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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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How can I prepare financially for severe weather?

Floods, tornadoes, torrential rain, lightning, and hail are common events in many parts of the country during the spring and may result in widespread damage. Severe weather often strikes with little warning, so take measures now to protect yourself and your property. Review your insurance coverage. Make sure your homeowners and auto insurance coverage is sufficient. While standard homeowners insurance covers losses from fire, lightning, and hail, you may need to buy separate coverage for hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and…

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Why a Life Insurance Claim May Be Denied

Insurance Policy

Life insurance can be an important financial tool for you and your family. For example, life insurance can help replace earnings that would cease upon your death. It can provide a legacy for your children or grandchildren, and can even be used to make a charitable gift after your death. However, the fact that you’ve purchased life insurance doesn’t guarantee that the death benefit will be paid when it’s needed most — after you’ve died. There are several reasons…

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Why Diversification Matters


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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Due Date Approaches for 2016 Federal Income Tax Returns

Tax filing season is here again. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to start pulling things together — that includes getting your hands on a copy of last year’s tax return and gathering W-2s, 1099s, and deduction records. You’ll need these records whether you’re preparing your own return or paying someone else to do your taxes for you. Don’t procrastinate The filing deadline for most individuals is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. That’s because April 15 falls on…

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Are You Ready for an Audit?

Several events can trigger a DOL or IRS audit, such as employee complaints or self-reporting under the annual submission of the Form 5500. Often times an audit is a random event, which is why you should always be prepared. Listed below are several key items typically requested in an initial letter sent by the IRS or the DOL in connection with a retirement plan audit. These items should be readily accessible by the plan administrator at all times the…

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Improper Handling of Hardship Distributions May Result in Significant Problems

These days, many plans are experiencing an uptick in the number of participant requests for hardship distributions. Much of this increased activity may be attributed to our prolonged and tepid economic recovery. As these requests are considered, you want to be sure not to act to the detriment of your plan. Improper handling of hardship requests can ultimately result in plan disqualification. It is important to understand what the law, and your plan document, allows so your actions do…

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Recruiting, Retaining, and Rewarding

Recruiting, retaining and rewarding key employees are not just goals of the largest companies in America—they are important to all companies. That’s why, in today’s environment, no plan sponsor can have a truly meaningful conversation about its total rewards package and retirement plan’s design without discussing non-qualified deferred compensation plans (NQDCPs). What is an NQDCP? As people live longer and lead more active lives, retirement plans and Social Security payments may not provide enough income for the highly compensated…

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No Beneficiary Designation — Who Gets The Money?

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, retirement plans and IRAs account for about 60 percent of the assets of U.S. households investing at least $100,000.1 Both state and federal laws govern the disposition of these assets, and the results can be complicated, especially when the owner of the account has been divorced and remarried. Therefore, it is important for plan fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans to understand their role regarding beneficiary designations and the regulations that dictate….

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Over the Top

The term ‘over the top’ has its origins, at least in part, from World War I history.  Unfortunately, it referred to the infantry who, when given that order, had to climb up out of their trenches and onto the exposed battlefield (also known as ‘no man’s land’, another idiom from WWI that stays with us).  The incurred casualties were staggering, and the achieved results, minimal. Now, as an idiom of the English language, ‘over the top’ generally refers to…

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