How COVID-19 Changed Consumer Behavior and the Future of Retail

U.S. retail sales suffered in the spring of 2020 due to safety concerns, government-mandated lockdowns, and economic uncertainty wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. Sales — including purchases at stores, restaurants, and online — plunged from $483.95 billion in March to $412.77 billion in April, a record 16.4% drop.1 Fortunately, retail sales rebounded sharply after the…

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Year-End Charitable Giving

With the holiday season upon us and the end of the year approaching, we pause to give thanks for our blessings and the people in our lives. It is also a time when charitable giving often comes to mind. The tax benefits associated with charitable giving could potentially enhance your ability to give and should…

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New College Cost Data for 2020-2021 School Year

Every year, the College Board releases updated college cost data and trends in its annual report. Although costs can vary significantly depending on region of the country and college, the College Board publishes average cost figures, which are based on a survey of approximately 4,000 colleges across the country. Following are cost highlights for the…

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The Jobs Recovery: More Work to Be Done

In April 2020, the U.S. economy lost an astonishing 20.8 million jobs, by far the largest loss recorded in a single month dating back to 1939. To put this in perspective, the second largest monthly job loss was about 2 million in September 1945, when defense industries reduced production at the end of World War…

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IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2021

Many IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. While some of the limits remain unchanged for 2021, other key numbers have increased. IRA contribution limits The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2021 is $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less),…

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November 1 Begins Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Marketplaces

Beginning on November 1, 2020, individuals (including families) may apply for new health insurance, switch to a different health-care plan, or re-enroll in their current plan through a Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The open enrollment period for 2021 health coverage ends on December 15, 2020. If you don’t have health…

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Medicare Open Enrollment for 2021 Begins October 15

The annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period is the time during which Medicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The Open Enrollment Period — which begins on October…

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The FAFSA and Your Income.

Your income from two years prior is what counts on the FAFSA. For example, the 2021-2022 FAFSA will rely on income information in your 2019 tax return. FAFSA for 2021-2022 Academic Year Opens on October 1.   The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2021-2022 year opens on October 1, 2020. The…

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Student Loan Relief Extended Through End of Year

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided a six-month automatic payment suspension on federal student loans through September 30, 2020. In August, the president signed a memorandum to extend federal student loan relief through December 31, 2020. What does this mean for student loan borrowers? All…

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Temporary Payroll Tax Deferral: What You Need to Know

On August 8, 2020, the president issued an executive order to allow the deferral of certain payroll taxes during the last four months of 2020, and the IRS recently provided related guidance. This has implications for both employers and employees. Here’s a brief summary of the issues. Already-existing payroll tax deferral provisions There are generally…

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