21 Mar

Getting Your Finances Ready for 2015 Part III: When Things Go Awry

doctors-xray-financial-challengesYou never know when disaster will strike. My mother was driving when she had a heart attack. Curveballs, or for the positive set, “challenges” do not announce their arrival with a polite knock.

A wise person once said, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

The worst may include:

  • Car accident
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Serious Injury
  • Job Loss
  • Fires and or Floods
  • Bankruptcy

Here are seven ways to GET PREPARED FINANCIALLY: Read More

20 Mar

6 Signs You Are Overextended Financially

worried-debt-financialAre you starting to avoid picking up the mail because it’s filled with bills? Does it seem like you are entering onto a financial treadmill where your savings and retirement accounts aren’t growing? Or worse, are they falling? We have assembled 6 signs that you are becoming overextended. If you recognize yourself in any of these, it’s time to have a financial sit down with an expert at RMLEFCU before its too late.

1) You know your CVV number by heart. And you’d better because it has been worn off due to using your credit or debit card so much.

2) You are charging more on your credit card than you are paying off each month. It’s just like a diet, in order to shake that debt, you have to remember less in, more out!

3) You are adept at hitting silence on your cell phone when certain numbers call. You are unable to pay your bills and if you do manage to pay them, you’re late and incurring extra fines, or just paying what you can. Read More

06 Mar

Tax Tips for Police Officers!

tax tips for police officersYes, it’s everybody’s favorite time of year. The weather is starting to warm up with an occasional wisp of a warm breeze from the south. The sunshine seems to do more than making the cold more obvious… Spring is on its way! You know what else is on its way? The tax-filing deadline (woomp woooomp). If you’re somebody who dreads doing taxes, well, you probably already know you’re not alone. But we’re here to help you through this dreary time, and maybe you’ll even make money! Considering the $1.5 trillion Tax Cut and Jobs Act signed in December of 2017, it may affect you as a first responder and a private citizen.

Here are some helpful guidelines on what’s changed:

Property Tax Deduction Capped

Congress has capped the state and local tax (SALT) deduction at $10,000 from what has been unlimited.

Public safety budgets across the US are largely drawn from state and local property sales and income taxes. The SALT deduction helps support these vital investments at the state and local level.

This would disproportionately affect states with high taxes and living costs, like California and New York where the average SALT deduction was $18,400.

Standard Deductions Increased; Some Itemized Deductions Eliminated 

Your standard deduction nearly doubles to $12,000 for a single filer, $18,000 for head of household, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, if you don’t file an itemized federal tax return.

Unreimbursed job expenses such as uniforms, travel, union dues, required weapons, and itemized deductions are no longer available.

Law enforcement officers who previously took advantage of these or other itemized deductions may want to reassess whether itemizing is still beneficial when compared to the new, higher standard deduction.

Income Tax Levels Rates and Changes

The number of income tax brackets remains the same (7); however, income levels and rates will change in each one and these changes will expire December 31, 2025.

The top tax bracket drops from 39.6% to 37% for all filers. Single taxpayers in what was the 25% bracket (those earning $38,700 to $93,700) will now be in the new 22% bracket ($38,700 to $82,500 in income). The same applies to married couples filing jointly. Both the previous and new law start at an annual income of $77,400, but the higher end of the bracket is now $165,000, up from $156,150.

Mortgage Interest Deductions Limited

Mortgage interest can be deducted only if the loan doesn’t exceed $750,000, which was lowered from $1 million. New mortgage loans are only affected and you are not affected if you are a homeowner with an existing mortgage.

Home Equity Loan Deductions Eliminated

If you have a home equity loan, you can no longer deduct the interest from the loan. Previously, up to $100,000 was deductible.

Child Tax Credit Grows

Families with children could be paying more in taxes as personal exemptions of $4,050 are no longer available. However, the child tax credit is not $2,000 from $1,000.

Medical Expense Deduction Expanded

The threshold for qualified medical expenses in 2019 is 10% of your adjusted gross income. Previously, you could only deduct these expenses if they exceeded 7.5% in 2017 and 2018.

Filing on your own this year? We love your go-getter attitude! Just keep in mind that you have plenty of sites available to help make the process easier. We’ve gathered some tax preparation websites for you and developed brief descriptions as to how they’ll help in certain situations. Please note that RMLEFCU does not endorse the content on any of these websites. Please consult a tax professional for advice. Now go do those taxes!

Best Law Enforcement Specific Tax Preparation Sites: Read More

02 Mar

Put Your Home’s Equity to Work with a RMLEFCU HELOC

How to use a Home Equity Line of Credit HELOCRMLEFCU would like you to put your home equity line of credit (HELOC) to work! HELOC’s are a great way to consolidate debt, pay for college, or make home improvements. RMLEFCU even has the convenience of making your home equity line of credit available with a visa card, perfect for emergencies or long-term projects. Not sure about all the details concerning home equity? Read on to learn more!

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