Our network

Business

What factors could negatively impact my credit report?

Having a good credit report is important when it comes to personal finance, because most lenders use credit reports to evaluate the creditworthiness of a potential borrower. Borrowers with good credit are presumed to be more creditworthy and may find it easier to obtain a loan, often at a lower interest rate.

A number of factors could negatively impact your credit report, including:

Leaving Assets to Your Heirs: Income Tax Considerations

An inheritance is generally worth only what your heirs get to keep after taxes are paid. So when it comes to leaving a legacy, not all property is created equal--at least as far as federal income tax is concerned. When evaluating whom to leave property to and how much to leave to each person, you might want to consider how property will be taxed and the tax rates of your heirs.

Favorable tax treatment for heirs

Roth IRAs

Retiring and Relocating? Don't Neglect State Taxes!

If you're retired, or about to retire, you may be thinking about relocating to a state that has low tax rates or provides special tax benefits to retirees. Here's a survey that may jump-start your search for a tax-friendly state in which to spend your golden years.

State income taxes in general

State income taxes typically account for a large percentage of the total taxes you pay. So you may consider yourself lucky if you live in one of the seven no-income-tax states: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. (New Hampshire and Tennessee impose income tax only on interest and dividends.)

But if you're considering a state that does impose an income tax, as a retiree you'll want to know how that state treats Social Security and retirement income.

State income taxes and Social Security

Education Tax Credits

It's tax time, and your kitchen table is littered with papers and forms. As if this isn't bad enough, you recently paid your child's college semester bill, and you don't know where you'll find the money to pay the taxes that you expect to owe. Well, you might finally catch a break. Now that your child is in college, you might qualify for one of two education tax credits--the American Opportunity credit (formerly the Hope credit) and the Lifetime Learning credit. And because a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction against taxes owed, it's more favorable than a tax deduction, which simply reduces the total income on which your tax is based.

AT&T Western New York Civic App Challenge

AT&T Western New York Civic App Challenge

The challenge - Solve Local!

Technology giant AT&T along with University at Buffalo, State University of New York at Fredonia, Z80 Labs, InfoTech Niagara, Launch NY, United Way of Buffalo &Erie County and Hack Upstate today announced the AT&T Western New York Civic App Challenge—a two-month “virtual hackathon” in which developers are encouraged to “Solve Local” by building smartphone apps that serve Western New Yorkers. Winners will receive cash prizes totaling $18,000.

The challenge, facilitated by Hack Upstate, was launched at d!g Buffalo (pronounced ‘dig’) on September 10, the newly opened co-work space on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and will run until November 10. Coders, designers and technologists can register for the challenge and get more information at attwny.hackupstate.com

How to End Telemarketing Calls

What is telemarketing?

A plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services over the phone

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines telemarketing as a plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services over the phone. Telemarketing can offer a convenient way to buy products and obtain services. However, many Americans view these unsolicited calls as an annoyance. As a result, Congress has enacted statutes that regulate the practice of telemarketing.

What statutes regulate telemarketing?

Understanding Defined Benefit Plans

You may be counting on funds from a defined benefit plan to help you achieve a comfortable retirement. Often referred to as traditional pension plans, defined benefit plans promise to pay you a specified amount at retirement.

To help you understand the role a defined benefit plan might play in your retirement savings strategy, here's a look at some basic plan attributes. But since every employer's plan is a little different, you'll need to read the summary plan description, or SPD, provided by your company to find out the details of your own plan.

What are defined benefit plans?