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This is the Place to Find that One of a Kind Gift

Just a quick promotion of the If Only company and their gifts.  This place can arrange gifts for that person that “just has everything”!! When I went to their website, I was floored by the things that money can buy. I mean, I don’t have that kind of money, but many of you probably do. You can line up some celebrities to have dinner with, or get a personalized video greeting done by a sports personality. The list is long and very unique. Even spend some time with Sugar Ray Leonard! Another one that caught my eye was a barbecue at Joe Montanas’s house. Now that would be a gift that would be remembered for a lifetime.
There are some more moderately priced gifts as well. Some very exclusive caramels, that would sweeten your sweeetie.
Anyway, if a great company from what I can tell. If you are looking for that really really special gift, this might be where you need to look.
Check them out!

Check out 10 of the most unique gifts for the Holidays!

 
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Where to Find Cheap Gas

From time to time, I want to stray from some of the weightier advice and guides to let you in on what I think is a good website that can save you some money.  I know some people will drive from gas station to gas station trying to find the cheapest gas, and admittedly, I have done it too.  There is a way to make this shopping easier. This website , called Gas Prices, does the trick and it is usually updated frequently.  All you have to do is enter your zip code and it will show you a map and flag the various prices for gas at each location.  This can save you time (and gas) if you are trying to find the cheapest gas in your area.  It’s also fun to just look at all the different prices in your area.  I think it’s amazing that there can be as much as $.15 difference within a couple of miles.  The website is an MSN site and has other interesting and relevant info as well, such as traffic reports, etc.  And no this is not a ‘paid’ endorsement, just passing along what I think is something worthwhile. Have fun saving money on Gas!

Edit: Wrote this in 2008, still works good!  Check it out for you neighborhood.

Do you know of a good site that does the same thing?  Add it here by leaving it in a comment.  That way we all benefit!

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Roth IRA Facts for 2010

I have written many posts about Roth IRAs and all the advantages of having a Roth. I have not updated these posts as the Roth IRA facts haven’t changed that much in the last 2 years. I felt it was time to talk about some of the changes for 2010 in the US tax code, and how some of these changes relate to the Roth IRA.
Our government spent a ton of money in 2009 and you know they are thinking about raising taxes as the liberals always think that they can take more of our money when they need it. With this in mind, I think it is likely that taxes are going to go up in the next few years, whether that is what they are saying or not.

1. The major change for 2010 is the lifting of the income restrictions allowing more people to convert other retirement accounts to a Roth IRA. This is great news for many people who made too much money to have a Roth IRA. You have to consider whether you can “afford” to do this, as you have to pay taxes on the conversions. Many people who want to do this are thinking that taxes will go up in the future, so it’s better to pay them now. That is a choice that is up to you. This becomes effective January 1, 2010.
Of course, how soon you need the funds is a big consideration also. Funds that you roll over to a Roth IRA must remain in the account for five years.

2. Anyone with earned income can contribute to a Roth IRA. Eligibility begins to get phased out for single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $105,000 and married taxpayers above $166,000. This is something to keep in mind. You can put in $5,000 in 2009. (plus an extra $1,000 if you’re age 50 or older).

3. Contributions are not tax-deductible. Withdrawals are tax free! That is the key for Roth IRAs. As long as you are 59.5 years old and have had the money in there for 5 years. You don’t have to take the money out by 70.5 either. You can will the Roth to your kids.

4. Finally , why is it called a Roth? It is named after Senator William Roth who was instrumental in getting the legislation approved.

Protect Your Child with Safe Internet Filtering

It is time I did another review of a great product that I found and use.  I have 2 boys, (who have now grown to young men) and I have always been concerned about the porn and all the other bad stuff they could get into with an unfiltered connection to the internet.

I tried many stand alone products that I had to load onto their computers and nothing was very satisfactory. Finally, I have found something that works, and while it’s a little late for me, maybe you can get a lot of benefit from it.  I don’t know how long it will be FREE, but for now it is.

So take advantage of Opendns.com.  They are free, and I don’t get paid to tell you about them,( just a disclaimer for the suspicious).  There is one key thing you need to know about this service and this is what makes them so good for me. This is a router based service. If you don’t know what a router is, you have some homework to do.  Most families these days will have a router, heck most everyone with an internet connection in the US probably has a router.  If you have more than one computer in your house, and especially if you have ‘wireless’ internet, you have a router.  The router takes all of the internet traffic and funnels the requests for webpages to your internet provider.  This is where Opendns does the magic.  They give you some numbers to insert into your router that cause all the internet traffic to go their site, where they filter it, then send it on. (I am intentionally trying to keep this simple, the numbers are Domain nameservers but you don’t need to worry about that.)

It happens very quick and seamlessly for you.  I was so impressed with the speed.  You won’t see any difference in your web surfing, it can actually be faster with their service.  You have to create a free account on their site, then you can decide the ‘amount’ of filtering you want.  You can choose to filter only a couple of types of sites, or you can really lock it down and aggressively filter.  It is up to you.

You must try this service if you are looking for a way to protect your children from the incredibly bad side of the internet.

It works so well, that is the word gets out on this, I suppose many of the current suppliers of software you have to pay for will be out of business. And why pay for something when these people are offering such a great free service?

A New Economic Stimulus 2008

That is what is being talked about by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Who knows? With all the stimulus packages we’ve seen lately and with the bailout on Wall Street, I think the politicians have lost their minds. They think they can fix anything by throwing money at it. It is simply a market correction that will pass. Whether we get a new stimulus or not, the markets will come back.

I hear the amount being proposed now is about 150 Billion Dollars. That would be about the same amount as the stimulus in the spring where many families got 1200 – 1500 dollars. They are saying it would happen after the election. I guess we will see if this happens. I will post anything I hear about it, you can be sure of that.

I really am beginning to think there are no “financial experts” in Washington any more. I am sure if the politicians got out of the way, we could ride this downturn out and come back stronger than ever.

Dave Ramsey was talking the other night about the history of these market downturns and he said that since 1973, every time the market fell by 10% in a short period of time, it recovered within 2 years.   It will recover again.   Just hang in there and don’t do something stupid, like selling out your 401k.  Your Roth IRA is going to be fine, in fact if you have any cash, now is a good time to put some more in a Roth IRA.