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Information provided on this page is informational only. Nothing posted here should be considered investment advice. Please review your financial situation with a qualified financial professional before taking action. For more information please see our disclosure.

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The Inflation of Everything

If you need to buy a house or a car in this market of rapidly rising prices, what do you do? Interest rates are low, inflation is high, every month that goes by the cost of what you want to buy increases. The amount home prices, and car prices, have grown over the past year is not the point (it’s a lot), but understanding the reason behind it can help you decide what the best path is for you.

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9 Ways to Protect Your Money and Accounts from Hackers

From fraudulent transactions to identity theft, securing online accounts is a hot topic in financial planning discussions in today’s cyber-connected world. There are some things you can do to protect yourself. Just like locking your doors and installing a security alarm and security cameras can protect your physical assets, there are similar approaches that can protect your online accounts.

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Financial Planning for your 50s - What to Consider

The financial planning considerations when entering your 50s can be quite extensive. Between retirement rapidly approaching, life changes, and estate planning issues, there's a lot on the to-do list! For many, this is their last full decade before retirement. It is one of the last chances to save, plan, and make sure you are on track to meeting your long-term financial planning goals. While there are many topics to review, some of the big ones are: - Overall retirement planning considerations - Big life changes - Reviewing your insurance - Updating and reviewing your estate plan

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Financial Planning for your 60s - What to Consider

Financial planning, and the considerations involved, vary greatly depending on where you are in life. A typical benchmark for what life events you may be experiencing is your age. While there will clearly be overlaps from decade to decade, there are some unique circumstances that certain age groups will experience. In this series, we will review some of the common financial planning topics during many decades of life. We thought a good place to start would be financial planning considerations for someone in their 60s. Some common questions for those in this age group include: -When to go on Medicare, and what plan to choose? -When to take Social Security? -What will your taxes look like in retirement? -What will you do with your time?

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Can I Withdraw From My IRA or 401(K) Penalty Free? Only Until Year End

This year has been a challenging year financially for many Americans. With businesses closing, layoffs soaring, and many pay cuts implemented, if you weren't impacted you almost certainly know someone who was. It seems like a century ago, but to address some of these struggles Congress passed the CARES Act in late March to provide some much needed assistance to struggling families and businesses. There is still a chance for Congress to pass additional support before the end of the year, but as the days go by without any progress, this is appearing less and less likely.

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Should You Buy an Annuity? - When an Annuity is (and is not) the Answer

Annuities. Often considered a dirty word to both financial planners and consumers alike. As financial planners, we have seen many annuities sold to people who later regret the purchase. Whether they are high in fees, inflexible, or just not quite what they thought it was, many times these purchases come with buyers' remorse. Like any tool in a toolbox, an annuity is just another weapon in a financial planner's arsenal when it comes to crafting a complete financial plan. However, you have to understand what the annuity will and will not do. Annuities certainly have their uses, but we find they are often too broadly recommended, or incorrectly avoided, based on preconceived notions about the product. Here's what to consider when deciding whether to buy an annuity or not.

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On Medicare? - You May Need One More Form For A Complete Estate Plan

As financial planners we are always stressing the importance of a complete estate plan. This goes beyond just having a will. You'll also need a power of attorney for financial affairs and healthcare, if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. In some cases, a trust is another key component. But, if you're on Medicare, the government requires an additional form to provide information about your coverage to others.

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Rewinding RMDs - IRS Greatly Expands RMD Rollovers for 2020

Do you ever sometimes wish you could go back in time? As financial planners we often dream about taking advantage of certain tax laws before they change, or knowing stock market returns in advance (because no one can consistently predict the market correctly!). Speaking of which, no one was predicting a global pandemic at the start of the year and knowing that in advance may have altered how many individuals would have handled their required minimum distributions from retirement accounts. Similar to 2009, RMDs do not need to be taken in 2020 thanks to the CARES Act. But this rule change did not occur until the end of March. Luckily for those who did not procrastinate, the IRS released additional changes to returning RMDs and taking other distributions from retirement accounts. Here's what you should know about these new rules.

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Thrift Savings Plan Responds to CARES Act

In recent history, The Thrift Savings Plan has not been able to quickly adapt to required changes to the TSP that were part of federal legislation. The TSP’s response to the important temporary changes in the CARES Act is no different, as it is taking four months for them to fully implement changes that were supposed to be offered to participants as quickly as possible. Below is a summary of what the TSP has already done and what still has to be completed, along with a non-CARES Act major change to the TSP.

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The Stock Market Jumped in April - What Does That Mean?

If you're like many Americans, the stock market has been the least of your concerns recently. Between a global pandemic and extreme economic uncertainty, there are much more important matters to be concerned with. In fact, many of you are likely avoiding looking at your investment statements because the decline (which isn't a bad idea). For those who have been watching the stock market, you may have noticed that stocks increased fairly substantially in April, with the S&P 500 up over 14%. But what exactly does this mean? Are we out of the woods, at least financially? Should you alter your investment strategy? These are important questions many investors are asking right now.

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