Personal Finance

Tax Reform Proposal: Things to Consider

Senior Estate Planner Mike Repak explains some of the implications of certain aspects of the current House tax plan proposal.


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Protecting Your Loved Ones with Life Insurance

Your life insurance needs will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your family, the nature of your financial obligations, your career stage, and your goals. It's important to understand the different types of policies and what type of insurance is right for you in order to protect your loved ones.


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Don't Let Health Care and Long-Term Care Costs Consume Your Retirement Savings

You’ve worked incredibly hard to build the nest egg that you’re heading into retirement with, so why not do what you can help protect that nest egg against one of the largest retirement risks you’re likely to face—health care and long-term care expenditures.

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Why Use Life Insurance in Estate Planning

Take a closer look at some of the benefits of owning life insurance such as liquidity, estate equalization, and protecting your legacy and learn about the useful role life insurance plays in the estate planning process.


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Caring For Your Aging Parents

Caring for your aging parents is something you hope you can handle when the time comes, but it's the last thing you want to think about. Whether the time is now or somewhere down the road, there are steps that you can take to make your life (and theirs) a little easier. Some people live their entire lives with little or no assistance from family and friends, but today Americans are living longer than ever before. It's always better to be prepared.

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The Equifax Data Breach

In an increasingly digital world, privacy protection and cyber security is as important as ever. Equifax announced on September 7, 2017 a cybersecurity data breach incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Here's what you should know about the event and where you can go to get more information.


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Digital Deception: Current Trends in Cybercrime

Cybercrime is one of the risks of today's digital world. It's important to be aware of the trends in cybercrime and the ways you can help protect your identity and privacy. Learn more about what's happening in cyberspace today and be sure to think before you click.



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The ABCs of 529 Plans

If you're already saving for college, you've probably heard about 529 plans. 529 plans are revolutionizing the way parents and grandparents save for college, similar to the way 401(k) plans revolutionized retirement savings. Americans are pouring billions of dollars into 529 plans, and contributions are expected to increase dramatically in the coming decade. Where did these plans come from and what makes them so attractive?



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Evaluating Your College Savings Withdrawal Strategy

Congratulations—your child has been accepted into college! As you prepare for this exciting transition, it is likely that you have been saving for some time, and now you are ready to start withdrawing from your college savings account(s). As you begin the process of developing an appropriate spend-down strategy, it is important that you consider how to distribute your assets in a tax-efficient manner while leveraging financial aid benefits and continuing to maximize current savings.



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Saving for Retirement and a Child’s Education at the Same Time

You want to retire comfortably when the time comes. You also want to help your child go to college. So how do you juggle the two? The truth is, saving for your retirement and your child's education at the same time can be a challenge. But take heartyou may be able to reach both goals if you make some smart choices now.



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When Marriage Ends in Divorce or Separation

The end of a marriage is also the beginning of a new financial life. Reconsidering your financial arrangements — whether or not your income will be reduced — should be a priority as you adjust to your new circumstances. The major issues demanding attention and resolution include the following.



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The Importance of "What If" Planning

There is a basic rule that applies to personal finance: plan ahead. But “what if” planning can provide security and preparedness when the unexpected occurs.



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Maintaining Your Financial Records: The Importance of Being Organized

An important part of managing your personal finances is keeping your financial records organized. Whether it's a utility bill to show proof of residency or a Social Security card for wage reporting purposes, there may be times when you need to locate a financial record or document--and you'll need to locate it relatively quickly.

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There's Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2016

There's still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2016! If you haven't filed your 2016 tax return, you have until your due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $5,500 for 2016 ($6,500 if you were age 50 by December 31, 2016). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2016 is April 18, 2017.

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Retirement Readiness: Underestimating Your Retirement Cash Flow Can Have Severe Consequences

People preparing for retirement often think that investment returns are the biggest factor in retirement success. Returns are an important factor, but cash flow is the #1 driver of a retirement plan’s success.


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Do you make too much for Roth IRA Contributions? Consider a Backdoor Roth!

There are many clients who would like to make Roth IRA contributions, but their income exceeds the applicable income limits. Clients who earn too much money (see chart below) aren’t allowed to open Roth IRAs under current IRS rules.

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Tax-Managed Investing: How to Keep More of What You Earn

Designing and managing investment portfolios involves conducting research to select the best investments to meet each client’s needs. In this effort, it is natural to seek to maximize returns because this can improve the probability of meeting our clients investing goals. However, we all recognize that we cannot control the returns provided by the markets.

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Find a Penny, Save It Up

When the economy is turbulent and the costs of the items you buy every day are rising, it may seem impossible to save more for your long-term goals. Yet making a few changes to your daily routine may help you uncover some money you could start saving instead of spending. Saving just a little more now could make a big difference over time.

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The Spending Plan (Budget)

Your spending plan is a tool to help you achieve financial goals that otherwise might seem impossible to reach.



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Points to Consider When Setting a Retirement Savings Goal

Many Americans realize the importance of saving for retirement, but knowing exactly how much they need to save is another issue altogether. With all the information available about retirement, it is sometimes difficult to decipher what is appropriate for your specific situation.



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Tax-Advantaged Ways to Save for College

In the college savings game, all strategies aren't created equal.

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Look Out For These Top Tax Scams When Filing Your Taxes

Each year the IRS produces a list of Top Tax Scams. Since many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so, it’s a good time to become aware of common scams and how to protect yourself.

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Tax Law Changes on the Horizon for 2017

Senior Estate Planner, Mike Repak, discusses the likelihood and potential impact of significant changes from the new presidential administration.





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