College Prep: Five Reasons to Study Up on 529 Plans

Millions of families striving to meet the mounting costs of college have flocked to 529 college savings plans. For most investors, the plans’ main attractions are the potential for federal tax-deferred earnings growth and federal tax-free qualified withdrawals.1 The plans’ aggregate asset limits, which often exceed $200,000, also appeal to contributors concerned about the potential…

Who Is Your Beneficiary?

 Good planning takes into account both the expected and the unexpected. By building your nest egg, you’re planning for the comfortable retirement you always hoped for. All it takes to plan for the unfortunate event that something unexpected happens on the way to retirement is to name beneficiaries for all your investments. While it…

Understanding Bond Investing: It's a Matter of Balance

It’s a common misconception to think of bonds as “plain-vanilla” investments that are appropriate only for certain types of people, such as financially conservative retirees. But in reality, bond investments may have the potential to add stability to a portfolio and help reduce overall investment risk — regardless of your age or financial outlook. What…

Meet the Education Challenge: Planning for Tomorrow's Tuition Costs

Many parents dream of the day their child strides to the stage to receive a college diploma. On the other hand, many parents dread the day that college tuition bills arrive. Despite steep tuition costs, however, a college education may be a sound investment that’s within the reach of many families. All it takes is…

Insurance Needs for Every Stage of Life

Who needs life insurance? These days, the answer is, “Almost everyone.” That includes: Young Adults As you might imagine, parents of minor children are at the top of the list of those who probably need life insurance. If one “breadwinner” were to pass away, life insurance payments could make it possible for the survivor to…

The Rules of Responsible Financial Parenting

Today, many families are concerned about the potentially adverse effect of wealth on the financial values of their younger generations. The goals that many affluent parents and grandparents have set for their children or grandchildren reflect core values, an honest work ethic, and a desire to “give something back” to the greater community. The skills…

Tips for Lowering Your Auto Insurance Premiums

If you have not reviewed your auto insurance policy within the past two years, you may want to consider the following steps that could help you save money. Although these tips are designed to be helpful, keep in mind that your driving record and the area where your car is domiciled can significantly influence your…

Fixed Annuities: The Missing Piece of Your Retirement Planning Puzzle?

Increasingly, the responsibility for funding a comfortable retirement is shifting from the employer and the government to the individual. Many people contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs, but there is another tax-advantaged retirement vehicle that shouldn’t be overlooked: annuities. Annuity Essentials An annuity is a contract between an individual and an insurance company. They’re…

Five Steps to a Simpler Financial Life

 For many Americans, financial life seems to be getting more and more complicated. Perhaps that’s because more workers bear responsibility for their own retirement savings thanks to the proliferation of 401(k) and other plans. Or maybe it’s because there’s so much information and so many investment choices to sort through. Whatever the case, here…

Annuities May Help Make Your Income Last a Lifetime

With demographic trends pushing the length of retirement to 25 or 30 years and beyond, it’s important to create a retirement investment strategy that generates an income stream that you won’t outlive. If you’re looking for an investment vehicle that promises a guaranteed, lifetime income stream, then you may want to consider annuities. Simply put,…

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