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Investments Resources

If your financial plan for 2017 didn't work out the way you wanted it to, don't beat yourself up. Instead, ask yourself the following questions to determine what you can learn from reflecting on your financial situation in the last year.

Did you meet your financial goals and expectations for 2017? Perhaps you started the year with some financial goals in mind. You wanted to establish a…

It's a vicious cycle: Money is one of the greatest causes of stress, prolonged stress can lead to serious health issues, and health issues often result in yet more financial struggles.¹ The clear connection between health and wealth is why it's so important to develop and maintain lifelong plans to manage both.

The big picture

Consider the following statistics:

1. More than 20…

While no one can predict the future, the possibility of tax reform is once again in the spotlight. If it occurs, it may very well include repeal of the federal estate tax and related changes to the federal gift tax, the federal generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax, and the federal income tax basis rules.

History of the federal estate tax

In general, an estate tax is a tax on…

You've been saving diligently for years, and now it's time to think about how to convert the money in your traditional 401(k)s (or similar workplace savings plans) into retirement income. But hold on, not so fast. You may need to take a few steps first.

Evaluate your needs

If you haven't done so, estimate how much income you'll need to meet your desired lifestyle in retirement.…

With all of the costs in maintaining a household and paying for ongoing living expenses, the single most important and critical to the future of the country is that related to the raising of children.

Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of expenditures related to raising a child from birth to age 17. Related expenses range from food and housing…

The choice to use index funds rather than actively managed funds is a significant one. Index funds tend to be rather straightforward, easy-to-own, and cost-effective investment vehicles. But, just like actively managed funds, index funds also have their differences that investors should be aware of.

Cost Still Counts. Different index funds can charge different fees. Funds that are…

One of the key rules to bear in mind when rolling over money from a former employer's 401(k) into an IRA is the 60-day rule—that is, you have 60 days to complete the rollover. If you don't complete the rollover within that 60-day window and you're younger than 59 1/2, the amount will be treated as an early distribution and be subject to taxes and a 10% penalty. That's why it's a good idea to…

Funding an IRA may seem like a simple financial task: Pick your provider, send in your money, and choose your investments. Done.

But a look at Internal Revenue Service Publication 590, which details the ins and outs of IRAs, suggests there's more to it. There are two key IRA types (Traditional or Roth), as well as two subtypes of Traditional IRAs (deductible and nondeductible), not to…

Accumulation is a key facet of reaching your retirement goals. However, we tend to see far less about portfolio drawdown, or decumulation—the logistics of managing a portfolio from which you're simultaneously extracting living expenses during retirement. This can be even more complicated than accumulating assets.

Pitfall: One of the big mistakes of retirement distribution can be not…

As the end of the year rolls around, if you have not already done so, now is the time to plan for contributions into your retirement accounts in 2015. While Traditional IRA and Roth IRA plan limits are unchanged versus 2014, please note the contribution increases in 401(k), 403(b), 457 and SIMPLE IRAs.

Retirement Program 2015 2014 Change Age 50 or over catch up IRA: Traditional $5,500 $5,…