Let's Read Math -- "A Quarter From The Tooth Fairy"

Saturday, January 26 | 10 - 11:30 am | 1 - 2:30 pm | Malletts Creek | Grades 1 - 3

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) presents a classic story followed by a related math session with hands-on activities and a variety of materials. This event is for Grades 1 - 3 accompanied by an adult. You're welcome to come to either the morning session from 10 - 11:30 am or the afternoon session from 1:00 - 2:30 pm. There is no registration for this event.

"A Quarter From The Tooth Fairy," by Caren Holtzman, is a story about a boy who buys things and then returns them. Each time he gets money back, he gets a different combination of coins totaling 25 cents. Learn about the value of different coins and adding money.

Also, check out these books on money and counting.

We're Not Broke and Other Free Streaming Films from Sundance

Whether it's discussion of the Fiscal Cliff or debates over local governmental priorities, money matters are on the minds of many citizens.

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival documentary, "We're Not Broke" argues that multibillion-dollar American corporations like Exxon, Google and Bank of America are making record profits via "non-taxation through extraordinary representation."

Variety calls this film a "well-researched, brightly presented and provocative argument that the U.S. isn't overtaxed and profligate, but rather a paradise for corporate tax cheats," and now Sundance's Artist Services Program and Hulu have teamed up to make the film available for free online.

The Sundance Artist Services site keeps an updated list of this and other "Now Playing" titles accessible for free via various streaming platforms.

Make Your Dollars Work For You

Need some help with your personal financial planning? Join MSU Extension for Dollar Works, a four part workshop series that focuses on basic money management. Topics covered include creating financial goals, creating a spending plan, using credit wisely, and pumping up savings. This ongoing basic money management course is offered weekly and repeats every four weeks. The next workshop is on January 3 from 9 to 10 am at the Hope Center in Ypsilanti. The class is free and participants will receive a certificate of completion once they complete the four classes. Email Terry Jones at clarkjon@anr.msu.edu, or call 734-222-3943 to register.

If Your Mind Is On Your Money and Your Money Is On Your Mind

Morningstar Investment Research Center offers comprehensive information on thousands of mutual funds, stock performance on the three major exchanges, and data on hundreds of exchange-traded funds with current Morningstar ratings and reports. This database also offers user-friendly portfolio tools and calculators to help you analyze your investments.

Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access Morningstar, go to the research page, and select Morningstar Investment Research Center from the Investing category.

Fifth Third Bank eBus

In partnership with SOS Community Services, the Fifth Third Bank eBus will be at 101 S. Huron St. in Ypsilanti on Tuesday, August 21 from 9am to 3pm. At the eBus you can get a free copy of your credit report as well as credit counseling, receive home foreclosure prevention information, sign your child up for free or low cost health insurance, and community representatives will be available to talk about other resources for health, dental, food, and other basic needs. For more information, call 1-800-246-5372.

Financial Awareness for Older Adults

As adults over 55 with low income and disabilities strive to stay in their homes, the threat of theft, fraud, and other forms of financial exploitation increase. To become more educated about this, they, their caregivers and service agencies who assist them, Michigan Ability Partners (MAP) is offering training to increase financial management skills. This is made possible by a grant from The Anna Botsford Bach Fund for Seniors at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. MAP will promote this service through the organizations in the Washtenaw Elder Justice Coalition. For more information call Misty Hendershot, MAP Payee Supervisor at 734-975-6880.

Small Business Administration Lending Roundtable

Are you trying to expand, purchase, or start a business and need financing? Do you want to learn how a lender analyzes your loan request and what they look for in a credit application? Would you like to ask all of your financing-related questions at one time, in one place?

If so, the SBA Lending Roundtable session is for you! The roundtable is comprised of a banker, an SBA loan officer, a business consultant, and you. Here you will have the opportunity to meet business counselors who can help you prepare your loan request for the bank. This session for those with good credit, some money to invest in their business and who know how much they need to borrow.

The session will take place on Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Washtenaw Community College Morris Lawrence Building. Please preregister as space is limited for this free informative seminar. To register, follow the link on the event page or contact the MI-SBTDC, 734-547-9170.

Wall Street Demystified with Morningstar


If you've ever wanted to get a clear picture of your investments with qualified, unbiased advice take this class! Get independent and trusted stock and mutual fund analysis, research and ratings from Morningstar, the research database with a reputation for tough, independent-minded research that has led to invitations to testify before Congress on various financial issues. Just another of the great services provided to you by the Ann Arbor District Library.

No need to register, just join us Tuesday, February 7, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Downtown Library: Training Center.

Morningstar experts will give easy instructions on how to use their database. Then, practice what you've learned on our training center computers!

In addition, Morningstar's director of personal finance, Christine Benz has created a 30 Days to Financial Fitness guide. In this user-friendly booklet, she breaks down large financial goals into smaller, more manageable steps, one day at a time.

Sign in to your online Ann Arbor District Library account to access an electronic copy of the Morningstar 30 Days to Financial Fitness at Morningstar Investment Research.

See you next Tuesday!

Year End Tax and Financial Planning

The Congressional Super Committee’s inability to act marks the third year in a row that U.S. taxpayers face major uncertainties about the U.S. tax code. The best bet is to not dwell on that unfortunate circumstance and focus on what one can do in year-end planning. Here are some of the important issues with helpful resources available at the Ann Arbor District Library.

This is the time of the year to think about gains and losses and the fact that losses can be carried over to offset gains in future years. You can deduct up to $3,000 of long term losses against ordinary income and this can bring happiness to a dreary world! Maybe it is time to sell the one that stings every time you review your portfolio. Learn all about it with J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2012.

Rates on capital gains, interest and dividends are at historic lows and will be changing in 2013. We don’t know what the changes will be but we do know that a new 3.8% tax on net investment income for people with certain adjusted gross income levels is due to take effect in 2013. It might make sense to talk with your financial advisor about long term gains with these changes looming. The Ernst & Young Tax Guide 2011 and J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax 2012 are both excellent sources for more on this important issue.

One really important rule that has changed for this year is cost-basis reporting on equities in taxable accounts. As of 1/1/2011 brokerage firms are required to share purchase price information on stocks that were sold with the IRS. Your broker should have been in contact with you (if not, shame) about selecting a method for selling—there are at least four reporting methods. The one you choose determines how much money you keep when you sell stock. If you don’t select a method the IRS rules specify first-in, first out, which can make a big difference if you bought the same stock at various times for different prices. You are allowed to switch methods before selling, not after.

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) “patch” enacted late last year expires at the end of this year. A good place to get up to date about it is J.K. Lasser's New Tax Law Simplified 2011.

Estate and gift taxes are expected to remain unchanged through 2012. Two great sources are Estate Planning Basics and Your Michigan Wills, Trusts, & Estates Explained Simply.

And lastly, the soundest advice Wall Street has to offer: “Buy low, sell high.”

Budgeting 101

The Michigan State University Extension is holding a Budgeting 101 workshop on September 19 from 6:30pm and 8:00pm in the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center. Participants will learn about money management, financial planning, and family budgeting. Anyone can register for free by calling 734-222-3943.

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