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Women face a different set of financial-planning challenges than men because they tend to live longer, earn less, and take more breaks from the work force. Women may also experience more difficulties if they are widowed or divorced. The good news is that women tend to save more.

According to Vanguard’s “How America Saves 2012” report, women saved at rates about 5% to 10% higher than…

Given the backdrop of economic uncertainty and the rise in both life expectancy and medical costs, prospects look difficult for those facing retirement shortfalls. Fortunately, a financial advisor can show you how pulling these key levers can help your retirement nest egg last.

Work Longer: Working longer is one of the easier solutions for those facing retirement shortfalls, allowing…

retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Given the backdrop of economic uncertainty and the rise in both life expectancy and medical costs, prospects look difficult for those facing retirement shortfalls. Fortunately, a financial advisor can show you how pulling these key levers can help your retirement nest egg last.

Work Longer: Working longer is one of the easier solutions for…

According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report*, between 1997 and 2005, roughly 43% of Social Security-eligible individuals began taking benefits within one month of turning 62, even though waiting until their full retirement age (65) would have translated into a substantially higher payout. Between 2000 and 2006, only 6% of retirees with defined-contribution plans such as 401(k)…

If your grandchildren are fortunate enough to have you chip in with their college costs, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you start writing checks.

The most straightforward way for a nonparent to help a student pay for college is with a cash gift. Gift tax rules in 2013 allow any individual to give another individual up to $14,000 per year ($28,000 from a couple)…

Thirty-four states offer some sort of tax deduction or tax credit for contributions made to a 529 plan. But in 29 of those 34 states, the tax break is available only for contributions made to an in-state plan. Only Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, and Pennsylvania give residents a tax break for contributing to any state's plan. If you own an out-of-state 529 plan, you may be missing out on…

Estate planning laws have undergone swift changes over the past several years and may change again in the years ahead. If you're creating or updating an estate plan, it's essential that you seek the advice of an attorney who's well versed in this area. Before you hire an estate-planning attorney to draft or update your estate plan, it's important to understand your role in the estate-planning…

Reinvestment can be a crucial component of the wealth accumulation process, as the reinvested amount compounds and grows over time. Yet if you are reinvesting dividends and capital gains (“distributions”) in funds you hold in your taxable account, it can be important to ensure that you're not paying more tax than necessary. You pay tax on those distributions in the year in which you receive…

Here are some of the key strategies to consider when giving children and grandchildren a financial boost. There's no one-size-fits-all answer: The right choice for your situation will depend on how much you intend to give as well as on your grandchild's life stage and the goal of financial assistance.

Set up a UGMA/UTMA account: UGMA/UTMA accounts provide a way to save on behalf of a…

The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is an organization founded in 1978 with the mission of encouraging and contributing to the development of sound employee-benefit programs. Every year, the EBRI publishes a retirement confidence survey. The 2012 survey interviewed 1,003 workers and 259 retirees in order to find out their confidence in being able to meet retirement financial goals…