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Gen Xers: “Can I Afford to Retire on My Terms?”

As Generation X, often referred to as the "forgotten generation," inches closer to retirement, a unique set of challenges and concerns emerges. Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen Xers find themselves facing a pivotal moment, with retirement on the horizon. However, for many in this generation, the road to retirement is uncharted and fraught with financial uncertainty. The Financial Landscape A study by the National Institute for Retirement Security reveals a sobering reality – the
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The Best Investment: Teaching Your Children to Save and Invest

A 2022 Gallup Poll found that 58% of all adult Americans own stock. The top 1% owns more than half the total amount invested among those who own stock. 1 Making investing possible for your children, nieces, nephews and other loved ones may be the key to improving their financial future and getting them off to a good start in adulthood. Here are a few ways to help your children develop good habits regarding saving and investing. Start Them Saving EarlyIf you start your children early with go
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Strategizing for Success: The Parallels Between Estate Planning and a Super Bowl

Just as a winning team meticulously plans its Super Bowl plays, individuals and families may benefit from developing a comprehensive plan for their estate. Estate planning isn't just for the wealthy. Estate planning is a strategic move for everyone to use that helps to see your wishes honored, your assets managed, and your loved ones taken care of. Here are a few benefits of having a well-thought-out game plan for your estate. Define Your Goals Just as a football team sets its sights on the
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Making the Most of an Interest Rate Hike Pause: Financial Tips and Strategies

In times of market volatility, when inflation is increasing, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to help to cool the inflation spike. During this period, people are anxious and keep a tight grip on their wallets. In time, the Fed can put a halt on the interest rate hike. This pause is a breath of fresh air for consumers to take advantage of the extra money in their pockets by creating short-term strategies, which may include:  Paying down bad debt Do you have debt hanging over yo
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Retirement Income Investing As Rates Stay High

Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of many years of labor; a season to reap the benefits of smart saving and investing. However, with the changing tides of the economy, particularly the rise in interest rates, a new set of opportunities has presented itself for retirees. The investment landscape for those in their golden years is sparkling with potential, albeit with a few caveats that require a keen eye and a prudent mind. Capitalizing on Higher Interest Rates Financial advisors are gene
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Key Financial Wellness Metrics for Near-Retirement Individuals

As one approaches retirement, monitoring your financial situation by understanding your net worth and assessing the assets and resources needed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle throughout retirement is vital. This article explores eight key financial wellness metrics individuals must monitor as they approach retirement. 1. Income Replacement Ratio One of the primary financial wellness metrics is the Income Replacement Ratio (IRR), which calculates the percentage of your pre-retirement income
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Taxation of Investments

It's nice to own stocks, bonds, and other investments. Nice, that is, until it's time to fill out your federal income tax return. At that point, you may be left scratching your head. Just how do you report your investments and how are they taxed? Is it ordinary income or a capital gain? To determine how an investment vehicle is taxed in a given year, first ask yourself what went on with the investment that year. Did it generate interest income? If so, the income is probably considered o
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2024 Contribution Limits: What’s New?

Life today is expensive, and contributing to a retirement plan is more beneficial than ever. Recently, the IRS announced it was raising the contribution limit for 401(k)s to $23,000 for 2024, up from $22,500. In a world where pensions are nearly gone, having the ability to put more money away can help you prepare for a retirement that may be here faster than you think. According to the Investment Company Institute, Americans had more than $7 trillion in 401(k)s and $13 trillion in individua
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LPL Financial Research Outlook 2024: A Turning Point

In 2024, LPL Research believes markets will make a definitive turn to a more recognizable place. En route, the transition will be marked by meaningful shifts in a few key areas. Inflation is going down. The risk of a recession is bubbling up again as the effect of post-pandemic stimulus wanes. And the end of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) rate-hiking campaign is indeed upon us.Where the last two years had investors focused on inflation, market volatility, and striving for a sense of economic
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Tax Tips to Consider Before the End of the Year

Tax planning can be advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end. Opportunities exist for you to mitigate tax liability, which will leave more income for you and your family.
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Dos and Don'ts for Investing During the Holidays

In the world of investing, the "holiday effect," as it is often referred to, is a phenomenon where stock prices see an increase right before a major holiday. No matter the cause of this uptick, it is essential to be prepared for it and follow simple dos and don'ts when investing during a holiday.
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Your Traditional 401(k) Year-End Review Checklist

A 401(k) plan is one of the most popular and effective techniques for saving for your retirement. A company will automatically withdraw and contribute money from each paycheck to your 401(k) plan. Here is a 401(k) end-of-the-year checklist you may find beneficial in keeping up with your retirement strategy.  ?
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Year-end Tax Planning for High-Net-Worth Individuals

As the year’s end approaches, High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) must prepare for one of the most critical monetary tasks: year-end tax planning. Due to the nature of their holdings and dynamic financial situation, HNWIs often grapple with complex tax management issues. With astute planning, mitigating significant tax liability may be possible.First, comprehensive tax planning involves critically reviewing current income and projected future earnings. Review helps ensure that you're op
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Fed’s Core Inflation Focus vs. Retirees’ Real World

On September 13, 2023, it was announced that August saw inflation record its biggest monthly increase for all of 2023 as energy prices rose significantly. Specifically, the Department of Labor reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures costs across a broad array of goods and services, rose 0.6% for the month, and was up 3.7% from a year ago.Contributing to much of the gain was the fact that energy prices rose 5.6% in August, including a massive 10.6% jump in gasoline prices. Fu
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Helping Your Heirs While Helping Others

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) can be a highly effective financial and estate planning tool. The CRT can allow you to: avoid capital gains taxes on highly appreciated assets, however when income is distributed to the income beneficiaries it is taxable; receive an income stream based on the full, fair market value (FMV) of those assets; receive an immediate charitable deduction; and ultimately benefit the charity(ies) of your choice.Some individuals may be reluctant to transfer significant as
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Tips for Your Year-End Financial Planning Review

When you work with a financial professional, then you know how important the year-end review is to the financial planning process. And given that you should be scheduling your year-end review this month, let’s review how you can best prepare.Interestingly, it’s easy to liken your annual financial planning review to what you already know really well: the annual employee performance review. Here is what you should do in order to make your annual financial planning review more efficient
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Financial Planning - Helping You See the Big Picture

Do you picture yourself owning a new home, starting a business, or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.That's where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you target your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources. Why is financial planning important? A comprehen
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Finding Focus with Financial Planning

You have probably heard about financial planning and its potential benefits, but you are unsure how to apply the principles to your life. A financial plan is a collection of steps that help you to evaluate your financial condition and determine how to prepare for your financial future. A financial plan may impact every aspect of your life, from your credit score to your savings, investments, spending habits, and retirement. This guide will discuss some steps to help you get a foothold to begin t
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Financial Planning and Senior Independence

Navigating elder care and elder care finances in the U.S. can be a challenge even for the most well-prepared households. So what, exactly, is involved in senior financial planning? What steps can you take now to help you be prepared for the future?Here we discuss a few of the options that can allow elders to maintain their independence while still accessing the services and support they need. Private Funds and Out-of-Pocket Costs Most people wind up using private funds to pay the majority of th
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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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5 Compelling Reasons to Rethink Social Security

When it comes to planning for retirement, Social Security benefits have traditionally been viewed as a safety net for many individuals. However, in recent years, there has been growing concern about the long-term viability and sustainability of the Social Security system. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important for individuals to reconsider relying solely on Social Security benefits as a retirement plan. Here are five compelling reasons why you should not solely depend on Social Secur
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An Essential Guide to Estate Planning Preparedness

A recent survey by Caring.com found that a whopping two in three American adults do not have an estate plan1—an alarming statistic, considering that an estate plan can protect your assets and ensure that they go to the right people. If you have not begun to prepare an estate plan, or if your estate planning efforts have stalled, what can you do to get back on track? Here are seven crucial steps to take when planning your estate. #1: Inventory Your Possessions To learn how your a
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Why Financial Preparedness Is a Smart Investment

During turbulent financial times, having a financial emergency plan might provide you with a proverbial life preserver. Whether it is an emergency fund to help you tackle an unplanned expense, insurance to cover an unexpected accident or disaster, or a "go bag" that contains all your most important records, organizing your finances may help you feel prepared to handle anything that might come your way.However, this financial preparedness does not come naturally. In fact, only about two
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Are You Maximizing 401(k) Contributions?

The more money that you can save when you are working, the easier it should be for you to retire and enjoy your golden years. Unfortunately, Social Security may no longer provide a sufficient income to live on during retirement. To combat this financial challenge, many small businesses have adopted the corporate approach to 401(k) matching. In fact, for employers who provide a match to employees, this match averaged between 4% to 6% of the employee's gross pay in 2023. This growth has i
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The Role of Insurance in Your Financial Plan

A critical part of financial planning that is often overlooked is insurance. Having various insurance policies will provide different benefits to your financial plan, ranging from protection to tax breaks. In fact, insurance is a component of most financial plans, and some financial professionals are licensed to sell it themselves. Read on to learn more about the role insurance plays in financial planning and what policies you might consider. 
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Financial Basics for Millennials

With age comes responsibility, so if you're a young adult in your 20s or 30s, chances are you've been introduced to the realities of adulthood. While you're excited by all the opportunities life has to offer, you're also aware of your emerging financial responsibility. In the financial realm, the millennial generation (young adults born between 1981 and 1997) faces a unique set of challenges, including a competitive job market and significant student loan debt that can make it di
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4 Things Every College Student Should Know About Credit

The average college student graduates with around $30,000 in student loan debt. While this isn't an insurmountable amount of debt for a degree that may boost your earning potential, it also makes it important to maintain responsible credit habits in college and beyond.1 Below, we discuss four key facts college students should know about their credit.You Don't Need to Avoid Credit Cards...Some college students tend to avoid credit cards for fear of falling into the debt trap. However, usi
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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. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal,
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Examining the Myth of the Broke Millennial

For years, millennials have been the subject of countless negative headlines and reports. This generation, born between 1981 and 1996, has been labeled lazy, entitled, and financially irresponsible. However, recent data suggests that the narrative of the broke millennial is more of a myth than reality. As millennials age and take on greater financial responsibilities, they are proving to be more adept at handling money than previously thought. So why doesn't it feel like they're thriving
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A Financial Checklist for Life-Changing Events

When it comes to financial planning, people often think of financial professionals as people who assist with strategies for retirement planning. That is one aspect of their job; however, financial planning and working with a financial professional can benefit anybody who experiences life-changing events, including getting a new job, marriage, debt repayment plans, buying a house, and more. As the world becomes more complex and events unfold throughout your life, a sound financial strategy is cri
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Financial Freedom, Market Volatility, and You

If recent market volatility has you questioning your opportunities for financial freedom, you are not alone. Due to rising inflation, higher interest rates, a volatile stock market, and recession fears, many investors find themselves wondering how to proceed.Fortunately, history may help gain perspective on this market. Those who weather volatility might have more resilience. Here are some tips and tricks to help you deal with market volatility and assess the quality of your current investments.
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The Sandwich Generation: Caring for Parents and Children Simultaneously

As the U.S. population continues to age, the “sandwich generation” is caught in the middle, supporting both their parents and their children, whether financially, physically, or emotionally. This generation is the middle-aged generation supporting the baby boomer generation—now the largest generation ever. According to research by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, by 2035, one in three heads of households will be someone age 65
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Tips to Shape Up Your Fiscal Fitness this Summer

Many people realize that the best way to stay in shape is to develop an appropriate fitness regimen and then stick with it. If you start a fitness program and drop out, you never give yourself a chance to become physically fit. In the long run, regular workouts pay off.It is the same with fiscal conditioning. To develop fiscal fitness and the financial independence that goes along with it, be sure to adhere to a regular program of disciplined financial practices. Here are some tips to help you &
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Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

In tax lingo, your principal residence is the place where you legally reside. It's typically the place where you spend most of your time, but several other factors are also relevant in determining your principal residence. Many of the tax benefits associated with home ownership apply mainly to your principal residence — different rules apply to second homes and investment properties.Here's what you need to know to make owning a home really pay off at tax time. 
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Take a Swing at Investing Like a Golfer

Golfing and investing may not seem to share much common ground at first glance. But the more you think about it, a successful golfer and a successful investor share a number of traits such as patience, perseverance, attention to detail, and intellectual curiosity. Below, we discuss a few areas investing and golf have in common—as well as a couple of tips you can use to make sure your investing game is as successful as your golf game.  
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6 Timeless Financial Tips Our Fathers Taught Us

Although many things have changed in the financial world over the past 20 years, some nuggets of financial advice are timeless. Here are a few tips that have remained constant for several generations.Always Spend Less Than You MakeWealth creation is not about how much you earn. It is about how much you save.1 Spending more than you make incurs debt that you must repay with interest. Spending less than you make allows you to earn money through your investments. 
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Making an Educated Decision about Education Savings Options

Those that choose to invest in the education of a family member, friend or acquaintance are investing not only in that individual’s future, but also the future of society. It is an act of generosity, forward-thinking, and love. However, this type of investment can be more complicated than initially thought. Which plan should you choose and how do you decide? Here are some key details about 529 plans and other education savings options to help you decide which plan is appropriate for you an
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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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Trusts for Families

What is it? There are a number of family trusts that estate planners generally no longer use, either because they have lost certain tax benefits or because they are simply no longer a favored method of gifting. These trusts include the Clifford trust, the pot trust, and the Crown trust. Tip: The Crown trust was once a popular income-shifting device used for educational funding. Today, estate planners no longer use Crown trusts.  
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How Life Insurance Policies Make Money for You

With all of the attention the life insurance industry has been receiving lately, it'ss easy for policyholders to overlook two important factors: 1) few investments, if any, meet the safety of life insurance and, 2) few investments offer the advantages of tax-free accumulation of cash values and tax-free death benefits. Whether you own a traditional whole life insurance policy, or an interest- or investment-sensitive policy, it is important to have some familiarity with how your policy earning
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Money Mistakes that Young Professionals Make

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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.
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