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The Junior Scribes Writer’s Group met on Tuesday, Dec. 3, to celebrate the completion of National Novel Writing Month. Members set a word count goal according to their age and almost every mem…
WHEATFIELD — The KV School Board and corporation officials announced Monday night they are naming the middle school football field after Bill Ridley, assistant principal and athletic director …
VALPARAISO — Since August 2018, the Jasper Newton Foundation has been in litigation against the Law office of Robert Monfort, Monfort himself, and his assistant Teri Hardin. Hardin became the …
By Andrea Woroch
As a new decade begins, many have their sights set on change. After what feels like a lifetime of working, though, it can be difficult to transition to a cold-turkey retirement. To stay busy and supplement income many people are "semi-retiring" instead.
Folks are leaving their traditional jobs, cutting costs and looking for more flexible, fun work. And, these days, you don't have to look far. With the emergence of the "gig economy", it's easy to earn a little side cash, without having to commit to a 9 to 5 job – or even leave the house.
If your goal is to achieve a semi-retired lifestyle in 2020, follow these steps and start living out the rest of your life in freedom.
Your housing expenses are likely the biggest line item in your budget. Whether you rent or own, look at options for reducing this expense. Not only does finding a smaller house or moving into an apartment help lower your actual...
Is it tax time already? You may not want to admit it, but tax time starts well before the filing deadline. Your important tax forms start arriving in the mail in January. If you simply let them accumulate in a pile, it will be April before you realize it, and you will be scrambling around, attempting to do your taxes at the last moment. Woe unto you if you realize at the last minute that one of your important tax forms is nowhere to be found.
How many forms should you expect? That depends on your situation, but anything that contributes to your income or makes adjustments to your taxable income will require documentation. Primary forms include:
- W-2s – Everyone that you have worked for as a direct employee owes you a W-2 form to show all monies paid to you and taxes withheld.
- 1099s – 1099s cover all income from sources...
Tax preparers such as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and Enrolled Agents are incredibly busy during tax season. Their time is precious, even more so in recent years with many of the changes introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act currently in effect. That makes it even more important for you to prepare for your allotted tax preparation time.
Your tax professional needs the following four categories of information to prepare your taxes properly. Make sure to bring all the necessary forms and receipts and organize them so that they may be found quickly.
- Identification and Basic Information – For any new relationships, you will need to supply identification for you, your spouse, and all dependents claimed. Social Security cards are preferred, but other government-issued ID is usually acceptable. Check with your preparer before you visit.
Other basic information includes your address, your previous year's tax form, and any info...
Did you have a happy New Year? We certainly hope so. Now it's time to get back to regular routines and take care of January chores, including gathering your tax information.
The 2020 Tax Season Begins on January 27
The IRS has announced that the 2020 tax season will begin on January 27th. The beginning of tax season marks the first day that the IRS will accept individual electronic returns and start processing traditional paper returns.
Soon, you and more than 150 million of your fellow Americans will be sifting through tax information and preparing returns — or have them prepared for you. In 2018, tax preparers filed nearly 79.5 million electronic returns. In 2019, the industry employed 314,413 tax practitioners in 134,475 businesses and created $11 billion in revenue. Expect tax preparers to be even busier in 2020 due to the ...
Holiday Debt On the Increase
Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn't be surprising.
Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,325 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2018's $1,230, 2017's $1,054 average and 2016's $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer confidence are at least partly to blame. Did a personal increase in wages and confidence lead you into a mountain of holiday debt?
We've given previous tips on dealing with excessive holiday debt. You've got more debt – so we've got five more tips, for a total of 10.
6. Slice Your Budget Further
To pay off holiday debt, you can't sett...
Santa was not so kind to your friends and relatives this year, so you felt the need to fill the gap. You overspent on holiday gifts, and now you are stuck with a significant amount of holiday debt. Gratitude from gift recipients is a great feeling, but gratitude is not going to pay off your MasterCard bill. If it's any comfort, you're not alone; according to one report, Americans racked up an average of $1,325 in debt last holiday season.
What do you do? Start with the classic bit of advice – "if you are in a hole, stop digging." Recognize that you overspent, and freeze your spending until you can take the following steps.
How to Reduce Holiday Debt
- Assess the Situation and Rebalance the Budget – Face up to your debt and total up the damage. Rebalance your budget to account for this new debt, and look for any budgeted spending that you can temporarily drop. You will need to eat out less often and delay other discretionary spendi...
You want to be an energy saver and are interested in going green as much as possible through new energy efficient appliances, home modifications, and perhaps even building a brand-new energy-efficient home. Every level of the U.S. government also wants you to be an energy saver, and is willing to back it up with programs and tax incentives that encourage energy-saving efforts.
Tax Incentive for Energy Efficiency
These tax incentives are not just for individuals. Businesses can also reap tax benefits while helping to save the environment. Applied over a large scale, these credits can save thousands of dollars and make a real difference to your business's bottom line.
How do you find these tax-saving programs? The Internal Revenue Service has information for federal tax incentives, such as those in the What are Deductions, Credits, and Exemptions?
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, although new to some Medicare beneficiaries, has been around before. In 2011, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period was altered and changed to the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. The disenrollment period took the open enrollment period's place from 2011 until 2018.
In 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period reappeared. Several Medicare beneficiaries took advantage of this extra enrollment period, and even more beneficiaries are expected to use this period in 2020.
The differences between the disenrollment and open enrollment periods
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) ran from January 1st through February 14th. Within those one and a half months, Medicare beneficiaries who were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan were able to leave the pla...
Is this winter putting a hurt on your heating bill? The chill could be blowing a hole in your heating budget, for the colder it gets, the costlier it is to heat your home. The good news is that you can lessen the financial impact of cold weather by making a number of relatively simple changes.
Believe it or not, Friday, January 10, is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. In the heated holiday spirit, here are some small suggestions that can result in big savings:
- Turn Down Your Thermostat – The simplest thing you can do, if you can tolerate a lower temperature.
- Install Smart Thermostats – Thermostat technology has improved significantly. Many new models are programmable and easy to install. You can set a program to turn the temperature down when you're at work and turn it up for your return. There's no point in heating a house when no one's home, as long as the pipes aren’t at risk of freezing. Some
From its humble beginnings in a basement in East Peoria, to becoming a multi-million dollar company with plants in numerous states and countries, Jordan Manufacturing has seen its share of cha…
The Pulaski/White Rural Telephone Cooperative (PWRTC), dba LightStream, Board of Directors are excited to announce it has named Brent Gillum to serve as CEO. Gillum will be responsible for lea…
A three-year grant from the state of Indiana is once again offering assistance to farmers in the region to help cover the cost of planting cover crops this winter.
Some businesses get started in the basement, while others might start in the garage. Wrede and Sons of Monticello got their start on a farm located on Diamond Point Road, two miles east of Mon…
Brothers Erik and Ron Kasparian formally opened a store on Kannal Avenue in Rensselaer Saturday for You’ll Never Guess, their research and development company. YNG is currently specializing in…