The banks are paying practically no interest on savings or checking accounts. If you get .1 or .2 per cent you are lucky. To make matters worse, you saved over the years for retirement and planned on a safe stream of income from your bank CD’s – WRONG. If you get 1 per cent on a CD you are lucky, and inflation in 2012 was 2.1 per cent. If you had saved $50,000 in 2003, you would need $63,450 today to have the same buying power as in 2003. Of course, if you are borrowing money, interest rates are at historic low levels. Government monetary policies for the last eight years have penalized Americans who have saved any money. This means that our senior citizens who saved for retirement have suffered the most since 2008 due to monetary policies which have keep interest low. If you work and spend all of your income not saving any, you are a winner in this economy. Present economic policies favor consumption and penalize saving. So sad, but true!
Beginning with the 2013 tax year the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption is increased from $4,000 to $5,000. If you live in Freeport, Illinois, this means a tax saving of $110. Of course, with ever increasing tax rates in Stephenson County, there will probably be a much smaller savings.