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Measuring the Value of a Financial Advisor

Dec 4, 2019

Tape Measures
One study asserts that these relationships can make a difference for investors.

What is a relationship with a financial advisor worth to an investor? A 2019 study by Vanguard, one of the world’s largest money managers, attempts to answer that question.

Vanguard’s whitepaper concludes that when an investor works with an advisor and receives professional investment advice, they may see a net portfolio return about 3% higher over time. (more…)

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Spotting Credit Trouble

Nov 1, 2019

Credit Cards
How to check for problems.

Americans aged 45 to 54, who have credit card balances, carry an average debt of $9,096 per individual.

The wise use of credit is a critical skill in today’s world. Used unwisely, however, credit can rapidly turn from a useful tool to a crippling burden. There are several warning signs that you may be approaching credit problems: (more…)

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Systematic Withdrawal Strategies

Oct 25, 2019

Doors
Should you arrange automatic distributions from your retirement or investment accounts?

Some retirees wish they could simplify money management.Estimating investment income, annual retirement plan distributions, and quarterly taxes can be a chore.

This is why some retirees choose to make systematic withdrawals. Just as they contributed a set amount per month to their retirement accounts while working, they now withdraw a set amount from their accounts each month, quarter, or year.

The simplicity of this may appeal to you. The potential drawback is that a systematic withdrawal strategy can risk oversimplifying the complex matter of retirement income distribution. (more…)

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Avoid These Life Insurance Missteps

Oct 9, 2019

Stepping on a banana peel
Shop wisely when you look for coverage.

Are you about to buy life insurance? Shop carefully. Make your choice with insight from an insurance professional, as it may help you avoid some of these all-too-common missteps.

Buying the first policy you see. Anyone interested in life insurance should take the time to compare a few plans – not only their rates, but also their coverage terms. Supply each insurer you are considering with a quote containing the exact same information about yourself. (more…)

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Ways We Can Make a Difference for Charity

Oct 4, 2019

Two hands around a heart
You don’t need to be wealthy to make an impact and get a win-win.

Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. If you’re not yet a millionaire or simply a “millionaire next door,” yet want to give, consider the following options, which may bring you immediate or future tax deductions. (more…)

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Retirement Wellness

Oct 2, 2019

A Key tagged Health
Staying healthy could save you some money.

How healthy a retirement do you think you will have?If you can stay active as a senior and curb or avoid certain habits, you could potentially reduce one type of retirement expense.

Each year, Fidelity Investments presents an analysis of retiree health care costs. In 2019, Fidelity projected that the average 65-year-old couple would spend around $285,000 on health care during retirement, including about $11,000 in the first year. Both projections took Medicare benefits into account. (more…)

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Tax Efficiency

Sep 4, 2019

Tax books
What it means; why it counts.

The after-tax return vs. the pretax return. Everyone wants their investments to perform well. But for many investors it’s their after-tax return that may make all the difference. After all, even if your portfolio is earning double-digit returns, it may not matter if you’re also losing a percent of those earnings to taxes. (more…)

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An Estate Strategy for Your Digital Assets

Jul 24, 2019

Three computer monitors
What should you know? What should your executor know?

When you think about your estate, you may think about your personal property, real estate, or investments. You also have other, less-tangible assets – and they deserve your attention as well.

Your digital assets should not disappear into a void when you die. Nor should they be stolen by thieves. You can direct that they be transferred, preserved, or destroyed per your instructions. Your digital assets may include information on your phone and computer, content that you uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, or other websites, your intellectual/creative stake in certain digital property, and records stemming from online communications. (That last category includes your emails and text messages.)

Think of it this way: each password-protected account that you have signifies a digital asset. You may feel that some of these accounts have little (more…)

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What the SECURE Act Could Mean for Retirement Plans

Jul 19, 2019

Key to open Doors
If passed, it would change some long-established retirement account rules.

If you follow national news, you may have heard of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. Although the SECURE Act has yet to clear the Senate, it saw broad, bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

This legislation could make Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) a more attractive component of retirement strategies and create a path for more annuities to be offered in retirement plans – which could mean a lifetime income stream for retirees. However, it would also change the withdrawal rules on inherited “stretch IRAs,” which may impact retirement and estate strategies, nationwide. (more…)

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Investment Challenges of the Affluent Investor

Jul 5, 2019

Maze
Affluent investors face unique challenges when putting together an investment strategy.

High net worth investors face investment challenges that some would consider unique to their financial status. The fundamental tenets of investing apply just as equally to them as any other investor, but these investors need to be mindful of issues that typically arise only from substantial wealth.

Let’s examine a few of these.

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More Insights

Dec 9, 2019

Good credit may open doors. It is vital to securing a loan, a business loan, or buying a home. When you establish and maintain good credit in college, you create a financial profile for yourself that can influence lenders, landlords, and potential employers. Unfortunately, some college students do not have good credit. In fact, Credit … Continue reading “Establishing Good Credit in College”

Dec 6, 2019

Financial generalizations are as old as time. Some have been around for decades, while others have only recently joined their ranks. Let’s examine a few common retirement assumptions. Retirement means I can stop investing. In the past, retirement was viewed as an “end” in many ways. These days though, retirement is often seen as an opportunity … Continue reading “Debunking Common Retirement Assumptions”

Dec 4, 2019

What is a relationship with a financial advisor worth to an investor? A 2019 study by Vanguard, one of the world’s largest money managers, attempts to answer that question. Vanguard’s whitepaper concludes that when an investor works with an advisor and receives professional investment advice, they may see a net portfolio return about 3% higher … Continue reading “Measuring the Value of a Financial Advisor”

Dec 2, 2019

Can your IRA be put directly into a trust? In short, no. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) cannot be put directly into a trust. What you can do, however, is name a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA. The trust would inherit the IRA upon your passing, and your beneficiaries would then have access to … Continue reading “Can You Put Your IRA into a Trust?”

Nov 29, 2019

We all know the value of a good credit score. We all try to maintain one. Sometimes, though, life throws us a financial curveball and that score declines. What steps can we take to repair it? Reduce your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization ratio (CUR) is the percentage of a credit card’s debt limit … Continue reading “Ways to Repair Your Credit Score”

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