Minnesotans are a generous bunch. A recent survey by WalletHub ranked Minnesota as the third most charitable state in the nation. We jump to #2 when you throw volunteering and service time into the mix.
While gifts of cash are always welcome (and usually tax deductible) at most non-profits, if you are looking to juice up your giving this year and get the biggest after-tax bang for your charitable buck, consider the gift of stock or a mutual fund instead.
Uniform Transfer to Minors Act or UTMAs offer parents, grandparents and others a tax efficient, flexible way to make financial gifts to their kids or grandkids. Like most investments there are pros and cons.
Before you open or add to a UTMA account for your kids or grandkids there are some things you will want to consider.
In recent years, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has become known as Small Business Saturday – the one day each year when American consumers are encouraged to ditch the big box stores, go off-line, and support their local small businesses.
Started as a promotional event by a not-so-small credit card company, Small Business Saturday has grown into something of a movement with an estimated 95 million Americans shopping at small businesses on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving last year.
And why not? Small businesses represent a major part of the American economy. Nearly 29 million small businesses employ over 58 million people – almost half of all private sector employment.
In fact, 60% of net new jobs created since the Great Recession have come from businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
In my college planning workshop titled “Pay Less for College” I help parents increase their chances of getting financial aid for college, discover their best opportunities for merit-based, academic scholarships, and make them smarter consumers of a college education.
A few years ago one family gave me the following feedback. The said, “Mike, your presentation is great, if I have a lot of money to move around, or no money at all, or my kids’ grades are off the charts. But what about the rest of us? How can the 80% of families that don’t fall into those more extreme categories pay less for college?”
That got me to thinking…
It’s the middle of a crazy busy day. As you get into your car late for your next appointment your phone suddenly rings. On the other end is someone telling you that your 85-year-old father has collapsed and is on the way to the hospital.
“Your father has had a heart attack,” you are told.