Keeping Track (8/28/2019)

An important topic I raised a few years ago in this blog deserves another mention: when you switch or leave a job, don’t forget about your 401(k). Although it may seem impossible that you would lose track of your retirement plan, we live in a fast-paced world with a focus on reducing the amount of paper we all use. As a result, more and more of our statements, storage and communication are now electronic. Losing track of an account, especially when you do not receive a regular, physical statement, is not impossible.

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Your Home Investment (5/7/2019)

With the 2018 tax filing deadline behind us, we see that many taxpayers used the increased standard deduction this year rather than itemizing as they have in the past.  Taxes and interest from your mortgage are often one of the major deductions in itemizing. By not itemizing, you lose the tax deductibility of mortgage interest along with property taxes.  This may cause some to reconsider the benefit of home ownership as an investment.

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Highlight (2/28/2019)

At the end of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced inflation-adjusted figures for retirement account savings for 2019, and many changes that will help savers.  The technical guidance on the numbers can be found in IRS Notice 2018-83.

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Life Insurance Check-up (12/17/2018)

As is often said, life insurance is not for those who die, but is for those who live. If you die while you have life insurance in place, the people you have chosen as your beneficiaries will receive a sum of money (the death benefit) from your life insurance policy. The proceeds of life insurance are tax-free to the beneficiary and can be used for anything, but often the main purpose is to help make up for the loss of your income.

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Moving On (11/7/2018)

Midterm elections are in the books for the most part.  After much anticipation, Americans have chosen to shift the balance of power in Washington D.C., giving Democrats control of the House of Representatives.  Republicans maintain their control of the Senate, meaning that we can expect legislative gridlock through the remainder of President Trump’s term in office.

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Downsizing (9/28/2018)

If you’re thinking about downsizing your home soon or for retirement, consider a few observations before moving forward. Three out of four Americans say they would downsize their home to reduce ongoing costs and benefit from the equity, according to the 2017 study “Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions” released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  A smaller home is not always the ideal solution. You might find unexpected financial and emotional challenges after making the switch. Following are some common misconceptions surrounding downsizing.

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My Social Security (8/15/2018)

If you do not already have one, opening a free “My Social Security” account would be a good idea. This secure account allows you to have convenient online access to information on your record and to manage your benefits once you start receiving them. You do not have to wait until you receive benefits to sign up.

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Extra Credit! (7/13/2018)

Building credit is important for all ages.  We have recently seen a few estate cases where the surviving spouse with many credit cards and car loans through the years find that they do not have their own individual credit.  The credit cards they hold were issued as the second card and their name was the co-name on a loan.  Suddenly, they need to establish credit in their 70s.  According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an estimated 45 million Americans may not have their own credit.

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It's Personal (6/8/2018)

A recent Marketwatch article claiming “you should have twice your salary saved by age 35” has angered many across the Internet. The article, which included advice from Fidelity Investments, said you should have the equivalent of a year’s salary saved by age 30, and double that by age 35.

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Lifestyle Creep (4/26/2018)

Our New England winter finally appears to be subsiding into some warmer weather. As we shed our heavy winter clothing for lighter gear, we may find that some of our clothes don’t fit due to weight gain. If you are not weighing yourself regularly, this could come as a surprise to you. You were comfortable in your winter gear, but revisiting your warm weather clothing shows you the change.

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