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September 20, 2021

Things to Consider Before Buying a Franchise

There are nearly three-quarters of a million franchise businesses in the U.S, employing more than 8 million workers.1 Though franchises may take away much of the hassle and up-front cost of starting a business, essentially providing a "business in a box," there are also some special considerations to mull over before purchasing a franchise. Below, we discuss just a few of ...

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September 13, 2021

Financial Considerations for Working Parents

Nine of every 10 U.S. families with children have at least one working parent.1 Though working parents make up one of the largest demographic groups in the country, they face many challenges—from the cost of childcare to inconvenient scheduling issues. There are a few steps working parents may wish to take to smooth the path ahead, both financially and logistically. Read ...

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September 7, 2021

Choosing the Right 401(k) for Your Employees & Your Business

Implementing a 401(k) plan for your employees is good business. It means you're thinking strategically, that you care for your employees, and are focused on the long-term health of your company. Implementing a retirement plan: Can help you attract and retain top talent. May make you eligible for tax credits.1 Can allow you to deduct contributions to employee 401(k)s as ...

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August 31, 2021

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 ...

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August 12, 2021

Starting a Business with a Friend: Do’s and Don’ts

It is estimated that about 40 percent of business founders were friends before they became business partners.[1] But while starting a business with a friend can be a great way to secure your financial future, it can also put new and challenging pressures on your friendship. Below are some tips and tricks to help you maintain best business practices while growing your relationship ...

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August 6, 2021

Six Months and Counting

Six months and counting. That is the current monthly winning streak for the S&P 500 Index. To take that a step further, this key equity benchmark has posted gains in 13 of the last 16 months—dating back to the March 2020 low. With stocks nearly at a double from those lows, it has indeed been hard to quibble about what ...

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August 6, 2021

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates Set to Increase for 2021-2022

After two years of decreases, interest rates on federal student loans are set to increase almost a full percentage point for the 2021-2022 school year.1 The interest rates on federal student loans are reset each year after the May auction of the 10-year Treasury note. The rates apply to new federal student loans issued on or after July 1, 2021, ...

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August 4, 2021

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.[1] 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 ...

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August 2, 2021

Begin Investing While Young

There’s a simple word that has profound implications for savings and investing: compounding. Like a snowball that grows as it rolls down a hill, compounding provides the potential for your money to grow, reinvesting your investment earnings. It is a basic model for growth potential, and the more you invest, the greater the opportunities to create long-term value. Let’s take ...

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July 30, 2021

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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July 16, 2021

How Small Businesses Can Stay Competitive

Launching a small business can be an all-consuming prospect. Even after you start to feel as though you have gotten into a groove you could find yourself facing unforeseen challenges—from a new competitor to supply chain issues. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to try and remain competitive regardless of what is being thrown at you. Read ...

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July 6, 2021

Investing in Your Vacation

Why do most avoid this important investment? Why do so many of us not use our vacation days?  Salespeople talk about “leaving money on the table.”  Well, employees leave vacation on the table. And the cost to us is significant. In fact, Americans leave 429 million vacation hours on this proverbial table, according to a report from Forbes. And USA ...

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June 20, 2021

Umbrella Policies: Extra Coverage and Peace

Additional insurance to protect your assets and future Why doesn’t anyone ever tell you not to buy an umbrella liability policy? It seems like additional overall security for pennies. Sure, you can spend pennies paying for something you don’t need or will never use, but isn’t that the argument against all insurance? Let’s run some numbers and see if this ...

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June 15, 2021

HENRYs with Limited Wealth-Building Potential – Are You One of Them?

The term HENRY (High Earners Not Rich Yet) refers to individuals who have the potential to become wealthy in the future because of their income. These individuals or families earn between $250,000 and $500,000 per year and are between 25 and 45 years of age (Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X). Despite their income, after paying their living costs, taxes, ...

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June 9, 2021

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. But homes don't come with an instruction manual, and it can be ...

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June 8, 2021

Gearing Up for Summer

As we move into June, a path to normalcy is coming quickly with stadiums allowing full capacity, restaurants filling up, and summer vacations in full swing. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to recover remarkably quickly and the stock market is near all-time highs. Although there are many positives, a lot of this good news could very well be priced into ...

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May 28, 2021

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 ...

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May 27, 2021

For The 99.5% Act

In March 2021, Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) sponsored a new bill called the “For the 99.5% Act” proposing new and revised estate, gift, and tax rates aimed at the wealthiest 0.5% of Americans.1 The bill is complex, but we've attempted to anticipate your questions and cover the most meaningful points here. Question 1: Who will be affected? (or “Who are the ...

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May 24, 2021

Traditional IRAs versus Roth IRAs

Understanding the contribution, age, and income rules in 2021 Currently, there are two popular Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) vying for your attention: the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. While both are long-term savings vehicles with tax benefits, each has different rules concerning contributions, age, and income that may change from one year to the next. Contributions Perhaps the biggest ...

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May 20, 2021

How to Stay Committed to Your Financial Goals

Setting healthy financial goals is critical. Even more important is staying committed to those financial goals. Keeping yourself committed to your goals may be difficult, especially when times may be financially tough. But by staying on track and focused on your goals, you are more likely to get the long-term outcome you seek. Below are a few simple tips that ...

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May 10, 2021

5 Investment Considerations for Small Business Owners

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 ...

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April 30, 2021

4 Reasons to Consider a Life Insurance Policy

Buying a life insurance policy is something that many people push off, sometimes until it is too late. For many people, the thought of buying life insurance means thinking about their death, which is something that most people wish to avoid. Life insurance is not about death, but instead about the future and security of your loved ones. If you ...

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April 16, 2021

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 ...

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April 12, 2021

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 ...

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April 7, 2021

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 ...

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March 29, 2021

Tips for Growing (and Preserving) Your Family Business

When you're first starting out with your own business, you're likely to be focused more on staying afloat than on contingency planning. But as your family business expands and grows, it's important to ensure that this is done in a sustainable way. Read on for some tips and tricks to consider to grow—and preserve—your family business. Identify and Manage Business ...

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March 15, 2021

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 ...

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March 3, 2021

Four Key Ways to Build Your Credit

If you're like many Americans, you may have a few dents and dings on your credit report. As of 2020, around one in five adults has either a "fair" or "poor" credit score, which can impact their ability to qualify for a loan, rent an apartment, or even get a new job.1 And if you've largely avoided debt as an adult, ...

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February 26, 2021

Your Credit Report and Identity Theft Detection

Tips for being proactive in safeguarding your identity and your credit score Identity theft is a serious crime, with increasingly greater numbers of consumers being affected every year. As part of a protection strategy, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other consumer credit organizations recommend a proactive approach to safeguarding your identity: checking your credit report annually. A credit report ...

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February 22, 2021

IRA vs. 401(k): What Savers Should Know

As of 2018, about 58 million Americans had a 401(k), while around one-third of households owned an individual retirement account (IRA).1, 2 Yet for as commonplace as these retirement accounts can be, the nuances of contributions are a bit more complex. Learn more about these retirement accounts and what to consider when allocating your retirement contributions. 401(k) vs. IRA: The Basics ...

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February 16, 2021

Business Contingency Planning for Small Business Owners

There comes a point in time when almost every small business owner contemplates the future of his or her business. Because “the business” typically is a substantial asset, an owner must address a number of estate planning issues that will affect the future stability of the company. A business succession plan is a comprehensive look at the estate planning picture ...

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February 9, 2021

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 ...

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February 1, 2021

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.⁠11 While the number is up slightly from the 2018 survey (23%), it underscores a pervasive sense of uncertainty among those approaching retirement age. While there is no single action that can boost ...

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January 19, 2021

Tips for Organizing Your Financial Documents

In an increasingly paper-free society, organizing your financial documents can still be a challenge. No matter how simple or complex your financial picture might be, it takes some thought-out organization to keep your tax documents, service records, and paid bills in a format that will allow you to easily access information when you need it. What steps can you take now to organize your financial ...

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January 11, 2021

The Importance of Financial Wellness

Financial wellness, like physical wellness, isn’t 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? ...

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