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Can a flexible work schedule help you stay in the workforce after having children?

Yes, it just might be the key. Your job is the foundation for general financial security, including retirement. In addition to providing you with a steady salary and valuable employee benefits, it typically brings with it the ability to save in a tax-advantaged employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), and if you’re lucky, a pension. It also allows you to start qualifying for Social Security retirement benefits. Women and men may start out on relatively equal financial footing in…

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Women: Are you planning for retirement with one hand tied behind your back?

Women can face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Let’s take a look at three of them. First, women frequently step out of the workforce in their 20s, 30s, or 40s to care for children — a time when their job might just be kicking into high (or higher) gear. It’s a noble cause, of course. But consider this: A long break from the workforce can result in several financial losses beyond the immediate loss of a salary. In…

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Four Tips for Planning a Career Change

Changing careers can be rewarding for many reasons, but career transitions don’t always go smoothly. Your career shift may take longer than expected, or you may find yourself temporarily out of work if you need to go back to school or can’t immediately find a job. Consider these four tips to help make the financial impact of the transition easier. 1. Do your homework Before you quit your current job, make sure that you clearly understand the steps involved…

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Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2019

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and various tax deduction, exclusion, exemption, and threshold amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2019. Employer retirement plans Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $19,000 in compensation in 2019 (up from $18,500 in 2018); employees age 50 and older can defer up to an additional $6,000 in 2019 (the same as…

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Famous People Who Failed to Plan Properly

It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of taking the time to plan your estate. Nevertheless, it’s surprising how many American adults haven’t done so. You might think that those who are rich and famous would be way ahead of the curve when it comes to planning their estates properly, considering the resources and lawyers presumably available to them. Yet there are plenty of celebrities and people of note who died with inadequate (or nonexistent) estate plans. Most recently…

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What is the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit?

Tax deductions and credits are terms often used together when talking about taxes. While you probably know that they can lower your tax liability, you might wonder about the difference between the two. A tax deduction reduces your taxable income, so when you calculate your tax liability, you’re doing so against a lower amount. Essentially, your tax obligation is reduced by an amount equal to your deductions multiplied by your marginal tax rate. For example, if you’re in the…

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I received a large refund on my tax return this year. Should I adjust my withholding?

You must have been pleasantly surprised to find out you’d be getting a refund from the IRS — especially if it was a large sum. And while you may have considered this type of windfall a stroke of good fortune, is it really? The IRS issued over 112 million federal income tax refunds, averaging $2,895, for tax year 2016.1 You probably wouldn’t pay someone $240 each month in order to receive $2,900 back, without interest, at the end of…

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Protect Your Heirs by Naming a Trust as IRA Beneficiary

Often, tax-qualified retirement accounts such as IRAs make up a significant part of one’s estate. Naming beneficiaries of an IRA can be an important part of an estate plan. One option is designating a trust as the IRA beneficiary. Caution: This discussion applies to traditional IRAs, not to Roth IRAs. Special considerations apply to beneficiary designations for Roth IRAs. Why use a trust? Here are the most common reasons for designating a trust as an IRA beneficiary: Generally, inherited…

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Going Public: An IPO’s Market Debut May Not Live Up to the Hype

An initial public offering (IPO) is the first public sale of stock by a private company. Companies tend to schedule IPOs when investors are feeling good about their financial prospects and are more inclined to take on the risk associated with a new venture. Thus, IPOs tend to reflect broader economic and market trends. And not surprisingly, 2017 was the busiest year for the global IPO market since 2007.1 Company insiders who have been waiting for the opportunity to…

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Quiz: Financial Facts That Might Surprise You

If you have a penchant for financial trivia, put your knowledge to the test by taking this short quiz. Perhaps some of the answers to these questions will surprise you. Questions 1)  The first organized stock market in New York was founded on Wall Street under what kind of tree? a. Maple b. Linden c. Buttonwood d. Elm 2)  Who invented the 401(k)? a. Congress b. Ted Benna c. The IRS d. Juanita Kreps 3)  Which three U.S. bills…

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