Investing & Retiring

April is National Social Security Month! Your Social Security Number (SSN) may be your most important piece of identification – yet it’s likely that you never carry your Social Security card with you. You probably committed your number to memory long ago because it’s required in so many places. Generally, you won’t need to produce
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Your credit score may not be good enough to allow you to qualify for a home at a reasonable interest rate, but can a less-than-stellar credit score also keep you from finding a good place to rent? “Credit scores aren’t just about mortgages,” says Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at the credit bureau Experian.
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Are you financially literate? How about your kids? MoneyTips can help, but there may be something special soon going on in your neighborhood to help you learn more about personal finance. Money Smart Week®, a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances, will take place April 21-28, 2018. The effort,
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By Eric Olsen Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm According to the Kaiser Foundation, almost half (21 million) of American seniors have incomes below 200% of the poverty line. Many have debt they can’t afford to pay. When debt is not paid, collectors call, send demand letters, and sometimes file a lawsuit. Being served legal
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America’s collective readiness for retirement is improving, according to Fidelity’s latest Retirement Savings Assessment study. The study distills America’s retirement readiness into a single score representing the percentage of estimated retirement income that the average saver will require. According to the current study, America’s combined retirement score is 80 – meaning that the average American
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How many times in life do you have to worry about removing too little money from a financial account? Before retirement, there are few such concerns – but, for most retirement plans, once you reach age 70½, you must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) every year from your plan. (Roth IRAs are excluded –
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Are you a procrastinator who waits until the very last moment to file your taxes? Thanks to Emancipation Day, the filing deadline is April 17, 2018, to file your taxes for the 2017 tax year. That gives you a few more days to consider last-minute ways to lower your taxes. Start by reviewing your possible
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What’s in your savings account? If you’re a millennial, there’s a decent chance that there’s nothing in your account but IOUs and promises. A 2017 survey by GoBankingRates found that 46% of millennials aged 18-24 have $0 in their savings account – a sharp increase over the 2016 survey where 31% of millennials reported empty
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Contributing to a retirement account can be difficult for lower income households, but one can argue that it is even more important for those families to take advantage of all the retirement savings options that are possible. One of the lesser-known options applies directly to lower-income families – the credit for qualified retirement savings contributions,
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By Roshni Chowdhry, innovation & product development lead at SafetyNet The idea of being rich appeals to most of us. What’s not to like about a world where your only money trouble is how to spend it? Plus, in a world where money is plentiful, you’re free to do all kinds of exciting things most
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You’ve submitted tax forms for many years. How difficult can it be to submit them in retirement? It isn’t difficult – as long as you take into account basic changes that occur in retirement and the corresponding tax challenges. Fortunately, you can learn from those who have retired before you. We are happy to pass
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The recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) gave most Americans a break on their upcoming taxes – but you don’t need legislation to cut your taxes even further with sound investment strategies that focus on tax optimization. Here are a few ways to help yourself at Uncle Sam’s expense. 1. Shift Toward Capital
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If you have done your homework leading into retirement, you probably already know that Social Security benefits may be subject to federal taxes under certain circumstances. Did you know that some states also impose taxes on Social Security? Currently there are thirteen states that impose at least some tax on the benefits of Social Security
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According to Collegedata.com, the average annual cost of tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 school year was $9,970 at an average public college for in-state residents. Out-of-state collegians paid an average of $25,620, while those attending private colleges saw average bills of $34,740. Throw in a typical $10,000-$12,000 for housing and meals, another $1,200 for
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1. Lead by example – Great leaders operate with humility and a “Do as I do” rather than a “Do as I say” mentality. They never ask anyone to do anything they are not willing to do themselves. 2. Use the 7 P’s – In the military, I learned that Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully
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You Can’t Decide Without Facts When should you claim your Social Security benefits? Should you claim them on your own work record or on your spouse’s work record? Those relatively simple questions can become very complex in certain cases. Fortunately, there are Social Security Administration (SSA) offices throughout the nation with staff waiting to help.
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War is coming. This one will not be a traditional type of war. This conflict will be fought inside the borders of the United States, between foes of different birth-years armed with little more than outrage and hyperbole. The point of this war isn’t land or power. The purpose of this battle is to affix
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You’ve been presented with a free trial offer for a product or service that you find interesting. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns you to proceed with caution, because some free trial offers can be misleading and cost you significant money in the long run. Legitimate free trials
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How much money will you need to retire? Financial advisors have frequently recommended a $1 million nest egg for a comfortable retirement, but there’s no one-size-fits-all magic number. Have you ever figured out how much money you’ll need? According to our new survey, you haven’t. How much money will you get when you start collecting
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