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The TOP RATED Personal Finance Blog and Retirement Guide for Generation X and Y by Ted Jenkin
Updated: 16 hours 6 min ago

Top 10 Jobs For 2014

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:34
I have a daughter of my own who is finishing up her junior year of high school and we will be looking at colleges and career paths as many other families will be doing across America.   Most kids have no idea what they want to do with their lives, so it probably behooves you as a parent to at least shed some concrete data with your children about what’s paying at the cash register here in 2014. I know.  I know.   Money isn’t everything.  If your children choose their passion then ultimately the will figure out how to make a lot of money within their career.   However, if your child is dealing with the certainty of uncertainty then tip the scales in their favor and give them a few paths to choose from as they embark on their future endeavors.  Careercast.com put together a list of the highest and lowest paying midlevel income jobs across America (http://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/best-jobs-2014) Best Jobs of 2014 / Midlevel Income 1. Mathematician / $101,360 2. Tenured...

Your Smart Money Moves with oXYGen Financial – 04/22/14

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:15
Taped 04/22/14 Listen every Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. on ROCK 100.5 | Atlanta’s Rock Station to “Your Smart Money Moves” with The Regular Guys and oXYGen Financial. Ted Jenkin, CFP® and Kile Lewis, CRPC® are the founders of oXYGen Financial, and our chief financial officers. All your money questions answered Breathe easier at http://oXYGenFinancial.net

VIDEO: The Colleges With The Best Return On Investment

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 10:23
Read the full post here.

The Colleges With The Best Return On Investment

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 07:00
When we manage money for people we get asked this question all the time.  The investor who give you $100,000 to manage typically wants to know in advance what you think the expected return on investment is with their cash and over what time frame.  Typically, most investors want to know how long it will take you to double their money.   With today’s student debt approaching almost $30,000 (source: Forbes), should we be choosing and ranking school by return on investment? Payscale, a company who diligently tracks salaries in the United States, recently came out with its 2014 report on collegiate return on investment.   You’ll note some of the best schools in the country are at the top supporting my theory about paying only for the elite colleges and universities in the United States.  However, the most amazing part of the study is that clearly engineering and technology driven schools blow away the rest of the field. Harvey Mudd College tops list with a 2013 four year cost of $229,500...

Are Those Making $200,000 More Likely For An Audit

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:00
Nobody wants to get an audit.   About 1 in 150 of us will experience some type of audit in our lifetime.   The good news is that if you follow these six smart money moves, you may be able reduce your chances of getting flagged in the future. You didn’t disclose all of your income- The IRS gets copies of your w-2’s, 1099’s (reporting of your interest and dividends), and capital gains and losses.  Make sure you collect all of your statements from work, investments, etc. “Measure Twice Cut Once” whether you or your accountant does the math. You have a big mouth- Never brag (especially on social media) that you pulled a fast one on the IRS. The IRS does more trolling today than ever before on social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Whistleblowers can earn some significant rewards (15% to 30% by filing form 211) by turning in cheats.  Be very careful of ex-girlfriends, ex-spouses, etc. The dreaded home office deduction- This has been a long standing IRS...

Your Smart Money Moves with oXYGen Financial – 04/15/14

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:00
Taped 04/15/14 Listen every Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. on ROCK 100.5 | Atlanta’s Rock Station to “Your Smart Money Moves” with The Regular Guys and oXYGen Financial. Ted Jenkin, CFP® and Kile Lewis, CRPC® are the founders of oXYGen Financial, and our chief financial officers. All your money questions answered Breathe easier at http://oXYGenFinancial.net

What If Someone Stole My Tax Refund?

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 07:25
With the deadline looming for taxpayers, the crunch will be on for people scrambling to get their final documents together and submit their official tax return.   Imagine this scenario.    You submit your tax return only to receive a rejection notice from the IRS several weeks later saying that they have already received a tax return submitted by you already.   How’s that for a situation that is sure to rock your world. Unfortunately, in today’s world all you really need are some social security numbers and the internet to start winning at the tax return identity theft game.  According to the USA Today, a government report in November said the IRS issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over last year to criminals who were using other people’s personal information.  Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that the “scale, scope, and execution of these fraud schemes” has grown substantially in size. What should you do if someone stole your tax refund? Don’t panic.  You will likely only figure this out...

VIDEO: Are The Elite Private Colleges Worth The Price Of Admission?

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 10:24
Read the full post here.

Are The Elite Private Colleges Worth The Price Of Admission?

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 07:30
It is apparent that college education costs and health insurance are the two arenas that have defied gravity over the past six years through this recovery. With college tuition escalating at a much faster rate than normal information and continued pressing coming on family savings, the average household today may wonder if getting a diploma from an expensive prestigious private college is worth the ticket of admission. If your son or daughter is lucky enough to have the qualifications to get into the ultra-elite schools (such as Harvard), then my answer is yes. There is a short list of impressive schools that have a strong alumni base stretched out across the United States or have the really high end credentials necessary to help a student make a major impact with their career in the short term. There are many very good private colleges that cost $50,000 to $60,000 a year beyond the short list of these prestigious school, and these schools may not be worth the money especially if you...

Living Paycheck to Paycheck is Not Living At All

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 07:30
Are you one of the many young professionals making good money but have little or nothing to show for it?  It’s ok to fess up because you are not alone.  A matter of fact, based on a study by Reuters 68% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/us-usa-survey-paycheck-idUSBRE88I1BE20120919.  Yes, you’re reading correctly: over two thirds of people surveyed find it hard to make ends meet each pay period.  So how does this happen?  First, let’s start with some simple math. Salary (total compensation) = $80,000 Annual After Tax Take Home Earnings (amount left after  taxes and health care costs are withheld, assuming a 25% tax bracket and $5,000 for healthcare  = $55,000 Paycheck (amount paid bi weekly) = ~$2,100/paycheck or ~$4,200 each month Now that we understand some basic numbers we can begin to realize where your true take home pay begins.  And just like any CFO of a large corporation, it’s equally important to focus on what cash is going out as much as what is coming in. Based...

The Biggest Financial Mistake People Make During Divorce

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:30
Divorce can often bring about tumultuous times for a family. Sometimes they can go very smooth and others can literally be the ‘War Of The Roses’. In the midst of being between the lawyers, couples often make financial mistakes that can lead to problems down the road. The number one mistake that I have seen amongst divorcing couples is their lack of consideration around liquidity of assets. It’s pretty common after a separation that one spouse will end up with the primary residence and in turn the other spouse may wind up with a commensurate amount of assets between brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and savings accounts. While the math may show a true 50/50 split of the overall net worth of the couple, the reality is that one of the spouses will be stuck with a paper asset that could be tough to dispose of if cash flow becomes an issue. This can also occur when one spouse is the owner of a closely held business as well. It can...

Fantasy Sports Insurance?

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 09:12
Ok, I’ve heard it all now.  I’m not a fantasy sports guy, but as a numbers person I can understand the attraction.  More than $1 billion is spent each year on Fantasy Sports leagues.  League fees can run from free to $1000.  The more the 25 million people playing in paid leagues can pocket real money.   Those that are spending money find it frustrating to draft a player who gets injured in real life and have to be sidelined on their fantasy team.  An injury can ruin your fantasy lineup and your season could be over just as it is getting started.  Industry studies show that the average fantasy player spends $467 annually on various sports leagues. Along comes a businessman to create FantasyPlayerProtect.com which provides insurance to reimburse league entry fees plus up to $250 for other expenses like subscriptions to research your players.  With their tag line being  ‘Injuries Happen – FantasyPlayerProtect has your back’, you are able to insure up to 5 players on your team.  The...

Can the Government Inherit your Estate?

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 09:34
By: Patrick R. Norris* When a new couple comes to visit me to set up the base of their first estate plan, one of the common questions that I often receive is: “can the government really inherit [or take] my property if I don’t have a Will?”.  This is a question that always make me smile because while the technical answer is “yes”, a much more practical answer is “highly doubtful”. You see when someone does not have a Will, the laws of their State essentially make a Will for them.  State statutes place your relatives in an orderly line for inheriting your estate.  So long as they are living, the first person in line receives your property when it comes time to inherit.  If they are not living, the next person in line just steps up to inherit. If you do have a [valid] Will, the State Statutes are “trumped” and your Will (not State Law) dictates who inherits your Estate.  This is one of the many important reasons...

VIDEO: What To Do When You Come Into A Large Sum Of Money

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 17:09
Read the full post here.

What To Do When You Come Into A Large Sum Of Money

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:15
Coming into a large sum of money is a game changer for people of all ages.  Unfortunately, there are lots of different decisions to consider upon receipt of these windfalls which causes most individuals and families lots of consternation on what are the smart money moves.  Whether these dollars are received from inheritance, cashed out stock options, or a gift, it is imperative that you make a smart plan or you can easily squander your newfound fortune.  Recently, I helped several folks from different walks of life when Airwatch was bought out by VMWare.  This instantaneously created a new set of millionaires.   Here are the ‘your smart money moves’ ideas to make when you come into a large sum of money. Do Nothing For 60 Days (unless you are right at the end of a tax year)-  When people inherit property, cash out stock options, or receive a gift, far too often I see people immediately buy themselves something or sell assets too quickly.    Make sure you take a complete...

Your Smart Money Moves with oXYGen Financial – 04/01/14

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 08:59
Taped 04/01/14 Listen every Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. on ROCK 100.5 | Atlanta’s Rock Station to “Your Smart Money Moves” with The Regular Guys and oXYGen Financial. Ted Jenkin, CFP® and Kile Lewis, CRPC® are the founders of oXYGen Financial, and our chief financial officers. All your money questions answered Breathe easier at http://oXYGenFinancial.net

10 Ways Grandparents Can Help Their Grandchildren

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:15
Grandparents can play a very important role in their grandchildren’s lives.  It doesn’t matter whether they live right down the street or halfway across the country.    Grandparents have so much life experience they can share unbelievably important life lessons and also have. Open a college savings account- There is so much pressure on the boomers and gen x’ers that opening a 529 plan or some type of college savings account can be a huge help to your grandchildren. Attend one of their events- Unfortunately, both parents can’t always make all of the games or concerts.  Sitting front row for your grandchildren’s events will mean the world to them. Take them on a trip- Whether you take the entire family or just the grandkids, taking them on a cruise or a vacation is a great way to help them have fun especially if your kids cannot afford at least one special trip. Share your top three mistakes in life- It can take a lifetime to assess what things really went right...

Stop Trying To Impress People With Your Money

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 07:20
If you are really trying to get wealthy, there are important life lessons to learn that will make you a smart money moves person.   It’s very difficult to pull down your guard when it comes to money.  You might be ashamed or embarrassed around poor financial decisions you made, and then tend to overcompensate by spending too much money just to prove that you can keep up with your friends or neighbors.  Here is a great post on how to build up your bank account and leave the right impression on others. You don’t have to dress for success anymore- Has anyone seen Mark Zuckerburg as of late?   Jeans and a hoodie will do just fine.  Don’t worry about the label on your clothes or your pocketbook. It just doesn’t matter. Be a leader- Perhaps you can be the one to suggest walking around a local fair or flea market, or even going to a free park to throw a Frisbee around while you bring some sandwiches.   Not all activities...

Three Ways To Lower Your Family Mobile Phone Bill?

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 07:15
Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.   That seems to be the prevalent thinking today when it comes to your family mobile phone bill.   Your youngest wants the latest and greatest in technology to impress their friends, and your oldest texts faster than you can run the 40 yard dash.  With a drawer full of old plugs, cords, and adapters, it is almost becoming a full time job to keep up with managing your family mobile phone bill.   Here are three very smart money moves for you to consider to keep your monthly bill in check. Who Is Your Top Ten?- Most of the mobile phone companies will offer some type free minute program around your top ten friends and family you call the most.   Between my phone, my wife’s phone, and the three phones my children have, we did an inspection to see which numbers were called the most in order to access the most amounts of free minutes.   If your family has 25% to 50%...

Is It Time To Take A Sabbatical?

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 07:54
The corporate treadmill is pushing people to the point of breaking. With longer hours, more responsibilities, and 24/7 access to your e-mail through technology, you achieved your dream of making it up the corporate ladder. Only one problem. You don’t like it. You like the money, the perks, the benefits, but it is killing you and it’s hard to talk about it because nobody wants to hear your story. Well, I do. Imagine escaping the 8 to 8 (since 9 to 5 isn’t even available anymore) daily grind and spending a month in Tuscany, taking a cruise around the world, or simply tucking your feet in the sand without a care in the world. Wouldn’t that be unbelievable? Can you feel the sun beating down on you while you kick back and have a Corona with lime? The phrase sabbatical is actually derived from the biblical Sabbath which in ancient times allowed people for periods of rest and rejuvenation. Admit it, a long getaway weekend isn’t exactly allowing you to...

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