May 2016 Posts

  • What are some tips for organizing financial records?

    Organizing your financial records is a cyclical process rather than a one-time event. You'll need to set up a system that helps you organize incoming documents and maintain existing files so that you can easily find what you need. Here are a few tips....
  • How long should I keep financial records?

    There's a fine line between keeping financial records for a reasonable period of time and becoming a pack rat. ...
  • Nearing Retirement? Time to Get Focused

    If you're within 10 years of retirement, you've probably spent some time thinking about this major life change. The transition to retirement can seem a bit daunting, even overwhelming. ...
  • Understanding Stock Market Indexes

    No doubt you've seen headlines reporting that a particular stock index is up or down. But do you know what an index is, and how understanding the nuts and bolts of a specific index may be helpful to you?...
  • Common Financial Wisdom: Theory vs. Practice

    In the financial world, there are a lot of rules about what you should be doing. In theory, they sound reasonable. But in practice, it may not be easy, or even possible, to follow them. Let's look at some common financial maxims and why it can be hard to implement them. ...
  • Can I name a charity as beneficiary of my IRA?

    Yes, you can name a charity as beneficiary of your IRA, but be sure to understand the advantages and disadvantages....
  • Can I make charitable contributions from my IRA in 2016?

    Yes, if you qualify. The law authorizing qualified charitable distributions, or QCDs, has recently been made permanent by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. ...
  • Debt Optimization Strategies

    As part of improving your financial situation, you might consider reducing your debt load. A number of strategies can be used to pay off debt. However, before starting any debt payoff strategy (or combination of strategies), be sure you understand the terms of your debts, including interest rates, terms of payment, and any prepayment or other penalties. ...
  • Projecting a Happy Retirement

    A 2015 study found that 41% of households headed by someone aged 55 to 64 had no retirement savings, and only about a third of them had a traditional pension. Among households in this age group with savings, the median amount was just $104,000.1...
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