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Bait-and-Switch Scams: What You Need To Know To Avoid Getting Caught

There is a saying that if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Even though you do not want to let an opportunity to save money pass you by, you need to be cautious when shopping or applying for a loan. In 2021 alone, the Federal Trade Commission reported consumers lost $5.8 million to fraud.1One of the most common types of fraud, particularly in the mortgage and real estate industries, is called a bait-and-switch scam.2 Essentially, a company promises you an apartment, product, or mortgage
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How Are Workers Preparing for Retirement?

In general, workers seem to begin preparing for retirement almost as soon as they get their first job. However, according to the 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), retirement preparations do vary a bit by age group. Retirement Preparations Nearly three-quarters (72%) of workers say that they or their spouse have personally saved money for retirement. Not surprisingly, the older the respondents were, the more likely they were to report saving: A
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Teaching Your Teen about Money

Your teen is becoming more independent, but still needs plenty of advice from you. With more money to spend and more opportunities to spend it, your teen can easily get into financial trouble. So before money burns a hole in your child's pocket, teach him or her a few financial lessons. With your help, your teen will soon develop the self-confidence and skills he or she needs to successfully manage money in the real world.Lesson 1: Handling earnings from a jobTeens often have more expenses t
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Choosing a Credit Card

Like dandelions in a spring lawn, credit card offers pop up everywhere--stuffing your mailbox, flashing on the Internet, even falling from the magazines in your doctor's waiting room. And they all sound so attractive. "0% APR until next year!" "No fee if you transfer a balance now!" "Low fixed rate!" You're thinking of applying for a card, but how do you decide which offer is best for you? Learn the lingo In order to evaluate credit card offers, you'll
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How Setting a Schedule Can Make You Less Productive

In order to structure what little time we feel we have, one strategy we deploy is scheduling. In fact, reliance on organizational tools like daily planners has been on the rise. In two recent surveys, 51 percent of respondents said they regularly used their calendar app, while 63 percent of office workers consider calendars “very important.”
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Life Insurance Options for Older Adults

Many people incorrectly assume that life insurance is available only to younger adults. While death is a certainty for all, younger people may be statistically less likely to cause a claim on their policy. Here are some things older adults should consider before purchasing a life insurance policy.
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How Our Financial Wellness Impacts Us

Financial wellness studies over the past few years indicate that investors desire financial wellness. The recent pandemic, economic and inflationary conditions, changes in work-life balance, and more responsibility for financial decisions are all familiar sources of stress and anxiety for many people.
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Retiring Early As a Couple: A Financial Love Story

Retiring early as a couple is a goal shared by many, and if planned comprehensively, it may provide opportunities for travel, passion projects, and more quality time together. As they work toward their goal of retiring early, they must consider these areas as they plan together to work toward their early retirement goal.
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Quit Saying “I’m Broke”: How to Stop Unnecessary Spending

Saving money can be hard. It often feels like your paycheck goes in your bank account and a minute later it’s gone. Between bills and unexpected life moments, it always seems you’re left saying “I’m broke.”  
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Protecting Your Tax Identity Doesn't Have to Be Taxing

If your identity is stolen for tax purposes, you can find yourself waging battle on two fronts: against the identity thief and the IRS. Fortunately, protecting your tax identity doesn't have to be difficult. Below, we explain a couple of ways you can theft-proof your ID.
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Taxation of Investments

It's nice to own stocks, bonds, and other investments. Nice, that is, until it's time to fill out your federal income tax return. At that point, you may be left scratching your head. Just how do you report your investments and how are they taxed?
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5 Financial Bad Habits to Cut This Year

When it comes to financial bad habits, the most common are also well known — don’t spend too much, don’t take on unsustainable debt, and avoid living paycheck to paycheck. But what happens once you’ve implemented this advice and still aren’t getting ahead? Here are five overlooked financial bad habits that could be draining your bank account.
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An Annual Financial 'To-Do' List to Help Keep Your Finances on Track

Each year, many of us focus on our financial health by resetting goals and checking off items on our financial to-do list. Follow our month-by-month to-do list to help you pursue your financial goals and keep your finances on track in 2024.
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Dos and Don'ts for Investing During the Holidays

In the world of investing, the "holiday effect"; as it is often referred to, is a phenomenon where stock prices see an increase right before a major holiday. Follow these simple dos and don'ts for investing during a holiday.
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Spreading Holiday Cheer with Year-End Giving

The holidays are nearly upon us – a time of giving, goodwill to others, and embracing traditions. For many people, giving to a charity or organization that aligns with your values provides a sense of fulfillment. If you itemize deductions on your income tax return, you can deduct gifts made to charities. Here are six year-end giving strategies to spread holiday cheer with the additional gift of potential tax benefits.
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A 12 Days of Christmas Financial Planning Checklist

The Christmas season is an excellent time of the year to review your financial planning strategy. Our finances are top of mind as most of us are monitoring our spending as the holiday and new year approaches. We can look back over the year, draw from our wins and losses, and get an idea of where we need to make changes. Here is a 12 days of Christmas financial planning checklist to keep you off Santa’s naughty list: 1.
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5 Tax Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance

Kitty O’Neill Collings, an American politician and pioneer in the area of international diplomacy, civil liberties, and social justice, once quipped, “Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.” Along with aging comes the certainty that most of us will gradually begin to deteriorate over the years, both physically and mentally, and many of us potentially might require long-term care. Because of this reality, long-term care insurance (LTC) becomes an attractiv
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4 Thanksgiving Lessons for a Feast-Worthy Financial Plan 

4 Thanksgiving Lessons for a Feast-Worthy Financial Plan  Thanksgiving is a holiday for spending time with loved ones, being grateful, and perhaps enjoying a bit of overindulgence. There are many financial lessons to be had in planning, preparing, and celebrating this annual feast.1 Here are four Thanksgiving lessons that might help your household's financial plan year-round. Planning is the Key to Preparation You cannot expect to whip together a flawless Thanksgiving meal if you do
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Talking To Your Children About Inheritance

Generational wealth involves financial planning, where parents or grandparents pass wealth to loved ones after they die. Entrusting family members with receiving an inheritance is more than just getting a hold of assets or a check in the mail. It is about understanding how to steward the hard-earned wealth that you and your spouse spent your lives building.You are not alone if you are uncomfortable discussing your finances with your children or grandchildren. For many parents, talking to their c
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Creating Your Perfect Retirement Recipe

Although achieving your financial goals is more challenging than following a step-by-step recipe, a few common ingredients and preparation methods may help improve your ability to manage financial resources. Here is one recipe for a tasty Financial Dish.Ingredients One cup of clear financial goalsTwo cups of smart budgeting3/4 cup of consistent savingOne tablespoon of diligent debt managementOne teaspoon of regular investingOne pinch of frugal livingOne dash of an emergency fundTwo tablespoons o
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Assessing Potential Market Impact of Israel-Hamas War

On Saturday, Hamas, a Palestinian militant group designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, launched an attack on Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and taking dozens more hostage. In response to the attack, Israel launched a counteroffensive on Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip (one of two Palestinian territories, the other being the West Bank), a territory home to 2.3 million Palestinians under Hamas rule.While volatility initially impacted markets to start the week, inv
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October Client Letter

Dear Friends and Family,The S&P 500 lost 3.3% in the third quarter after sliding nearly 5% in September. Putting this into perspective, nothing really qualifies as out of the ordinary. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has historically declined in September 55% of the time, posting an average decline of 3.8%. September has certainly lived up to its reputation as being a weak seasonal period for stocks. The main culprits were rising interest rates and government shutdown fears.Whether your goal is
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Everything You Need To Know About the FedNow App

You may have heard people in the office talking about FedNow. FedNow is an instant payment service that the Federal Reserve will offer businesses and individuals to send and receive money within seconds on a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year basis. The Federal Reserve's goal is to revolutionize how people transfer money and manage transactions. Pros Real-time Payments and Refunds. This capability helps lower the delays consumers have to contend with when accessing traditional payment system
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How to Make Keeping Track of Your Finances Easy

How to Make Keeping Track of Your Finances EasyNow is an excellent time to start evaluating your current financial situation, determining your future goals and expectations, and working toward pursuing them. If you need help pulling together a plan for your finances, a financial professional can explain how you can work together to identify strategies to help you work toward financial independence. Making a plan for your finances may give you the confidence to stay on track to work toward your g
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Bouncing Back from Vacation Spending

It can be easy to get swept up in the vacation whirlwind and lose track of how much money you’re spending.From airfare and accommodations to frequent dining out and shopping, the cost of a memorable getaway can quickly skyrocket, leaving you sweating over how to wrangle your budget back together once it’s over. But with these strategies, you can take a breath and regroup without letting financial stress overshadow your blissful travel memories. Survey the damageBefore you can fo
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College Costs Are Rising 5X Faster Than Inflation

The vital role of inflation in planning for children’s college expenses   In today's rapidly changing economic landscape, proper planning has become more critical than ever. When it comes to saving for children's college expenses, accounting for inflation is a fundamental aspect that cannot be overlooked. Inflation, the gradual increase in the cost of goods and services over time, has the potential to erode the purchasing power of your money if not factored into your finan
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September Client Letter

Dear Friends and Family,  Financial markets lived up to their reputation during the month of August, which has a record for being difficult. On the first day of August, markets had to contend with a downgrade of U.S. long-term debt by the rating agency, Fitch. They attributed the adjustment to the “expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years, a high and growing general debt burden, and the erosion of governance.” Many financial leaders characterized the downgrade as
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August Client Letter

Making economic forecasts and stock market predictions can be humbling. It’s especially tough when you expect stocks to go higher and get a big drop instead. The environment today is the opposite, but still tricky, as recession hasn’t followed the chorus of predictions. In some ways, figuring out what to do now that stocks have gone up is as difficult as considering what to do when stocks are down. Today’s more fully valued stock market is pricing in an increasingly optimistic
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Got Investophobia? Here are 6 Steps to Overcome Your Investing Fears 

Got Investophobia? Here are 6 Steps to Overcome Your Investing Fears  Investing your money for the future might be one of the quickest ways to grow your wealth, whether saving for retirement or making a large purchase. While most people know investing is a potential way toward a more manageable financial future, some may find investing challenging and somewhat scary. Here are a few simple steps to help overcome your investing fears. Step 1: Start Small Don't get caught up thinking y
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Investing vs. Saving: Key Differences and Why Your Money Mindset Matters 

 You often hear people discuss "saving for retirement,” but in many cases, they're actually referring to their investing. The adage "you can't save your way to wealth" is simplistic, but has a kernel of truth; putting your money in a savings account often won't be enough to outpace the rate of inflation, which can erode the value of your savings over time. Below, we discuss some of the key differences between investing and saving and how to choose the most o
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Retirement Security Starts With Visualizing Your Future 

  Planning for your financial future and retirement looks much different now than in previous years. Some people must supplement their Social Security to have enough to maintain their desired lifestyle. This means financial planning is now a critical component of retirement. While having a financial professional on your side is vital to managing your financial future, so is visualizing what your future may include. Visualizing Helps You Determine How Much You Need in Retirement One of th
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The Scary Truth About Loss Aversion and Fear of Investing 

 Loss aversion, or the phenomenon of experiencing losses much more severely than gains, can lead to unwise investment decisions. Whether you're hanging on to a loser of a stock for longer than you should or are afraid to invest at all for fear of purchasing at a high point, making emotion-based investment decisions could mean leaving money on the table.Below, we discuss how fear and anxiety can negatively impact your investing decisions, as well as some steps you can take to minimize th
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