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Estate Management Checklist

Tip: One key difference between a will and a living trust is when they take effect. A will takes effect when you die; a living trust takes effect when you execute it, and begins to operate when you transfer assets to it. Do you have a will? A will enables you to...

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Assess Life Insurance Needs

Tip: Final Cost. Paying for a funeral can be a financial burden on a family. Make sure your estate management will provide your loved ones with sufficient funds to cover this important cost. If your family relies on your income, it’s critical to consider having enough...

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Understanding Marginal Income Tax Brackets

Tip: High Bracket. In 1944, the highest federal income tax bracket was 94%. It applied to all income above $200,000 a year and applied to all taxpayers, regardless of filing status. Source: Tax Policy Center, 2015 By any measure, the tax code is huge. According to...

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The Business Cycle

Tip: Not Smooth. During both recessions and expansions, the economy can go through brief reversals in economic activity. A recession may include a short period of expansion followed by further decline; an expansion may include a short period of contraction followed by...

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Should you Choose a Fixed or Variable Mortgage?

Tip: Common Indexes. The most common indexes to which the interest on adjustable-rate mortgages is pegged are the 1-Year Constant Maturity Treasury Index, the 12-month Treasury average, the Cost of Funds Index, and the London Interbank Offered Rate Index. Source:...

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Pay Yourself First

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first,” in other...

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9 Facts About Social Security

Tip: How Much? Check your Social Security earnings and see an estimate of your benefits on the Web site, www.ssa.gov. Social Security’s been a fact of retirement life ever since it was established in 1935. We all think we know how it works, but how much do you really...

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