RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

The Financial Challenges Faced by Veterans

November 11, 2015 12:54 am

Active members of the military, veterans, and their families are routinely facing complex challenges in their daily lives. Among the matters that weigh heavy on servicemembers and their families are debt management and savings, which are common challenges for civilians, as well. Among the aspects of military life that pose challenges to personal financial management:

Frequent Relocation – With each move, military families are presented with new housing choices and a different local economy to consider. Length of time at a duty station, employment options for spouses, and cost of living are all factors that can have a significant impact on household budgets and savings plans.

Employment for Military Spouses – A single income is often not enough to make ends meet; however, the changing local economy and the cycle of relocation make it nearly impossible for spouses to maintain steady employment. Carefully planning a budget to operate on a single income when necessary is the key to balance income and expenses while avoiding unnecessary reliance on debt.

Deployment – Deployed members of the military are protected from a pileup of interest and fees on existing debts through the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA, also known as the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act or SCRA). Although this protection can cap annual interest rates at 6 percent during deployment, it only applies to debt incurred before beginning active duty and requires a written request for relief to the lender. Responsible debt management that prevents further balance increases is an important consideration for deployed servicemembers and their families on the home front.

Transition to Civilian Life – Employers are encouraged to hire military veterans for a number of good reasons. Former servicemembers are among the best trained and most highly skilled employees available in today’s workforce. With all of the advantages of a distinguished military record, there can still be a few bumps along the way during the move from active duty to civilian life. Changes in salary and housing expenses can pose their own challenges that may require some reliable advice from objective sources.

“The men and women who serve our country as members of the military are faced with unique circumstances that can impact the financial choices they make,” says National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) President and CEO Susan C. Keating. “Our network of member agencies is proud to provide professional resources to guide military members and their families through financial matters throughout all stages of military life.”

Source: NFCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


How Much Is Too Much? Get the Facts on Tax Withholding

November 10, 2015 12:51 am

Is your withholding on par with your tax liability? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends taxpayers assess their withholding sooner rather than later to ensure the correct amount of tax is withheld. If not enough tax is withheld, taxpayers will owe tax at the end of the year and may have to pay interest and a penalty. If too much tax is withheld, they will lose the use of that money until they get their refund.

When should you check your withholding?

• If you receive a large refund or find you have an unexpected balance due
• If you experience a financial or personal change that may affect your tax liability, such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child, or if you’ve purchased a home
• If there are changes in federal tax law that may affect your tax liability

To determine the status of your withholding, use the IRS Withholding Calculator on  This easy-to-use tool can help figure your federal income tax withholding so your employer can withhold the correct amount from your pay. This is particularly helpful if you’ve had too much or too little withheld in the past, if your situation has changed, or if you’ve started a new job.

You may also use the worksheets and tables in Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, to see if you are having the right amount of tax withheld.

Events during the year may change a taxpayer’s marital status or the exemptions, adjustments, deductions, or credits they expect to claim on their return. When this happens, you may need to give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, to change your withholding status or number of allowances.

Generally, taxpayers should give their employer a new Form W–4 within 10 days after either a divorce, if they have been claiming married status, or any event that decreases the number of withholding allowances they can claim.


Published with permission from RISMedia.