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

Resolve to Save on Homeowners Insurance This Year

January 6, 2015 1:12 am

Trimming frivolous expenses is a popular New Year’s resolution for many, but if you’re a homeowner, there are greater opportunities to cut costs. Save smart this year with these tips from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

1. Raise your deductible.
An increase from $500 to $1,000 could save up to 25 percent on your annual premium. Ask your insurer about all available discounts.

2. Insure for rebuilding cost, not real estate value. The amount for which you can buy or sell a home fluctuates, but insurance is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding your home – not the sale price. Make sure you have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home and replace all of your belongings in the event of a disaster.

3. Avoid dropping your flood insurance. It seems counterproductive to saving money, but damage from flooding is not covered under standard homeowners insurance policies. With 90 percent of all natural disasters involving some form of flooding, it’s worth researching flood zones and insurance costs and possibly elevating the structure.

4. Seek out satisfactory experiences.
When selecting an insurance provider, enlist family and friends for recommendations. Their suggestions may point to a company with more costly policies, but sound finances and superior customer service will ultimately save you money.

Source: I.I.I.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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3 Tips for First-Time Tax Filers

January 5, 2015 1:09 am

(BPT) - Unless you majored in accounting, the thought of filing your own income tax return may evoke feelings similar to your first job interview. Though understandable, this is an unfounded fear, given the simple taxes most individuals have in their early to mid-20s and the easy digital tax programs available.

“All you need to file your own tax return is a little self-confidence, the desire to get your maximum refund, and a computer or mobile device," says TaxACT spokesperson Jessi Dolmage. “You're well qualified to do your taxes because you're the expert of your finances."

Follow these tips to successfully file your taxes for the first time and every year after that.

Don’t procrastinate.
Waiting until the last minute causes undue stress, and rushing increases the potential for typos and overlooked information. While you can do your taxes in one fell swoop, it's unnecessary. Online tax programs save as you go, so you can stop and finish at your leisure. You may reap benefits from starting early because many tax programs point out potential savings requiring action before December 31 or April 15.

Compare tax products before using them.
Read expert and user reviews. Look at the situations and tax forms each includes, as some require you to upgrade for certain forms. If you have to file a state return, compare prices. Using a mobile filing app? Choose one that also provides access to your data on a browser for convenience and peace of mind in case you lose your smartphone or tablet.

Gather all forms and documents.
Before starting your return, compile all tax forms and documents, including:
  • Form W-2 from your employer (Received by January 31)
  • Form 1099 if you're self-employed or a contractor
  • Form 1098-E from your lender if you've paid student loan interest (Even if you don't receive this form, you can still deduct interest paid.)
  • Form 1098-T for tuition paid and scholarships or grants received
  • Statements for retirement savings accounts
  • Receipts for charitable donations
After filing, keep these papers or make electronic copies to save with a copy of your return.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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