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End of Year Financial Planning

It’s easy to put personal finances on the back burner during the last few months of the year. However, before the year comes to an end, it’s essential to review your finances. Here are some tips to help with your end-of-year financial planning.
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Pay Down Debt or Save for Retirement?

Are you torn between paying off debt and the need to save for retirement? Both are important, but if you're not sure you can afford to tackle both at the same time, which should you choose?
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3 Tips for Staying Calm While Navigating a Volatile Market

Market volatility can result in fear and panic. Acknowledging these emotions may be a good first step, but acting upon them could result in impulsive, irrational decisions. So what can you do to stay calm when markets are volatile?
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Maximizing Military Retirement Benefits

Retiring from the military is a profound accomplishment, but if you're worried about your post-retirement income or just aren't sure what your finances will look like once you're no longer an active member, you are not alone.
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Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer (GST) Taxation and Life Insurance

Life insurance can provide financial security for your family. However, if you don't plan appropriately, taxes can greatly reduce the life insurance benefits actually received by your family. Learn how life insurance policies and proceeds are taxed for estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax (GSTT) purposes in order to realize maximum benefits from your insurance.
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The Differences Between Growth, Core & Value

Are you a Growth investor or a Value investor? Do you prefer a mix of the two? Understanding your style of investing is an important step in deciding where to allocate your portfolio – but trying to predict which style will perform best is challenging.
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5 Year-End Tax Planning Questions to Ask Your Financial Professional

The average U.S. income tax rate stands at just over 13%—and if you're like many taxpayers, you're always looking for new tips and tricks to help reduce this percentage.
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6 Ways to Minimize Your Tax Liability Throughout the Year

You don't need to wait until the end of the year to look for ways to minimize your tax liability. Tax planning should take place throughout the year to have you prepared well ahead of tax season.
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Changing Jobs? Know Your 401(k) Options

Should I roll over to my new employer's 401(k) plan or to an IRA? If you've lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k). It's important to understand your options.
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Aging Parents and Money

Getting old is hard. Your parents’ ability to manage their own finances may decline as they age. Helping them with money matters is a sensitive issue you need to approach carefully.
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Staying on Track with Your Retirement Investments

Investing for your retirement isn't about getting rich quick. More often, it's about having a game plan that you can live with over a long time. You wouldn't expect to be able to play the piano without learning the basics and practicing. Investing for your retirement over the long term also takes a little knowledge and discipline.
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Now Might Be a Good Time for a Roth Conversion

One silver lining in the current bear market is that this could be a good time to convert assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Converted assets are subject to federal income tax in the year of conversion, which might be a substantial tax bill. However, if assets in your traditional IRA have lost value, you will pay taxes on a lower asset base when you convert.
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Keeping It Simple: The Benefits of Simplifying Your Investment Strategies

When it comes to investing, having fewer investments might help streamline your portfolio to manage stress better. Here are some benefits of a simple portfolio and some ways to help you create one.
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An Introduction to Estate Planning for the Sandwich Generation

For members of the "Sandwich Generation" - those currently in their 40s and 50s who are caring for children and their parents who are over 65-years - estate planning may seem like a low priority. After all, when you're juggling multiple caregiving responsibilities daily, sitting down to draft a will is easy to put off. But estate planning can be crucial to protecting your assets and providing for your children or other loved ones after you are gone.
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Managing Bond Risks When Interest Rates Rise

After dropping the benchmark federal funds rate to a rock-bottom range of 0%-0.25% early in the pandemic, the Federal Open Market Committee has begun raising the rate toward more typical historical levels in response to high inflation. Raising the federal funds rate places upward pressure on a wide range of interest rates, including the cost of borrowing through bond issues.
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Securing Your Future with Life Cycle Planning

The need for regular saving and investing spans many life stages. Through the years, your goals will change and your strategies will shift, but don’t be alarmed. You’re just progressing through the normal stages of life, getting closer to achieving your own financial freedom.
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Setting and Targeting Investment Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you're lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure.
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3 Golf Tips to Keep Your Retirement Plan on Course

In golf, as in finances, there are a few rules of thumb that may improve your game: keep a level head, avoid traps, practice before trying something new and stay the course. Applying lessons from the golf course to your financial life and vice versa may help you improve your game in both arenas.
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Some Things Investors Need to Know About Booms and Busts

Economies and markets are cyclical. They may include periods of wealth creation and times of bursting bubbles that bankrupt companies in a major downturn. "Boom and bust" cycles may last anywhere from a few months to a few years or longer.
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Despite Concerns, Retirement Confidence Remains Steady

Nearly three quarters of workers and 77% of retirees in a recent survey said they remain at least somewhat confident that they will experience a comfortable retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Nevertheless, a third of workers and a quarter of retirees felt less confident this year due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many respondents citing inflation as the reason.
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3 Myths About Converting an IRA to a Roth IRA After Age 60

Suppose you have read or watched a story about converting an IRA to a Roth IRA after age 60. In that case, you may have seen this strategy portrayed negatively or only highlighting the benefits. This article will cover myths about converting an IRA to a Roth IRA to help you determine if this strategy is appropriate for you.
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Rollovers and Prohibited Transactions: What Investors Need to Know

If you've left an employer and are considering moving your 401(k) retirement savings to another plan or an IRA, there is new legislation on these transactions you should know.
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Required Distributions: Changes You Need to Know

In February 2022, the IRS issued proposed regulations (generally applicable starting in 2022) that interpret the revised required minimum distribution (RMD) rules. Account owners and their beneficiaries may want to familiarize themselves with these new interpretations and how they might be affected by them.
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Warren Buffett on How to Plan for Inflation

We’ve all heard about Warren Buffett, the 91-year-old multibillionaire known for his friendly demeanor, modest style of living in Omaha, and remarkable ability to create wealth. How does he make so much money? How does Warren and his long-time associate, Charlie Munger (who is 98), choose their investments?
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529 College Savings Plans: For Education and Estate Planning

529 College Savings plans are essential for saving for higher education expenses, and if used for education, accumulate tax-free. 529 plans are qualified tuition plans that allow state and federal tax-free withdrawals of earnings and have the potential for tax deductions, which help offset the increasing cost of secondary education.
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Grow Old with Me--Live (Almost) Tax-Free

What will you look for as you approach your "golden" years? Sunshine and the beach at your feet, or colder climates with your favorite cross-country skiing course outside your door? An affordable condo on the golf course with room for a visit from your grandchildren? Friends and family close by, or new "elder" friends living in close proximity? Excellent medical facilities nearby?
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The Principles of Financial Literacy

Financial literacy refers to the skills and knowledge that allow an individual to make informed and effective decisions through their understanding of finances. Financial literacy starts by building a basic understanding of "money matters" to create a sense of economic well-being, self-trust, and financial confidence.
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A Beginner’s Guide to Investing After Retirement

You may be retired and considering investing some of your retirement nest egg. Depending on your situation, it is crucial that investing in the stock market, bond market, or other investments does not jeopardize your retirement savings. For this reason, investments that preserve your initial contribution but still provide growth opportunity is essential. Here, we will start with the basics for beginners interested in investing after retirement.
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Choosing Your Pension Payout Option

If you plan to receive your pension payout on a monthly basis, you probably have some questions about your payout options. There are many factors to consider, so check out our blog to learn more about the options available to you.
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3 Moments in Life Where You Should Consider Consulting a Financial Professional

Financial planning can be complicated. There are many scenarios where you may feel comfortable handling financial decisions on your own, but here are three common situations when it may be a good idea to consult with a financial professional.
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Retirement Income Planning

For investors approaching retirement, it is important to begin thinking about retirement income planning. This involves a mindset shift from accumulating an investment portfolio designed for growth to creating a portfolio of retirement income designed to help you pursue your lifestyle goals.
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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. Here, we will examine each 401(k) option.
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What to Do if You Underpay Your Taxes

Every year, there are taxpayers that underpay their taxes. It just happens. But if you do that, no matter how innocent your underpayment might have been, you can be subject to penalties. The IRS issued a statement to help those who underpay to avoid penalties.
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Working During Retirement

Planning on working during retirement? If so, you're not alone. An increasing number of employees nearing retirement plan to work at least some period of time during their retirement years.
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How Does an Interest Rate Hike Impact Investors?

Interest rates can positively or negatively affect the U.S. economy, the stock markets, and your investments. When the Fed changes the Federal Funds Rate, the rate at which banks can borrow money to lend to businesses or individuals creates a ripple effect². Consumers will have to pay more to borrow and benefit less from lower rates on their deposits as household budgets squeeze even tighter.
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