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The Importance of Saving for Retirement at a Young Age

If you’re an adult in your 20’s, you are entering an exciting stage of life. Whether you’ve just graduated from college or are starting a new career, you will encounter many opportunities and challenges as you create a life of your own. As busy as you are, it’s no surprise that retirement may seem a long way off, especially if you’re just entering the workforce. What you may not realize, however, is that there are four very important advantages to begin planning and saving for retirement now. 1….

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How to Get a Bigger Social Security Retirement Benefits

Many people decide to begin receiving early Social Security retirement benefits. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, about 72% of retired workers receive benefits prior to their full retirement age.1  But waiting longer could significantly increase your monthly retirement income, so weigh your options carefully before making a decision. Timing counts Your monthly Social Security retirement benefit is based on your lifetime earnings. Your base benefit–the amount you’ll receive at full retirement age–is calculated using a formula that takes into account your 35 highest earnings years. If you…

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How is GDP calculated in the U.S.?

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is a measurement of the total value of all goods and services produced in the United States over a given time period. It is used by economists, government officials, market forecasters and others to gauge the overall health of the U.S. economy. Although there are several ways of calculating GDP, the expenditures approach is the most common. It focuses on final goods and services purchased by four groups: Consumers businesses governments (federal, state, and…

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Q&As on Roth 401(k)

The Roth 401(k) is 10 years old! With 62% of employers now offering this option, it’s more likely than not that you can make Roth contributions to your 401(k) plan.1 Are you taking advantage of this opportunity? What is a Roth 401(k) plan? A Roth 401(k) plan is simply a traditional 401(k) plan that permits contributions to a designated Roth account within the plan. Roth 401(k) contributions are made on an after-tax basis, just like Roth IRA contributions. This…

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How many types of government savings bonds are there, and what’s the difference between them?

While the U.S. government has issued 13 types of savings bonds, there are currently only two series available for purchase through the U.S. Treasury Department: Series EE bonds and Series I bonds. U.S. savings bonds are nonmarketable securities, which means you can’t resell them unless you’re authorized as an issuing or redeeming agent by the U.S. Treasury Department. Savings bonds are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. You can buy Series…

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Mid-Year 2016: An Investment Reality Check

Market volatility is alive and well in 2016. Low oil prices, China’s slowing growth, the prospect of rising interest rates, the strong U.S. dollar, global conflicts–all of these factors have contributed to turbulent markets this year. Many investors may be tempted to review their portfolios only when the markets hit a rough patch, but careful planning is essential in all economic climates. So whether the markets are up or down, reviewing your portfolio with your financial professional can be an excellent way to keep your investments on track, and midway through the year is…

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If You Were King

The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are over but the shouting certainly is not. Because the recent news has been filled with the various musings of both party’s candidates, I think talking about their COMMON THEMES (yes, there is one!) would be worthwhile and instructive. NOTE: I will stay politically neutral here. It would be easy to avoid talking about politics when the country is so polarized, but then I would not be serving you well. My job is…

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