Money Monday with Brian and Nathan

MONEY MONDAY 9/17/18

 

 

TOPIC 1: Jobs

Take your job and STUFF IT. The share of Americans who voluntarily left their jobs hit 2.7% which is the highest percentage since 2001. 

This means our economy is rolling. Hopefully this will also push your wages higher, which have likely stayed stagnant for the past decade. Wages rose 2.9% in August from a year earlier. This is the largest jump since June 2009.

And if you want a job, you can get it. The number of job postings exceeded the number of unemployed people by 659,000. 38% of US small businesses had openings they could not fill in August.

Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, our nation's central bank, believes our economy is just about at full-employment.

The dark spot: Labor force participation is comparitively low. This is the percent of adults currently working or looking for a job. Today that's 62.7% of our population. In 2001 it was 67% of Americans.

So what does this mean for you? Now is the time to ask for a raise or look for other opportunities. 2/3 of you have never asked for a raise at work. 70% of people who ask for a raise get some sort of pay bump.

You can't just wait on your employer. In this economy, you have to get your own raise. 1) Build your skillsets 2) Make a plan to ask for a raise 3) Ask for regular feedback.

If you switch jobs, remember your retirement. Many employers have retirement plan waiting periods for new employees. We want you to get paid more, but during this time when you're not contributing to a 401(k), you have to put money aside for your long-term financial future. Consider increasing your IRA contributions, Roth IRA contributions (if you're eligible) or saving in a taxable account.

HERE'S THE SIMPLY MONEY POINT

More of you are quitting your job which is a good sign for our economy. Still if you want a raise, you have to get it! 

 

 

#2: Financial prepardedness

As the Carolinas deal with clean-up from Hurriane Florence, it's important that you prepare for your own financial disaster -- whether caused by mother nature (tornado, flooding), an accident or illness, or even a big stock market downturn.

Have an emergency fund: This should cover 3 to 6 months of basic expenses, such as your mortgage, car payment, food, and utilities. An emergency fund is especially helpful after a disaster if you need repairs to your home. If you don't have the cash, you may have to wait. Why? If you have damage and need to get it repaired, people will not want to wait 90 days for an insurance check.

Make sure you have proper insurance: Life insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance, health insurance and disability insurance can help you make it through some of life's most challenging moments. Some of these benefits might be provided through your job.

Read your policy. Understand what it covers and what it doesn't cover. You can get riders and add on coverage. If you don't know, ask your agent. Note: standard homeowner's insurance does not include flood insurance -- but this is something you SHOULD buy (urban areas can have big problems with water-run off due to all the streets, driveways and roads).

If you live outside a flood-plane area, flood insurance will cost you about $500-$700/year (for a $250,000 house)

Be organized: Make sure you know how to locate all your pertinent documents, including your insurance policies and advance health care directive. You should be keeping them in a waterproof, fireproof safe.

Also, if one spouse or partner handles the finances, make sure the other person knows who to contact for legal or financial matters.

Take out the emotion: People generally make bad financial decisions when they are in a highly emotional state. Separate that and take a more fact-based approach to the situation. It can help to talk to a financial advisor outside the disaster area.

HERE'S THE SIMPLY MONEY POINT

Many people tend to take the, 'It won't happen to me' approach. But by accepting risk, you accept the full loss. Make sure your finances are ready for potential disaster.

 

#3: Taxes

Sure, the IRS isn't most people's favorite agency… but when the IRS repeatedly warns you of an impending tax bill, you should probably listen. And that's what's happening now.

The agency has been on an awareness campaign all summer, telling filers that they may need to review and update their withholding at work to ensure they're paying the right amount of federal income tax. This is because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed earlier this year doubled the standard deduction and did away with "personal exemptions."

Pinning the amount you need to pay in tax is an art: If you withhold too much, you end up with an outsized refund next April. Pay too little, and you could owe the IRS next spring.

And now the IRS is sending retirees a heads-up, too: Be sure you're withholding enough tax from your pension or annuity, or else face a nasty tax bill next spring. Here are some tips:

For your Social Security: Yes, depending on your "combined income," your Social Security benefit can be taxed. Rather than paying the amount owed every quarter, filers can use Form W-4V to withhold a flat rate from each check: 7%, 10%, 12% or 22%.

Pensions and annuities: Retirees receiving a pension payment or an annuity can opt to have taxes withheld from their income, using Form W-4P and electing the number of allowances they would like to claim.

The more allowances you take, the less money you’ll have withheld.

Work with a trusted tax professional and a trusted financial advisor, such as a Certfied Financial Planner or Chartered Financial Consultant.

HERE'S THE SIMPLY MONEY POINT

No matter if you're still working or you're retired, be sure you check your tax withholdings - otherwise, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you file your taxes next year.


 

 

Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more

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