Broker Check

Blog

Random thoughts on a variety of personal financial issues. 

The following articles are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax, legal of financial advice.  Please consult your tax, legal or financial advisor regarding your specific situation.

 

 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Rigorous manufacturing standards and enhanced quality control are perhaps the best ways to prevent a product liability lawsuit. However, as the link between companies and consumers weakens, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and...

 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The death of a spouse always has the same impact: emotional devastation and turmoil within the family. The one thing you don't need, along with this emotional upheaval, would be the added burden of the surviving spouse being "in the...

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

One of the more challenging aspects of managing finances today is deciding how much to save and which savings vehicles are most appropriate in helping you reach your goals. Naturally, you hope to create a savings and investment plan...

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

As the calendar gets ready to turn, think about your original goals As we head into mid-December, it’s important to keep the past 11.5 months in perspective and remember your original goals from the beginning of the year. Sure,...

 

Monday, December 10, 2018

With one of the most impressive resumes of any President, Mr. Bush was also a firm believer in hand-written notes. George Herbert Walker Bush was born in Massachusetts and raised in an affluent Connecticut suburb not far from New York...

 

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Unexpected occurrences, such as death, disability, or other personal loss, are certainly not the types of events for which you can easily plan. However, the financial ramifications can be quite serious—not only for you, but your...

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

It is no longer unusual for people to live 20 or more years beyond normal retirement age. Consequently, when seniors reach their eighties and nineties, plans that were satisfactory at age 65 often require a second look. Areas of...

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Is your growing business still a one-person operation? As your company continues to grow and the workload increases, it is easy to find yourself wearing too many hats and not having enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that...

 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Why doesn’t anyone ever tell you not to buy an umbrella liability policy? It seems like additional overall security for pennies. Sure, you can spend pennies paying for something you don’t need or will never use, but...

 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

With the cost of providing health care and other employee benefits rising, small businesses often find it difficult to compete with larger companies in attracting and retaining the most talented workers. Compared with other types of...

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

After years of saving and planning for their golden years, many people nearing retirement fail to consider the tax burden they may face on income they receive after they stop working. While you will likely see a reduction in the amount...

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

When you think of the word “insurance,” what comes to your mind? Most people think of certain policies, such as auto, homeowners, health, or life insurance. Although these types of policies may cover your basic needs in...

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Let’s assume you’ve built, maybe with the help of an investment professional, a mutual fund portfolio reflecting how much risk you’re willing to take for some measure of reward. Professionals recommend that you review...

 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Many people may find the notion of creating and adhering to a financial plan about as appealing as doing housework. As everyone knows, putting off chores can lead to further procrastination. And, the longer you let things go, the more...

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The word “sundowning” refers to a state of agitated behavior that worsens toward the end of the day and into the night. It is a symptom that is associated with some forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease,...

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

With increased longevity in the U.S. population, many retirees may find themselves in the position of helping elderly parents or relatives to manage their finances. If you have an aging parent or relative in need of assistance,...

 

Monday, November 19, 2018

At various points in its development, your business may benefit from the expertise and insight that only an external consultant can provide. But without the right selection process and procedures in place, bringing in an outside...

 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Attracting and retaining qualified employees and managers is always a challenge for companies of all sizes. Most employers realize competitive salaries are not the only things desired by the best workers. Sought-after employees also...

 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Most often, the first question a prospective employee will ask is about your company’s benefit program. And in my experience, the two most often-asked questions are about health insurance and an employer-sponsored retirement...

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Everyone has specific expectations and dreams about retirement, but will your current plan meet your ultimate objectives? Today, more than ever, planning for retirement is a necessity. Preparation and follow-through can help you avoid...

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The concept of the “traditional” American family is continually changing. The dual income family—with both spouses maintaining separate careers and contributing to the financial success of the household—has now...

 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Try closing your eyes and mentally listing your living room furnishings or the contents of your jewelry box. If you have trouble coming up with a complete tally, just imagine how difficult it would be to do this after a fire or...

 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Some families have no problem discussing money. For the rest, use these tips to get your family on the same financial page. How many times have you been given the wrong change at a store or restaurant and just accepted it? Maybe the...

 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Taxpayers in the upper income brackets are discovering that finding alternatives for tax relief may be a little like looking for the hard-to-find character in “Where’s Waldo?” Fueling their search may be a desire for...

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The goal is to account for a borrower’s cash transactions and banking history. When it comes to our credit score, Americans are doing better than ever. Since bottoming out with an average FICO Score of 686 in October 2009 –...

 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Estate planning has traditionally focused on how to minimize estate taxes and designate “who gets what” when you die. However, managing your affairs in today’s modern world has become more complicated. Quality of life issues involving.....

 

Monday, November 5, 2018

The 2018 Midterm Elections will feature hundreds of hotly contested races at the state and local level and will culminate with the November 6th general election that will decide whether the Republicans maintain – or the Democrats...

 

Friday, November 2, 2018

It’s easy to procrastinate and make excuses to avoid talking with your aging parent (or other loved one) about essential life choices and end-of-life issues. Even if your loved one is in failing health, you may still avoid...

 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Trusts are valuable planning tools that can help you and your family achieve a variety of financial and estate planning goals. You may find many practical ways to use a trust for your investments, retirement, children’s education...

 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

In today’s business climate, it may be more important than ever for companies to operate at maximum efficiency and with a keen awareness of the potential impact of changes in their industry and the economy. Using a SWOT analysis...

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

With the glut of advertisements, press releases, direct mail, and other promotional vehicles crying for attention, it’s become quite a challenge to get your message out to clients and prospects. Word of mouth is often the best...

 

Monday, October 29, 2018

There has long been a perception that “going green” adds to the cost of doing business. But as more companies of all sizes and in all sectors experiment with environmentally friendly approaches, the evidence is mounting...

 

Friday, October 26, 2018

With all the chores required to get through each day, many of us spend all of our free time trying to complete routine tasks. The few waking hours not consumed by work can easily be filled with duties such as cleaning, grocery shopping...

 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Minimizing costs is one of the main objectives in developing a risk management and insurance program. This involves reducing or eliminating risks wherever possible, as well as determining whether certain risks can be assumed by your...

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Many parents teach their children the ABCs at a very young age, but do they teach them the ABCs of good credit? At certain points in life, everyone must deal with banks, loans, credit, and finances. You may have learned your lessons...

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The market’s growth in recent years has certainly provided a boost to the portfolios of many investors. However, during these unprecedented economic times, it is possible that some individuals may have become a bit complacent...

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

When it comes to long-term planning, the realist has an edge. No one wants to think about the prospect of his or her own failing health, but considering it now, in the short run, may make your future more comfortable and secure. One of...

 

Friday, October 19, 2018

How do you feel about life-support systems for the terminally ill? How much thought have you given to the decisions your family may face when contemplating the choice of maintaining or terminating life-sustaining medical treatment for...

 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to walk through the doors of your company for the first time. How would you like to be treated? What training and tools would you need to get started in your new job? First Impressions How...

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

As a business executive, suppose you were to arrive at your desk one morning only to be informed that your key sales manager had died unexpectedly during the night. Have you ever considered how such a turn of events might affect your...

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Today, the Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan is a popular retirement savings option for self-employed sole proprietors and partners. However, before you open a SEP, it’s important to understand the distinction between...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Americans are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. As a result, for many people, retirement may last 20 years or more. So, if “time is money,” how many years do you have in the bank? Because inflation will most...

 

Friday, October 12, 2018

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP, 2013) reports that flood losses during the last decade, from 2001 to 2010, totaled nearly $2.7 billion dollars. Considering the relatively low cost for protection, flood insurance may be a...

 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

According to The Federal Reserve more than 174 million Americans have credit cards. The average credit card holder has at least three cards and carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt. At the end of 2017, U.S. consumer debt...

 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

One of the biggest challenges facing the average investor is deciding how to allocate personal savings or retirement assets. Naturally, most individuals hope to create an investment portfolio that is consistent with their personal...

 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Are you thinking about home health care for your parent or loved one as a solution to providing help with daily activities such as bathing, meal preparation, and housekeeping? Many older individuals benefit from receiving assistance in...

 

Monday, October 8, 2018

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) can be a highly effective financial and estate planning tool. The CRT can allow you to: avoid capital gains taxes on highly appreciated assets, however when income is distributed to the income...

 

Friday, October 5, 2018

In an apparent break with their technology-obsessed millennial predecessors, members of Generation Z who are starting to enter the workforce are ready to put down their devices, and are more aligned with Generation X in their...

 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Life insurance is an important component of many business arrangements. While most business owners are familiar with life insurance as an employee benefit, many may not be aware of the variety of other potential business uses. Here are...

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Salary continuation plans are essentially deferred compensation arrangements between employee and employer; they stipulate that extra benefits will be provided to the employee after retirement, disability, and/or death, provided the...

 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Whatever your age, it’s never too soon to look ahead and begin giving thought to your retirement. With proper planning, you can make the transition to retirement a smooth, comfortable and secure ride. Today, more than ever,...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Unlike the Declaration of Independence, all homeowners insurance policies are not created equal. Review of your coverage and policy components will help you ensure you have the proper type of policy and proper amount of coverage to...

 

Friday, September 28, 2018

While most people find the notion of creating a budget about as appealing as cleaning out closets, most would agree that the result—a well-crafted and useful budget—is worth the work. Two financial “snapshots”...

 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The task of assembling an investment portfolio may present you with many questions. One of the most important is, “What assets would I like to include in my portfolio?” Although it may sound like a simple question, the...

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Health care always seems to be a hot topic in political circles. Because resolution of important health care issues may take time, you may be left with the immediate task of evaluating your own health coverage situation. Coverage for...

 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Two main responsibilities of the probate court are to determine the validity of a will and to ensure that it is faithfully executed. Although most states have exemptions for smaller estates, a will ultimately falls under the...

 

Monday, September 24, 2018

As a business grows, its structural needs may change. Changing the structure of your business will have long-term implications, so consult with an accountant and attorney to help you select the form of ownership that is right for your...

 

Friday, September 21, 2018

But it’s easier to get into Harvard than get an administrative assistant job. On Friday, September 7th, the United States Department of Labor released the “Employment Situation” report and there were some fascinating...

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

There are chilling similarities – but fundamental differences too. On December 7, 2001, a Gallup Poll ran the following headline: “Americans Say Sept. 11 Will Be More Historically Significant Than Pearl Harbor.” That...

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

If the ongoing success of your business depends on one or more key individuals, you may want to consider the role that insurance can play in protecting your business. The death or disability of a key employee—such as an owner or...

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

If you participate in a 401(k) plan, you probably know that it’s possible to take money from your account before retirement. Aside from retirement, death, disability, or divorce, there are essentially two ways you can do this: 1)...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

The dream of early retirement may become a happy reality on your sixty-second birthday. From that day on, you have the right to start drawing Social Security retirement benefits, assuming you have paid into the system (based on your...

 

Friday, September 14, 2018

When legendary singer Aretha Franklin died of advanced pancreatic cancer at age 76, she did not have a will or trust, according to documents filed in Oakland County Probate Court. And now the $80 million estate of the intensely private...

 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Young adults in their twenties and early thirties face a variety of challenges in their quest for financial security. Some of these challenges are similar to those faced by previous generations, while others are unique to the times. If...

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

There are two risk exposures that no business owner can afford to overlook: property loss and liability loss. Property insurance generally covers your building, contents, and equipment in the event that physical property needs to be...

 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Financial therapy is different from financial planning. Or is it? Many financial advisors are starting to work jointly with mental health counselors to help clients who are having difficulty making financial decisions or changing...

 

Monday, September 10, 2018

At each stage of life, you’re likely to have different financial needs. Therefore, saving and investing strategies that are right at one point in life, may not suit another time. You can learn to capitalize on strategies that are...

 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Fitness is booming in America, and Americans are trying to take care of themselves as they never have before. From power walks to diet plans to regular workouts, racquetball matches, or lap swimming, we are flocking to fitness programs...

 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Stringent privacy rules make it important that you consider advance medical directives to help direct your future health care. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulations; doctors,...

 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The family limited partnership (FLP) has been touted as a powerful tool for estate planning and for managing family wealth. In theory, assets that are otherwise attractive to a creditor become unattractive once transferred to an FLP,...

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Suppose you arrive at your company one morning and discover that a key employee died unexpectedly the night before. Have you ever considered how such a turn of events may affect your company? Along with losing a valued member of your...

 

Monday, September 3, 2018

You’re an entrepreneur and you’re not looking back. You’ve opened your own business, whether alone or with other partners, and you’ve found some success. You’ve hired employees, or not, depending on your...

 

Friday, August 31, 2018

When you think of retirement, you probably envision the enjoyable ways you will spend your free time. But, you may also want to give some thought to receiving your funds while in retirement. If you participate in a company pension plan...

 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

In response to demands from baby boomers, aging-in-place improvements that help seniors stay safely in their homes are more stylish and functional than before. Think of a curved and tiled shower soap dish that also serves as a grab bar...

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Did you know that most standard home insurance policies limit the amount of fine arts, paintings, and similar valuables that may be covered by the personal property limit? Owners of fine art, antique furniture, heirloom or estate...

 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We’re all busy. There is always some new item on our constantly growing to-do lists. Some tasks are fun to take on others are tedious, boring, long or all the above. But some of the most important to-do’s in our lives often...

 

Monday, August 27, 2018

How much should I invest, and in what areas, to reach my long-term financial goals? Even though you may believe your dollars are not stretching far enough to cover current expenses, you should set your goals, review some very basic...

 

Friday, August 24, 2018

It’s in your best interest to stay healthy, not only for your personal well being, but also for the way it can affect the health care benefits you receive from your employer. The time when a company paid 100% of all medical...

 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Trusts are valuable tools that can help you and your family achieve a variety of financial and estate planning goals. As you plan your long-term strategies, you may find many practical ways to use trusts to manage your investments,...

 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Proper estate planning helps business owners reduce estate and gift taxes, as well as manage the transfer of assets to heirs. However, one of the greatest challenges of estate planning is implementing a plan that will help you achieve...

 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

In the rush of daily business activities, business owners­ can lose sight of what they had originally hoped to accomplish through their continuous efforts. Over time, as the business grows, personal objectives may also change. When...

 

Monday, August 20, 2018

A growing number of business owners are providing flexible benefits through a Section 125 cafeteria plan as one method of attracting and retaining their employees. Generally, under this plan, a menu of choices is offered to employees,...

 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Somewhere along your road to retirement, you should pull to the side and look at your “map.” Will your road to retirement be a smooth one or filled with potholes? How far down the road is your retirement and have you packed...

 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Grief is the natural emotional response to loss, and no loss is more profound or lasting than death. The grief experienced as the result of a death can be deep, very painful, and can often feel unending. But grief is also a process,...

 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Property and casualty insurance provides important protection for many business owners in the event of a disaster or other loss. In general, there are three types of insurance policies that are applicable to most business and...

 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Many couples blame their marriage problems on disagreements and an inability to see eye to eye. Marriage counseling is a great option for couples who need to learn how to better communicate, but it might not solve the problem that...

 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Do you know your investment “personality”? Here is a simple quiz that can help you identify whether you are aggressive, moderate, or conservative. The quiz consists of five questions. There is no right or wrong answer, so...

 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Under the proper circumstances, survivorship life insurance can be a cost-effective mechanism to help fund debt obligations such as estate taxes. These policies insure two people and pay a death benefit after the death of the second...

 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Despite the best intentions, marriages may not last forever. If you are divorced or widowed, and planning to remarry, you may want to take the opportunity to review and revise your estate conservation strategies. This is especially...

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help and you think you can – or should – handle things yourself. Whether it’s taking care of a nagging injury, fixing the sink, changing the oil in your car or doing your own taxes...

 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Proper estate planning helps business owners minimize estate and gift taxes, as well as maximize the transfer of assets to heirs. However, one of the greatest challenges of estate planning is implementing a plan that will help you...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

It is fascinating to compare today’s list of the largest companies in the world (by market cap) with a similar list from a little more than 20 years ago. As the economy moved from heavy industry to consumer goods to technology...

 

Friday, August 3, 2018

If you’re fortunate enough to own a small business, has your enterprise flourished into something a bit more complex than you ever would have expected? If this sounds familiar, you probably also have experienced a gradual shift...

 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

You may be your business’s most valuable player (MVP). Therefore, proper measures should be taken to protect both your income and your business should you suffer a disability. Disability income insurance offers protection against...

 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

It makes sense to periodically review your financial strategy along the road to retirement to make sure you are taking advantage of all available tools and resources that may help build your retirement income. Your ability to save more...

 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Try closing your eyes and listing your living room furnishings or the contents of your jewelry box. If you have trouble coming up with a complete tally, imagine how hard it would be when you are distraught after a fire or burglary....

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

To help manage your personal finances, you can purchase computer software that will balance your checkbook, figure out your budget, track your investments, and even help take the sting out of filing your income tax return. Even with...

 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Most people are very style conscious about their choice of clothing, but they may be far less discriminating when it comes to their choice of mutual funds. What, you may ask, does style have to do with investing? A fund’s name...

 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

It may take time to find an appropriate home care provider. First, it is necessary to determine your loved one’s specific needs. For guidance in assessing needs, family members may consult with their loved one’s physician,...

 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Over the next 50 years, the age 85 and older population is expected to be the fastest growing segment of society. Unfortunately, along with aging, the chances of needing long-term care (LTC) increase. The primary reason for this is...

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

2018 is half way over - how are we doing? Now is a good time to check-in and see how you’re really doing. Amid the draining heat of mid-summer, do you remember your New Year’s resolutions regarding your personal financial...

 

Monday, July 23, 2018

It’s an unfortunate statistic that everyone knows – more than 50% of marriages will end in divorce. But it’s also a statistic that has lost its impact. So, let’s try another tact. In the United States, we see: 1...

 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Starting a new business can be an exciting prospect. However, securing capital to begin operations can often be frustrating and difficult. While there are a number of potential sources of financing available, typically, personal funds...

 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Regardless of which phase of the business life-cycle you’re in, you can get SMART about setting goals to motivate yourself, move forward to grow your business, and track your success. SMART goal setting for small business owners...

 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

For quite some time, profit-sharing plans have been recognized by many small business owners and professionals as effective, qualified retirement savings mechanisms. Generally speaking, these plans allow employees to share company...

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

When helping people get ready for retirement, financial advisors find the same issues come up over and over. Thinking ahead can spell the difference between a successful retirement with enough money and a stressful one with difficult...

 

Monday, July 16, 2018

It often seems as if summer lasts from Easter to Halloween. But we typically see the hottest of the hot days (the “dog days” of summer) in late July and August, and we've had our fair share already. This raises some concern...

 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Flexible hours. Casual dress. Relief from daily commutes in rush hour traffic. Millions of Americans enjoy the independence of working at home. With the freedoms of a home-based business come the responsibilities of being your own boss...

 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Young adults in their twenties and thirties—so-called “post boomers” or “Generation Xers”—face a variety of challenges in their quest for financial security. Some of these challenges are similar to...

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

With daily market fluctuations, it is not always easy to understand how well your investments are doing. One way to determine performance is to evaluate your investments objectively using industry-standard performance benchmarks. A...

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

When a friend or healthcare professional suggests that you try a caregivers’ support group, do you immediately imagine a group of people sharing sad stories, leaving attendees feeling worse after the meeting than they felt when...

 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Congrats on your recent nuptials! Now that you’ve said the vows and enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon, it’s time to get down to business. Friends with Beneficiaries The following accounts need to be updated to reflect your...

 

Friday, July 6, 2018

At one time or another, many small businesses experience a transition in leadership. Typically, a family member or other close associate takes over after years of apprenticeship. This transition is usually the culmination of a...

 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Suppose you are part owner of a firm that has been your family’s primary source of income. Have you ever considered what would happen if you were suddenly diagnosed with a serious medical condition? Naturally, your family’s...

 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

As most middle-school age kids know, in the summer of 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies considered a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. And on July 2nd of the same year, the Continental Congress...

 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

When personal problems occur, it is not always possible for employees to leave their troubles at the door. Domestic hardships, the death of a family member, mental or physical health issues, financial concerns, substance abuse, or...

 

Monday, July 2, 2018

It’s almost July 4th and for teens and young adults taking summer jobs, it’s time to gain experience, earn some cash and learn a bit about adulthood. And one of the best grown-up subjects to start with? Taxes. Whether...

 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Is your fringe benefits package offering the “perks” that really count with today’s executives and key employees? Without discussing the technical details of program implementation, or the legal and tax ramifications...

 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Land a great new job? Awesome. Now is the perfect time to think about your 401(k) and retirement plan, whether you had one before or not. Saving for retirement is important at all ages, so don’t let this opportunity fall to the...

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Why do so many of us not use our vacation days? Salespeople talk about “leaving money on the table.” Well, employees leave vacation on the table. And the cost to us is significant. In fact, Americans leave 429 million...

 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Complying with the minimum distribution rules for traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) has, until recently, been mind-numbingly complex. Even “experts” frequently made calculation errors, which could result in...

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

If you’re like most homeowners, the importance of homeowners insurance is obvious. If your home is damaged as a result of fire, theft, lightning, heavy snow, or high winds, your homeowners policy would likely cover the cost of...

 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Shopping for a vehicle may begin with the question, should I buy or should I lease? Depending on your answer, there may be a substantial difference in what you will get for what you can afford. In addition, if you decide to buy, rather...

 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

If you’re looking to diversify your investments against fluctuations in the American economy, then you may want to consider investing in foreign securities. This strategy assumes that by investing in more than one economy,...

 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Regardless of age, we all value our independence. We like to come and go as we please, running errands, going grocery shopping, and driving to appointments. But what happens when an aging parent, spouse, or relative is no longer...

 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Many of you already have estate documents, probably executed many years ago. You need an estate attorney to look over your documents every 10 years or so. Here are a dozen points to review. 1. Do you have a will and powers of attorney...

 

Monday, June 18, 2018

After years spent launching and growing your business, the day will finally arrive when you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But, just as starting your business involved hard work and planning, the process of exiting...

 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Most business owners have life insurance to help protect their families against the financial impact of their premature deaths. They also insure their valuable assets against financial loss resulting from various casualties. Some,...

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Although small business owners wear many hats, too often, the one labeled “Retirement Planner” is not among them. Hats may add panache but, basically, they’re for protection. Today, planning your financial future, as...

 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

If you have savings in a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you must begin making withdrawals at age 70½. To calculate the amount of a required minimum distribution (RMD), you divide the IRA balance (as of December...

 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Michael Parker, a 46-year-old sales executive and his wife Sandra, a 43-year-old nurse, live in Boise, Idaho. They are planning to pay for their children's college education and are reviewing their retirement needs, savings goals, and...

 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Many people who rent may assume that damage to their personal items will be covered by a landlord’s insurance should their rental property fall victim to a fire, theft, explosion, or other disaster. Renters are often dismayed to...

 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Mastering money in our society is not a simple task. Making sound financial decisions requires knowledge of investments, taxes, risk management, estate planning, pension benefits, and other areas--coupled with an understanding of how...

 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

One of America’s foremost thinkers, Benjamin Franklin, stated that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” For individuals beginning to develop an investment strategy, no truer words may have been spoken....

 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Many people routinely plan for vacations, their children’s college education, home renovations, and, of course, retirement. But when it comes to planning for long term care, most would rather not think about it—or at best,...

 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

If you are like most people, wills, trusts, life insurance, disability income insurance, and advance directives are topics you would just as soon avoid. Yet, timely planning is necessary to manage the assets you have worked so hard to...

 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Summer is here and with it are fanciful dreams of owning a second, seasonal home. Maybe it’s a beachside bungalow or a mountain cabin or a lakefront cottage with a front porch and a sweeping view of the sunlight on the water. All...

 

Friday, June 1, 2018

And this is a problem for retirement readiness that needs to be addressed Noting that financial liabilities are a vital but often ignored component of retirement income security, researchers at the Employee Benefit Research Institute...

 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

For many of us, buying locally matters. We’ve all heard the term and seen the signs: Shop Locally. Eat Locally. But let’s extend that thought for a minute: do you consider giving to your local charities? The fact is we are...

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gas prices expected to climb 33 cents this summer. The stock market in 2018 has seen large fluctuations, beginning with fantastic returns in January, followed by a real bona-fide correction in February, a middling March and a decent...

 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The spring ritual of high school graduations is here. But graduates and their parents often are poorly prepared to meet the practicalities of the youngsters’ sudden entry into adulthood, from making medical decisions to choosing...

 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering people who died in our country’s armed forces. Observed every year on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day is celebrated in lots of ways. Regardless of how you are celebrating,...

 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Who are entrepreneurs? Sometimes they are the people who leave the corporate world to pursue their own dreams. In many cases, they may be individuals who have found themselves dislocated or “downsized” from a previous job....

 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Business owners who make frequent presentations have worked hard in developing their skills; however, those who speak in public only occasionally may be much less confident when they find themselves having to make a presentation before...

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

There are many reasons why your company may employ part-time workers, such as meeting seasonal workflow demands or retaining employees who no longer work full-time. Yet, because part-time employees are not present throughout the entire...

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Caught up in the emotional turmoil that usually accompanies divorce, it is easy to for estranged couples to overlook the serious financial issues that arise as they seek to divide up their assets and establish independent lives. But...

 

Monday, May 21, 2018

It's never too early to start planning for a comfortable retirement. Consider this: At age 65, only five out of every 100 retirees are financially independent. Twenty-two must continue working, 28 depend on Social Security, welfare, or...

 

Friday, May 18, 2018

In today’s technologically advanced society, identity theft is a common and serious offense. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 defines identity theft as the following: when someone “knowingly...

 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Many Americans never overspend and take great pride in paying their bills on time. When they apply for credit, such as a mortgage, however, they may discover some shocking news: A credit report indicating seriously delinquent bills....

 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs) allow for the automatic reinvestment of stock or mutual fund dividends for the purpose of gaining more shares, sometimes at a discount and, in many cases, without added fees. DRIPs are actually a...

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Retaining key employees is central to the success of any business. Keeping qualified and hard-working staff onboard can result in greater customer satisfaction, more efficient administration, and improved profitability. Offering...

 

Monday, May 14, 2018

For many firms, group term life insurance is a popular employee benefit because it is relatively inexpensive. This is especially the case when a practice has younger, lower-paid employees. In addition to low cost, the premiums for $50...

 

Friday, May 11, 2018

With a rapidly evolving series of technological innovations making it easier than ever for people to communicate, shop, and find information, the demand for using digital connectivity to remotely control and automate routine tasks...

 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Recruiting temporary workers can be a flexible alternative to hiring permanent employees, especially when your company’s workload varies according to season or market conditions. But before hiring temporary staff, it is important...

 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spring is here, summer weather has begun (in many places), and graduation time has arrived. Across the country, students are finishing their high school, college, and even graduate school lives, after years of hard work, stress,...

 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Everyone needs to clean-up their financial clutter at least once a year Spring is traditionally the time to clean the garage and to get the yard in shape. It’s also a great time to clean up your investment portfolio. Spring is a...

 

Monday, May 7, 2018

You can buy insurance for practically anything these days. Planning a vacation to France? Your airline, travel agent or even hotel will likely offer trip insurance in case you need to change your dates or cancel. Going to the casino?...

 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Just think for a minute. What would you do if you suddenly became ill or injured and lost your income-earning ability? How would you pay your bills and daily expenses? For most of us, this is not an everyday concern. We get up in the...

 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Many people are confused about the differences in the terms domicile, statutory residence, and residence. However, the distinction can be important. This is because your choice of domicile can have serious ramifications for your estate...

 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

From the smallest proprietorship to the largest international conglomerate, arbitrarily cutting costs can be a “quick fix” for improving the bottom line in a challenging economic climate. However, some cost management...

 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The majority of business owners have life insurance that protects their beneficiaries against the financial impact of premature death. They also insure their homes, cars, and other personal possessions against financial loss resulting...

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Whether you run a small, family-owned business or a large corporation, attracting and retaining key employees is challenging. In addition to a competitive salary, many companies offer an array of core benefits, including a qualified...

 

Friday, April 27, 2018

You have just turned on the morning news, poured a second cup of coffee, and are wondering what effect the market will have on your investment portfolio today. Many investors share your concern because they also may have a substantial...

 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Saving for retirement in today's economy can be a monumental challenge. This is especially true if you've just finished paying for your children's college education. But, you can control your financial future by identifying your...

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

There are several precautions every household should take to protect against fire. Your first line of defense is to install smoke alarms, which should be located on each floor of your home. Secondly, your home should be equipped with...

 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Everyone needs to determine their financial staying power Some life transitions, such as a career change or marriage, are planned, but a job loss or divorce can be sudden and unexpected. One common thread that accompanies all...

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

For most taxpayers, the words "tax audit" can produce any number of unpleasant bodily sensations including dryness in the throat, sweaty palms, a racing pulse or hyperventilation. There are probably few word combinations that can have...

 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Like most people, you may have life insurance to help protect your family against the financial impact of your unexpected death. You also insure your home, car, and other personal possessions against financial loss resulting from fire,...

 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Many people perceive trusts as a complex subject better left to their attorney. As a matter of fact, they often think trusts are available only to the wealthy. However, when stripped of all the “bells and whistles,” a trust...

 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

When human resources professionals are choosing among benefits administration technology platforms, price is less important than ease of use and the extent to which the technology can be integrated with HR information systems, a survey...

 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

When people are looking to buy a product or use a service, they often begin their search not by visiting a store or opening the Yellow Pages, but by logging on to Google, Yahoo, MSN, BING or another online search engine. Increasingly,...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Is your growing business still a one-person operation? As your company continues to grow and the workload increases, it is easy to find yourself wearing too many hats and not having enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that...

 

Friday, April 13, 2018

If your key employee significantly contributes to the success of your business, have you considered how losing such an employee could impact your operations? Key employee life insurance can help protect your business from the financial...

 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Whether retirement is around the corner or decades away, there are more options than ever to help you plan for it. Let’s look at Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans, which offer tax benefits that can help you...

 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Every so often, you see it on TV, hear it on the radio, or read about it in the newspaper. Somewhere in the country, a hurricane, tornado, or blizzard leaves behind a trail of widespread damage. Sometimes, weather-related damage to...

 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Creating a financial strategy is like planning a vacation. First, you need to take care of the mundane details, including shopping for hotel accommodations and plane fares, as well as preparing your itinerary. While these tasks may be...

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

It is possible that you could owe the government taxes on April 16th which you cannot pay. What should you do when you discover you owe the government more than you can possibly pay by the due date? It is advisable to file your tax...

 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Everyone needs to clean-up their financial clutter at least once a year. Spring is traditionally the time to clean the garage and to get the yard in shape. It’s also a great time to clean up your investment portfolio. Going into...

 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs) allow automatic investment of stock or mutual fund dividends for the purpose of gaining more shares, sometimes at a 5% discount and, in many cases, without added fees. DRIPs are a form of dollar cost...

 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Have you ever contemplated the ramifications of an unexpected illness or accident? How would you pay your bills and daily expenses? One way to help protect you against the loss of income that would likely result from a disability is to...

 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Many parents may not fully appreciate how important it is to inform their grown children about their financial and personal affairs. In the event of a sudden death or catastrophic illness, it can benefit you to have adult children who...

 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Entrepreneurs who are starting a new business or expanding an established business are often advised to look to family members or friends when seeking financing for their venture. After all, who is more likely to have confidence in...

 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Many small business owners choose Subchapter S as a business entity primarily due to liability and income tax considerations. However, such an election may often result in business continuation challenges in later years, when estate...

 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Companies that extensively employ digital technologies perform better and are more efficient than companies that have not fully taken advantage of those technologies, according to the findings of a survey of senior information...

 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Potential retirees are often familiar with the typical pension payout options that include the single life option, the joint and survivorship option, and the lump sum distribution. However, another strategy using life insurance offers...

 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

How long should you hang on to all those income statements, receipts, and canceled checks? You know you need to keep some or maybe all of those papers—but, which ones and for how long? It is unnecessary to save every form and...

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Could you list and accurately value all your personal property from memory? If you needed to file an insurance claim, how would you prove your loss? The best way to protect yourself is to make a complete inventory of all your...

 

Friday, March 23, 2018

As an investor, you might find it helpful to determine your investment “personality”—that is, whether you’re conservative or aggressive. Let’s examine the characteristics of each and then you decide which...

 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Every April, two things come to mind: 1) it’s finally spring, and 2) tax season is here again. When you put your income taxes together this year, you’ll probably file away a copy of your income tax return for your own...

 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What would happen if you lost your ability to earn an income? What would your life be like? Even though your income would abruptly stop, your living expenses would continue. The mortgage and car payments would be due—missing...

 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Selecting a guardian for your children is an extremely personal and important decision. While you certainly want to choose a trustworthy individual, you also need someone who understands the serious commitment involved in guardianship....

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

As you enter your “golden years,” perhaps you imagine yourself traveling, visiting grandchildren, or pursuing a favorite hobby. Unfortunately, none of us can predict what the future may bring. But, according to the U.S....

 

Friday, March 16, 2018

A well-crafted business plan can be a blueprint for success. This multifaceted tool is as important to established business owners looking to grow their companies as it is to budding entrepreneurs. A business plan defines your business...

 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What fate would your business suffer if you become disabled? Would your company’s finances be secure enough to meet your income needs temporarily or even permanently? Is it likely that business would decline dramatically in your...

 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Today, many small business owners are finding it necessary to create unique compensation packages to attract and retain key employees. At the same time, more and more employees are taking charge of their financial futures and are...

 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

While the purpose of all audits is to verify sources of income and validate deductions, exemptions, and credits, there are three basic types of IRS audits. A correspondence audit involves a request from the IRS that you mail back proof...

 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Every year, employees in some companies, enrolled in retirement plans, are surprised to find that the nest egg they were counting on for their later years is not as secure as they once believed. Most retirement plans are managed...

 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Insurance is like a security alarm system. You may sleep better knowing you have it, but you hope it will never be activated. If you have insurance, however, it is helpful to know how to properly file a claim. Under any insurance...

 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Shopping for a vehicle may begin with the question, should I buy or should I lease? Depending on your answer, there may be a substantial difference in what you will get for what you can afford. In addition, if you decide to buy, rather...

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a measure that has been characterized as the first major reform of the Internal Revenue Code in 31 years, received final approval from the House and the Senate on December 20, and was signed into law by...

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The increase in volatility to start 2018, coupled with the almost 9-year bull market run has caused many sophisticated investors to question when to buy and when to sell. So, it’s important to remember that there is a very simple...

 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Many families believe they have enough insurance coverage, but unfortunately, disability income protection is often left out of the planning strategy. Many people may give little thought to how they would handle financial...

 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) can be a highly effective financial and estate planning tool. It can allow you to: avoid capital gains taxes on highly appreciated assets; receive an income stream based on the full fair market value...

 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Even in this age of rapidly evolving communication technologies, direct mail remains one of the most effective—and affordable—channels for bringing in new customers and encouraging repeat business. Unlike sending out...

 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Most business owners have life insurance to protect survivors against the financial impact of their premature deaths. They also insure their homes, cars, and other personal possessions against financial loss resulting from fire, theft,...

 

Monday, February 26, 2018

For James Franklin, the owner of Franklin Electrix, Inc., an electronics manufacturing company in Omaha, NE, one of the answers to satisfying and retaining his valuable employees is to develop a flexible benefit plan. Commonly referred...

 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Does your retirement seem years and years away? Even so, while it may, you owe it to yourself to look ahead and begin giving thought to a time that may stretch over 20 or more years. Granted, time may be on your side. However, saving...

 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Crime and violence are everywhere, especially on the news, in movies, on TV shows, and perhaps even has affected other businesses in your area. But, you may think crime will never find its way to your business. Unfortunately, crime is...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

If you’re divorced or separated, money management will become an important part of your life. While it may be true that money can’t buy or ensure happiness, your ability to manage your finances can play a large role in your...

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

There are a number of interesting and worthwhile riders that owners of life insurance should consider. Riders essentially allow policy owners to customize their policies to give themselves and their beneficiaries added protection if...

 

Monday, February 19, 2018

There are far more options available for individuals in need of long-term care today than the nursing home of yesteryear. Assisted living facilities (ALFs), which are designed to provide privacy and autonomy, along with a sense of...

 

Friday, February 16, 2018

On March 4, 2016, the IRS issued proposed and temporary regulations regarding the basis of property acquired from a decedent. The purpose of the regulations is to ensure that a recipient's basis in certain property acquired from a...

 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

While only a small share of workers in the U.S. have experienced strong wage growth in recent years, the demand for this subset of workers appears to be intensifying, and employers may find it increasingly difficult to attract enough...

 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

If you’re a business owner, the thought may have crossed your mind: “What will happen to my business when I’m no longer here?” To answer this question, begin by examining the issues of a closely held business in...

 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Defined benefit pension plans may still be an attractive retirement benefit option for small employers. This is especially true for successful small business owners who have been too busy growing their businesses to plan for their...

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

February 5, 2018 As everyone knows, stocks went into a dramatic spiral on Monday, February 5th, as the DJIA plummeted almost 1,600 points, which was the biggest point decline in history. But right before the market closed, buyers...

 

Friday, February 9, 2018

If you collect art, donating a painting, sculpture, or other object of fine art to a museum or a favorite charity can be a great way to share your passion with a wider audience, support your institution of choice, and get a break on...

 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

As you approach retirement, many important decisions await you. If you have a qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan, whether it is a traditional pension or defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k), you will have to decide how...

 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Minimizing potential liability and its associated costs is one of the main objectives of a risk management and insurance program. Fortunately, some business risks are more easily reduced than others. For example, with respect to a...

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Have you ever reviewed your pay stub and entertained thoughts of taking an early retirement? Suppose you are age 55 and could take home 60% of your pay if you were to retire now. If you are a high earner, it may seem that this amount...

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Compared with other forms of compensation, incentive stock options (ISOs) can provide executives and other employees with substantial tax breaks. If held for a certain period of time, shares purchased as ISOs may escape all taxes other...

 

Friday, February 2, 2018

As individuals age, it is common for their diets to change. They may no longer be able to tolerate fried or fatty foods, or they may develop lactose intolerance. They may have fewer teeth or less strength and energy for chewing certain...

 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Estate planning often involves a team consisting of an attorney, a financial professional, an insurance professional, and yourself. However, whether you are establishing a new estate plan or revising an existing one, only you can...

 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

If you are like many small business owners, there may never seem to be enough hours in the day. Yet, once a company reaches a certain size, it can become increasingly difficult to rely solely on the efforts of one person alone to keep...

 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A succession plan should take into account many factors, including: the age and health of the owner; the expected rate of growth of the business; and the ages, abilities, and interests of the owner’s spouse and children. The plan...

 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Many successful businesses are increasing the use of voluntary benefit plans to assist employees in obtaining additional benefits on a group basis, at generally lower costs. The employer generally offers these plans at a discount, in...

 

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 25,075.13 on Thursday, January 4, 2018, marking the first time the DJIA closed above 25,000. Less than one year earlier, on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, the DJIA closed above the 20,000...

 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

By most investors, 2017 was a year filled with great highlights. The stock market performed well above its historical average, unemployment hit record lows, interest rates remained modest and volatility was practically non-existent....

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Many of us may perceive trusts as a complex subject better left to our attorney. However, a trust is simply a contract initiated by a grantor who agrees to transfer assets to a beneficiary, who then receives the assets as stipulated in...

 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

For many, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are a key retirement savings vehicle, either at the onset of saving, or later, perhaps when a pension, profit-sharing, or 401(k) plan will, more than likely, be consolidated into an IRA....

 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Digital property (or digital assets) can be understood as any information about you or created by you that exists in digital form, either online or on an electronic storage device, including the information necessary to access the...

 

Friday, January 19, 2018

There are many forms of personal relationships. Today, unmarried partnerships are a fact of life. If you are in an unmarried partnership, one important consideration is how you share financial assets and obligations. Married couples...

 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

When developing a balanced investment portfolio, choosing your investment strategy is a major consideration. Two common approaches are diversification and dollar cost averaging. Both are geared toward helping you create a solid...

 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When many people consider life insurance, the first thought that usually comes to mind is, “How much is enough?” However, there are other aspects of life insurance policies that can provide important benefits. For example,...

 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Suppose, during the middle of the workday, you receive an urgent phone call. It is the local hospital informing you that your elderly, widowed father has been the victim of a serious car accident and lies unconscious in the emergency...

 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Entrepreneurs may entertain thoughts of achieving success, inspired by those companies that seem to spring forth fully grown overnight. But, it is important for business owners to ask at the outset, “What is the best measure of...

 

Friday, January 12, 2018

When it comes to your business, hoping for the best won’t ensure its future. To illustrate the point, let’s take a look at the hypothetical case of John Wilson. John spent 30 years building an automotive tire sales giant,...

 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) enacted health care continuation coverage requirements applicable to most employers with more than 20 employees. COBRA requires an employer who maintains a group health...

 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Most do-it-yourself filers prepare their own taxes for one and only one reason: They want to save money. But tax software isn't cheap, and hidden costs can sometimes blindside you. You might be forced to upgrade to another product...

 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

One of the more important—and hopefully enjoyable—events you will face in life is retirement. After spending many years building your career, you have likely accumulated a comfortable nest egg. If you have reached a point...

 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Whether you are flying for business or for pleasure, it is wise to remember that crime doesn’t stop at the airport terminal doors. If you find yourself flying through the “friendly” skies, you should consider taking...

 

Friday, January 5, 2018

How healthy are you financially? To come up with a diagnosis, grab a notebook or turn on your computer and conduct a comprehensive financial assessment. Start with a breakdown of your net worth. On separate lines, list your assets....

 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Most mutual fund investors are familiar with the different types of funds available, and how investing in a variety of funds can help create diversity in a portfolio. The funds themselves, along with independent rating services,...

 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As an unmarried couple, planning for your future care is critically important. Because many of the Federal benefits and safeguards granted to married couples may be unavailable to you, you must be proactive and fully prepared to ensure...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Five days before Christmas, the Senate passed the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" by a party-line vote of 51 to 48, with Republican Senator McCain absent for medical reasons. No matter your political affiliation, almost everyone agrees that is...

 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Overview: Parents of a special needs child may have never-ending concerns about their child’s care. For instance, where will the child live should something happen to the parents? Who will care for the child, and from where will...

 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

As a small business entrepreneur, you want to shake things up a little bit, get your company’s name out there, and grow your business. In short, you’re ready to create your brand. For branding efforts to be successful, your...

 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Colonial Furniture Co., a hypothetical company, VA, is a closely-held corporation whose corporate attorney, accountant, and insurance agent have developed an answer to the question “What would happen in the event of a...

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Naming a beneficiary for your traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) need not be a difficult task. Most people choose their spouse, if married, or another loved one. However, the rules governing the distribution of IRA assets...

 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Today, many small business owners are finding it necessary to create unique compensation packages to attract and retain key employees. At the same time, more and more employees are taking charge of their financial futures and are...

 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

For many taxpayers, the words “tax audit” can produce feelings of panic. If you receive an audit notice from the IRS, hiring a tax professional to represent you may be an appropriate strategy. However, should you choose to...

 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

When it comes to home improvements, it is important to consider which would be the most profitable in terms of resale value. Sometimes, it’s possible to get back all, or even more, of your investment. While some improvements,...

 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Clearing snow from driveways and walkways is an inevitable winter chore in many parts of the country. While snow removal can be aggravating, it is also physically demanding work that can lead to injury. Common shoveling-related...

 

Friday, December 15, 2017

A lot of time and energy goes into adding a deck, a new bathroom, or that spare bedroom you’ve always wanted. You have to have patience in deciding on the new look you want, as well as in seeking out the right contractor or...

 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Having a strategy in place to manage your debt, whether from credit cards, a mortgage, student or car loans, may help improve your financial well-being, and get you on track to saving for your future. Here are a few tips to start...

 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

One way to evaluate your investments objectively is to use industry-standard performance benchmarks. A benchmark is a market index or average that allows you to compare the performance of your stocks, bonds, or mutual funds against...

 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

When Cindy and Sean Baxter purchased their life insurance policies ten years ago, they based their coverage on their anticipated obligations and needs. They made policy decisions, taking into account the mortgage on their home,...

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

We all know the story of Cinderella. When the clock struck midnight, her wishes, so it seemed, vanished. However, she had left behind a glass slipper. And, soon enough, all that she ever wanted came true. Are you living your own fairy...

 

Friday, December 8, 2017

What employees wear and how they present themselves to customers and shareholders influence not only the company reputation, but the culture within the organization. Employees who are appropriately dressed make a good impression on the...

 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

As a family business grows, the owner must ultimately consider how the business will prosper when he or she exits the company. With proper preparation, the new leadership transition can go smoothly. It will be important to determine...

 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It can be beneficial for all businesses, regardless of size, to draft and distribute an informative employee handbook. When used to communicate the policies, procedures, rules, and benefits of a business, a thoughtfully prepared and...

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Divorce can be “taxing” enough, but need not be made more difficult by the mismanagement of the division of assets in a retirement plan. As more Americans participate in 401(k) plans and other defined contribution...

 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Gas fireplaces can be a great addition to any home. In recent years they have gained in popularity because they are cleaner and more efficient than their wood-burning counterparts. There are some things you should know to ensure your...

 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

During the holiday season, like many people, you're probably finding that in the process of spreading good cheer you've spent too much money. Along with needing to trim a few holiday-induced pounds, you may need to trim a few debts....

 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Most of us think our aging brains are at the mercy of fate and genetics. But, scientists have a new theory of how the brain works that opens up wonderful new possibilities. The brain responds dramatically to how we treat it. Just as...

 

Monday, November 27, 2017

We are bombarded with “special deals,” “doorbusters,” price cuts, and early store opening hours on Black Friday. And we’re urged to do our technology shopping on Cyber Monday. Afterwards, we see news...

 

Friday, November 24, 2017

We all know the story of Cinderella. When the clock struck midnight, her wishes, so it seemed, vanished. However, she had left behind a glass slipper. And, soon enough, all that she ever wanted came true. Are you living your own fairy...

 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Motivated by the desire to make the world a better place, operating in harmony with green principles should come naturally to not-for-profit groups. But, like all consumers of energy and materials, even well intentioned nonprofits can...

 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

After working hard over the years, you’ve finally built up a successful business. But, have you ensured the future of your business by developing a succession plan? If the answer is no, you are not alone. In fact, in many cases,...

 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

There are many reasons why your company may employ part-time workers, such as meeting seasonal workflow demands or retaining employees who no longer work full-time. Yet, because part-time employees are not present throughout the entire...

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

When entertaining clients or traveling on business, you may be eligible for Federal income tax deductions on a portion of your expenses that are not reimbursed by an employer. But the criteria for claiming and substantiating these...

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for retirement-related items for tax year 2018. Detailed in Notice 2017-64, here are the excerpts directly from the IRS: Highlights...

 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), approximately 17,500 people are injured in fires each year and an overwhelming number of all fire-related deaths occur in the home...

 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nowadays, it is not uncommon or difficult for credit card use to get out of hand. In fact, our society promotes credit card use through incentive programs, loyalty programs, promotions, and advertising. Consequently, consumers may find...

 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Securing adequate retirement income is a major concern for many Americans. Annuities that offer a guaranteed fixed rate of return and tax deferral on earnings, as well as income that can last for life, can be an appealing money...

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

In today’s rapidly changing financial world, it is easy to become lost in a sea of unfamiliar industry terminology. Life insurance is no exception. One area related to life insurance that can be especially confusing is the...

 

Friday, November 10, 2017

There have been some distinct changes in the American cultural and sociological landscape in recent decades. Among them is the increasing number of unmarried couples living together as lifetime partners. This trend has created estate...

 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Even business owners who are experienced in sales may shiver when they hear the words “cold calling.” While contacting potential customers you have never met may feel intimidating, this sales technique can be an effective...

 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Business owners, who typically take great care to protect their businesses in the event of death, may, in fact, face a greater threat from disability. Along with addressing life insurance concerns through buy-sell agreements, business...

 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

It’s common for businesses to court talented executives with a variety of perks, including signing bonuses, stock options, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans to supplement regular pensions and retirement savings. While...

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Old age should come with a caution label for many reasons. Most of us expect to live longer than our parents or grandparents. And with longer life come difficulties – and sometimes financial predators. We all know the major...

 

Friday, November 3, 2017

If you have savings in a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you must begin making withdrawals at age 70½. To calculate the amount of a required minimum distribution (RMD), you divide the IRA balance (as of December...

 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Will you have enough money for your retirement? This is a major concern facing many Americans, as retirement looms closer on their financial horizon. If you’re facing a retirement shortfall, you’re not alone. Many American...

 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

As a homeowner, you may be familiar with the protection your homeowners insurance policy offers for the structure of your home and its contents. However, you may be surprised to discover the extent to which a standard policy may...

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In the ever-changing game of life, expenses are a constant. For most of us, the prices of everyday goods and services seem to have risen faster than our income. In some cases, it may be more than just costs that have risen; it may be...

 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Remember when your children were little and they came down with the flu? You lovingly nursed them back to health. You nursed them through colds, the measles, and chicken pox. You kissed their boo-boos and bandaged their scraped knees....

 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

If you are an inventor, author, artist, or owner of a closely held business, you may have already taken steps to help protect your intellectual property rights. Certain types of intellectual property, such as business ideas, visual art...

 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

While open-plan offices are meant to encourage collaboration and contribute to a collegial workplace culture, the threats to productivity and worker peace of mind caused by open-plan layouts are greater than most companies realize,...

 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Most business owners have life insurance to protect survivors against the financial impact of their premature deaths. They also insure their homes, cars, and other personal possessions against financial loss resulting from fire, theft,...

 

Monday, October 23, 2017

If certain executives are critical to the success of your business, providing them with a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan could be an effective retention strategy. Such a plan represents an agreement whereby one person...

 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tax planning is more advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end. Opportunities exist for you to minimize tax liability, which will leave more income for you and/or your family. Generally, people put...

 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Retirement planning is a primary reason for long-term saving, and when people think about retirement, finances are often the focus. However, it is important to also look at the nonfinancial aspects of transitioning from the world of...

 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Is your company susceptible to employee fraud? Small-to-mid-sized businesses may be especially vulnerable because they tend to place more trust in employees who have access to company assets, and they generally have fewer financial and...

 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

If you were to discover a billing error on your credit card statement, the first thing you would probably do is call to notify the creditor. But, to avoid having to pay the maximum $50 liability (in the case of a stolen or lost card),...

 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The best saving and investing habits pay off throughout life. Yet, with age, it is probable that your specific, financial goals are likely to change. Life cycle planning identifies both common goals and investment strategies for the...

 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you need professional help for a problem or if you can handle it yourself. Whether it’s taking care of a common cold, fixing the sink, changing the oil in your car or doing your own taxes. The...

 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

In today’s fast-paced world, many families find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of activity, juggling work responsibilities with family obligations and recreational pursuits. With so much going on, it’s easy to take the...

 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Have you every wondered how estate planning might fit into your overall, future plans? Even if you are just starting to build your estate and do not need complex estate planning, here’s a quick look at some steps you should...

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Getting old is hard. Your parents’ ability to manage their own finances may decline as they age. Helping them with money matters is a sensitive issue you need to approach carefully. When you hit a certain age of your life, you...

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

If you are shopping for a financial advisor, you need a good checklist of questions to ask. What you are looking for is someone who handles clients like you, who can relate to you and who is financially astute. As you assess an advisor...

 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Today’s business owner faces a myriad of potential crises. Materials are delayed. . .machines need repair. . .prices escalate. . .business plans need to be revamped. Successful business owners repeatedly hurdle these immediate...

 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

For employers, attracting and retaining quality employees is one of the keys to a healthy, thriving business. The choice of fringe benefits a company offers can be an important factor in increasing and maintaining employee satisfaction...

 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Many people dream of turning their passionate pursuit into a money-making venture. Creating a successful and profitable business is seldom easy, but the Federal government offers tax incentives to business owners that could make...

 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Does your retirement seem years and years away? While it may feel this way, you owe it to yourself to look ahead and begin giving thought to a time in your life that may account for 20 or more "golden" years and may in fact, be closer...

 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Each season brings with it changes to the road conditions that, in turn, affect the way we need to drive to remain safe. Driving in inclement weather is different from driving on dry pavement on a fine sunny day. Springtime often...

 

Friday, September 29, 2017

After a loved one dies, who is responsible for his or her remaining credit card debt? This is a question you are unlikely to be thinking about in the days and weeks after the death, but it is one you will ultimately need to face. In...

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

For many of us, giving to family members on birthdays, certain holidays, and special occasions, such as a graduation or wedding, is something we accept and do willingly as part of family life. We usually don’t think of this type...

 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Term insurance is typically purchased to protect a growing family from the catastrophic loss of its primary “breadwinner.” Lower initial premiums offer the flexibility to fit immediate needs. However, over time, a more...

 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

When planning the division of your assets, you may believe in a policy of “share and share alike.” This is perhaps the easiest method to avoid conflicts or complaints of favoritism. But does equality necessarily equate with...

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Similar to a virus, a worm is a malicious computer program that self-replicates and infects other machines through a computer network. One example of this is the Conficker worm that infected millions of computers back in 2007, and then...

 

Friday, September 22, 2017

One of the cornerstones that helped build America is the opportunity for free enterprise. While successive generations of Americans have been following the spirit of their forefathers by building their own businesses, the recent and...

 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

As an employer, you know that retirement benefits are an integral part of your employees’ overall compensation package. Offering a retirement plan can be beneficial for both you and your employees. It can demonstrate to valued...

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

While choosing a tax filing status may seem straightforward, the decision to file as single, married, married filing separately, or head of a household can become surprisingly difficult, especially when taxpayers find themselves on the...

 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Many people may plan to take an early retirement or circumstances out of their control may force them to make that decision. Either way, with life expectancies steadily increasing for Americans, it’s possible that an individual...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Equifax Breach is Worse Than Imagined: What you need to do and why. A massive data breach at Equifax has compromised up to 143 million people's personal information. But this was not one of those data breaches that everyone is...

 

Friday, August 11, 2017

By: John Engler Friday, August 11, 2017 12:00 AM As the seasons come and go, many of us reach into our closets only to discover our clothes no longer fit or suit our current needs. If this has happened to you, you’re not alone....

 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

By: John Engler Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:00 AM When credit cards first came into existence, they were something of a novelty. Little did the original issuers or users realize that credit cards would become such a vital part of...

 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Many successful investors make systematic investing an integral part of their overall savings plan. One of the more popular systematic approaches to investing is dollar cost averaging, which is an elegantly simple investment technique....

 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Thinking of a future without ourselves in it, is not the most pleasant of thoughts. . .however, it is necessary to do so for the financial security of your family. Life insurance may provide you with the opportunity to bequeath money...

 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Land a great new job? Awesome. Now is the perfect time to think about your 401(k) and retirement plan, whether you had one before or not. Saving for retirement is important at all ages, so don’t let this opportunity fall to the...

 

Friday, August 4, 2017

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” - Gautama Buddha “Estate planning is like taking medicine and making everyone you love start to heal.” - Everplans Writer...

 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

It's never too early to think about how and where you want to live when you're older. How far in advance do you plan vacations? A month at the very least, right? You’ve booked the flights and hotels, taken time off of work,...

 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I was walking with a friend and his 6-year old daughter and we stopped by an ATM on the way to lunch. As my friend was getting some cash, I couldn’t help but notice the confused look on his 6-year old’s face. She was...

 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Deciding how much to pay employees is an important part of your company’s competitive strategy. Paying workers too much may cut into profitability, but insufficient compensation can result in high turnover and poor morale....

 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Consider this scenario: You’re part owner of a thriving small- to medium-sized business. You handle certain key responsibilities and rely on your partner to handle others. While your partner is away on business, the phone rings....

 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Attracting and retaining top employees is a key issue for many companies in today’s marketplace. With cost control a high priority for employers across the nation, businesses can benefit from understanding the various...

 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Good record keeping is a great way to help you save on your taxes. Keeping accurate records can help you utilize all the tax breaks you may be entitled to and provide support if you are questioned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)....

 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You gingerly sit on the exam table as the doc listens to your heart, takes some blood and pronounces you well. When the doctor leaves, you hobble out with your very broken bone. As the weeks and months go by, the break gets worse. You...

 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Simply put: A trust is a legal arrangement in which a certain amount of property or assets is held by a person or entity (e.g. a bank) for the benefit of one or more other people. Why Would You Create One? To maintain control of assets...

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

When you lose your spouse, evaluating your finances may take a back seat to more pressing concerns. But even amid the grief that accompanies the death of a loved one, it is important to assess your financial and legal situation to...

 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dollar cost averaging is a simple investment technique. You invest the same amount of money in shares of a particular stock or mutual fund, for example, each month (or other interval), whether the shares are up or down in price....

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

As news reports of devastating fires that destroy or damage property and threaten lives become more frequent, Americans living in vulnerable areas of the country are becoming increasingly concerned about the fire-resistant properties...

 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Before your first visit, most financial professionals will ask you to pull together a lot of paperwork. They'll want to see tax returns, retirement account statements, Social Security benefit statements and so on. But it's just as...

 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Organization, efficiency and discipline are the three primary steps of financial planning. Organization is knowing where your money comes and goes. An efficient portfolio means a better chance of profits, and discipline keeps you on...

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

If you’re saving for your child’s higher education, you probably have a lot of questions besides “When did college get so incredibly expensive?” One popular savings tool that might puzzle you the most is the 529...

 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Planning for the future needs of an aging parent can often be a sensitive and delicate task for adult children to undertake. Baby boomers who must balance the needs of their own children with concerns about their parent’s...

 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The rules that govern each state’s estate taxes are not necessarily created equal. A person can live, do business, and own real estate in many different places, but legally have only one domicile—or permanent...

 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

College applicants are often faced with apprehension and, to some degree, fear about getting into the college of their choice. Often, attending the right college or university can make the difference between average earnings and great...

 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Every week there’s a new digital scare. Target was hacked. Home Depot was hacked. LinkedIn was hacked. Cheating site Ashley Madison was hacked (which didn’t seem to garner much sympathy). All of these, and many more, put...

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

As most middle-school age kids know, in the summer of 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies considered a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. And on July 2nd of the same year, the Continental Congress...

 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Over the years, baby boomer clients and friends have asked me whether they should accept their employers’ buyout offers. Almost without exception, I encourage these folks to take the money and run. Many companies looking to...

 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The United States isn’t alone in trying to come to terms with the problems of job stress and the impact it has on employee health and productivity. Many countries around the world are currently studying these concerns and...

 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Small businesses owners should conduct an annual assessment of their personal finances. Owners of small businesses have much the same concerns as everyone else, except they are personally responsible for the fortunes of their...

 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

That horrible phone call comes: A loved one is in critical condition. Or has passed away. You are a mom, dad, son, daughter, wife, husband, brother, sister, dear friend. You must jump in and help. What now? Is there a well-organized...

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

401(k) plans are the most popular employer-sponsored retirement plan in the United States. According to the most recent statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, there are 638,390 defined contribution retirement plans in the...

 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

One of the biggest challenges facing today’s average investor is deciding how to allocate personal savings or retirement assets. Naturally, most individuals hope to create an investment portfolio that is consistent with their...

 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What will you look for as you approach your "golden" years? An affordable condo on the golf course with room for a visit from your grandchildren? Friends and family close by, or new "elder" friends living in close proximity? Excellent...

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

When it comes to home improvements, it is important to consider which would be the most profitable in terms of resale value. Sometimes, it’s possible to get back all, or even more, of your investment.

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

This is the perfect time to take steps to protect your home from summer storms and other weather damage. Hurricane season runs from June to November, and it's also prime time for tornadoes, other wind and rainstorms, and lightning strik

 

Friday, June 23, 2017

When planning to get married, costs seem to be a constant consideration. For most of us, the prices of many things seem to have risen ahead of our income. In some cases, it may be more than costs that have risen; it may be our consumpt

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Being cared for at home may be an ideal situation for many seniors who need assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs). To remain in a familiar environment, surrounded by the comforts of home, may provide psychological benef

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Most of us would be surprised at the total amount of money we have "invested" in personal belongings. Yet, how many of us have taken the steps to ensure all our tangible assets are properly valued? Having a thorough appraisal made b

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The 2017 Identity Fraud Study, released by Javelin Strategy & Research, found that $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016. In the past six years, identity thieves have stolen over $107 billion.

 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Your child may soon be ready to take his or her first step on the journey toward independence: college enrollment. Cautionary words about life away from home have all been spoken. However, one area that many parents may overlook or hesitate

 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bringing the right employees on board can make or break your business. While most of the people you are likely to hire are honest and motivated to succeed in the job, some employees lack a proper work ethic and may even steal from the compa

 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Just as many of us may tend to avoid contemplating the loss of those we depend on every day, business owners may often avoid preparing for the death of key employees. Yet, consider for a moment how such a sudden and unexpected event co

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Today’s workers are increasingly responsible for their own retirement planning. In the past, employees often relied on their employers to provide pension benefits. However, as companies became faced with ever larger pension liabilities, the

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Q: What’s the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?A: A tax credit reduces your tax dollar for dollar—that is, a $1,000 tax credit actually saves you $1,000 in taxes. 

 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Heading into your retirement years brings a slew of new topics to grapple with, and one of the most maddening may be Medicare. Figuring out when to enroll, what to enroll in and what coverage will be best for you can be daunting. To help yo

 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Housing costs have soared over the years. And, while owning your own home may still be the American dream, many people are considering whether it would be less expensive to rent. There are four key elements to making that decision. 

 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The cost of rental car insurance continues to increase each year. While, understandably, you may feel compelled to decline this coverage from the rental car agency, make sure you consider the following points first.

 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Have you ever considered bankrolling your adult child’s business? Many young entrepreneurs seek parental assistance in launching their companies, especially if they encounter difficulty securing bank loans due to a lack of credit hist

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

More than ever, it is time to consider ways of keeping your investments divided between many alternatives. Money managers try to accomplish this by choosing a set of financial assets with performances that tend to offset one another as mark

 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Robo-advisors are getting lots of accolades lately as the noble purveyors of inexpensive financial advice for the average person. And traditional advisors, the thinking goes, supposedly ignore that average person. Nonsense.

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Across the country, at backyard barbecues, sporting events and in restaurants, the conversation goes something like this:“The Johnsons paid how much for their new house? That’s crazy. They way overpaid. How can they afford that?

 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Starting to doubt your financial advisor? Too often people hand money to an advisor without a shred of research. Here are ten warning signs that you possibly need to move on.

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What do you think of when you hear the words long-term care (LTC)? If you are like most people, the first image that comes to mind is a bedridden, elderly individual who requires constant care, along with various medical treatments and

 

Monday, May 29, 2017

While it has been said that life is not always fair, perhaps a more apt description would be that life is unequal in how it spreads the wealth. That same inequality may carry over into your family, with children of different ages,

 

Friday, May 26, 2017

If I asked you to tell me about the New York Stock Exchange, I bet you could come up with a pretty good definition. And I bet you could give me a pretty good overview of other stock exchanges, including NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchang

 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

During the last presidential election, there was a lot of talk about the national debt spiraling out of control. Then-candidate Trump suggested that the national debt could be paid off completely in 8 years, although he said that would

 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Often, the deciding factor between enrolling in one educational institution or another is the amount of aid or scholarship money you will receive. However, there is another factor to be considered, and that is—how much of the aid or s

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The best-selling book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap. . .and Others Don’t, offers surprising insights into the success of “great” companies that consistently and significantly beat average marke

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

There comes a point in time when almost every small business owner contemplates the future of his or her business. Because “the business” typically is a substantial asset, an owner must address a number of estate planning issues

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

When you begin to create an employee benefit plan, you may want to start with a few core benefits, including life insurance, health insurance, and a retirement plan. These benefits form a base from which your company’s benefit plan ca

 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Those employed in industries in which tipping is common may not know that the IRS views tips as potentially taxable income. Regardless of whether you are a restaurant server, a hairdresser, or a cab driver, all tips you receive, including n

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Americans have re-learned that there is a delicate balance between Western economies and the oil-producing countries. While the Middle East crisis has significantly affected the price of oil, we tend to forget that energy conservation and u

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Once a year, it’s critical to review your existing long term care (LTC) insurance plan in order to analyze Federal legislation that may impact the tax treatment of your premiums and assess any changes in your personal f

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

For many people, crossing the bridge into retirement is a big step. If you’re approaching retirement, it’s time to develop a strategy to facilitate a smooth transition from the more structured world of work to one of leisure.

 

Friday, May 12, 2017

When you sell a home on your own, there is more required than just putting up a curbside sign and waiting for buyers to come to your door with money in hand. However, doing a little “homework” and gathering all the facts can hel

 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Many successful mutual fund investors make systematic investing an integral part of their overall savings plan. One of the more popular systematic approaches to investing is dollar cost averaging, which is an e

 

Friday, May 5, 2017

When people plan for retirement, most think about the stock market, potential returns, and occasionally what their future retirement expenses might look like. And while it’s pretty easy to calculate future expenses for most retirement

 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Anyone familiar with estate planning can attest to the confusion that community property rules often cause married couples. For those married individuals either living in, or considering moving to, one of the community property jurisdiction

 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Imagine your reaction to the following scene: You return home from work one night to find your teenage daughter happily running about with a letter in her hand. When you calm her down, she tells you she has just been accepted to the incomin

 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Family responsibilities still exist when working parents leave home and head for work. Child care, in particular, is a workplace concern that could affect an employer’s bottom line if employees are unable to find reliable care for the

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Regardless of their specialties, all business owners have a common goal—profitability. But before you can turn a profit, you first have to break even. Spending more money than you are taking in to produce a product or provide a servic

 

Friday, April 28, 2017

It’s hard for small businesses to stay competitive today. Competition for the best and the brightest employees, even in tough economies, is always challenging, particularly when compensation funds are limited. A deferred compensa

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

After every tax season, you probably file away a copy of your income tax return for your own records. You’ve probably wondered, “How long should I keep these records?”

 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An early retirement is usually on everyone’s “wish list.” A relaxing lifestyle in a warmer climate, or the pursuit of a hobby or personal interest typically characterizes the vision of what retirement is all about. Unfortu

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

If you’re considering whether or not to buy your first home, it can be an exciting and time-consuming process. For many, the purchase of a home is the largest purchase they will ever make. Therefore, it’s not a decision to be ta

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

How would you react if the news came that a hurricane, tornado, or fire was heading in your direction? Would you scramble to protect your home and family, uncertain of where to begin? Or, would you calmly pull out a detailed plan for such e

 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Is your financial house in order? Take the time to spruce it up. Here is a Top Ten list to make the task orderly and worthwhile.

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Everyone wants a comfortable retirement, but the road you take there will depend on your specific situation. When you invest, you assume a certain level of risk (but like everyone you’re hoping that your holdings will increase in valu

 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

When choosing life insurance coverage, you may wonder which type is more appropriate for your situation. During life stages, you will probably review and update your insurance coverage, as your needs change. There are two basic ty

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

As Americans continue to live longer, many of today’s retirees are finding it necessary to help elderly parents or relatives manage their personal and financial affairs. Plans that may have proven satisfactory at age 65 often require

 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Prior to the popularity of 529 plans, many people saving for their children’s education opted for either a Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) account or a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account, depending o

 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dealing with risk is a routine part of being in business. Every day, companies assess whether a customer is creditworthy, whether to hire a particular candidate for an open position, or whether to deal with a new supplier. All three situati

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

When Marie Archer was diagnosed with a serious medical condition, the scare to her family and business associates extended beyond the expected concern for her health. Marie owns a small software design firm she built from scratch with her b

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bob Howe, owner of Polaris Equipment Corp. (PEC), couldn’t believe that it had already been ten years since Larry Keane came on board. Larry was, hands down, the company’s most successful salesperson. Bob knew that he would even

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

If I asked you how you spend your money, you could answer with a decent amount of precision (and maybe some embarrassment). But if I asked you how you invest your money, your answer would be very different – because spending money and

 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Divorce can be “taxing” enough, but need not be made more difficult by the mismanagement of the division of assets in a retirement plan. As more Americans participate in 401(k) plans and other defined contribution retirement pla

 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Devastating home fires can be traced to a number of causes, such as cooking equipment, negligence, children at play, and cigarettes. However, fires originating in a home’s electrical distribution system are among the costliest in term

 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Invisible. Tasteless. Odorless. Toxic. These are just a few features of potential hazards in your home. Lead, carbon monoxide, radon, asbestos, and mold can all be a danger to you and your family. Learning more about these hidden household

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Have you ever given much thought as to what the consequences could be if you did not go to the doctor for ten years? We all know that an annual check-up with a physician is important in maintaining proper health and physical fitness. Well,

 

Friday, March 31, 2017

There have been significant changes made in the way Americans save for retirement since the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The rules for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) now effectively exclude many individuals who have highe

 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Contrary to what you may think, split-dollar life insurance is not an insurance policy, at least not in the classic sense. It is a type of arrangement that allows two parties, typically an employer and an employee, to split life insurance p

 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Your domicile is your state of legal residence. It is your permanent home¾the place to which you ultimately intend to return when you are away. Domicile generally is not determined by the length of time spent in a s

 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Schools award financial aid on the basis of either need or merit. The need for financial aid is defined as the gap between the annual cost of attending a particular school and the amount a family can be expected to contribute

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Janet Jones was just named president of her family’s wholesale distribution company after working in the business for much of her young adulthood. After a long and successful career, her father, the company founder, plans to retire. A

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your company if you died? You probably think, if disaster struck, your family could simply sell your company. But, to whom would your family sell it? And, even if a buyer existed, what if he or sh

 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

When it comes to 401(k) plans, some people may find themselves a bit confused about the 10% Federal income tax penalty for withdrawals prior to age 59½ and hardship withdrawals from a 401(k) plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doe

 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accepts the following reasons for failure to file tax returns  on time:

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It’s fairly common for discussions of retirement planning to focus solely on the financial aspects of securing a comfortable retirement. But, few individuals may take the time to consider the nonfinancial issues of retiremen

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

If you are like most parents, you will wrestle with this question: which is more important – my own retirement or my child’s education? And as you think about that question, you’ll be flooded with a lot of emotion. Shouldn

 

Friday, March 17, 2017

For many people, investing may begin with one stock (or bond or mutual fund) selection. Over time, other selections may be added because most people understand that it is not prudent to invest everything in a single

 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is reducing the length of your mortgage loan by accelerating your mortgage payments the right decision for you? Prepayment can save you money, particularly if you plan to reside in your home throughout the life of your loan.

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

According to the National Fire Protection Association “fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds.

 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

For a small out-of-pocket expense, personal software will balance your checkbook, figure your budget and help take the sting out of tax day. But there are drawbacks—what you put in determines what the computer puts out.

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

In 2017, you have another chance to max out your retirement accounts. Here is a rundown of yearly contribution limits for the popular retirement savings vehicles.

 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Most individuals, recognizing the risk of premature death, have life insurance to help provide financial protection for their survivors. Similarly, most people insure their homes, cars, and other property against the risk of loss

 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Settling an estate is no easy matter. Therefore, before you rush to select your executor, it is important to gain a basic understanding of the general duties of an executor.

 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

If one or more of your children will reach college age soon, you may be wondering how you will pay all the costs.

 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business, you may not be thinking about how much your company could be worth when the time comes for a transition. But the choices you make now, both large and small, can add to or detract from

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

It’s an unfortunate statistic that everyone knows – more than 50% of marriages will end in divorce. But it’s also a statistic that has lost its impact. So, let’s try another tact.

 

Friday, March 3, 2017

For the owner of an interest in a small- to medium-sized business, such as a proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, the problem of an untimely death cannot be underscored too markedly.

 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

You’re an entrepreneur and you’re not looking back. You’ve opened your own business, whether alone or with partners, and you’ve achieved success. Now you’re thinking about retirement, not just for you, but also

 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

For most people, there are few problems as “taxing” as tax problems with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Indeed, it can raise the blood pressure of even those with the most laid-back personalities. But, don’t despair.

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Today, more than ever, planning for retirement is a necessity. The combination of Social Security and company retirement benefits are often insufficient to provide the necessary income to enjoy a comfortable retirement. That’s why it&

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Given the daily responsibilities of running a business, planning for an event that may or may not happen may not seem to be a priority. But by preparing for a major disaster, your company will be in a better position to cope with more commo

 

Friday, February 24, 2017

When was the last time you evaluated your homeowners insurance? Have your needs changed since you initially purchased your homeowners policy? If so, there may be gaps in your insurance coverage.

 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Is owning a boat on your horizon? Do you see yourself paddling a canoe? Piloting a motorboat? Helming a sailboat? Of course, it will be easier and more affordable to pop a canoe on top of your car than to maintain a moored boat in a popular

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The term “compound rate of interest” is frequently encountered in discussions of investment performance. Compounding, or the earning of interest on interest, is simply a method of making an investment return on a retur

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A healthy lifestyle fosters human excellence. It is an integration of the mind, body, and spirit that enables us to continually uncover our potential and strive to achieve all of which we are capable.

 

Monday, February 20, 2017

One of the most important decisions you must make when planning your estate is selecting an executor.

 

Friday, February 17, 2017

It wasn’t long ago when an individual went to college, got an education, and embarked on one career that usually lasted a lifetime. Many companies provided on-the-job training, and little emphasis was put on the idea of going back to

 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

When considering the “Big Three” financial components of financial security: asset protection, tax savings, and estate planning, business owners need to successfully plan ahead. Regarding your business interests and potential ta

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

While expansive benefits are a great draw for hiring and retaining valuable employees, the plan you offer must also be economical and easy to manage. Sound impossible? A cafeteria plan may be the answer.

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Each time you start a new job, your employer will give you a Form W-4 to complete that determines the amount of Federal income tax that is withheld from each paycheck. While many people prefer to have too much tax taken out so they can look

 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Many couples may find themselves confronted with a dilemma as retirement nears. If you plan to receive your pension payout on a monthly basis (rather than in a lump sum), you must decide whether you want to receive a higher paymen

 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

When considering mortgage financing, it is important to look at three key issues—the rate structure, the loan term, and the tradeoffs in paying points.

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Security breaches on computer networks are an increasingly serious problem for business owners. Hackers, computer viruses, and fraud may wreak havoc that could be financially devastating. Such losses associated with computer break-ins could

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It is important to start as early as possible helping children understand the value of money and the responsibilities that go with it. By gradually introducing your child to financial matters, you will provide the opportunity to become invo

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Any classical music composer will tell you that creating a symphony requires a delicate balance of sounds, melodies, and harmonies. Each instrument creates unique sounds and vibrations that, when heard alone, may not be particularly compell

 

Friday, February 3, 2017

When faced with the wide range of life insurance coverage available, you may wonder what type fits your needs now and what coverage you should consider for future needs. A good first step is to look at two basi

 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

When planning your estate, you may consider setting up a revocable living trust. A properly managed revocable living trust can provide unique benefits; however, it does not completely replace a will. In determining whether th

 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Women often struggle to balance their personal and professional lives. You may be juggling parenting and domestic responsibilities with a full-time career, as well as caring for aging parents. Finding the extra time to pursue an education o

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

While many businesses seek to encourage “teamwork” among employees, individual contributors who perform specific tasks may lose sight of the value of cooperating closely with co-workers. If teamwork is not occurring spontaneousl

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The majority of business owners have life insurance that protects their beneficiaries against the financial impact of premature death. They also insure their homes, cars, and other personal possessions against financial loss resul

 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Whether you are the head of a small, family-owned business or a large corporation, finding the right employees is becoming more and more challenging. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for several businesses to compete for the serv

 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The April 15th tax deadline always seems just around the corner. Preparing in advance to file your federal income tax return might help make a sometimes overwhelming process easier to tackle. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Although your retirement date may still be many years off, it is never too early to start your preparation. Yet, many people may spend more time planning their annual vacations than they do planning for their retirement future. A retirement

 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Recently both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit all-time highs. This comes less than six months after a furious 610-point drop in the Dow in the wake of the Brexit, the vote taken in U.K. where they decided to l

 

Friday, January 20, 2017

When you think about your retirement years, do you imagine living in a new home or community? Whatever your choice of retirement haven, you may wish to sell your current home. To facilitate the sales process, consider the following points:

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

If you’re a collector who has put years, and possibly a lifetime, into acquiring a collection, you could find it gone in an instant if a fire, theft, or other disaster occurs. Because these prized possessions may not be covered by you

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Today, many people are concerned about saving for retirement or paying for a large ticket item, such as a child’s college education. If you belong to this group, now may be the time to organize your finances. It is never too

 

Monday, January 16, 2017

For many people, the New Year is a time for personal reflection, a time to consider commitments and resolutions for the coming year. This year, why not resolve to make your finances a priority? With proper planning and appropriate guid

 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is generally diagnosed in people over 65 years old, causing memory loss, changes in mood and behavior, and the gradual inability to maintain independence in daily living activitie

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A fairly common practice among married couples is the holding of most, if not all, of their property as tenants by the entirety. Quite often, couples are unaware of the alternative methods of titling, as well as some of the trade-offs

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Many workers are trying to balance a fulfilling professional life against personal goals and family responsibilities, a juggling act that challenges the savviest time managers. In today’s hard-wired learning culture, a wide variety of

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The success or failure of a business venture depends to a large extent upon the quality of its sales force. Without the right team of sales professionals to pitch your products and line up new customers, your company’s growth will lik

 

Monday, January 9, 2017

As a busy executive or business owner, you are, more than likely, in a personal financial and estate planning position that may be considerably different from other individuals. You probably have a compensation package containing a variety

 

Friday, January 6, 2017

In response to the possibility of public health risks, such as the outbreak of swine flu (H1N1 virus) in 2009, a number of U.S. government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Service

 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

So, you've chosen a tax consultant. Here are a few ways to prepare for your upcoming meeting:Look over some popular tax guides or financial magazines. 

 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A comfortable and worry-free retirement is the goal of many Americans. However, the biggest obstacle in attaining retirement goals is that people may tend to procrastinate and avoid thinking ahead to formulate a plan of action. As a result,

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Over time, mortgage rates fluctuate. Depending on where rates currently stand, now may or may not be a good time for homeowners to consider refinancing their mortgage. How can you determine whether it makes sense at any given poin

 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Is your business experiencing a high absentee rate? Do your employees often come in late and leave early? Are workplace accidents becoming frequent? Do you have a hard time hiring reliable employees? Is productivity suffering? If these ques

 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Successful money management requires ongoing discipline. Each year, you should pull all your records together and take a close look at your entire financial picture. Here are six steps that can help you put your financial affairs in order:1

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Should you suffer a disability, you need to know where your income will come from. Would you have enough in savings to support yourself and your loved ones during a six-month disability? Do you know someone who would freely lend money to yo

 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Do you ever think about the need for life-support systems should you become “terminally ill” or “permanently unconscious” due to the possibility of experiencing a future accident or illness? What decision would you w

 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Imagine your reaction to the following scene: You return home from work one night to find your teenage daughter running gleefully about with a letter in her hand. When you calm her down, she tells you that she has just been accepted to the

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

When you give four bags of old clothes to a charity, you may receive a receipt. But the value of those old clothes as a charitable tax deduction is left up to you to determine. How much is too much? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has tr

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Creating an online presence that stands out from the countless websites jostling for space on search engine results can be a daunting challenge for small business owners. Unlike their big competitors, most smaller companies cannot afford a

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Once upon a time there was a thriving business developed by an energetic, creative entrepreneur. He passed his business knowledge and enthusiasm on to his son, who continued to tend it well and even made it grow. The son grew older and his

 

Friday, December 16, 2016

An improving economy can present an unexpected challenge for many small businesses. A tighter skilled labor force often makes it difficult to attract and retain the kind of qualified employees companies need to remain competitive.Consider t

 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Did you know that a free, Federal income tax preparation and electronic filing program called Free File is available to U. S. taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) of $58,000 or less?

 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The most chronicled generation in America is gradually entering retirement. Each wave of baby boomers will quickly discover if their retirement plans, Social Security, and personal savings will be sufficient to maintain their existing lifes

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Housing costs have soared over the years. And, while owning your own home may still represent the American dream, many people are unsure at what point it becomes less expensive to buy than rent. There are four key elements in making that de

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

When was the last time you reviewed your homeowners insurance? For your financial well-being, it is important to make sure that costly coverage gaps have not developed since you purchased your homeowners policy. Here are some tips on how to

 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Raising children without a partner can be challenging—emotionally, physically, and financially. Challenged by the work involved in earning a living and caring for children, single parents can sometimes feel that they may never break t

 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

When it comes to investing, decisions are generally made-up of two somewhat complex items—how much you’ll earn from the investment, and how much income tax you will pay on the investment earnings. Then, given an alternative, are

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Most people would like to remain in their homes as they grow older. In order to make aging in place a reality, however, planning ahead to accommodate your individual needs is essential. There are a number of simple home modifications that w

 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Whether your estate plan is simple or complex, there are many details, which are often overlooked, that can undermine your plan’s effectiveness. Are you aware of these common estate planning mistakes?

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

One subject every student should master before heading off to college is how to manage his or her personal finances. Many students simply “spend as they go.” Unfortunately, if late night pizzas and long-distance telephone calls

 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Did you know that you can gift a new or existing life insurance policy to your favorite charity? When properly designed, a charitable life insurance program may improve your overall financial situation and offer tax benefits, all while supp

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

When recruiting workers, employers strive to hire people who demonstrate not just the skills needed to do a job, but also poise, maturity, and a solid work ethic. Individual candidates may have specialized knowledge and abilities of signifi

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Most businesses thrive on the ingenuity and dynamism of a few key people. In order to retain their best employees, business owners often devise attractive benefit packages that make it harder for the competition to lure away key employees.

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two changes in the business world, combined with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), have direct bearing on what it takes to attract and keep highly qualified employees.

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

You have the right to information and assistance in complying with the U.S. tax laws. In addition to the basic instructions provided with tax forms, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes a great deal of other information available.

 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Your will is a formal, legal document instructing your survivors on the settlement of your estate. When detailing your wishes for asset distribution, it is important to understand the various types of bequests. A specific bequest is a gift

 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Buying a house or condominium involves not only finding the right property, but also finding the right mortgage. Fortunately, the choices are less confusing than in the recent past. Since interest rates are significantly lower, the types of

 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

If you are a dog owner, your pet may be your loyal friend and constant companion. However, if you are a homeowner, you should be aware that your dog could cause a few issues with your insurance coverage. Sometimes your dog’s breed can

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In dealing with the unexpected, it's important to ensure that all your tangible assets are valued properly. Having a thorough appraisal will be beneficial in the following circumstances:

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

For many people, investing typically begins with one stock or one bond or one mutual fund. Over time, other selections are added to manage the risk associated with investing everything in a single security. However, just “spreading mo

 

Friday, November 18, 2016

While many Baby Boomers have children who are either in college or approaching college age, they may also be facing the additional challenge of caring for their aging parents. With just so many hours in a day to meet professional and financ

 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Over the past several years, owners of nursing homes have seen a steady decline in the occupancy rates of their facilities. There are a number of reasons for this drop. One significant reason is that the number of “home care agencies&

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Losing experienced, hardworking employees can be costly for your business. So when one of your valued employees announces she is pregnant, do more than just congratulate her. You may want to consider encouraging her to return to work once t

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

For many individuals with accumulated wealth, occasional gifts to a favorite charity may satisfy their charitable inclinations. The added incentive of an often-substantial tax deduction, coupled with various estate planning benefits, can be

 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Now that the 2016 presidential election is over and we can refer to Donald Trump as President Trump, it’s time to examine some additional questions. More specifically, how will President Trump affect markets and other economic measure

 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Most business owners purchase life insurance to protect their families against the financial impact of their premature deaths. However, what would happen to both your personal income and the operation of your business should sudden disabili

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

While most American workers say they are satisfied with the health insurance benefits they have now, there is a long-term trend toward wanting more cash compensation and less generous health benefits, according to a report published by the

 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Historically, The 1998 IRS Reform Act shifted the burden of proof from the taxpayer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in certain situations. Does this mean that you can toss those records that have been taking up space in your office? H

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

How resourceful can you be during your retirement? Determining where your retirement money will come from is an integral part of planning for retirement. Most people draw on three main sources of income: Social Security, employer-sponsored

 

Friday, November 4, 2016

As temperatures plummet, pipes can freeze and cause serious problems for homeowners. Since water expands as it freezes, this can cause pipes to crack or burst. Pipes with inadequate insulation and ventilation can then freeze. Certain pipes,

 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Before you buy a new home, it pays to do some investigation to avoid taking on problems that may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. When contemplating the purchase of property, a home inspection is the first important step. A prof

 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Does it seem more challenging these days when you grocery shop or buy gifts for family and friends to stay within a budget? Would you like to adhere to your household budget without feeling deprived? If you answered “yes” to eit

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Most investors know that they should evaluate their risk tolerance when considering an investment. Oftentimes, investors think of risk only in terms of possibly losing money. However, in the investment world, risk is broadly defined as the

 

Monday, October 31, 2016

If you own long-term care insurance, be sure to review your policy every year. An annual review provides an opportunity for you to re-examine your coverage, analyze relevant federal legislation that may impact the tax treatment of your long

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Description:Reducing health care costs is a high priority for many small-business owners, yet the decision to do so often forces them to make difficult decisions regarding the benefits they can offer to employees.

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Description:An overview of resources available to people caring for a family member or loved one at home.

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Description:To be viable, a retirement income strategy needs to account for the effects of longevity, inflation, health care expenses, and the uncertain future of Social Security.

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Description:Investors at any level of income can convert assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This article explains the potential benefits and tax implications of a conversion.

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Description:Saving for a large-screen television? A new car? A real estate down payment? This checklist can help you reach any savings goal. 

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

An appraiser assigns value to your property and potentially minimizes your exposure to certain risks, such as tax penalties. An inaccurate appraisal could hinder your ability to receive a fair price for property, increase the likelihood of

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

If one or more of your children will reach college age soon, you may be wondering how you will manage all the costs. For many families, a financial aid package provides some level of tuition support in the form of grants, scholarships, loan

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The average donor household in the United States gives around $2,000 a year, with small donations making up the bulk of charitable gifts, according to a report prepared by the Center on Philanthropy for Indiana University.

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Brainstorming, a technique for generating ideas through group interactions, has been used in business circles for decades. When used to address concrete, well-defined issues in a structured manner, brainstorming can be an effective way to t

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

As a business owner, you know the importance of planning for your company’s future. To this end, you may have taken steps to learn about buy–sell agreements and the role that life insurance and disability income insurance can pl

 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Over time, Internal Revenue Service Code (the Code, or IRC) changes have allowed a clearer definition of the standards used to judge all qualified plans for nondiscrimination purposes. What does this mean for benefit planning?

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Today’s financial markets, economy, and  banking industry hang on the decisions made by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. The power to send markets soaring or diving is based on the chairman’s ability to raise or low

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nearly everyone has expectations and dreams about retirement. One dream being realized is that people are healthier and living longer, which allows them to enjoy retirement for a greater portion of their lives than ever before. In fact, it&

 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The number of natural disasters has increased at an alarming rate in recent years, devastating communities across the country. Floods, in particular, can cause excessive damage to property including vehicles, often rendering them inoperable

 

Friday, October 7, 2016

In recent years, many Baby Boomers have witnessed a growing trend: Their children are moving back home after graduating from college. In part, the return of the “boomerang” children to the nest may be due to the high cost of liv

 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Growth or value—what’s your style? Growth investors look for stocks that will grow at a high rate for a relatively short period of time or mutual funds that focus on growth stock. Value investors look for stocks that are current

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Women face unique financial challenges as they age. When compared with men, women live longer, earn less, and spend fewer years in the workforce. Financial concerns are often more acute for older women who are divorced, widowed, or otherwis

 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A. A will is formal legal document directing the settlement of your estate that provides for the distributions of your assets according to your wishes. Without a will, the laws of your state will determine estate distribution. Qualified leg

 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Labor Day 2016 is in the books. The weather is starting to turn a little cooler, football returns and the kids are back in school.  For me, it’s always been the kids going back to school that really marked the end of summer. Gone

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

One extracurricular activity that every student can master while in college is personal money management. Typically, a student’s daily spending is done on an improvised basis, meaning that overspending is often the norm rather than th

 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Many estate plans include a program of making lifetime gifts. So, is it sometimes better to distribute assets this way, rather than bequeath them in a will or trust?

 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

All business owners prefer to operate in the black. But, taking on debt is sometimes necessary as a company expands or when business slows due to economic volatility. Managing your debt carefully can minimize the cost of carrying debt and m

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Running a business out of your home can be a lifestyle shift, particularly if you share your space with family members or a roommate. It may not be as easy to leave work at the office when the office is at home. Having a designated office s

 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Employee fringe benefits are considered an essential part of attracting and retaining key employees and executives. However, because the rules for qualified plans place a limitation on contributions to retirement plans, many employers look

 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Donating a vehicle is a great way to benefit a charity and reduce your tax liabilities. As with most tax benefits, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations apply. Following the rules can help ensure you receive a tax deduction for your go

 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

As your 62nd birthday approaches, the dream of early retirement may seem like a possibility. From that day on, you may qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. While you may be lured by monthly Social Security checks, seriously cons

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The question of whether to own or rent a home—depending on your personal situation—is usually answered by asking yourself two important questions: How much will it cost you? And, what is your possible return on the property as a

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Most businesses seek two major types of insurance coverage—property and liability. Property insurance covers damage to or loss of your business property, and liability insurance covers the cost of defending and settling a lawsuit as a

 

Monday, September 19, 2016

In this litigious society, where it is not uncommon for citizens to sue each other over the most trivial of issues, people are rightly concerned with becoming the target of a lawsuit. This is especially true for those whose jobs place them

 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Here’s a pop quiz to test your investment smarts: Since 1870, the average price/earnings (P/E) ratio of stocks in the S&P 500 Index has been about 15.00. True or false?

 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

“An idealist believes the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.”

 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Most estate planning professionals view the irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) as one of the most flexible and powerful tools they can put to work on behalf of their business clients. While the issue of where the life insurance trust f

 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

You just received the wonderful news that you and your spouse are going to become parents. Thoughts of the many adventures parenting will bring are swirling through your head. The last thing on your mind may be paying for college, but think

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

For millions of Americans, “charity begins at home.” Many have decided to make a difference by donating money to local religious, educational, social, or cultural organizations. In addition to the immense satisfaction that comes

 

Friday, September 9, 2016

In order for your business to succeed, your marketing strategy must be consumer-friendly, present your products and services at their best, and keep pace with the changing times. As more and more businesses compete for internet sales, marke

 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

If you are like many business owners, you may tend to get caught up in the daily demands of your business, managing sales and production, costs, and the bottom line. However, when the pace slackens, are you ever nagged by thoughts of what w

 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Professionals who have worked hard and built up assets over the course of their careers may be particularly concerned that their savings could be affected by a long term care event. As the costs associated with long term care continue to ri

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

In a given year, relatively few Americans take advantage of the federal income tax deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses. But if an illness or hospitalization in the family has led to an abrupt rise in your out-of-pocket health care e

 

Monday, September 5, 2016

The common term for retirement—the “golden years”— may no longer apply for those individuals who shun taking a conventional retirement due to an unpredictable economic climate. In the past, the idealized concept of r

 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Increased mobility has changed the ways we live, work, and play. Compared to previous generations, it is now quite common for work and recreation to cross state lines, resulting in ownership of property and civic relationships in multiple s

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Since you never know when a disaster may strike causing severe damage and disruption to your business operations, it is important to expect the unexpected and manage your risks accordingly. For that reason, business insurance shou

 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

With today’s improving economy, you’re probably thinking less and less about your personal debts and spending habits. While debts may seem easier to pay off when times are good, don’t let yourself fall victim to this way o

 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Historically, “bull and bear” markets occur with the almost automatic expansion and contraction of the economy. The events that turn a bull market into a bear market—and vice versa—are events that economists and mark

 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Have you ever wondered how much life insurance is “enough”? One general rule of thumb says that you should buy an amount equal to five to seven times your annual income. Sure, it may be a reasonable guideline, but this method do

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

If you were asked how best to prepare your child for college, you might say that a well-rounded high school curriculum would be a good start. It may be true that your child needs to be a good student to compete for admission to a college or

 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

With Federal estate taxes designed to tax assets transferred from one estate to another, planning to preserve wealth for your children, grandchildren, and future generations can be challenging. In 2014, the Federal estate and gift tax rates

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

When you give $100 to your favorite charity, you are probably not overly concerned about how your donation is spent, as long as it advances the mission of the charity. On the other hand, if you are making a large donation, it is more likely

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ergonomics is the science of fitting job tasks, equipment, tools, and the work environment to workers’ needs. By creating a more ergonomic work environment, businesses can not only reduce the chances that an employee will be injured o

 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Business insurance and risk management programs are designed to help reduce and control costs. In assessing the risk exposures particular to your business, consider what can go wrong and how such events might affect your business.

 

Friday, August 12, 2016

In today’s tight job market, employers large and small are in competition to attract and retain top employees with robust employee benefit packages. Many larger businesses find the best approach to meeting their employees’ retir

 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

If you have an office in your home, you may be able to deduct a portion of the costs of owning and operating your home (including depreciation) as a business expense. In order to qualify, a part of the home must be used regularly and exclus

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Americans are living longer, and this may mean enjoying retirement for a longer period of time than ever before. Consequently, retirement assets must last longer and accommodate increases in the cost of living. Only through proper planning

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

All across America, cities and towns have experienced a dramatic increase in residential real estate prices. With interest rates still at historic lows, many people are turning to their home equity as a source of funds.  A home equity

 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Eventually, just about every property owner plans for renovations and home improvements. If you are planning a backyard project that involves digging, you should know that many state laws mandate the reporting of your excavation two to thre

 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Detroit and the nation's auto financing companies, as well as the more prestigious foreign auto producers, are enticing more Americans to a new leasing way of life.

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

When your children are grown and leave home, you are released from being the financial “provider”: No more bills for everything from food and clothes to visits to the dentist. Along with this “freedom” may come immed

 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

If you were to become sick or hurt and lose your ability to earn a living, how would you pay your bills? One way to help protect yourself in the event of a disability is to purchase an individual disability income insurance policy.

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Advantages of Probate

 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Determining how one student loan differs from another may be a daunting task. However, when it comes to such research, the organization FinAid may be a useful tool. Their website www.finaid.org offers free information on a range of topics f

 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Charitable donations allow you to give and take—you give money or property to a qualified charity and then take an income tax deduction. By supporting an organization or cause, you may be able to lower your tax bill. As you plan your

 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The image of a loyal employee spending a lifetime with a single employer—and then retiring with the proverbial gold watch—is simply a notion, as career jobs have never existed for most workers, and still do not, according to a s

 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

As a busy executive or business owner, your personal financial and estate planning needs may be different from other individuals. Your current compensation package probably contains a variety of benefits, some of which may not be portable.

 

Monday, July 25, 2016

You don't have to be the "Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" to be eligible for child care credit. If you are the head of a household with children or other dependent(s), you may be eligible for some tax savings.

 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Consider this scenario: You are about to retire and are offered a pension of either $3,000 per month during your lifetime or $2,500 per month over the lifetimes of both you and your spouse. If you are married, taking the lower amount may in

 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Before you invest your valuable capital, time, and energy into a commercial property, it is important to conduct a thorough inspection to verify its condition, safety, and viability for your business. In addition, a commercial property insp

 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In 1769, the French engineer, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot, built the first steam-powered motor vehicle. Two years later, Cugnot crashed one of his inventions into a wall—constituting what is generally considered to be the very first “

 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

To help protect yourself against fraudulent charges if your credit or debit card is lost or stolen, you must call the issuing bank or company immediately to report the loss.

 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Most Americans have heard of multi-million dollar malpractice awards against many professionals (doctors, lawyers, and accountants), but they are not the only targets. Less often reported is the fact that many people are vulnerable to lawsu

 

Friday, July 8, 2016

As a business owner, you may have often wondered which life insurance policies can best be utilized for your specific purposes. Universal life insurance is an idea that offers several interesting and beneficial components. The most notable

 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The executive bonus plan may be one of the most cost-effective fringe benefit plans available for solving personal needs. A quick overview will show why.

 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A capital gain is realized when a capital asset is sold at a price that is higher than the original purchase price. The profit from the sale is considered a short-term capital gain if the investment or property was held for a year or less,

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Retirement planning is a primary reason for long-term saving, and when people think about retirement, finances are often the focus. However, it is important to also look at the nonfinancial aspects of transitioning from the world of work to

 

Monday, July 4, 2016

For home buyers, and for homeowners who are considering refinancing, trying to decide whether to seek a fixed or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) can be a bit puzzling.

 

Friday, July 1, 2016

The financial challenges facing younger couples are quite different than those of yesteryear. Let’s take a look at John and Becky Stewart. John and Becky are in their late twenties and have been married for five years. John is a sales

 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Today, many people find themselves inundated by a constant stream of financial news from television, radio, and the Internet. Yet, does all this “information age” data really help you manage your finances any better than in the

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fear of the unknown need not prevent you from studying the financial pages and understanding the evening stock reports on your favorite radio or TV station. A short course in “Wall Street Speak” can help unlock the wealth of inf

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Decisions regarding medical treatment options can be most difficult when a patient becomes incapacitated. A durable medical power of attorney, or health care proxy, can help assure that the patient’s health care decisions are carried

 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Overview: Many individuals may rarely consider what might happen to their affairs if they become incapacitated due to illness or injury. Advance directives can provide instructions for how an individual wishes to have their affairs handled

 

Friday, January 29, 2016

How much life insurance do you need? A reasonable guide to follow may be to purchase an amount equal to five to seven times your annual income. But this approach may not be the best for appropriately coordinating your life insurance needs w

 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Many parents may find it uncomfortable, or even believe it is unnecessary, to inform their children about personal finance matters. Yet, communicating openly with your family members can help to reassure them about your financial and health

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Many parents put off education funding because they believe the task is overwhelming, or they think saving the required amount of money will force them to compromise their current lifestyle. While these may be legitimate concerns, they need

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The highs and lows of the economy affect people and markets in a variety of ways. While some sectors may be thriving, others may be sluggish. One economic indicator used to gauge the state of the American economy is the Consumer Price Index

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Since Americans are now living longer than ever before, many into their 80s and 90s, retirement resources may need to last 20 years or more. 

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Whether you are decades or months away from retirement, it may be prudent to review your will whenever there is a significant change in your family circumstances or finances. To stay current, revisit your will at least once every five years

 

Monday, January 4, 2016

You are busy dealing with life’s day-to-day issues. To you, retirement may seem like a long way off. But preparing now for your financial future is essential because what you do today can help ensure a secure retirement tomorrow.

 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Many adults are finding that their aging parents are in need of health care assistance. Luckily, there are many options available today to help your parents grow old gracefully, either in their own home or in a facility, and several ways th