Zero-Based Budgeting Applied to Personal Finance

If you have ever run a businesses or worked in corporate finance, you are likely familiar with the concept of zero-based budgeting (ZBB) as an alternative to traditional budgeting.  The traditional form of budgeting - and the one most commonly used in corporate America - uses the amount spent last year in each category (or [...]

Why Many Parents Should Reconsider Covering College-aged or Adult Children on their Health Insurance

Parents generally believe that the longer they can claim their children as dependents, the more tax savings they will accrue.  This is a misleading fallacy for most high-income families.  The reality is that most parents with more than $200,000 of annual income get zero tax benefit from their children and may continue to get limited [...]

The Tax Saving Opportunity of a Lifetime for Early Retirees

Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act will again rule the health insurance marketplace in 2018 regardless of what happens in Congress with tax legislation or whether the individual mandate holds up over the coming weeks.  Also like it or not, there has been a dramatic increase in insurance premiums from the onset of [...]

Dismissing High Deductible HSA Plans Is a Costly Mistake

This time of year means open enrollment season and that means battling a consistent bevy of confusing acronyms: FSA, HSA, HRA, PPO, HMO, POS, and on.  Reorienting every year to the different meanings, rules, and benefits of these acronyms is akin to relearning the scoring rules of curling every four years.  Most Americans are interested [...]

5 Medicare Open Enrollment Mistakes to Avoid

Records show that organ donation elections vary dramatically from country to country.  Even bordering countries with similar cultures have huge differences in the percentage of citizens who participate in organ donation programs.  Consider two countries that neighbor Germany: Austria and Belgium.  99.9% of Austrian citizens and 98% of Belgian citizens are registered organ donors.  In Germany, [...]

Cheap Fouls and Unnecessary Insurance

Players in a college or high school basketball game are limited to 4 fouls and disqualified from competition upon receiving 5 fouls.  This limitation is intended to discourage players from consistently fouling to maintain the pace of play. In basketball, there are good fouls and bad fouls.  A good foul could be the result of commendable [...]

10 Best Personal Finance Websites

According to Google Dashboard, I currently maintain 663 bookmarks in my Chrome browser, sorted among 53 different folders.  All of these websites were important enough that at one point, I elected to bookmark them.  The overwhelming majority are websites that have something to do with personal finance, investments, taxes, insurance, debt, or other financial planning [...]

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Important Health Insurance Changes for Small Business Owners

Many Americans are conditioned to treat employer-provided health insurance as an entitlement.  This long-standing attitude stems from a system that, for decades, has precluded a large segment of the population from finding reasonably priced health insurance on their own.  Anyone with a previous victory over cancer or a child with diabetes likely knows from experience [...]

Income Planning for the New Health Insurance Subsidies

It is estimated that nearly 26 million Americans will be eligible for some form of health insurance subsidy starting in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.  For individuals and families with incomes well in excess of 4x the federal poverty line, these subsidies will be a non-event.  However, there are several situations where the subsidies [...]