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Friday, September 17, 2021

It’s time for your life insurance checkup.September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to review your coverage.1If you don’t have any life insurance, you’re not alone. Life...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The stock market notched its 7th straight month of gains in August, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index has set 53 new highs so far in 2021.1During August, stocks rallied as investors looked past the increased number of COVID-19...

Monday, September 13, 2021

In a quiet week of news, stocks moved lower amid simmering concerns over the Delta variant’s effect on the progress of economic reopening.The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2.15%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

It can be incredibly difficult to make sense of data. A report coming from one body may tell you one thing, and another report might seem to offer a wholly different perspective.Such is the case with August’s jobs numbers from...

Monday, August 30, 2021

Healthcare can be one of the priciest yet essential parts of life’s journey. And yet, many struggle to utilize the financial tools that may help. Take Health Saving Accounts (HSAs), for example.In 2019, 55% of those with HSAs...

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Your workplace retirement account can play a critical role in your overall retirement strategy. However, some have gone further with the accounts than others, especially recently.CNBC reported on findings that place 401(k) accounts at...

Monday, August 23, 2021

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt from coast to coast. And, unfortunately for many pre-retirees, it could potentially impact Social Security benefits as well.A new report indicates that if Congress doesn’t take...

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Tax Planning for the Biden AdministrationPotential Strategies to Combat Increased Taxes Many individuals are stuck in a holding pattern as they wait to see what impact the Biden Administration will have on tax regulations. The...

Friday, August 13, 2021

Over the last year, many have seen their lives impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ways in which we work, live, and communicate have drastically changed, to say the least.It’s difficult to predict what other aspects of life...

Thursday, August 5, 2021

In this month’s recap: Stocks notched a solid gain as investors looked past higher inflation and new COVID-19 cases. U.S. MarketsLast month, the stock market posted a solid gain, overcoming investors’ fears of higher...

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Have you ever heard the Wall Street expression, "markets climb a wall of worry?"It's the idea that financial markets are constantly on edge. Traders fret about how long a market rally can continue before it runs into trouble. Worry...

Sunday, August 1, 2021

With overseas investments, we remind people that, “international markets carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risk, foreign taxes and regulations...

Monday, June 21, 2021

New messaging from the Federal Reserve on interest rates and inflation last week led to a broad retreat in stock prices.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 3.45% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 1.91%. The Nasdaq...

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Recently, you may have seen headlines regarding the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, also referred to as the second version of the SECURE Act, or SECURE Act 2.0.As the bill moves from the House of Representatives to the Senate, many...

Monday, June 7, 2021

A strong, but not too strong, employment report sparked a rally on the final day of trading, propelling stocks to a modest gain for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed by 0.66%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500...

Sunday, June 6, 2021

If there is a "silver lining" to all the inflation talk, it may be that Social Security benefits are expected to see a larger-than-normal increase in 2022.Preliminary estimates call for a 4.7% cost-of-living increase (COLA) in Social...

Friday, June 4, 2021

Over Memorial Day weekend, gasoline prices hit the highest for this holiday weekend since 2014.1With the Colonial Pipeline outage in the rear-view mirror and an ever-increasing number of adults vaccinated, formerly cooped-up motorists...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

With COVID, there were some who believed that progress on this health issue was a necessary precondition to economic recovery.In recent weeks, we have seen some promising trends emerge on the health front. The CDC is reporting the...

Monday, May 24, 2021

Stock prices fluctuated amid inflation concerns and bargain hunting, leaving stocks mixed for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.51%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 0.43%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq...

Friday, May 21, 2021

The talk is of tapering, and it’s making investors nervous.The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released the minutes of its April meeting last week. The report suggested that should the economy continue to make progress, it...

Friday, May 14, 2021

Inflation can be a scary word for people who are retired. It’s code for “prices are going up, but my income may stay the same.”The most recent reading on consumer prices put inflation back into the conversation. The...

Thursday, May 13, 2021

As our nation continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19, one economic trend has been capturing news attention as of late. Consumer prices are rising amidst economic recovery. In fact, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.8%...

Friday, May 7, 2021

What does it mean when two of the most powerful voices in American financial life seem to be saying two different things?In one corner, we have the “Oracle of Omaha,” investor Warren Buffett. As one of the nation’s...

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Will your retirement dreams match your reality?That's perhaps the most critical question to ask people who are currently retired. Was your retirement what you expected, or was it something else?For more than 30 years, the Employee...

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Now and again, the price action on Wall Street can surprise even the most seasoned investors.Look no further than when President Biden in late April proposed an increase in the tax on capital gains to 39.6% from 20% for those...

Monday, April 26, 2021

The San Diego Padres signed infielder Fernando Tatis, Jr., to a 14-year, $340 million contract roughly one year after the Los Angeles Dodgers inked outfielder Mookie Betts to a 12-year, $365 million deal. That brings the total to 8...

Friday, April 23, 2021

A recent survey shows that 63% of investors are more interested in protecting their financial assets and planning for uncertainty in the future than anything else.1There are many reasons for this change, but here are a few of the most...

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Recently, you may have seen reports that a record-low number of homes are available for sale—roughly 1.03 million nationwide. If you compare that to the average number of homes for sale during the past 10 years, it's no surprise...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have been the recipient of the latest buzz. NFTs are digital files attached to blockchain codes. If you know anything about digital currencies, you’re probably aware that these blockchain codes are...

Sunday, April 11, 2021

It can be exhausting trying to keep up with the whims of Wall Street.Lately, the financial markets have been fixated on federal taxes and what may be proposed on Capitol Hill in the weeks and months ahead.Wall Street’s focus on...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Previously, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year had been automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.1More time for allHowever,...

Monday, March 22, 2021

Among the many changes arising from the pandemic, one of the most noticeable was a change in American spending habits.A survey released in March 2021 by Pew Research shows that Americans have increasingly chosen to put away what extra...

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Major League Baseball scheduled Opening Day for April 1, but two states have already scored with spring training underway.Every year, spring training divides the 30 MLB teams into two squads. Half of the teams travel to Florida as...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Recently, Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest people in the world, announced he would take a different role at his company. Corporate moves make the news all the time, but for the largest companies, the story can jump from the business...

Monday, February 1, 2021

You may have heard the news about stocks for certain companies suddenly ballooning, quickly going from lunch money prices to several hundred dollars a share. In one case, the shares rose over 1700% since December 2020.1 So, what...

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Former Federal Reserve chair Janet L. Yellen was sworn in as the 78th Secretary of the Treasury on January 26, 2021. This was a moment for historical reflection, as Yellen is the first woman confirmed to this vital cabinet position...

Sunday, January 10, 2021

1099 FormsExplaining the many types of 1099 forms and their uses.   What is a 1099 form? This is a record of payment from an individual or entity, showing a payment, generated for your records. The individual/entity sends a...

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January is Financial Wellness Month, a time to remind people to make arrangements for their financial strategy.For me, it’s time for me to connect with new clients and discuss their financial situation and aspirations for their...

Sunday, January 3, 2021

January is International Wealth Mentality Month, a time to remind people to make arrangements for their financial strategy.For me, it’s time for me to connect with new clients and discuss their financial situation and...

Friday, January 1, 2021

After a bit of political posturing in December, the $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (2021 CAA) was signed into law by President Trump as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact employers and employees...

Sunday, December 6, 2020

This time of year, you might glance at an account statement and see there has been an adjustment. But there may not be any cause for concern.Many mutual funds in December pay shareholders capital gains distributions that they have...

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

On October 26, the Treasury Department released the 2021 adjusted figures for retirement account savings. Although these adjustments won’t bring any major changes, there are some minor elements to note.401(k)sThe salary deferral...

Monday, October 26, 2020

The failure to reach an agreement on a new fiscal stimulus bill soured investor sentiment and sent stocks modestly lower for the week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.95%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.53%....

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The upcoming election is prompting some people to reconsider their investment strategy.In fact, 45% of consumers with $100,000 or more investable assets expect to make changes to their portfolio due to the upcoming 2020 presidential...

Friday, October 16, 2020

On October 13, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) officially announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021. This adjustment will begin with benefits payable...

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

It should come as no surprise to hear the economy is the top issue for voters in the 2020 election. Nearly 8 in ten voters say that the economy will be very important to them when they cast their votes.1But when voters say...

Thursday, October 1, 2020

As the U.S. presidential election draws near, expect to see more and more headlines that propose, "What will happen next if this person is elected?" or, "What policy changes to prepare for in the next four years?"In reality, however,...

Sunday, September 20, 2020

There hasn’t been much merger and acquisition activity through 2020. This diminished activity comes despite low interest rates, which may help companies manage the cost of borrowing for a purchase. Some of this makes sense, in...

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A U.S. drug company recently said that it’s in late-stage trials for its coronavirus vaccine and reported that it could be given to Americans as early as the end of the year.1Great news. But it seems like every few days...

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Are you one of the many retirement account holders who took a mandatory distribution this year? If so, you may be able to manage the taxes associated with Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. There...

Friday, August 28, 2020

Stocks powered to another week of gains as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite set multiple new record highs along the way.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially unchanged while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose by 0...

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Stocks were mixed last week amid a busy week of earnings, some troubling economic data, and seemingly little progress on a new fiscal stimulus package.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.16%, while the Standard &...

Monday, August 3, 2020

One of my favorite Wall Street quotes is from Mark Twain, who said:“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June,...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Weekly Economic UpdateIn this week’s recap: stocks slip after heavier jobless claims and U.S.-China strife. THE WEEK ON WALL STREETStocks slipped in the final days of trading last week on higher jobless claims and rising...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Weekly Economic UpdateIn this week’s recap: stocks see a mixed week, as COVID-19 cases rise, and news of vaccine emerges. THE WEEK ON WALL STREETStocks were mixed last week as investors reacted to positive economic data,...

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Weekly Economic UpdateIn this week’s recap: despite continued COVID-19 concerns, markets react positively to upbeat economic data. THE WEEK ON WALL STREETIn a holiday-shortened week, stock prices turned higher as encouraging...

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

With the economy and financial markets flashing mixed signals, it’s no wonder that lawmakers are deadlocked on whether to pass a Phase 4 of the CARES Act.More than $3 trillion in stimulus has been pushed into the economy since...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Weekly Economic UpdateIn this week’s recap: a rise in COVID-19 cases inspires turbulence in markets, tapping the brakes on economic recovery. THE WEEK ON WALL STREETA jump in COVID-19 cases dampened investor enthusiasm last week...

Friday, June 26, 2020

Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may now be able to access retirement accounts to help cover daily expenses, penalty-free.Now, in addition to those who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Weekly Economic UpdateIn this week’s recap: as fears of economic shutdown diminish, the U.S. economy gains momentum. THE WEEK ON WALL STREETStocks moved higher last week on news of more Federal Reserve market support and...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Weekly Economic UpdateIn this week’s recap: increase in COVID-19 cases, matched with downbeat Federal Reserve forecast, weighed on markets. THE WEEK ON WALL STREETInvestor sentiment turned negative last week, amid an increasing...

Monday, June 8, 2020

Before You Claim Social SecurityA few things you may want to think about before filing for benefits. Whether you want to leave work at 62, 67, or 72, claiming the retirement benefits you are entitled to by federal law is no casual...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Stocks drifted lower last week, weighed down by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s unsettling comments on the economy and signs of renewed tensions with China.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.65%, while the Standard...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Even in “normal” times, the news can be depressing. But these days, it can seem like there’s an awful lot to worry about. Here’s a sampling of the types of headlines I’ve seen recently:Why US hospitals...

Monday, May 18, 2020

Tucked into the gigantic “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (“CARES”) Act were two key changes you should know about, regarding required minimum distributions (RMDs). Both were designed to give...

Monday, May 4, 2020

Tax-Loss HarvestingA useful year-end move to counteract capital gains. Even though this may end up being a subpar year for stocks, you may realize capital gains, which is a taxable event. What can you do about them? You can do what...

Friday, May 1, 2020

Monthly News and Information for Current and Future Retirees - May 2020 QUOTE OF THE MONTH“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.”Lois McMaster Bujold HOW SHOULD PRE-RETIREES...

Sunday, April 26, 2020

American lawmakers have passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a program that will offer small business loans to employers in need of aid as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.1,2The bill is a $484...

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up nearly every aspect of American life. To say it’s been a difficult time would be an understatement. However, difficult times may open doors to new possibilities. Businesses are changing...

Friday, April 3, 2020

Monthly News and Information for Current and Future Retirees QUOTE OF THE MONTH“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever...

Sunday, February 2, 2020

As much as you already know about managing your money, there’s always something else to learn. From budgeting to saving, we have an array of resources on our website that are both educational and helpful on a practical level....

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Due to the increased volume of federal estate tax return filings in order to make the “portability election,” the IRS has announced that estate tax closing letters will only be issued upon request by the taxpayer. This change in IRS...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

While there are many factors to consider when choosing the place where you will retire, the ones that will impact your wallet may be the most important. Why? Because having a low crime rate and beautiful weather will be irrelevant if...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions. Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It’s that time of year – the time for beautiful weddings, fun receptions, delicious cakes, special gifts, and romantic honeymoons. While this is a joyous time for everyone, it’s also time for you and your new spouse to plan for your...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Death taxes are back in the news at the federal level as well as in Delaware and Minnesota. What Happened to the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015?Back in February and March of 2015, identical bills calling for repeal of the federal estate...

Friday, June 19, 2015

You may be surprised to learn that not only has asset protection planning been around for a long time, but you have already engaged in it at some point during your life. In fact, you probably have one or more types of traditional asset...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some view asset protection planning with a skeptical eye. They believe there is a moral obligation to pay one’s debts. They think that asset protection planning is immoral because it prevents a creditor from collecting on a judgment...

Friday, June 5, 2015

After a loved one dies, you need to gather the important documents that are necessary to settle their final affairs. While the documents required will vary depending on what your loved one owned and owed, below is a list of common...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Farming or ranching is more than a means of livelihood – it is about preserving a legacy and unique way of life. Unfortunately, many farmers and ranchers fail to make an estate plan. The farm or ranch that has been passed down for...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

What you don’t know about Social Security benefits can hurt you and your spouse for the rest of your lives. Here are three traps to avoid when taking your benefits. The Key TakeawaysThe longer you can postpone taking your Social...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

We live in a litigious society. Lawsuits abound, whether deserved or not. If you own property or stock that was purchased at a low price and has had high appreciation, it is at risk to litigation and creditors—even if you are not in a...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Estate planning attorneys are often asked where original estate planning documents – wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives – should be stored for safekeeping. While there is no right or wrong answer to this...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

One of the first things you should do as a newly appointed executor of a deceased person’s probate estate or successor trustee of a deceased trustmaker’s trust is ask the post office to forward the deceased person’s mail to your...

Friday, May 8, 2015

While it’s not unusual for an original last will and testament to be misplaced, it is when your daughter happens to be the Register of Wills for Baltimore City. What is a Register of Wills? In Maryland, the Register of Wills is an...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Most investors are familiar with the magic of compounding interest but they often fail to realize that when the portfolio loses money, the math of compounding works against them. That’s because when a dollar is lost, it is not just a...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

One common way to avoid probate of real estate after the owner dies is to hold the title to the property in joint names with rights of survivorship with children or other beneficiaries. This is accomplished by adding the names of the...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Revocable Living Trusts have become the basic building block of estate plans for people of all ages, personal backgrounds, and financial situations. But for some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve their estate...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Whether you are a physician or not, you probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with liability. It’s not just medical malpractice claims either – employment related issues, careless business partners and...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Identical bills have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that would permanently repeal the federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax. Overview of Current Federal Estate, Gift, and GST Tax Laws Under...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?Payable on death accounts, or “POD accounts” for short, have become popular for avoiding probate in the last decade or so.What is a POD Account?A POD account is a type of bank...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

In the United States, certain states collect a death tax based on the value of the deceased person’s estate and who inherits it.Which States Collect a State Death Tax?As of January 1, 2015, the following states collect a death tax:...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?Payable on death accounts, or “POD accounts” for short, have become popular for avoiding probate in the last decade or so.What is a POD Account?A POD account is a type of bank...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?If you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again. In...

Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Easily Integrate Asset Protection Trusts into Your Estate Plan Asset protection has become a common goal of estate planning. Asset protection trusts come in many different forms and can be used to protect property for your use...

Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Choose the Right Agent for Your Incapacity Plan A common misconception is that estate planning equates to death planning. But planning for what happens after you die is only one piece of the estate planning puzzle. It is just as...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A comprehensive financial plan that is effectively executed is designed to deliver dollar savings in improved investment returns, lower taxes, lower fees, more efficient wealth and more stable income. However, an important outcome of...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Five Changes Proposed in President Obama’s 2016 BudgetThat Could Affect Your Estate Plan The Obama administration recently released its budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year. As in past years, this budget proposes changes to the...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It’s Not Just About Death and Taxes: The Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity Planning Comprehensive estate planning is about more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. It must also be about...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Everyone faces hassles in life. We can’t escape them completely, but if we can minimize them, our quality of life improves. There are hassles in managing your finances and wealth, too. Here are five tips that will help you get...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and over 50% of the Fortune 400’s The Richest People in America list have decided to give away their wealth for charitable pursuits. Of course, not many of us have that kind of money or are inclined to give...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Americans are very generous when it comes to charitable giving. In addition, lower earners give more proportionately than higher earners. Perhaps this is because lower earners understand how easily a family can slip into financial...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

With the end of 2014 fast approaching, now is the time to take a look at your year-to-date retirement plan contributions to see where yours stand when compared with the 2014 contribution limits. Summary of 2014 Retirement Plan...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

With the end of the year fast approaching, now is the time to fine tune your estate plan before you get caught up in the chaos of the holiday season. One area of planning that many people overlook is their beneficiary designations....

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Most of us will admit to having made some financial mistakes we regret—running up credit card debt, impulse buying, or making a bad investment or business decision. While there can be significant devastation, the key is to move beyond...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Everyone makes financial mistakes. The key is to learn from them, try not to repeat them and then pass on this hard-earned wisdom to your loved ones as an element of your financial legacy. The Key TakeawaysWe can learn not only from...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

So far in this series on wasting money, we have looked at how people may overpay for housing, interest, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment. In this last part, we will look at a few more areas in which we may pay more than...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In Part One of this series on wasting money, we looked at housing, interest and transportation—areas in which you or your loved ones may be wasting larger amounts of money. In Part Two, we will look at how money can be wasted in...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Most of us are guilty of wasting money in one way or another. Often we are so busy that we pay too much for convenience, and we don’t comparison shop or look for bargains. Sometimes we waste money because we just stay in the same...

Monday, June 23, 2014

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court—in a unanimous decision—ruled that Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) inherited by anyone other than a spouse are not retirement funds and therefore are not protected from the beneficiary’s...