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Stimulus Package January 28, 2008

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings.
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Stimulus Package: Update

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Although it has still not officially passed the Senate (no small thing), below are some of the details of the proposed stimulus package:

The following are based upon 2007 Adjusted Gross Income (important).

1. Individuals earning up to $75,000 will get $600
2. Couples earning up to $150,000 will get $1,200
3. Families with children will get an additional $300 per child
4. Workers who make at least $3,000, but do not otherwise file a tax return, would receive $300

The package will have an income phase-out:

1. Individuals earning between $75,000 and $87,000 will receive a partial amount
2. Couples earning between $150,000 and $174,000 will receive a partial amount
3. The phase out will be slightly high for those with children

Here is a simple calculator from PBS Newshour to help determine what you can expect.

Fed Emergency Rate Cut…I Made a Move January 23, 2008

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings.
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This morning, the Fed cut rates by three-quarters of a percentage point to 3.5 percent, due to the weakening economic conditions and worries about a recession. A week ago, I had submitted a post entitled “Maximize Returns on Cash Now!” based upon the expectation that the Fed would be cutting rates during their regularly scheduled meeting at the end of this month. You may also recall my similar warning in early November, “Fed Rate Cuts – Time to Act” where I had made my first CD with just over half of our available cash.

Surprise!! Although I had been spending some time researching both foreign and conventional CDs since then, I don’t think anyone anticipated today’s Fed action. Not to be outdone, I spied a 12 month CD yielding 5.2% APY and called the bank to verify I could still get the rate. I was told that the rate could change any time, but they would give it to me if I came in today (could not open it online).

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Maximize Returns on Cash Now! January 15, 2008

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings.
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Recenly, the our Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke had communicated very clearly that the Fed would cut interest rates further if the weak economy needs help:

“We stand ready to take substantive additional action as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks, ” he said.

Many pundits are now suggesting that the market is gearing for as much as a half-point rate cut from the Fed at the end of January.  I strongly encourage everyone to take action now to maximize their returns on their excess cash NOW.  It’s very clear that interest rates are headed one way, and that’s down. 

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