Enjoy federal tax benefits - While you can't take a deduction for contributions to the 529 plan on your federal income tax return, investment returns within the plan grow tax-free. In addition, all distributions made from the plan for qualified higher education costs are also free of federal taxation, provided they are less than or equal to the adjusted qualified education expenses. The IRS Publication 970, "Tax Benefits for Education", explains how to calculate the taxable portion of distributions. Your state may offer tax benefits, too - Many states also offer tax breaks in addition to the federal tax benefits mentioned above. The website Savingforcollege.com offers a detailed map of optional state tax plans available to you. Click on your state to discover the tax advantages being offered where you live. Easy enrollment and maintenance - Your 529 plan can provide a convenient and hassle-free way to save for college. After choosing the plan that you would like to use, complete your … [Read more...] about College Savings Plans – Why you need a 529 plan
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• Disposable latex gloves: They are not necessary for most situations, and are generally recommended for cleaning and caring for others who are sick. However, for one-time use in public restrooms or in other public spaces, they could prove useful. If you do wear latex gloves, don’t touch your face while wearing them, and dispose of them immediately after use. … [Read more...] about Road trip checklist: How to prep for California car travel in the coronavirus pandemic
Q: What kinds of new protocols can I expect at hotels? A: Hotels in California now must meet a number of standards and follow best practices outlined by the state of California, industry organizations and company policies. The California Department of Public Health released a 15-page report outlining practices hotels and lodging establishments should follow to keep their guests safe during their stays. These include screening of both employees and guests for symptoms of illness and providing face coverings to guests who arrive without them. … [Read more...] about California hotels are starting to open up, but is it safe to stay in one during coronavirus?
2. Build an emergency fund. According to a new survey from MagnifyMoney, about 1 in 6 Americans don't have any money in savings. And even those who have some cash set aside, don't have enough to cover a minor emergency. Considering that we don't know the long term economic impact of this pandemic, boosting your emergency fund is crucial and your stimulus check gives you the opportunity to put a nice chunk away for those just-in-case life moments that can strike at any time. Even better, open a high yield online savings account which offers as high as a 1.75 percent annual percentage yield, so you end up earning something back on your savings. … [Read more...] about 8 Smart Ways To Spend Your Stimulus Check
Whether you were born in the U.S.A. or you are an immigrant like me, being an American is always a choice. On this Independence Day, let's once again choose to do as the signers of the Declaration of Independence did and "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" to make our nation a better place for all Americans. … [Read more...] about Helen Raleigh: As an immigrant, I celebrate America this July 4th and goodness of the American people