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Weighing a Wider Range of Health Plan Options

December 2018

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees to offer health insurance. Still, many would like to do so, in part to stay competitive in a tightening job market. It is often difficult for small businesses to find affordable health coverage. For companies with 3 to 199… Read more

Insurance Strategies: Giving Old Life Insurance a New Purpose

December 2018

Later in life — when your children are on their own, you’ve retired, or you’ve paid off your mortgage — you may think you no longer need to keep your life insurance coverage, or that the benefit isn’t worth the cost. If you own permanent life insurance, the policy may have a cash surrender value… Read more

Know Your Mutual Funds

December 2018

An estimated 100 million Americans — representing almost 45% of U.S. households — owned mutual funds in 2017. These individual retail investors held about 90% of the $18.7 trillion in assets invested in U.S. mutual fund companies.1 Mutual funds offer a convenient way to participate in a variety of market activity that would be difficult… Read more

Low-Volatility Strategies for a Less Stressful Ride

December 2018

After an unusually steady 2017, the U.S. stock market took a more volatile turn in the first half of 2018.1 A number of factors contributed to this year’s volatility, but trade tensions between the United States and its largest trading partners were a frequent trigger. A series of announced tariffs raised the possibility of a broader… Read more

Competing Goals: Pay Off Student Loans or Save for Retirement?

December 2018

Many college graduates face a tough decision early in their working lives: pay off student loans or save for retirement. It’s a financial tug of war between digging out from debt today and saving for tomorrow, both of which are very important goals. Recent graduates might enter the workforce with little more than their diplomas… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Consumer Nation: Can Confidence Drive the Economy?

December 2018

In October 2018, The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® reached its highest level since September 2000, despite a steep stock market slide and potential headwinds from inflation and rising interest rates.1 Another measure, the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, has also remained higher in 2018 than in any year since 2000.2 Confidence dropped… Read more

Reviewing Business Structure in Light of Tax Changes

November 2018

The difference between personal and business tax rates is a factor that often influences a business owner’s choice of organizational structure. Thus, recent tax changes make it a good time to recalculate and evaluate your options. C corporations are taxed at the corporate tax rate, which was permanently cut from a top rate of 35%… Read more

Health Savings Account: Funding an HSA Could Help You Prepare for Retirement

November 2018

By one estimate, the average 65-year-old couple retiring in 2017 could spend more than $404,000 on health-care expenses in retirement. This figure includes lifetime premiums for Medicare, supplemental insurance, dental coverage, deductibles, coinsurance, and other out-of-pocket costs.1 The primary purpose of a health savings account (HSA) is for workers to set aside pre-tax income to… Read more

Help with College: A Gift for Your Grandkids

November 2018

College graduates generally earn more, have lower rates of unemployment, lead healthier lifestyles, and are more active citizens than those without a degree.1 One estimate places the lifetime value of a bachelor’s degree at $2.8 million.2 That kind of opportunity requires a substantial investment that can be overwhelming even for families who are on solid… Read more

Community Property Laws: Yours, Mine, and Ours

November 2018

The question of asset ownership can be contentious in the event of a divorce, but even in the happiest marriage it may be helpful to understand the laws regarding ownership of property obtained before and during the marriage. Currently, nine states have community property laws: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and… Read more

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