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End-of-the-Year Money Moves

End-of-the-Year Money Moves

Here are some things you might want to do before saying goodbye to 2018. What has changed for you in 2018? Did you start a new job or leave a job behind? Did you retire? Did you start a family? If notable changes occurred in your personal or professional life, then you will want to…

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No, That Is Not the I.R.S. Calling

No, That Is Not the I.R.S. Calling

Watch out for crooks impersonating I.R.S. agents (and financial industry professionals). Do you know how the Internal Revenue Service contacts taxpayers to resolve a problem? The first step is almost always to send a letter through the U.S. Postal Service to the taxpayer.1 It is very rare for the I.R.S. to make the first contact…

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When Is Social Security Income Taxable?

When Is Social Security Income Taxable?

To find out, look closely at two factors. Your Social Security income could be taxed. That may seem unfair or unfathomable. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a possibility. Seniors have had to contend with this possibility since 1984. Social Security benefits became taxable above a certain yearly income level in that…

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Tolerate the Turbulence

Tolerate the Turbulence

Look beyond this moment and stay focused on your long-term objectives. Volatility will always be around on Wall Street, and as you invest for the long term, you must learn to tolerate it. Rocky moments, fortunately, are not the norm. Since the end of World War II, there have been dozens of Wall Street shocks.…

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Taking a Loan from Your Retirement Plan = Bad Idea

Taking a Loan from Your Retirement Plan = Bad Idea

Why you should refrain from making this move. Thinking about borrowing money from your 401(k), 403(b), or 457 account? Think twice about that because these loans are not only risky, but injurious, to your retirement planning. A loan of this kind damages your retirement savings prospects. A 401(k), 403(b), or 457 should never be viewed…

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Minimizing Probate When Setting Up Your Estate

Minimizing Probate When Setting Up Your Estate

What can you do to lessen its impact for your heirs? Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees, and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s assets. Probating a “routine” estate valued at $400,000…

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Retirees, Check Your Withholding

Retirees, Check Your Withholding

It may need to be adjusted due to the 2017 federal tax reforms. The Internal Revenue Service has a message for you. You may need to adjust the amount withheld from your paycheck or the size of your estimated tax payments because the agency is using new withholding tables this year. Should you underpay your…

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The IRA and the 401(k)

The IRA and the 401(k)

Comparing their features, merits, and demerits. How do you save for retirement? Two options probably come to mind right away: the IRA and the 401(k). Both offer you relatively easy ways to build a retirement fund. Here is a look at the features, merits, and demerits of each account, starting with what they have in…

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Getting Your Personal Finances in Shape for 2019

Getting Your Personal Finances in Shape for 2019

Fall is a good time to assess where you stand and where you could be. You need not wait for 2019 to plan improvements to your finances. You can begin now. The last few months of 2018 give you a prime time to examine critical areas of your budget, your credit, and your investments. You…

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5 Retirement Concerns Too Often Overlooked

5 Retirement Concerns Too Often Overlooked

Baby boomers entering their “second acts” should think about these matters. Retirement is undeniably a major life and financial transition. Even so, baby boomers can run the risk of growing nonchalant about some of the financial challenges that retirement poses, for not all are immediately obvious. In looking forward to their “second acts,” boomers may…

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