Should You Buy A Franchise?

When people think of franchises, they often think of fast food chains that could cost more than a million dollars to start. A McDonald’s franchise, for example, requires a minimum of $750,000 in liquid assets. While signup costs include the cost of construction and equipment, they can range from $1 million to $2 million depending on location. The good news is that once the business is operating smoothly, revenues average around $2.5 million a year.  Is franchise ownership something to consider?

While the idea of opening up a fast food restaurant can be profitable, the cost of entry is what prevents most people from making the leap to having their own business. Unless they are already established business people, it’s difficult to get a bank loan large enough to cover initial costs.

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Tax Basics For Your Small Business

Tax law is very complicated, especially for small businesses. Employers are required to collect income withholdings from their employees, and there’s a self-employment tax for individuals who work for themselves. It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re operating (with employees or without, and even freelancing), the IRS demands that you pay. If you don’t pay you’ll face penalties and, in some cases, criminal charges.

The following lists the different types of taxes your business may have to deal with. Keep in mind, tax credits can help you lower your effective tax rate. The ADP SmartCompliance tax credits module has a database of more than 3,000 incentives and can help you claim and keep all the credits available to you. Achieving the lowest possible tax rate is complicated (less so when you outsource the effort), but the savings are worth it. At tax time, your business has two goals: be 100 percent compliant in order to avoid financial penalties/fraud charges and save money.

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Am I The Only Person A Bit Worried About The Economy?

The economy has been on a pretty good path for the last 8 years or so with slow but steadily improving job numbers, reduced unemployment, and a rising stock  market.  Many have argued that the slow growth is ‘bad’ but I argued a few years ago that slow growth actually provides a more stable foundation and a softer landing when things do start to turn.

I’m starting to wonder if that turn is starting to happen.  Moreover, I’m wondering if we’ve been used to things moving up for so long that people might be missing or ignoring the signs.

I’m not in outright panic mode but here are a few little things I’ve noticed that add up to a little bit of worry (Disclaimer: You should make absolutely no investment decisions based off of this article, which is 100% opinion).

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Ross Perot Was 25 Years Ahead Of His Time

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 25 years since I voted in my first Presidential election, which featured the very first and only true opportunity by a third-party candidate to potentially win, at least in my lifetime.  I knew Perot because my father, at the time, worked for EDS, which Perot had founded and had run for many years.  So, the name was very familiar in my house.

The 1992 Campaign

When he went on TV one Sunday night and pulled out all of his charts and sat down and explained why America could not continue down the path it was on, and why his was a better path, people were intrigued.  In fact, it went a bit further than that for awhile, as he actually led in the polls for a short time against the major candidates, President George Bush and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

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Who Took The Worst Of The Great Recession?

Have you ever thought of what generation took the worst of the Great Recession?  I guess first we have to agree on what generation people actually fit into!

The other day, my wife announced that she was a Millennial.  I originally disputed her on this, but then I looked it up and it turns out that she is right.  My error came in the fact that I had thought she was part of Generation Y.  Then I found out that this generation really doesn’t exist anymore!  Apparently, they’re now part of the Millennials.

The Active Generations In the Workforce

The first thing to do is identify the different generations.  Surely, we’ve all heard about them by now but so we’re all on the same page, and for purposes of my discussion, I’m using the following:

  • Baby Boomers – Born between 1946 and 1964, so anybody between the ages of 52 and 70.Should I stay or should I go?
  • Generation X – Born between 1964 and 1982, so anybody between the ages of 34 and 52
  • Millennials – Born between 1982 and TBD – so anybody younger than 34 but probably not older than 18

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If You’re Paying More In Taxes, You Might Get Little Sympathy

I read a post on another one of my favorite blogs recently that rubbed me the wrong way a little bit.  I’m not going to point it out because I don’t think the post was written with the intent to get anybody upset.  Plus, it actually dovetailed into some other advice that was practical and useful for many.   But it still gave me enough pause that I wanted to vent a bit.  The post started with the author complaining that he’s paying more in taxes than most.

Professional Blogger

Some background first.  The is a professional blogger who writes a lot about his profession.  I can tell that he’s very knowledgeable, and I would wager that he is very good and very successful at what he does.

As such, I think he probably earns quite a good living.  Which, just to make very clear, I am 100% fine with.  People that do good work and are compensated well for it, I really have no problem at all with.

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Top Things to be Aware of Before Filing an Tax Extension

The tax deadline is quickly approaching, but if you haven’t filed your taxes yet, then chances are you may need to file an extension instead. As such, there are at least five things you need to be aware of before you file your request.

You Can E-File Your Request

That is correct! You can skip the hassle that comes with filing your extension on paper, and file directly on your computer. E-file extensions are guaranteed to be received by the IRS within 48 hours from the time you file, and you receive an email confirmation once it’s been handled. Forget waiting in line at the post office or the hand-wrenching agony of wondering if your extension has been processed. E-filing is the smart choice.

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Why Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders Are Still Candidates

Seven months ago, I penned a post noting that I thought it was absolutely absurd that Donald Trump could actually be elected President.  While he still has a long way to go to be elected, he’s come a lot further than I had thought.  Seven months ago, I figured he’d be long gone by now, and predicted the Republican race would come down to…Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.

Oops.

I’ve done some digging on why I was so wrong about Trump.

Why Trump and Sanders Are In The Race

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are two politicians, that in many years past, would have not come anywhere near making it this far.  Trump is loud, brash, offensive, and really has not dictated much of a plan if he were actually President.  Bernie Sanders is as close to a socialist as you can be without actually calling yourself one.

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What Might We Do With Our Extra Money?

Looking at our money and our budget, there are a few things that have changed over the recent months, and it will require some change in planning on how we approach our money.  One of the things we’ll have to look at it how we allocate extra money.

Where Is This Money Coming From?

Everybody will define this differently, but for us the extra money boils down to a few different areas.

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Cider Costs: What The Apple Is Going On Here?

Fall and apples go hand in hand here in Michigan, as I know is the case in many other parts of the country.

We have always enjoyed many of the activities that fall brings, and those centered around apples have always been favorite, specifically going to the cider mill and also apple picking.  Both of these things have been traditions of our families for the last few years.

But, we noticed this year that things are just out of hand!

Cider Prices

Who doesn’t love cider and donuts?  I know everyone in our family loves these things.  Still, the price of cider these days is through the roof.  A gallon is now around $8 at most local cider mills!  This pricing came about in kind of a sneaky way.

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