in lower net

6 Reasons To Get A Living Trust

Even though we know the mortality rate is 100%, we don’t want to deal with the topic of death while we’re alive. Because of this, many people disregard prudent financial moves that will make life much easier on their surviving beneficiaries.   Among the most neglected is Living Trusts. Here are 6 reasons you’ll want

The Myth About Taxation of Work Bonuses

Many believe work bonuses are taxed at a higher rate than ordinary earned income. The truth is that bonuses are actually taxed the same as any other income.   If this is true, then why does your withholding not reflect that fact?   While bonuses may be taxed just like regular wages, payroll companies often