Investing & Retiring

Retirees fear running out of money, and rightly so. This can happen to you in three ways – you fail to accumulate enough retirement assets, unexpected expenses drain your retirement funds, or you outlive your expected lifespan (and therefore, your money). You can reduce the possibility of the last one by purchasing a deferred-income annuity.
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Losing weight is hard. You can go for several days with significant progress and then fall victim to the Ben and Jerry’s taunting you from the freezer. Some extra incentive could help you maintain a healthier lifestyle, and for most of us, cash does the job nicely. Imagine that you would have to pay extra
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Whether you believe it is a good trend or a bad one, the number of households that receive benefits from the Federal Government has almost reached the halfway mark. Welfare Dependence Keeps Growing According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 152.9 million out of 308.9 million total Americans received some form
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For most Americans, a prolonged period of unusually low oil prices is a positive. It costs less to fill your tank at the gas station, and lower transportation costs keep the price of goods relatively low. However, there are a few people who are not happy to see low oil prices — led by those
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You are struggling just to pay your monthly bills, not to mention dealing with the occasional car breakdown, home maintenance item, or unexpected medical bill. You have had to resort to high-interest short-term payday loans to fill the gap, which puts you even further in debt. How can you even think about saving money in
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If you ever wanted to achieve the level of wealth that allows you to hide a large amount of it within the iconic Swiss bank account, you are now officially out of luck. Feel free to target great wealth, but do not expect to be able to evade taxes by parking your assets offshore in
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Disaster planning is a critical exercise for most businesses. The idea is to devise contingency plans for the continued ongoing operation of the company in the event of a major storm, fire, terrorist attack or other natural or man-made disaster. In the same way, individuals should do some financial disaster planning so they can be
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When they hear the term “estate planning,” many people immediately think that this doesn’t apply to them because they aren’t “rich.” But you don’t have to be wealthy to have an estate. The fact is, if you own anything — a home or other real estate, automobile(s), investments, checking and savings accounts or life insurance,
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Classically, a pension is a retirement plan where a company or governmental entity sets aside contributions for its employees’ future retirement needs. These funds are invested to increase the available money pool used to meet those future obligations. But over the past 50 years, the definition of pension has expanded to include retirement plans where
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Financial professionals have a greater understanding of the value of social media and are seeing dividends from increased use of social media. That is the essence of the findings from the annual Financial Professionals Social Media Adoption Study from American Century Investments. The vast majority of financial professionals have at least some experience with social
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Investing in classic cars is an excellent way to make money if you know what you are doing, and it is an even better way to lose money if you do not. Recent returns on classic cars are attractive. The Historic Automobile Group Index (HAGI), a tracker of exotic cars, reported a 39% increase in
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“Superfund” is the federal government’s program to clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. But superfunding a 529 plan isn’t about waste at all. Ironically, learning about superfunding will help your children to learn. 529 plans are very useful and flexible mechanisms for saving for college. They are state-operated investment accounts that let
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529 plans are an excellent method to save for a college education. They are state-operated investment accounts that allow anyone to contribute after-tax dollars toward your child’s education. Earnings build up tax free, and remain so if they are used for qualified educational purposes. However, if funds are withdrawn for non-educational purposes, the earnings portion
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An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a hybrid of stocks and indexed mutual funds. They are purchased through brokers and traded through exchanges just as a stock would be, but they represent a basket of holdings designed to track a particular index or price. The underlying asset could be stocks, bonds, commodity contracts, real estate, precious
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Is a will sufficient for your estate, or should you consider a trust? Before addressing this question, let’s review trusts and what they do. A trust transfers legal title to property to a trustee, who manages the assets of that trust during your lifetime (if it is a living trust) and distributes or manages the
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Thinking about setting up a trust for your family? Human nature being what it is, you might want to keep your options open by setting up a trust that you can change or cancel at any time. If your formerly sweet granddaughter tells you she is devoting her life to Satan worship, for example, you
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A trust is a legal arrangement where a person or company (the trustee) has the legal title to property for another person. If you set up a trust while you are still alive, this is called a living trust. The trustee has legal rights of management and is expected to manage the trust assets for
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Asset allocation models usually refer to the mix of three asset classes in your investment portfolio: stocks, bonds and cash – although cash is sometimes unwisely lumped in with bonds. The three major issues in picking an asset allocation model are: Goal – What is your investing goal? As the saying goes, if you don’t
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Do you have a jar full of pennies taking up space on your dresser? That’s the usual home for the pennies that most Americans receive in change. Eventually, they get taken to a Coinstar machine to be redeemed or wind up breaking the dresser under their massive weight. Virtually nobody carries pennies around in their
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An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a trust set up to hold ownership of your life insurance policies. There are three primary reasons why an ILIT might be right for you. Avoiding Estate Taxes – Unless you take steps to prevent it, the proceeds of your life insurance policies are included as part of
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MoneyTips Are you planning on pushing your retirement age out as far as possible, or continuing to work part-time during your retirement years? A growing number of people are following this path, driven partly by enjoyment of their work and partly by economic necessity. In addition, since people are living longer in general, retirement may
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In general, early withdrawal of funds from your retirement account is a bad idea. Not only are the withdrawals taxed at your current income rate, but you will also pay a penalty of 10% on the withdrawn amount. However, there are some financial circumstances where early withdrawal is needed – and if you are in
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