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Evaluating an Early Retirement Offer

In today's corporate environment, cost cutting, restructuring, and downsizing are the norm, and many employers are offering their employees early retirement packages. But how do you know if the seemingly attractive offer you've received is a good one? By evaluating it...

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What's Next for the Dow?

The stock market kicked off March 1st with a new high in the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ but has been losing steam the rest of the month.  Since the presidential election, investor optimism has been driving stocks higher.  In fact, a recent analysis by Bloomberg found...

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New IRS Deadlines for Business Owners

In October 2016, the IRS issued a reminder to employers and small-business owners of a new January 31 deadline for submitting Forms W-2 and certain Forms 1099-MISC to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The accelerated deadline, which was enacted as part of the...

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Is Washington Gridlock Over Under Trump?

The American version of Brexit hit Tuesday November 8th 2016 as voters confounded pollsters and pundits by electing the brash, celebrity billion Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.  Although Trump lost the popular vote, he was able to secure the...

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The Fed's New Mandate?

The central bank’s official dual mandate is to achieve full employment while maintaining price stability. These days it seems the Fed has an unspoken third mandate of not upsetting weak global economies.  The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan (BOJ) are...

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Upcoming Money Market Changes

On October 14, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will begin enforcing regulations adopted to help reduce the risk of investor "runs" on  money market mutual funds. Vulnerabilities in the $3.8 trillion market came to light during the 2008...

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September's History!

September has historically been the worst month for stocks.  Since 1896, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 1.1% on average in September.  No one really knows why, but some blame it on the mutual funds that close out their fiscal year this month.  Others blame...

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Tax Planning for the Self-Employed

Understand self-employment tax and how it's calculated As a starting point, make sure that you understand (and comply with) your federal tax responsibilities. The federal government uses self-employment tax to fund Social Security and Medicare benefits. You must pay...

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Low Interest Rate Estate Planning Strategies

The federal government requires the use of certain published interest rates to value various items used in estate planning, such as an income, annuity, or remainder interest in a trust.  The government also specifies interest rates that a taxpayer may be deemed to use...

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Social Security Changes for 2016

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 included a section titled "Closure of Unintended Loopholes" that ends two Social Security claiming strategies that have become increasingly popular over the last several years. These two strategies, known as "file and suspend" and...

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The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH)

In one of its final actions for calendar year 2015, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, a massive spending bill that will keep the federal government funded for fiscal year 2016. Signed into law on December 18, 2015, the legislation includes the...

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Labor Day Market Jitters

Chances are you’re sneaking a peak at the investment markets these days--maybe more than once a day. They’ve certainly been providing their share of excitement: down 4% one day, up more than 2% the next day or two, and who knows what’s causing the turmoil? In August,...

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BOOM: Puerto Rico’s Bonds Finally Blow Up

One of the first things I learned cutting my teeth in the investing world was to avoid municipal bonds from Puerto Rico.  My mentor liked to refer to the US Territory as a banana republic.  “That my friend is a ticking time bond waiting to blow up in your clients’...

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