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contributiondonations

Can I Make Charitable Contributions From My IRA in 2016?

Yes, if you qualify. The law authorizing qualified charitable distributions, or QCDs, has recently been made permanent by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015.

You simply instruct your IRA trustee to make a distribution directly from your IRA (other than a SEP or SIMPLE) to a qualified charity. You must be 70½ or older, and the distribution must be one that would otherwise be taxable to you. You can exclude up to $100,000 of QCDs from your gross income in 2016. And if you file a joint return, your spouse (if 70½ or older) can exclude an additional $100,000 of QCDs. But you can’t also deduct these QCDs as a charitable contribution on your federal income tax return–that would be double dipping.

private mortgage insurance

How Long Will I Have to Pay for Private Mortgage Insurance?

It depends. There are generally two ways that private mortgage insurance (PMI) can be removed from your mortgage loan. The first is if you request PMI cancellation directly from your lender. The second is through termination by your lender.

You can request PMI cancellation directly from your lender once you have reached the date when the principal balance of your mortgage is scheduled to fall to 80% of the original value of your home. You can find this date on the PMI disclosure form that was given to you when you first obtained your mortgage. The cancellation request can be made earlier if you have made additional mortgage payments that have reduced your principal balance to 80% at an earlier date. Your lender may also require you to meet certain other criteria in order to cancel your PMI, such as certification that there are no subordinate liens on the home and evidence that the property has not declined below the original value.

one million dollars

Can You Get to a Million Dollars?

Often in life, you have investment goals that you hope to reach. Say, for example, you have determined that you would like to have $1 million in your investment portfolio by the time you retire. But will you be able to get there?

In trying to accumulate $1 million (or any other amount), you should generally consider how much you have now, how much you can contribute in the future, how much you might earn on your investments, and how long you have to accumulate funds.

cost of living

Cost of Living: Where You Live Can Affect How Rich You Feel

Do you find yourself treading water financially even with a relatively healthy household income? Even with your new higher-paying job and your spouse’s promotion, do you still find it difficult to get ahead, despite carefully counting your pennies? Does your friend or relative halfway across the country have a better quality of life on less income? If so, the cost of living might be to blame.

The cost of living refers to the cost of various items necessary in everyday life. It includes things like housing, transportation, food, utilities, health care, and taxes.

Jack V. Butterfield Investment Company is a registered Broker-Dealer, member SIPC