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Like Ugly Christmas Sweaters, Retirement Planning Is Not ‘One Size Fits All’

Just as every snowflake is unique, so is every person's retirement plan. Though there are some general strategies that can be helpful—contribute at least 10% of your salary; have at least one year's salary saved for retirement by age 30; split contributions between pre-tax and post-tax accounts—they don't apply equally to everyone. For many, it's important to periodically seek advice from a financial professional to work toward being on track.With this in mind, here w
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Spreading Holiday Cheer with Year-End Giving

The holidays are nearly upon us – a time of giving, goodwill to others, and embracing traditions. For many people, giving to a charity or organization that aligns with your values provides a sense of fulfillment. If you itemize deductions on your income tax return, you can deduct gifts made to charities. Here are six year-end giving strategies to spread holiday cheer with the additional gift of potential tax benefits.  Making cash gifts If you give cash, you may deduct up to 60% of
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Spreading Holiday Cheer with Year-End Giving

The holidays are nearly upon us – a time of giving, goodwill to others, and embracing traditions. For many people, giving to a charity or organization that aligns with your values provides a sense of fulfillment. If you itemize deductions on your income tax return, you can deduct gifts made to charities. Here are six year-end giving strategies to spread holiday cheer with the additional gift of potential tax benefits.  Making cash gifts If you give cash, you may deduct up to 60% of
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8 Tips to Stay on Track with Your Holiday Budgeting

It’s hard to believe we are already approaching the end of another year, and holiday season will soon be here. Since holiday spending doesn’t include just gifting, it’s essential to set your budget now. You may likely find yourself spending extra on food, decorations, holiday travel, and more. According to a forecast from Deloitte, U.S. consumers will spend up to 9% more this holiday period compared to 2020. With holiday travel now an option, more Americans may choose to visit
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Ringing in the New Year in Your Golden Years

Whether you are just entering your golden years or are already several years in, setting goals to stay on track and maintain your health, happiness, and finances is essential. So why not use the New Year's holiday to turn these goals into resolutions you will work on for the upcoming year? Ready to get started tackling some new goals to help improve your mind, body, and finances? Below are a few resolutions worth considering. Create a Budget Creating a new budget each year is an excellent i
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5 Tips for Shopping on Small Business Saturday

There’s no question that November and December are the biggest times of year for shopping. But this year, it’s more important than ever to shop small and benefit your community.Supporting local businesses means you’re supporting your friends and neighbors. And you’re likely to find unique items in mom-and-pop shops that you can’t find anywhere else.So, if you’re looking for ways to shop local—in person or online—in honor of Small Business Saturday,
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4 Thanksgiving Lessons for a Feast-Worthy Financial Plan

Thanksgiving is a holiday for spending time with loved ones, being grateful, and perhaps enjoying a bit of overindulgence. There are many financial lessons to be had in planning, preparing, and celebrating this annual feast.1 Here are four Thanksgiving lessons that might help your household's financial plan year-round. Planning is the Key to Preparation You cannot expect to whip together a flawless Thanksgiving meal if you do not begin planning and preparing at least a few days in advance.
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A Year-End Wealth Planning Guide

As we approach the end of the year, you may want to review areas that may impact your wealth and estate planning next year. In this year-end planning guide, we examine four critical areas to consider that may affect your finances:1. Generational wealth transfer- Generational wealth transfer may become more important when an event occurs, such as a death, a marriage, or the birth of a new family member. However, it's essential to plan for generational wealth transfer by ensuring all these cru
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End of Year (EOY) Deadlines Checklist

vFor many of us, a new year is an opportunity for fresh starts and discovering the best versions of ourselves, but some things—like tax contributions and retirement deadlines—don't change much, if at all. And with that shiny new year right around the corner, meeting end-of-year deadlines and getting tax efficiencies in place now may prepare us for a smoother transition. Read on for several things you'll want to accomplish before 2023 draws to a close. Establish
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End of Year (EOY) Deadlines Checklist

vFor many of us, a new year is an opportunity for fresh starts and discovering the best versions of ourselves, but some things—like tax contributions and retirement deadlines—don't change much, if at all. And with that shiny new year right around the corner, meeting end-of-year deadlines and getting tax efficiencies in place now may prepare us for a smoother transition. Read on for several things you'll want to accomplish before 2023 draws to a close. Establish
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Pay Down Debt or Save for Retirement?

You can use a variety of strategies to pay off debt, many of which can cut not only the amount of time it will take to pay off the debt but also the total interest paid. But like many people, you may be torn between paying off debt and the need to save for retirement. Both are important; both can help give you a more comfortable financial future. If you're not sure you can afford to tackle both at the same time, which should you choose?There's no one answer that's right for everyone,
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How to Make Keeping Track of Your Finances Easy

Now is an excellent time to start evaluating your current financial situation, determining your future goals and expectations, and working toward pursuing them. If you need help pulling together a plan for your finances, a financial professional can explain how you can work together to identify strategies to help you work toward financial independence. Making a plan for your finances may give you the confidence to stay on track to work toward your goals. Staying prepared occurs over time a
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4 Reasons Working with a Financial Professional Is Not as Scary as You Think

For some people, the thought of using financial services is a scary experience. It involves planning for a future where you may not know how the economy may be, how your health may be, or what your financial needs might be. One of the reasons that many people find planning out their finances intimidating is the number of myths surrounding the process. Still a little apprehensive about starting on your financial journey? Here are a few reasons why working with a financial professional may be less
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Why Financial Preparedness Is a Smart Investment

During turbulent financial times, having a financial emergency plan might provide you with a proverbial life preserver. Whether it is an emergency fund to help you tackle an unplanned expense, insurance to cover an unexpected accident or disaster, or a "go bag" that contains all your most important records, organizing your finances may help you feel prepared to handle anything that might come your way.However, this financial preparedness does not come naturally. In fact, only about two
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Finding Focus with Financial Planning: A Step-By-Step Guide

You have probably heard about financial planning and its potential benefits, but you are unsure how to apply the principles to your life. A financial plan is a collection of steps that help you to evaluate your financial condition and determine how to prepare for your financial future. A financial plan may impact every aspect of your life, from your credit score to your savings, investments, spending habits, and retirement. This guide will discuss some steps to help you get a foothold to begin t
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Reading, Writing, and Education Planning

The earlier you start saving, the easier it will be to send your kids to college.
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Retirement Re-education: Back to School Time for Retirement Planning

Retirement planning is a constantly evolving process. Strategies that may have worked fine a few years ago may no longer be the optimal direction to continue. Your life may have taken unexpected turns, you may have different retirement goals you now wish to achieve, or you’ve realized your previous investments may not be working as well as anticipated to help you reach your financial goals.Now is the time to consider a ‘retirement re-education’ by reviewing your retirement plan
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Teach Your Children Well: Basic Financial Education

Even before your children can count, they already know something about money: it's what you have to give the ice cream man to get a cone, or put in the slot to ride the rocket ship at the grocery store. So, as soon as your children begin to handle money, start teaching them how to handle it wisely. Making allowances Giving children allowances is a good way to begin teaching them how to save money and budget for the things they want. How much you give them depends in part on what you expect
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How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren with College Costs

As the cost of a college education continues to climb, many grandparents are stepping in to help. This trend is expected to accelerate as baby boomers, many of whom went to college, become grandparents and start gifting what's predicted to be trillions of dollars over the coming decades.Helping to pay for a grandchild's college education can bring great personal satisfaction and is a smart way for grandparents to pass on wealth without having to pay gift and estate taxes. So what are som
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Investing for Major Financial Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you're lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure. How do you set goals? The first step in investing is defining your dreams for the future.
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Exchange-Traded Funds: Do They Belong in Your Portfolio?

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become increasingly popular since they were introduced in the United States in the mid-1990s. Their tax efficiencies and relatively low investing costs have attracted investors who like the idea of combining the diversification of mutual funds with the trading flexibility of stocks. The proliferation of ETF choices means they can now be used to create a broad portfolio of core investments, to target narrower sectors, or to gain market exposure that might otherwi
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Taxation of Investments

It's nice to own stocks, bonds, and other investments. Nice, that is, until it's time to fill out your federal income tax return. At that point, you may be left scratching your head. Just how do you report your investments and how are they taxed? Is it ordinary income or a capital gain? To determine how an investment vehicle is taxed in a given year, first ask yourself what went on with the investment that year. Did it generate interest income? If so, the income is probably considered o
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Investing in Your 60s and Beyond

Once you are in your 60s, you are likely to focus less on growing your retirement funds than answering, "When do I retire?" And once you crack open your nest egg, how should you allocate its contents? The answer often lies in a substantial shift in your investment strategy. Here are some ideas for investing in your 60s and beyond. Preliminary QuestionsBefore you settle on a plan, you need to be able to answer a few questions. These include: How long do you need your savings to las
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Midyear Outlook 2023: The Path Toward Stability

Now that we’re beyond the midpoint of the investing year, it’s a great time to look at where we’ve been—to help position your portfolio for the latter half of the year.
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Generational Wealth and the Gift of Financial Freedom

Those who receive an inheritance with the passing of a loved one are potentially given the gift of financial freedom if they choose to manage the wealth carefully. Did you know that only about one-third of adults have a prepared will, and about 40% with investable assets of $1 million or more never discuss their estate plans with their children? The reality, however, is that the percentage of squandered inheritances is troubling. Studies indicate that 70% of inheritances are exhausted by the sec
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Financial Freedom, Market Volatility, and You

If recent market volatility has you questioning your opportunities for financial freedom, you are not alone. Due to rising inflation, higher interest rates, a volatile stock market, and recession fears, many investors find themselves wondering how to proceed.Fortunately, history may help gain perspective on this market. Those who weather volatility might have more resilience. Here are some tips and tricks to help you deal with market volatility and assess the quality of your current investments.
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Financial Independence for the Sandwich Generation

The “Sandwich Generation” faces a lot of struggles. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it describes a demographic where usually middle-aged individuals must support aging parents at the same time they’re raising children. This situation can create an emotional and financial strain. In general, this generation spends over 1,000 hours on average taking care of aging parents and children, which costs an average of $10,000 per year.1 This situation may require their financi
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Finances and Fireworks: 5 Strategies to Help Preserve and Celebrate Your Financi

Your finances are probably one of the last places you want to experience fireworks—unless they are celebratory. With new year's resolutions firmly in the rearview mirror, the summer months allow you to revisit your financial goals and evaluate your progress. This Independence Day may be a good time to take stock of your path toward financial independence with the help of these five tips. Set Goals If you do not already have a plan for where you would like to be in five years or more,
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Debt Ceiling Drama Is Behind Us

Every so often Washington likes to remind us how hard it can be to get things accomplished. The most recent example is the debt ceiling - the amount Congress can borrow to pay its bills.
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Is an Annuity Appropriate for You?

When it comes to your retirement, there are three factors that you may want to take into account when planning for your retirement income needs.
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3 Ways Planning For Retirement is Like Planning For Summer Break

For kids, teens, and college students, summer break often represents freedom from schedules, responsibilities, and all those other drains on your time. Retirement actually can provide a similar level of freedom, but only if you've adequately prepared, planned, and saved. Below, we discuss three ways that planning ahead for your retirement can be like scheduling your summer.
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What Homeowners Should Know About Estate Planning

If you have always thought estate planning was just for those nearing retirement or already retired, think again. If you own a home, it is important to have a plan in place. Without a will or other arrangements that allow your home to pass to your closest loved ones, it is subject to your state's intestacy laws and probate, which may not result in the outcome you want. Here are five different ways your estate plan can pass your home on to your loved ones.
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Buying a Franchise?

Buying a Franchise What is it? If you would like to work for yourself but would rather not start your own business, then purchasing a franchise might be a solution. Though far from simple, franchising permits you, the franchisee, to own a business with both a proven method of operation and a familiar name and trademark. That is, broadly, the definition of a franchise. The following discussion explores the advantages and disadvantages of franchise ownership, the preselection process, and the met
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3 Ways Life Insurance Can Help Small Business Owners

For small business owners, ensuring your investment is covered is critical to ensuring the survival of your business after you are gone. One of the ways in which small business owners do this is by applying for life insurance in the event they were to die before they retire. Life insurance benefits small business owners and their heirs in many ways, from providing for loved ones to providing financial stability to your company after you’re gone. Check out some of the more important reasons
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Small Business Owners: Are You Retirement Ready (or Not)?

Whether you are an employee in corporate America or a small business owner, retirement is a part of life. For many, the thought of retiring and whether or not you are ready to take those first steps might be overwhelming or intimidating. Ancient philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” [i] Here is a 6 question checklist for small business owners to ask themselves to determine if they are ready for retirement. ?  Have I dec
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529 Plans and Alternatives: Making an Educated Decision about Education Savings

Those that choose to invest in the education of a family member, friend or acquaintance are investing not only in that individual’s future, but also the future of society. It is an act of generosity, forward-thinking, and love. However, this type of investment can be more complicated than initially thought. Which plan should you choose and how do you decide? Here are some key details about 529 plans and other education savings options to help you decide which plan is appropriate for you an
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The Financial Impact of Mental Health

Mental health is essential to everyone’s wellbeing. Mental health disorders, diagnosed or not, may be playing a role in your daily life. Often, financial problems or worries may impact your mental wellbeing, especially if you’re anxious or depressed about your situation. Mental health complications impact people in various ways, sometimes even causing financial strife. Below, we take a look at some examples. Mental Health's Cost to the Economy Mental health disorders often lead
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A Tough Times Survival Guide for Small Businesses

Small businesses may often find themselves struggling, and there are many situations in which business owners may find themselves weathering a storm and hoping to make it through. While the strength and fortitude of those who run small businesses can be an asset in helping them succeed when times are rough, there are a few strategies that can make survival a little easier. Reduce Costs Strategically When things start to go awry, one of the first things most business owners look for is ways to c
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Life Insurance: How Much Is Enough?

You may already be aware of the importance of having enough life insurance coverage to handle financial matters that could affect your family in the event of your death. However, determining the appropriate amount of coverage for your family can be complicated. Rather than using an arbitrary formula, such as having enough coverage to equal five to seven times your annual salary, you may want to conduct a “needs analysis.”A needs analysis incorporates an evaluation of your family&rsqu
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The Best Investment: Teaching Your Children to Save and Invest

A 2022 Gallup Poll found that 58% of all adult Americans own stock. The top 1% owns more than half the total amount invested among those who own stock. 1 Making investing possible for your children, nieces, nephews and other loved ones may be the key to improving their financial future and getting them off to a good start in adulthood. Here are a few ways to help your children develop good habits regarding saving and investing. Start Them Saving EarlyIf you start your children early with go
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4 Things You Should Know About Your Financial Professional

Having a professional walk you through savings, budgeting, investments, tax issues, and other aspects of financial planning can be invaluable. But if you're not sure what you want from this relationship—or what you're looking for in seeking assistance with your finances—you may find yourself spinning your wheels. What questions should you ask when selecting a financial professional? What do you want to know? Below, we'll discuss four important things to know about your fi
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6 Money Myths That Are Limiting Your Wealth

When people think of “myths,” they often think of such stories as Pandora’s Box (the woman who took the lid off of a jar releasing all of the world’s ills upon the world, were taxes one of them?), or the Tale of Prometheus (who stole fire from his fellow gods to give to humans and was punished by Zeus with eternal suffering). However, money myths have also been circulated with such frequency that many people unknowingly believe them. These myths also tend to restrict peop
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5 Social Security Benefits You Might Be Missing Out On

Most people know that once they approach retirement age, their reward for years of work comes from Social Security payments they put money towards during their employment. Deciding when to file for your Social Security payments is likely what you may focus on, but there are some other Social Security benefits you may be missing out on that are worth investigating. 1. Survivor BenefitsTens of thousands of people receive their Social Security benefits each year but fail to claim eligible surv
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The Strength of LPL Financial

The events of the past few days have many people asking questions about the health of the financial services companies they entrust with their money and investments. And to the extent that you may have similar questions, we want to provide some important information regarding the resilience of LPL Financial’s business model, our financial stability and liquidity position, the steps we take to help protect client accounts, how we are regulated, and our approach to enterprise risk management
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WAITING FOR NEW HIGHS

Financial markets have experienced quite a bit of change this year in just two short months. We started the year hopeful that stocks would benefit from a better economic and monetary policy environment by the spring, but recent developments suggest that may be further out than we initially thought. We remain confident that a new bull market will come—it just may require a bit more of our patience before we get there.When 2023 began, we had hoped for a new bull market to bloom in the spring
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WAITING FOR NEW HIGHS

Financial markets have experienced quite a bit of change this year in just two short months. We started the year hopeful that stocks would benefit from a better economic and monetary policy environment by the spring, but recent developments suggest that may be further out than we initially thought. We remain confident that a new bull market will come—it just may require a bit more of our patience before we get there.When 2023 began, we had hoped for a new bull market to bloom in the spring
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Spring Cleaning Your Investments

Everyone needs to clean-up their financial clutter at least once a year   Spring is traditionally the time to clean the garage and to get the yard in shape. It’s also a great time to clean up your investment portfolio. Going into the final days of tax season, this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of clutter, review your asset allocations and make the necessary changes if your portfolio has strayed from your financial plan. Here are seven steps to making your portfolio cleaner and
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SVB Collapse

Financial markets were shaken last week as Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the California bank subsidiary of SVB Financial Group (SIVB), fell into FDIC receivership. SVB is the first FDIC-insured institution to fail since 2020 and the largest by assets since Washington Mutual failed in 2008. Prior to the latest distress, the bank held more than $200 billion in assets. SVB’s failure was then followed by another over the weekend, crypto-focused Signature Bank. The news, not surprisingly, caused m
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Estate Planning for Everyone

Have you every wondered how estate planning might fit into your overall, future plans? Even if you are just starting to build your estate and do not need complex estate planning, here’s a quick look at some steps you should consider taking in order to help prepare your family and to manage potential expenses in the event of your death.  1. Draft a Will. A formal, legal document directing the settlement of your estate provides for the distributions of your assets according to your wish
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Now Might Be a Good Time for a Roth Conversion

One silver lining in the current bear market is that this could be a good time to convert assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Converted assets are subject to federal income tax in the year of conversion, which might be a substantial tax bill. However, if assets in your traditional IRA have lost value, you will pay taxes on a lower asset base when you convert. If all conditions are met, the Roth account will incur no further income tax liability for you or your designated beneficiaries,
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Chocolate-Covered Cherry Bread

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10 Tips to Develop Financial Wellness This Year

Financial wellness is a state of being when one is in control of their finances, can cover expenses, and save for future goals. Consider financial wellness as your relationship with money; it can be either healthy or unhealthy. Financial wellness is essential to being financially secure and meeting your goals. Here are ten tips to help you develop financial wellness this year:Tip #1- Check that your income and spending are in balance. You must be aware of your spending patterns, limit your use o
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Beware Scams at Tax Time

Identity theft runs rampant during tax season   Here’s what to know and how you can help protect yourself. Identity thieves often swipe your bank or credit card account numbers, birth date information or Social Security Number (SSN) to steal from your accounts, open a new and phony account or make illegal purchases. Some 15.4 million consumers were victims of identity theft or fraud last year, according to a report from Javelin Strategy & Research. All sorts of nefarious schemer
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Are You Cybersecurity Safe?

COVID-19 and remote work is continuing to increase the need for internet security. Social distancing has increased device use and strained security protocols. Although cyber-security attacks are often direct at companies, other attacks are targeting individuals who are often unaware their daily events leave them at risk. “Home-based working has increased the potential cybercrime victim-pool. People take greater risks online at home which inadvertently exposes corporate IT to cybercrim
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Reasons for Optimism

We wish you a happy New Year and hope you were able to close out 2022 with friends and family. The beginning of a calendar year is often the time when the previous year’s reflections transition to a new year’s hopes. Given the market’s continued instability during 2022 and a resulting tough period for stock and bond prices, everyone is hoping for a fresh start. And history gives us cause for optimism following a difficult year. While each new year brings its own unique circumst
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Five Helpful Tools for Tax Prep

Tax preparation tools and products continue to evolve even more quickly than the federal tax code itself. Which tax prep tools are worth the hype, and which may be passed over? Below we discuss five high-tech tools to help make tax time as simple and streamlined as possible. Receipt-Organizing Apps If you're deciding whether it makes more sense to itemize your deductions, it may be time-intensive to track down all the receipts needed to determine which option is preferable. Receipt-organizi
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Tax Prep Checklist: Everything You Need to Be Ready for Tax Season

Regardless of whether you prepare your taxes yourself or use a professional's services, it's a good idea to gather the information and documentation you need well in advance of your actual tax filing date. Below, we've listed some key information you need when preparing this year's taxes. Your Personal Information The personal information you may need to file taxes may contain information from your prior year's return, including: Your Social Security Number (SSN), along wit
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Your Financial Fresh Start: 12 Resolutions in 12 Months

Change may be difficult, especially when you try to change your financial habits. The process might be easier if you take an incremental approach. Do you want to get on top of your finances this year? Are you looking for ways to improve your fiscal health? Here are 12 financial resolutions to consider.Work on a resolution each month in whatever order works for you, and by the end of the year, you may feel a lot happier about your relationship with money. 1. Create a Budget Sit do
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Making Charitable Donations

Making a charitable donation is a wonderful way to share your gits with your community and organizations that are important to you.  Understanding the tax implications of your gifts is important and can often require that you plan in advance of your gift. Charitable donations are generally tax deductible, which means that individuals and businesses can reduce their taxable income by the amount they donate to qualified charitable organizations. The exact amount of the deduction and the speci
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Outlook 2023: Finding Balance

Through all the challenges, newfound opportunities, and every high and low we’ve experienced during the last couple of years, it’s no surprise why we might be striving for more balance. Whether it’s about the markets and global economy or what’s happening in our local communities, the news we’re hearing on a daily basis has the potential to disrupt the balance of our lives. But with resilience, perspective, and the support of close connections, we can navigate throu
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Helpful Tax Tips before Year End

Tax planning can be more advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end. Opportunities may exist for you to minimize tax liability, which could leave more income for you and/or your family. Generally, people put off tax planning because paying income taxes is an obligation. So, this “negative” view causes frustration. It is often simpler to say, “Let’s see how everything shakes out betweenJanuary 1 and April 15.” However, after D
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The 12 Days of Year End Planning

THINGS TO CONSIDER GOING INTO “THE NEW YEAR" (YEAR-END PLANNING CHECKLIST)   The end of the year is necessary to reflect on your financial picture, review the last 12 months, and plan for the future. With all that is involved, it can seem overwhelming. Consider breaking up the responsibilities over twelve days, focusing on one each day, and ensuring it gets a comprehensive review.   ?  DAY 1 – Reviewed my financial plan in preparation for meeting
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2 Factors Farmers Need to Consider During Estate Planning

After a busy life on the farm, you may be looking at the next steps and addressing how you plan to pass on the property, land, and assets that you worked so hard throughout your life for. While many people may feel they do not need an estate plan if they aren't wealthy, it is crucial to help ensure that your property goes to who you designate and helps create the least amount of burden for them. So if you are ready to begin your estate planning, there are a few items to consider before getti
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An Extra Helping of Helpful Budgeting Tips for Black Friday

Black Friday is sometimes the largest shopping holiday of the entire year. Millions of people typically shop in stores or online on Black Friday to score the top deals on must-have holiday gifts. While it may be easy to become overwhelmed by Black Friday deals, it is always helpful to practice good budgeting to keep yourself from overspending or purchasing more items than you need. Check out some helpful budgeting tips to help you stay on track while taking advantage of Black Friday deals. 1. Wo
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What the Mid-Terms Might Do to the Stock Market

The S&P 500 does best when one party controls Congress and the WH too   The 2022 Midterm Elections will feature hundreds of hotly contested races at the state and local level and will decide whether the Democrats maintain – or the Republicans gain – control of Congress. Irrespective of what the polls suggest will happen – and without getting into any political discussions – let’s explore what impacts the 2022 Midterm Elections might have on U.S s
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Planning Ahead for Life Insurance Proceeds

Why did you purchase life insurance? If you're like most people who buy life insurance, you're looking to provide a source of income for someone (e.g., a spouse, parent, or child) after you die. Buying the policy was the first step. Now you'll need to do a little more work to ensure that the money you leave behind lasts. You can never leave too much. or can you? First, make sure what you'll leave behind is enough. Review your insurance needs annually, or more often if necessary.
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Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

If you are self-employed or own a small business and you haven't established a retirement savings plan, what are you waiting for? A retirement plan can help you and your employees save for the future. Tax advantages A retirement plan can have significant tax advantages: Your contributions are deductible when madeYour contributions aren't taxed to an employee until distributed from the planMoney in the retirement program grows tax deferred (or, in the case of Roth accounts, potentially
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401(k) vs. Life Insurance: Comparing Your Retirement Savings Options

When it comes to saving for retirement, the options can seem endless. From 401(k) plans to IRAs, to Roth IRAs, health savings accounts, even life insurance policies, there are a variety of financial vehicles that allow you to set aside and invest funds for your future. But when it comes down to allocating your funds between accounts, what should you consider? Here we discuss the basics of the 401(k) vs. life insurance debate.  How Life Insurance Can Help You Save for Retirement Term life i
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How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Your life insurance needs change as your life changes. When you are young, you may not have a need for life insurance. However, as you take on more responsibility and your family grows, your life insurance needs increase. Your needs may then decrease after your children are grown. You should periodically review your needs to ensure that your life insurance coverage adequately reflects your life situation. Estimating your life insurance need There are a couple of simple methods that you can use
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Staying on Track with Your Retirement Investments

Investing for your retirement isn't about getting rich quick. More often, it's about having a game plan that you can live with over a long time. You wouldn't expect to be able to play the piano without learning the basics and practicing. Investing for your retirement over the long term also takes a little knowledge and discipline. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal,
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Big Week For Market Watchers

Last week was epic for market-watchers. A Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike, a much-anticipated gross domestic product (GDP) report, and the busiest week of earnings season got most of the headlines. There was even a surprise out of Washington D.C., with a Schumer-Manchin agreement on a climate-healthcare-tax bill and some inflation data that added to the evidence that inflation has peaked. Stocks expressed approval of this news, securing its second straight solidly positive week. The S&P 500
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4 Tips and Resources to Help Seniors During Periods of High Inflation and Market

In 2022, U.S. inflation hit a 40-year high, with prices for food, housing, gasoline, and other key staples increasing by nearly 10% over the previous year.1 During these uncertain times, stocks have continued a roller-coaster ride that has given heartburn to financial professionals and investors alike.For retirees and seniors on a fixed income, the true costs of inflation and market volatility can be much higher—potentially jeopardizing a comfortable retirement. Though Social Security
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4 Key Investments You Should Consider as a Small-Business Owner

As a small-business owner, you may be looking for the next big thing—an investment that might double your profits within the next year or allow you to maintain your income while working just a few hours a week. However, business success may depend on many incremental investments you make along the way. By including investments that fall outside the financial realm, you may better position your business and yourself to take advantage of future opportunities. Here are four key investments th
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Are You An All-Star Investor? 3 Major League Investing Mistakes to Avoid

Though baseball and stock market investing may not seem to have much in common, there are a few key similarities—both are stats-driven and require focus, a relative lack of emotion, and a clear mind. And when it comes to investing, you would probably rather emulate Babe Ruth than Bill Buckner. Here we discuss three common investing mistakes that every major league investor should try to avoid. Swinging For the Fences on Every Pitch As any baseball fan knows, with the exception of the Home
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Setting and Targeting Investment Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire.It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you're lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure. How do you set investment goals? Setting investment goals means defining your dreams for t
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Rethinking Social Wellness for Your Employees

Corporate wellness programs have been key tools in improving productivity, employee retention, and creating a more desirable corporate culture. While many companies have put a strong focus on physical wellness plans, many are just touching on the surfaces of other vital components of a wellness program, such as emotional, financial, and social wellness. By including social wellness as part of the corporate wellness policy, you can better improve the things that help bring happiness and stability
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Helping Elders Manage Their Assets

Today, many individuals are finding it necessary to help elderly parents or relatives manage their personal finances. One area of particular concern is property management. This issue may arise when seniors reach their late seventies or older, and plans that may have proven satisfactory at age 65 may require a second look. If you have an aging parent or relative, the following arrangements can assist you in addressing this concern:  Durable Power of Attorney—This mechanism allows elde
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Financial Planning Challenges and Strategies for the Sandwich Generation

Almost half of all adults are part of the "sandwich generation." These are adults in their 40s and 50s who are helping support or care for a parent while also supporting or caring for a child.1 Being caught between two generations of loved ones who require care can be both financially and emotionally draining, but there are ways to reduce the pressure. Here are three financial planning challenges the sandwich generation is likely to face—and some strategies to address them. Chall
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How to Manage Savings for Retirement

Whether you dream of a travel-filled retirement or would prefer to relax and enjoy spending more time at home, you are probably wondering what you might consider to make your golden years as stress-free as possible.  For those who spent the last several decades in a wealth-accumulation mode, withdrawing savings may trigger anxieties about the future. Some of the choices you may make during the earliest years of retirement may significantly alter the speed with which you spend down your reti
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