Having Second Thoughts About Social Security Payments

Hello I Am RetiredMost people don’t have second thoughts about their decision to claim their Social Security benefits.  Ninety percent of...
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Protecting Yourself Financially During a Divorce

Protecting Yourself Financially During a DivorceWhen a marriage ends in divorce the finances of the former spouses will often take a hit. Making mistakes during the breakup can make the financial penalty for divorcing even worse.  Here are eight common mistakes to avoid when married couples part ways: 1. Waging war. Emotions can be raw when couples split up and that can lead to the temptation to seek...
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Politics and Your Portfolio

At a time when political issues are front and center, what is the best way to approach investing? Should you make changes to your portfolio to minimize political risk? The race to determine who will be the next President of the United States is on and will dominate U.S. news at least until November. There is, as always, significant uncertainty about the outcome. Through polling, voters have expressed unprecedented levels of negativity towards both candidates. In addition, the uncertainty is not limited to this side of the Atlantic. A few weeks ago our political allies in the United Kingdom...
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Eight Tips for Beginning Investors

Beginning Investors' Piggy BankOne of the best ways to become financially secure in retirement is to develop solid financial habits early in life. Appreciating the need to begin investing at the start of a career is critical, as is making sure debt doesn’t get out of control. Here are eight things that young Americans can do to increase their chances of a secure retirement. Financial Tip No. 1: Start Saving Early The power of...
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What to Do If Your Email Is Hacked

Checklist of what to do if your email is hackedA hacked e-mail account is more than an annoyance - it can lead to identity theft and financial losses. If a compromise occurs, it is vital to take these timely steps. While we encourage working with a computer professional to evaluate and correct shortcomings, below is a list of corrective and preventative recommendations: 1. Change your password The first, and the most important step, is to change...
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Don’t Be an Investing Homebody

Stock share When it comes to investing, too many Americans are homebodies; they prefer to invest exclusively in companies based in the United States. This pronounced bias towards homegrown companies, however, can prevent investors from discovering promising opportunities elsewhere. Investing exclusively at home means foregoing roughly 47 percent of all globally available stocks. Here are five things you should know about investing overseas. 1....
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An Important Factor in Cutting College Costs

Graduation studentsWhen parents save for college, they assume that they will need to cover four years of expenses to pay for a bachelor’s degree. However, statistics show that most college students take longer than the traditional eight semesters to graduate. Here are the latest graduation rates from the U.S. Department of Education: Four-Year Graduation Rates Public colleges and universities:  33...
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Good News for Retirement Savers

Many Americans who rely on financial professionals to manage their investments have long assumed their advisors are providing them with the very best financial advice. Unfortunately, too often that has not been the case. Some advisors are obligated to put their clients’ interests first when making financial recommendations, but many others are not. Historically, stockbrokers have been under no obligation to make their clients’ best...
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Saving for College: Account Ownership

There are two main ways that today’s families save for college costs: one is the 529 savings plan, and the other is through a custodial account, typically an UTMA account (Uniform Transfer to Minors Account.) In the past, clients may have used Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts (UGMAs) but most custodial accounts are now titled as UTMAs, and for all practical purposes, there is little difference. Another vehicle no longer much used is the Coverdell ESA (Education Savings Account) which has a contribution limit of $2,000 per year. 529 Accounts These accounts grow tax-deferred. As long as the...
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Where to Look for Home Loans

If you are contemplating buying a house, one of the biggest decisions you will face is deciding on this question: Should you use a mortgage broker or deal directly with banks when looking for loans? There is no one right answer, but here are some things to consider. Banks As Lenders The vast majority of homebuyers turn to banks when seeking mortgages. These institutions can be convenient because home loans are usually offered by a...
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