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Now That the Election is Over…

Now that the Presidential election of 2012 is behind us, what will the future hold?  Democrats and Republicans are currently deeply divided. With the victory for the President, our hopes are that he will use his re-election to help the country heal and find compromise.   The President has a limited window of opportunity to find solutions and compromises for moving forward as a united country.

With Black Friday quickly approaching, we wanted to share some Money-Guy insights.  While the holiday season typically accounts for 40% of the sales for the year, the shopping habits of the consumer are changing.  The internet has greatly changed how we find our bargains.  Gone is the day of gathering around the newspaper ads and mapping a shopping route.  Although some stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day for shopping, consumers have the chance to shop the internet and enjoy the same great bargains without leaving home.  Brian’s favorite iPhone app for this time of year is TGI Black Friday. With this app, you can search for specific items and check prices to make sure you are getting the best deal.  Also, and are great websites for finding the best price.   Researching is the key to finding the best deals!

If you pay attention to any news source, or stay up on current events the slightest bit, you have undoubtedly come across a reference to the “Fiscal Cliff”. As 2012 draws to an end, there are a number of changes that we could potentially see for 2013 and the years to come.

The Fiscal Cliff changes that we could potentially see in 2013 may include –

  • Individual tax rates may rise to a top rate of 39.6%. If a number of the Bush Era tax cuts are allowed to expire, this increase in rates will be felt most heavily by higher income individuals.
  • Capital gains may increase from 15% to 20%
  • If it is anticipated that tax rates will be higher in 2013, accelerating income into 2012 or deferring deductions into 2013 could potentially help lower your tax burden. For higher income individuals, there may be limits placed on available deductions.

Several things could be gone in 2013 –

  • No more American Opportunity Educational tax credit
  • No more shelter from the ‘marriage penalty’ on individuals who take the standard deduction
  • No more tax-free discharge of debt on principle residences
  • No more advantageous student loan interest deductions
  • No more lower taxes on qualified dividends

So where does the planning opportunity lie? Take a look at your personal financial situation and determine if (and by what degree) any of the above changes may impact you and your family.

There is no doubt that politics, and political campaigns especially, are tough on the candidates brave enough to put themselves out there. We are glad that the election is over, and we are looking forward to the holidays and enjoying family and those things in life that truly matter.

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