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Keeping Savings on Track with a Spousal IRA

January 2018

Being a stay-at-home mom or dad, or working part-time to help take care of the children, can make a big contribution to the balance and well-being of a family. Unfortunately, time out of the workforce could put the caregiving spouse at a disadvantage when it comes to retirement savings. A spousal IRA — funded for… Read more

An Introduction to Trusts

January 2018

You may think trusts are only for wealthy people, but that’s not necessarily the case. A properly constructed trust can serve many purposes for families of more modest means. A trust might help avoid the time-consuming and costly probate process, maintain control of a legacy for your heirs, provide for a dependent with special needs,… Read more

International Investing: Opportunities Overseas?

January 2018

In late June 2017, a time when U.S. market indexes were at near-record highs, 65% of investment managers thought the U.S. stock market was overvalued. By contrast, 86% thought European stocks were undervalued, and 88% thought stocks in emerging markets were undervalued.1 At the same time, a majority of investment managers felt that U.S. corporate… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Tax Reform: How Will You Be Affected?

January 2018

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax-cut package that fundamentally changes the individual and business tax landscape. The centerpiece of the legislation is a permanent reduction of the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. Among other business provisions are a shift to a territorial tax system (in which… Read more

Two Tax-Friendly Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed

December 2017

Like most business owners, you may devote most of your time, energy, and profits to running and growing your company. But keep in mind that you are likely on your own when it comes to saving money for retirement. This is not the only reason it may be worth the effort to divert a sizable… Read more

Better Late Than Never

December 2017

Federal estate and gift taxes affect only relatively large estates. That’s because individuals can exclude a very high amount of assets from federal estate and gift tax liability. The lifetime exclusion amount for individuals is $5.49 million in 2017 and indexed annually for inflation. Assets left to a surviving spouse, which aren’t subject to federal… Read more

How a Pension Could Affect Social Security Benefits

December 2017

If you earned a pension while working in private industry, you probably also paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. If that’s the case, the two retirement income streams are independent of each other, and you can enjoy the full benefits of both. However, if you earned a pension while NOT paying into Social Security… Read more

Market Measures: Beyond the Dow

December 2017

When you hear that the market is up or down — on the car radio or around the water cooler — what does that really mean? More often than not, it reflects movement in the two most well-known stock market indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500, which tend to… Read more

Consider a Roth for Tax-Free Retirement Income

December 2017

Contributing to a traditional IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan may offer a current-year tax benefit by reducing taxable income. However, distributions — including any earnings — are taxed as ordinary income. By contrast, contributions to a Roth IRA or a designated Roth account in an employer retirement plan do not reduce current income, but… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Junk Jitters: What’s Behind the Exodus from High-Yield Bonds?

December 2017

For the one-week period ending on November 15, 2017, investors withdrew a net $4.43 billion from U.S. funds holding high-yield bonds (often called junk bonds) — the third largest exodus from such funds on record.1 The high-yield market stabilized over the next two days, but the mass sell-off rang alarm bells for some market analysts…. Read more

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