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Medicare and Your Employer Health Plan

If you plan to continue working after you reach age 65, you may be wondering how Medicare coordinates with your employer’s group health plan. When you’re eligible for both types of coverage, you’ll need to consider the benefits and costs, and navigate an array of rules. How does Medicare work with your group health plan? You can generally wait to enroll in Medicare if you have group health insurance through your employer or your spouse’s employer. Most employers can’t…

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Life Is for the Living, and So Is Life Insurance

Life can be busy. The requirements of work and family often leave little time to step back and think about where you’ve been and where you’re heading. But as your responsibilities grow, so does the need to evaluate what would happen if life for you stopped. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month and a good time to reflect on how life insurance can help those you leave behind — the living. Your spouse or life partner A successful marriage…

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For Women, a Pay Gap Could Lead to a Retirement Gap

Women in the workforce generally earn less than men. While the gender pay gap is narrowing, it is still significant. The difference in wages, coupled with other factors, can lead to a shortfall in retirement savings for women. Statistically speaking Generally, women work fewer years and contribute less toward their retirement than men, resulting in lower lifetime savings. According to the U.S. Department of Labor: 56.7% of women work at gainful employment, which accounts for 46.8% of the labor…

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Benchmarks Are Not Created Equal

Because benchmarks are an important part of investment due diligence, a plan fiduciary should carefully consider their selection. Two of the most common are FTSE Russell1 and Standard & Poor’s2. The RPAG Scorecard3 utilizes Russell and here’s why: Russell ranks each company in the investable universe according to its total market capitalization. The market cap is the primary tool to determine where a company belongs in the Russell Index. S&P uses a committee to make these decisions. Russell indices…

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Fixed Income: A Sinking Ship or Much Ado About Nothing?

Time is a powerful modifier of perception and purpose. No need to look any further than the frequent rumblings surrounding fixed income in the current rising interest rate environment. That isn’t to say the frequently touted “bond bubble” and rising interest rate topics are unimportant or overstated, it’s merely a reaction to the volume and misappropriation of focus often exhibited in these ongoing conversations. Monitoring the trajectory of rising interest rates is a good idea, however letting it affect…

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Can I roll my traditional 401(k) account balance over to a Roth IRA?

Yes, you can make a direct or 60-day rollover from a 401(k) plan to a Roth IRA, as long as you meet certain requirements.* First, you must be entitled to a distribution from your plan. While you can always access your account when you terminate employment, in some cases you may be able to withdraw your own or your employer’s contributions while you’re still working (for example, at age…

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What is a rollover IRA, and do I need one?

Generally, the term “rollover IRA” refers to an IRA that you establish to receive funds from an employer retirement plan like a 401(k). A rollover IRA is also sometimes referred to as a conduit IRA.” When you roll funds over from an employer plan to an IRA, your financial institution may suggest that you use a rollover IRA to receive the funds. Of course, you can transfer those dollars to any other IRA you own at some future date,…

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The Health-Wealth Connection

It’s a vicious cycle: Money is one of the greatest causes of stress, prolonged stress can lead to serious health issues, and health issues often result in yet more financial struggles.1 This clear health-wealth connection is why it’s so important to develop and maintain lifelong plans to manage both. The big picture Consider the following statistics: More than 20% of Americans say they have either considered skipping or skipped going to the doctor due to financial worries. (American Psychological…

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Don’t Let Interest Rate Hikes Catch You by Surprise

You’ve probably heard the news that the Federal Reserve has been raising its benchmark federal funds rate. The Fed doesn’t directly control consumer interest rates, but federal funds rate hikes (which is the rate banks use to lend funds to each other overnight within the Federal Reserve system) often affect consumer borrowing costs. Forms of consumer credit that charge variable interest rates are especially vulnerable, including adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), most credit cards, and certain private student loans. Variable…

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What is a pet trust?

A pet trust is an arrangement to provide for the care and financial support of your pet(s) upon your disability or death. You fund the trust with property or cash that can be used to provide for your pet based on your instructions in the trust document. Your pet trust should name a trustee who will carry out your instructions for the care of your pet, including handling and disbursement of trust funds and turning your pet over to…

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