Tax-Deferred or Tax-Exempt? Potential Benefits to Having Both

Over the years, you may have heard it’s good to have different “kinds” of money as you head into retirement. Advisors often recommend a combination of tax-deferred and tax-exempt financial products, diversifying your money to help take advantage of the tax benefits both types of products provide.   What many people don’t understand, however, is…

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What Is Evidence-Based Investing?

The evidence-based approach originated in the medical field to promote the use of clinical experience and the best available research to make decisions about individual patient care.1   In the investing world, this translates to a goal of using current evidence to help maximize an individual’s investment returns while minimizing risk from market downturns.2 In…

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Maintaining Independence in Retirement

Independence is something we have to work for throughout our lifetimes, whether we want to or not. As babies, we push our way up from four limbs to two and start walking our way into messes. As toddlers, we profess “No!” and “Mine!” to make our point. In the teenage years, we rebel against parents…

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Making Plans for How We Want to Be Remembered

It may sound morbid, but an uneventful death is one of the most thoughtful things you can give your children. As sad as it is to cope with the death of a loved one, the situation can be worsened by poor communication and disorganized planning. For example, have you considered what you would like regarding…

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Insights From Buffett’s Annual Shareholder Letter

In February, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and 86-year-old billionaire investor Warren Buffett, known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” published his annual shareholder letter. This yearly narrative is widely recognized not just for its predictive precision, but for his ability to share investment insights in terms the average person can understand.   This year’s letter offers the…

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How do You Define Success? How do You Measure It?

In the U.S., there are no universally accepted definitions for economic classes. According to the most recent government data, the median household income in the U.S. is $56,500, which means half of all American households earn more and half earn less.1 However, when it comes to our own perception of financial well-being, many people use…

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Things to Do Before You Retire

Some people set a particular age when they want to retire. It might be more helpful to look at your financial schedule to establish a retirement date. Just because you want to retire on a certain birthday doesn’t mean you’ll be quite financially ready to do so. After all, there’s more to retirement planning than…

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Are We “Shovel-Ready”?

  A famous line of dialogue came from the 1989 film “Field of Dreams”: “If you build it, he will come.” Perhaps the quote endures because of its inherent irony — it’s not always true. In fact, during the Obama Administration, there was an unfortunate lesson best illustrated by paraphrasing this quote: “If you fund…

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The Fiduciary Standard: What It Means

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor published the final regulation of what is known as the “Fiduciary Rule,” delaying implementation for 60 days from its scheduled start date. The newly expanded definition of fiduciary investment advice is scheduled to go into effect June 9, 2017.1 The rule holds certain financial professionals to a fiduciary standard…

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