Archive for the
‘Calculators’ Category

Last Call for HARP One of the most beneficial consumer rescue programs from the Great Recession era is about to expire.  The Home Affordability Refinance Program—known as HARP—was passed by a bipartisan Congress in 2009, to enable borrowers who were under water on their homes, or close to under water, to refinance into more affordable […]

DB Plan for All Few people have a defined benefit pension plan any more, thanks to the popularity of the 401(k).  But the DB concept is simpler: a corporate annuity that pays out retirement income every year based on the amount contributed to the plan over the years.  Yes, you can buy annuities on the […]

Jun 18, 2018

Bob Veres

Tax, Taxation

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States vs. SALT Each year, thousands of professionals use their creativity and ingenuity to try to figure out the best ways to lower your federal taxes.  You know you’re living in interesting times when state lawmakers join that crowd. The reason they’re working so hard is something popularly known as the SALT provisions of the […]

Jun 18, 2018

Bob Veres

Money, Tax, Taxation

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Reclaiming Charitable Deductions You may remember that when the new tax law was debated, there was a lot of chatter around the possibility that Congress would totally eliminate the deduction for charitable contributions.  That Republican-backed proposal never made it into the final Tax Cuts + Jobs Act, but in other ways the tax changes may […]

More Good Job Numbers By now, we should be pretty well accustomed to getting good news from the employment reports issued every month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The latest report, released last Friday, announced (yawn) the 92nd consecutive month of positive job creation in the American economy—seven and two-thirds years of steadily falling […]

Jun 18, 2018

Bob Veres

Money, Tax, Taxation

0

Tax Simplification That Really Is One of the the biggest misnomers coming out of Washington is the idea of “tax simplification,” where Congress purportedly makes it easier for all of us to fill out our tax returns by adding several thousand pages of new rules, rates and lists of things we can and cannot deduct […]

Defaults Down the Road When it comes to municipal finances, we may have entered the calm before the storm.  You can go to the MuniNet Guide, which describes itself as the “hub for state, local and municipal research,” and find detailed historical statistics on the bankruptcies of small municipal utilities and special purpose districts, cities, […]

Deficit Funding Many were alarmed when, on June 5, the good people who run Medicare and Social Security released a report that said that the Medicare program will become insolvent in 2026 and Social Security will face a similar fate in 2034.  The Medicare projection is three years earlier than the previous report, while the […]

Flattening Curve The best indicator of a future recession is not perfect, and doesn’t provide an exact time or date, but economists have found that an inverted yield curve can be a warning sign of a downturn to come. A what?  The yield curve is a map of the yield of bonds from very short […]

Healthy Earnings – For Now  Professional investors are constantly trying to figure out whether the U.S. economy is healthy or sliding toward a recession.  The most important tea leaves they read are actual corporate earnings vs. the earnings estimates provided by Wall Street analysts.  Surprises on the upside are generally considered to be positive signs, […]

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