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The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

The new year began with some political drama, as last-minute negotiations attempted to avert sending the nation over the “fiscal cliff.” Technically, we actually did go over the cliff, however briefly, as a host of tax provisions and automatic spending cuts took effect at the  …read more »

A Good Time to Consult a Financial Planner

In many cases, a specific life event or a perceived need may prompt you to seek professional financial planning guidance. Such events or needs might include: Getting married or divorced Having a baby or adopting a child Paying for your child’s college education Buying or selling a  …read more »

Some Misconceptions About Financial Advisors

Maybe you have reservations about consulting a financial advisor because you’re uncertain about what to expect. Here are some common misconceptions about financial advisors, and the truth behind them: Most people don’t need financial advisors — While it’s true that you may have the knowledge and ability to manage your  …read more »

Working with a Financial Advisor

Even if you feel competent enough to develop a plan of your own, a financial advisor can act as a sounding board for your ideas and help you focus on your goals, using his or her broad knowledge of areas such as estate planning and investments. Specifically,  …read more »

In-Service Withdrawals from 401(k) Plans

You may be familiar with the rules for putting money into a 401(k) plan. But are you familiar with the rules for taking your money out? Federal law limits the withdrawal options that a 401(k) plan can offer. But a 401(k) plan may offer fewer  …read more »

IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2012

The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA in 2012 remains at $5,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less), unchanged from 2011. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains at $1,000. (You can contribute  …read more »

Stock Market Volatility Keeping You Up?

Long-term investing goals and financial plans will help you avoid impulsive moves. Once again, we are seeing a lot of volatility in the market. Times like these indicate your tolerance for volatility. Unfortunately, further market volatility is inevitable.  So to protect your portfolio during these  …read more »

GAO Report Suggests Annuities as Retirement Income Option

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that financial experts typically recommend that middle-net-worth retirees use a portion of their savings to buy an income annuity (immediate annuity) to help meet necessary retirement expenses. The report, Ensuring Income throughout Retirement Requires Difficult Choices, finds that  …read more »

Saving for College

As the cost of college only increases, it makes sense to start college savings as early as possible—even if your future scholar is still in diapers. However, don’t let a late start stop you. If your child is starting high school and you haven’t been  …read more »

Deadline Approaching for Undoing a 2010 Roth IRA Conversion

If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2010, and your Roth IRA has sustained losses as a result of the recent market downturn, you may want to consider whether it makes sense to undo recharacterize your conversion. You have until October  …read more »