Friday, January 30, 2015

Adoption Credits At Tax Time!

    It's that time of year when the IRS comes calling. If you're a parent with an adopted child or children I just want to remind you of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit for 2014.

    If you finalized your adoption in 2014, the credit allowed for an adopted child with special needs is $13,190; the maximum credit allowed for other adoptions is the amount of qualified adoption expenses up to $13,190. Phaseouts do apply depending on your income so check with your accountant or tax preparer.

    This credit is paid one time for each adopted child, and should be claimed when you file your taxes for 2014. (Usually early 2015).

    To be eligible for the credit you must have adopted a child other than a stepchild. The child must be under 18 or unable to physically or mentally take care of him or herself. And again, your earnings must be within the income limits.

    Now, if you finalize an adoption this year, in 2015-- which you'll file for next year, the credit allowed for an adoption of a child with special needs goes up a bit to $13,400, and the maximum credit allowed for other adoptions is the amount of qualified adoption expenses up to $13,400. Again, phaseouts do apply so it's always best to check with a professional who specializes in income taxes.

   For answers to questions you may have go to

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Human Trafficking Awareness Day- January 24, 2015

Slavery and oppression are not things of the past. Please come out to Lake Eola from 11AM to 4PM this Saturday the 24th-- to take part in an awareness program aimed at putting an end to human trafficking in Central Florida. For more information go to


   It's an issue I deal with nearly everyday: women telling me they have no idea where their money goes. Delving into this issue I discovered that's it not negligence or a lack of concern that's keeping these women in the dark, but a lack of confidence when it comes to money matters and a hesitancy to make important financial decisions because of it.  

    In fact, studies show that while women want a role in making major financial decisions, I'm talking the big items not the grocery bill-- less than two thirds of women actually have a say in household financial decision making. Many women turn over the household finances to their husbands or significant others or they allow the family financial adviser to take charge-- and that means women are giving away the power to control their money. If this is your story--  without the financial know-how, divorce or death can push you right into poverty.

    If you're part of the 42% of all women who readily admit that they don't have financial security, it's time to take back the power.  With women outliving men by an average of five years, it's a good idea to keep your money managing skills sharp. So how do you do that?

    Here are some simple steps:
-Get educated to share in financial decision making and build self-confidence when it comes to your money.
-Talk over all family money matters with your spouse or significant other.
-Spend less than you make.
-Set goals to save more.
-Don't reward yourself for accomplishments by spending money (i.e.): "I just did 'such-and-such' so I deserve a shopping spree."
-Don't let fear of failure keep you from investing, (Remember you're getting educated to make informed     decisions).

For statistics and more on women and managing money check out:

Monday, January 5, 2015


It’s 2015—the start of a brand new year and if you are like nearly half of the adults in this country (Yours Truly included) you made a New Year’s Resolution, maybe even several. But do you realize that only 8 percent of us will actually keep those resolutions. That’s right, 8 percent and most of us will give up before Valentine’s Day. So here are three tips to help you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions.
1). Set a realistic goal and be specific. Instead of pledging to drop 50 pounds this year, try giving yourself until the end of January to drop just ten. Instead of saying I’m going to save money this year—commit to saving a determined amount per week or month. If you’re successful you can set a new goal and make your New Year’s Resolution progressive.
2). Keep track of your progress. Count calories, write down your savings—whatever it is-- you will stay dedicated if you have tangible proof you are working toward a successful New Year’s Resolution.
3). Get back on the horse. Realize that you will have set-backs, but don’t get discouraged. Dwelling on the negative will only give you an excuse to quit. Shake it off, stay positive and restart your resolve.