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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

Is a Roth 401(k) Right for You?

November 2018

First available in 2006, the Roth 401(k) is a relative newcomer to the retirement savings world, and employers were slow to adopt it. That has changed in recent years. A 2017 survey found that seven out of 10 large and mid-size employers with defined contribution plans offer Roth accounts, and another 15% were planning to… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Monetary Policy: Should Investors Fear the Fed?

November 2018

In October 2018, U.S. investors experienced a broad sell-off and an anxiety-fueled increase in market volatility. The recent stir in the financial markets has been blamed on a combination of factors: a worsening trade dispute with China, slowing global growth, a surge in Treasury yields, and possibly even an offhand comment by Federal Reserve Chairman… Read more

Key Tax Breaks for Business Owners

October 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made the tax code more favorable for small businesses. Still, owners will want to take full advantage of every legal tax break they can find. The following deductible business costs could help reduce your 2018 tax bill. Be sure to consult with your tax professional before you take… Read more

Dealing with Divorce

October 2018

While we all hope our marriages will last forever, about 50% of first marriages in the United States end in divorce.1 And unfortunately, a couple who decide to divorce must typically negotiate a property settlement agreement (or seek the assistance of the courts). Retirement assets can be divided at the time of a divorce, just… Read more

Choosing and Using a College Checking Account

October 2018

Attending college requires learning about many aspects of life outside the classroom, and one of those is managing a checking account. Even if your student had an account in high school, college will require handling more money, more often, without your direct supervision. Whether your student is opening a new account or using an old… Read more

Social Security 101

October 2018

Social Security is complex, and the details are often misunderstood even by those who are already receiving benefits. If you’re looking forward to Social Security, whether in one year or 30 years, it’s important to understand some of the basic rules and options and how they might affect your financial future. Full retirement age (FRA)…. Read more

Seven Classic Investing Quotes

October 2018

Investing can be daunting, whether you are experienced or a beginner. Even if you feel confident about your investing strategy, it can be easy to lose focus or make decisions based on emotion. Here are seven quotes from successful investors, economists, and other insightful thinkers that may help provide perspective and focus for your own… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Bear in the Woods: Emerging Markets Credit Crisis

October 2018

On September 6, 2018, the MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index — which tracks stocks in 24 of the world’s largest developing economies — dropped 20% below its January high, a level of decline that is commonly considered a bear market.1 Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index reached the same negative milestone a few days later. China’s… Read more

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