The Art and Science of Successful Planning

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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? You should probably consider buying life insurance if any one of the following is true:  You are married and your spouse depends on your incomeYou ha
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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. In an April 2019 Gallup poll, 43% of Americans said they were unsure how the new tax law affected them personally. Surprisingly, 21% thought their federal income taxes went up in 2018, and 21% said they were about the same. Only 14% of respondents reported that their taxes went dow
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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. One such option is long-term care insurance (LTCI). Government-regulated programs can also help. These include Medicare, Medigap, and Medicaid. If you lack sufficient resources to pay for long-term care on your own, should you buy LTCI, r
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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. Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release lengthy reports to Congress that assess the health of these important programs. The newest reports, released on April 22, 2019, discuss the current financial condition and ongoing financial challenges that both programs face, and project a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2020. What are the Social Security and Medicare
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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. As you make your payme
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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? Most financial professionals suggest that you have three to six months' worth of living expenses in your cash reserve.
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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. First, remember the grace period After you graduate, you&
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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. Nursing homes provide different levels of long-term care You may need to enter a nursin
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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.Check your coverageSome policies insure only spouses and dependent children. So, if you and your partner aren't married, you'll want to check your policy carefully. If
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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.  While Medicaid does pay for some long-term care services, you must meet their financial requirements, which means that you have extremely limite
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