Displaying 1 - 10 of 73 Forum Posts1 2 3 4 5 Next
  • Jul 26, 2018 04:10 PM
    Last: 22d
  • Jul 26, 2018 04:10 PM
    Last: 22d

    The US Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Trump administration is looking to make cuts to the public housing program, ultimately making it far more difficult and expensive to be apart of public housing, perhaps better known as 'Section 8 housing'.

    These proposed changes are a long ways a way from being implemented. And its not clear at all if any of these changes will ever fully pass through Congress, but here is what the head of HUD, Ben Carson, is proposing to change:

    • Private owners of project-based subsidized properties and public housing authorities would be given the discretion to set standards, through so-called work requirements, on the minimum number of hours that individuals and families must work in order to qualify for federal assistance.
    • Tripling of the minimum rent from $50/month to $150/month.
    • A change in the way rent is calculated for subsidized housing; instead of paying 30% of your household income after taxes, it would be 35% before taxes, regardless of disability status or age.
    • Elimination of income deductions that helps reduce rent for elderly tenants and people with disabilities, such as child care costs or medical costs.

    Combined together, these changes are clearly aimed at making a government program that's already incredibly hard to take advantage of even harder. Rents go up a few different ways. More discrimination is allowed. And it seems the folks depending on this program the most, those on a fixed budget without means of being gainfully employed (disabled) will be disproportionately affected the most.

    I can't fully decide where I stand on all this. From the way I presented this information, and the cited source I chose, so far I know this reads like I am obviously against these proposals because they make the program worse. And that's true.

    I am not for half-assed governmental welfare programs. Proposed cuts like this just put people that are already in a bad spot in a worse spot. I know the incentive is to spend less on welfare overall and cut wherever possible. But shouldn't it be a net positive for the country when you do this? Where is the net gain? Won't this just add more poverty, harder strapped citizens and more desperation to take advantage of other welfare programs?

    What I am failing to see when it comes to the Trump administration's many proposals to slash funding to welfare programs is a clear plan to offset the damage it will do to those currently depending on these programs. Where is the offsetting plan?

    I agree that as a whole the government needs to simply spend less. In many ways we have created something of an unsustainable monster. But since we are here, and we did this as a country, I don't think the answer is wholesale cuts with no alternative. It's just like wanting to repeal Obamacare without a viable replacement. Sure, make it better. But just to cut the budget without a replacement seems unnecessarily cruel and short sided.

    Very curious of a rebuttal to all this. Or what anyone on Section 8/Public Housing thinks of these proposals.

  • May 18, 2017 04:11 PM
    Last: 6mo

    Correct. Actually, whenever you apply for benefits, the application should take care of this for you. You can use SSA's online calculator here, to see what benefits you would have based on your own earnings, if you like.

    Found an exert from a Fox Business article on Tapping Your Ex for Social Security Benefits… and Making the Most of It. You should find this helpful. (FRA stands for full retirement age)

    Make the Most of It

    If you begin a divorced spouse benefit before your FRA, Social Security will first check to see if you would get a bigger check based upon your own work history. You will receive whichever benefit is higher, and you are locked into this.

    However, waiting until you are full retirement age to begin Social Security could significantly increase your benefit. This is because if you are eligible for two types of Social Security benefits- say, one based upon your own earnings record and one based on your ex-spouse’s- once you reach FRA you can choose which type you want to receive.

    So, I would recommend thinking about what age you actually want to retire, if you have any choice that is. Your monthly payouts will be considerably larger, the longer you wait, up until the age of 65-67, depending on your birth year and month.
    And then when you file, do so as a divorced spouse, and the SSA dept will also check your work history, and pay you the higher amount.

    Information You Need To Apply For Spouse's Or Divorced Spouse's Benefits - Form SSA-2

  • May 02, 2017 04:20 PM
    Last: 1yr
    Sounds like roughly 3-5% cut to funding overall. I wonder where this money is being reallocated? Any ideas?
  • May 09, 2017 04:48 PM
    Last: 1yr

    This should help a lot of families wanting to mitigate college expenses:

    The American Opportunity Tax Credit

    Like most tax credits, I would wager most aren't aware of this. But it can save you a lot of money on your taxes, to offset tuition costs. So it could be worth considering paying for tuition at least in part out of pocket. Here's an exert:

    The most generous tax breaks for college costs are the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit, which offset your tax bill dollar-for-dollar compared to a tax deduction that merely reduces the amount of income subject to tax. You can't claim both credits for the same student in the same year, and income limits restrict who can claim them.

    For 2016, you can claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit of up to $2,500 if your student is in his or her first four years of college and your income doesn't exceed $160,000 if you are married filing a joint return ($80,000 for single taxpayers).

    Above these income levels, the credit is phased out. The credit is based on 100% of the first $2,000 of qualifying college expenses and 25% of the next $2,000, for a maximum possible credit of $2,500.

    The American Opportunity Tax Credit can be claimed for as many eligible students as you have in your family.

    For example, if you have three kids who are all in their first four years of college, you can potentially qualify for up to $7,500 of American Opportunity Tax Credits. Up to 40% of the American Opportunity Tax Credit amount is refundable. That means you can collect at least some of any credit amount that is left over after your federal income tax bill has been reduced to zero.

  • Apr 17, 2017 04:03 PM
    Last: 1yr

    You should definitely contribute, if you can. Also, if you make below certain amounts annually, you can also deduct the 401k contributions from your taxes using what's called the Savers Credit.

    You can get anywhere from $200-$1000 credit toward your tax bill if you end up owing. But not money back. It just reduces your bill. Still, extra incentive for using a 401k.

    Here's more info on if you qualify and how much you can get off your taxes:

    What Is The Savers Credit?

  • Apr 19, 2017 03:39 PM
    Last: 5mo
    It's a bit ironic (is that the right use of the word here? I never know), anyways it's ironic that the govt agency in charge of gathering taxes to fund almost the entirety of the govt itself is hurting for resources and making budget cuts.
  • Mar 04, 2017 02:39 PM
    Last: 1yr

    32 states have adopted the Medicaid expansion program, under the ACA. That includes DC, leaving 19 states that have opted out. Currently this expansion program is being discussed, at least as to how it will continue to be funded in the wake of the Trump admin wanting to repeal and replace the ACA (Obamacare).

    Luckily for the millions taking advantage of the expansion program, it seems as though the current idea is to continue to federally fund the expansion programs for the 32 states in full, until 2020. After that, hard to say. I have seen citings that the funding will drop to 90% after 2020. But could be much more severe. Also, this 2020 date is not concrete or official just yet; it's just the current House Committee proposal. But seeing as this is at least the current bargaining date, my feeling is it will end up being quite close to this.

    What do you make of this? Should Medicaid Expansion be re-worked if and when the ACA gets changed/repealed/replaced/or even left untouched? If so, how?

  • Apr 04, 2016 04:04 PM
    Last: 1yr

    Good thread. Wanted to bump to include this:

    4 Tax Breaks Millennials Can’t Afford to Miss

    Includes some that we haven't yet covered here, mainly:

    Retirement Saver's Credit. If you make less than $30,500 and are already putting money back for retirement, then you qualify for a $1000 tax credit.

    Lifetime Learning Credit. If you are paying for your schooling mostly out of pocket and make less than $64k, you can possibly qualify for as much as a $2,000 credit as well.

    Moving Expense Deduction. If you relocated because of a job switch more than 50 miles away, you can deduct - driving expenses, shipping and storage fees, plus the costs of hiring a moving van.

    Share more if you can find any.

  • Feb 24, 2017 12:29 AM
    Last: 1yr

    Just went through this process, so figured I'd share a good resource for getting prior year tax return transcripts. Depending on what you need, it's a fairly easy process. But some requests take considerably longer than others, so keep that in mind especially since April 15th is approaching.

    How to Get a Transcript or Copy of a Prior Year Tax Return

    This is the best resource I could find. It's the official IRS site's guide. Gives you the ability to make requests for either tax return requests OR tax account requests (if changes were made after you originally filed). Plus it's completely free. By making the request online or by phone, it takes 5-10 business days to get the transcript. 30 days via standard mail.

    That's good for the last 3 years of filing anyways. If you find yourself needing more than that, or the actual complete copy of your filed and processed tax return (like I did) it's a little more involved. And not free. Costs $57 for each year. Takes 60 days to deliver, and you have to first mail the IRS a 4506 form (details in the link).

    Anyways, took me a bit to figure all this out. So hope this helps someone needing transcripts. For most people, simply requesting your prior year transcript from IRS.gov is the easiest and fastest way to get the info you need.