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Step Up to Help Reduce Taxes on Inherited Assets

November 2016

If you have assets that have appreciated in value, such as stocks or real property, you could be subject to substantial capital gains taxes when you sell the assets (see chart below). However, if you leave these assets to your heirs, any gain accrued before your death would not be taxed because of the step-up… Read more

Balancing Medicare and Work-Based Insurance

November 2016

Almost 20% of Americans 65 and older are still working — the highest level since before Medicare was established in 1965. This amounts to almost 9 million workers who are eligible for Medicare, and the number is expected to grow as about 8,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day until 2030.1–2 Some employers may require… Read more

Feeling Confident: Steps to Saving More

November 2016

In 2016, 21% of U.S. workers said they were very confident they would have enough money for a comfortable retirement. This was about the same percentage as in 2015, but both years showed a big increase in confidence from the 13% level in 2013, when many Americans were still struggling to recover from the Great… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Are Soaring Health-Care Costs Hurting the U.S. Economy?

November 2016

About 8% of U.S. household spending went toward health care in 2015, up from 5.8% in 2007. Even though the growth of nationwide health-care spending has slowed, the cost burden is falling more heavily on consumers.1 More than 118 million people qualify for coverage through government programs such as Medicare, which serves individuals age 65… Read more

Comparing Your Retirement Plan Options

October 2016

Retirement plan contributions made for yourself and your workers are generally tax deductible as a business expense. Offering one of these retirement plans could help you shelter more of your income from taxes and build wealth outside of your business. It might also be an effective way to reward and help retain valuable employees. 401(k)… Read more

Looking for Income? Consider Closed-End Funds

October 2016

Most mutual funds are open ended, which means the investment company can issue and redeem fund shares to meet investor demand. By contrast, closed-end funds issue a fixed number of shares in an initial public offering (IPO), and investors who want to purchase shares after the IPO must do so on a secondary market, such… Read more

Know Your Credit Score

October 2016

Credit scores were a well-kept secret for many years. That has changed as a result of recent initiatives by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), which provides the most commonly used credit scores based on its proprietary software. By April 2016, more than 150 million consumer credit-card and loan accounts included… Read more

Universal Life for Flexibility

October 2016

Universal life insurance accounted for 38% of all new life insurance premiums in 2015.1 What’s the appeal of this type of coverage? In a word: flexibility. If you have a need for life insurance, you might consider the choices offered by universal life (UL) and the related product, variable universal life (VUL). Protection and Savings… Read more

Changing Jobs? Careful with Your 401(k)

October 2016

U.S. workers change jobs every 5½ years, on average.1 These changes often include a very important decision regarding the assets in their former employer’s 401(k) or other defined-contribution plan. Unfortunately, about 45% of people cash out their balances in workplace plans when changing jobs, and the percentage rises to 55% for those with balances of… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Election 2016: The Candidates’ Tax Proposals

October 2016

It’s no surprise that the major candidates have strong disagreements on the overall direction of tax policy; it may be more surprising that they agree on a number of specific concerns. In general, the Clinton campaign characterizes its tax plans as an effort to require high-income taxpayers and large corporations to contribute a greater share… Read more

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