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Personal Finances

Grocery Prices Rise Its Highest Level Since 1974

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Americans now have a new battle to fight.. and that’s higher prices at the grocery stores.  The Labor Department reported last week that consumers paid 2.6% more for groceries in April than in March — the largest one month increase since February 1974.

The price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs rose 4.3%, cereals and bakery products jumped 2.9%, and fruits, vegetables and dairy goods all gained 1.5%. The price index for eggs alone climbed just over 16% — the biggest increase for any single food.

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Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Hip-Hop Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is also a speaker, and bestselling author of six books. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. Ash is best known for helping people maximize their full potentials by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best lives. For more info on Ash please visit www.IamAshCash.com

Personal Finances

How the New President Will Impact Your Pockets

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It’s Official like a referee with a whistle that there is going to be a new commander in chief in town. As Americans await the change in administration on January 20, 2021 from Donald J Trump to Joe Biden, many are wondering what this change is going to mean for their bottom line.

Being aware of the changes that could come ensures that you can leverage them or plan for any potential hits. Below are a few proposals the President-Elect campaigned on that could potentially affect you and your finance. Ready? Let’s dig into it!

Biden’s Income Taxes Plans

As POTUS, Biden hopes to make many changes to the income tax system, focusing on making it more progressive (the more you earn, the more taxes you pay as a percentage of your income). The Tax Policy Center has further stated that Biden’s proposal will increase taxes by $2.41 trillion within the next decade.

If his policies take effect as pre-planned, in 2022:

  • Households earning between about $50,000 and 90,000 will receive an average tax cut of around $6,700.
  • Higher-income households ($330,000–790,000) will be hit with an average tax increase of $98,000.
  • The top 1% of earners (over $790,000) will also pay an average tax increase of $265,000.

Biden’s Proposals – What We Know

Many of Joe Biden’s income tax reforms are aimed at families; therefore, several single individuals and couples without kids on both the lower and middle-income ranges won’t enjoy all the benefits of these changes.

Child Tax Credit would increase from the current maximum limit of $2,000 to $3,000 for each eligible child under age 17. Biden’s plans also propose an additional $600 bonus credit for under 6 kids and make the credit fully refundable.

His proposals would also increase the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to assist families with expenses such as daycare. The current max credit limit is $3,000 ($6,000 for multiple dependents) for qualifying expenses. Senator Biden will raise this limit to $8,000 ($16,000 for multiple dependents) and also increase the maximum reimbursement rate – up to 50% of your qualifying expenses as against the current 35%.

Biden proposes to revive the First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit, now referred to as the First Down Payment Tax Credit. It was designed during the Great Recession to encourage individuals to purchase homes again. According to his plan, eligible first-time homebuyers will be given up to $15,000 in tax benefits when they buy a home.

On the flip side of these tax benefits, as we mentioned earlier, are tax increases that are aimed at higher-income earners. Here are just a few:

  • For households earning over $400,000, tax rates would rise from 37% to 39.6%.
  • Long-term capital gains and qualifying dividends of households earning over $1 million would be taxed at the normal income tax rate of 39.6%, as against the current 20%.

The Facts

Always ensure that you leverage all your qualifying tax credits and deductions. When it’s time to file your taxes, these new changes (if they take effect) can become confusing. If you have a less complicated tax situation and feel comfortable working with a tax software, then go ahead and get yourself a concise software. However, if you feel that you’re going to take a hit (tax-wise) or you’re being too cautious not to mess anything up with your taxes, then solicit the help of a tax Endorsed Local Provider.

 

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plans

Millions of Americans are stuck in the over $1.5 trillion student loan crisis, which has become a huge burden. The Corona Virus outbreak has equally done more harm than good. Biden, during his campaign, like many other presidential aspirants, made promises on student loan forgiveness. And since his election, Biden has reiterated his commitment to cancel some student loan debt, but how and how much remains unclear.

 

Biden’s Proposal – What We Know

The President-Elect was a supporter of legislation passed in Parliament earlier in 2020 that proposed student loan forgiveness ($10,000 per borrower) as a section of a COVID-19 relief bill. However, this bill wasn’t backed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Some Democrat leaders are pushing Biden to revoke congressional recommendations by writing an executive order that’ll cancel up to $50,000 per borrower, though not everyone is confident that the president has such powers to execute this. (Well, the Supreme Court can clarify this further.)

 

The Facts

The government already has in place multiple student loan forgiveness schemes (The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, etc.), and none are all good at actual loan forgiveness. This is largely due to the tough requirements. Furthermore, there isn’t any way to know what Biden’s student loan forgiveness proposal will be, whether it’ll become a reality, what the requirements will be, and how effective the program will be.

So, ensure that you have the right plan to tackle your student loan debt – this is the most effective way!

 

Biden’s Social Security and Retirement Accounts Plans

Any new president will certainly have policies to change Social Security, and the President-Elect isn’t any different. He’s also proposing a few tweaks to 401(K) plans.

Biden’s Proposals – What We Know

Social Security is in peril. The trust funds supporting the program are expected to dry out within the next 15 years. In such a scenario, beneficiaries would only be entitled to 80% of what they’re owed. Biden seeks to fix this and include a few extras too:

Minimum benefit: The average monthly benefit is about $1,400; however, not everyone gets that much. A lot of people receive much less. According to Biden’s proposal, Social Security beneficiaries who’ve worked for a minimum of 30 years will receive a minimum annual benefit of 125% of the poverty level—relatively $15,950 for a single individual.

Increased benefit for older beneficiaries: He also wants to increase beneficiaries’ benefits once they’ve gotten Social Security for at least 20 years. This is aimed at ensuring that long-time retirees can retain more of their savings. He didn’t mention the amount of this increment.

Allow surviving spouses to reap more benefits: Social Security benefits are split into half for couples receiving the benefits when a spouse becomes deceased. Biden’s proposal would let the surviving spouse retain a significant proportion of the benefits, ultimately raising their benefits by 20%.

Of course, all these have to be paid for with taxes! Biden would impose a Social Security payroll tax of 12.4% on earned incomes over $400,000, divided between the employer and employee. Currently, there’s no payroll tax for incomes over $137,700, and for now, individuals earning between $137,700 and $400,000 aren’t taxed.

The Facts

Just remember: Never allow an administrative change in the White House to push you to make a significant mistake with your retirement savings plan. Don’t rely on Social Security for your retirement. Plan and invest like it doesn’t exist because it might not. Additionally, you can fair better building wealth via your tax-advantaged retirement savings plans than any government ever could. And speaking of retirement plans, the President-Elect has a few changes for those as well, including proposing a flat tax credit for contributions to a 401(k) instead of the current tax deduction.

 

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Personal Finances

Importance Of Different Streams of Income 

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Importance Of Different Streams of Income 

by: Rosalyn L

Making money is more important. The way of the world today, you would be unwise to not have money set aside in case of an emergency.

First, multiple streams of income provide a safety net for you. If you only work a 9-to-5, you are dependent on that income alone. So what happens if you become ill? What do you do if you get laid off or fired? How will you bounce back from losing your job?

If you only relied on that one source of income, you may soon realize that you either:

Need to get a new job fast, or
You may get into debt while trying to get yourself afloat.
But if you have multiple streams of income, you can support yourself financially for at least a little while, and it gives you the opportunity to grow those avenues to earn even more money should you wish.

Putting all of your eggs in one basket is never a good thing, and the same goes for trusting your 9-to-5 to always be available to you. Multiple streams of income provide a safety net should you ever find yourself without a stable job or income.

What would you do if you knew you weren’t worried about money?

  • Would you take more vacations?
  • Start a new passion-based business?
  • Or maybe you’d invest in a few up and coming businesses.

Having options is a big deal, especially when it comes to money. Having multiple streams of income means you can do more with your money and spend less time worrying about it. And that is the ultimate reason why it’s important to have them!

Are you ready to create multiple streams of income?

Another reason having different streams of income is Making vs Spending. Think about it; you are spending your time working on them. That, in return, means you’re less likely to spend money.

When you’re busy with a business or side hustle, you don’t have time to shop mindlessly online or spend a lot of money. Instead, your focus is on your hustle. Which means that you can save even more money in the long run, just by having an extra stream of income, even if you don’t make much from it!

Most importantly…

Having multiple streams of income isn’t all about the money. In fact, sometimes people start a side hustle, small business, or freelance because it’s fun and a creative outlet! If your 9-to-5 pays well and isn’t terrible, but isn’t fulfilling you and what you want out of your life, create a new stream of income!

Think about all the changes that extra streams of income can do for your financial situation. If your day job pays for your bills, you can then use your other income to save, invest, and more. You’re able to make decisions that affect your now and your future.

Starting is your best choice!

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Business

Teaching Your Children The Importance Of  Wealth

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You’ve worked hard to build your estate, and maintain it over time. Eventually, it will be time to leave your estate to your children. How will you make sure that they are prepared?

Just as you have a responsibility to manage your wealth, you have a responsibility to educate your children about how to manage it. Children also have a responsibility to learn. It’s your job to show them the way.

The dialogue about family wealth changes over time. Children might have a certain frame of reference as teenagers, but that dynamic changes once they marry and spouses are introduced into the family. The conversation about transfer of wealth happens over and over again, at different milestones in life. As the point of departure nears where there will be some significant asset transfer, all of the cumulative talks where you have been educating and steering the child over time will have to be used in their OWN lives.

Monday ( Sept 21) on the “Ash Cash Show” Ash Cash shared praise and admiration to his daughter, her growth and respect for money is inspiring, as she is active in the family  business. At the tender age of twelve, seeing her using her earned income to purchase her own items, was a delight for him to see.  Like most parents should, Ash Cash used the best time to start talking to his child about money and the family’s assets as early as he felt comfortable. The process ultimately has two parts that should be handled separately: teaching money skills, and revealing family wealth.

Think of it as a process of apprenticeship, where your children will learn from you how your family’s estate should be handled. Incremental learning and incremental responsibility will be the cornerstones of a successful education process.

When you feel like your children are mature enough to handle wealth management, and you respect the people they are becoming, it’s time to go to the next step and educate them about the family’s wealth and their inheritance. YES! THEIR INHERITANCE. Advisors say, that making them aware of your family’s wealth, and their responsibilities pertaining to it, early on will set them up for the best chance of success.

Allow your children  to sit in on business  conversations  and learn to communicate as a business owner. You need to allow the next generation to make their voices heard when it comes to philanthropic endeavors. Don’t just sit around a table and make decisions about which organizations to give family money to, encourage your heirs to participate in the work these organizations do, and experience the difference that money makes.

It’s important to teach children the story and context that’s behind the accumulation of family wealth. It involves other members of the family who built something that is being passed down. In that story, there are highs and lows, setbacks, victories, and all of this is important in setting the context for stewardship. Share with them how complex it was to achieve the wealth and what it takes to keep it.

The education is KEY. If you have a portfolio and you look at its value over time, your heirs need to understand how different withdrawal rates will affect that value. It’s frequently an eye-opener for children and families when they realize that they have to be very deliberate about this process in order to preserve the wealth through generations.

Remember: This sense of accountability will permeate their lives and help them behave in matters of generational wealth.

 

Peace.

 


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