One Man’s Post-Graduation Struggle to Enter Middle-Class America
May20

One Man’s Post-Graduation Struggle to Enter Middle-Class America

The American Dream promises that anyone who works hard will be able to earn a decent living for themselves and their family. But these days, this dream is getting harder to fulfill. From 2000 to 2013, the number of middle-class households fell in every U.S. state, according to a recent analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew defines the middle class as any household earning between 67 percent and 200 percent of a state’s...

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Rich States, Poor States: How Much Difference Do Income Tax Rates Make?
May20

Rich States, Poor States: How Much Difference Do Income Tax Rates Make?

Wonder what determines the overall economic health of a state? It turns out that income tax rates may play a key role. To measure the annual economic changes a state goes through, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation’s largest nonpartisan voluntary association of state legislators, puts together “Rich States, Poor States.” This study is produced by three accomplished practitioners of the...

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The 529 College Savings Plan: Save for College While Lowering Your Income Tax
May20

The 529 College Savings Plan: Save for College While Lowering Your Income Tax

It’s not easy paying for a college degree. Recent College Board survey data reveals that the 2014–2015 college year cost, on average for a moderate budget, $23,410 for public in-state colleges and a whopping $46,272 for private colleges. The good news is that valuable programs are available to help you save for your children’s college education. One of the best options is the 529 college savings plan, which offers a number...

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The Weight of College Loans: How Parents and Grads Can Avoid Heavy Debt
May20

The Weight of College Loans: How Parents and Grads Can Avoid Heavy Debt

Sisyphus was a mythical Greek king who so offended the gods that he was sentenced to push a gigantic boulder up a hill forever. Today, that myth has taken on real meaning for millions of college graduates and their parents as total borrowing for higher-education passes $1.1 trillion. The huge weight of college loans is often difficult to pay off and, for many, it seems like there is no end in sight. Falling Behind on Payment According...

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Living Wage Research May Prevent You From Treading Water Financially
May18

Living Wage Research May Prevent You From Treading Water Financially

Let’s say you’ve been given an opportunity to take a job in another state. The pay seems reasonable, even though it’s $5,000 less than what you’re making right now, but there is also no state income tax where you’ll be moving to. From a financial perspective, should you make the move? Before packing up your life, assess whether a job move would make sense by comparing the living wage of your new location...

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The Capital Gains Tax and Middle-Class America: The Long and Short (Term) of It
May18

The Capital Gains Tax and Middle-Class America: The Long and Short (Term) of It

One of the most controversial and misunderstood aspects of the American tax code is the capital gains tax. Supporters of this tax view it as a necessary way to gain revenue from investment-related capital gains made by the wealthy. However, nearly everything a person owns is theoretically an IRS-defined capital asset, so anyone, even the average middle-class family, can be affected by this tax. What (and How Much) Are Capital Gains...

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