Who should be the owner of the 529 plan account?

Who should be the owner of the 529 plan account

Do you hope to help your grandchildren pay for college someday?  As college costs continue to increase, more and more students are depending on 529 college saving plans, as well as expecting to qualify for federal financial aid. For those students fortunate enough to have family members that are able to help contribute to a 529 plan account, the question often arises as to who should own the 529 account – a grandparent, a parent, or the child themselves? This question becomes difficult to answer when the student also needs to qualify for federal financial aid. To compound this even further,

Continue reading

Tips to Make Money Last

Most of us want to stretch the dollar and lessen expenses. To have enough money to cover all the bills with enough left for travel, entertainment, and fun. The truth is that prices increase more than our income does. And some of us have trouble covering rising costs. I know what it feels like to struggle with inflation and rising costs. It is exhausting. Here are a few ways I found that helps me keep more money in the bank. Budget -- create a list or spreadsheet and plan how you want to spend money. Keeping and following a budget

Continue reading

How to Spot Financial Elder Abuse

How to Spot Financial Elder Abuse

Last week's column discussed telephone fraudsters and other senior scams to watch out for, especially this time of year. Unfortunately, older individuals are easy targets because we're lonely and miss the constant companionship we enjoyed at work. Or we're lonely because the spouse has passed and the adult children have busy lives. How to Spot Financial Elder Abuse That leaves seniors open to a seemingly pleasant, trustworthy, and slick professionals who use the telephone in a friendly and engaging manner and traps us with kind words and attention. Scammers are smart and well-trained. They know exactly what to say to get

Continue reading

How to keep your mobile device away from criminals

It’s a beautiful morning and you decide to visit your favorite beverage shop to enjoy a tasty treat. With your go-juice in hand, you move to an empty table and sit down. You pull out your mobile phone to catch up on emails and read the latest news when you realize you forgot to get napkins. Leaving your coffee and phone on the table, you walk to the nearby counter, pluck two napkins from a holder, and return to your seat. As you approach your table, you move to set the napkins next to your coffee when you realize something

Continue reading

How to Stop Money Scammers

How to Stop Money Scammers

Why scammers get away with their crimes – and what you can do to stop them! It’s not always easy to avoid scams. Criminals are tricky, aggressive, and they’ll say whatever they have to that will convince someone to hand over their hard-earned money. If one of these scoundrels rips you off, what will you do about it? How to Stop Money Scammers Everyone has the potential to become a victim of a scam, including you. I’ve seen countless stories come across my desk of victims who refused to believe that scammers ripped them off until they’ve lost everything. Some

Continue reading

Understanding Financial Powers of Attorney – Are They a “License to Steal”?

Understanding Financial Powers of Attorney – Are They a “License to Steal”?

A financial power of attorney is a valuable legal document that ensures that your financial matters will continue to be handled – should you become incapacitated and unable to do so yourself.  However, placed into the wrong hands, these documents can become a license to steal. Understanding Financial Powers of Attorney – Are They a “License to Steal”? In your power of attorney, you’re called the “principal” and the person you select to have authority over your finances is called the “agent” (or “attorney-in-fact”). A general power of attorney allows your selected agent to do everything that you could do with

Continue reading

This Grandparent Scam Continues to Sweep Nation

The next time you receive a call from a relative asking for money, be sure that person is who he or she claims to be. In a recent scam, a senior received a call from a person pretending to be her grandson. The caller told the woman he had been arrested and needed bail money to be released from jail. To prove he was telling the truth, the caller handed the phone to another man who claimed to be a detective. The detective said the woman's grandson was indeed in jail and would only be released if she mailed $10,000

Continue reading

Charitable giving: How to maximize your donations

When it comes to charity, many Americans have been able to “give ‘til it hurts” — knowing the pain would be only temporary. They could write off the donations on their next tax return. However, changes ushered in by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could make the process less comfortable. While the tax plan will make filing simpler for many taxpayers, those accustomed to deducting their charitable donations may have to make some adjustments. Here’s what you need to know about maximizing your donations in the new federal income tax landscape, as well as finding other ways to

Continue reading

What is Mom’s Password?

What is Mom's Password?

Let’s face it. We live in a sophisticated, technologically driven world whether we like it or not.  Like most things in life, that happens to be both good and bad news. What is Mom's Password? But with technology comes passwords, usernames,  and PIN numbers. Not only are we instructed to keep these in a “safe” place, we are challenged with the task, on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, of remembering what password goes with what. What is Mom's Password? So how do we keep all our passwords and usernames straight while we gracefully age and our short term memories grow a bit

Continue reading