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Life Planning

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)

March 13, 2017

What is a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO)? A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is a court judgment, decree, or order establishing the marital property rights of a spouse, former spouse, child, or dependent of a pension plan participant with respect to certain qualified retirement plans. Several requirements and restrictions apply. To what extent are…

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41 million Americans have had their identities stolen

October 10, 2016

Many Americans are dangerously at risk of being victims of credit card fraud and as many as 41 million U.S. adults have already had their identity stolen, according to a Bankrate.com survey of 1,000 adults conducted last month. Another 49 million know someone who has been affected, the research found. “About 2 in 5 Americans…

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I'm getting remarried. How will this affect my Social Security benefits?

July 25, 2016

If you’re receiving benefits based on your own work record, your benefits will continue. If you’re receiving spousal benefits based on your former spouse’s work record, those benefits will generally end upon your getting remarried, but you may be able to receive benefits based on your new spouse’s work record, or on your own. If…

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10 Years and Counting: Points to Consider as You Approach Retirement

July 18, 2016
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If you’re a decade or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about this major life change. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work…

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The Joys and Financial Challenges of Parenthood

July 11, 2016
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Parenthood can be both wonderfully rewarding and frighteningly challenging. Children give gifts only a parent can understand–from sticky-finger hugs to heartfelt pleas to tag along on Saturday morning errands. You raise them with a clear goal that you secretly dread will actually take place–that someday they will be grown, independent, and ready to move out…

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Maintaining Your Financial Records: The Importance of Being Organized

June 27, 2016
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An important part of managing your personal finances is keeping your financial records organized. Whether it’s a utility bill to show proof of residency or a Social Security card for wage reporting purposes, there may be times when you need to locate a financial record or document–and you’ll need to locate it relatively quickly. By…

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Understanding Your Paycheck

June 13, 2016
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Congratulations! You’ve just landed a new job. Here are some important things to be aware of before you receive your first paycheck. When will I receive my paycheck? How often will you be paid? Typically, your payday will depend on the company you work for and which state you work in. You might be paid…

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All About Credit Scores

June 6, 2016
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It’s difficult to imagine functioning in today’s world without credit. Whether buying a car or purchasing a home, credit has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Having easy access to credit goes hand in hand with having a good credit score, so it’s important to know how to maintain a positive credit score…

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I'm transitioning out of the military. How do I search for a job?

January 21, 2016
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Answer: The transition from the military to a civilian job can be difficult. Fortunately, you can follow a few key steps to make the process as smooth as possible and help find a job that’s financially and professionally rewarding. At the beginning of your search, you’ll want to reach out to your local Transition Assistance…

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Should my partner and I buy a house together even though we're not married?

January 20, 2016
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Answer: If you want to buy a home with your partner, go ahead. Together, you may be able to qualify for a larger mortgage than if one partner alone applied for the loan. However, be aware that unmarried partners have some unique considerations that married couples don’t have. The laws dealing with the distribution of…

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