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10 Mistakes by Annuity Shoppers


By: Stan Haithcock   It seems like everyone is trying to sell you an annuity.   Your banker, your broker, and your life insurance agent are all on the annuity sales train. In addition, you are continually bombarded with TV and radio ads, which now features ridiculous celebrity endorsements. It’s important to tune out all of that […]

Obama Seeks to Protect Retirement Accounts


By: Julie Hirschfeld Davis via New York Times   President Obama on Monday moved to shake off the constraints of a gridlocked Congress and use his office to push his economic priorities, announcing he would create new protections for retirement savings, and calling on the nation’s governors to cooperate on areas of common ground.   […]

401(k)s Welcome Annuities


By: Jeff Rose Via Huffington Post   Want to have a steady stream of income after retirement for a lifetime? The new rules issued in October by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service make this goal easier to achieve by including deferred income annuities in your 401(k) investment options.   As traditional […]

Small Businesses & Technology


Nearly as long as there have been coffee shops and carwashes, all manner of businesses have handed out buy-10-get-one-free punch cards and hoped to reap the rewards of this simplest of loyalty marketing campaigns. But a new day is dawning. Smartphones and loyalty apps have begun offering small businesses enhanced program features and automated administration […]

Best Ways to Save for College


  There’s more than one way to save for college. Many families can profit from combining a few of them. As of September, investors had more than $240 billion in 529 college-savings and prepaid plans, which have become the primary option for many parents. President Barack Obama abandoned a proposal to eliminate a crucial tax […]

Retirement-Account Standards May Tighten


Brokers who recommend retirement-account investments would have to put their clients’ interests ahead of personal gain under rules expected to be endorsed by the Obama administration as soon as next week. At present, the brokers’ recommendations for 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts generally have to be “suitable,” a weaker standard that critics say permits […]

7 Ways Tax Laws Help the Newly Widowed


If you’ve experienced the loss of your spouse recently, know that the tax code has ways to help you at this difficult time. 1. Filing Status If your spouse died this year, you may still file a joint return for the year. This gets you the most favorable tax rates and the largest standard deduction […]

Debt Vs. Retirement


By Laura Shin via Forbes Recently, a good friend asked me a seemingly simple question: “Laura, does it make sense to save for retirement while also carrying debt?” The answer, however, is anything but simple and depends on a number of different factors. “A lot of people are trying to figure out, how do I balance multiple goals? […]

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Taxes


These common mistakes can keep you from getting the refund you’re owed. Slipping up on your taxes can exact a high price. Some of the most frequently made blunders—silly things like entering the wrong Social Security number, spelling your name incorrectly, or putting in the wrong account numbers for direct deposit—hold up processing your return […]

How Women Can Increase Their Confidence in Retirement


Knowing how much to save and how to invest can help women feel more secure. Here’s a cheat sheet.   Half of women report feeling worried about having enough money to last through retirement, according to a new survey from Fidelity Investments of 1,542 women with retirement plans.   Those anxieties aren’t necessarily misplaced either.   Women […]