2 Simple Steps to Rehearsing for Retirement

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Try living as a “retiree” for a month or two before you commit to leaving your career. Imagine if you could preview your retirement in advance. In a sense, you can. Financially and mentally, you can “rehearse” for the third act of your life while still enjoying the second. Pretend you are … [Read more...]

10 Common Deductions Taxpayers Overlook

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Every year, taxpayers leave money on the table. They don’t mean to, but as a result of oversight, they miss some great chances for federal income tax deductions. While the IRS has occasionally fixed taxpayer mistakes in the past for taxpayer benefit, you can’t count on such benevolence. As a … [Read more...]

Social Security Survivor Benefits

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How do you claim them? How much can you receive? About 5 million widowed Americans get Social Security survivor benefits. If your spouse has passed, you may be eligible to collect them. This means that you could receive as much as 100% of your late spouse’s Social Security income in addition to … [Read more...]

2015 IRA Deadlines Are Approaching

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Here is what you need to know. Financially, many of us associate April with taxes – but we should also associate April with important IRA deadlines. *April 1 is the absolute deadline to take your first Required Mandatory Distribution (RMD) from your traditional IRA(s). *April 15 is the deadline … [Read more...]

4 Money Blunders That Could Leave You Poorer

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A “not-to-do” list for the new year & years to follow. How are your money habits? Are you getting ahead financially, or does it feel like you are running in place? It may come down to behavior. Some financial behaviors promote wealth creation, while others lead to frustration. Certainly … [Read more...]

What’s Your Financial Health Score?

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Can a 5-question test predict how wealthy you will become? In the future, will you become wealthier or poorer? Who knows, right? It seems like you would need a crystal ball to really answer that question given life’s up and downs. What if the answer is right in front of you? What if you can … [Read more...]

What’s Fueling the Drop in Oil Prices?

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On the New York Mercantile Exchange, a barrel of light sweet crude is currently worth well under $60. Prices have dropped more than 25% in a month and almost 45% year-over-year. What is behind this freefall? How long will prices keep dropping, and who does this development hurt and benefit? Oil … [Read more...]

7 Smart End-Of-Year Money Moves

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What has changed for you in 2014? Did you start a new job or leave a job behind? Did you retire? Did you start a family? If notable changes occurred in your personal or professional life, then you will want to review your finances before this year ends and 2015 begins. Even if your 2014 has been … [Read more...]

The Latest on Social Security

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Social Security benefits are increasing 1.7% in 2015. This marks the fourth straight yearly cost-of-living adjustment, following a 1.5% COLA for 2014. Next year, the average monthly Social Security payment for a single retiree increases by $22 to $1,328. The average retired couple will get $2,176 … [Read more...]

Social Security: Should You Take It At 62 or Later?

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Now or later? When it comes to the question of Social Security income, the choice looms large. Should you apply now to get earlier payments? Or wait for a few years to get larger checks? Consider what you know (and don’t know). You know how much retirement money you have; you may have a clear … [Read more...]