After establishing a solid financial foundation in your 20s, use the next decade of your life to keep building and protecting your wealth.
Consider Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver, creators of 3M's ubiquitous Post-it Notes. Their idea for memo paper that you can stick to just about anything, which hit stores in 1980, helped contribute to the company's $29.9 billion in net sales for 2012 (Fry and Silver have since retired.) Or take Spanx's Sara Blakely, whose vision in 1998 for a new type of women's shapewear revolutionized the undergarment industry and made her a billionaire. Created by: Alli Webb and Michael Landau
Tax season is a good time to get rid of paper files you no longer need.
The smarter way to spend your tax refund: Before you take on more debt, pay off the debt you already have. The smarter way to spend your tax refund: Rather than head to the mall with your refund, go to the bank to open an interest-bearing savings account to start an emergency fund -- or build upon an emergency fund you already have. The smarter way to spend your tax refund: Rather than gamble away your money, put it to work for you in a retirement account. You can contribute the full $5,500 as long as your income falls below $114,000 if you're single, and $181,000 if you're married and filing a joint tax return.
In February of 2013, a northern California couple were walking their dog on their rural property when they discovered six cans filled with 19th-century gold coins. Found property that was lost or abandoned is taxable at its fair market value in the first year it's your undisputed possession, the IRS says. That means the couple may have to pay federal taxes of 39.6% on their windfall, plus California state tax of up to 13.3%.
An it's-not-in-my-job-description attitude will inevitably lead to small paychecks and poor career prospects, says Tom Corley, a certified financial planner and author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. "Nothing says you're worth it like the high quality of your work," says Karen Elizaga, an executive coach and author of Find Your Sweet Spot: A Guide to Personal and Professional Excellence .
Heck, the IRS is holding onto $760 million in unclaimed refunds for folks who didn't even file a tax return in 2010. Each year, about 75% of all workers receive tax refunds in the spring, proof positive that too much was withheld from their checks during the previous year.
Think you're getting charged too much? Here are some tips to help lower your bill.
Unless you're sitting on a very large pile of money, you don't need to worry about federal estate taxes. The 2014 exemption from federal estate taxes is $5.34 million -- and double that for married couples. ...
Then there's an even larger patchwork of taxation schemes crafted by 50 state legislatures, all coming up with new ways to extract coin from their citizenry. Hawaii: That's a Nice Tax Deduction You've Got Growing There
The market is pricier than it was a year ago, so be careful what you buy.
"How about a charitable contribution for all the time I donate to the church?" No, again. On the other hand, your fellow taxpayers have successfully claimed write-offs for many things that most of us wouldn't even imagine, ranging from cat food to a casualty loss for a vehicle totaled by a drunk driver. He claimed he was entitled to a $9,000 casualty loss. Even though he was involved in an illegal activity and acted negligently, the Tax Court allowed him to claim the write-off.
Over the years, taxpayers have concocted a lot of zany arguments to justify tax deductions. An Appeals Court gave him an A for effort but an F in taxation, ruling that he owes tax on the distribution. He tried to deduct the payment as a casualty loss, but the Tax Court denied his write-off because he wasn't the owner of the vehicle. They claimed that the builder defrauded them and deducted a large theft loss on their tax return.
This is particularly important to you if you live in a state that does not impose a state income tax. So if your state doesn't have an income tax, the sales tax write-off is clearly the way to go. In some cases, even filers who pay state income taxes can come out ahead with the sales tax choice. This isn't a tax deduction, but it is an important subtraction that can save you a bundle.
Even the young and the penniless can wish their loved ones a happy holiday without going into debt.
Follow these tips to prevent becoming a victim of identity thieves and con artists.
There's nothing magic about a particular unemployment rate. No one number is enough to indicate that the economy is healthy.
2013 was a very good year for the stocks I recommended. Let's see how I can follow up.
Vanguard Total Stock Market owns almost every publicly traded U.S. company worth at least $10 million.
Expect the start of the tax-filing season to be delayed -- which means a longer wait for refunds.
Come out ahead (if you still can) and lose these laggards.
How to survive the hit to your wallet from gridlock in Washington.
You'll find find tools, toys and more on sale this month.
One market strategist with a superb record is still bullish but sees increasing danger signs.
Bank of America's stock could reach $20 over the next year without breaking a sweat.