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Grandparents Can Help Bridge the College Cost Gap

For many families, a college education is a significant financial burden that is increasingly hard to meet with savings, current income, and a manageable amount of loans. For some, the ace in the hole might be grandparents, whose added funds can help bridge the gap. If you're a grandparent who would like to help fund your grandchild's college education, here are some strategies.

529 college savings plan

A 529 college savings plan is one of the best vehicles for multigenerational college funding. 529 plans are offered by states and managed by financial institutions. Grandparents can open a 529 account on their own — either with their own state's plan or another state's plan — and name their grandchild as beneficiary (one grandchild per account), or they can contribute to an existing 529 account that has already been established for that grandchild (for example, by a parent).

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Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Being self-employed has many advantages — the opportunity to be your own boss and come and go as you please, for example. However, it also comes with unique challenges, especially when it comes to how to handle taxes. Whether you're running your own business or thinking about starting one, you'll want to be aware of the specific tax rules and opportunities that apply to you.

Understand the self-employment tax

When you worked for an employer, payroll taxes to fund Social Security and Medicare were split between you and your employer. Now you must pay a self-employment tax equal to the combined amount that an employee and employer would pay. You must pay this tax if you had net earnings of $400 or more from self-employment.

Hobby or Business? IRS Offers Tips to Decide

 

Millions of people enjoy hobbies that are also a source of income. From catering to cupcake baking, crafting homemade jewelry to glass blowing -- no matter what a person’s passion, the Internal Revenue Service offers some tips on hobbies.

Taxpayers must report on their tax return the income earned from hobbies. The rules for how to report the income and expenses depend on whether the activity is a hobby or a business. There are special rules and limits for deductions taxpayers can claim for hobbies. Here are five tax tips to consider:

Secure IT : Financial Safety Tips

Secure IT : Financial Safety Tips


Introduction
Online banking continues to present challenges to your financial security and personal privacy. Millions of people have had their checking accounts compromised, mainly as a result of online banking. If you are going to use online banking to conduct financial transactions, you should make yourself aware of the risks and take precautions to minimize them. The following practices, which are discussed further in this paper, can help you avoid common security problems associated with online banking:

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Beckett Card Grading Event Coming to Bases Loaded Sports Collectibles

Beckett Card Grading Event Coming to Bases Loaded Sports Collectibles

Bases Loaded Sports Collectibles will host Charles Stabile, Northeast Regional Sales Manager from Beckett Grading Services, for a card and memorabilia grading event from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, June 9, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 10, in the store, located at 794 French Road, Cheektowaga.

Beckett Grading Services provides collectors with the most thorough, consistent and accurate grading efforts available in the industry. Your BGS-graded cards will be returned in a unique, protective cardholder. Beckett uses an easy-to-understand one- to 10-point grading scale to rate sports cards, which are graded on four key categories: Centering, corners, edges and surface. Grades from each of these key categories will be considered in determining your card's final overall grade. Beckett also grades non-sports cards, magazines, pocket schedules and gaming cards. The cost is $15 per item, with 10-day service.

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Social Security Retirement Benefits?

Social Security is an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans, but how much do you know about this program? Test your knowledge, and learn more about your retirement benefits, by answering the following questions.

Questions

1. Do you have to be retired to collect Social Security retirement benefits?

a. Yes

b. No

2. How much is the average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker?

a. $1,360

b. $1,493

c. $1,585

d. $1,723

3. For each year you wait past your full retirement age to collect Social Security, how much will your retirement benefit increase?

a. 5%

b. 6%

c. 7%

d. 8%

4. How far in advance should you apply for Social Security retirement benefits?

a. One month before you want your benefits to start.

b. Two months before you want your benefits to start.

Annual Roycroft Summer Festival to Feature Juried Artisans, Music and Demonstrations

Annual Roycroft Summer Festival to Feature Juried Artisans, Music and Demonstrations

Art and music will dazzle the senses at the 41st annual Roycroft Summer Festival taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 24 and 25 on the grounds of Parkdale Elementary School, 141 Girard Ave., East Aurora.

The show will feature dozens of juried artisans, including three newly accepted Roycroft Artisans — Leslie Green Guilbault, ceramics; Patricia McDermott, beadwork; and Kathy Cairns-Hendershott, fiber arts. Providing musical entertainment will be Creek Bend on Saturday and the Old Hippies on Sunday.

Roycroft Artisans and Master Artisans will offer free demonstrations of their crafts on both Saturday and Sunday. The demonstration schedule includes the following: