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  • Image: 10 Attractive Beach House Design Ideas That Will Leave You Speechless ( First-time home buyers face multiple challenges in today’s market, especially in the seller’s market of Silicon Valley. Houses routinely sell for 15% to 30% over asking price, with multiple cash offers. It is hard to find properties under a million dollars, and The post What are the tax benefits of owning a home instead of renting? first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • Beware making financial decisions during emotional times
  • In “The mistake I made while paying off $15,000 in credit card debt — and how to avoid it,” one consumer outlines how what he thought would be a triumphant moment, turned out to be less so because of what he didnt know about the was credit works. The writer explains that in 2021, he [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Paying Off Credit Card Debt is GreatUntil it Isnt is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • I’m talking to a lot of clients this month about charitable giving and how to give in the most tax-efficient way possible. Since Tax Reform took effect in 2018 fewer taxpayers are getting a deduction for their charitable contributions. Donations to charity are deducted when a taxpayer itemizes deductions. After Tax Reform far fewer people itemize. Only about 10% []
  • We have always had the ability to ‘shop ‘til we drop’ and that is especially true during the holiday season. As the years have gone by the winter holiday season crept into the fall and now people start shopping much earlier. This is not referring to people who purposefully buy gifts all year long with [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Dont Go in the Red on Black Friday is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you have seen the reports about how Thanksgiving celebrations this year will suffer because of scarcity and higher prices. At the beginning of November there were news stories about how shoppers probably wouldnt be able to find the products they want for their holiday dinner. [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. A Scarcity Mindset Could Ruin Thanksgiving is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • “Experiments are antidotes to discouragement.” – Dr. Moira Somers Perhaps you know someone like this. He or she is looking at the end of full-time work and grappling with the looming questions. Things like How much can I spend? and Where is […]
  • “What a thing to write, who wouldn’t?” you might be tempted to say.The sad answer is, many people don’t, and 30 years after I first stepped foot on a Wall Street trading floor, women still face the very same attitudes, walls, ceilings, and yes, outright threats & harassment that I hoped would have been ancient history by now. “Ok, but why are you writing this on your firm’s blog, and not your personal blog?” The answer is easy, because we need to support women in finance from our industry positions, even more than as private individuals. Some folks might also say that it’s a marketing, “risk,” to attack this subject from a company blog, and maybe it is, but that’s ok with me. I am a numbers guy, but I also wear my heart on my sleeve, and if a potential client is uncomfortable with my stance here, we probably wouldn’t be a good business fit long term anyway. Why are you even writing today?Last night a good #FinTwit friend of mine was harassed to the point where she was driven to suspend...
  • For Investing and Financial Services, Womens Influence Grows, an article on opens with the writer sharing an anecdote about being young and working at a place where she thought the male employees were savvier about money than she and her other female counterparts. Her male co-workers had no problem discussing financial planning and would [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Women: Seek Investment Advice and Mentor Others is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Last month, Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary reported that the pandemic made it easier for criminals to perpetrate fraud. More of us, particularly senior citizens, spent more time at home and isolated from others with our phones and internet-capable devices within easy reach. Not only that, people were (and still are) under a lot of [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. The Crusade Against COVID-era Investment Fraud is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Going through treatment for and recovering from a disease such as cancer not only takes a toll on the body and mind; it can also put a dent in your finances. As Next Avenue  observes in “The Financial Burden of Breast Cancer,”  there’s an ongoing financial toll tolong-term diseases that often surprises patients and makes saving for [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Raising Awareness about Breast Cancer and the Cost of Treatment is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Three years ago,I wrote about my lifelong passion (some would say obsession) for spare change. This dates back to counting the spare change and “egg money” in my grandmother’s chipped gravy boat in the 70’s. Today, this is the spare change stash in my office: But here in the 21st century, especially during a pandemic, I []
  • The very human desire to not think about uncomfortable things is understandable. However, when it comes to estate planning, people not only have to consider death, in some cases, they also have to think about a different kind of life.  Your estate and estate planning documents are as subject to change as anything else in your [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Estate Planning Includes Disability Planning is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • I saw a tweet the other day about Warren Buffett calling his stockbroker in the 1970s. The story went something like he told the broker to bid at a price which the seller refused, saying the price was too low, and then […]
  • Budgeting is all about planning and saving for the future, right? Perhaps. Real Simple offers a way to approach budgeting that goes in the opposite direction in Why Backward Budgeting is the Key to Making a Money Plan You Can Actually Stick To. Years ago, financial experts advised to examine all of their receipts for [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. The Back-to-the-Future Budget is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • This post discusses the sensitive topic of domestic violence. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence can take different forms and show up in different populations. One of these populations is teenagers. On the eve of the start of October, CNBC published Nearly one-third of tees relationships show sings of financial abuse [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Financial Abuse Affects Teens is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Do you live in an area where you now have to pay 5 cents for a plastic bag at the grocery store? Are you concerned about property taxes? Have roads filled with potholes led to costly car repairs? These issues and many more are connected to who is in government. Today is National Voter Registration [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. The Connection Between Voting and Financial Planning is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • Photo by Archie Binamira from Pexels
  • The New Tax Proposals

    Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee released their tax agenda on September 13th. The next step is for the proposals to be debated in Congress and finalized in the weeks to come. However, it is likely that the end result will be similar to these proposals, therefore, it is time to review the major changes.
  • Like many of my clients, you may have a dusty pile of paper savings bonds lying around somewhere.  Maybe they belong to you or your children.   Odds are they were gifts from an older relative.  Most likely they are EE bonds, which have their charms.** However,the savings bond I want to talk about today is theI []
  • By most measures we’re experiencing the longest bull market in our history, starting in March of 2009 and briefly dropping by 30% in March of 2020, before recovering after the shortest bear market ever. As a result, we’re sharing the marketplace with a generation of investors who have never experienced a protracted bear market. These
  • Debt Ceiling Drama

    The ceiling on the US Federal Debt has been reached once again, after Congress suspended it in 2019 for two years. The deal expired on August 1, 2021. Since then, the US Treasury has been managing cash through “extraordinary measures,” shuffling money around between accounts, so it can continue operating. They are hoping to raise The post Debt Ceiling Drama first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • Photo by Avonne Stalling from Pexels
  • IKEA is known for not putting text in its instructions. During my divorce I was assembling a heavy kitchen cabinet to get our house ready for sale. I opened the instruction booklet to a drawing much like this one and the words: […]
  • For tax purposes your investment accounts fall into three major categories, tax free, tax deferred and taxable.
  • There are a lot of proposals, rumors, and ideas floating around out there when it comes to tax reform. The Biden administration and the House Ways and Means Committee recently released their respective proposed plans. Let’s see, at a high level, what’s in there.
  • Individuals who are over 72 must take their RMD by December 31st of each year. If you are turning 72 this year, you have until April 1, 2022.
  • On Giving Gifts

    “Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Giving significant gifts is a way to reduce “income inequality.” We can think of this as “direct action.” While this post is intended to clear up some questions about the tax implications of giving, we will leave promotion of The post On Giving Gifts first appeared on Michael Garber Financial Planning .
  • If you have college-bound children or grandchildren, it’s worth learning about 529 plans. These tax-advantaged savings plan for college expenses are named for the internal revenue code section authorizing their use. 529 plans invest after-tax dollars, ideally to grow for several years before the funds can be withdrawn tax-free, if used for qualified education expenses.
  • Bill Starnes was selected as one of five Delaware financial experts interviewed in the August edition of Delaware Today magazine.
  • The experience of getting evacuated from our home recently due to a nearby fire got me thinking about the importance of homeowners insurance. What should you look out for when getting home insurance? What's important vs. what's not? Let’s dig in.
  • How to read more

    I’m occasionally asked for reading tips. Here is what worked for me to increase the number of books I buy that I then read. While I notice that I spend less time reading articles when I read more books, there are some […]
  • A major trigger of inflation is when supply cannot keep up with demand resulting in price increases.
  • There’s no shortage of financial advice to be found on the internet, social media, the 24 hour news, and even from your friends & family. We’re bombarded with new opportunities to save, invest, and yes, even lose money. FOMO, YOLO, crypto, repeat. Surrounded by all the noise, a lot of folks simply don’t do anything. Ironically, in many cases, doing nothing is often the best course of action. As Jack Bogle famously said, “Don’t do something, just stand there! ” But there are a few things we can all do before we just stand there to make sure we’re not leaking money from our financial ship. What are they? Only pay for what you use. Sounds obvious, right? My mom is a member of the Greatest Generation. She’ll be 91 in October, and she still saves every receipt and checks them off against her credit card statements each month. She’s a Depression kid, so not a penny gets...
  • Even though we still think of them as children, under the law when a teen turns 18, they are considered an adult. Being an adult allows them to vote, serve in the military, serve on a jury, sign a contract and get married without your consent. This is a big change from when they were 17. (Feed generated with FetchRSS )
  • What we do is so tied up in who we are that it can be difficult to picture yourself without a 9-to-5 job, even if part of that picture involves daily beach naps and sunset sails. Where some retirees see carefree days and endless possibilities, you might be staring at a blank calendar worried that you're going to go crazy without meetings, deadlines, and tasks that fill you with purpose. Answering these three questions will help you start to fill in those blanks and rethink what your retirement can be.
  • You may have heard or seen that, as of July 2021, the IRS is starting to send out advance payments for the Child Tax Credit. This short article goes over some of the basics.
  • When you're working, raising kids, and struggling to find time to take a run or read a book, it's common to feel like your days keep getting away from you. Mixing a few of these habits into your schedule can help you take back some control of your time and meet your personal and professional responsibilities with more energy and purpose.
  • The Social Security Administration recently started rolling out newly designed statements. The new statements graphically illustrate the increase in income from delaying benefits. Here’s the retirement benefit information from an old statement: From a different client, the retirement benefit illustration from a new statement: The new design helps workers get a better understanding of the []
  • Set financial goals on what you would like to accomplish with your money.
  • Hitting the one-year mark as a financial planning firm is an exciting milestone. In this article, I share some thoughts and reflections on my first year in business.