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Gary Henderson, CRPC

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The Different Stages of Financial Freedom

If you're living paycheck-to-paycheck or stuck in a job you don't love just to pay the bills, it can be easy to feel as though you're financially trapped. But financial freedom doesn't need to be elusive—with some focused and consistent effort, you may be able to achieve financial freedom sooner than you expected. Below, we'll discuss the different stages of the financial freedom journey.
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Some Things Investors Need to Know About Booms and Busts

Economies and markets are cyclical. They may include periods of wealth creation and times of bursting bubbles that bankrupt companies in a major downturn. "Boom and bust" cycles may last anywhere from a few months to a few years or longer. During boom times, the economy grows, there are more jobs, and the market provides investors with healthy returns. But during a bust, the economy contracts, jobs are lost, and the market falters. Eventually, these challenges may dissipate and another boom may
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Big Week for Market Watchers

Last week was epic for market-watchers. A Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike, a much-anticipated gross domestic product (GDP) report, and the busiest week of earnings season got most of the headlines. There was even a surprise out of Washington D.C., with a Schumer-Manchin agreement on a climate-healthcare-tax bill and some inflation data that added to the evidence that inflation has peaked. Stocks expressed approval of this news, securing its second straight solidly positive week.
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Tips to Avoid Common Estate Planning Mistakes

With a few simple actions, you can ensure your estate planning is effective. Whether your estate plan is simple or complex, there are many details, which are often overlooked, that can undermine your plan’s effectiveness. Are you aware of these common estate planning mistakes?
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What Causes Inflation and What to Do About It

Some of us may remember the “good old days,” when gasoline prices were as low as 25¢ per gallon. Others may recall when a can of soda cost 15¢. But prices tend to rise over time – sometimes steadily and sometimes abruptly. In the years ahead, inflation will most likely decrease the purchasing power of your money, which means that during retirement, your dollars will buy less than they do today.
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A Financial Planning Guide for Families with Disabilities

About 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability. Many of these disaAbout 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability. Many of these disabilities are serious enough to impact a person’s daily life. There may be financial benefits available to those whose disabilities leave them unable to hold down a job. However, these benefits may come with strict rules and regulations, such as limits on the assets a disabled person may own. Because of this, financial planning looks differen
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Top 5 Things Millennials Should Consider When Retirement Planning

Planning for retirement can seem premature when you have only been in the workforce for a decade or so. But as the oldest Millennials begin to hit middle age, retirement suddenly does not seem so far away. From record-busting market highs to unprecedented pandemics and global financial disasters, the path to retirement looks a bit different for those born after 1980. Here are five things Millennials should consider when planning for retirement.
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LPL Financial Research Midyear Outlook 2022: Navigating Turbulence

Markets rarely give us clear skies, and there are always threats to watch for on the horizon, but the right preparation, context, and support can help us navigate anything that may lie ahead. So far, this year hasn’t seen a full-blown crisis like 2008–2009 or 2020, but the ride has been very bumpy. We may not be flying into a storm, but there’s been plenty of turbulence the first part of 2022. How businesses, households, and central banks steer through the rough air will set the tone for markets
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Looking Forward

As the calendar has turned to July, investors would certainly like to forget the first six months of 2022. However, the Fourth of July Independence Day holiday does bring with it a reason for celebration. Not only is it the 246th birthday of the United States of America, but July has historically been a pretty good month for stocks. Over the past 10 years, the month of July has been particularly good, with the S&P 500 Index averaging a monthly gain of about 2%.
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5 Life Events That Impact Your Life Insurance Needs

A life insurance policy is part of financial planning. Life insurance is there to help ease the financial trauma that comes with the loss of a spouse, parent, or partner. As you encounter different events in your life, you may need to review your policy and make changes. Here are five life events that may impact your life insurance needs.
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3 Tips for Staying Calm While Navigating a Volatile Market

When market volatility takes investors on a wild ride, fear and panic are common responses to this stock market roller coaster. Acknowledging these emotions may be a good first step, but acting upon them could result in impulsive, irrational decisions. Many experts warn investors to never let emotions drive their investing decisions but that’s easier said than done.1 What can you do to stay calm while markets are volatile?
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A Bear Market is Officially Here

A bear market is officially here thanks largely to stubbornly high inflation. For many of us, it has probably felt like a bear market for a while now, but the S&P 500 Index didn’t close more than 20% below its January 3 record high until Monday. Tech stocks are down a lot more—the Nasdaq Composite is more than 32% below its November 2021 record high.
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Charitable Gifting

A gift to charity is simply a gratuitous transfer of property to a charitable organization. The key is that your gift must be some kind of property--your time or personal services do not count. There are several different types of property that can be donated to charity, and a gift is limited only by your imagination. Are you the type who wants to donate cash, stock, or your lunch box collection from a 1960s sitcom?
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Financial Aid Resources for Your Incoming Freshman

College is expensive for many people. The average tuition and fees at a college or university for the 2019 to 2020 academic year at a four-year institution was $9,4001. This may include the cost of tuition, books, and housing. For some students, the investment is worthwhile as it may open the door for many types of employment. For freshmen just entering the college world, there are a number of financial aid resources that may help to cover the cost of a college degree for those who qualify for t
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4 Economic Benefits of Homeownership

Even though housing prices throughout much of the U.S. are at or near all-time highs, there are still many distinct financial advantages to owning a home. 1 From tax benefits to capital gains exclusions and guaranteed rates of return, we explore four of the biggest economic benefits that can come from homeownership.
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Bull Market Hangs by a Thread

The bull market that began in March of 2020 came dangerously close to an end. From March 23, 2020 through January 3, 2022, the S&P 500 Index gained 114% (excluding dividends). From that January 3 closing high through the recent low on May 19, the S&P 500 fell nearly 19%, narrowly avoiding the level at which bull markets end and bear markets begin.
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Volatility Continues

2022 has been a challenging year for investors so far. The S&P 500 Index just had one of its worst Aprils in decades, and May is off to a rocky start. Bond investors have not fared much better as rising interest rates have pushed down bond prices. Bond losses have made the stock market volatility feel even worse than usual.
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4 Key Investments You Should Consider as a Small-Business Owner

As a small-business owner, you may be looking for the next big thing—an investment that might double your profits within the next year or allow you to maintain your income while working just a few hours a week. However, business success may depend on many incremental investments you make along the way.
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Military Benefits

As a current member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces, you may be entitled to a number of military benefits. The term benefits, as used here, includes military pay as well as other programs set up to improve the lives of military personnel. Because the scope of military benefits is enormous and ever-changing, this is intended only to be a broad overview of the subject. Servicemembers and veterans seeking more specific information should consult the appropriate government source.
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April Showers Bring May Flowers

As we move into spring and leave behind the last signs of a long winter, many worries from a chilly start to the year for markets, unfortunately, are still with us. The S&P 500 Index had its worst April in more than 40 years, leaving the index down over 13% for the year. Previously highflying stocks have come back to earth, with many of them cut in half or more. And bonds, which have historically provided support during times of stock market volatility, have done little to protect portfolios.
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Life Insurance: Back to the Basics

As you consider the wide range of life insurance coverage available, you may wonder what type really fits your needs now, and what will suit your needs in the future. A good, first step is to ask yourself why you are buying insurance, and how it will fill your personal and family financial independence requirements. Do you want insurance to cover a new home or mortgage? A college education? A business investment? Your retirement? Your final expenses?
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7 Retirement Considerations

When helping people get ready for retirement, financial professionals find the same issues come up over and over. Thinking ahead can spell the difference between a retirement with enough money and a stressful one with difficult decisions that you don’t want to make. Here are 7 retirement considerations that every investor should think about:
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Social Security Retirement Benefit Basics

Social Security benefits are a major source of retirement income for most people. Your Social Security retirement benefit is based on the number of years you've been working and the amount you've earned. When you begin taking Social Security benefits also greatly affects the size of your benefit.
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Invest in Your Financial Education During Financial Literacy Month

April brings more than possible rain showers. It also marks Financial Literacy Month in the U.S. Whether you’re interested in a quick refresher or seeking to learn something new, it may be worth the effort to brush up on some financial concepts that give you a broader knowledge base from which to make financial decisions. Here are several ways to invest in your financial education for this Financial Literacy Month.
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A Ways To Go

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria.” - Sir John Templeton According to the guidance of revered investor Sir John Templeton, it appears to us that this market may have a bit more left in the tank. The market returns we witnessed in March seem to bear this out, as stocks surged during the month despite the backdrop of war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures, and surging interest rates.
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What to Expect on Your 2021 Tax Return

The federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact individual income tax returns, from the suspension of federal student loan interest to expanded child tax credits. For many taxpayers, this may mean your 2021 return may look a bit different from last year's tax return. For some, this may mean a smaller refund or a higher tax rate. Here is some information about how certain factors may result in a lower federal income tax refund or affect your taxes due.
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Tips You Can Use for the Credit Card Blues

Credit card debt is a major problem in the United States. According to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, over 175 million Americans have at least one credit card. In addition, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that there are more than 519 million credit cards held by U.S. consumers. For those households with card balances, the average credit card debt is $6,569 with Americans owing a collective $804 billion in total.
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Bear Markets and Behavioral Finance: Sometimes We Act Like Cavemen

In the grand scheme of the cosmic calendar, human beings haven’t been around all that long. Although we have greatly evolved in the thousands of years we’ve been walking upright, it’s easy to slip back to Neanderthal thinking. Especially when we are frightened by things beyond our control and our neurons start firing in all sorts of directions. Let’s dig through 5 quick common bear market behaviors that turn us back to caveman thinking.
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Protect Financial Information from Prying Eyes on the Web

As more and more consumers search for financial information on the Internet, they may inadvertently leave themselves open to being “tracked” by certain companies and individuals. Visitors to financial websites have created a large mass of information that is, in some cases, hardly private. Many marketing companies routinely employ software programs designed to identify you and your “surfing” habits on financial websites. Some are basic and some can be very invasive.
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Positivity Amidst Uncertainty

Stocks have gotten off to a very rocky start in 2022, with the potential for Federal Reserve rate hikes coming and the geopolitical worries over Russia and Ukraine only adding to the uncertainty. We don’t want to minimize the impact of that major geopolitical event, but there is some positive news out there, even though it might not feel like it.
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What You Should Know About Contributing to an IRA at Every Age

A traditional IRA offers a great way to shield income from taxation while boosting your retirement accounts. Meanwhile, a Roth IRA can let you pay tomorrow's taxes today. But how can workers who are eligible to contribute to either type of account decide where to allocate their retirement funds? Learn more about contributing to an IRA at every age and stage of your career.
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Home-Health-Care Factors for You to Consider

Are you thinking about home health care as a solution to providing help with daily activities such as bathing, meal preparation, and housekeeping? Many older individuals benefit from receiving assistance in the comfort of their own homes, allowing them to maintain their independence longer. But, before you agree to at-home care, carefully consider all the factors involved before you hire a home health aide.
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The Origins and Significance of Black History Month

February marks Black History Month and is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of African Americans as well as the crucial role they played throughout U.S. history. What started as a small week-long celebration decades ago has become a month-long celebration where people show their appreciation and learn more about the African American culture and the contributions they have made to the country.
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What Can the Best/Worst Stocks of 2021 Tell Us?

Let’s be honest for a second: the DJIA, the S&P 500, NASDAQ, and the Russell 2000 all delivered one of the most surprising years in recent history. And while many are happy to see 2021 in the rear-view mirror, the 2021 performance for the major U.S. indices was nothing short of impressive, especially given the headwinds of COVID-19.
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Stocks' Road Ahead

The calendar had barely flipped to 2022 and investors were reminded that even attractive long-term stock returns come with a cost: volatility. The S&P 500 Index fell nearly 10% from January 3 through January 27 amid fears that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will have to get a lot more aggressive to fight inflation, before staging a 4% rally over the last two days of the month to end January down 5%.
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Suggestions for Staying Safe Online from the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is helping families, teens and senior citizens learn about the continued importance of protecting personal information in helping fight identity theft and tax fraud.
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Moving Forward After a Pullback

Stocks have gotten off to a tough start in 2022. Why has the market pulled back and what might we see going forward? We think the most important thing to remember is that periodic stock market volatility is entirely normal. Historically, the S&P 500 Index has averaged three pullbacks of 5% or more per year and one correction of more than 10% annually.
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Pay Down Debt or Save for Retirement?

You can use a variety of strategies to pay off debt, many of which can cut not only the amount of time it will take to pay off the debt but also the total interest paid. But like many people, you may be torn between paying off debt and the need to save for retirement. Both are important; both can help give you a more comfortable financial future. If you're not sure you can afford to tackle both at the same time, which should you choose?
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Focusing on Your Finances

While most people find the notion of creating a budget about as appealing as cleaning out closets, most would agree that the result—a well-crafted and useful budget—is worth the work Two financial “snapshots” you can take at any time to help view your financial landscape are a balance sheet (or net worth statement) and a cash flow statement. These tools demonstrate where you are today, and they can also help you make important financial comparisons in the future.
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New Beginnings in 2022

With the New Year comes new beginnings, new goals, new challenges, new friendships, and new opportunities. 2021 was an incredible year for the economy and investors, but to us, the future remains bright for 2022 and beyond.
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Tax Prep Checklist: Everything You Need to Be Ready for Tax Season

Regardless of whether you prepare your taxes yourself or use a professional's services, it's a good idea to gather the information and documentation you need well in advance of your actual tax filing date. Below, we've listed some key information you need when preparing this year's taxes.
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Red Light, Green Light: When to Buy a Car and When to Hit the Brakes

According to Edmunds, the average transaction price for a new vehicle rose by 8.6 percent from June 2020 to June 2021, while the price for a used vehicle has risen by 27 percent over the same period. However, this doesn't mean there aren't still deals to be had, especially if you time your purchase correctly. Read on to learn more about good times of the month—and the better months of the year—to buy your next vehicle.
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Focus on Your Wellness This Holiday Season

The holidays are prime time for eating delicious food, celebrating with loved ones, and creating long-lasting memories. However, all this cheer can be both physically and mentally draining. That’s why it is essential to focus on your wellness during the holidays. Use these tips to make healthy decisions throughout the season.
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What To Know About Potential Tax Changes in 2022

Though the final price tag of the Biden administration's infrastructure plan is not absolute, it may increase federal spending by about $3.5 trillion over the next decade.1 President Biden and his administration proposed changes to the tax laws to provide funding for The American Families Plan and The American Jobs Plan. On Sept. 13, 2021, the Congressional Ways and Means Committee that is responsible for new tax laws, released draft legislation.
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LPL Financial Research Outlook 2022: Passing the Baton

LPL Research Outlook 2022: Passing the Baton is designed to help you navigate the risks and opportunities over the rest of 2021 and beyond. While the economy continues to move forward, we’re still feeling some aftershocks of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. At the same time, 2021 also saw a resurgence of activities we missed in 2020, and the S&P 500 Index continued to advance as corporate America faced these challenges with resiliency.
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Things to Consider When Writing a Business Plan

You may know that your small business needs a written business plan—but how do you get started? What elements should your plan address, and do you need different plans for different audiences? Below we discuss a few of the key factors to consider when drafting your business plan.
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Holiday Resilience

We hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. While life has been challenging during the pandemic, we have a lot to be thankful for. At this time, we are especially grateful for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments that have helped us make so much progress tackling the pandemic.
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Christmas Shopping Lessons for Investors

Is that investment an innovation or an improvement on an existing product? As Christmas sales loom, we face an endless array of sparkly, shiny and occasionally innovative items. As an investor, you run into a similar phenomenon that requires you to ask, “Are investment offerings truly innovative, or simply improvements to existing technologies and services?”
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4 Year-End Tax Planning Tips for Small-Business Owners

he past two years presented many small-business owners with unprecedented challenges. This year’s tax planning preparations include necessary measures for small-business owners to satisfy existing, new, and modified tax laws that may help small-business owners manage 2021 tax liabilities.
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The History of Native American Heritage Month

November is the month to celebrate Native American heritage, including celebrating the culture, accomplishments, and contributions of its people. Celebrations happen across the U.S. during this month. Spectators enjoy native dances, music, and traditions, at festivals and events throughout the month. Learn how the month got its start and evolved into the celebration it is today.
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Many Reasons To Be Thankful

The past year and a half have tested all of us, but overall, the economy continues to strengthen, COVID-19 trends are greatly improving, and this still relatively young bull market is alive and well. As the leaves turn colors and begin to fall to the ground, there are many reasons to be thankful.
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10 Best Financial Benefits for Military Families

Members of the military have a lot of special financial challenges that most people don't encounter. However, they have access to many benefits, tax breaks and legal protections that can make a huge difference in their families' personal finances.
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What You Need to Know about Financial Fraud

Many of us grew up in a world where it was customary to be friendly, courteous, and trusting. Unfortunately, assumptions concerning these standards of conduct can sometimes get us into trouble. Con artists offering a variety of too-good-to-be-true investment “deals” are banking on the willingness of trusting individuals. Unfortunately, many people experience financial difficulties, thus making them more vulnerable to financial fraud.
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A Helpful Guide to the Affordable Care Act

If you're part of the one in three Americans who are uninsured or don't have access to an employer-sponsored healthcare plan, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be able to help. The ACA allows you to buy health insurance on a public marketplace, with premiums based on your income and family size, which may be helpful for freelancers, anyone between jobs, and those whose employers don't offer insurance coverage. Read on for more tips and tricks to navigating the ACA in 2021 and beyond.
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Consider the Value of Long-term Care Insurance

ndividuals who have worked hard and built up assets over the course of their careers may be particularly concerned that their savings could be affected by a long-term care event. As the costs associated with long-term care continue to rise, even those with substantial incomes and adequate retirement savings may be wondering how they would cover the costs of future care for themselves or their loved ones, should the need arise.
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Change May Bring Opportunities

One constant in life is change. During the past year and a half, we have experienced more change than any of us bargained for. Change is disruptive—but also brings opportunities. For investors right now, there is no shortage of changes to think about, but those changes may set the stage for the next leg higher for this powerful and still relatively young bull market.
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Data breaches are inevitable – here’s how to protect yourself anyway

It’s tempting to give up on data security altogether, with all the billions of pieces of personal data – Social Security numbers, credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and much more – breached and stolen in recent years. But that’s not realistic – nor is the idea of going offline entirely. In any case, huge data-collection corporations vacuum up data about almost every American without their knowledge.
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Put Yourself in Front of the Savings Game

Like dieting, budgeting your expenses can benefit from a long-term commitment. However, human nature leads many of us to become frustrated when we can’t immediately have the things we need or want. As a result, the best-laid budgeting plans can become ineffective. That’s why adopting a “pay yourself first” attitude can have a positive impact on your long-term budgeting, spending, and saving practices.
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Estate Planning for Everyone

Have you ever wondered how estate planning might fit into your overall, future plans? Even if you are just starting to build your estate and do not need complex estate planning, here’s a quick look at some steps you should consider taking in order to help prepare your family and to manage potential expenses in the event of your death.
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Everything You Need to Know about the FAFSA for 2021

One of the most important pieces of the college financing puzzle is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Without the FAFSA, a college student is unlikely to be able to apply for or receive certain types of federal student aid, including federally subsidized student loans. What should parents and students know about the FAFSA process for 2021? What is the FAFSA? The FAFSA is the first and arguably the most important step in the college financing process. It gives colleges and un
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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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