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Future of the Federal Estate Tax

While no one can predict the future of the Federal Estate Tax, the possibility of tax reform is once again in the spotlight. If it occurs, it may very well include repeal of the federal estate tax and related changes to the federal gift tax, the federal generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax, and the federal income tax basis rules. History of the federal estate tax In general, an estate tax is a tax on property a person owns at death….

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May Any Employee Join the Retirement Committee?

Upon first blush, to the extent an employee from the general populace can and wishes to make a contribution as a committee member, there seems to be no reason why they shouldn’t participate on the committee. In practice, most committees consist of executives from finance (preferably the CFO), benefits and human resources. Due to the potential personal liability exposure, if there is interest from other lay people who wish to represent the vote of the participant base, they are…

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Are you Ready to Retire?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are ready to retire. Is your nest egg adequate? It may be obvious, but the earlier you retire, the less time you’ll have to save, and the more years you’ll be living off  your retirement savings. The average American can expect to live past age 78.* With future medical advances likely, it’s not unreasonable to assume that life expectancy will continue to increase. Is your nest…

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What are some tips for creating a home inventory?

home inventory

Imagine having to remember and describe every item in your home, especially after you’ve been the victim of a fire, theft, or natural disaster. Rather than relying on your memory, you may want to prepare a home inventory — a detailed record of all your personal property. This record can help substantiate an insurance claim, support a police report when items are stolen, or prove a loss to the IRS. Here are some tips to get started. Tour your…

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Why Diversification Matters

Diversification

When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there is one concept you will likely hear about over and over again — diversification. Why is diversification so important? The simple reason is that it helps ensure that your risk of loss is spread among a number of different investments. The theory is that if some of the investments in your portfolio decline in value, others may rise or hold steady, helping to offset the losses. Diversifying within asset classes For example,…

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