Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ALERT – Congress to grab your cash!

Initial reports from the commission to cut the deficit would seem to want to fix things on the backs of the middle class.

  1. No apparent cuts in funding to welfare programs or Earned Income Credits.
  2. No apparent desire to make the Federal budget smaller.
  3. Wants to limit or eliminate mortgage interest deductions (home owners)
  4. Deductions for Child Care (Mostly effects lower and middle income and single parents)
  5. Eliminate tax breaks for capital gains (investors)
  6. Reduced Military Spending
  7. Gas Tax (regressive for lower income earners)

Things that won’t really help the budget now or in the near future

  • Limiting malpractice suites (has nothing to do with government deficits)
  • Raise the Retirement age for Social Security to 68 by 2050. Currently you have to be almost 67 to be “fully” retired under Social Security.

You need to write to your congressman and Senator today. Just because the election is over, it doesn’t mean your responsibility is done.


Monday, November 8, 2010

15 Signs You'll Be Rich

1. Attractive men earn 9 percent more money than unattractive men; attractive women earn 4 percent more money than unattractive women.

2. Individuals with above-average IQs are only 1.2 times as likely as individuals with below-average IQs to have a high net worth.

3. People who were popular in high school earn 10 percent more than people who weren't.

4. Graduates of Princeton University and Dartmouth College earn salaries 162 percent higher, on average, than graduates of East Texas Baptist University.

5. For every three inches taller than average they are, women earn 5 to 8 percent more money than women of average height; men earn 4 to 10 percent more for every extra three inches in height.

6. Being married and staying married increases your net worth by 77 percent.

7. Drinkers earn 10 to 14 percent more money than abstainers.

8. Those who earned undergraduate degrees in petroleum engineering earn salaries over four times as high as those who earned undergraduate degrees in child and family studies.

9. Each one-unit increase in a typical young person's body mass index is associated with an 8 percent reduction in wealth.

10. 22 percent of American households headed by persons of Russian ancestry have a net worth of $1 million or more.

11. 21 percent of white Americans and only 2 percent of African Americans and 8 percent of Hispanics buy real estate or make other investments at young ages, which economists consider a key predictor of future wealth.

12. Blond women earn 7 percent more money than non-blonds.

13. Nonsmokers' net worth is about 50 percent higher than that of light smokers, and more than twice as much as that of heavy smokers.

14. 36 percent of American children born to parents in the uppermost economic bracket remain there as adults.

15. 54 percent of American children who are born to parents in the uppermost economic bracket and who then earn college degrees remain at the top.

Source (

Monday, November 1, 2010

2011 retirement adjustments

IRS provided the TY11 cost of living adjustments for pension plans and other retirement-related programs. The limits for the most part remain the same as in TY10 or increase modestly. Of most interest to EAs are:

  • The contribution limit remains $16,500 for employees participating in § 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plans (as well as the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan).
  • The age 50-plus catch-up contribution limit under those plans remains at $5,500.
  • The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who are active participants in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and have modified adjusted gross incomes (AGI) between $56,000 and $66,000 (same as 2010). For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the income phase-out range is $90,000 to $110,000 (up from $89,000 to $109,000). For an IRA contributor who is not an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and is married to someone who is an active participant, the deduction is phased out if the couple's income is between $169,000 and $179,000 (up from $167,000 and $177,000).
  • The AGI phase-out range for Roth IRA contributions is $169,000 to 179,000 for married couples filing jointly (up from $167,000 to $177,000 in 2010). For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $107,000 to $122,000 (up from $105,000 to $120,000). For a married individual filing a separate return who is an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the phase-out range remains $0 to $10,000.