September 2017

From Data Breaches to Ransomware: How to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Cybercrime Each time you connect to the Internet, you risk becoming the victim of a cybercrime. It's the price we pay for living in…

September 11, 2017

August 2017

Working in Retirement: What You Need to Know Planning on working during retirement? If so, you're not alone. Recent studies have consistently shown that a majority of retirees plan to work at least some period…

August 7, 2017

July 2017

Don't Let Rising Interest Rates Catch You by Surprise You've probably heard the news that the Federal Reserve has been raising its benchmark federal funds rate. The Fed doesn't directly control consumer interest rates, but changes…

June 30, 2017

June 2017

Alternatives to Long-Term Care Insurance The costs of long-term care can be overwhelming, potentially exhausting retirement income and savings. You may be thinking about buying long-term care insurance (LTCI) to help cover some of the potential…

June 5, 2017

May 2017

401(k) Withdrawals: Beware the Penalty Tax You've probably heard that if you withdraw taxable amounts from your 401(k) or 403(b) plan before age 59½, you may be socked with a 10% early distribution penalty tax on…

May 5, 2017

April 2017

Four Ways to Double the Power of Your Tax Refund The IRS expects that more than 70% of taxpayers will receive a refund in 2017.¹ What you do   with a tax refund is up…

April 10, 2017

March 2017

Due Date Approaches for 2016 Federal Income Tax Returns Tax filing season is here again. If you haven't done so already, you'll want to start pulling things together — that includes getting…

March 10, 2017

February 2017

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Social Security Retirement Benefits? Social Security is an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans, but how much do you know…

February 21, 2017

January 2017

It's easy to confuse Medicare and Medicaid, particularly since they're both government programs that pay for health care. But there are important differences between each program. Medicare is generally for…

January 17, 2017

December 2016

A recent survey of baby boomers (ages 53 to 69) found that just 24% were confident they would have enough money to last throughout retirement. Forty-five percent had no retirement savings at all, and of those who…

December 12, 2016

November 2016

When it comes to planning your estate, you might be wondering whether you should use a will or a trust (or both). Understanding the similarities and the differences between these two important documents may help you decide which…

November 11, 2016

October 2016

The second quarter of 2016 marked the fifth quarter in a row of declining U.S. corporate earnings. Low oil prices and a strong dollar were largely to blame for lackluster…

October 6, 2016

September 2016

In December 2015, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds target rate to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%, the first rate increase from the near-zero range where it had lingered for seven years.  Many economists…

September 15, 2016

August 2016

In 1981, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller published a groundbreaking study that contradicted a prevailing theory that markets are always efficient. If they were, stock prices would generally mirror…

August 8, 2016

July 2016

Market volatility is alive and well in 2016. Low oil prices, China's slowing growth, the prospect of rising interest rates, the strong U.S. dollar, global conflicts--all of these factors have…

July 14, 2016

May 2016

No doubt you've seen headlines reporting that a particular stock index is up or down. But do you know what an index is, and how understanding the nuts and bolts…

May 25, 2016

March 2016

A long period of low yields has been challenging for many fixed-income investors, but owning bond investments in a rising interest-rate environment could become even trickier. When interest rates go…

March 25, 2016

February 2016

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 included a section titled "Closure of Unintended Loopholes" that ends two Social Security claiming strategies that have become increasingly popular over the last several…

February 25, 2016

December 2015

If you're a penny pincher but your spouse is penny wise and pound foolish, money arguments may frequently erupt. Couples who have opposite philosophies regarding saving and spending often have…

December 25, 2015

October 2015

Do you really know as much as you think you do about your 401(k) plan? Let's find out. click here to read more

October 25, 2015

August 2015

There's a saying that with age comes wisdom, but this may not always be true in the financial world. As people move through different life stages, there are new opportunities--and…

August 25, 2015

June 2015

You made it through tax season and now you're looking forward to your summer vacation. But before you go, take some time to review your finances. Mid-year is an ideal…

June 25, 2015

April 2015

During your working years, you've probably set aside funds in retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and other workplace savings plans, as well as in taxable accounts. Your challenge during…

April 25, 2015

February 2015

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans, thresholds for deductions and credits, and standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. Here…

February 25, 2015

January 2015

Even if you have the best of intentions, it's easy to overspend. According to a Gallup poll conducted June 9-15, 2014,* 58% of people who had shopped during the previous…

January 25, 2015

December 2014

The Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has argued strongly for the creation of a list of taxpayer rights as a way to promote…

December 25, 2014

October 2014

You're probably covered under Social Security--according to the Social Security Administration, an estimated 165 million workers are*--but how much do you know about this program? Test your knowledge by answering…

October 25, 2014

August 2014

The United States health-care system has been impacted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But how does delivery of health care in the United States compare to that of other…

August 25, 2014

June 2014

You probably didn't notice, but when the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2013, a number of popular tax benefits, commonly included in the list of provisions referred to as…

June 25, 2014

February 2014

For many retirees and their families, Social Security provides a dependable source of income. In fact, for the majority of retirees, Social Security accounts for at least half of their…

February 25, 2014

December 2013

I called my buddy the other day to ask a question, figuring that since he is a fireman in Chesapeake, he would be the best one to ask. “If you…

December 25, 2013

October 2013

You might not enjoy sitting down to do year-end investment planning, but at least this fall you can make plans with greater certainty. For the last three years, investment planning…

October 25, 2013

August 2013

You may have missed it but the last several years have been a bit challenging for the economy, to say the least. It seems that from all sides we are…

August 25, 2013

June 2013

If you're like most people, you probably evaluate your portfolio in terms of its return. However, return isn't the only factor you should consider; also important is the amount of…

June 25, 2013

April 2013

The new year started with some political drama, as Congress passed legislation on January 1, 2013, to prevent the country from going over the "fiscal cliff." The American Taxpayer Relief…

April 25, 2013

February 2013

The due date for 2012 federal income tax returns is April 15, 2013. Whether you're preparing your own taxes or paying someone else to do them for you, you'll want…

February 25, 2013

December 2012

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 7.7 million unmarried partners living in the same households in 2010. Yet there are several laws that are potentially beneficial to married…

December 25, 2012

October 2012

Investment planning at the end of 2012 revisits issues that have complicated the planning process for the last two years--tax cut extensions and spending cuts designed to reduce the U.S.…

October 25, 2012

Financial Reform

What It Is and Why It Matters to You: The 2008 financial crisis was the most significant disruption of the global financial system since the Great Depression. It's hardly surprising,…

September 21, 2012

August 2012

What's the future of the federal estate tax? All we know is that no one knows for sure; it's all speculation. So, let's take a look at what could happen.…

August 25, 2012

June 2012

Throughout our lives there are many stations when we must make financial decisions. This month's newsletter shines a light on several of those items. Whether it is planning for college,…

June 25, 2012

April 2012

As part of a last-minute agreement ending August's debt ceiling standoff, legislation was signed into law calling for the creation of a deficit reduction "supercommittee." The Joint Select Committee on…

April 25, 2012

February 2012

When markets are volatile, sticking to a long-term investing strategy can be a challenge. Though past performance is no guarantee of future results, it might help you keep the ups…

February 25, 2012

December 2011

If you're an IRA owner who must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2011, you can avoid some or all of the resulting income tax liability by donating a…

December 21, 2011

October 2011

Investment planning at the end of 2010 was complicated by uncertainty over whether existing tax rates would be extended. This year, it's the congressional "supercommittee" charged with tackling the country's…

October 25, 2011

September 2011

What if you were no longer here to provide for your family and loved ones? What if you couldn't watch your children grow, graduate from college, and begin their own…

September 2, 2011

August 2011

If you're the parent of a high school student who's looking ahead to college, it's important to have a grown-up conversation with your child about college expectations. A frank discussion…

August 25, 2011

July 2011

When a crisis creates uncertainty, markets often become volatile, especially when the scope of the disaster isn't clear. A crisis is like Janus, the Roman god with faces that looked…

July 25, 2011

June 2011

Though it may seem as if the ink has barely dried on your 2010 federal income tax return, the end of 2011 is now visible on the horizon. Here are…

June 2, 2011

May 2011

There's been much debate in investing circles over the last year about whether inflation or deflation represents a more likely threat to the future of the U.S. economy. With a…

May 25, 2011

April 2011

You may have heard the buzz … 401(k) plans can now permit in-plan Roth conversions. But is this an option for you? click here to read more

April 25, 2011

March 2011

You want to retire comfortably when the time comes. You also want to help your child go to college. So how do you juggle the two? click here to read…

March 25, 2011

February 2011

You don't want to pay more in tax than you have to. That means taking advantage of every deduction and credit that you're entitled to. You also need to recognize…

February 25, 2011

January 2011

Roth conversions, mortgages, and health-care reform were a few of the most talked about topics in 2010. Here's a look at five topics you're bound to hear about in 2011.…

January 25, 2011

December 2010

You may have spent a good part of your working years planning for a financially secure retirement. But many issues can arise during retirement that can impact your financial health…

December 2, 2010

November 2010

Currently, there is no estate or generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax for 2010, but both taxes are scheduled to be reinstated in 2011, with a $1 million estate tax exemption, a…

November 25, 2010

October 2010

If you're currently enrolled in Medicare, you've probably begun receiving information about your coverage. That's because the annual enrollment period for Medicare runs from November 15 through December 31. During…

October 25, 2010

September 2010

Year-end tax planning is as much about 2011 as it is about 2010. Often, there's a real opportunity for year-end tax savings when you can predict that you'll be paying…

September 25, 2010

August 2010

The tax code allows IRAs to be created as trust accounts, custodial accounts, and annuity contracts. Regardless of the form, the federal tax rules are generally the same for all…

August 25, 2010

July 2010

The year was 2001. The top marginal federal income tax bracket was 39.6%, and the tax rate that applied to most long-term capital gains was 20%. Then came the Economic…

July 25, 2010

April 2010

If you're helping your parents and trying to meet your own children's needs while looking ahead to your own retirement, you're part of what's called "the sandwich generation." Here's a…

April 2, 2010

March 2010

Recent changes to the first-time home buyer tax credit mean you might be able to benefit from the credit, even if you're not actually a first-time home buyer. To take…

March 25, 2010

February 2010

Filing your taxes may be a dreaded chore, but receiving your refund is a wonderful reward. What you do with a refund is up to you, but here are some…

February 25, 2010

January 2010

It's hard to know when the economy will truly recover, although there are signs that things are headed in the right direction. But if you want your own finances to…

January 25, 2010

December 2009

The year 2009 saw several important changes, some of which may also affect you in 2010. click here to read more

December 25, 2009

November 2009

Taking time to make some strategic decisions before December 31 can help keep your portfolio on track and potentially minimize your April income tax bill. click here to read more

November 25, 2009

October 2009

Bernie Madoff may have gone to jail, but if you think we've seen the last of fraudulent investment schemes, you could be setting yourself up to become the next victim.…

October 25, 2009

September 2009

Financial experts have traditionally held that equities belong in a portfolio because, despite involving greater risk than cash or bonds, when held over the long term they offer higher return…

September 25, 2009

August 2009

Each year, the Social Security and Medicare trustees issue a report on the financial health of these two programs. The news hasn't been good. According to this year's report, in…

August 25, 2009

July 2009

If you've lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) plan account. It's important to understand your options. click here to…

July 25, 2009

June 2009

If your retirement savings have taken a beating, you may be wondering how you will make up a monthly retirement shortfall. One option might be to delay receiving Social Security…

June 2, 2009

May 2009

It's official: these are hard financial times. Many small business owners are feeling the pinch, and you may be one of them. Here are some tips to help you swim…

May 25, 2009

April 2009

It's a classic good news/bad news situation. If you're holding a stock that has become worthless, the bad news is obvious: you've lost your investment. The good (or at least…

April 25, 2009

January 2009

One of the big pieces of legislation that passed in 2008 was the Higher Education Opportunity Act (the Act). Aside from reauthorizing the Higher Education Act of 1965 for another…

January 25, 2009

December 2008

Generally, taxable amounts you withdraw from an IRA, 403(b), or qualified retirement plan before age 59½ are subject to a federal 10% penalty tax (and possibly a state penalty tax,…

December 25, 2008