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14 Ways to Support Small Business

The way Americans shop and travel has dramatically changed over the past few years due to COVID-19. The idea of supporting ‘mom and pop shops’ has re-ignited as people realize they want a robust local economy that supports their friends' and neighbors' livelihoods.
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Thanks and Giving: How You Make a Difference on Giving Tuesday  

Giving Tuesday is a day to extend the goodwill that the holiday season may bring to help others. With so many in need, the holiday season is a reminder to help those less fortunate. Whether you want to donate your time or contribute funds to your favorite cause, there are many ways to celebrate the day. Here are some ways to mark the occasion.
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Your Long Term Care Action Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

Those turning 65 this year have a 7 in 10 chance of needing long-term care (LTC) at some point. With the cost of a private room in a nursing home now topping $100,000 per year, the thought of paying this — or for a loved one — can be staggering.
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End of Year Financial Planning

For some, it’s easy to put personal finances on the back burner during the last few months of the year. However, before the year comes to an end, it’s essential to review your finances.
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Protecting Your Financial Information Online

More consumers are conducting financial transactions online and may become vulnerable to tracking, hacking, identity theft, phishing scams, and other cyberspace risks. While nothing can guarantee complete safety on the Internet, understanding how to protect your privacy can help mitigate your exposure to risk.
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6 Important Components of Estate Planning

Basic estate planning is something that everyone should do, regardless of your age, marital status, the value of your assets, and if you're a parent or not. According to a 2021 poll by Gallup, less than half of U.S. adults (46%) have a will that dictates what happens to their assets when they die. This statistic illustrates that more Americans should consider estate planning to help ensure their assets transfer quickly to their heirs.
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How Financial Planning Can Help Prepare for LTC Costs

With the cost of long-term care (LTC) increasing year over year, considering how the costs of long-term LTC will impact your financial plan is essential. According to insurance company Genworth, the price of LTC services increased substantially in 2021 for specific settings due to the supply of professional labor and the growing aging society.
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8 Things Financial Planning Can Help You Address

Financial planning is unique for each person; no two financial plans look the same because everyones life and personal goals are different. Regardless of what your goals are, financial planning can help you work towards achieving them. One of the most significant benefits of financial planning is that it gives you the confidence to stay on track towards your goals or make changes to pursue them. Financial planning examines your current financial situation by assessing your budget,
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A Fall Financial Checklist

For many, autumn is the best time of year. The return of cool breezes, comforting foods, and pumpkins can be invigorating. It’s also a bookmark of sorts, especially for your finances—a perfect time to take stock of your spending after the summer’s over to see what lies ahead. These tips can help you make simple, sensible choices and take action to make the most of your money, from your food choices to your financial options to protecting your most valuable assets.
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Life Insurance: How Much Is Enough?

You may already be aware of the importance of having enough life insurance coverage to handle financial matters that could affect your family in the event of your death. However, determining the appropriate amount of coverage for your family can be complicated.
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Figuring Out a 401(k) Strategy That Works for You

Everyone wants a comfortable retirement, but the road you take there will depend on your specific situation. When you invest, you assume a certain level of risk
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Tax-Advantaged 529 Accounts

What families need to consider According to the College Board, the most recently published figures of the average annual cost of tuition and fees at a public university for the 2021-2022 school year was $10,740 for in-state students and $27,560 for out-of-state students. The average cost of a private university was much higher at $38,070.
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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.
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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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Staying on Track with Your Retirement Investments

Investing for your retirement isnt about getting rich quick. More often, its about having a game plan that you can live with over a long time. You wouldnt expect to be able to play the piano without learning the basics and practicing. Investing for your retirement over the long term also takes a little knowledge and discipline.
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4 Tips and Resources to Help Seniors During Periods of High Inflation and Market

In 2022, U.S. inflation hit a 40-year high, with prices for food, housing, gasoline, and other key staples increasing by nearly 10% over the previous year.1 During these uncertain times, stocks have continued a roller-coaster ride that has given heartburn to financial professionals and investors alike. For retirees and seniors on a fixed income, the true costs of inflation and market volatility can be much higher potentially jeopardizing a comfortable retirement.
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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 disabilities are serious enough to impact a persons 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 different for families with disabilities. Here are some options to consider.
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In the Heat of Summer, Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions

Now is a good time to check-in and see how you're really doing ; Amid the draining heat of mid-summer, do you remember your New Years resolutions regarding your personal financial planning? How are you coming with your to-do list? Time passes. Our children grow up and we get older. Sand keeps passing through the hourglass of our earthly sojourn. The year is over half gone. In about a couple of months children will start back to school and traffic will worsen.
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Midyear Outlook 2022

LPL Financial Research Midyear Outlook 2022: Navigating TurbulenceMarkets 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, hou
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Small-business Owners and the Value of Insurance in Your Financial Plan

A solid financial plan for small businesses is vital, and part of that financial plan should be insurance. Insurance is essential to preserve small businesses, cover their assets, and safeguard their employees. Here are some types of insurance coverage a small business should have and why this is critical to your financial plan. General Liability An important part of small business insurance coverage is general liability.
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An Introduction to Estate Planning for the Sandwich Generation

For members of the Sandwich Generation those currently in their 40s and 50s who are caring for children and their parents who are over 65-years old estate planning may seem like a low priority. After all, when you're juggling multiple caregiving responsibilities daily, sitting down to draft a will is easy to put off. But estate planning can be crucial to protecting your assets and providing for your children or other loved ones after you are gone.
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Tips to Shape Up Your Fiscal Fitness this Summer

A regular program of disciplined financial practices can help you in the long-run ; Many people realize that the best way to stay in shape is to develop an appropriate fitness regimen and then stick with it. If you start a fitness program and drop out, you never give yourself a chance to become physically fit. In the long run, regular workouts pay off. It is the same with fiscal conditioning. To develop fiscal fitness and the financial independence that goes along with it, be sure to ad
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ESG Investing: The New Frontier for Environmentally Conscious Investors

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing is on the rise throughout the world. A 2018 study from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government found that ESG investing now accounts for nearly $30 trillion, which is more than one-fourth of all assets under professional management worldwide.1,2 Here are some definitions and considerations to make when diving into the ins and outs of ESG investments. What's an ESG Rating?
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Summer Time Reminds Us to Be Flexible

As summer heats up, it pays to take a good look at how flexible you are. When you plan for the future, you need to be adaptable. No one knows what tomorrow holds. This is certainly true in the world of work. In a few short months, we will celebrate Labor Day. President Grover Cleveland signed it into law as a federal holiday in 1894 to placate unions, following a bloody and tumultuous strike
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Sun, Fun, and Summer Savings: 5 Thrifty Tips for Summer Traveling

Summer is here, and it could be time to hit the road on a new adventure. If you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to give up your summer vacation dreams. Here are a few tips you may be able to use to create the perfect vacation on a limited budget. 1. Travel During the Offseason Some destinations experience unpredictable weather during the summer. Referred to as the "low season," this is most common in tropical destinations. Determine what you want to do on your vacatio
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5 Ways a Financial Professional Could Be a Small-Business Owner's Best Friend

As a business owner, you may assume you do not need professional financial advice until you hit certain milestones such as $1 million in sales, having ten employees, or some other tangible measure. However, financial professionals may benefit small-business owners no matter what the stage of their business. The earlier you seek financial advice, the more this advice might help your business as it grows. Here are five ways a financial professional could be your ally as a small-business owner.
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Use Your Annuity to Pay for Long-Term Care Insurance

The cost of long-term care can quickly deplete your savings and affect the quality of life for you and your family. Long-term care insurance allows you to share that cost with an insurance company. But premiums for long-term care insurance can be expensive, and cash or income to cover those premiums may not be readily available. One option is to exchange your annuity contract for a long-term care insurance policy. Section 1035 exchange Generally, withdrawals from a nonqualified deferred annuity
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529 College Savings Plans- A Cheat Sheet for Common Questions

Whether your child was just born or is heading toward high school graduation, a 529 savings plan may help you put aside funds to pay for college expenses without paying taxes (federal and some states) on any dividends and gains.1 However, 529 plans have some specific rules, regulations, and restrictions that parents must know before college begins. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about 529 college savings plans. What Are Qualified Expenses? Generally, 529 funds
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Defined Benefits Plan- An Attractive Option for Small Businesses

Defined benefit pension plans may still be an attractive retirement benefit option for small employers. This is especially true for small business owners who have been too busy growing their businesses to plan for their retirement. Because of their late start, they must make up for lost time. A defined benefit plan may be just the ticket.  Background and Basics Historically, the defined benefit plan was the standard type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. In recent years, however, defi
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Your Estate and Life Insurance

It can be fairly easy to underestimate your net worth. After all, predicting the future value of your home and savings is merely hypothetical. On the other hand, you can rely on the fixed amount of the death benefit provided by your life insurance policy. However, adding this often significant sum to your asset pool could expose your estate to the Federal estate tax.  Many people assume that, because death benefit proceeds from a life insurance policy are generally not considered taxable in
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Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

If you are self-employed or own a small business and you haven't established a retirement savings plan, what are you waiting for? A retirement plan can help you and your employees save for the future. Tax advantages A retirement plan can have significant tax advantages: Your contributions are deductible when madeYour contributions aren't taxed to an employee until distributed from the planMoney in the retirement program grows tax-deferred (or, in the case of Roth accounts, potentially
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Six Uses for Life Insurance You May Not Know About

When people think of life insurance, what usually comes to mind is settling the deceased's final expenses and providing financial support for their beneficiaries. Although these are the most common uses of life insurance, cash value, or whole life insurance, they offer financial resources to other situations. Here are six cases where using life insurance may be appropriate:Retirement funding- If you own whole life insurance, you can borrow against the policy's cash value (without tax con
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3 Ways to Invest in Our Planet on Earth Day

A green future is a prosperous one, and it is essential for everyone to do their part to ensure the future stays bright. Earth day may be the ideal time to find ways to invest in the planet so that the current generation and future generations may reap the benefits of a clean and productive environment. If you are looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day this year, why not consider investing in our planet with some of the environmentally-conscious ways listed below? Focus on ESG and SRI Investing
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If Social Security Falls Short, Have a Plan

Are you worried about the current state of the Social Security system and how its future may affect your retirement income? It's important to take a long, hard look at your current savings strategy to ensure you'll be able to compensate for this, or any other, retirement income shortfall. Here are some important savings strategies that can help you work towards your retirement income goals. Participate in your Employer's Retirement PlanRegular contributions to an employer-
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10 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

As we approach tax day 2022, you may be expecting to receive a tax refund. While you may have a temptation to spend your tax return, other options may be more beneficial to your financial situation. Your tax refund is for overpayment of your taxes and reflects your hard work. With that in mind, here are ways to use your tax refund to give your financial situation a boost and make those refund dollars work for you:1. Minimize your debt- If you carry a balance on your credit card over time, use yo
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5 Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs

What does an entrepreneur need to create a dynamic company? The right mindset is a big part of it.As an entrepreneur, you devote half your time or more to the daily hustle, making things happen and accomplishing goals. The other half is looking ahead, knowing where you want to be and when. For some, overcoming the mental anxiety of uncertainty is the first big step.The nights of self–reflection during the early startup phase always give rise to a lot of our own demons and make us realize h
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How to Spring Clean your Finances with a Financial Review

Spring cleaning presents a great opportunity to clear out any items you no longer need—and the same goes for your finances. Checking in with your finances during tax season may be particularly beneficial, as it allows you to complete last year's taxes while making any changes you need to potentially improve next year's tax situation. Below, we discuss what's included in a financial review and how such a review can help you spring clean your finances. What is a Financial Review?
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Making the Most of your Relationship with a Financial Professional

Heading to your first meeting with a new financial professional may be a lot like going on a blind date. Can you have anything in common? Can you click? Can you trust this other person with what's most important to you? A strong relationship with your financial professional may be key in managing your finances, both now and in the future. Below, we discuss a few ways you may be able to make the most of your relationship with your financial professional. Think About Your Goals Before creatin
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Protect Your Private 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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The Traits of a Good Investor & How Women Can Make the Most of Them

Many women manage their own money. This includes women who have always been doing so and women who are relatively new to the world of investing, for whatever reason.Regardless of your level of investing experience, there are certain investor traits that can prove advantageous for anyone. Traits such as patience, willingness to confront and deal with mistakes, and recognizing when help is needed can benefit portfolio returns, particularly for a long-term investor. Even risk aversion, sometimes a
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4 Ways to Boost Your Credit IQ

March is National Credit Education Month in the U.S., which makes it the perfect opportunity to brush up on your credit basics. Whether you're a credit novice or well-versed in the art of the FICO score, below are four ways to potentially boost your credit IQ. Dissect Your Credit Score Do you know what goes into your credit score? Although the exact weight given to each factor is proprietary, the credit reporting bureaus look at the following: Late payments and accounts in collection
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How to Manage Your 401k When You Switch Jobs

In the past, boomers and generation Xers often held on to jobs for 10 or more years. Some professionals stayed with the same company for most of their working lives. The Great Recession changed this for many. Now, people have become more comfortable moving from job to job. Millennials are especially adept at this. They change jobs three times more often than other generations.Changing jobs introduces a new dilemma for people, regardless of why or how often they do so: what to do with the 401(k)
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Five Helpful Tools for Tax Prep

Tax preparation tools and products continue to evolve even more quickly than the federal tax code itself. Which tax prep tools are worth the hype, and which may be passed over? Below we discuss five high-tech tools to help make tax time as simple and streamlined as possible.
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Building a Strong Financial Foundation

Today, many people are concerned about saving for retirement or paying for a large ticket item, such as a child’s college education. If you belong to this group, now may be the time to organize your finances. It is never too early to begin, and the sooner you start, the better. Consider the following steps to building a strong financial foundation:  Get organized. Smart money management begins with organizing your financial paperwork. By grouping documents according to categories (e.g
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Retirement Plan Limit Updates for 2022

Many IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. Although the amount you can contribute to IRAs remains the same in 2022, other key numbers will increase, including how much you can contribute to a work-based retirement plan and the phase-out thresholds for IRA deductibility and Roth contributions.How Much Can You Save in an IRA?The maximum amount you can contribute to a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2022 remains $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less). The max
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Tax Identity Theft

When you hear the term identity theft, the first thought that comes to mind may involve a data breach or opening a credit card in someone else's name. But another common type of identity theft involves the use of someone's Social Security number to unlawfully intercept their income tax refund. Unfortunately, this fraud often isn't discovered until the victim tries to file their taxes. Instead of getting a quick refund, they may instead be facing a lengthy battle with the IRS. Below w
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Life Insurance 101

Since an unexpected death can happen at any time, life insurance is essential. While no amount of money can ease the grief that comes with losing someone, life insurance can reduce the financial burden that may arise. Here are the basics of life insurance: How Life Insurance WorksLife insurance is a financial product intended to provide financial support upon death. You can purchase life insurance from a company and pay premiums monthly, bi-annual, or annual. As long as you keep up with you
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing Your Finances

Have you ever found yourself scrambling for spare cash to send with your child for school lunch? Have you paid a late fee because you simply forgot when a bill was due? Have you woken up in a cold sweat trying to remember if you paid the water bill last month? Trying to put your finances in order can be a challenge when you're not organized.Organizing your financial life may allow you to reduce the amount of time and energy needed to pay bills, plan savings, and balance your budget each mont
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Tax Preparation Checklist

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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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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Your Countdown to Financial Health

For many people, a new year provides a new start and nothing says a new start like a fresh new set of financial goals. But setting these goals is easier said than done. What steps should you take to get the most bang for your buck over the next year? Below we discuss three New Years' resolutions that may help you get your new year off to a great start.
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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 1/2).
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Retirement Mistakes to Fix Before the Holidays

You probably spend more time planning your holiday gathering than preparing for your golden years. As a result, you make basic mistakes in trying to fund your retirement. Here are a few of the top mistakes people make to screw up this potentially crucial saving.
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8 Tips to Stay on Track with Your Holiday Budget

It's hard to believe we are already approaching the end of another year, and the holiday season will soon be here. Since holiday spending doesn't include just gifting, it's essential to set your budget now. You may likely find yourself spending extra on food, decorations, holiday travel, and more.
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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.
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The Most Common Tax Tips before Year End

Tax planning can be advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end. Opportunities exist for you to mitigate tax liability, which may leave more income for you and/or your family.
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Can You Spot the Scam? Common Financial Fraud Warning Signs

Many people are familiar with the scammers who promise to pay millions of dollars in exchange for briefly holding funds in your bank account or those who offer to enhance certain body parts risk-free. Today's scammers are clever at making their offers seem legitimate. How can you spot scams before they happen? We discuss the five biggest red flags of a potential scam.
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Your 2021 Year-End Planning Checklist

It may be easy to forget we're nearing the end of the year. Even during the busy end of year rush, it's a good time to reevaluate your 2021 finances and turn an eye toward 2022. What can you do now to potentially improve and streamline your 2022 budget? Below, we discuss three year-end planning steps that may make your 2022 finances run more smoothly.
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Paving Your Road to Retirement

Whatever your age, it's never too soon to look ahead and begin giving thought to your retirement. With proper planning, you can make the transition to retirement a smooth, comfortable and confident ride. Today, more than ever, planning for retirement is a necessity. Social Security and company retirement plans are often insufficient to provide the necessary income for a comfortable retirement. You must plan ahead by setting goals and deciding how to pursue them. Retirement planning means no
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Protecting Your Financial Information Online

More consumers are conducting financial transactions online and may become vulnerable to tracking, hacking, identity theft, phishing scams, and other cyberspace risks. While nothing can guarantee complete safety on the Internet, understanding how to protect your privacy can help mitigate your exposure to risk.
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What You Need to Know About Medicare Advantage Plans

If your 65th birthday is coming up—or if you're receiving Social Security Disability payments and are about to qualify for Medicare before age 65—you may be wondering exactly what comes next.1 Below, we discuss some highlights of Medicare Advantage Plans and what you should know before signing up.
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Financial Planning at Every Age

In 2013, a Gallup poll found that only about one in every three U.S. households maintained a budget. A 2021 survey of 1,000 Americans found that 80% now say they have a budget. Americans are budgeting more due to the pandemic. Knowing where your money is going and making sure you're adequately funding your future could be helpful to maintain your lifestyle for the decades that you may live. Whether you're a Baby Boomer, Gen X-er, Millennial, or a member of Gen Z, there ar
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A Fall Financial Checklist

For many, autumn is the best time of year. The return of cool breezes, comforting foods, and pumpkins can be invigorating. It's also a bookmark of sorts, especially for your finances - a perfect time to take stock of your spending after the summer's over to see what lies ahead. These tips can help you make simple, sensible choices and take action to make the most of your money, from your food choices to your financial options to protecting your most valuable assets.
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Life Insurance: Changing Times, Changing Needs

When Judy purchased her life insurance policy 10 years ago, she thought her insurance planning was complete. She assumed that if she paid her premiums on time, she could sit back and not think about life insurance anymore. Judy’s life insurance may help to protect her loved ones from future uncertainties, but her policy should not be left to run on autopilot. Life insurance is just like any other piece of your financial puzzle. As your circumstances and needs change, periodic monitoring is
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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, what with changing regulations, ups and downs in the market, and disagreements even among the better-known investment advisers 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. More than half of pre-retirees report feeling anxious about
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Labor Day 2021: The Pandemic's Impact

2020 was one of the most disruptive years ever for the U.S. job market, almost as significant as the unemployment during the Great Depression in 1933 and surpassing joblessness during the Great Recession from 2006 to 2008. Many businesses shut down for good, while others fought to survive.Some industries, particularly travel and hospitality, struggle to get back up to speed after a slow 2020. Auto manufacturers are dealing with a chip shortage that left dealers and rental car companies low on in
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Appetite for Risk

Many prospective investors eventually shy away from a commitment when they hear the dreaded “R” word: risk. By itself, risk is innocuous, carrying no special meaning or predictive result. But the idea that investing one’s money is not foolproof; that there are risks involved, and that a return is speculative — the very idea is enough to burrow one’s savings into a secure bank account that earns a predictable interest rate (never mind that the figure is minuscule by any metric).
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529 Plans vs. Other College Savings Options

529 plans can be a great way to save for college, but they're not the only way. When you're investing for a major goal like education, it makes sense to be familiar with all of your options.
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Six Keys to More Successful Investing

A successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, here are six basic principles that may help you invest more successfully.
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Changes to Medicare in 2021: What Recipients Should Know

For many people, turning 65 provides one of the keys to retirement: access to affordable healthcare. Whether you're enrolling in the Medicare program for the first time or have been a Medicare enrollee for years, it's important to stay on top of current offerings, costs, and enrollment dates so that you can select the plan that best fits your needs.
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What Gen Xers, Millennials, and Baby Boomers Need to Know

Financial planning is an important part of securing your current lifestyle as well as preparing yourself for what you wish to do in your eventual retirement. And while this importance may look different during each stage of your life, it doesn't make it any less important.
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Travel Tips That Save

Americans seem to be traveling more than ever before and are doing so by either flying the friendly skies or sailing the seven seas. While more of us may be flying high or traveling the high seas, most of us would like to avoid the high cost of air and ocean travel.
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LPL Financial Research Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed

LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed is designed to help you navigate the risks and opportunities over the rest of 2021 and beyond. While the speed can be exhilarating as economic growth accelerates, it can also be dangerous. Midyear Outlook 2021 looks ahead for opportunities, but also watches for new hazards created by the reopening. With the U.S. economy reopened, the growth rate may peak in second quarter 2021, but there is still plenty of momentum left to extend above-ave
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Financial Planning After Losing a Spouse

Losing a spouse, whether through death or divorce, can be devastating both emotionally and financially. The loss can take months or even years to adjust to since there is no way to prepare for death or divorce despite having discussed contingencies with each other or their financial professional.
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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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Maximize Your Summer Fun With These Ideas

As temperatures start to heat up and the days get longer, summer fun can kick into gear. Looking for things to do this summer? Then, check out this list of fun and relaxing summertime ideas. Be a tourist in your own area. You don't have to leave town to feel like you're on vacation. Regardless of where you live, there are probably some touristy places you haven't visited yet. Put on your exploring shoes, and hike trails, browse stores, take drives, or visit a restaurant you've never tried.
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When’s the Right Time to Retire?

Retirement is inevitable, but knowing exactly when to do so is often unclear. No matter when you actually begin your retirement, you'll benefit from planning your post-work life as early as possible. According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who expect to retire at age 66 or older has risen dramatically, from 21% in 2002 to 41% in 2018. People expect to live and work longer than ever, so it's never been more important to know when to stop working and how to carefully plan for the big even
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Dreaming of Owning a Second Home?

Summer is here and with it are fanciful dreams of owning a second, seasonal home. Maybe it's a beachside bungalow or a mountain cabin or a lakefront cottage with a front porch and a sweeping view of the sunlight on the water. All of them no doubt sound enticing, but fulfilling this dream takes attention to detail and a firm vision of your long-term goals. Two financial factors may help bring your summer daydreams closer to reality.
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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. One such reaction may be an investor's decision to leave their current financial professional and move to another who wants to change
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What Should Grandparents Know About 529 Savings Accounts?

Grandparents can often find themselves in a better financial position to save for their grandchildren's education than their own children are. The parents of prospective students may still be contending with competing priorities like their own student loans, high-interest credit card debt, or a hefty mortgage. One way to help save for a grandchild's college education is by contributing money to a 529 savings account, an account where funds can be saved or invested and are withdrawn to be
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5 Investment Considerations for Small Business

If you're a small business owner, many of the best practices employed by individual investors are also available to you (of course!), but you also have some additional options and factors to weigh while creating your investment plans. We've outlined five key differences for your consideration: 1. Diversifying outside your own industry Small business owners often develop a tendency to invest within their own industry, and why not? It's one you know inside and out, where you recognize
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Think You Know Retirement?

Even if you're saving money in a 401(k), IRA, or another type of retirement account, you may not be paying much attention to the specific rules and regulations governing these accounts. After all, if you're years away from retirement, many of these regulations are likely to change. But a major part of retirement planning involves knowing the broad strokes of retirement rules. Think you can pass our five-question quiz? True or False: You must be age 59.5 or older to withdraw any retirement
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Inflation and Taxes Could Rise. Are You Ready for Retirement?

Americans are starting to experience the impact of increasing prices at the supermarket and the start of inflation. Also, clothing at retail stores is depleting as manufacturing has halted, creating demand for products ordinarily accessible.Today’s economic conditions are much worse than coming out of the Great Depression. During periods of economic recovery, the U.S. experienced historical debt and tax levels, paid for by the American people when tax rates were above 40% for over 40 years
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A Checklist for Your Retirement Planning

The time to begin planning for your financial future is now. So, when it comes to preparing for retirement, the earlier you start, the better.Here are some steps to help you pursue your overall objectives: Review your current financial situation by assessing your income and assets versus your expenses and liabilities.At first, determine a realistic amount to contribute regularly to your employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan, e.g., a 401(k) plan. Over time, try to maximize allowable contri
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Key Benefits of a Financial Advisor

Whether you've been wondering about boosting your investments; rates of return or are concerned that your financial affairs are a bit too complicated for your next of kin to handle, it may be time to seek advice from a financial professional. Financial professionals help their clients create strategies to develop their wealth, from optimizing their taxes to setting retirement savings goals. But how do you know whether it's time for you to seek professional financial guidance? Learn more
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Key Considerations as You Start Receiving Social Security Benefits

As your retirement draws closer, you will probably start to have lots of questions such as: How much Social Security will I receive? When should I retire? How will I know when to retire? Do I have enough saved? What will I need to do to maintain health insurance after I retire? The answers to these questions can vary widely depending on your income, your job duties, and your assets. However, there are a few factors that everyone should keep in mind when you begin making your retirement decisio
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4 Tips For a Healthier Financial Outlook

With Public Health Week on the way, it is not only time to consider your physical and mental health but also your financial health. When your financial outlook is healthier, you will be less stressed and enjoy what all your hard work has given you. Start this Public Health Week by trying out a few tips to help create a healthier financial outlook for the future. Be Mindful When You Spend When it comes to spending money, be aware of what you need versus what you want. That doesn't mean you
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Tax Day for Individuals is Extended to May 17th

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is delaying the April 15th deadline to file and pay taxes until May 17th, giving individuals and businesses another month to file and then pay the government what they owe. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.From the IRS press release dated March 17th:"This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the
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Tips for Women to Build Financial Independence

Traditionally, women have been the caretakers of both the older and younger generations of their families. But providing care for family members is becoming increasingly difficult, as doing so may require a leave of absence from work and drain one’s bank account.Such income disruptions greatly affect a woman’s ability to save money, plan for retirement, and maintain financial security. In addition, older married women often provide care for their elderly husbands.But who will help yo
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How Financial Asset Management May Help Investors Stay the Course

Most people who decide to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investment vehicles do so understanding that there are risks associated with investing, but believing that the potential growth they may realize over time outweighs such risks. However, because there are no guarantees, investing assets can be a nerve-wracking experience – especially during periods of market turbulence.[i]Taking a deliberate approach to financial asset management and working with a financial profession
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Retirement Income Planning

For investors approaching retirement, it is important to begin thinking about retirement income planning. This involves a mindset shift from accumulating an investment portfolio designed for growth to creating a portfolio of retirement income designed to help you pursue your lifestyle goals.[i] There is not a one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to determining how much income you will need in your retirement years, although most financial professionals agree that it is not necessary to repla
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Common Retirement Investment Mistakes

Only one-in-four Americans (27%) feel very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably when they retire, according to the 2020 Retirement Confidence Survey Summary Report. While the number is up slightly from the 2018 survey (23%), it underscores a pervasive sense of uncertainty among those approaching retirement age.
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Tips for Tax Preparation

In 2020, the government gave taxpayers an automatic six-month extension due to the coronavirus. Individuals who were affected by the damaging wildfires were also given additional time to meet most tax deadlines. However, in 2021, the deadline for submitting your income tax return is likely to return to the regularly scheduled time slot on April 15. To avoid a potential late filing penalty, you need to be ready by this date.
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Countdown to Retirement: Strategies for Saving in your 50s

Many retirees today are redefining the golden years. Forget about endless days of leisure. Retirees seek adventure, travel, and new business pursuits. While these changes may redefine retirement, will retirees be able to finance their plans? Today, many people age 50 and older have not begun to save for retirement or have yet to accumulate sufficient funds. If you're in this age group and find yourself facing an underfunded retirement, it's not too late to take charge.
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Key Tax Deadlines for 2021

While the 2020 tax year saw some significant changes to filing deadlines due to the effects of the global pandemic, the 2021 tax season seems to be set to be on track with normal filing deadlines. With the pandemic still in sight, it is important to consider that these dates may be subject to change. Below is a list of the filing deadlines for the upcoming 2021 tax year that you will want to be sure to put into your calendar.
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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.
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The Importance of Financial Wellness

Financial wellness, like physical wellness, it's something you should ignore. Instead, it's a critical concept for anyone who wants to be knowledgeable and confident about their finances, and in fact, financial wellness is so important that more than half1 of employers now offer financial wellness programs to their workers. So, what is financial wellness and why is it so important? Keep reading for an overview of this concept.
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