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Oaktree Financial Advisors Blog

How to do Valentine's Day on a Budget

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valentines-day

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and for those that prepare and plan now you can do it without breaking the bank. By the time you buy some flowers and/or chocolates and /or dinner you can ring up quite a bill. But it doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Here are 5 ideas on ways to do Valentine's Day well and do it on a budget.

Buy Discounted Gift Cards at Costco:Costco's website sells two Buca di Beppo $50 gift cards for $74.99 or two McCormick & Schmick's $50 gift cards for $79.99. Your local store may carry even more variety. If you're going to dinner this is a great way to save money and still have a nice dinner. You can also get two $50 SpaFinder gift cards for $79.99.

Why the Super Bowl is Like Saving for Retirement

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So the big game is getting ready to be played. I'm usually pretty fired up about it. Super Bowl Sunday is always an exciting day to watch the game, be with family and friends, have some good food and drinks and watch some good commercials. Except this year I don't care much about the game at all. I'm a Colts fan so I don't' want the Patriots to win. But I'm not much of a Seattle fan either. So this year I'm pretty uninterested. But it's the Super Bowl and I'm going to watch.

It seems like that's kind of how saving money is for some people. Some people just are not interested at all. You know the day will arrive when you will retire but when you're early in your career it certainly seems like forever away and not much of a priority. It's just not something that in your 20s or 30s you may be very interested in. You may not see the value in putting that money aside for some distant future need. You have so many needs here and now to provide for it just may not seem like a good trade off to give up some of that stuff. And you may wonder how you can afford to save at all. The truth is you can't afford not to save. No matter how little you start with you've got to start and grow from there.

No matter how uninterested you are in this thing called retirement that seems so very far away, it will come. Whether you are interested or not. And the earlier you start preparing for it the better off you will be. So start saving early and often because retirement is much more important than the Super Bowl.

Written by: Ed Snyder

How to Report 401k Rollover to IRA on 1040

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If you made a direct rollover from your 401(k) or other qualified plan into an IRA last year, you will receive a 1099-R from the custodian of the plan.

You do need to report this on your 2014 tax return, however it is not taxable.

If you have someone that prepares your return for you, just bring them the 1099-R along with your other tax information.  

If you use tax preparation software these entries will be done for you when you answer the appropriate questions.

If you prepare your own taxes but do not use a software program, the following instructions will be helpful. 

  • Box 1 of your 1099-R shows the amount of the direct rollover.  Report this amount on your form 1040, line 16a Pension & Annuities.
  • Box 2a of your 1099-R is the taxable amount of the distribution and should be zero.  This number should go on line 16b Taxable amount, on your form 1040.
  • Box 7 of the 1099-R should contain the letter "G", indicating that this was a direct rollover.  You do not enter that information on your 1040.

How to Prevent Identity Theft

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The first month of the New Year is almost over. How many of your resolutions have you abandoned already?

Here is TIME Magazine's Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year's Resolutions

• Lose Weight and Get Fit
• Quit Smoking
• Learn Something New
• Eat Healthier and Diet
• Get Out of Debt and Save Money
• Spend More Time with Family
• Travel to New Places
• Be Less Stressed
• Volunteer
• Drink Less

Still going to the gym? Did you really quit smoking? How's that new diet going? Has your frustration over not keeping your resolutions caused you to drink more instead of less? While all of these resolutions are important, there's one that's becoming more and more important - protecting your identity.

We've all seen the news stories over the past year about the data breaches that included names like Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, PF Changs, Community Health Systems...

Ed Snyder in FiduciaryNews.com article

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FiduciaryNews.com  Retirement Saving: How Responsible is the 401k Fiduciary?