Dairyland Peach http://dairylandpeach.com Sauk Centre, Minnesota Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:51:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bull Market: More to Run http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/bull-market-more-to-run/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/bull-market-more-to-run/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=eac3934b546a3442dece32af9da96559 For the past three months, the Standard & Poor’s 500 has churned sideways. Is that a bad portent? Not at all. The outlook is for higher prices, if you look at three indicators: the relationship between inflation and market value (known as the Rule of 20), the S&P 500’s earnings/price yield and energetic merger activity.

Yes, stock prices in aggregate have been trendless and choppy. On down days, it feels as if a bear trend may have started. On up days, optimism takes over. This type of market offers active investors an excellent opportunity to overtrade and lose money.

Do not anticipate how the game will end, even if it feels like there are only seconds left on the clock (especially if you are in the last seconds of the Super Bowl). Allow your disciplined, rules-based approach to guide you through the short-term volatility.

1. The Rule of 20. This involves subtracting the current rate of inflation from the number 20 to determine the potential price/earnings of the S&P 500. If inflation is 2% or less, the potential P/E is 18-plus. At an 18 P/E multiple on $125 – the 2015 consensus for S&P 500 earnings – the index could potentially move 10% higher. 

Inflation rose 0.2% in January, not counting food and energy. If we substitute that rate in place of the Federal Reserve target rate of 2%, the potential P/E jumps to 19.8, implying roughly 17% potential appreciation from current levels.

In the late 1970s, inflation ranged from 12% to 14% annually. During this time, the S&P 500 P/E was in single digits. The Rule of 20 worked.

Generally, if we assume no deflation, the Rule of 20 implies the market is overvalued if the P/E exceeds 20. At the moment, the S&P’s P/E is 19.

In 2000, the S&P 500 P/E reached 26 with inflation running at an average of 3.4%. A two-and-a-half-year bear market then followed. At the peak in November 2007, inflation was 4.3%. The inflation rate implied a multiple potential for the S&P 500 of 15.7%. This is roughly the maximum P/E level achieved at the high in 2007 before the 2008-2009 bear market. 

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2. Earnings yield. Another long-term indicator for where the market is headed comes from dividing S&P 500 earnings by its price (E/P) to determine the earnings yield of the market. Since 1963, the S&P 500 average real earnings yield (that’s adjusted for inflation, which we estimate at 1.5% yearly) is 2.5%, according to JP Morgan Asset Management’s Market Insights. On that basis, the index’s current real earnings yield is roughly 4.5%. The S&P 500 would have to increase about 35% to reach its long-term average real yield – meaning the denominator would need to increase that much.

Both the Rule of 20 and the real earnings yield of the S&P 500 suggests the bull market has not yet reached its valuation potential. The implication from these rules is the sideways trading pattern of the market for the past three months could be just a healthy consolidation before another leg higher in this bull cycle.
 
3. M&A. Meanwhile, company managements give off a bullish sign with their robust plans for mergers and acquisitions. When companies buy other companies, the acquisition should be accretive - meaning the purchase price should be sufficiently low to allow for the future earnings stream to make a good return on investment. 

The latest evidence of ebullient M&A activity came when pharma giant Pfizer (PFE) announced the acquisition of Hospira (HSP) for $90 per share or $17 billion, roughly a 40% premium over the prior-day closing price.

Pfizer would pay the 40% premium on top of a large run-up for Hospira, the biggest provider of injectable drugs, over the past couple of years. The stock was not distressed and this is not a bargain basement acquisition. Justifying the acquisition premium with cost/revenue synergies and strategic objectives is tough to do. Essentially, Pfizer management believes the market has significantly undervalued Hospira.
 
After a long hiatus, M&A bounced back last year. Most of the purchase activity is coming from corporate buyers, rather than financial buyers (e.g., private equity firms, leverage buyout firms, etc.). Because corporate buyers know and live their industries, market observers consider them a better indicator of business health and valuation than financial buyers.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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For the past three months, the Standard & Poor’s 500 has churned sideways. Is that a bad portent? Not at all. The outlook is for higher prices, if you look at three indicators: the relationship between inflation and market value (known as the Rule of 20), the S&P 500’s earnings/price yield and energetic merger activity.

Yes, stock prices in aggregate have been trendless and choppy. On down days, it feels as if a bear trend may have started. On up days, optimism takes over. This type of market offers active investors an excellent opportunity to overtrade and lose money.

Do not anticipate how the game will end, even if it feels like there are only seconds left on the clock (especially if you are in the last seconds of the Super Bowl). Allow your disciplined, rules-based approach to guide you through the short-term volatility.

1. The Rule of 20. This involves subtracting the current rate of inflation from the number 20 to determine the potential price/earnings of the S&P 500. If inflation is 2% or less, the potential P/E is 18-plus. At an 18 P/E multiple on $125 – the 2015 consensus for S&P 500 earnings – the index could potentially move 10% higher. 

Inflation rose 0.2% in January, not counting food and energy. If we substitute that rate in place of the Federal Reserve target rate of 2%, the potential P/E jumps to 19.8, implying roughly 17% potential appreciation from current levels.

In the late 1970s, inflation ranged from 12% to 14% annually. During this time, the S&P 500 P/E was in single digits. The Rule of 20 worked.

Generally, if we assume no deflation, the Rule of 20 implies the market is overvalued if the P/E exceeds 20. At the moment, the S&P’s P/E is 19.

In 2000, the S&P 500 P/E reached 26 with inflation running at an average of 3.4%. A two-and-a-half-year bear market then followed. At the peak in November 2007, inflation was 4.3%. The inflation rate implied a multiple potential for the S&P 500 of 15.7%. This is roughly the maximum P/E level achieved at the high in 2007 before the 2008-2009 bear market. 

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:unnamed.jpg

2. Earnings yield. Another long-term indicator for where the market is headed comes from dividing S&P 500 earnings by its price (E/P) to determine the earnings yield of the market. Since 1963, the S&P 500 average real earnings yield (that’s adjusted for inflation, which we estimate at 1.5% yearly) is 2.5%, according to JP Morgan Asset Management’s Market Insights. On that basis, the index’s current real earnings yield is roughly 4.5%. The S&P 500 would have to increase about 35% to reach its long-term average real yield – meaning the denominator would need to increase that much.

Both the Rule of 20 and the real earnings yield of the S&P 500 suggests the bull market has not yet reached its valuation potential. The implication from these rules is the sideways trading pattern of the market for the past three months could be just a healthy consolidation before another leg higher in this bull cycle.
 
3. M&A. Meanwhile, company managements give off a bullish sign with their robust plans for mergers and acquisitions. When companies buy other companies, the acquisition should be accretive - meaning the purchase price should be sufficiently low to allow for the future earnings stream to make a good return on investment. 

The latest evidence of ebullient M&A activity came when pharma giant Pfizer (PFE) announced the acquisition of Hospira (HSP) for $90 per share or $17 billion, roughly a 40% premium over the prior-day closing price.

Pfizer would pay the 40% premium on top of a large run-up for Hospira, the biggest provider of injectable drugs, over the past couple of years. The stock was not distressed and this is not a bargain basement acquisition. Justifying the acquisition premium with cost/revenue synergies and strategic objectives is tough to do. Essentially, Pfizer management believes the market has significantly undervalued Hospira.
 
After a long hiatus, M&A bounced back last year. Most of the purchase activity is coming from corporate buyers, rather than financial buyers (e.g., private equity firms, leverage buyout firms, etc.). Because corporate buyers know and live their industries, market observers consider them a better indicator of business health and valuation than financial buyers.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Drone regulations: What can possibly go wrong? http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/drone-regulations-what-can-possibly-go-wrong/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/drone-regulations-what-can-possibly-go-wrong/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:00:37 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19633 WestWordsWEBLast month, an alleged hobbyist claiming he didn’t know what he was doing, landed a drone on the White House lawn. For good reason, this has raised the concern level of the Secret Service to the vulnerability of all air spaces to the use of drones.

Ever since the use of drones became a military tactic, and soon thereafter a growing activity for hobbyists, I’ve been asking myself facetiously,

“What can possibly go wrong?”

The White House incident helped bring the answer into focus: Everything.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)put in place a temporary ban on commercial activity, as if the titans of commerce were the only evil-doers out there.

I think the opportunity for free-lance mischief with drones greatly outweighs the threat that law-abiding businesses present.

Now the FAA has finally weighed in with some proposed rules governing commercial use of small unmanned aircraft.

The FAA’s proposed regulations are not all that onerous. However, the problem will come from free-lancers who don’t follow any rules, and may be intent on breaking a few laws.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that law-enforcement officials have discovered criminals smuggling drugs and other contraband not only across national borders but into penitentiaries.

The latter makes me wonder what the cost will be to place a screen over every prison exercise yard in the nation.

And if the military can weaponize drones, it won’t be long before gangs and jihadists do too.

A partial solution to the White House problem is at the manufacturer level. The people who make drones can program the GPS software in the device to prevent it from flying over restricted air space. Require that all drones have the proper software in order to be sold, and that should solve the problem — until operators figure out how to bypass that little issue just as people who have unplugged automobile odometers have been doing for years.

And just as mandatory gun safety classes may be required in order to obtain a conceal and carry permit, they don’t work for those who think the rules don’t apply to themselves.

What can possibly go wrong? Well, somebody will eventually land a drone on somebody’s head and disfigure, blind or kill them. Somebody’s finger will be mangled. Somebody’s window broken or home damaged. Somebody’s car will be hit by a drone, causing an accident. The list is endless.

The FAA rules propose that people need to be trained in drone operation before they can have an unmanned operator certificate. They will need to be at least 17 years old and pass a test on aeronautical knowledge at an FAA-approved testing center.

Some enthusiasts were concerned that the FAA would force people to undergo the same kind of training needed to fly a Cessna, but that isn’t in the proposal.

The drones will have to remain within line of sight of the operator. Use will only be allowed during daylight. Maximum speed allowed will be 100 mph and the altitude will be limited to 500 feet.

That’s all well and good when something goes wrong. Violators can be fined or sued. But does the word “unenforceable” mean anything anymore?

What the regulations will do more than anything else is give insurance companies a structure on which to price drone policies. Don’t follow the rules, and the insurance policy won’t pay. That seems like about the best we can expect in the Wild West environment of this new technology.

Tom West is the Peach general manager. Reach him at (320) 630-2264 or tom.west@ecm-inc.com.

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Durheim Attends National FUSION Conference http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/durheim-attends-national-fusion-conference/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/durheim-attends-national-fusion-conference/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:00:31 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19637 FARM BUREAU MEMBERS from Minnesota involved in Promotion & Education and Young Farmers & Ranchers attended the first American Farm Bureau Federation FUSION conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 13-16. Pictured front row (from left) are: MFBF President Kevin Paap; Glen and Melinda Groth, Winona and Fillmore County; Gary Doucette, Crow Wing County; and Kristy Miron, Washington-Ramsey County. Second row: Deb Durheim, Todd County; Pam Uhlenkamp, Sibley County; Shantel Koering, Crow Wing County; and Paul Miron, Washington-Ramsey County. Third row: Jared Luhman, Goodhue County; Val Evje, Headwaters Regional; Tim Uhlenkamp, Sibley County; and Sarah and Miles Kuschel, Cass County. Back row: Pete Bakken, Rock County; Tony and Chantelle Seykora, Freeborn County; and Julie Marquardt, Wright County.

FARM BUREAU MEMBERS from Minnesota involved in Promotion & Education and Young Farmers & Ranchers attended the first American Farm Bureau Federation FUSION conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 13-16. Pictured front row (from left) are: MFBF President Kevin Paap; Glen and Melinda Groth, Winona and Fillmore County; Gary Doucette, Crow Wing County; and Kristy Miron, Washington-Ramsey County. Second row: Deb Durheim, Todd County; Pam Uhlenkamp, Sibley County; Shantel Koering, Crow Wing County; and Paul Miron, Washington-Ramsey County. Third row: Jared Luhman, Goodhue County; Val Evje, Headwaters Regional; Tim Uhlenkamp, Sibley County; and Sarah and Miles Kuschel, Cass County. Back row: Pete Bakken, Rock County; Tony and Chantelle Seykora, Freeborn County; and Julie Marquardt, Wright County.

Over 20 Farm Bureau members from Minnesota attended the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) FUSION (Farmers United: Skills, Inspiration, Outreach and Networking) Conference, Feb. 13-16, in Nashville, Tenn.

Debra Durheim of Long Prairie in Todd County was among the more than 1,300 participants who attended this conference.

FUSION featured seminars for volunteer leaders from three program areas: Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R), Promotion & Education (P&E) and Women’s Leadership.

“The FUSION Conference was a fantastic conference to learn the importance of advocating for farmers and ranchers,” said Durheim. “I feel better prepared to tell my farm story.”

Jared Luhman, University of Minnesota student from Goodhue in Goodhue County and winner of the MFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet, competed in the National YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet competing against 47 other collegiate members.

Luhman finished in the top 16 of the competition. All of the Collegiate Discussion Meet competitors in the YF&R contest receive a $250 scholarship from the CHS Foundation.

Luhman’s family farms near Goodhue and he is majoring in agricultural education.

Miles Kuschel of Sebeka in Cass County began his duties as the YF&R committee vice-chair at the end of the FUSION conference. He was elected to serve in this position by the members of the YF&R committee and will serve for one year.

Miles and his wife, Sarah are in their second year of their two-year term on the committee. The Kuschels served on the Minnesota YF&R Committee from 2008-2011, and Miles served as the chair in 2011. They ranch with Miles’ parents and grandparents, along with their three children near Sebeka.

Melinda Groth of Fillmore County is serving a one-year term on the newly formed P&E Committee. The committee has been charged with assisting county and state P&E programs with resources to share our farm and Farm Bureau stories. Groth currently serves on the Minnesota P&E Committee. She and her husband, Glen, grow corn and soybeans and raise dairy cattle and horses on their farms in Winona and Fillmore counties.

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Paap led a session on “Emergencies and Emergency Care Procedures” for participants at the conference. In addition to farming, Paap is an emergency medical services instructor. His session was attended by 400 farmers from across the U.S.

Participants heard from keynote speakers Keni Thomas, an up-and-coming star in Nashville as a songwriter and performer; Paul Vitale, an author of best sellers and a guest on talk shows sharing his insight on life strategies; and Dr. Dale Henry, a motivational storyteller who promotes leadership, teamwork and positive attitudes.

Conference attendees included: MFBF President Paap; Sarah and Miles Kuschel – Cass County; Gary Doucette and Shantel Koering – Crow Wing County; Tony and Chantelle Seykora – Freeborn County; Jared Luhman – Goodhue County; Val Evje – Headwaters Regional; Rochelle Krusemark – Martin County; Pete Bakken – Rock County; Tim and Pam Uhlenkamp – Sibley County; Deb Durheim – Todd County; Paul and Kristy Miron – Washington-Ramsey County; Glen and Melinda Groth – Winona and Fillmore County; and Julie Marquardt – Wright County.

Minnesota Farm Bureau is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureau associations across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children.

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Stand up and be counted http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/stand-up-and-be-counted/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/03/stand-up-and-be-counted/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:00:13 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19635 To the editor:

People that are concerned about Islamic extremism need to form a group of people concerned about what they are doing to us.

We need to disregard political correctness and throw it out the window and let people know where we stand.

People know where I stand at work. I will not bow to any liberals.

We are in a fight to save our country. We need to make more people stand up and be counted. The Tea Party group is standing for the rights of us conservatives. Michele Bachmann was right when she said Muslims are in our government. Look what they did to her, but she is not done yet.

Come on, let’s start standing up for this great country. We need to try and fix what Obama and his cronies have done to it.

We need to apologize to other countries for electing that destructive so-called president. God help us.

Elmer Maciejewski
Avon

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Your Year’s Money Checklist http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/your-years-money-checklist/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/your-years-money-checklist/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:00:04 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=617b29f2f4208539c9a986a0c2c656c6 As winter fades, it’s time to seriously gear up to make your financial goals for 2015 real. They range from the simple and quick to the complex and long-term. Here’s a checklist to get you started and keep you going.

Pay yourself first. This concept, often pontificated, is relatively easy to understand and simple to implement. When you get paid, have a certain portion of your earnings (we recommend at least 10%) automatically deducted from your check and deposited into your 401(k), 403(b), 457 or other retirement plan at your work.

Contribute enough of a percentage to get your employer match. Your employer doesn’t offer a plan? Set up and automatically save to an individual retirement account. If you’re ambitious, you can actually contribute to both.

Pay down debt. Want a guaranteed rate of return? Simply pay off your debt early and you save yourself that interest rate tacked onto the balance, rather than paying it to the lender.

The type of debt matters. Some also argue whether to pay off a mortgage early; that choice is yours. Consider paying off consumer debt such as credit card balances and student and car loans as soon as possible.

Give yourself a raise. This probably isn’t too hard to do, especially since organizing documentation for tax time looms.

Go through your 2014 receipts and credit card and bank statements and look for purchases that were entirely discretionary that you didn’t need to buy. See which you may be able to eliminate for this year, such as excessively dining out or picking up an expensive coffee every day, to name just two.

Use the excess cash to fund your retirement plan and or pay down debt.

Check insurance. Prior to institution of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which was billed as seeking to expand coverage and improve affordability of health-care coverage, nearly 32 million underinsured persons younger than 65 were in households spending a high share of income on medical care – as many as a third of residents in states like Idaho, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Nationally, more than half of people with low incomes and 20% of those with middle incomes were either underinsured or uninsured in recent years.

Some of these folks likely just can’t afford insurance; others are probably just negligent about their policies. Check your health-care as well as your auto, homeowners, life and other insurance to make sure you remain properly covered or even carry excess coverage such an umbrella policy.

Research ways to make coverage more affordable. Many times you can raise the deductibles on your auto and home policies or, if you drive an older car, remove comprehensive (which protects you from such mishaps as theft, natural disasters and vandalism) or collision to reduce premiums.

Do you qualify for more life insurance through work? Consider getting as much coverage from your employer as you can, including other available types of policies such as disability (in case you become unable to work). It’s cheap and generally requires no underwriting.

Get a financial checkup. Talk with a professional regarding your finances and see if he or she recommends ideas.

Invest in yourself. Read at least one personal finance book every few months, and build from there. Keep yourself informed and prepared to ask your advisor – not to mention yourself – about your financial situation.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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As winter fades, it’s time to seriously gear up to make your financial goals for 2015 real. They range from the simple and quick to the complex and long-term. Here’s a checklist to get you started and keep you going.

Pay yourself first. This concept, often pontificated, is relatively easy to understand and simple to implement. When you get paid, have a certain portion of your earnings (we recommend at least 10%) automatically deducted from your check and deposited into your 401(k), 403(b), 457 or other retirement plan at your work.

Contribute enough of a percentage to get your employer match. Your employer doesn’t offer a plan? Set up and automatically save to an individual retirement account. If you’re ambitious, you can actually contribute to both.

Pay down debt. Want a guaranteed rate of return? Simply pay off your debt early and you save yourself that interest rate tacked onto the balance, rather than paying it to the lender.

The type of debt matters. Some also argue whether to pay off a mortgage early; that choice is yours. Consider paying off consumer debt such as credit card balances and student and car loans as soon as possible.

Give yourself a raise. This probably isn’t too hard to do, especially since organizing documentation for tax time looms.

Go through your 2014 receipts and credit card and bank statements and look for purchases that were entirely discretionary that you didn’t need to buy. See which you may be able to eliminate for this year, such as excessively dining out or picking up an expensive coffee every day, to name just two.

Use the excess cash to fund your retirement plan and or pay down debt.

Check insurance. Prior to institution of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which was billed as seeking to expand coverage and improve affordability of health-care coverage, nearly 32 million underinsured persons younger than 65 were in households spending a high share of income on medical care – as many as a third of residents in states like Idaho, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Nationally, more than half of people with low incomes and 20% of those with middle incomes were either underinsured or uninsured in recent years.

Some of these folks likely just can’t afford insurance; others are probably just negligent about their policies. Check your health-care as well as your auto, homeowners, life and other insurance to make sure you remain properly covered or even carry excess coverage such an umbrella policy.

Research ways to make coverage more affordable. Many times you can raise the deductibles on your auto and home policies or, if you drive an older car, remove comprehensive (which protects you from such mishaps as theft, natural disasters and vandalism) or collision to reduce premiums.

Do you qualify for more life insurance through work? Consider getting as much coverage from your employer as you can, including other available types of policies such as disability (in case you become unable to work). It’s cheap and generally requires no underwriting.

Get a financial checkup. Talk with a professional regarding your finances and see if he or she recommends ideas.

Invest in yourself. Read at least one personal finance book every few months, and build from there. Keep yourself informed and prepared to ask your advisor – not to mention yourself – about your financial situation.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Money Moves for Gen Y (pt. 2) http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/money-moves-for-gen-y-pt-2/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/money-moves-for-gen-y-pt-2/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:00:03 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=6b56cc41a207868c738928c85c450b2f Our first article looked at how adults born between 1980 and 2000, Generation Y, must use more innovation, attention and creativity to build a financial future. Here are additional ideas.

Save your next windfall. This simple concept becomes hard when the check is in your hand. Yet rather than spend your next tax refund or salary bonus, deposit it into your emergency fund or your individual retirement account, converting temporary income into permanent savings.

Entertain yourself more simply. Entertainment likely constitutes the biggest black hole in the average household budget: $70 to $80 to take a family of four to the movies; $200 to attend a professional baseball game; $100 per ticket for the concert of a hot band or performer.

Look for attractions closer to home and more basic. Spend more time with family and (your more frugal) friends, take up hobbies such as reading and gardening or learn to window shop. Don’t completely swear off more pricey forms of entertainment, but keep them to a minimum.

Learn to cook. Picking up this domestic skill kills several financial birds with one stone:

  • You eat in more, which means you eat out less, saving a small fortune on restaurants.
  • You create another activity to occupy your time so you’re not out spending and filling the hours with high-priced entertainment.
  • You make hosting family and friends easier in your home, saving even more on entertainment.

Visualize being debt-free then write it down. This entirely mental activity can pack a punch. Imagine how freedom from debt will feel, particularly the absence of stress in combination with greater freedom. That gives you something real to aim for. Refer to what you write down as frequently as necessary.

Keep your clunker another year. Most people want a new car, but don’t necessarily need one. Unless your car is certified for the scrapheap, keep it: one more year without a car payment, one more year to save money for a larger down payment (and lower monthly payment) on your next vehicle.

Brainstorm with someone whose financial goals resemble yours. If you establish money goals different from what you had, you need company to help stay on track. Find someone with similar goals and regularly – try for at least monthly – brainstorm various ways to make your plans work.

Start exercising. Spending money sometimes substitutes for more productive pastimes. If you start a regular exercise program, you’ll probably find that you feel better about yourself and will have less time – or need – to spend. You also improve your health and become less dependent on costly medical care.

Spend less than you earn. No progress is possible unless you arrange your budget to squeeze out extra money each month: the source of capital you’ll use to increase savings and investments and pay off debt.

Get serious about your emergency fund. Your retirement fund is not for emergencies and credit lines only lead you deeper into debt (which in turn sets up your next money emergency). Pump even more into your pot meant to cover six months’ expenses and, once you have the fund, tap it for legitimate emergencies only.

Lighten up TV time. How does your watching television affect your finances? Maybe everything: A major purpose of TV is advertising; advertising gets you to buy things. The less time you watch TV, likely the less money you spend.

Buy big through craigslist. Your nearest box store is quick, hassle-free – and expensive. Before you buy anything big brand-new, check what’s for sale on craigslist or a similar site that offers many items at a fraction of retail prices. You may not be able to cut spending on every major purchase this way, but just a few can save you a lot.

Release past sins. Do you agonize over your financial mistakes? The failed business, previous bankruptcy or the bygone job with the salary you never made again? Move forward and create the best life possible – a harder task if you still ruminate over mistakes you made years ago.

Shop without credit cards. Use your debit card for routine shopping and save credit cards for when absolutely necessary, like when you need travel insurance on airline tickets or a buyer’s protection plan on a major item. This keeps your card balances from ballooning after impulse buys.

Earn extra cash via the Web. Multiple income streams become more important as job security generally continues to fade in our economy. One of the best places to begin making extra money: the Internet.

In addition to managing social media freelance for other sites and companies, you can use the Web to find and market your own services, from dog walking to selling your own handmade crafts.

Learn at least one new work-related skill. List the skills that might make you more valuable to your employer or to a future employer. Choose one that is most valuable or easiest for you now and begin work to master it. Do this every year from now on.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jeff Rose, CFP, is the founder of Alliance Wealth Management in Carbondale, Ill., and also is the founder of the website Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance by Jeff.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Our first article looked at how adults born between 1980 and 2000, Generation Y, must use more innovation, attention and creativity to build a financial future. Here are additional ideas.

Save your next windfall. This simple concept becomes hard when the check is in your hand. Yet rather than spend your next tax refund or salary bonus, deposit it into your emergency fund or your individual retirement account, converting temporary income into permanent savings.

Entertain yourself more simply. Entertainment likely constitutes the biggest black hole in the average household budget: $70 to $80 to take a family of four to the movies; $200 to attend a professional baseball game; $100 per ticket for the concert of a hot band or performer.

Look for attractions closer to home and more basic. Spend more time with family and (your more frugal) friends, take up hobbies such as reading and gardening or learn to window shop. Don’t completely swear off more pricey forms of entertainment, but keep them to a minimum.

Learn to cook. Picking up this domestic skill kills several financial birds with one stone:

  • You eat in more, which means you eat out less, saving a small fortune on restaurants.
  • You create another activity to occupy your time so you’re not out spending and filling the hours with high-priced entertainment.
  • You make hosting family and friends easier in your home, saving even more on entertainment.

Visualize being debt-free then write it down. This entirely mental activity can pack a punch. Imagine how freedom from debt will feel, particularly the absence of stress in combination with greater freedom. That gives you something real to aim for. Refer to what you write down as frequently as necessary.

Keep your clunker another year. Most people want a new car, but don’t necessarily need one. Unless your car is certified for the scrapheap, keep it: one more year without a car payment, one more year to save money for a larger down payment (and lower monthly payment) on your next vehicle.

Brainstorm with someone whose financial goals resemble yours. If you establish money goals different from what you had, you need company to help stay on track. Find someone with similar goals and regularly – try for at least monthly – brainstorm various ways to make your plans work.

Start exercising. Spending money sometimes substitutes for more productive pastimes. If you start a regular exercise program, you’ll probably find that you feel better about yourself and will have less time – or need – to spend. You also improve your health and become less dependent on costly medical care.

Spend less than you earn. No progress is possible unless you arrange your budget to squeeze out extra money each month: the source of capital you’ll use to increase savings and investments and pay off debt.

Get serious about your emergency fund. Your retirement fund is not for emergencies and credit lines only lead you deeper into debt (which in turn sets up your next money emergency). Pump even more into your pot meant to cover six months’ expenses and, once you have the fund, tap it for legitimate emergencies only.

Lighten up TV time. How does your watching television affect your finances? Maybe everything: A major purpose of TV is advertising; advertising gets you to buy things. The less time you watch TV, likely the less money you spend.

Buy big through craigslist. Your nearest box store is quick, hassle-free – and expensive. Before you buy anything big brand-new, check what’s for sale on craigslist or a similar site that offers many items at a fraction of retail prices. You may not be able to cut spending on every major purchase this way, but just a few can save you a lot.

Release past sins. Do you agonize over your financial mistakes? The failed business, previous bankruptcy or the bygone job with the salary you never made again? Move forward and create the best life possible – a harder task if you still ruminate over mistakes you made years ago.

Shop without credit cards. Use your debit card for routine shopping and save credit cards for when absolutely necessary, like when you need travel insurance on airline tickets or a buyer’s protection plan on a major item. This keeps your card balances from ballooning after impulse buys.

Earn extra cash via the Web. Multiple income streams become more important as job security generally continues to fade in our economy. One of the best places to begin making extra money: the Internet.

In addition to managing social media freelance for other sites and companies, you can use the Web to find and market your own services, from dog walking to selling your own handmade crafts.

Learn at least one new work-related skill. List the skills that might make you more valuable to your employer or to a future employer. Choose one that is most valuable or easiest for you now and begin work to master it. Do this every year from now on.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jeff Rose, CFP, is the founder of Alliance Wealth Management in Carbondale, Ill., and also is the founder of the website Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance by Jeff.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Higher Estate Taxes: Bad Idea http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/higher-estate-taxes-bad-idea/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/higher-estate-taxes-bad-idea/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:30:19 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=166e080a538263d9ac8752407ec3536e Boosting the tax on inherited wealth is a perennial goal of some politicians. And while the White House’s latest plan to boost the levy on estates faces a dim future in a GOP-controlled Congress, the concept will continue to pop up. There’s a lot wrong with this idea.

President Barack Obama’s budget wants to see an increase in the rate of what some call the death tax from 40% to nearly 60%, when you apply his proposed higher capital gains tax of 28% to what’s left after paying the death levy.

Under current law, when you inherit an asset and wish to sell it, you figure out what’s called your basis. When your parents, or whoever bequeathed you the asset, were alive, the basis was what they originally paid for it. If you inherit your parents’ home, you can bet it’s worth more upon their death than they paid for it. For you as the heir, current law says the basis rises to the property’s fair market value – what it would sell for today.

But under the new proposal, when you inherit an asset, your basis will simply be the decedent's original basis.

Example: Dad buys a house for $10,000. He dies and leaves it to you. The fair market value on the date of death is $100,000, which is the new basis. You sell it for $120,000. Under current law, you have a capital gain of $20,000 (sales price of $120,000 less step-up in basis of $100,000).

Under the Obama plan, you have a capital gain of $110,000 (sales price of $120,000 less original basis of $10,000). If you live in a state with high property values, this could result a substantial tax burden. In California, a state with very high home prices, the average beneficiary would probably be forced to sell their parents' home just to pay the taxes due.

I believe this proposal has very little chance of becoming law. Change that to I hope this proposal has very little chance of becoming law.

The Obama plan contains exemptions for some households, but an enormous number of people still would get slammed. The whole reason we have step-up in basis is because we have a death tax. If assets are liable for tax when Dad owned them, it’s unfair to treat them as liable for tax again when the inheritor sells it. This adds yet another redundant layer of tax on savings and investment. It's a huge tax hike on family farms and small businesses.

This is like a second tax. The first one has a top tax rate of 40% and a standard deduction of $5.3 million ($10.6 million for surviving spouses). Conceivably, an accumulated capital gain could face a 40% death tax levy and then a 28% capital gains tax on what is left. That equals an integrated federal tax of just under 60% on inherited capital gains.

Note that Dad’s original purchase of stocks, bonds and property with after-tax dollars. In other words, Dad earned money and paid taxes on those earnings. With the money he had, after he paid Uncle Sam, he (and perhaps Mom) bought the asset the beneficiary now must pay taxes upon Dad’s death. I know, it’s capital gain taxes. However, when I sell asset that has appreciated, I pay capital gain taxes.

If this proposal – or something like it – becomes law, and my wife and I die, my daughter confronts a very large tax burden.

When I choose to sell an asset, I normally pay capital gain taxes. I can do some tax planning accordingly. Under the Obama proposal, my daughter cannot take advantage of any planning options to attempt tax reduction that would be available to me, if alive.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Boosting the tax on inherited wealth is a perennial goal of some politicians. And while the White House’s latest plan to boost the levy on estates faces a dim future in a GOP-controlled Congress, the concept will continue to pop up. There’s a lot wrong with this idea.

President Barack Obama’s budget wants to see an increase in the rate of what some call the death tax from 40% to nearly 60%, when you apply his proposed higher capital gains tax of 28% to what’s left after paying the death levy.

Under current law, when you inherit an asset and wish to sell it, you figure out what’s called your basis. When your parents, or whoever bequeathed you the asset, were alive, the basis was what they originally paid for it. If you inherit your parents’ home, you can bet it’s worth more upon their death than they paid for it. For you as the heir, current law says the basis rises to the property’s fair market value – what it would sell for today.

But under the new proposal, when you inherit an asset, your basis will simply be the decedent's original basis.

Example: Dad buys a house for $10,000. He dies and leaves it to you. The fair market value on the date of death is $100,000, which is the new basis. You sell it for $120,000. Under current law, you have a capital gain of $20,000 (sales price of $120,000 less step-up in basis of $100,000).

Under the Obama plan, you have a capital gain of $110,000 (sales price of $120,000 less original basis of $10,000). If you live in a state with high property values, this could result a substantial tax burden. In California, a state with very high home prices, the average beneficiary would probably be forced to sell their parents' home just to pay the taxes due.

I believe this proposal has very little chance of becoming law. Change that to I hope this proposal has very little chance of becoming law.

The Obama plan contains exemptions for some households, but an enormous number of people still would get slammed. The whole reason we have step-up in basis is because we have a death tax. If assets are liable for tax when Dad owned them, it’s unfair to treat them as liable for tax again when the inheritor sells it. This adds yet another redundant layer of tax on savings and investment. It's a huge tax hike on family farms and small businesses.

This is like a second tax. The first one has a top tax rate of 40% and a standard deduction of $5.3 million ($10.6 million for surviving spouses). Conceivably, an accumulated capital gain could face a 40% death tax levy and then a 28% capital gains tax on what is left. That equals an integrated federal tax of just under 60% on inherited capital gains.

Note that Dad’s original purchase of stocks, bonds and property with after-tax dollars. In other words, Dad earned money and paid taxes on those earnings. With the money he had, after he paid Uncle Sam, he (and perhaps Mom) bought the asset the beneficiary now must pay taxes upon Dad’s death. I know, it’s capital gain taxes. However, when I sell asset that has appreciated, I pay capital gain taxes.

If this proposal – or something like it – becomes law, and my wife and I die, my daughter confronts a very large tax burden.

When I choose to sell an asset, I normally pay capital gain taxes. I can do some tax planning accordingly. Under the Obama proposal, my daughter cannot take advantage of any planning options to attempt tax reduction that would be available to me, if alive.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Iris Hiltner, 75 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/iris-hiltner-75/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/iris-hiltner-75/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:22:43 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19675 Iris   Hiltner, 75

Iris A. Hiltner, age 75 of Melrose, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at her home in Melrose, Minnesota.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 28 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating and Deacon Ernie Kociemba assisting. Inurnment will be held in the parish cemetery.

Visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service at the church.

Iris Agnes Schreifels was born February 7, 1940 in Richmond, Minnesota to John and Frances (Kron) Schreifels. She was united in marriage to Gerald “Jerry” Hiltner on May 12, 1962 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose. After their marriage, Iris spent her time being a homemaker where she enjoyed taking care of her family, quilting and embroidering. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose where she was a member of the Resurrection Choir for many years. Iris enjoyed playing cards, going to the casino to gamble, and loved spending time with her family and friends.
Survivors include her children, Jill (Brian) Shepherd of Bloomington, Bruce (Carol) Hiltner of Ramsey, and Kristie Dickson of Richfield; six grandchildren, Ivy and Nick Shepherd, Derek, Mitchell, and Claire Hiltner, and Isaac Dickson; sisters, Ellen Primus of Hawley, Esther Steinemann of Freeport, and Alice Moening of Melrose; and many loving relatives and friends.

Iris was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry Hiltner on January 5, 2001; parents, John and Frances Schreifels; brothers, Cyril, Victor, Marc, and Howard Schreifels; and sisters, Del Gieske, Julie Schreifels and Celesta Denne.

Serving as urn bearer will be Bruce Hiltner. Cross bearer will be Isaac Dickson and scripture bearer will be Derek Hiltner.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Melrose.

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Urology clinic in Sartell joins CentraCare http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/urology-clinic-in-sartell-joins-centracare/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/urology-clinic-in-sartell-joins-centracare/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 02:26:16 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19672 Adult & Pediatric Urology (APU) has joined CentraCare Health and has changed its name to CentraCare Clinic – Adult and Pediatric Urology. APU will continue to operate at 2351 Connecticut Avenue, Sartell, with the same providers, phone number and clinic hours.

“Other than changing our name, we don’t expect our patients or the community to notice any big changes,” said Greg Parries, MD, Adult and Pediatric Urology. “However, by integrating more closely with CentraCare Clinic, our patients will benefit from many behind-the-scenes advanced services that a larger clinic can provide.”

“We are excited to partner with Adult and Pediatric Urology,” said David Tilstra, MD, president of CentraCare Clinic. “They have a strong reputation for quality care, being recognized, along with St. Cloud Hospital, as one of America’s Best Hospitals for urology in U.S. News & World Report three times within the past 10 years.”

APU, which has been serving Central Minnesota since 1981, employs eight board-certified physicians, five physician assistants and 58 support staff. APU serves patients at its Sartell clinic as well as 14 outreach locations.  They are the largest full-service urology clinic in Central Minnesota.

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Here’s how to avoid a frozen sewage system http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/heres-how-to-avoid-a-frozen-sewage-system/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/heres-how-to-avoid-a-frozen-sewage-system/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 02:23:43 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19670 The cold weather we’re experiencing combined with a lack of snow is creating problems for some septic systems. Individual sewage treatment systems are freezing without the snow to blanket the septic. A snow blanket insulates the system to prevent it from freezing.

Until more snow falls, or the temperatures get warmer, here are some things that can be done to help prevent freezing of septic systems:

• Add a layer of mulch (8-12 inches) over the pipes, tank and soil treatment area to provide insulation. A mulch of loose hay or straw works well, as do leaves. The key is to keep it loose to form air pockets, which act as the insulators. This is particularly important if your system is new, and vegetative cover has not been well established.

• Stop mowing the grass over the drainfield in early fall. Let it grow stronger to trap more snow.

• Use normal amounts of water; the warmer the better. Spread out your laundry schedule to one warm/hot load per day, year round.

• Don’t leave water running all the time to prevent freezing. A slow trickle could freeze, while a steady stream could overload the system with water.

• Don’t add antifreeze to the system.

• If you plan to be gone for more than a day or two, plan accordingly. Have someone visit and use water regularly. If you are going to be gone for an extended period (weeks or months), pumping the tank before leaving may be the best option.

• Reroute the drip water from your furnace. This slow drip can freeze in the pipes. Route this clean water into the sump or a bucket.

• Fix any leaky plumbing. The small trickles of water going into the system can freeze as thin ice layers within pipes, and eventually close them.

• Keep all vehicles (including ATV’s and snowmobiles) and high-traffic people activities off the system, all year.

• Make sure all risers, inspection pipes and manholes have tight covers. Adding insulation is a good idea. Check for any cracks in the covers in the fall.

• Keep an eye on your system. If any seeping or ponding occurs, contact an onsite professional.

If the septic system freezes, call an onsite professional. Pumpers and installers use steamers and high-pressure jetters to unfreeze the system piping, or they add heat tape or tank heaters. Cameras can be sent down the pipes to determine where the freezing is occurring and if repairs are needed. If the soil treatment system is full of ice, or there is evidence of leaking, there is no need to thaw the lines, as it cannot accept liquid until the area is thawed in spring.

There are many misconceptions about how to deal with a frozen onsite system:

•Do NOT add antifreeze, salt or a septic system additive into the system.

• Do NOT pump sewage onto the ground surface.

• Do NOT start a fire over the system to attempt to thaw it out.

• Do NOT run water continually to try to unfreeze system.

For more information, see the University of Minnesota Extension onsite sewage program website, septic.umn.edu, or contact Stearns County Environmental Services at 320-656-3613 or 1-800-450-0852.

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French Fried Apples http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/french-fried-apples/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/french-fried-apples/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:39:34 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19665 2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
4 apples, pealed and sliced thin
Vegetable oil
Powdered sugar

Make a batter of eggs, sugar and flour. Dip apple slices in batter and fry until brown. Drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar.

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Chicken Salad Party Mix http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/chicken-salad-party-mix/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/chicken-salad-party-mix/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:38:26 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19663 2 c. coarsley diced, cooked chicken
1/4 to 1/2 c. halved or slivered almonds (toasted if you prefer).
1 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. diced celery
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 c. hard cooked eggs, chilled and chopped (optional)
Seasoning

Sprinkle chicken with lemon juice and salt. Chill for several hours. Add remaining ingredients. Toss lightly, season to taste. Serves four to five.

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Almond Gingersnaps http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/almond-gingersnaps/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/almond-gingersnaps/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:37:03 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19660 1 c. butter
1/2 c. dark syrup
1 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. soda
1 c. blanched almonds
3 1/2 c. flour

Work butter until creamy; add sugar, syrup, spices, soda, almonds and flour. Knead until smooth; shape into roll. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate. When cold, cut into thin slices, place on cookie sheet. Bake at 425° for 8 to 10 minutes.

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Baked Asparagus Almond http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/baked-asparagus-almond/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/baked-asparagus-almond/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:35:38 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19658 2 lbs. asparagus, may use canned
2 c. white sauce
Lemon
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 lb. sharp cheese, grated
1 c. blanched almonds

Cook asparagus until just tender. Do not overcook. Make a white sauce and season it with lemon and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. In a buttered casserole, arrange alternate layers of asparagus and white sauce to which one half of the grated cheese has been added. Finish with a sprinkle of cheese and the almonds. Brown lightly in the oven. Serves five to six. If a smaller size family, cut the recipe in half.

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Cheesaroni Beef Casserole http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/cheesaroni-beef-casserole/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/cheesaroni-beef-casserole/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:33:55 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19656 1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. minced onion
28 oz. can tomatoes
1 1/3 c. spaghetti, uncooked
6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 c. mozzarella, shredded
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
6 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
2 c. cottage cheese
1/2 tsp. basil

In a saucepan, brown beef and onions, add paste, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, chili powder and brown sugar. Simmer 30 minutes until thick. Cook spaghetti and drain. Toss spaghetti with cottage cheese. Spread in shallow three quart dish. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and top with sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes.

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Mexican Style Casserole http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/mexican-style-casserole/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/mexican-style-casserole/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:32:06 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19653 5 lbs. ground beef
4 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
1 c. chopped green peppers
2 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
2 28 oz. cans tomatoes, cut up
3 10 1/2 oz. cans tomato sauce
5 c. crushed corn chips
2 c. American or cheddar cheese, shredded
2 16 oz. cans red kidney beans, drained

Divide beef, onion and green pepper between two large skillets. Cook until meat is browned and vegetables are tender; drain off excess fat. Divide next six ingredients and four cups of chips between the two skillets; mix. Simmer, uncovered for five minutes. Turn into two 13-inch by 9-inch baking dishes. Bake, uncovered at 350° for 35 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle remaining corn chips and cheese atop casseroles. Bake five minutes longer. Makes 24 servings.

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Hamburger Cheese Roll http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/hamburger-cheese-roll/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/hamburger-cheese-roll/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:37:01 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19651 1 1/4 lb. ground beef
3/4 c. crackers
1 egg
1 med. onion, chopped fine
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce with cheese
Parsley and cherry tomatoes

Mix ground beef and cracker crumbs with beaten egg, onion, salt and one-half of the tomato sauce. Reserve the other half for later. Pat out meat mixture on wax paper to about 12 inch wide and 16 inches long. Sprinkle grated cheese to within one-half inch of the edge. Roll as for a jelly roll. Bake 45 minutes in 350° oven, basting occasionally. Pour reserved sauce over and cook for 15 minutes longer. Garnish with parsley and cherry tomatoes. Serves six to eight.

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Hamburger & Cabbage Casserole http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/hamburger-cabbage-casserole/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/hamburger-cabbage-casserole/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:35:32 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=19649 1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 quart canned tomatoes
1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf (if desired)
4 c. shredded cabbage

Brown hamburger and onion. Drain. Add tomatoes, cabbage and salt and pepper and bay leaf. Bake in medium oven until done. Top with grated cheese. Return to oven for about 15 minutes. Makes six generous servings.

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Money Moves for Gen Y (Pt. 1) http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/money-moves-for-gen-y-pt-1/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/money-moves-for-gen-y-pt-1/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=9def41a3879f5e3e79f210504ce4f88e Some young adults seem stuck: Baby boomers took the best of what’s available and those nearing middle age always stand in line just ahead of millennials. If you’re a millennial, born between 1980 and 2000, you just need to change habits and work harder on your finances.

Among good moves:

Set at least one financial goal for this year. This goal must be fairly substantial yet doable in the remaining months of 2015.

Point is, if you successfully achieve one goal, you can achieve others. Start slow and work up. I also review my goals every quarter.

Create a three-year plan. A plan differs from a goal because you set an objective – usually several objectives at the same time. You also allow yourself a specific amount of time to accomplish them and create a series of steps to make them happen.

Have as many individual goals within your plan as you like. For example, your plan can include getting out of debt, starting or increasing your retirement savings or building an emergency fund of six months’ expenses. Set the plan for three years and create strategies for achieving each objective within that time.

Write your plan, even type it. Then you refer to it regularly until your action steps become second-nature.

Save for retirement right now. A lot of people feel overwhelmed at the money needed to set up a retirement plan. But starting one is pretty easy.

Sign up for your employer-sponsored retirement plan at work. If your job doesn’t offer a plan, set up an individual retirement account such as a Roth IRA, which provides tax-free growth and allows you to contribute up to $5,500 a year.

You can fund either with payroll deductions automatically taken out of your paycheck. Your contribution can be small; just get started now.

Nudge your plan contribution. If you currently save 6% of your pay – typically about the maximum to take advantage of your employer’s matching contributions, if any – increase to 7% this year. Next year, increase to 8%, and so on.

Expanding your contributions in small increments usually means you hardly notice the drop in your paycheck, particularly if you get annual pay raises of at least 2%.

Tune out doom and gloom. The world always tells us to worry. Be concerned, not worried, and sufficiently concerned to take action that makes the worries go away.

Pay off one credit card and then one more. If you carry a lot of debt, you probably already realize that you won’t get out of it anytime soon – and you don’t have to.

Pick one of your credit cards and plan how to pay it off as soon as possible. Start with the card with the smallest balance. Once you pay off that first card, target another, possibly the card with the second-smallest balance.

Once you pay off two cards, your debt cutting snowballs. Keep going until all of your credit cards are paid off, even if it takes several years.

Set bills for auto pay. More than just annoying, paying bills can strain your emotions if your budget is tight. Spare yourself the aggravation and set up your bills for automatic payment from your bank account. You do have to do this with each creditor but once most or all are set up this way, you enjoy more time for everything else – not to mention a lot less stress.

Create financial affirmations. Affirmations are brief sayings that resonate with you. They can deal with the benefits of certain actions, helping you to create a mindset to achieve a goal or simply restate your plan. Some examples: “In five years (or four, or three – your choice) I will be free of debt,” or “I’m a saver, not a spender.”

Write these down and place them in areas of your home you go to frequently. For example, placing affirmations on your bathroom mirror guarantees that you see them every day.

Read at least one good financial book. Ideally, you read one every month. If you usually fall short of that, settle for getting through just one good money book, no matter how long that takes. Investigate and read as many as possible, and become a regular follower of a few financial blogs.

Volunteer. Sometimes a little perspective goes a long way in getting the upper hand on your finances. Helping people who are in worse situations than you can make you realize your good fortune.

Drop a free-spending friend. If undisciplined spenders dominate your social circle, they might unintentionally sabotage your efforts at greater financial responsibility. In a potentially major step in your financial independence, find a few new friends who spend more conservatively.

Teach your kids about money. Maybe you want to shield your young kids from the sometimes-harsh realities of personal finance. But if your parents did that with you, you may struggle with the result even now.

Make your kids aware of money’s effect on their lives as early as possible. An allowance is a good start, particularly one tied to chores.

(Our next article looks at controlling spending and credit, as well as ways non-financial improvements can help your money management.)

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jeff Rose, CFP, is the founder of Alliance Wealth Management in Carbondale, Ill., and also is the founder of the website Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance by Jeff.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Some young adults seem stuck: Baby boomers took the best of what’s available and those nearing middle age always stand in line just ahead of millennials. If you’re a millennial, born between 1980 and 2000, you just need to change habits and work harder on your finances.

Among good moves:

Set at least one financial goal for this year. This goal must be fairly substantial yet doable in the remaining months of 2015.

Point is, if you successfully achieve one goal, you can achieve others. Start slow and work up. I also review my goals every quarter.

Create a three-year plan. A plan differs from a goal because you set an objective – usually several objectives at the same time. You also allow yourself a specific amount of time to accomplish them and create a series of steps to make them happen.

Have as many individual goals within your plan as you like. For example, your plan can include getting out of debt, starting or increasing your retirement savings or building an emergency fund of six months’ expenses. Set the plan for three years and create strategies for achieving each objective within that time.

Write your plan, even type it. Then you refer to it regularly until your action steps become second-nature.

Save for retirement right now. A lot of people feel overwhelmed at the money needed to set up a retirement plan. But starting one is pretty easy.

Sign up for your employer-sponsored retirement plan at work. If your job doesn’t offer a plan, set up an individual retirement account such as a Roth IRA, which provides tax-free growth and allows you to contribute up to $5,500 a year.

You can fund either with payroll deductions automatically taken out of your paycheck. Your contribution can be small; just get started now.

Nudge your plan contribution. If you currently save 6% of your pay – typically about the maximum to take advantage of your employer’s matching contributions, if any – increase to 7% this year. Next year, increase to 8%, and so on.

Expanding your contributions in small increments usually means you hardly notice the drop in your paycheck, particularly if you get annual pay raises of at least 2%.

Tune out doom and gloom. The world always tells us to worry. Be concerned, not worried, and sufficiently concerned to take action that makes the worries go away.

Pay off one credit card and then one more. If you carry a lot of debt, you probably already realize that you won’t get out of it anytime soon – and you don’t have to.

Pick one of your credit cards and plan how to pay it off as soon as possible. Start with the card with the smallest balance. Once you pay off that first card, target another, possibly the card with the second-smallest balance.

Once you pay off two cards, your debt cutting snowballs. Keep going until all of your credit cards are paid off, even if it takes several years.

Set bills for auto pay. More than just annoying, paying bills can strain your emotions if your budget is tight. Spare yourself the aggravation and set up your bills for automatic payment from your bank account. You do have to do this with each creditor but once most or all are set up this way, you enjoy more time for everything else – not to mention a lot less stress.

Create financial affirmations. Affirmations are brief sayings that resonate with you. They can deal with the benefits of certain actions, helping you to create a mindset to achieve a goal or simply restate your plan. Some examples: “In five years (or four, or three – your choice) I will be free of debt,” or “I’m a saver, not a spender.”

Write these down and place them in areas of your home you go to frequently. For example, placing affirmations on your bathroom mirror guarantees that you see them every day.

Read at least one good financial book. Ideally, you read one every month. If you usually fall short of that, settle for getting through just one good money book, no matter how long that takes. Investigate and read as many as possible, and become a regular follower of a few financial blogs.

Volunteer. Sometimes a little perspective goes a long way in getting the upper hand on your finances. Helping people who are in worse situations than you can make you realize your good fortune.

Drop a free-spending friend. If undisciplined spenders dominate your social circle, they might unintentionally sabotage your efforts at greater financial responsibility. In a potentially major step in your financial independence, find a few new friends who spend more conservatively.

Teach your kids about money. Maybe you want to shield your young kids from the sometimes-harsh realities of personal finance. But if your parents did that with you, you may struggle with the result even now.

Make your kids aware of money’s effect on their lives as early as possible. An allowance is a good start, particularly one tied to chores.

(Our next article looks at controlling spending and credit, as well as ways non-financial improvements can help your money management.)

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jeff Rose, CFP, is the founder of Alliance Wealth Management in Carbondale, Ill., and also is the founder of the website Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance by Jeff.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Finding Every Deduction http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/finding-every-deduction/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/02/finding-every-deduction/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=131106aa6f9793c32c42620a4b870ead Every possible tax deduction can help when your money is tight. Yet many available legal deductions go unclaimed each year simply because most taxpayers still don’t know the breaks exist. From eyeglasses to airline baggage fees, you might qualify for at least one often-forgotten deduction – and maybe more than one.

The Internal Revenue Service allows you to take the cost of certain items, known as itemized deductions, off your tax bill if you qualify. You should itemize deductions if they add up to more than your standard deduction, the IRS advises.

Itemizing also makes sense if you can’t use the standard deduction. Did you have large uninsured medical and dental expenses, or casualty or theft losses? Or pay interest or taxes on your home? Or have large unreimbursed employee business expenses? Or make large charitable contributions?

For filing your taxes, you itemize deductions on IRS Schedule A. If you itemize, don’t overlook these categories:

Job-hunting. Did you spend out-of-pocket to travel to interviews, or shell out for stationery for resumes and cover letters? Deducting these items can make a big dent at tax time.

You don’t have to be officially unemployed, either: Expenses that you incur searching for a better job, even while fully employed, qualify. Other applicable deductions include food and lodging for overnight stays, cab fares and fees you pay to employment agencies.

Moving. If that new job is your first job, you may be able to deduct incurred moving expenses. To qualify, your first job must be 50 or more miles from your previous job or residence, and you must work full-time for about 39 of the first 52 weeks in your new location.

If you qualify to deduct the cost of moving and if you drove your own vehicle for the move, deduct 23.5 cents a mile plus parking and tolls. If you kept excellent records and receipts, you can instead deduct actual driving expenses such as gas and oil.

To calculate this deduction, use IRS Form 3903.

Medical items. You probably realize that you can deduct necessary medical items like wheelchairs and hearing aids. Guess what? While designer eyeglasses, contact lenses or magnifying devices from your local drug store may not seem like medical devices, the IRS does allow these deductions.

Giving to charity. Qualifying donations constitute one of the most common ways that Americans gain tax deductions. Many other acts of charity also qualify.

You can deduct such out-of-pocket expenses as the cost of paint and poster board for a school fundraiser, for example, or the cost of delivering meals or chauffeuring other volunteers, for example. Mileage deductions are at a rate of 14 cents per mile plus parking and toll fees.

Generally, deductions of more than $250 for individual donations require a written acknowledgement from the charity.

Military service. Members of the National Guard or military reserve may deduct travel expenses for attending drills or meetings; you must travel more than 100 miles from home on an overnight trip. Applicable deductions include lodging, meals and 56 cents per mile plus parking and toll fees.

Jury duty. Your employer may be one of the many that pays employees during jury duty but requires employees to turn over jury pay later as recompense. To even things out, you can deduct the amount you give to your employer.

In such cases, the write-off goes on line 36 of your IRS Form 1040, the line totaling up deductions. Add your jury fee total to your other write-offs and write “jury pay” directly to the left.

Baggage fees. The American traveling public rarely recognizes these fees, which can add up quickly. If self-employed and traveling on business, you can tag on those costs as legitimate deductions.

Home energy conservation. Many tax credits for energy-saving home improvements expired but the most valuable credits still exist until 2016. These can effectively refund 30% of the cost of alternative energy upgrades such as solar hot water heaters and geothermal heat pumps.

Loan interest. In most cases, you can only deduct mortgage or student-loan interest if you’re legally required to repay the debt. If you’re a non-dependent student who still receives help from mom and dad, your parents’ generosity may help at tax time in a different way.

If mom and dad pay your loans, the IRS treats the money as a gift to you, the child, who in turn used the money to pay the debt. A non-dependent child can qualify to deduct up to $2,500 of student-loan interest paid. Note: Mom and dad cannot claim the interest deduction.

To get the most out of your tax deductions, stay organized and do your research. No one likes getting audited – though if the IRS does red flag you, some costs of professional advice to defend yourself are, in fact, deductible.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp.
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Every possible tax deduction can help when your money is tight. Yet many available legal deductions go unclaimed each year simply because most taxpayers still don’t know the breaks exist. From eyeglasses to airline baggage fees, you might qualify for at least one often-forgotten deduction – and maybe more than one.

The Internal Revenue Service allows you to take the cost of certain items, known as itemized deductions, off your tax bill if you qualify. You should itemize deductions if they add up to more than your standard deduction, the IRS advises.

Itemizing also makes sense if you can’t use the standard deduction. Did you have large uninsured medical and dental expenses, or casualty or theft losses? Or pay interest or taxes on your home? Or have large unreimbursed employee business expenses? Or make large charitable contributions?

For filing your taxes, you itemize deductions on IRS Schedule A. If you itemize, don’t overlook these categories:

Job-hunting. Did you spend out-of-pocket to travel to interviews, or shell out for stationery for resumes and cover letters? Deducting these items can make a big dent at tax time.

You don’t have to be officially unemployed, either: Expenses that you incur searching for a better job, even while fully employed, qualify. Other applicable deductions include food and lodging for overnight stays, cab fares and fees you pay to employment agencies.

Moving. If that new job is your first job, you may be able to deduct incurred moving expenses. To qualify, your first job must be 50 or more miles from your previous job or residence, and you must work full-time for about 39 of the first 52 weeks in your new location.

If you qualify to deduct the cost of moving and if you drove your own vehicle for the move, deduct 23.5 cents a mile plus parking and tolls. If you kept excellent records and receipts, you can instead deduct actual driving expenses such as gas and oil.

To calculate this deduction, use IRS Form 3903.

Medical items. You probably realize that you can deduct necessary medical items like wheelchairs and hearing aids. Guess what? While designer eyeglasses, contact lenses or magnifying devices from your local drug store may not seem like medical devices, the IRS does allow these deductions.

Giving to charity. Qualifying donations constitute one of the most common ways that Americans gain tax deductions. Many other acts of charity also qualify.

You can deduct such out-of-pocket expenses as the cost of paint and poster board for a school fundraiser, for example, or the cost of delivering meals or chauffeuring other volunteers, for example. Mileage deductions are at a rate of 14 cents per mile plus parking and toll fees.

Generally, deductions of more than $250 for individual donations require a written acknowledgement from the charity.

Military service. Members of the National Guard or military reserve may deduct travel expenses for attending drills or meetings; you must travel more than 100 miles from home on an overnight trip. Applicable deductions include lodging, meals and 56 cents per mile plus parking and toll fees.

Jury duty. Your employer may be one of the many that pays employees during jury duty but requires employees to turn over jury pay later as recompense. To even things out, you can deduct the amount you give to your employer.

In such cases, the write-off goes on line 36 of your IRS Form 1040, the line totaling up deductions. Add your jury fee total to your other write-offs and write “jury pay” directly to the left.

Baggage fees. The American traveling public rarely recognizes these fees, which can add up quickly. If self-employed and traveling on business, you can tag on those costs as legitimate deductions.

Home energy conservation. Many tax credits for energy-saving home improvements expired but the most valuable credits still exist until 2016. These can effectively refund 30% of the cost of alternative energy upgrades such as solar hot water heaters and geothermal heat pumps.

Loan interest. In most cases, you can only deduct mortgage or student-loan interest if you’re legally required to repay the debt. If you’re a non-dependent student who still receives help from mom and dad, your parents’ generosity may help at tax time in a different way.

If mom and dad pay your loans, the IRS treats the money as a gift to you, the child, who in turn used the money to pay the debt. A non-dependent child can qualify to deduct up to $2,500 of student-loan interest paid. Note: Mom and dad cannot claim the interest deduction.

To get the most out of your tax deductions, stay organized and do your research. No one likes getting audited – though if the IRS does red flag you, some costs of professional advice to defend yourself are, in fact, deductible.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp.
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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