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HOW WILL THE NEW TAX LAW IMPACT YOU?

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THE COSTS OF LIVING LONGER

As Americans live longer, they are spending more of their later years in need of custodial medical care. Is long-term care insurance the best choice to alleviate the costs?In general, Americans are living longer. While that’s good news, it means more are going to live out a substantial part of their later years in need of a large measure of custodial medical care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that at...
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REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTION DEADLINE

Individuals who own IRA’s, 401K’s, 403b’s and other ERISA qualified retirement accounts are subject to the Required Minimum Distribution rules.As required by law, specified amounts must be withdrawn from these accounts and reported as taxable income.  Failure to make the withdrawals results in a 50% penalty imposed by the IRS and 100% of the required withdrawal is fully taxed.For...
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THE IRS WISHES TO CELEBRATE YOUR HALF-BIRTHDAY

This invitation is mandatory!

“Woo hoo!  I’m 70 ½, it’s time to start making sure part of my retirement accounts get taxed.” …said no one ever!Withdrawing monies from your IRAs, 401Ks and all employer sponsored retirement plans (commonly called qualified accounts) is not a voluntary matter.  The IRS has plans and formulas to make certain you start taking a “required minimum distribution” from your qualified accounts at age 70 ½.  For...
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THE RETIREMENT FUN ZONE

The key to a healthy, happy retirement

Baby Boomers are moving from working to the permanent vacation called retirement.  Ten thousand per day, in fact.  Having focused on work for decades of their lives, it may be a bit of a transition to focus on what would bring the most happiness.Those at or near retirement have placed emphasis on investing and income plans – and rightfully so.  But, what about a Fun...
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HOW MUCH WILL YOU NEED TO RETIRE?

How much money will it take for you to retire in style? Will $1 million do the trick? How about $5 million? Or perhaps you can get by on less.If the question leaves you scratching your head, you’re not alone. Just 36 percent of American workers have talked with a financial advisor about retirement planning, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. One of the biggest risks retirees may face is running out of money while...
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HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PENSION:

11 Great Tips to Help You Make a Great Choice

Pensions have been getting a lot of attention in the news lately.  While many pension plans, as well as the companies and municipalities which fund them are solvent, many are falling short on the amount of assets needed in order to sustain the benefits promised to the covered employees over their life expectancies.Many companies have moved to 401Ks and away from pensions.  However, many workers approaching retirement are...
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DO I HAVE TO PAY TAXES ON MY SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME?

One of the most commonly confusing matters among most retirees I work with is the income taxation formula and what causes them to have to pay income tax on their social security.You may have noticed on line 20 of your Federal 1040 return there is a space for social security received and then over on the right hand column of the form the “taxable portion” is noted.Have you ever wondered how the...
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RETIREMENT INCOME TAX PLANNING: A NECESSITY FOR KEEPING MORE OF WHAT YOU MAKE

For most of us, throughout our working years our employers took care of all of the major tax contributions we are required to make to the IRS throughout the tax year.  Things were pretty clear cut – we made money and our employer withheld Federal, FICA, State and local income taxes.As a retiree, you are now responsible for sending estimated income taxes to the IRS and State during the tax year.This is uncharted, confusing and very...
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IS IT TIME TO STRESS TEST YOUR PORTFOLIO?

As we all know, when we are making money in the stock market our tolerance for risk and volatility seems to grow along with our portfolio balances.  But, what happens when that inevitable market correction comes along?  Can your retirement withstand the potential downside risks of your investment portfolio?To compound a down-sized portfolio due to a potential market correction, most retirees are withdrawing principal and/or income from their...
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NAVIGATING THE TOP FIVE RETIREMENT RISKS

Longer lives and better health translate into longer retirements and new concepts of what retirement should be. Many of today’s retirees view retirement as a time to shift gears but not necessarily to slow down.They keep their skills sharp in new job roles or by starting businesses. They continue learning new skills by going back to school as both teachers and students. Some choose to serve on boards of directors or to pursue creative and artistic passions. However you define...
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LOSS OF A SPOUSE OR PARTNER

Most of us have had friends or family members who have endured the loss of a loved one. The pain we have seen them experience underscores the need to devise a financial and legal plan to support a surviving spouse or partner. Illness and mortality are sensitive topics, and people often avoid talking about them and/or postpone addressing them in their financial plan. It may also be the case that approaching the conversation with your spouse triggers an emotional or defensive response,...
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SIMPLIFYING RETIREMENT

Retirement planning can seem complex and intimidating, which explains why some people delay doing it. However, with the appropriate help from a knowledgeable financial advisor, preparation can be a straightforward process that produces a sound strategy and a sense of security. To simplify your planning, consider pursuing these 10 steps:1. Shift your viewpoint.In retirement, you must go from accumulating wealth to providing a lifetime income stream while...
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RETIRING BEFORE AGE 59 1/2?

Strategies to avoid the 10% IRS penalty

Many people in their fifties have saved in their 401(k)’s and IRA’s, may have a company pension plan, private savings and are ready to retire.  Congratulations, you have a well-earned permanent vacation for the next several decades. But, wait!  You can’t pass go and withdraw your tax deferred savings without addressing the IRS’ 10% penalty imposed on withdrawals prior to age 59 ½.And, let’s be clear, the 10% penalty is in addition to ordinary...
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RETIRED: NOW WHAT?

You’ve worked hard, sacrificed, reached your accumulation goal and are ready to enjoy a well-earned permanent vacation called retirement.   Congratulations! Only a small percentage of Americans accomplish this feat.Having enough to...
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RETIREMENT ADVICE: THE FIDUCIARY RULE IS FINALLY HERE

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which requires financial professionals to put their customers’ interests first when handling retirement accounts, is now in force.What this means to retirement investors is:  The Rule has an effect on virtually every advisor and financial services firm in the investment advice business…registered investment advisors, brokers, and insurance agents. ...
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