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Are Your Designated Heirs Up-to-Date?

January 2019

The end of the year is a time when families often gather together. Although these gatherings may keep you busy, this could be a good time to think about the future and make sure that you have correctly designated family members and any others you wish as beneficiaries in your will, insurance policies, and financial… Read more

Consider a Customized Disability Policy

January 2019

If you are in good health, disability insurance may not be high on your list of financial priorities. But the statistics might surprise you. A 50-year-old has a 36% chance of experiencing at least one disability lasting 90 days or more before reaching age 65.1 Less surprising, perhaps, is that older people often take longer… Read more

ABLE Accounts for Disability Expenses

January 2019

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow eligible individuals to save and invest money in tax-advantaged plans to pay qualified disability expenses. Expenses that may qualify include housing, education, transportation, health, prevention and wellness, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, and other disability-related expenses. Along with tax advantages, ABLE accounts offer… Read more

HOT TOPIC: After Rocky Year-End, Risks Follow Investors into 2019

January 2019

In the final quarter of 2018, interest rate and growth fears, along with geopolitical events, sparked volatility in the financial markets and reversed many of the outsize stock gains notched earlier in the year. The S&P 500 posted a loss of about 6.2% for 2018. After falling into bear market territory, defined as a drop… Read more

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

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