The Art and Science of Successful Planning

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Conducting a Home Inventory

You should prepare an inventory whenever you move into a new home. To keep track of new additions and discarded items, be sure to update it every year.
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True Freedom- July 4th, 2019

Happy Independence Day!
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Nursing home costs in the U.S. are rising even faster than health care

Nursing home costs can cost upwards of $100,000 a year, a heavy financial burden even for Americans who have set money aside for their later years -- and a crushing one for those who haven't. And those costs are rising, even outstripping the rising cost of health care in the U.S.
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Retirement Plan Considerations at Different Stages of Life

Throughout your career, retirement planning will likely be one of the most important components of your overall financial plan. Whether you have just graduated and taken your first job, are starting a family, are enjoying your peak earning years, or are preparing to retire, your employer-sponsored retirement plan can play a key role in your financial strategies.How should you view and manage your retirement savings plan through various life stages? Following are some points to consider.
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Establishing a Budget

Do you ever wonder where your money goes each month? Does it seem like you're never able to get ahead? If so, you may want to establish a budget to help you keep track of how you spend your money and help you reach your financial goals.
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Flood Insurance

That last thunderstorm left you worried. For a moment there, it seemed as if your basement, like the hull of an old sailing vessel, might take on water. But before you break out the sandbags or put the kids' old toys up on pilings, call your insurance agent and find out about flood insurance.
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Shopping for Auto Insurance

Shopping for auto insurance isn't much different from shopping for anything else. Your goal is to find a quality product that suits your needs--and at a good price. Here are some guidelines to help get you started. Get your ducks in a row Before you start shopping around, lay some groundwork. Your first step is to figure out what you need for coverage. To a certain extent, you don't have a choice--most states require you to carry minimum levels of liability coverage.
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Sticker Shock: Creative Ways to Lower the Cost of College

Even with all of your savvy college shopping and research about financial aid, college costs may still be prohibitive. At these prices, you expect you'll need to make substantial financial sacrifices to send your child to college. Or maybe your child won't be able to attend the college of his or her choice at all. Before you throw in the towel, though, you and your child should consider steps that can actually lower college costs.
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Merging Your Money When You Marry

Getting married is exciting, but it brings many challenges. One such challenge that you and your spouse will have to face is how to merge your finances. Planning carefully and communicating clearly are important, because the financial decisions that you make now can have a lasting impact on your future. Discuss your financial goals The first step in mapping out your financial future together is to discuss your financial goals.
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Housing Options for Older Individuals

As you grow older, your housing needs may change. Maybe you'll get tired of doing yardwork. You might want to retire in sunny Florida or live close to your grandchildren in Illinois. Perhaps you'll need to live in a nursing home or an assisted-living facility. Or, after considering your options, you may even decide to stay where you are. When the time comes to evaluate your housing situation, you'll have numerous options available to you.
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Considering a New Employment Opportunity

If you're considering changing jobs, you're not alone. Today, few people stay with one employer until retirement. It's likely that at some point during your career, you'll be looking for a new job. You may be looking to make more money or seeking greater career opportunities. Or, you may be forced to look for new employment if your company restructures. Whatever the reason, you'll eventually be faced with an important decision: When you receive an offer, should you take it?
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Aging Clients And The Role Of The Trusted Advisor

Steps to take before a health crisis threatens a client family’s wealth and unity.  
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Life Insurance: Do You Need It?

At some point in your life, you'll probably be faced with the question of whether you need life insurance. Life insurance is a way to protect your loved ones financially after you die and your income stops. The answer to whether you need life insurance depends on your personal and financial circumstances. Should you buy life insurance?
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1040 Postmortem: Making Sense of Your Taxes and Withholding

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which passed in December 2017, made fundamental changes to the U.S. tax code, and 2018 returns were the first time most taxpayers could see the practical impact of these changes. 
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Coordinating Long-Term Care Insurance with Government Benefits

If you're a senior, the future may present more of a concern than it once did--you may wonder what you'll do if your health deteriorates. If you must enter a nursing home, for example, how will you pay for it? Fortunately, you may have several options.
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The Future of Social Security and Medicare: Here's What Trustees Are Projecting

Most Americans will eventually receive Social Security and Medicare benefits.
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Credit Traps for the Unwary

It's hard to imagine functioning in today's society without access to credit. However, you need to be careful not to fall victim to some of the pitfalls associated with it. Revolving credit can make it hard for you to pay off debt Credit cards allow you to spend money you don't currently have, and to repay what you've spent over time instead of all at once. When you use a card, the balance you owe increases, and your remaining available credit decreases.
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Getting Started: Establishing a Financial Safety Net

In times of crisis, you don't want to be shaking pennies out of a piggy bank. Having a financial safety net in place can ensure that you're protected when a financial emergency arises. One way to accomplish this is by setting up a cash reserve, a pool of readily available funds that can help you meet emergency or highly urgent short-term needs. How much is enough?
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Repaying Your Student Loans

You vaguely remember signing a form every year at college registration time. Now that you've graduated, it's all become painfully clear — those forms were promissory notes detailing your student loan obligations. Your loans aren't going away, and you'll want to repay them as quickly as possible. So whether you have a small sum or a small fortune to pay off, it's helpful to brush up on some student loan basics.
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Medicaid & Nursing Home Care

As you enter your 60s and 70s, health may become more of an issue than it once was, and your thoughts may turn to the future. Who will take care of you when you can no longer care for yourself? If you must enter a nursing home, how will you pay for it? By learning as much as you can about Medicaid right now and planning appropriately, you may be able to resolve these issues and create a more secure future.
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Planning a Family? Get to Know Your Health Insurance Policy

 Congratulations! You've decided to start a family. Up until now, your health insurance has probably been adequate, paying for routine doctor visits and prescription drugs. But now that you're facing a lifestyle change, you must make sure that your health insurance policy will keep up with those changing needs.
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Long-Term Care Insurance is Still Available

Oftentimes, I am asked is long-term care insurance affordable?  My short answer is almost always an unquestionable YES!  As always you have to obtain it before you need it. As you have seen from your own research or through personal experience, long-term care services are not covered under traditional health insurance or Medicare. 
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