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Many investors may be inclined to review their portfolios only when markets hit a rough patch, but careful planning is essential in all economic climates. So whether the markets are up or down, periodically reviewing your portfolio with your financial professional can be an excellent way to keep your investments on track, and midway through the year is a good time for a checkup. Here are three…

If you follow financial news, you've probably heard many references to "the Fed" along the lines of "the Fed held interest rates," or "market watchers are wondering what the Fed will do next." So what exactly is the Fed and what does it do?

What is the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve — or "the Fed" as it's commonly called — is the central bank of the United States. The Fed was…

A financial crisis can be scary at any age, but this is especially true when you're in your 40s or 50s. Perhaps you're way behind on saving for retirement or have too much debt from unnecessary spending. Or maybe an unexpected challenge, such as a job loss, illness, or break from the workforce for caregiving responsibilities, took a direct hit on your finances.

Regardless of how you…

Year over year, participation in 529 plans continues to rise.1 Anyone can open an account, lifetime contribution limits are typically over $300,000, and there are tax benefits if the funds are used for college. Here are some common questions on opening an account.

Can I open an account in any state's 529 plan or am I limited to my own state's plan?

Answer: It depends on the type of…

Each year, the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) surveys employers to gauge trends in retirement plan features and participation. Results are used by employers and plan participants to benchmark their plans against overall averages. How does your plan compare to the most recent survey results, released at the end of 2018?1

Participation and savings rates

Plan participation (that…

Tax filing season is here again. If you haven't done so already, you'll want to start pulling things together — that includes getting your hands on a copy of your 2017 tax return and gathering W-2s, 1099s, and deduction records. You'll need these records whether you're preparing your own return or paying someone else to prepare your tax return for you.

Don't procrastinate

The filing…

When saving for retirement, you're probably aware of the benefits of using tax-preferred accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. But you may not be aware of another type of tax-preferred account that may prove very useful, not only during your working years but also in retirement: the health savings account (HSA).

HSA in a nutshell

An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that's paired with a…

Almost 100 million Americans, representing about 44% of U.S. households, owned mutual funds in 2018. Saving for retirement was the primary goal for 73% of investors; other goals included saving for college or a house, building an emergency fund, or providing current income.1

Mutual funds offer a convenient way to participate in a broad range of market activity that would be difficult…

While tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. As a result, it's in your best interest to always be vigilant so you don't end up becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme.

Here are some of the more common scams to watch out for.

Phishing

Phishing scams usually involve unsolicited emails or fake websites that pose…

Women can face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Let's take a look at three of them.

First, women frequently step out of the workforce in their 20s, 30s, or 40s to care for children — a time when their job might just be kicking into high (or higher) gear.

It's a noble cause, of course. But consider this: A long break from the workforce can result in several…