RESOURCES

VEHICLES

RETIREMENT

SERVICES DEFINED

LIFE INSURANCE

VEHICLES

Choosing a Beneficiary for Your IRA or 401(k)

Choosing a Beneficiary for Your IRA or 401(k) Selecting beneficiaries for retirement benefits is different from choosing beneficiaries for other assets such as life insurance. With retirement benefits, you need to know the impact of income tax and estate tax laws in...

Handling Market Volatility

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the...

What is the benefit of an employer match?

Answer: The more you save for retirement, the better your chances are of retiring comfortably. One way to help accomplish this is by taking advantage of an employer match. Many employers offer matching contributions as part of their employer-sponsored retirement plan...

Advantages of Trusts

Advantages of Trusts What is a trust? A trust is a legal entity that is created for the purpose of transferring property to a trustee for the benefit of a third person (beneficiary). The trustee manages the property for the beneficiary according to the terms...

Inheriting an IRA or Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan

What is it? When the account owner of a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or employer-sponsored retirement plan dies, the remaining funds in the account pass to the named beneficiary (or beneficiaries). Unlike many other inherited assets, these IRA or...

Immediate vs. Deferred Annuities

Immediate annuities Deferred annuities Payout begins shortly after the premium is paid. Payout begins at some specified future date, allowing time for accumulation. Purchase with a single premium. Purchase with either a single premium or periodic premiums. Contract...

Types of Investments

Investing for Retirement with Mutual Funds You can invest in all three major asset classes through mutual funds, which pool your money with that of other investors. Each fund's manager selects specific securities to buy based on a stated investment strategy. Mutual...

Common Factors Affecting Retirement Income

When it comes to planning for your retirement income, it's easy to overlook some of the common factors that can affect how much you'll have available to spend. If you don't consider how your retirement income can be impacted by investment risk, inflation risk,...

True or False: You Are a Retirement Savings Plan Expert

How much do you really know about your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan? If you're like many people, you have many ideas about how your plan works, which may or may not be entirely accurate. To gauge your knowledge, take this brief quiz: Are the following...

How Insurance Preserves Assets

Type of Insurance How Does It Work? Life insurance Provides the beneficiaries of your life insurance policy with funds upon your death so that your assets will not need to be used to pay final expenses and estate taxes. Disability income insurance Pays benefits to...

Diverification

When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there is one concept you will likely hear about over and over again — diversification. Why is diversification so important? The simple reason is that it helps ensure that your risk of loss is spread among a number...

Retirement Plans: The Employee Perspective

Qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans can provide a number of tax and nontax benefits to employees. The employee perspective on these plans should certainly consider the obvious tax deferral and retirement savings benefits. Additionally, however, employees...

What are catch-up contributions?

What are catch-up contributions? Answer: If you are 50 or older, or you will reach age 50 by the end of the year, you may be able to make contributions to your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan above the normal contribution limit. Catch-up contributions are...

Have You Checked Your Retirement Plan Lately?

It's generally a good idea to review your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan at least once each year and when major life changes occur. If you haven't given your plan a thorough review within the last 12 months, now may be a good time to do so. Have you...

Little Known IRA Facts You Can Use

Little Known IRA Facts You Can Use When it comes to IRAs, the tax rules get pretty complicated, to say the least. Here are five unusual IRA facts:   Military death benefits can be contributed to a Roth IRA: Help families of veterans with this one because it can...

ESTATE PLANNING

Claiming Life Insurance Benefits

Claiming Life Insurance Benefits What is it? Life insurance benefits are not automatic. If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy (usually your spouse's or other family member's policy), you must file a claim to receive any money. This can be as simple as...

Understanding Probate

When you die, you leave behind your estate. Your estate consists of your assets--all of your money, real estate, and worldly belongings. Your estate also includes your debts, expenses, and unpaid taxes. After you die, somebody must take charge of your estate and...

Planning a Funeral

A funeral is an event that allows the family and friends of someone who has died to both celebrate that person's life and mourn that person's death. Funerals are often planned by taking into account religious and social traditions. According to Western tradition,...

Medicaid Liens and Estate Recoveries

Federal law encourages states to seek reimbursement from Medicaid recipients for Medicaid payments made on their behalf. There are two types of cost-recovery actions against the assets of Medicaid recipients: (1) real or personal property liens, and (2) recovery from...

Caring for an Aging Parent Checklist

Caring for an Aging Parent Checklist General information Yes No N/A 1. Has relevant personal information been gathered? Name, phone number, and address of parent Parent's date of birth Parent's Social Security number Name, phone number, and address of attorney,...

Comparing Long-Term Care Insurance Policies

  Long-term care insurance (LTCI) policies come in many shapes and sizes. The number of options available can make it difficult to compare policies. Print this list of features and benefits, and refer to it as you compare LTCI policies. To find the right policy...

Filing a Final Income Tax Return

Who should file the return? Estate representative If a court has appointed a personal representative or other estate administrator, that individual is required to file returns for the decedent. If the decedent was married at the time of death, the representative and...

Conducting a Periodic Review of Your Estate Plan

Conducting a Periodic Review of Your Estate Plan What is conducting a periodic review of your estate plan? With your estate plan successfully implemented, one final but critical step remains: carrying out a periodic review and update. Imagine this: since you...

Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

In tax lingo, your principal residence is the place where you legally reside. It's typically the place where you spend most of your time, but several other factors are also relevant in determining your principal residence. Many of the tax benefits associated with...

Settling an Estate

  Definition of estate When people die, they usually leave behind money and other things of value (assets). In addition, they may have auto loans, mortgages, and other outstanding debts (liabilities). Together, the assets and liabilities left by a decedent are...

Investing for Major Financial Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut...

The Best Property to Give to Charity

The Best Property to Give to Charity Giving to charity is not only personally satisfying, the IRS (and possibly your state) also rewards you with generous tax breaks. Current income tax deduction if you itemize, subject to certain percentage limitations for any one...

Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan

Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan https://youtu.be/KrUI26AsW6c If you care about what happens to your money, home, and other property after you die, you need to do some estate planning. There are many tools you can use to achieve your estate planning goals,...

Can I be buried in a national cemetery even though I got out of the Army years ago?

Answer: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (http://www.va.gov), formerly known as the Veterans Administration, sets the rules and guidelines for military burials. In general, you can choose a national cemetery as your final resting place if you were honorably...

RETIREMENT

What is a mutual fund prospectus and how do I read it?

What is a mutual fund prospectus and how do I read it? Answer: A mutual fund prospectus is a pamphlet or brochure that provides information about a mutual fund. Mutual fund companies must give potential investors a prospectus, free of charge, before they invest. You...

Congratulations: You’ve Won the Lottery and You’re Suddenly Wealthy!

What is it? Winning a lottery is usually an unexpected and happy event. But when you win a big jackpot, you may feel unprepared to deal with the financial issues that arise almost immediately. You may have to choose advisors; decide when, where, and how to collect...

403(b) Plans

403(b) Plans A 403(b) plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt (501(c)(3)) organizations, and churches. The employer can purchase annuity contracts for eligible employees, or establish custodial accounts to be...

Risk Management and Your Retirement Savings Plan

By investing for retirement through your employer-sponsored plan, you are helping to manage a critically important financial risk: the chance that you will outlive your money. But choosing to participate is just one step in your financial risk management strategy....

Saving or Investing: Is There a Difference?

Saving or Investing: Is There a Difference? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6W_YgPHxms&feature=youtu.be Financially speaking, the terms "saving" and "investing" are often used interchangeably. But the concepts behind these terms actually have some important...

Investing for Major Financial Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut...

Medicaid Planning Goals and Strategies

Aging is inevitable, and a gradual (or not so gradual) inability to function independently is a great concern for many people. While the prospect of entering a nursing home is a daunting one, equally frightening is the expense of nursing home care. Although...

How Secure Is Social Security?

How Secure Is Social Security? If you're retired or close to retiring, then you've probably got nothing to worry about--your Social Security benefits will likely be paid to you in the amount you've planned on (at least that's what most of the politicians say). But...

How a Retirement Plan Works

How a Retirement Savings Plan Works Employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans, present an ideal opportunity to build a nest egg for retirement. You contribute to the plan via payroll deduction, which can make it easier for you...

Lifetime (Noncharitable) Gifting

What is lifetime (noncharitable) gifting? Gifting can be a powerful estate planning tool, allowing you to transfer your wealth to others during your lifetime. Lifetime gifts have many advantages over gifts you might leave in your will (these are called bequests,...

Social Security Survivor Benefits

When you think of Social Security, you probably think of retirement. However, Social Security can also provide much-needed income to your family members when you die, making their financial lives easier. Your family may be entitled to receive survivor benefits based...

What if I change my mind about when to begin Social Security benefits?

You have a limited opportunity to change your mind after you've applied for benefits. You can complete Form SSA-521, Request for Withdrawal of Application, and reapply at a later date. But if you're already receiving benefits, you can only withdraw your claim if it...

Reaching Retirement: Now What?

Reaching Retirement: Now What? You've worked hard your whole life anticipating the day you could finally retire. Well, that day has arrived! But with it comes the realization that you'll need to carefully manage your assets so that your retirement savings will last....

New Reports Highlight Continuing Challenges for Social Security and Medicare

New Reports Highlight Continuing Challenges for Social Security and Medicare Most Americans will receive Social Security and Medicare benefits at some point in their lives. For this reason, workers and retirees are concerned about potential program shortfalls that...

Staying on Track with Your Retirement Investments

Investing for your retirement isn't about getting rich quick. More often, it's about having a game plan that you can live with over a long time. You wouldn't expect to be able to play the piano without learning the basics and practicing. Investing for your retirement...

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