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Should I sign up for an identity theft protection service?

Unfortunately, data breaches are now normal, everyday occurrences in our society. As a result, many companies are offering services to help you protect your personal information. If you want an extra layer of protection, an identity theft protection service is a good option. However, the term “identity theft protection service” can be misleading. The reality is that no one service can safeguard all of your personal information from identity theft. What most of these companies actually provide are identity…

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For College Savings, 529 Plans Are Hard to Beat

Raising kids is hard enough, so why not make things easier for yourself when it comes to saving for college? Ideally, you want a savings vehicle that doesn’t impose arbitrary income limits on eligibility; lets you contribute a little or a lot, depending on what else happens to be going on financially in your life at the moment; lets you set up automatic, recurring contributions from your checking account so you can put your savings effort on autopilot; and…

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Take This Quiz: The Social Security Retirement Earnings Test

Can you work and receive Social Security retirement benefits at the same time? Yes, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) will apply an earnings test. Part or all of your monthly benefit may be withheld if you earn too much. To help avoid surprises, take this quiz to find out what you know — and don’t know — about Social Security earnings test rules. QUESTIONS 1. The retirement earnings test applies only if you are receiving Social Security benefits…

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How to Give Like a Billionaire When You Don’t Have Billions to Give

Since Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett created the Giving Pledge in 2010, more than 200 of the world’s wealthiest individuals and couples have committed to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropic or charitable causes. Although the Giving Pledge only invites billionaires to join, “it is inspired by the example set by millions of people at all income levels who give generously — and often at great personal sacrifice — to make the world a better…

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Four Tips for Increasing Your Retirement Dollars

1.          Don’t Cash Out Retirement Plans When Changing Employment When you leave a job, the vested benefits in your retirement plan are an enticing source of money. It may be difficult to resist the urge to take that money as cash, particularly if retirement is many years away. If you do decide to cash out, understand that you will very likely be required to pay federal income taxes, state income taxes, and a 10 percent penalty if under age…

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Top Ten Fiduciary Responsibilities

A plan fiduciary plays an important role in the organization’s financial health. Not only do they oversee the fiduciary process, but they identify and serve the best interests of a retirement plan’s participants and beneficiaries. Here are 10 important responsibilities to keep in mind. Limit liability: As a fiduciary, it is imperative that you understand ERISA so you can keep yourself and your business safe from liability. Find the right plan provider: Finding a retirement plan provider is much…

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The More You Know: Automatic Enrollment Notices

Many retirement plans today provide automatic enrollment for employees, meaning the plan sponsor initiates enrollment into the retirement plan on behalf of the employee. One common question plan sponsors come across is whether their enrollment kit satisfies the annual automatic enrollment notice requirement. At first glance, it may seem that enrollment kits contain all the necessary information to satisfy your obligation to provide an annual notice of your plan’s automatic enrollment feature, however the notice must include the following…

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The Benefits of Matching Retirement Contributions

As the unemployment rate has dropped, hiring has grown increasingly competitive – especially for businesses with highly-specialized positions. It’s important to understand how retirement matches factor into the hiring process and how they can financially benefit your company. Here are a few reasons why offering a retirement match helps your business. Competitive Hiring If you don’t offer a retirement match, chances are your competitors do, meaning it’s more difficult to attract top talent. A full benefits package that includes…

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