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How do I replace my Social Security card?

Chances are, you probably have your Social Security number memorized, so you may not have had to use your card in awhile. However, there are times when you may be required to show your actual card, such as when you start a new job or need to access certain government services. Fortunately, replacing a lost or stolen card is a relatively easy process. In order to obtain a new card, you need to prove your citizenship or lawful noncitizen…

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Do I need to get a REAL ID when I renew my license?

If you need to renew your driver’s license, you may want to get a REAL ID. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacts the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Beginning October 1, 2020, residents of every state and territory will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license/identification card, or another acceptable form of identification (such as a passport), to access federal facilities, enter…

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How Does Your Employer’s Retirement Plan Compare?

    Each year, the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) surveys employers to gauge trends in retirement plan features and participation. Results are used by employers and plan participants to benchmark their plans against overall averages. How does your plan compare to the most recent survey results, released at the end of 2018?1 Participation and savings rates Plan participation (that is, the percentage of participants contributing to the plan) was on the rise, increasing from 77% in 2010…

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Rules on Opening a 529 Plan Account for College

Year over year, participation in 529 plans continues to rise.1 Anyone can open an account, lifetime contribution limits are typically over $300,000, and there are tax benefits if the funds are used for college. Here are some common questions on opening an account. Can I open an account in any state’s 529 plan or am I limited to my own state’s plan? Answer: It depends on the type of 529 plan you have: college savings plan or prepaid tuition…

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Quiz: Social Security Survivor Benefits

Did you know that Social Security may pay benefits to your eligible family members when you die, helping to make their financial life easier? Take this quiz to learn more. Questions 1. What percentage of Social Security beneficiaries receive survivor benefits? a. 5% b. 10% c. 15% 2. Your child may be able to receive survivor benefits based on your Social Security earnings record if he or she is: a. Unmarried and under age 18 (19 if still in…

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How can I get a tax break for child care?

More than 60% of children under age six in the United States have two parents in the workforce.1 Many of these working parents must spend a burdensome share of their earnings on child care, especially if they don’t have relatives who are willing and able to help out. The following tax benefits may help you offset some of the costs paid for a nanny, babysitter, day care, preschool, or day camp, but only if the services are used so…

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Four Reasons Your Parents Might Be in Financial Trouble

As your parents age, they will probably need more help from you. But it may be difficult to provide the help they need, especially if they’re experiencing financial trouble. Money can be a sensitive subject to discuss, but you’ll need to talk to your parents about it in order to get to the root of their problems and come up with a solution. Before you start the conversation, consider the following four scenarios as signs that your parents might…

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Quiz: How Much Have You Thought About Health and Health-Care Costs in Retirement?

When planning for retirement, it’s important to consider a wide variety of factors. One of the most important is health and its associated costs. Thinking about your future health and the rising cost of health care can help you better plan for retirement in terms of both your finances and overall well-being. This quiz can help you assess your current knowledge of health and health-care costs in retirement. Questions 1. Health-care costs typically rise faster than the rate of…

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Due Date Approaches for 2018 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 your 2017 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 prepare your tax return for you. Don’t procrastinate The filing deadline for most individuals is Monday, April 15, 2019. Residents of Maine and Massachusetts have…

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Is a vehicle subscription service in your future?

Automakers and start-up companies are betting that today’s generation of drivers will embrace a new model of temporary ownership called a vehicle subscription service. A vehicle subscription service offers an alternative to buying or leasing. You don’t have to sign a long-term contract or commit to just one vehicle. Once you join, you typically pay an all-inclusive monthly or sometimes weekly fee that covers the cost of using the vehicle you choose, including insurance, routine maintenance, roadside assistance, and…

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