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Gary Henderson, CRPC

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Fall Into a Healthy Routine

Fall is in full swing, and for most families, so is a return to the school year routine. But for some kids, adjusting back to this schedule can be stressful—and can take a little longer than you’d like to find balance.
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Four Financial Planning Essentials to Ease Your Retirement Fears

When it comes to planning for retirement, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Putting together a financial strategy can be complicated at any time of life, with changing regulations, ups and downs in the market, and disagreements – even among the better-known financial professionals – about the best ways to save and spend money. But the closer you get to actually stopping that regular paycheck, the scarier things can get.
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Four Tips for Gaining Financial Independence

The golden rule of financial planning: if you can plan it, you can pursue it. Over the past July 4th, we celebrated our country’s history of declaring independence and guaranteeing basic human freedoms. But true freedom includes financial independence, as well. Self-sufficiency isn’t guaranteed, but every one of us has the opportunity to achieve it. Check out these four steps to help you work towards financial independence:
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Think Your New House is a Fantastic Investment?

Despite continued low mortgage rates and tales of bidding wars, multiple offers and all-cash closings above asking-price, would-be-home-purchasers should consider being cautious about putting too much money into real estate. While some might disagree, for a myriad of reasons, it’s not always a great investment. Owning your own home – or owning several homes – has long been the American dream. Your home may be your castle, and even your biggest asset, but is it a good investment?
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Inheritance Planning Can Help Avoid Headaches

Families inherit money and sometimes make the right moves investing and spending. Inheritances can also ignite disruption, divorce and a host of bad behavior far from the hopes and plans of the benefactor. What happens when you leave what’s probably one of your biggest investments: your individual retirement plan? Did you know that Individual Retirement Accounts, including Roth IRAs, are not protected by the federal government under ERISA, except in the case of bankruptcy?
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Taxpayer Appreciation Day—Recognizing Taxpayers' Contributions

Though U.S. taxpayers received an extra month to file and pay their federal income taxes in 2021, some are still smarting from having to write a check to the IRS. For many, it can be tough to make the connection between those hard-earned dollars going out the window and the roads, services, and even technological advances that are made possible through taxpayer dollars.
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Changes to Student Loans and Payments in 2021

The student loan landscape has changed dramatically since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the suspension of interest payments on federal student loans to tax incentives for employers who pay their employees' student loans, there are a number of new programs available to help make student loan repayment cheaper and simpler. Below, learn more about some changes to student loans and the repayment process in 2021.
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Five Divorce Settlement Pitfalls to Watch Out for, No Matter How Big the Estate

Attorneys say that if both you and your ex-spouse feel like you came out of your divorce thinking you gave up a lot, your settlement was probably fair. Maybe, but often your settlement’s results appear only after you live with them for a while. Here are five settlement pitfalls to watch for.
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How to Teach Your Children Financial Wellness

Teaching children about financial wellness should start at an early age. Learning how making money, saving, and spending is related and the first step in teaching your child how to understand the value of money. Children learn from parents, mentors, and even their friends. Ensure you provide them with basic tools for financial wellness. Here are a few ways to start:
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Do You Have FOMO When it Comes to Investing?

Every day we’re bombarded with reports of what’s hot and what’s not – fueling a fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) on some great investment opportunity. Heck, there is even a new exchange traded fund with FOMO in its name. But a diversified portfolio is a well-known way for you to manage your returns while mitigating risk.
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The Best Money-Saving Travel Tips for 2021

If 2020 made you fantasize about a trip as soon as travel restrictions were lifted—and you’re still waiting—you aren’t alone. Although 2021 was poised to be a comeback year, it is shaping up to be another summer of staycations or socially distanced road trips, with many Americans passing on air travel. While sacrifices are being made and large trips may not be possible for many, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan other kinds of vacations—and it just might save you money in the process.
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Helping Young Adults Understand Insurance

Young adults starting out in life, especially newlyweds, need insurance. But what kind? As a start, a good term life policy likely is a smart move. Other types of insurance may not be. And as they age, what other varieties of coverage make sense? A good deal of misunderstanding surrounds insurance protection planning.
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Annuities and Market Risk: What You Need to Know

Market risk is something all investors may worry about, but those close to retirement have limited time to recover from market loss. If you are within ten years of retirement, now is a critical time for your portfolio to continue to gain value and avoid loss.
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Your Retirement Portfolio: Five Things to Consider Before Market Turbulence

It is human nature to seek advice when things aren't going well or when an unforeseen event occurs. Often, people seek financial advice from a professional only when the stock market and their investments are experiencing turbulent times. Reactive decisions made during periods of stock market volatility may cause investors losses they can’t recover.
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2021 is the Year to be Money Savvy

If you started saving for retirement at an early age, chances are you’ll hit your retirement goal. However, if you’re like most Americans, you didn’t start right away and will need to plan for a possible retirement savings shortfall. How can you make up the difference? Don’t put off saving; begin now! Now is the time to maximize your saving, while you still have time to make up the difference. Review your saving and spending habits and assess what you can do to save more this year:
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Maintaining the Investment You Made in Your Home

For many Americans, the home is the single biggest purchase made during their lifetime.[1] As a result, it's important to do everything possible to keep it in good condition. Even moderate or short-term neglect can be dangerous, as small problems can quickly snowball into larger and more expensive ones.
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Market Volatility and the Importance of Staying the Course at Different Ages

When you invest in the stock market, you want to see growth, but unfortunately, in most cases, investments do not grow all the time. Inevitably, the market goes up and down, and to safeguard your potential for long-term growth, you need to understand the importance of staying the course through market volatility. However, you also need to adjust your approach to investing at different ages.
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5 Types of Retirement Plans for Small Business Owners

Small business owners are different from the average hourly employee in a lot of ways. One often-overlooked difference is how they plan for retirement. Although small business owners may offer a classic 401(k) for their workers along with other benefits such as insurance and other perks, such a plan may not be the right option for the owner of the company. Instead, you may want to consider a few of these other retirement planning tools.
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Financial Planning Tips for Small Business Owners

When you're a small business owner, you need to pay extra careful attention to both your business and personal finances. Your financial planning strategies should simultaneously encourage the success of your business while also working towards safeguarding your personal finances. To pursue that balance, check out these tips.
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Applying for First-Time Homebuyers Loans

Qualifying for a first-time homebuyer loan can save you thousands of dollars when you purchase what may be your largest investment to-date.[1] But even if you've owned before, you could qualify as a first-time homebuyer if you meet a few different criteria and can provide the required documentation. Below, learn what constitutes a first-time homebuyer and what types of assistance; including grants, down payment assistance, and more favorable loan terms; may be available to quali
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IRA Mistakes to Avoid

If you already contribute to a 401(k) or another retirement account through work, you may not have spent much time thinking about opening an individual retirement account (IRA). However, an IRA might provide you with a way to boost your savings even further.Both traditional and Roth IRAs can present a prime opportunity to set aside tax-advantaged—or even post-tax—funds for your future. IRAs are not complicated, but they are subject to some common misconceptions.[1]Fortunately, you ca
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Retirement Planning: To Roth or Not to Roth?

When saving for retirement, it often makes sense to contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans to take advantage of any available employer match opportunities. However, not everyone has access to an employer-sponsored plan. Even if you do, there are reasons you may want to consider using Traditional and/or Roth IRAs to supplement your retirement savings. There are important differences between the two types of accounts.[i] Understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of each type of
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The 3 Components of Social Security

Many have heard Social Security retirement benefits referred to as part of the "three-legged stool" of retirement: Social Security, a pension or defined benefit plan, and personal savings.1 The idea is that with these three sources of income, a retiree can ensure several steady streams of income without relying too heavily on just one "leg."But the Social Security program itself also has three important components: retirement, disability benefits, and survivors' benefits.
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IRS Provides Needed Flexibility for Health FSAs

On February 18, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service announced greater flexibility to employee benefit plans offering health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) or dependent care assistance programs. Under the COVID-related Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, these plans now have additional discretion in 2021 and 2022 to adjust their programs to help employees.Under such health flexible spending arrangements or dependent care assistance programs, an employer allows employees
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Mortgage Life Insurance – Using Term Life Insurance to Pay Off a Mortgage

Even if your home isn't your family's largest asset, it's likely to be your largest single lifetime purchase.1 As of June 2020, the median home value in the U.S. was around $278,000—more than a quarter of a million dollars.2 As a result, it is important for homeowners to protect themselves (and their loved ones) financially by doing what they can to help ensure that their mortgage will still be paid—no matter what might happen in the future. A mortgage protection insuranc
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Re-thinking Your Bucket List

When approaching the latter part of life, it is easy to get caught up in achieving every goal on your bucket list. Individual lists vary widely, but often are filled with wild adventures like skydiving and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Bucket list items are the things one plans to do their entire life once they have the time and money to do it.Unfortunately, accomplishing all the items on a bucket list often does not go as planned. Whether it is an illness that gets in the way, a lack
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Why Women Need to Save More Than Men

Men and women may not be on equal footing when it comes to investing for the future. On average, women work fewer years and earn less than men, but they also tend to live longer.1 Therefore, women must focus on the concerns that are unique to them when planning for retirement.Women Don't Invest Differently ...Unfortunately, some negative stereotypes still exist about a woman's ability to manage money, which may cause some women to feel they shouldn't make their own investment choices
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Women, Wealth, and Legacy Planning

Women play a central role in establishing and preserving family wealth -- whether nurturing the values of children, fulfilling charitable goals, or making investment decisions that affect the financial security of themselves or their families. Consider these statistics:1· Women now control more than half of personal wealth in the United States.· In more than 40% of households, women are the primary breadwinners, up four-fold since 1960.· 52% of management and professional po
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Understanding the Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax credit that can provide great benefit to families. According to the IRS, in 2019 alone, approximately 25 million workers and families received over $60 billion in EITC payments, with the average payment coming in at $2,476.The EITC has been around for 46 years and while it has been altered throughout the years, there are still a lot of people that don’t know what it is and whether or not they might qualify.Quick History of the EITCThe EI
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Optimizing Required Minimum Distributions

Seventy-two is an important age milestone for those in or near retirement, as it marks the time when required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin to be withdrawn annually from IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (previously, the threshold was 70 ½). The milestone carries with it tax consequences that are not fixed. Rather, there are a few rules to consider that can help you optimize the impact on your bottom-line. IRAsYou must begin withdrawing from a traditional IRA (Individ
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Investing for the Future

For years, you’ve diligently invested in your retirement portfolio, accumulating wealth that you hope will sustain you throughout your Golden Years. To help see that your assets are sufficient to help you support your lifestyle standards, there are important steps that you can take. We offer an overview below:Perform regular assessmentsWhile you may have performed calculations about your anticipated retirement needs years ago, it’s helpful to re-crunch those numbers regularly, to gua
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Assessing Your Retirement Resources

How resourceful can you be during your retirement? Determining where your retirement money will come from is an integral part of planning for retirement. Most people draw on three main sources of income: Social Security, employer-sponsored plans, and personal retirement savings. Each offers important resources that can help you fund the lifestyle you seek in retirement.Social SecuritySocial Security offers a retirement benefit to workers and their spouses. You can start receiving benefits as ear
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When to Begin Collecting Social Security

Deciding when to retire and begin collecting Social Security is an important life decision. For some, savings losses may dictate that you delay your retirement plans and continue working, which means postponing when you begin collecting Social Security. Current law allows workers to begin collecting Social Security between 62 and 70 years of age. The longer you delay retirement, the higher your monthly Social Security payout will be. That payout is based on your earnings history and the age
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Thinking About Social Security Benefits at 62?

Social Security is an asset that is taken for granted by many folks. If you are tempted to take Social Security early, when first eligible at age 62, think again: your check will be lower if you don’t wait until what’s called full retirement age. Further, married couples benefit additionally from Social Security planning strategies that can provide additional income.The Social Security Administration is not allowed to advise on strategies to maximize your benefits, so don’t exp
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Tax Identity Theft Awareness: Protecting Yourself from Tax Identity Theft

Tax identity theft is when someone steals your Social Security Number, files a tax return with your number, and directs a refund to their own bank account. In other cases, this type of identity theft may involve a scam artist calling on the phone, pretending to be a rep from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and demanding payment over the phone. To protect yourself, keep these tips in mind.1. Remember the IRS Doesn't Make Surprise Phone CallsThe IRS does call taxpayers, but these calls are
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IRS Makes Annual Inflation Adjustments for 2021

The Internal Revenue Service announced annual inflation adjustments for the 2021 tax year for more than 60 tax provisions, including standard deductions and the tax rate schedules.More details can be found at “Revenue Procedure 2020-45” on the IRS website, but that document is dense and spans almost 30 pages. Here are the changes taken directly from IRS press release from October 26th instead.Standard DeductionThe standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 202
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2020/2021 Tax Season Guide

https://admin.emeraldconnect.com/files/89450/LPL%202020-2021%20Tax%20Guide%20-%20Investor.pdf
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Contributing to a Charity When You Have More Time Than Money to Give

If giving to charity is important to you but you have more time than money, you may wonder whether your donation of manpower will be as valuable as cash. For many charities, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Below are some tips and tricks that can help you optimize your charitable giving through volunteer work.Take Stock of Your In-Demand SkillsAlthough many charities welcome volunteers who don't have a particular subset of skills—like food pantries who need volunteers to box or sort d
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Creating a Business Plan for Small Businesses

Your business plan is an important part of creating a business and a critical tool for drawing in lenders and investors. If you're thinking about launching a small business or if you want to take your small business in a new direction, a business plan is essential.
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Getting a Jump on January Tax Season

From pandemic-related stimulus payments to job losses and furloughs, for many taxpayers, next spring's tax season may be more complex than usual. With the end of 2020 rapidly approaching, you should take some time to review your tax situation and make any necessary changes that can help you avoid surprises on April 15, 2021.
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Charitable Giving: How it Affects You Financially as Well as Personally

The holiday season is just around the corner and many charitable organizations are in desperate need of donations to help provide the vital services needed in the community. You are most often inundated with a number of charitable requests towards the end of the year, which could be ideal time to take advantage of charitable giving from a financial standpoint.Charitable Giving and TaxesFor many people, charitable giving provides them with either a tax break or a deduction depending on the type o
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Benefits to HSA and FSA Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are designed to help you save money on medical costs by giving you access to a special savings account with tax benefits. Although these plans are very similar, they have a few differences. For instance, employees and self-employed people can both open HSA plans, while only employees can use FSA plans.Wondering if either of these options is right for you? Take a look at some of the main benefits.Save With Pre-Tax ContributionsBot
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Prepare for Long-Term Care Before the Need

Long-term care (LTC) keeps you functioning in the face of devastating illnesses, disabilities and prolonged disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. LTC kicks in when you lose the ability to care for yourself and can no longer do things such as bathe, dress or eat without help. These are three of the six most commonly listed activities of daily living, or ADLs. The care obviously comes with lots of emotions – and rising costs you can start addressing now.
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End of Year Planning: Set Goals and Reduce Taxes

By the last third of the calendar year, you're likely to have a pretty good idea of what your annual income will be and whether any major expenses or big life changes await you.
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2 Post-Election Charts You Need to See

The election is over, but the questions are mounting. We don’t know who will be the next president as of Wednesday morning, but we do know that stocks tend to do well the final two months of an election year.
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