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Don’t Delay: The Potential Benefits of Starting to Save Now

For long-term investment goals such as retirement, time can be one of your biggest advantages. That’s because time allows your investment dollars to do some of the hard work for you through a mathematical principle known as compounding. The snowball effect The premise behind compounding is fairly simple. You invest to earn money, and if those returns are then reinvested, that money can also earn returns. For example, say you invest $1,000 and earn an annual return of 7%…

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Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2018

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans, thresholds for deductions and credits, and standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments to the tax numbers for 2018. Employer retirement plans Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $18,500 in compensation in 2018 (up from $18,000 in 2017); employees age 50 and older can defer up to an…

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How can I protect myself from digital deception?

Imagine that you receive an email with an urgent message asking you to verify your banking information by clicking on a link. Or maybe you get an enticing text message claiming that you’ve won a free vacation to the destination of your choice — all you have to do is click on the link you were sent. In both scenarios, clicking on the link causes you to play right into the hands of a cybercriminal seeking your sensitive information….

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What can I do to crack down on robocalls?

You may not mind if a legitimate robocalls provides a helpful announcement from your child’s school or an appointment reminder from a doctor’s office. But sadly, criminals often use robocalls to collect consumers’ personal information and/or conduct various scams. Newer “spoofing” technology displays fake numbers to make it look as though calls are local, rather than coming from overseas, which could trick more people into answering the phone. Robocalls have been illegal since 2009 (unless the telemarketer has the…

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HSA: A Tax Trifecta Investment Opportunity

When it comes to fiscally frugal health insurance options, health savings accounts (HSA) aren’t exactly new to the game. They’ve been around since 2003 and have only increased in popularity among employers, politicians and certain types of employees. In recent years, however, the growth in popularity of HSAs is due less to the accounts’ function from a cost-saving benefit plan and more to its utility as a wise choice for investment opportunities. It’s time to look beyond the traditional…

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What financial resolutions should I consider making as I look ahead to 2018?

What financial resolutions should I consider making as I look ahead to 2018? A new year is right around the corner, bringing with it a fresh start for you and your finances. What will you do this year to help improve your financial situation? Evaluate your savings goals. The beginning of the year is a great time to examine your overall financial plan. Maybe you want to buy a  new vehicle this year or save money toward a Caribbean…

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It’s Time for Baby Boomer RMDs!

In 2016, the first wave of baby boomers turned 70½, and many more reach that milestone in 2017 and 2018. What’s so special about 70½? That’s the age when you must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMD) from tax-deferred retirement accounts, including traditional IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, SEP IRAs, SARSEPs, and 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans. Original owners of Roth IRAs are not required to take RMDs. If you’re still employed (and not a 5% owner), you may be able to…

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Demographic Dilemma: Is America’s Aging Population Slowing Down the Economy?

United States is growing older at a rapid pace. While the U.S. population is projected to grow just 8% between 2015 and 2025, the number of older Americans ages 70 to 84, comprising the Aging Population, will skyrocket 50%.1 With roughly 75 million members, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) make up the largest generation in U.S. history. As a group, boomers have longer life expectancies and had fewer children than previous generations.2 Now, after dominating the workforce…

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Questions to Ask Before Buying That Thing You’ve Always Wanted

Even if you’re generally comfortable with your finances, you may occasionally worry about how much you’re spending, especially if you consistently have trouble saving for short or long-term goals. Here are a few questions to ask that might help you decide whether buying that special something is really worth it. Why do I want it? Maybe you’ve worked hard and think you deserve to buy something you’ve always wanted. That may be true, but are you certain you’re not…

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How can families trim college costs?

Trimming college costs up front can help families avoid excessive college borrowing and the burdensome student loan payments that come with it. Here are some ideas. 1. Pick a college with a lower net price. You can use a college’s net price calculator (available on every college’s website) to estimate what your net price (out-of-pocket cost) will be at individual colleges. A net price calculator does this by estimating how much grant aid a student is likely to receive…

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