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An Annuity Can Help Restore Your Confidence in Retirement

Sometimes we forget just how fragile a nest egg can be. When the economy tanked in 2008, retirees watched in horror as U.S. markets suffered historic losses. The Dow declined by more than 50%, its biggest drop since the Great Depression of 1929. The oldest Baby Boomers, who were closing in on retirement age just as things were at their worst, watched as their nest eggs cracked wide open and lost thousands of dollars – in some cases hundreds of thousands.
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The Joys and Financial Challenges of Parenthood

Parenthood can be both wonderfully rewarding and frighteningly challenging. Children give gifts only a parent can understand — from sticky-finger hugs to heartfelt pleas to tag along on Saturday morning errands. You raise them with a clear goal that you secretly dread will actually take place — that someday they will be grown, independent, and ready to move out on their own, and your work will be over.As your children travel this long and never-dull road from infancy to adulthood, yo
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The Road Home: A Homebuyer's Guide to Financial Planning

If you're getting ready to buy a home, there are a few key steps you can take to prepare your finances for this major lifestyle shift. Here we discuss three things you can do to make the transition to homeownership as smooth as possible.
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Women and Asset Protection - How Insurance Can Help

Women are successful professionals, business owners, and knowledgeable investors. At some point in their lives, women may have to manage their own finances due to divorce, widowhood, or remaining single.Every day, women face a variety of risks to their life, their health, and their property. Although you can't eliminate many of these risks, you can take steps to guard against resulting financial losses. Insurance is the primary way to provide needed protection. It can provide both peace of m
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Tax-Advantaged 529 Accounts

According to the College Board, the most recently published figures of the average annual cost of tuition and fees at a public university for a school year was $9,970 for in-state students and $25,620 for out-of-state students. The average cost of a private university was much higher at $34,740. Thankfully, much like tax-advantaged accounts designed to help us save for retirement, there are tax-advantaged accounts designed to help families set aside funds for futu
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Financial Planning Tips for Police Officers

Police officers have one of the most stressful—and dangerous—jobs in the United States. As a result, they also have different retirement benefits that may allow full retirement after only a couple of decades of active duty.1 For some officers, relying on the police pension may not be enough to retire comfortably and confidently. Here are four financial planning tips for police officers.
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The Changing Face: Dual Income Families

The concept of the “traditional” American family is continually changing. The dual income family—with both spouses maintaining separate careers and contributing to the financial success of the household—has now become commonplace. The economic challenges and opportunities of this century may often require two incomes to meet overall family expenses. Many families ask themselves, “How will we be able to plan for our retirement, save for our children’s education, and perhaps help our aging parent
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What Federal Government Employees Should Know About Retirement

Federal employees have different benefits than other workers, including an annuity (or pension) and the Thrift Savings Plan program. However, navigating these benefits may sometimes be a challenge. What should federal government employees know before they retire? Here is some information about federal retirement plans, withdrawal options, and factors to consider when deciding whether to take early federal retirement. What Retirement Plans are Available to Federal Employees? Federal civilian emp
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A Guide to Retirement Planning for Doctors

Working in medicine may be challenging, especially with the strain placed on health care professionals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Working towards a comfortable early retirement may be a financial goal for some physicians. Here are some suggestions that doctors may use to manage financial independence.
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These Are the Best Ways to Teach Kids about Money

Money can be a confusing and unapproachable topic for adults, let alone for kids. The key is to teach children about money early so that they can develop a healthy relationship with it. Here are the best ways to give children a glimpse into the ins and outs of managing finances.
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What role does Social Security play in your retirement income strategy?

As you near retirement, it's likely you'll have many questions about Social Security. How much will your retirement benefit be? When should you apply? Will earnings from a part-time job affect your benefit?
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7 Retirement Considerations

When helping people get ready for retirement, financial professionals find the same issues come up over and over. Thinking ahead can spell the difference between a retirement with enough money and a stressful one with difficult decisions that you don’t want to make. Here are 7 retirement considerations that every investor should think about.
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3 Moments in Life When You Should Consider Consulting a Financial Professional

If you've ever wondered why so many lottery winners (an estimated 70 percent) seem to blow through all their winnings so quickly, the answer often lies in two key traits: overconfidence and trusting the wrong people.
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How to Spring Clean Your Finances with a Financial Review

Spring cleaning presents a great opportunity to clear out any items you no longer need—and the same goes for your finances. Checking in with your finances during tax season may be particularly beneficial, as it allows you to complete last year's taxes while making any changes you need to potentially improve next year's tax situation. Below, we discuss what's included in a financial review and how such a review can help you spring clean your finances.
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Making the Most of Your Relationship with a Financial Professional

Heading to your first meeting with a new financial professional may be a lot like going on a blind date. Can you have anything in common? Can you click? Can you trust this other person with what's most important to you? A strong relationship with your financial professional may be key in managing your finances, both now and in the future. Below, we discuss a few ways you may be able to make the most of your relationship with your financial professional.
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401(k) Rollover Options to Consider

When people are leaving their employer, one of the decisions they need to make is what to do with their 401(k). A retirement plan participant typically has four options (and may engage in a combination of these options), each choice offering advantages and disadvantages.
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Will Infrastructure Investment Pave the Way to a Stronger Economy?

In November 2021, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a roughly $1 trillion package that reauthorized existing programs and provided more than $550 billion in new funding over the next five years to help upgrade aging U.S. transportation, water, power generation, and communication systems.
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An Engineer's Guide to Financial Planning

As an engineer, you already likely know the importance of accurate input when it comes to the final equation, which may put you ahead of the game when it comes to managing your finances. Here are a few ways engineers could apply their skills to their financial planning process.
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Financial Planning Tips for High-Earning Women

When it comes to saving for retirement, women may have extra challenges, even those with a higher-than-average income. For retirement planning, CNBC reports that women save less than men. The pandemic worsened matters, with more than 2.3 million women leaving the workforce.
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What to Know About IRA Investing

Although it's not hard to find doom-and-gloom articles that bemoan many Americans' lack of preparation for retirement, these don't tell the whole story. One in three adults save for retirement outside their 401(k) in a traditional or Roth IRA, with 60 percent of adults reporting that they're "confident" or "somewhat confident" about achieving their desired retirement lifestyle.1 What benefits can investors realize by contributing to an IRA?
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Keeping Sight of Personal Priorities

In the rush of daily business activities, business owners can lose sight of what they had originally hoped to accomplish through their continuous efforts. Over time, as the business grows, personal objectives may also change. When was the last time you stopped to reevaluate your personal priorities and goals? Here are some key areas to consider:Building wealth Many business owners become so engrossed in company operations that they inadvertently neglect their personal finances, particularly when
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A Place for Everything: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Finances Organized

Have you ever found yourself scrambling for spare cash to send with your child for school lunch? Have you paid a late fee because you simply forgot when a bill was due? Have you woken up in a cold sweat trying to remember if you paid the water bill last month? Trying to put your finances in order can be a challenge when you're not organized.
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Tax Prep Checklist: Everything You Need to Be Ready for Tax Season

Regardless of whether you prepare your taxes yourself or use a professional's services, it's a good idea to gather the information and documentation you need well in advance of your actual tax filing date. Below, we've listed some key information you need when preparing this year's taxes.
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Five Healthy Habits for Financial Wellness

Financial stress can have a direct negative impact on a person's health and happiness. Unfortunately, this may lead to a downward spiral. The more stress you're feeling, the larger your financial hurdles may seem, and the more you may rely on unhealthy stress-reducing habits. Fortunately, there are steps you may be able to take to improve your financial situation and help manage money-related stress. Below are five habits you may wish to adopt to work toward financial wellness.
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Five Wealth-Building New Year's Resolutions

At the beginning of each year, and regularly after that, it may be a wise idea to take stock of finances and make some changes to help improve your financial life. Here are five resolutions you may make to increase financial independence and work toward building wealth.
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Most Couples Still Make Decisions Together When They Give Money To Charity

While most U.S. couples make charitable giving decisions together, the share of joint decision-makers is declining, according to a study we published March 16. About 62% of couples decide about their giving together, down from 73% in 2005, the last time anyone studied this behavior in the general population rather than in rich families.
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Writing a Business Plan for a Small Business

Running a business without a written business plan is like heading out on a cross-country trip without a map or GPS. Although you may be able to make it to your destination, you may spend far more time and money navigating through unexpected complications than you would if you had a guide. Many lenders require a copy of your business plan as one of the key documents it needs when deciding whether to extend a loan or line of credit.
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A Season of Giving: 5 Different Ways To Give During the Holidays

With the holidays here, now is the time to get into the giving spirit and help to change others' lives for the better. Whether you are looking to make a difference in a specific person's life or the life of many, there are many ways to give this holiday season. Here are some different ways to give back to others in a major way this holiday season.
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Remarkable Rise Of ESG Investing

Responsible investing is widely understood as the integration of environmental, social and governance factors – hence the ESG acronym – into investment processes and decision-making.
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Financial Professional or Accountant? Four Key Ways They Differ

Whether you're launching a new business, looking for a second opinion on your retirement plan, or just need some extra help with your taxes, you may be wondering whether it's time to contact an accountant or financial professional. While both types of professionals can provide you with targeted financial advice, the right choice for you will depend on your individual financial needs.
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Preserve Your Retirement Savings with LTCi

If you are part of the baby boomer generation (born between 1944 and 1964), you may already know how important it can be to save for your retirement. Little remains of the security our parents may have enjoyed through company pensions.
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What Veterans Should Know About Retirement Planning

Veterans' retirement benefits are among some of the most generous out there, in large part due to the risks and sacrifices that come from military service. But navigating this array of benefits may seem complicated. What should veterans know about their military retirement plans?
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Your 2021 Year-End Planning Checklist

It may be easy to forget we're nearing the end of the year. Even during the busy end-of-year rush, it's a good time to reevaluate your 2021 finances and turn an eye toward 2022. What can you do now to potentially improve and streamline your 2022 budget?
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A Woman’s Guide to Long-Term Care

Women face unique financial challenges as they age. When compared with men, women live longer, earn less, and spend fewer years in the workforce. Financial concerns are often more acute for older women who are divorced, widowed, or otherwise single, as well as for those who have spent all or a significant portion of their adult years caring for children and other family members.
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Resources for Women-Owned Small Businesses

Small businesses face many problems related to their size, capital, and capability, and for women-owned small businesses, the challenge is sometimes even greater. The good news is there are many professional organizations out there that understand the challenges that women-owned small businesses face and have positioned themselves as resources to help provide assistance.
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Five Tips to Finding a Financial Professional that Fits You and Your Family

Five tips to finding a financial professional that fits you and your family - The financial professional you pick to manage your assets and advise you on key financial decisions may affect your retirement and other major financial goals more, maybe, than even you. Make the right choice. When trying to find a financial professional, you may ask your attorney or accountant for a referral. Makes sense, as you might trust their advice.
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Four Financial Planning Essentials to Ease Your Retirement Fears

When it comes to planning for retirement, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Putting together a financial strategy can be complicated at any time of life, what with changing regulations, ups and downs in the market, and disagreements – even among the better-known investment advisers – about the best ways to save and spend money. But the closer you get to actually stopping that regular paycheck, the scarier things can get.
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Alternatives for College Funding

A Primer Although we all know that “time flies,” it seems to move particularly fast as we watch our children grow. Yet, in considering a college future for a newborn, it is understandable that parents might procrastinate, since seventeen years seems so far in the future. However, when it comes to planning for college, children progress all too quickly from the cradle to the college classroom.
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The Advantages & Disadvantages of 401(k) Loans

Sometimes a 401(k) loan makes sense, but there are a lot of considerations     Tapping your tax-advantaged retirement savings seems like a desperate financial move (because it is), yet also a sound one in specific circumstances. Best know what you get into with 401(k) loans in terms of time, payback and risk.   Many holders of 401(k)s do in fact tap their accounts.
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Some Key Uses of Life Insurance

Have you ever thought about the important role life insurance can play in helping you manage a variety of important financial objectives? Let’s look at some “slice of life” hypothetical examples and you’ll see how life insurance can have broad applications.
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Inheritance Planning Can Help Avoid Headaches

Your financial professional can help ensure you leave your estate in the best possible way. Families inherit money and sometimes make the right moves investing and spending. Inheritances can also ignite disruption, divorce and a host of bad behavior far from the hopes and plans of the benefactor. What happens when you leave what's probably one of your biggest investments: your individual retirement plan?
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Changes to Student Loans and Payments in 2021

The student loan landscape has changed dramatically since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the suspension of interest payments on federal student loans to tax incentives for employers who pay their employees' student loans, there are a number of new programs available to help make student loan repayment cheaper and simpler. Below, learn more about some changes to student loans and the repayment process in 2021.
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Workers Want to Stay Put in Home Office

In a survey by job listings site Flexjobs, an astonishing 65 percent of pandemic remote workers said they wanted to keep working from home and 58 percent even said they would look for a new job if they would have to return to the office. Only 2 percent said they would prefer to return, while 11 percent said that remote work was not essential for them. At a third of respondents naming it as their preferred mode of working, the hybrid model that combines office and remote work was also popular.
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Retirement Confidence Remains Strong, Despite Pandemic

Despite the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, American workers and retirees remain largely optimistic about their financial prospects for retirement.In its annual Retirement Confidence Survey conducted in January 2021, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that 80% of retirees and 72% of workers were either very or somewhat confident in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement.
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American Families Plan Would Provide Benefits for Some, More Taxes for Others

On April 28, 2021, the White House released a fact sheet for President Biden's American Families Plan (AFP), which proposes about $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax cuts. There would also be tax increases for those making more than $400,000 per year. Major provisions proposed in the plan are summarized here, including some tax provisions. Education The AFP proposes the following: Free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year olds. Two years of free community college
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The Backdoor Roth IRA in a Nutshell

If you are wondering what in the world a “backdoor Roth IRA” is, you're not alone! In short, if you've been frustrated by the contribution limits associated with Roth IRAs, then read on. this article describes a strategy designed to help.
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The Different Stages of Financial Freedom

If you're living paycheck-to-paycheck or stuck in a job you don't love just to pay the bills, it can be easy to feel as though you're financially trapped. But financial freedom doesn't need to be elusive-with some focused and consistent effort, you may be able to achieve financial freedom sooner than you expected. Below, we'll discuss the different stages of the financial freedom journey.
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High Net-Worth Individuals: Are You Missing Opportunities in Your Financial Plan

High Net-Worth executives and those that have been self-employed, can experience common problems in their financial planning journey. Often, they have missed opportunities in their financial planning because they haven’t planned adequately for their retirement even though they make a high income.It’s easy to think that everything will work out with their retirement plan, and it can, but a high-income often masks the reality of having a deficit once a career ends. Just like average in
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Donor-Advised Funds: A Solution to Gifting with Tax Benefits

Gifting, for many investors, is about the philanthropic support they want to give charities. Gifting to help make the world better by benefitting society is one reason many families choose to donate. The charitable giving tax deduction they received in the past was a bonus. The above-the-line deduction for charitable giving is $300 per calendar year per individual under the CARES Act.
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The Great Wealth Transfer: Is Your Family Prepared?

Over the next twenty years, a wealth transfer will occur that exceeds $30 trillion as the Baby Boomer generation passes the remainder of their wealth to the Millennials and subsequent generations. The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are considered the wealthiest generation, currently controlling 70% of the disposable income in the United States. It is imperative families develop a plan to transfer assets since the transfer of wealth is inevitable.
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HENRYs with Limited Wealth-Building Potential – Are You One of Them?

The term HENRY (High Earners Not Rich Yet) refers to individuals who have the potential to become wealthy in the future because of their income. These individuals or families earn between $250,000 and $500,000 per year and are between 25 and 45 years of age (Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X). Despite their income, after paying their living costs, taxes, and other expenditures, HENRYs have little left over to save and invest for their retirement.
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High Net-Worth Individuals: Are You Missing Opportunities in Your Financial Plan

High Net-Worth executives and those that have been self-employed, can experience common problems in their financial planning journey. Often, they have missed opportunities in their financial planning because they haven’t planned adequately for their retirement even though they make a high income.It’s easy to think that everything will work out with their retirement plan, and it can, but a high-income often masks the reality of having a deficit once a career ends. Just like average in
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Donor-Advised Funds: A Solution to Gifting with Tax Benefits

Gifting, for many investors, is about the philanthropic support they want to give charities. Gifting to help make the world better by benefitting society is one reason many families choose to donate. The charitable giving tax deduction they received in the past was a bonus. The above-the-line deduction for charitable giving is $300 per calendar year per individual under the CARES Act. For some investors, a $300 per year deduction doesn’t reflect in tax savings of their substantial donation
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The Great Wealth Transfer: Is Your Family Prepared?

Over the next twenty years, a wealth transfer will occur that exceeds $30 trillion as the Baby Boomer generation passes the remainder of their wealth to the Millennials and subsequent generations. The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are considered the wealthiest generation, currently controlling 70% of the disposable income in the United States.It is imperative families develop a plan to transfer assets since the transfer of wealth is inevitable. For most families, their wealth was acquired during
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HENRYs with Limited Wealth-Building Potential – Are You One of Them?

The term HENRY (High Earners Not Rich Yet) refers to individuals who have the potential to become wealthy in the future because of their income. These individuals or families earn between $250,000 and $500,000 per year and are between 25 and 45 years of age (Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X). Despite their income, after paying their living costs, taxes, and other expenditures, HENRYs have little left over to save and invest for their retirement.HENRYs are a demographic that many consider to be &lsq
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What Should Grandparents Know About 529 Savings Accounts?

Grandparents can often find themselves in a better financial position to save for their grandchildren's education than their own children are. The parents of prospective students may still be contending with competing priorities like their own student loans, high-interest credit card debt, or a hefty mortgage.One way to help save for a grandchild's college education is by contributing money to a 529 savings account, an account where funds can be saved or invested and are withdrawn to be
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Preserving Your Wealth through a Chronic Disease

If you've been diagnosed with a chronic disease, you're not alone. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, while 4 in 10 live with two or more.1 With such a large percentage of the population affected by major health concerns, online advice about preserving wealth through chronic conditions remains surprisingly hard to find.This may stem from the nearly infinite variety of financial situations that can result from varying ages of onset, impacts of differe
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Maximizing Military Retirement Benefits

Retiring from the military is a profound accomplishment. For many, this retirement will provide you with positive things, including the time and geographic stability you need to start a new career or simply enjoy leisure activities with your loved ones.But if you're worried about your post-retirement income or just aren't quite sure what your finances will look like once you're no longer an active member of the military, you are not alone. Speaking with a financial professional befor
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5 Investment Considerations for Small Business Owners

If you're a small business owner, many of the best practices employed by individual investors are also available to you (of course!), but you also have some additional options and factors to weigh while creating your investment plans. We've outlined five key differences for your consideration:1. Diversifying outside your own industrySmall business owners often develop a tendency to invest within their own industry, and why not? It's one you know inside and out, where you recognize va
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The 3 Components of Social Security

Many have heard Social Security retirement benefits referred to as part of the "three-legged stool" of retirement: Social Security, a pension or defined benefit plan, and personal savings.1 The idea is that with these three sources of income, a retiree can ensure several steady streams of income without relying too heavily on just one "leg."But the Social Security program itself also has three important components: retirement, disability benefits, and survivors' benefits.
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How to Increase Your Financial Literacy

Unlike verbal literacy, financial literacy isn't often taught in schools—which means that many people may enter adulthood without having all the tools they need to make informed and effective financial decisions.1 Fortunately, gaining financial literacy doesn't need to be a long or complicated process. Read on for three simple things you can do to work toward increasing your financial literacy. Subscribe to Reputable Financial Publications and Newsletters As with just about any to
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Retirement Planning: To Roth or Not to Roth?

When saving for retirement, it often makes sense to contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans to take advantage of any available employer match opportunities. However, not everyone has access to an employer-sponsored plan. Even if you do, there are reasons you may want to consider using Traditional and/or Roth IRAs to supplement your retirement savings. There are important differences between the two types of accounts.[i] Understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of each type of
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Key Considerations as You Start Receiving Social Security Benefits

As your retirement draws closer, you will probably start to have lots of questions such as: How much Social Security will I receive?When should I retire?How will I know when to retire?Do I have enough saved?What will I need to do to maintain health insurance after I retire? The answers to these questions can vary widely depending on your income, your job duties, and your assets. However, there are a few factors that everyone should keep in mind when you begin making your retirement decisions.
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All online, all the time? Technology brings new benefits to hiring a property ma

Once upon a time, investing in the stock market involved ticker tape and a lot of phone calls. Today, most investors reach no further than their pocket for up-to-the-minute market updates, portfolio valuations, trading capabilities, and analytics. The property management industry is only now beginning to complete a similar transition, and many real estate investors are likely still unaware of the new online possibilities available to them.Imagine logging into your own safe and secure property ma
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How Much Do You Know About Credit?

In 2020, the average FICO score in the U.S. rose to 711, an eight-point increase from 2019.1 When it comes to having healthy credit, your score is the result of many factors. But what specifically goes into someone's credit report, and what steps can you take to improve your credit?1 Test your credit knowledge with our quiz below.Question 1: If you have three credit cards with a total credit limit of $50,000, what's the maximum balance you can carry before it begins to negatively impact
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How Financial Asset Management May Help Investors Stay the Course

Most people who decide to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investment vehicles do so understanding that there are risks associated with investing, but believing that the potential growth they may realize over time outweighs such risks. However, because there are no guarantees, investing assets can be a nerve-wracking experience – especially during periods of market turbulence.[i]Taking a deliberate approach to financial asset management and working with a financial profession
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Re-thinking Your Bucket List

When approaching the latter part of life, it is easy to get caught up in achieving every goal on your bucket list. Individual lists vary widely, but often are filled with wild adventures like skydiving and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Bucket list items are the things one plans to do their entire life once they have the time and money to do it.Unfortunately, accomplishing all the items on a bucket list often does not go as planned. Whether it is an illness that gets in the way, a lack
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Assessing Your Retirement Resources

How resourceful can you be during your retirement? Determining where your retirement money will come from is an integral part of planning for retirement. Most people draw on three main sources of income: Social Security, employer-sponsored plans, and personal retirement savings. Each offers important resources that can help you fund the lifestyle you seek in retirement. Social Security Social Security offers a retirement benefit to workers and their spouses. You can start receiving benefits as
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Optimizing Required Minimum Distributions

Seventy-two is an important age milestone for those in or near retirement, as it marks the time when required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin to be withdrawn annually from IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (previously, the threshold was 70 ½). The milestone carries with it tax consequences that are not fixed. Rather, there are a few rules to consider that can help you optimize the impact on your bottom-line. IRAsYou must begin withdrawing from a traditional IRA (Individ
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Your Retirement Planning: “Too Big to Fail”

Five common retirement planning misperceptions and how to avoid  
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Key Tax Deadlines for 2021

While the 2020 tax year saw some significant changes to filing deadlines due to the effects of the global pandemic, the 2021 tax season seems to be set to be on track with normal filing deadlines. With the pandemic still in sight, it is important to consider that these dates may be subject to change. Below is a list of the filing deadlines for the upcoming 2021 tax year that you will want to be sure to put into your calendar. Individual Income Tax Returns Individual tax returns are slated to re
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Tax Identity Theft Awareness - Protecting Yourself from Tax Identity Theft

Tax identity theft is when someone steals your Social Security Number, files a tax return with your number, and directs a refund to their own bank account. In other cases, this type of identity theft may involve a scam artist calling on the phone, pretending to be a rep from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and demanding payment over the phone. To protect yourself, keep these tips in mind. 1. Remember the IRS Doesn't Make Surprise Phone Calls The IRS does call taxpayers, but these calls
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Capital Gains for the 2020 Season Could be Huge

This year looks to be a record year for capital gain distributions  
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New Year's Resolutions to Get Your Finances in Order

New Year's is traditionally the time to review your life and make resolutions for change. In addition to thinking about working out, eating healthy, and meeting personal and professional goals, you should also think about your finances. To make the most of the New Year, keep the following tips in mind. 1. Outline New Goals To ensure you're moving in the right direction, take some time to outline your goals. Think about long-term goals such as buying a home, sending the kids to college,
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Tips for Organizing Your Financial Documents

In an increasingly paper-free society, organizing your financial documents can still be a challenge. No matter how simple or complex your financial picture might be, it takes some thought-out organization to keep your tax documents, service records, and paid bills in a format that will allow you to easily access information when you need it. What steps can you take now to organize your financial documents for 2021 and beyond? Clean and Evaluate If your financial files look more like a pile of l
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How to Structure Charitable Giving Throughout Your Lifetime

Charitable giving is a way for affluent individuals spread their money around and to benefit causes that are near and dear to their hearts. Yet, for those who fall into the high net worth category, it is critical to structure charitable giving correctly so that you will reap the tax benefits while making the greatest impact. Below are just a few possibilities on how structuring your charitable giving will provide you with the most benefit. Donor-Advised Funds With a donor-advised fund, you will
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How to Evaluate a Charity and Whether to Donate

Responsible giving doesn't only involve making sure to help those in need, but also ensuring that you perform your proper research by evaluating the charity. Proper evaluation will help you to make sure that your funds are being used in the way you wish them to be and can help you leave the impact you desire. There are many ways to vet charities, such as performing online research to help you identify charities that focus on your desired causes. But if you want some tips on where to start, b
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Charitable Giving and Donating Toys

As the holidays approach, many children start to make wish lists, but unfortunately, not all children have someone to give them gifts. Luckily, there are many charities that help get holiday gifts and joy to children. If you're thinking about donating toys this holiday season, here is what you need to know. Charities That Accept ToysVarious charities around the country accept used toys all year long. These include Goodwill, Salvation Army, and local thrift stores. Typically, these organ
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End of Year Planning: Set Goals and Reduce Taxes

By the last third of the calendar year, you're likely to have a pretty good idea of what your annual income will be and whether any major expenses or big life changes await you. This can allow you to engage in more robust tax planning, creating the first draft of your federal and state income tax returns to see what factors you can tweak and what goals you can set to reduce your overall tax burden. Read on for some points to consider as you close out 2020.Maximize Your Retirement SavingsBy k
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Military Families and Financial Planning

As a military family, you often have to deal with the stress of moving relatively frequently or potentially getting deployed. Managing your finances through these situations takes some finesse. To help ensure you're moving in the right direction, keep these tips in mind.   1. Set Aside Cash Reserves Whether you are military or not, you should ideally always have enough cash on hand to cover a few months of expenses. Then, if you ever face an interruption in your earning potential,
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