Mark Henricks has reported on personal finance, investing, retirement, entrepreneurship and other topics for more than 30 years. His freelance byline has appeared on CNBC.com and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and other leading publications. Mark has written books including, “Not Just A Living: The Complete Guide to Creating a Business That Gives You A Life.” His favorite reporting is the kind that helps ordinary people increase their personal wealth and life satisfaction. A graduate of the University of Texas journalism program, he lives in Austin, Texas. In his spare time he enjoys reading, volunteering, performing in an acoustic music duo, whitewater kayaking, wilderness backpacking and competing in triathlons.
Workers of any age who become disabled may be able to qualify for monthly cash payments from the federal government. However, people older than 50 may find it easier to be declared disabled and eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI is similar to but separate from regular Social Security benefits, which are based on age, work history and paying taxes into the Social Security fund. SSI is for people who, because of a change in health, can’t do the work they formerly did. For more help navigating Social Security and SSI, consider working with a financial advisor. Read more
If you die owing money on a mortgage, the mortgage remains in force. If you have a co-signer, the co-signer may still be obligated to pay back the loan. A spouse or other family member who inherits a house generally has the right to take over the payments and keep the home. Alternatively, terms of a will may direct that the estate’s assets be used to pay off the mortgage, and sometimes a life insurance policy will pay off the mortgage if the original borrower dies. If no one will assume the mortgage and there is no provision to pay it off, the lender may foreclose on the property and sell it. A financial advisor can help you deal with mortgage challenges during the estate planning process. Read more
If you sell stocks at a profit, you will owe taxes on those gains. Depending on how long you’ve owned the stock, you may owe at your regular income tax rate or at the capital gains rate, which is usually lower than the former. To pay taxes you owe on stock sales, use IRS Form 8949 and Schedule D. A financial advisor who serves your area can help you with tax planning for your investments and retirement. Read more
The Hope Credit, which is the previous and perhaps better known name of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, is a federal tax break that can help people pay for college or trade school. This credit… Read more
Buying a second home can be significantly easier and less costly to finance than buying an investment property. Investment properties can offer you tax deductions by claiming operating expenses and… Read more
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