Ten Steps to Seven Figures

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

April 2019

Ten Steps to Seven Figures

One of the most frequently cited purposes of investing is to build wealth for future financial goals such as a new car, a college education for children, and financial security in later life. Many people even have a specific dollar amount in mind such as having $1 million saved by the time that they stop working. 

 

Below are ten recommendations to …

How Do I Take a Charitable Income Tax Deduction??

While a specific charity may qualify with the IRS as a charitable organization for tax purposes, a taxpayer still needs to be able to itemize his or her tax deductions to deduct a charitable contribution. Charitable contributions are an itemized deduction.

Schedule A is the tax form used to tally itemized deductions. These deductions include out-of-pocket health-related expenses, mortgage interest, property taxes, charitable contributions, and other qualified expenses.

In order to use Schedule A, you would need to use IRS …

Monthly Investment Message: February 2018

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

February 2018

A Hierarchy of Financial Decisions

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are an account that people can set up to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses such as deductibles, co-payments, and services not covered by insurance. Eligible individuals can establish and fund these accounts only when they have a qualifying high-deductible health plan (HDHP). HSA money gets deposited tax-free, grows tax-free, and comes out tax-free, if used according to …

What Types of Records Should You Keep for Tax-Deductible Mileage?

Some people record all their mileage on a calendar, planner, or business diary that they keep in their car. Be sure to jot down the date, the purpose of the trip, the starting and ending odometer readings, and the total number of miles driven. Another good source of documentation is a copy of the forms that you provide to your employer for expense reimbursement.

Remember, you are entitled to deduct the difference between the IRS business mileage reimbursement rate (54 …

Monthly Investment Message: March 2018

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

March 2018

Factors That Promote Financial Success

During the last year, I had the opportunity to hear several well-known personal finance speakers talk about the characteristics and practices of financially successful people. Audiences are usually very interested in this topic because it provides a motivational roadmap and specific tips to follow.

 

At the 2017 Financial Planning Association (FPA) conference, the final general session speaker was financial author and …

Monthly Investment Message: February 2017

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

February 2017

Factors That Affect Investment Risk Tolerance

To help investors objectively assess their investment risk tolerance, Rutgers Cooperative Extension has an online Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz at www.rce.rutgers.edu/money/riskquiz 

Developed by Dr. Ruth Lytton at Virginia Tech and Dr. John Grable at the University of Georgia, the quiz has 13 multiple choice questions and provides users with instant feedback about their capacity to handle investment risk. 

 

The questions …

What are Student Loan Borrowers Thinking? Insights from Focus Groups on College Selection and Student Loan Decision Making

Johnson, C. L., O’Neill, B., Worthy, S., Lown, J. M., Bowen, C. F. (2016). What are student loan borrowers thinking? Insights from focus groups on college selection and student loan decision making. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 27(2), 184-198.

Brief Description: This study used data from online focus groups to understand college students’ decision-making process when borrowing money to finance their education. Respondents were asked eight questions regarding their college selection and student loan decision-making. Results suggest that (a) …

What Are the Minimum and Maximum Amounts That Can be Saved Each Year in an IRA?

Federal tax law limits 2017 contributions to a traditional and/or Roth IRA to $5,500 for a worker with earned income ($6,500 for those who are age 50 or older before the end of the year). An additional $5,500 can also be saved for a worker’s spouse, regardless of whether or not the spouse is employed. In addition, spouses who are age 50 or older can contribute an additional $1,000 ($6,500 total) for a total of $13,000 of contributions if both …

Monthly Investment Message: May 2017

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

May 2017

The Benefits of Being a Future-Minded Planner

Want to be a successful investor? Develop your future-mindedness. That is the conclusion of a recent study that found a connection between positive financial behaviors, such as saving and investing, and impulsiveness and materialism.

When people focus on their future they tend to be less impulsive spenders, regardless of their level of financial literacy. In fact, the strongest predictor …

What Are the Income Restrictions to Qualify to Contribute to a Roth IRA?

Below are the income restrictions for 2017 Roth IRA contributions:

• Roth IRAs are fully available to single filers whose adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $118,000. No participation is allowed if your AGI is more than $133,000. Thus, the phase-out range, where contributions are limited in gradual steps as income increases, is between $118,000 and $133,000.

• Roth IRAs are fully available to joint filers whose AGI is less than $186,000. There is a phase-out range between $186,000 …