Welcome to The Incredible Penny, a blog about personal finance.

It's not what you earn, it's what you save.  Discover how you can change your financial life one penny at a time.

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Small Business Owners: 3 Steps for Saving on Taxes

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jan 6, 2014

Small business owners know tax season is chaos.  And maintaining an efficient organization can become complicated and tedious. With the changing tax laws and the constant mission of tax savings, you can feel bogged down and lost. Here are a few strategies that you can use to help ease the process of dealing with tax…

Harvesting your Tax Losses

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Dec 18, 2013

It’s close to the years end and the right time to review your overall portfolio. It’s also a good idea to start thinking about the tax implications that your portfolio will have as we get closer to the tax deadlines. The market had been hitting all-time highs, which means that you may have some gains…

72(t) Rules – Substantially Equal Period Payments

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Dec 15, 2013

If you’re looking to retire early, have sufficient wealth and have a significant portion of your retirement money actually in your retirement accounts listen up. The 72(t) rule that requires a Substantially Equal Period Payment may provide you the ability to tap your retirement early and avoid tax penalties. That’s right! You can retire early…

How to Reduce your Debt the Fastest

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Dec 11, 2013

Debt is a thousand pound weight attached to your ankle. Try going anywhere and you’ll soon wish you had a strategy to reduce your debt. Interest rates are still relatively low, but is that a good enough excuse to rack up the debt? Someone told me recently that money is “cheap,” and why not rack…

Financial Planning for Retirement

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Oct 19, 2012

Is retirement a right or luxury? The goal for many working Americans is to retire, but some would like to retire earlier. What’s a reasonable retirement age?  45, 50, 55, 60, 70 never? Of course, that’s up to you — if you’re willing to work hard. Retiring early or achieving your financial independence can be…

How can you reduce your debt?

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Aug 6, 2012

Reducing debt can be hard work. Especially in today’s economy with job losses, gas prices all over the place, government actions that leave us guessing. It’s no wonder that many American’s are up to their eyeballs in debt. Debt is a lot like sleepwalking; you just wake up and have no idea how you got…

Should I rebalance my 401(k)?

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jul 25, 2012

If you’re just starting out with your savings, then you should begin with setting up your retirement plan first.  Rebalance is the next step after you set up your retirement plan. If you have a current 401(k) plan through your employer, then you probably are dealing with the question, “to rebalance or not to rebalance?”…

Are you getting smart investment advice?

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jul 21, 2012

Is smart investment advice priceless?  How can you put a price on smart investment advice?  How can you afford not to pay for smart investment advice?  Isn’t attempting to make money the reason people enter the investment world?   If it’s too good to be true, is it? Investment money isn’t easy.  If it were, more…

Understanding Per Stirpes vs. Per Capita: A Simple Breakdown for Your Estate Planning

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jul 20, 2012

Today, we’re going to dive into two terms you might come across when planning your estate: per stirpes and per capita. They might sound a bit intimidating at first, but trust me, they’re essential to understand so you can make the best decisions for your loved ones. So, let’s say you’ve got a pretty straightforward…

Are You Really Diversified?

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jul 12, 2012

How many different flavors of ice cream can you name? Now, how many different brands of ice cream can you name? What does ice cream have to do what investing? First a definition of diversification.  According to the website Investopedia.com, since we all search for our answers online.  Says, “Diversification is a risk management technique that mixes…

Top Reasons People go Bankrupt and How to Avoid Them

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jun 21, 2012

Bankruptcy is a sunk ship. Avoid getting on the Titanic in the first place.  Know what to look out for and plan accordingly. Medical Costs The number one reason people file for bankruptcy is medical costs. Harvard University’s research indicates that roughly 62% of personal bankruptcies occur for this reason. Although you cannot avoid getting sick…

Planning for College

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // May 22, 2012

A financial advisor is the quarterback of your professional team when it comes to saving for your child’s education. Sending a child off to college can be one of the happiest and satisfying days in a parent’s life. The joy of planning for college can also be met by stress if the family is not…

Retirement Plan Basics

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jan 31, 2012

Making the decision to invest into your company’s retirement plan can be very important to the success of your retirement.  Your employer may offer a 401(k), 403(b) or other types of plans to help you succeed and reach retirement.  They may offer a match, which is very often only achieved if you contribute a certain…

10 ways to saving for retirement and reduce your taxes

10 Ways to Save More for Retirement and Reduce Your Taxes

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Jan 12, 2012

Save more for retirement and reduce your taxes!  I often see people make contributions to retirement plans without paying attention to missed tax opportunities.  It’s possible to save more for retirement and reduce your taxes today and tomorrow.  It’s a delicate balance but could help boost your retirement and put more money back in your…

How to get a Financial Boost

By Travis Sickle, CFP®, EA® // Dec 25, 2011

Times are tough right now and it may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Volatility in the markets may seem never ending. Don’t give up and run for the hills just yet! Reevaluate your financial plan and what you have set for your short term and long term goals.…