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Understanding Required Minimum Distributions

After you turn 70 ½ years old, you will need to take a minimum amount out of your traditional IRA accounts each year, as well as your 401k or 403b accounts if you are no longer working for the businesses sponsoring those plans. The minimum required amount, referred to as your required minimum distribution, or […]

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Understanding Federal Student Loans

In order to plan for funding your student’s college education, you must understand the student loan landscape. I won’t take up space here with scary statistics about the amount of student debt American families are amassing and what that may mean for our society’s future. If used correctly and in the right amounts, student loans […]

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Lessons from the Financial Crisis

Ten years ago, we were in the middle of the Financial Crisis. Between October 2007 and March 2009, the S & P 500 lost 50% of its value. Home values plummeted. Banks and mortgage companies went from boom to bust seemingly overnight, and our entire financial system seemed to hang in the balance. I’ve often […]

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Understanding Qualified Charitable Distributions

If you have an IRA and are required to take annual distributions, and you are charitably inclined, listen up: the new tax law means you might want to consider Qualified Charitable Distributions as your means of making donations. A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) means donating all or a portion of your annual required minimum distribution […]

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Saving for College with 529 Plans

If you are putting away funds dedicated for your child’s higher education expenses, a 529 College Savings Plan is tough to beat. These plans allow parents and grandparents to put away funds for a child’s education, and the growth on the account is tax – free when used to pay qualified education expenses. In some […]

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Protecting Your Identity and Privacy: The Equifax Data Breach

Protecting Your Identity and Privacy: The Equifax Data Breach   No doubt you have heard that Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, had a data breach and as many as 143 million American’s may have had sensitive information stolen. Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other identifying data may have […]

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Step off the Curb

By Beth Baer   Those of you who have known me for awhile know this is an expression I use frequently. Often it’s in the context of encouraging (some say pushing) someone to leave the safety of their known universe and courageously move into new possibilities in their lives. Is there usually risk? Maybe, but the […]

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Tax Managed Investing

Once you have established contingency funds and adequately funded your retirement accounts, you can consider starting a taxable portfolio. Investing in a taxable portfolio, particularly for high-income investors, can be much more nuanced than investing in an IRA or an employer retirement plan. Every investment must be reviewed not only for its potential investment return, but […]

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The New Fiduciary Standard for Retirement Accounts

You may have heard a lot of talk in the news lately concerning the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule, sometimes called the DOL Rule for short. The Department of Labor has issued a regulation that revises the definition of investment advice as it relates to retirement accounts. The new rule requires that all advisors who offer advice […]

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The Retirement Mindset

    When financial planners talk about what pre-retirees should do to get ready to leave the workforce, they focus on the quantifiable and financial aspects: Determining your spending needs, evaluating your pension and Social Security choices, or preparing to manage your portfolio to produce income. But there is a very important psychological component to retirement […]