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A Passion to Create Inspires Leah Chamish

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At first glance, the connection between artist Leah Chamish’s two ventures, Murals by Leah and Touring Teddies, is not apparent. But there is common denominator that makes perfect sense. “My passion isn’t just for art, it’s for creating,” Chamish says. “Mostly, it’s to create for children, to make them...

Social Security: Don’t Be in a Rush; Take Your Time

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A popular expression goes “good things come to those who wait.” Undoubtedly, whoever coined that phrase did not have Social Security benefits in mind, but the saying certainly applies very well to them. As opined below, most people are better off deferring their Social Security retirement date until at least age 66, and probably to age 70.

Full retirement age under Social Security for people born between 1943 and 1954 is age 66. Benefits can be started as early as age 62 with a reduction (25% for those whose full retirement age is 66), or may be delayed as late as age 70 with an actuarial increase (8% per year after full retirement age). Thus, for example, an individual with a...

Ring In the New Year With a COLA

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In 2015, nearly 64 million Americans who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase to their monthly benefit payments of 1.7%.

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker in 2015 is $1,328 (up from $1,306 in 2014). The average monthly Social Security benefit for a disabled worker in 2015 is $1,165 (up from $1,146 in 2014). For people who receive SSI, the maximum federal payment amount increased to $733 (up from $721 in 2014).

The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $118,500 (up from $117,000 in 2014). A worker will earn one credit toward...

Gotta Dance? Morah Rochelle’s Rikkud Dance Program Offers Classes, Camp for Girls

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Teaneck—Rochelle Yaros has danced for as long as she can remember. Last year, she started Rikkud Dance, a private dance program in Teaneck, teaching dance to groups of little girls, aged three to nine, on Sunday mornings. She also runs a week-long Rikkud Dance Camp in the summertime, between camp and school, and offers private instruction and party dancing services for teens.

Dance has been a lifelong passion and priority for Yaros, who keeps it on the front burner. “I started at age 3 with beginner’s ballet and jazz, and I loved it,” she told JLNJ. Yaros also intensely studied hip-hop and tap. She worked as a dance teacher and choreographer for local dance studios as a teen...

Mazel Tov, It’s a Tax Deduction!

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Remember that joy when you saw your baby for the first time? What an amazing feeling knowing that you brought so much joy to the world. Now imagine your happiness when you realize that you didn’t just bring joy into the world, you also got tax breaks for you and your family. According to the Department of Agriculture, it costs on average $245,340 to raise a child in the US until age 18 (I think we all know that this doesn’t even come close to the actual costs in the Jewish world). But, for the moment, our focus is not on the fact that you are about to become an ATM machine for that little bundle of joy, it’s rather what you can save in taxes.

Extra Exemption: In 2014, you can...

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