Family Financial Connections archive
Date: September 2014


Barry Dolowich, Tax Pointer: Homesale Gain Exemption

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Q I just recently ended up being a widow and I am considering selling my house this year and scaling down to a condominium. I comprehend that the rules have actually changed throughout the years concerning the taxability on the sale of a principal home. Can you kindly discuss?

A To pay for the $15.1 billion of housing tax incentives in the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 (the Housing Act), Congress passed a number of countering income raisers, consisting of tightening the home-sale exclusion rules.

Most homeowners know the home-sale exclusion, a provision of the tax laws which offers that property owners who sell their principal house typically do not requirehave to pay taxes on as much as $500,000 of their gain if they meet certain conditions. The $500,000 exemption is the maximum exemption for a married couple filing jointly: taxpayers filing separately get an exemption of as much as $250,000. To be qualified for the complete exclusion, a taxpayer has to have possessed the home, and stayed in it as his or her principal home, for at least 2 of the 5 years prior to the sale. Because of the principal house demand, holiday or second homes normally do not certify for the exclusion.


The Car Purchasing Experience Goes High Tech

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GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) Technology is a huge part of everyday life nowadays, which doesn’t need to change when you support the wheel. Tinney Automotive in Greenville is staying on top of the latestthe most recent innovations of innovation in new cars and SUVs.

The folks at Tinney say security technology, useful lifestyle facilities and fuel economy are 3 essential things to try to find when purchasing a new car. They provide 10 automobiles that get 30 miles per gallon or much better, like the Chevy Cruze. They even sent a group as much as the Mackinac Bridge and back on a single tank of gas.

A brand-new function on numerous Cadillac automobiles is self park assist. It makes use of radar innovation to inform you if there is enough space for you to parallel park, then tells you when to brake and release the wheel to let the vehicleparking lot for you.

Tinney also offers 4G LTE innovation in numerous of its 2015 vehicles. That implies you have a hot area wherever you go so you can stay connected.

Technology is likewise making things simpler for parents and hectic people on the go, with power liftgate technology on the whole lineup of SUVs. Many of them likewise have power flat folding seats, which fold forward with the touch of a button.

Tinney is active in givingreturning to the neighborhood. Right now, they are holding Operation School Products. They are collecting and donating school supplies to regional schools, and for each test drive, they are donating $5 to the cause. If you would such aswant to contribute school products, Tinney is collecting them with September 2. You can drop them off in the showroom.

If you’re searching for something sleek, Tinney has the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray! The black appeal has a 450 horse power engine and goes absolutely no to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds. The Corvette was named the 2014 Car of the Year and you can have it for simply over $74,000.

Tinney Automotive is located at 11249 West Carson City Roadway in Greenville, about a 30 minute drive from Grand Rapids.


Coping With Car-buying Fever

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Jarron Miller with Auctions America takes a bid. About 1,200 automobiles will be offered throughout the celebration.


Individual Finance 101: Rockford Senior High School Students Find Out About Being Smart …

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ROCKFORD, MI Rockford Senior high school senior Derek Scholl thought it would be a smart moverelocate to take an individual finance course to learn ways to handle his money prior to going to college.

I truly desirewish to learn about financial resources and the best ways to take care of my money, said Scholl, 17, on Thursday, Sept. 11, prior to a lesson on compound interest – interest paid both on the initial amount of cash and on the interest it has currently made.

I attempt to manage my cash as much as possible, however it is hard when youre a kid. I am a teenager, and I like to have enjoyable. I did put the moneythe cash made from my task this summer in the bank.

Beginning with the Course of 2016, the district of 8,000 students, will need all senior citizens to take an individual finance course. Parents can decide out their youngster, however that appears unlikely, considering that the programs growth was urged by them. Juniors can take the course.

Related: Rockford Public Schools needing seniors to take a personal finance course

My hope is that they leave the class armed with a basic understanding of ways to manage their own cash, said Noel Fike, financial advisor turned business instructor. I want them to make sensible decisions with their individual money, so that they don’t discover themselves finishing from college with $80,000 in financial obligation or having acquired $5,000 on their charge card.

I think thats a challenging way for them to start their monetary life with that huge of a pile of financial obligation to get from.

On Thursday, the senior class got an individual finance presentation from Rachel Cruze, the daughter of individual finance professional Dave Ramsey. Cruze and her papa are co-authors of the book Smart Money Smart Children. The 2 will certainly be speaking tonite at DeVos Performance Hall.

Fike said Ramseys individual finance educational program is the backbone of the class. He stated assignments are tailored for young individuals their age and some video of Ramsey and Cruze discussing particular principles is used.

Cruze, 26, said she thinks every secondary school must require some type of a personal finance class. She stated students spending frivolously and not having a strategy for their cash is not a routine they really want to get into.

Students make a few of their most damaging cash errors right after senior high school, said Cruze, who advised senior citizens to pick a college they can pay for and think about taking prerequisites at a neighborhood college.

It is not amazing, however its smart. I hope they find out to be deliberate with their cash.

She likewise urged them not to get credit cards and to avoid student loans by applying for grants and scholarships and working.

Fike said personal finance will be among the most appropriate and practical courses that they will certainly require to prepare them for life post-high school. He said more than 200 students are taking the course and next year that will certainly increase to around 600.

He said the class, introduced in 2010-11, covers a wide-range of subjects, consisting of credit and debt such as credit cards and student loans, saving and investing, earnings and careers, insurance coverage, danger management, taxes and income and careers.

Senior Reid Martin, 17, said he was looking for class that would be helpful to him down the road. He stated he anticipates to be a better manager of his money after the course.

I truly believe this class is going to be handy to me down the roadway, he stated.

Students in the personal finance class are likewise utilizing a stock simulator, Investopedia, which enables them to make use of phony cash on real stocks, and discover how to buy stock see the outcomes.

Fike said there is really not a direct correlation between how much cash you make and just how much you conserve.

There are individuals who make a great deal of cash however they invest every last dime, Its even more about behavior, having good cash habits and putting it into practice, he stated.

Numerous districts offer financial literacy programs. Principal Dan Zang said Rockford thought it was vitalwas essential enough to develop into the schedule to offer students the tools to make strong financial choices.

Our students are going to need to take control and browse extremely quickly their own finances, he said about graduates. We are very confident our children are academically college-ready but there are so numerousa lot of other elements to being ready.

Monica Scott is the Grand Rapids K-12 education author. E-mail her at and follow her on Twitter @ MScottGR or Facebook


Today In Automobile Buying: The Return Of Rebates

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With the huge Labor Day offering weekend behind them, auto makers are concentrating in on their slowest selling segments in order to clean out stocks prior to the 2015 design year gets underway in earnest. Broad, across-the-line programs have all however ended, however targeted rebates and lease deals continue to be in place for slow selling categories. Smart buyers can look to take advantage of these closeout dealshandle the traditional sedan classifications from compact up with full-size 4-doors. Bargains can also be discovered in the entry luxury classifications.

Crossovers still hot

Buyers will have less luck finding offers on crossover SUVs, as these car-based sport-utes continue to be the hottest automobiles on the marketplace, particularly in the compact with mid-size classifications. Low stocks, high deal costs and the absence of rewards suggests that if you want a crossover, you will be most likely paying more than if you decidedselected a more standard household conveyance.

According to data gathered by Kelley Directory, inventories in conventional sedans ranging from compact up with full-size have actually grown from 10 to 22 days over the past year. What this means is that the selling rate for these cars has actually slowed down considerably, implying that there is even more room for buyers to negotiate a good offera bargain on these vehicles. While makers look at a 60-day supply as the market standard (simply puts, it would take two months to offer every car in dealers lots to totally diminish the variety of vehicles developed), right now full-size family automobiles are at a 105 day supply, up 22 days from a year earlier. Simply puts, appearance for offers on cars like the 2014 Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus (well get to these offers on these automobiles later).

Mid-size vehicle stocks (think Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu and Ford Combination), have grown from 56.6 to 76.2 days from a year ago. Entry level luxury automobiles have actually also grown to 88.8 days. Compact vehicle stocks have actually likewise lifted from the industry norm of 60 days to 70 days. On the other hand, products of crossovers, particularly in the compact and mid-size variety have actually dropped from year ago levels, a testimony to their popularity. Luxury mid-size inventories in particular have dropped from a tight 50.2 to a 40.6 days supply.

The offers

Given that mostthe majority of the August/Labor Day selling incentives have ended, the carryover programs affirm to the fact that cash money is king when it pertains to enticing in prospective buyers. The top offer according to Kelley Directory best offers is the Ford Taurus with a $5,000 refund, further evidence of the lack of interest in full-size household sedans especially those that are nearing completion of their product cycles. While the lease deal on the Taurus has an appealing $259 month-to-month payment on a 24 month agreement, it needs an upfront of $3,279 and a 0-percent 5-year offerhandle $2,000 cash, our figures reveal over the very same period youd have the automobile for $406 a month by just taking the money, $430 a month with the APR deal, and not possessing the automobile after a two year lease of $395 a month.

Also: The Course of 2015– New Automobiles Ready to Roll

Ford is likewise tops in offering cash money across the board from $3,500 on both the Focus and Fusion to $2,500-$3,000 on the C-Max. Also providing a lot of in advance money are Fiat $3,250 on the 500 hatchback; Mazda with $3,500 on the CX-9 full-size crossover SUV; Dodge with $3,250 on the mid-size Journey crossover; Nissan has $4,000 on its Maxima; Ford continues with its $6,000 money back on the full-size Exploration SUV; Jeep has $3,000 on its compact Compass SUV and Dodge is planning to clean out stocks of its 2014 Charger ahead of the 2015 facelifted model with $4,250 on the hood and its discontinued Avenger mid-size sedan with $3,000.

Lease deals on compacts/hybrids

The bestThe very best lease deals continue to be on compacts and alternative cars, due in part for the tighter margins on these cars in contrast to their bigger and more costly counterparts. Amongst the leading lease offers are the Acura ILX compact, which has a $270 month-to-month payment over 36 months without any cash down. Dodge continues to press its $99 a month program for its compact Dart, however that 24 month agreement needs $2,039 in advance. Cash buyers can depend on a $2,000 check from Dodge. Chevys Cruze is choosing $159 for 36 months with $1,819 down or $2,500 cash upfront.

On the option fuel front, Nissan continues with its $199 regular monthly offer on a 36 month lease with $1,999 cash money upfront, Chevys Volt is choosing $269 a month for 3 years with $2,859 down and the Toyota Prius Plug-In opts for $349 for 36 months and $999 down or a $3,000 discount. Chevrolet also has a $199 offer on its Glow EV with $1,119 down.

While compact and luxury crossovers remain popular, there appears to be some gentleness in the full-size family oriented segment as evidenced by the deal on the Mazda CX-9 and the deals on the Chevy Traverse which has a $2,500 discount or a lease deal of $259 a month and the Toyota Venza, which provides $1,000 money or $250 per month with simply $999 for 36 months.

Even exotics aren’t exempt

Slow selling item is not just the issue when it concerns standard sedans. Producers of exotics are feeling a bit of a pinch. While newly presented high efficiency vehicles like the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray remain to offer well, the Dodge Viper has actually verified to be more problematical in finding its mark. Originally priced at $100,000 plus, sales have actually languished and Dodge has been forced to idle its Detroit assembly plant while it attempts to clear out over a years supply of the 2-seat V10 sports car. Today it took remarkable steps by dropping the price of the entry-level design $15,000 and providing certificates because quantity to existing owners to the purchase of their next Viper. In the meantime, it will certainly continue its hiatus on producing the great specification GTS and TA trim levels, which have costs north of $100,000. While Dodge rightly says the Viper is more of an unique with restricted appeal as compared to the more mass market Chevy Corvette which even more than 23,000 have actually been sold so far this year, just 438 Vipers have actually been sold so far in 2014 versus hopes of offering about 2,000 or so each year.

Clouds on the horizon?

Even as the market topped an annualized rate of 17.5 million automobiles over the August and Labor Day sales period, there are concerns about the natures of the deals that are being made, especially in the length of the contracts for directly sales. No less than Ford chairman Bill Ford raised the warning by saying that the boost in 6-year loans is not a healthy trend for the market. While the longer agreements might offer lower payments to the consumers, it also serves to keep them from the market for a longer period of time. Likewise, the reality that the length of agreement works versus developing equity in a depreciating property could end up with buyers being upside down in their deals.

According to date from Experian Automotive, nearly a quarter of all car loans are now from 73 to 84 months (6-7 years), up from just 10 percent four years ago. I think we have to be cautiousbeware due to the fact that we do not desire to enter a circumstance like we did before, where customers are over-extended, Ford told CNBC in a meeting. That doesn’t do anybody any excellent.

A pullback in the market due to the fact that owners are on longer purchasing cycles or there are more defaults due to sub-prime lending, there is the possibility that inventories will certainly grow at a much faster rate if manufacturers do not trim production schedules. Higher stocks and high incentives could put the industry in a bind, however will certainly work to the advantage of qualified buyers looking for a deala handle the months ahead.

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