Millions Could Still Take Advantage Of Refinancing

Refinancing to a lower rate is not for everyone. There are many valid reasons why homeowners cannot or should not refi. But with mortgage rates dropping back down to the low 4% range for 30 year fixed rate mortgages, now may be a time for the millions of homeowners holding loans averaging 6% interest rates to take another look. Aaron Task at Yahoo has a good interview and article about this subject. See: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/millions-of-americas-are–leaving-money-on-the-table—the-case-for-refinancing-160624787.html

For those homeowners who didn’t refinance over the past few years because of the difficulty of qualifying or their home value was too low, it’s especially a good idea to take another look. The landscape has changed with respect to both.

For Today’s Mortgage Rates see: http://www.moneycafe.com/personal-finance/mortgage-rates/

Will myRA Be Right For You?

The President proposed a new entry-level, basic retirement account this week to help people start retirement savings accounts. It’s basically a RothIRA style account capped at $15,000 with the unique option to invest in a government-subsidized savings bond. Will myRA be right for you? Check out more of the details on CNBC and Marketwatch.

See:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101375033

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2014/01/29/meet-myra-obama-offers-ira-plan-details/

Prime Rate Should Hold Steady For A While

The Federal Reserve indicated yesterday that it will hold the Fed Funds Rate at its current target of zero to 1/4 percent long after the unemployment rate comes down. This signals that the low Fed Funds Rate will be one of the last easing levers the Fed will maintain. Because of this, and the fact that banks price the Prime Rate on the Fed Funds Rate, the Prime Rate will likely stay low for the foreseeable future.

The big caveat to the Fed’s intention is inflation. If inflation takes hold and is unable to be contained, the Fed Funds Rate may become the primary lever to fight inflation. In that case, all bets are off and they may be forced to raise rates.

Which Taxes Are Going Up In 2014?

CNBC has a good story (see below) about how taxes are going up next year because of expiring credits and deductions. Much was made in the media about the new taxes and rate increases for investors and high-income earners for 2013, but not much about the taxes hitting the middle class. Many in the middle class have seen taxes increase in 2013 from limits on flex spending accounts. Just this one change will increase 2013 tax bills for many taxpayers (mostly families) in the range of $500 to $1000, depending upon levels of income and health care spending. So for 2014, don’t be caught off guard when losing deductions for tuition (again hitting families) or teacher-purchased school supplies. Worth a look.

See Article: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101253148