Foundation & Wealth Building

Learn why a “strong financial foundation” lies at t he center of your future wealth building success…

 

It is important that you realize that a strong financial foundation is what you need at this time if you are to succeed and build wealth in a more appropriate manner throughout your lifetime.

 

It is important that you live for the future in a manner where worry, anxiety, fear, frustration, lack of effort and excuses play no meaningful role in your forward movement.

 

If you now lack a strong financial foundation it is important that you “at this time” make a real commitment to have a very strong foundation as you pursue your wealth building efforts as that foundation will set you apart from those who struggle daily in the management of their finances.

 

In a similar manner as a weak foundation in the building of the San Francisco  Millennium Tower made what appeared to be a beautiful creation on the inside and outside—but the foundation was faulty—so too must you be aware of the foundation that you lay as you build wealth.

 

If you do not possess what it takes on the inside to build a foundation that cannot be shaken you are selling yourself and your family short when it comes to building lasting wealth.

 

Even though it may appear to you at this time that you possess what is necessary and you are headed on an upward trajectory—you must take steps at this time to ensure that you will achieve at your highest level of excellence—and it all starts with a strong foundation.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you in emphatic terms why a strong financial foundation is not only the key to your success, but will provide you the impetus to achieve at a level that allows you to pursue your financial goals in a manner where you will give it your absolute best!

 

Step 1

 

Determine your level of financial knowledge and financial preparation that you have at this time…

 

You must analyze where you now are with your financial level of understanding and you must use that knowledge as a guide to let you know that more work is required of you—if you truly desire to make your dreams come true.

 

You must know your areas of strength and know your money management personality so that you can take a more introspective (look deep inside your mind, heart and soul) approach as you move toward the goals that are most important to you—whether they be financial or otherwise!

 

Step 2

 

Determine if you have what it takes on the inside to achieve optimally…

 

You must realize that those who purchased at the San Francisco Millennium Tower thought that they had what it took on the inside and outside to achieve financially and enjoy a beautiful dwelling.

 

However, they did not properly analyze the foundation of the building and in some cases it cost them possibly  thousands of dollars (or even more) by being in an adverse position–when it really didn’t have to be that way.

 

When it comes to your financial foundation you must know what is the appropriate knowledge that you must know that will allow you to achieve results that will show!

 

If you fail to do a careful, critical, analytical and accurate assessment of where you truly stand at this time as far as your finances are concerned—you are demonstrating an unwillingness to confront your finances and the foundation that you desire to start or that you have already started as it relates to your wealth building will-possibly look good to you on the inside and outside (your heart and mind may feel that you are doing great) but the generational wealth building success that you need or want to achieve may be lacking.

 

Step 3

 

Know that a faulty foundation will send you backward or at best keep you where you are now at…

 

Even if you have what it takes on the inside (have fire and desire inside your heart and mind) to successfully achieve at what appears to be a high level—you can do far more on a daily basis if you start off with a strong credit and financial foundation.

 

You can get momentum rolling and turn your current position into one of lasting success if you acquire the right knowledge and you apply that knowledge in a manner that works with your mind and propels you toward the future goals that you desire.

 

You possess inside the “ability to choose” a new and more rewarding way to achieve wealth building success today.

 

Conclusion

 

The mere fact that everything looks good from the outside (or even the inside) does not mean that all is well!

 

You must approach your financial future with a “comprehensive perspective” and you must know that major success lies ahead if you properly turn the gravel and analyze the soil (know where you now stand and sincerely look for real ways to achieve more).

 

You don’t have to approach your future in a fearful or cautious manner if you make the decision at this time to build a foundation that cannot be shaken!

 

All the best toward your future success based on the decision that you are now making that will allow you to achieve at your absolute best…

 

 

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Mega Success & Wealth Building

Learn how you can achieve the type of financial and life success that you need or desire to achieve…

 

It is important that you realize that you have the ability within to achieve “mega-success” in the management of your finances so that you can achieve many of your dreams such as retiring early, vacationing when and where you want to, volunteering for your favorite causes, donating to your favorite causes, increasing your net worth to the level that you desire and achieving any other goal that you may have in mind!

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you in precise terms how you can achieve “mega-success” and build your wealth in a way where you can leave behind an inheritance for your future generations yet unborn.

 

If you have struggled in the past with your credit and finances or you are currently struggling—your future can be bright in spite of where you now stand.

 

If you are now on a successful path in the management of your credit and finances you too can learn other and possibly more effective ways to achieve the goals that you desire.

 

Over the years we have received many questions about how to achieve more in the credit and financial areas of the lives of many.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will explain how you can achieve lasting financial success in a more efficient manner as you build wealth over time.

 

Know where you are in your “life stage” and use that knowledge to your advantage…

 

You must pursue stability in your financial life and pursue the “quality of life” that you desire in a way that gets you real results.

 

You must know your cash flow position, know how credit works and know all of the areas of your finances that you must address at the various stages in your life.

 

Know how to use “success qualities” to your advantage in your financial life…

 

You must know how to use the “qualities of success” to your and your family’s best advantage and you must have the determination and grit to give it your best at all times and in all endeavors in spite of what others may be doing.

 

You are responsible for pursuing your goals at a high level and gaining the preparation and knowledge that allows you to pursue success more efficiently and more effectively in all areas of your life.

 

You are responsible for responding to adverse situations that will occur throughout your lifetime in a winning manner.

 

Know how to “integrate your financial knowledge” so that you can achieve more…

 

You must look at and analyze your financial position as it relates to insurance,  investments, taxes, emergency fund, education planning, estate planning and retirement planning on a consistent basis.

 

To attain mega-success you must know whether you are investing for income, growth–or income and growth–and you must know what vehicles will take you to where you need or desire to be.

 

Will you use money market accounts, money market mutual funds, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, closed end funds, REIT’s, MLP’s or Master limited Partnerships or more exotic investments to get you the returns and growth that you desire?

 

By answering those and other questions you will be well on you way to success—and if you do it at your highest level you can attain “mega success” because you decided to give it your best.

 

Conclusion

 

If you do a critical analysis of where you now stand financially and you look within in a sincere manner and decide to improve in areas where you are weak both financially and personality wise you can attain much more on a daily basis.

 

You are now in position to make a real choice about the direction that you desire to go and it is you who can steer your investments and personality in the direction where success lives—or if you do it at your absolute best—where mega-success lives.

 

All the best toward giving your best and achieving mega-success…

 

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Tax Preparation Tips & Wealth Building

Learn how you can build wealth and use the tax code to assist in your efforts…

 

The proper preparation and filing of your tax return is an important step in the upward movement of your net worth and is a key aspect of your wealth building efforts.  Now is the time that you rise up and achieve more in your life and knowing a few tax tips can possibly lead to you flying higher.

 

With another successful tax season in the books TheWealthIncreaser.com thought that helping prepare you and others who desire more success in the coming tax seasons was in order.  In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will discuss how “preparing in advance” is a key step in filing your taxes and building wealth.

 

It is important that you realize that record keeping is an important responsibility whether you decide to file your own tax return or you hire a professional to do them for you.

 

If your taxes are not complex and you are computer savvy you may be able to file your taxes yourself.

 

If you make under $66,000 the IRS offers free filing if you qualify.

 

Other online services also offer free tax preparation as well.  If you choose a free provider be sure to read the fine print and know all of your obligations going in—not after the return is prepared and filed.

 

You also have the option of purchasing tax software and doing your return yourself.  Live chats and explanations are normally included in the software purchase.

 

The average cost to file a tax return is over $200 in most areas of the United States.  In many cases it can be money well spent.

 

If you dread doing your taxes yourself consider a professional who knows how to complete the type of return that you will file.  If you have schedule A entries, capital gains or losses, investment properties, business income and the like you may want to choose a highly competent tax professional as there are nuances and certain understanding that is possessed by those who do taxes on a regular basis and take the profession seriously.

 

Whether you decide to complete and file yourself or you decide to hire a pro, the following paragraphs will provide you with basic insight on how you can build wealth more efficiently by effectively using the tax code.

 

Maintain Good Financial Records Relating to Deductions

 

  • Document non-cash contributions and donations
  • Assign a value to each item you donate
  • Document all of your medical expenses and mileage to and from your medical provider(s)
  • Save all mail and correspondence that is marked “Important Tax Information”
  • Organize all of your financial data
  • Start an “IRA” if you or your loved one qualifies at the earliest time possible and keep a record of your annual contributions

 

It is important that you avoid common mistakes that many make whether they prepare their return themselves or use tax professionals.

 

You want to definitely maintain good mileage records as the mileage rate for 2018 is 54.5 cents per mile.

 

Don’t overlook any of your itemized deductions or potential itemized deductions as with the new law many have been eliminated–however you may still need to run the numbers to see if your federal and state refund amount or amount owed will be more or less beneficial to you–depending on the approach (itemized or standard deduction) that you take.

 

Be sure you know all entries that you can legally enter on schedule 1   and schedule A now–and in future tax years.

 

If you are a business owner and travel don’t overlook travel expenses and keep good records.  You also want to be aware of a potential home office deduction that you may be entitled to take.  Also document and keep records of all business related purchases whether they be office supplies or major assets such as machinery, computers, automobiles and the like.

 

Also, if you are not doing so contribute to your 401k or other retirement account as well as HSA, FSA and other tax advantaged accounts.

 

If you qualify consider a ROTH or Traditional IRA (income qualification and contribution limits apply).  Of course, whether and how much you contribute will depend on your current financial condition, therefore it is imperative that you know how to manage your finances at an optimal level.

 

Student Loan Interest

 

You can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest annually on your tax return if you qualify.  However if you are single and earn over $80,000, you would not be eligible for the deduction–which seems quite unfair–you borrow to pay your way through college and when you start earning decent money to pay the loan back you are penalized and not allowed a deduction on your tax return.

 

Outside of earning less (usually a bad option) or getting married (your income limit increases some) your options to qualify may be limited!  Are those real options for you–probably not and a change in the tax code would be more appropriate–however by knowing the income limitation at this time–you can at least plan proactively or plan to avoid student loans altogether if you find yourself in a precarious position at this time.

 

If you are currently seeking higher education or you have dependents who are now seeking higher education you may be eligible for credits and deductions that could help lower your taxes.

 

You can also save for higher education in a tax efficient manner by utilizing a 529 plan, a prepaid tuition plan or other tax advantaged educational savings plans–including IRAs.

 

Itemized Deductions

 

Medical deduction limit in 2018 is 7.5% of your AGI and 10% of your AGI in the 2019 tax year.

You can no longer deduct moving expenses unless you are in the military.

Casualty losses are non-deductible unless in a federally declared area.

Unreimbursed employee expenses, tax preparation fees and other 2% miscellaneous deductions are no longer allowed on schedule A.

If you need to make changes on your tax return remember the 3 year rule (three years from the filing deadline–including extensions) form 1040X allows you to amend your return.

If you have not filed your return in the past three years and you are due a refund–file now as after three years you will no longer be eligible for the refund.

 

Always consider your overall “effective” tax rate–that means looking at your taxes from a federal tax point of view as well as state and city (local)—where applicable.

 

 Investments

 

If you have investments be aware of the type you choose and the present and future tax consequences.  If you have children or grandchildren consider setting up a 529 plan, an IRA or other tax favored savings plan for their educational and/or retirement future.

 

It is important that you are aware of how your “investment choices” affect your future and your taxes–and it is you who must gain the “right knowledge” that you need–to succeed.

 

You can set up an IRA for your child or your grandchild if they have income and by saving consistently and gaining an average rate of return you can set your heirs up for a prosperous future in a relatively painless way.  However, it is important that you plan now and set up systems that allow you to do that and more.

 

In addition, you must insure that you are on track to meet or exceed the goals that you desire and you must also operate in a sound manner in all of the financial affairs in your life.

 

Conclusion

 

With many changes in the new tax law of 2017 many may feel uncomfortable tackling their own taxes.

 

However, in many cases your taxes may not be complicated and tax software can lead you toward an accurate and cost saving preparation of your taxes.

 

Under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act the standard deduction has basically doubled for most taxpayers and personal exemptions are gone except in limited cases (now called a tax credit).

 

The tax rates were reduced for most taxpayers, the child tax credit doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 for children under 17.

 

If you own a business and had income you may qualify for the Qualified Business Income deduction.

 

In addition, you want to form the right type of business (sole proprietor, corporation, LLC, partnership etc.), pay your estimated taxes (January 15th–April 15th–June 15th–September 15th) in a timely and accurate manner, record your revenue and expenses accurately and stay in good standing with the IRS in a proactive way.

 

Be sure to keep a separate bank account for your business, separate credit card(s) for your business and avoid commingling your business and personal records including bank deposits and withdrawals.

 

Also, allocate your income and expenses in the appropriate categories so that you can see where your income is coming from—and how much you are paying out in expenses–and where!

 

Keep a mileage log in your car (vehicle) or use an automated system and log all business related miles as well as repair and maintenance expenses such  as gas, oil changes, parking/tolls and other expenses in case you decide to use actual expenses instead of mileage.

 

A monthly profit and loss statement will help your tax professional at tax time (or yourself if you plan on doing your own taxes) and also help in planning your business now and in the future as you can use the data for employee staffing, inventory, maintenance and other areas of concern that are particular to your type of business.

 

In short, by previewing your tax position now–you can plan better for your future.  It is the desire of TheWealthincreaser.com that this page has given you some added insight on how you can achieve more in your future and lighten your tax burden as well.

 

Now is the time that you use T P T & W B to achieve results that you can see!

 

All the best toward your tax saving and wealth building success…

 

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Fatigue & Wealth Building

Learn why you must give your absolute best even when operating on limited rest…

 

As you build wealth in the current economy it is important that you realize that you may feel tired and lack the inspiration to move forward or move forward at a faster pace.

 

Although that is often the norm with many—it is important that you operate outside of the norm and you must have the mindset that you will press on and make the dreams that you desire occur—in a timely manner.

 

Although we all are hit with moments where we don’t operate at an optimal level or a more prosperous pace—you don’t want to let that type of behavior direct your future.

 

It is important that you find a way that allows you to reach the goals that can make your life more meaningful and enjoyable.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you how moving forward in a determined and consistent manner—even when you are fatigued can help you achieve more and reach the goals that you aspire to reach that may appear to be out of reach at this time.

 

1) Put a plan in place so that you have something to look forward to

You can make the goals that you seek occur in a more realistic manner by putting in place a plan that will move you toward success.

 

If you desire to build wealth more efficiently you must know your current financial condition and position, know your credit standing and put into place a plan that allows you to review and make improvements in all areas of your finances, thereby allowing you to pursue your goals at a higher level.

 

2) Make your best effort to reach or exceed the plan that you put in place

You must realize that it is your responsibility to make the dreams that you desire occur.  It is you who must expend the effort that is necessary to reach higher and pursue your goals at a level of excellence that is the best that is within you.

 

3) Realize that setbacks will occur, however setbacks must not deter you—or make you weary

You must pursue your dreams and dream big.  You must also expect adversity and have the mindset to continue moving forward in spite of the adversity that you will undoubtedly face.

 

You must see success clearly and you must use what you are now learning to move forward at a more efficient pace.

 

4) Move forward at a consistent pace even if you feel fatigued

You will at some time feel exhausted and feel that you can’t move on.  In life, we will all face difficult stretches where we feel we can’t move forward and inaction seems to be our calling card.

 

That is the time that you must dig in and find new ways that you can move forward!

 

You must have a determined spirit, put your frame of mind in position to move forward consistently by learning new and more encouraging ways of reaching your goals and building wealth–and always have the mindset that you will press on as best you can.

 

You must have a vision of your future that is inspiring and will direct you toward the results that you desire.  In short, you must make the decision at this time to reach higher.

 

Conclusion

 

As you formulate goals and move toward building wealth you must determine at this time if you are truly sincere—or whether you are just “testing the waters.”

 

Your level of commitment and your willingness at this time to put in place a plan that will take you toward your dreams in a real way is what will move you forward and separate you from the rest—even when you are not feeling your best or you are operating on limited rest.

 

Always realize that if you lack a solid financial foundation you will often approach your finances with a sense of fear or you will timidly approach your finances because you don’t know if you have missed an area of your finances that should have (or needed to be) addressed and therefore in most cases you will not be operating at your highest level of mental efficiency as it relates to your finances.

 

Hopefully, if you are one who lacks a solid financial foundation–this discussion has at least provided you a  “meaningful blueprint” so that you can at a minimum get started on the right path toward major success.  By applying what you have learned in this discussion at your highest level of mental energy–you can start on a serious journey that can lead you toward building the solid financial foundation that you need and deserve in this economy–or any economy.

 

By seeing your success and knowing that you can accomplish what you see if you stick to your plan you will be motivated at a much higher level and when fatigue or that tired feeling kicks in—you will overcome and continue to move forward because you will be operating at a level of focus that allows you to reach your goals more efficiently.

 

In addition, your internal motor (mind, heart and spirit) will be inspired at such a high level that the success that you see will be the only outcome that could be–because you will make a serious commitment to plant a new tree (overcome all obstacles) so that you can truly be all that you were meant to be.

 

Even though doing all of the above is not the master key–it will help “you” achieve results that you can see.

 

All the best toward getting your needed rest and achieving at your absolute best…

 

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Bond Frequently Asked Questions

 

Bond Frequently Asked Questions

 Learn more about bonds and bond funds by reviewing common questions that many have asked about bonds…

 

Q: What can I do to position myself for successful bond investing?

A: It is important that you “have all your bases covered” prior to starting on your bond investing or any investing as it is important that you have reduced or eliminated your debt to an acceptable level, you have a properly funded emergency fund (or you are working toward that goal), you understand credit—and you have looked at your finances in a comprehensive way.

By doing the above you put yourself in position for lasting success and you make your bond investing (or any investing) more likely to succeed—and even if you are unsuccessful your living conditions won’t be adversely affected.

 

Q: What is a bond?

A: a bond is a debt instrument used by corporations (and government entities) to help fund their growth.  Bonds are issued in increments of $1,000 and are sold at either a discount (below $1,000) or at a premium (above $1,000) and yield and yield to maturity is used to determine rates of return.

Interest rate movement will play a large factor in determining the actual yield or yield to maturity.  Bonds come in all durations with short, intermediate, and long-term available on the markets.

Governments also issue bonds (i.e. series EE and Series I) directly to individuals as well and they also issue municipal bonds  and treasuries among others.

 

Q: What is a bond fund?

A: a bond fund is a collection of bonds and can be mixed in any number of ways such as corporate and government, long-term only, short, intermediate and long-term, national and international and many other ways that a bond fund manager sees fit to create.

 

Q: What is the difference among corporate, municipal, government, international, series EE, series I and junk bonds?

 

  • Corporate bonds are a debt security issued by a corporation and sold to investors. The backing for the bond is usually the payment ability of the company, which is typically money to be earned from future operations. In some cases, the company’s physical assets may be used as collateral for bonds.

 

  • Municipal bonds (or “munis” for short) are debt securities issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to fund day-to-day obligations and to finance capital projects such as building schools, highways or sewer systems etcetera. Generally, the interest on municipal bonds is exempt from federal income tax, however some municipalities issue both taxable and non-taxable munis.   Pension funds and foreign investors normally don’t get the tax break.

 

  • Government bonds are a debt security issued by a government to support government spending. Before investing in government bonds, investors need to assess several risks associated with the country, such as country risk, political risk, inflation risk and interest rate risk, although the government usually has low credit risk. Federal government bonds in the United States include savings bonds, Treasury bonds and Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS).

 

  • International bonds are a debt investment that is issued in a country by a non-domestic entity.  International bonds are issued in your country but are purchased outside of the country in which you reside and are purchased in your  country’s currency.  They pay interest at specific intervals, and pay the principal amount back to the bond’s buyer (you) at maturity in the same manner as domestic bonds.

 

  • Series EE bonds are a “non-marketable”, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond that is guaranteed to at least double in value over the initial term of the bond, typically 20 years. Most Series EE bonds have a total interest-paying life that extends beyond the original maturity date, up to 30 years from issuance.

 

  • Series I bonds are a non-marketable, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond that earns a combined: 1) fixed interest rate; and. 2) variable inflation rate (adjusted semiannually).  Series I bonds are meant to give investors a return plus protection on their purchasing power.  Series EE and I bonds are considered “non-marketable” savings bonds meaning they can’t be bought and sold in the marketplace.  The can be redeemed at many banks and financial institutions.

 

  • Junk bonds are a fixed-income instrument that refers to a high-yield or non-investment grade bond. Junk bonds carry a credit rating of BB or lower by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), or Ba or below by Moody’s Investors Service. Junk bonds are so called because of their higher default risk in relation to investment-grade bonds.

 

They do well when the economy is growing rapidly and stocks are rising.

 

Q: What are bond rating agencies and how do they operate?

A: There are a number of bond rating agencies and they include Weiss, S & P’s, Moody’s, Fitch and several others and they rate corporations, cities, counties, states and national government’s based on their ability or perceived ability to repay their debt.

In a sense it is based on the financial strength that they bring forward based on their past, present and projected ability to repay their debt obligations.

  

Q: What is the bond rating of the United States?

A: With the United States being the strongest economy in the world in the minds of many it is a big surprise for many when they learn that the United States does not have the highest bond rating.

The United States was recently downgraded from AAA to AA by Moody’s and Standard & Poors (several credit rating agencies around the world have downgraded their credit ratings of the U.S. federal government, including Standard & Poor’s (S&P) which reduced the country’s rating from AAA (outstanding) to AA+ (excellent) on August 5, 2011.

 

Q: If the interest rate rises what will happen to bond prices?

A: The bond price “will fall” as there is an inverse relationship (opposite relationship) to bond prices–meaning if interest rates fall bond prices will rise.

 

Q: What is YTM or Yield to Maturity and how do I determine what my YTM is prior to purchasing a bond?

A: Yield to Maturity takes into consideration the interest (coupon payments) during the period of bond ownership up until the bond is sold at its maturity date—thus YTM.

Yield on the other hand only includes the coupon payments that you will receive on an annual basis.

You can possibly get the YTM or projected YTM from your broker or other published financial publications.

 

Q: What is duration as it relates to bonds?

A: Duration is a measure of a bonds interest rate sensitivity.  You can use a bonds duration to make a better decision as to whether the bond will rise or fall based on interest rate movement.

 

Q: How are bonds taxed?

A: Many are taxed depending on whether they are inside or outside of a retirement account and the taxation is based on the interest received during the year.

If they are inside of your retirement account they may avoid taxation until withdrawals or retirement distributions begin to occur.  Some bonds (depends on the type) are taxed on an annual basis and some are taxed at maturity and those that are used for certain purposes may avoid taxation altogether.

 

Q: What is the biggest risk that I will normally face if I invest in bonds?

A: Market activity is the real key especially as it relates to rising inflation.  If inflation is stable or not moving upward much, interest rate movement will normally be stable as well and bond investments will remain a good play.

When a large number of bondholders move over to stocks for varying reasons that too can be a cause for concern.

However, rising inflation is something you must be aware of and if you are a bond owner you want to be aware of that movement so that you can countermove and limit your losses or protect your gains—in a timelier manner.

 

Q: What is bond laddering and how can I ladder my portfolio to increase my returns?

A: You can ladder your portfolio by purchasing bonds at different times and purchasing bonds with differing durations.

For example you can purchase short, intermediate and long-term bonds at differing intervals such as every 6 months, every year or every other year for a specified period of time—and that will help protect your gains or limit your losses.

 

Q: What is my number 1 concern if I decide to invest in bonds?

A: Depending on the type of bond you invest in inflation is normally the major concern as it will devalue the real worth of future interest payments and usually results in higher interest rates that will bring down the bond’s current market value.

 

Q: What is an inverted yield curve and how will it affect my bond investments?

A: It usually means the economy is slowing and moving into a recession.  Investors may forecast lower interest rates and pull money out of bonds and put into cash, stocks or mutual funds.

 

Q: How are bonds typically sold?

A: Usually in multiples of $1,000 if you purchase from a broker. Bond funds and mutual funds may offer investment of a lower amount.  Series EE and I bonds can be purchased for as little as $50.

 

Q: If a company liquidates where do I as a bondholder fall in claiming whatever cash becomes available as a result of the liquidation (bankruptcy)?

 

A: The good news is that bondholders are first in line to be paid during bankruptcy proceedings.  You would be considered a general creditor, along with employees, contractors and suppliers–stockholders would be the last in line.

 

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Hot Tax Topics & Wealth Building

As we enter the latter part of January many consumers in the U.S. and other parts of the world are gearing up for the filing of their 2018 income tax returns…

Learn about the latest tax news so that you can avoid the financial blues…

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will look at and discuss a number of critical areas of taxes that could help you maximize your tax position in 2019 and beyond.

 

In order to achieve more and maximize your personal income tax return it is important that you have knowledge of—and a practical understanding of how you can do the following more effectively:

 

Use the New Tax Rates to Your Advantage

 

If you are an individual and do not have majority ownership in a C corporation or S Corporation–your maximum tax rate is 35% versus the maximum for a corporation of 21% due to the job and tax act of 2017.

 

That means if you have high income that puts you in the upper income tax brackets you could possibly reduce the taxation of your income by establishing a corporation or keeping your income in the corporation as opposed to receiving a salary if you now have a corporation.

 

There are a number of ways that you can strategize to lower your taxes by using the new tax rates to your advantage and it is up to you and your professional team to find ways to do just that.

 

If You are a Business Owner or Desire to be One You Must Understand the Forms of Ownership

 

Sole Proprietorship

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

S Corporation

C Corporation

 

You must know and understand fully that certain types of ownership allows you to shield your personal assets against the liabilities of your business.

 

If you are operating as a sole proprietor where you are using your social security number as your Federal ID you are putting yourself and your family in position to be personally liable for actions that may arise out of liabilities of your business.

 

Whether a pass through entity or a corporation will be of greatest benefit to you will depend on your unique tax and financial position, the type of business you operate, the state that you are in, your liability (risk) exposure and the path that you desire to take to reach your goals once you lay out all of your intentions–whether you decide yourself or you decide to use financial professionals.

 

IRA’s

 

IRA’s and other tax favored retirement plans retain those tax advantages in spite of the tax cut and jobs act of 2017.  That means the “saver’s credit” and deductibility for a traditional IRA are still available.

 

In addition ROTH conversions can be done regardless of your income level and ROTH IRA’s still enjoy the tax free benefit upon withdrawal if done so according to IRS guidelines.  Contributions remain tax free upon withdrawal.

 

With both IRA’s the first time homebuyer withdrawal provision remains as well as several other “exceptions” that can help you avoid the tax bite.

 

HSA’s

 

A Health Savings Account may allow you to save more and meet your health care expenses in a tax efficient manner by allowing you to deduct the amount you contribute,  allow your contributions to grow tax free and allow you to withdraw your earnings tax free when used for medical related expenses.

 

Be sure to give the “triple tax benefit” of HSA’s real consideration.  In addition, be aware of the expenses that you will pay as that can eat away at your earnings.  Be sure to shop for the best plan available based on your financial position and health saving goals.

 

Know at the earliest time possible if you are going to utilize the standard deduction or itemize your deductions

 

Standard Deduction

 

The standard deduction has been increased for the 2018 tax year and many of those who once itemized will find that it is no longer to their advantage to do so.

 

Single is now at $12,000

Head of Household is now at $18,000

Married Filing Jointly is now at $24,000

 

Personal exemption eliminated for most—some dependents on your tax return may allow you to claim a $500 personal exemption.

 

Be sure to consider the effect on your state tax refund in determining whether to itemize or claim the standard deduction–as you may be surprised to find that a reduced itemized deduction at the federal level could still be to your benefit if you would get a higher overall refund or pay less in taxes when the federal and state amounts have been combined!

 

Itemized Deductions

 

Medical

Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance that you pay, Medical Insurance that you pay, Health Care Insurance Premiums that you pay, Eye Care that you received during the year, Out of Pocket medical expenses that you pay for the year, Dental Expenses that you pay for the year, Prescription drugs that you purchase for the year, Mileage to and from your medical care destination and many other medical related expenses may all be deductible in 2018 if they exceed 7.5% of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income–line 7 on page 2 of form 1040) and you itemize your deductions. 

 

The AGI limit increases to 10% in 2019 and beyond unless Congress acts.

 

Taxes

 

State income taxes and sales taxes, ad valorem taxes, property taxes and possibly other taxes may be deductible by you if you itemize and otherwise qualify.

 

Keep in mind that there are limitations on taxes in some instances—so keep that in mind—particularly if you are in a high tax state such as California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and several others.

 

Mortgage Interest

 

Mortgage interest deduction is now limited to $750,000 down from 1 million.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) and Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) are not deductible for the 2018 tax year and beyond unless congress acts.

 

Charitable Contributions

 

New rules apply to deducting charitable contributions that are non-cash as you must provide additional documentation for donations valued over $250.

 

As for church donations and others that are in the form of cash the maximum percentage that you can deduct has changed,  however the required documentation is basically the same.

 

2% AGI Deductions Eliminated

 

Tax related fees, investment fees, unreimbursed employee expenses (including automobile expenses) and other 2% of AGI deductions have been eliminated for the 2018 through 2025 tax years.

 

Social Security Income Threshold Increases

 

In tax year 2018 the maximum social security wage base is $128,500—however for the 2019 tax year that wage base will increase to $132,900 which means if you earned over $128,500 in 2018 you may see a tax increase in the amount of social security tax that you will pay (6.2% of the amount that is between $128,500 and $132,900 will now be taxed) when you file your 2019 taxes.

 

The Medicare portion limit did not change as a result of the tax cut and jobs act of 2017.

 

Conclusion

 

It is important that you realize that many changes have occurred over the past few years as it relates to your taxes and the filing of your tax return. 

 

The form 1040 has a new look and now includes “Schedules” that allow you to include in income or deduct many of the items that were on page 1 of the 1040. 

 

You will now sign on page one as opposed to page two.  1040EZ and 1040A no longer exist and you must use form 1040 to file your 2018 through 2026 tax returns. 

 

In most instances you won’t claim exemptions, however the child tax credit has gone up to $2,000 per child with up to $1,400 of the credit refundable.  Student loan interest deduction and other educational credits remain.

 

Whether it is the “Affordable Health Care Act” (penalty will be eliminated after the 2018 tax filing year) the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017” or any other incidental changes in the tax code—it is important that you put yourself and your family in position to take advantage of the changes and not let the changes take advantage of you.

 

Be sure to choose highly competent professionals and be sure to gain the knowledge that you need so that you can succeed. 

 

Be sure to engage with professionals who have a track record of success, someone who encourages you to ask questions and are willing to spend the time that is necessary so that you can fully understand the questions you ask–and someone who adds value to your financial and overall life from this day forward!

 

You want to put yourself in an informed position where you know what is going on “tax wise” so that you can position yourself in a way where you can’t easily be taken advantage of.

 

By landing on this page alone—you are showing a real commitment toward success in you future and you are on a path to maximizing your tax knowledge in a way that will put you and your family in position to achieve more throughout your lifetime.

 

By landing on this page and navigating this site you will put yourself in position to not be taken advantage of like many were during the financial crisis from 2007 to 2009.

 

You will put yourself in position to know how the recent tax changes over the past few years will affect you and your family—thus giving you the opportunity to plan proactively and improve the likelihood that you will achieve your goals.

 

You no longer have to let your ignorance of the tax laws, immaturity in approaching your finances, insecurity in approaching your finances or the inability to approach your finances due to fear–lead to idleness and not moving forward in the financial realm of your life!

 

Today is the day that the Five “I’s” die—and you more than just try!

 

Today is the day that you pursue a new road to success that has fewer turns and less stress—and allows you to give it your best!

 

Today is the day that you become aware, mature, believe in yourself, operate daily with character and move to action in a manner where the success that you see has already been achieved.

 

All the best to your new tax knowledge and new road to success…

 

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New Beginnings & Wealth Building

Learn how you can approach your future from a new vantage point and achieve more…

 

As 2018 ends and 2019 begins—many are approaching various areas of their life with a new purpose or focus.

 

Whether you have a new vision of how you want to pursue your finances, health, fitness or any other goal–you must have a system that will bring into reality that vision.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will look at and discuss a number of ways that you can achieve more and build wealth more efficiently in 2019 and beyond.

 

In order to pursue something new you in many cases must build from something old!

 

Your past failures and successes can be used to guide or direct your future!  By using your past as a guide you know what to avoid and what to continue doing.

 

As you build on your past financial successes it is important that you have a mental system that you can carry within your mind that allows you to see your credit and finances in clear terms—and act as a “more focused guide” that allows you to attain or achieve your goals more effectively and more efficiently.

 

You can use the following 3 approaches to get on a serious path to a “new beginning” in your life that allows you the freedom of thought to see your future in a manner where worry, anxiety, fear, frustration, lack of effort and excuses can be reduced or eliminated in your life.

 

1)   Utilize Personal Financial Statements Appropriately

It is important that you realize that many people who journey through life have more of a money management issue as opposed to not having enough income that allows them to reach their goals.

 

If only they had a money management system that made sense to them and that they created and believed in—they could achieve far more.

 

The use of personal finance statements in the right manner could allow those who fail to manage (or inappropriately manage) their finances just what is missing in their life to turn the tide in their favor and make the goals that they desire or need to attain a real possibility.

 

Be sure to use a personal cash flow statement (budget) at a minimum to help determine where you now are so that you can start on a new beginning and achieve more.

 

A monthly cash flow statement could be what is needed to get you to manage your finances more effectively and achieve more in the current economy.

 

For those of you who would like to achieve even more, be sure to consider creating (or have your financial planner do so on your behalf) a personal income statement to see how your finances look over a period of time—say one year or on an annual basis.

 

In addition be sure to create a personal balance sheet so that you can have a clear picture of what you own and what you owe—thus providing you a clear picture of your net worth.

 

By doing some or all of the above you will be on a serious journey or new beginning as it relates to your finances.

 

2)   Have a Thorough Understanding of Credit & How You Utilize It

Now that you have a clear picture of your monthly income, your monthly liabilities and you now know your net worth—you must put together a debt payoff or debt pay down plan–if you need to address those areas.

 

Whether you do or don’t have credit liabilities—you must have a practical understanding of credit that allows you to navigate through life in a manner where you are in control—and not creditors.

 

If you currently have credit card debt or other liabilities that are making your finances difficult to manage—be sure to get a thorough understanding of credit so that you can achieve more throughout your life.

 

3)   Know All Areas of the Financial Affairs in Your Life that You Must Address

Now that you know your current financial condition and you know how to effectively manage credit—you must now complete the picture by knowing all areas of your finances that you must address.

 

Insurance

Investments

Taxes

Emergency Fund

Education Planning

Estate Planning/Wills

Retirement

 

You must have a system that allows you to know and address the above critical areas of your finances throughout your life.

 

However,  just knowing is not appropriate–you must devise a plan to review and make improvements in all areas on a consistent basis!

 

Conclusion

By addressing the above areas on a consistent basis you will develop the habit of consistency and achieve more throughout your lifetime.

 

However, wanting to achieve more must be balanced with your willingness and determination to put in the required effort at this time if you are to achieve more by utilizing the steps in this discussion.

 

There is no hard and fast rule as to the timeline that you should do the above.  However it is important that you develop an action mindset so that you won’t procrastinate from this day forward.

 

You must realize that there are many paths to financial success.  Most people fail or fall short of reaching their financial goals because they lack a plan—or lack a plan that they can readily comprehend that gives them practical steps that they can take that will get them to their destination.

 

It is the desire of TheWealthIncreaser.com that this brief discussion has provided you the opportunity to see your “new beginning” in clearer terms and act as a springboard for you to achieve success by providing you a “clearer blueprint” that you can use throughout your lifetime so that you can enjoy life on your terms.

 

All the best toward your “new beginning”  and long-term success…

 

Learn what money management personality  you most closely resemble…

 

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Education Funding Vehicles & Wealth Building

Learn how you can fund your and your loved ones education so that you can build wealth efficiently and achieve more during your lifetime…   As the year ends and families gather around the table, the topic of education funding for a planned child, a newborn, a child whether toddler or teen will be on … Continue reading

Tax Moves that You Can Make to Improve Your Bottom Line

Learn what you can do to lessen your tax bite and achieve more in your future…

 

As December rolls in and 2018 comes to an end it is important that you review your tax situation at this time and determine if there are some year end and year beginning moves that you can make to put yourself in a better position for short and long term success.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will look at a number of moves that you can make to improve your tax position so that you can reach your short, intermediate and long-term goals so that you can enjoy life more and lessen your tax bite.

 

It is important that you are aware of new tax law changes that occurred in 2017 under the jobs and tax cut act and more particularly the ones that might affect you and your family.

 

You want to know your 2018 tax projections for your taxes that you will do in 2019 for the 2018 tax year.

 

However if you have not done so by now—you can at least prepare properly and put yourself in position to make other tax moves and possibly adjust your w-4 withholding in 2019 and not have any tax surprises on your 2019 and future year taxes.

 

Amend Your 2017 Return if You are Eligible Based on Tax Law Extensions Passed Earlier this Year

 

It is important that you are aware of tax law changes that occurred in February of 2018 that extended more than 30 tax breaks, including those for businesses and even a few for individuals and families.

 

The MIP (mortgage insurance premiums), deduction for tuition and fees of up to $4,000 and energy efficient home improvements went back on the books for 2017 returns and 2018 returns are still up in the air–as far as extensions are concerned.

 

To claim the deductions for 2017 if you are eligible you would have to file an amended return (form 1040X).

 

If after amending your return your AGI is reduced—that reduction could affect your state return and you could possibly amend that return as well and get additional income.

 

Project Your 2018 or Future Year(s) Tax Bill

 

You may be due a larger refund or you may owe more in taxes.  However, you won’t know if you don’t get out in front and project your 2018 tax bill as best you (or your accountant) can.

 

You can then determine if you need to adjust your w-4 in 2018 and better direct your refund or balance due—depending on your goals.

 

With new withholding tables now on the books you can now go to irs.gov and utilize the w–4 calculator to better plan your taxes after you have projected your income.

 

You can then go to your employer and adjust your withholding if you see a benefit.

 

Determine Now the Likelihood that You will Itemize or Take the Standard Deduction

 

With the standard deduction being nearly doubled for some taxpayers, it is expected that the number of those who itemize will decline.

 

Will you be in that number that utilize the standard deduction or will you itemize–or do you even care?

 

If you itemize you have the ability to deduct more items—but will the cash total be higher than the amount of the adjusted standard deduction based on your filing status that were put into effect with the job and tax act of 2017?

 

Be aware of the tax ramifications and don’t forget to consider the implications of your state taxes depending on the choice that you will make (itemize or standard deduction) as a lower itemized total at the federal level could still be of benefit–if it will help you more at the state level (your overall tax refund would be more or your overall tax payment would be less).

 

Find Ways to Earn Additional Income

 

Whether you get a second job, invest in the market both inside and outside of your retirement accounts, form a company of your own (Sole Proprietorship, C-corp., S-corp., Partnership, LLC or any other legal form) that you create based on “your” desire, ambition and passion—it is important that you use your imagination to find new ways of generating income.

 

Be aware of the tax ramifications and again don’t forget to consider the implications of your state taxes depending on the choice that you will make (investment choice(s) and ownership structure) and also look at non-tax issues in detail and do a thorough analysis as that analysis may sway your decision in the opposite direction of where you planned to go.

 

Questions You Need to Ask Yourself if You Are Considering Opening a Business of Your Own Include the Following–Among Others…

 

Can I really make money and pay all of my monthly expenses—including my taxes?

 

Can I sell my product or service for more than it costs to bring to market?

 

Can I serve my intended audience and/or customers or will I be overwhelmed and unable to meet the needs of my customers or potential customers in a timely manner?

 

Will I create a business plan and put together a team that can handle my legal, tax, banking, regulatory, technological and accounting concerns?

 

Do I believe in the product or service that I will be promoting and selling?

 

These are some of the questions that you must ask and answer upfront as the tax code generally favors those who take risks.

 

Even so, you want to take a calculated risk where you know the probability of success is in your favor when endeavoring in a new venture.

 

Create an HSA Account

 

A Health Savings Account provides you the opportunity to save for your future health care costs in a tax efficient manner (you can deduct your annual contributions on your tax return to reduce your taxes and your earnings grow tax free–and withdrawals are tax free if used for medical related purposes).

 

The good news is that there are “no income limits” and you can “invest in a variety of financial products” such as mutual funds, stocks, bonds etcetera to help guard against rising health care costs that you may incur in your future.

 

There are also “deductible qualifiers” if your employer offers health insurance.  However, you can also open and set up an HSA account at many financial institutions yourself if your employer does not offer a plan or you are self employed or you don’t otherwise qualify for medical coverage.

 

It is also important that you know what to consider if you decide to set up an HSA account and a recent bankrate.com article spells out what you need to consider in clear terms.

 

If your employer offers an HSA and you elect to participate you would not be taxed on the contributed amount or pay FICA on the contributed amount.  Even though you received the tax benefit through your employer you would still have to file form 8889 on your  personal tax return.

 

If you qualify for a HSA, you can deduct the contributions on your tax return even if you don’t itemize by using form 8889.  Keep in mind you will face serious penalties (20% in the 2018 tax year) if you withdraw funds for non-medical related expenses.

 

Once you reach age 70 ½ there are no mandatory withdrawals–therefore you could potentially continue to let your account grow in a tax-free manner if you had no need for the funds! 

 

Be sure to seriously consider the option now–and not look back in regret years down the road when the costs have skyrocketed and your financial options to cover your health care expenses are limited or non-existent.  If you remain healthy late into your 80’s or 90’s you will have tremendous growth in the account that you can use outside of medical related expenses after you turn age 65 (taxes would be due on withdrawals but there would be no penalty).

 

If used for medical related expenses after age 65 there would be no taxes due at all!

 

HSA’s have annual contribution limits (currently $6,900 for 2018 and $7,000 for 2019 for families–with a $1,000 catch-up provision for those age 55 and over).  Withdrawals are “penalty free” for all purposes after you reach age 65!  However, if you use the funds for other non-medical purposes taxes would be due at your ordinary income tax rate in effect at the time of  your withdrawal.

 

If your employer offers an HSA your contributions can allow you to avoid payment of FICA taxes, thus providing you an additional 7.65% additional savings on top of the amount that you contribute annually–all while helping you reduce your taxable income.

 

If you earn $100,000 a year and contribute $7,000 you would pay taxes (federal, state and FICA) on $93,000–the $7,000 contribution would be excluded from federal, state and FICA (social security) taxes!  In addition, your income minus your contribution (up to the limit for your filing status) can be used for calculating whether you are eligible for a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act.

 

Open an IRA Account

 

Did you know that an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) provides you another tax-efficient way to manage your retirement income?

 

It is important that you realize that there are basically two types of IRA’s:

 

1)    Traditional

 

2)    ROTH

 

A Traditional IRA allows you the ability to contribute up to an annual maximum and then you can deduct those contributions on your future year tax return—even contributions up to the filing deadline if the amount does not exceed the annual maximum (currently $5,500 or $6,500 if age 50 or older).

 

The result of deducting your contribution would normally be owing less tax or getting a larger refund.  Once you retired you would pay taxes at your current tax rate on the withdrawals.

 

Mandatory withdrawals are also required once you reach age 70 1/2!

 

A ROTH IRA allows you to make non-deductible contributions that have already been taxed—therefore your withdrawals would be tax free at retirement.

 

Roth IRAs do not require withdrawals until after the death of the owner.

 

With the Traditional IRA and the ROTH IRA there are income limits and other qualifier’s, however both are worth real consideration if you currently have the discretionary income at this time—or you want to learn more so that you can plan your future in a more tax efficient way.

 

Conclusion

Your tax moves at this time or at other times during the year can prove to be beneficial for you and your family.

 

All tax situations are unique, however there are moves that you can make to put yourself and your family in a better position tax-wise.  In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com has only scratched the surface in the coverage of tax moves that you can possibly make.

 

Even so, those that apply to you or that you may be considering can get you moving forward in a real way!

 

By taking several hours out of your busy life and organizing your tax and other financial data–and reviewing and seeing clearly where you now are at you can better position yourself and your family for future success.

 

Now is the time to outwork and outthink what is working against you and now is the time to turn the tide so that you can make your dreams come true.

 

By taking the time to think about your taxes and do something about them in a sincere way–today–you are on a path toward real success–if you give it your best!

 

And always remember the tax code normally favor those who take risks!

 

The tax code may not be as favorable for some due to their current family size, marital status, whether they were negatively affected by the tax law changes (i.e. claimed unreimbursed employee expenses—including mileage on their automobile etc.), their income level, the number, types and amount of deductions and credits available, whether they have a mortgage or rent and other factors.

 

All the best toward your tax moves and future success…

 

 

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Education Planning & Wealth Building

Learn why starting your education funding at the earliest time possible serves your and your family’s best interest…

 

As the holiday season kicked in and the creator of TheWealthIncreaser.com spent time with his children, grandchildren, siblings, mother, in-laws and other loved ones it came into focus after a number of days of reflection the need to address estate planning/wills at this time.

 

However, after dropping my youngest daughter off at the airport to send back to college the urge to write about education planning and how you can better serve your children (or yourself) over the coming years as they prepare for college—and leave their nest superseded the urge to discuss estate planning at this time.

 

It is important that you don’t do like the creator of TheWealthIncreaser.com did (not saving enough for his 3 children on the front end and had to use current income to pay for tuition of his youngest daughter) by not saving enough due to unforeseen events and adversity that occurred.

 

In the current economy it is important that you know the areas of your financial life that needs addressing and you must put a plan in place to address those areas!

 

If you anticipate future educational expenses whether it be for yourself, your children or your grandchildren—you must have a thorough overview and understanding of how you can fund those expenses at the earliest time possible.

 

It is also critical that you know other options that you may have to pay for educational expenses for yourself and/or your loved ones.

 

To better direct your future you want to know your educational outlook and where you are headed in a manner that you can comprehend!

 

You want to understand what you need to do “at this time” and “this discussion” will get you started and up to speed on “funding” educational options for you and/or your children in a manner that can allow you to avoid the worry, stress, anxiety, fear and frustration that seems to curtail so many.

 

When you lack the direction that you need to go and you don’t know the options that you can proactively take to mitigate a financial shortfall when it comes to educational funding for yourself and/or your children—you put yourself and your family at a major financial disadvantage throughout your lifetime!

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will discuss ways that you can fund your or your child’s education in a manner where the advantage will be in your favor.

 

 

Tax Advantage Educational Savings Options

 

Coverdell

Pre-paid Tuition

529 Plans

Many Other Ways

 

Retirement Savings for Education

 

IRA’s

 

401k’s

 

Thrift

 

Many Other Ways

 

Current Income

 

w-2

 

Sideline Income

 

Work-study or child working as a means to fund education

 

Many Other Ways

 

 

Conclusion

 

Scholarships—educational, athletically, musically etcetera, must be pursued and your child must be active in making their continuing education dreams come true by actively pursuing scholarships and having a real interest in how they (and/or you) can save for and fund their education now—so that they (and you) won’t be blind-sided after the fact or when it is too late.

 

Apply early and often as scholarships and grants can go quickly…

 

In most cases planning years in advance and knowing the number that you need to reach to fund your or your child(s) educational requirements will be the most effective approach.

 

If you come up short you may have to use your current income and possibly your retirement income.

 

Ideally you want to avoid those options by having your child obtain a scholarship or using other means of payment–such as saving NOW so that you have a certain level of comfort on the inside of you!

 

However,  your options may be limited if you fail to plan now.  Don’t be like the creator of TheWealthIncreasor.com and come up short on your educational funding goals!

 

Start now–and make your or your children’s goal of continuing education, a reality by doing the necessary planning at this time.

 

All the best to your continued educational success…

 

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