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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Grandparents who use FSA to cover grandkid's braces and other must-know info

By Kimberly Lankford





Flexible spending account aren't what they used to be


Q: As my grandsons' legal guardian, can I use my flexible spending account to pay for their braces? --H.P., via e-mail

A: Paying for orthodontia, which can run several thousand dollars, is a good use of money in a pretax flexible spending account. Typically, grandparents who are legal guardians of their grandchildren can use the money they contribute to FSAs to cover their grandkids' out-of-pocket medical expenses, says Jody Dietel, chief compliance officer for WageWorks, which administers FSA plans. But you must check your employer's rules. Some plans, for example, limit eligibility to children, foster children and stepchildren, Dietel says.

As long as the boys are cleared for coverage, you can plan how best to funnel the FSA money toward braces, retainers and other appliances. First, ask your orthodontist how much the total expense will be for both boys. You may be able to negotiate a discount for treatment of two children or by offering to pay in full upfront.

If you can't afford to pay all at once, ask whether a payment plan is available -- for example, a 25 percent down payment and 18 to 24 monthly payments thereafter. If you have dental insurance, find out whether it has orthodontic benefits.

STRETCH YOUR BENEFITS
Starting in the 2013 plan year, the federal government began restricting the annual employee contribution to an FSA to $2,500 (previously, employers set contribution limits for their workers). But families can stretch those benefits because the maximum applies per employee per plan -- not per tax return or household.

So if both spouses have jobs, each may set aside $2,500, for a total of $5,000, and use the money to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for themselves, each other and any qualifying family members, which usually include children.

Even though families may be able to stuff less pretax money in an FSA than in previous years, there could be a silver lining: Because the amount employees can shelter from taxes in FSAs is now capped at a lower level, the IRS is considering scrapping the "use it or lose it" rule, which requires employees to forfeit the funds if they don't empty their accounts before their employer's deadline.



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But until the feds take action, think about how you can maximize your FSA under the current rules. Many employers offer a grace period of two and a half months after the plan year ends -- usually until March 15 -- to use the money. In the case of the grandkids' braces, if your FSA has a grace period, you still have time to spend leftover 2012 funds plus your 2013 money toward orthodontia. (You can use the full year's worth of FSA funds anytime within the plan year, even if all the contributions haven't yet been withdrawn from your paychecks.)

Or, if orthodontia for one or both of the children can wait until next year, you could combine maximum contributions from 2013 and 2014 to cover a $5,000 payment during the grace period in early 2014. If the plan has no grace period, you could ask your orthodontist whether you could pay one installment at the end of 2013 and another in early 2014. Aligning the boys' treatment over three calendar years starting in 2013 could also help stretch your funds.

For more on FSA planning, see www.savesmartspendhealthy.com.

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Kimberly Lankford is a Contributing Editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance.



All contents copyright 2013 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.

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