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This Has Been a Test: Developing a Financial Plan You Can Stick With

Think back to December 2019. The economy was humming. Unemployment, interest rates, and inflation were at historically low levels. But then what happened? A global pandemic hit. By the end of March, the S&P 500 had dropped nearly 20% in value.1 Later in the year, scientists announced that they’d developed a vaccine, and markets roared back. FAANG stocks soared … before giving up a lot of gains.2 Meme stocks shot way up … and fell back down. Bitcoin and other
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Should You File for Social Security Early to Capture the Inflation Adjustment?

With all the talk about inflation these days, you may have heard the news that the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits is 8.7%, the largest in four decades. If you are approaching or over age 62 and haven’t filed for your retirement benefits, you may be wondering if you should file earlier than planned so you do not miss out on the increase. The reality is that you do not need to file now to benefit from
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Include a Family Meeting in Your Next Family Reunion

Along with warmer weather and lazy days spent at a pool, summertime also often includes a family gathering, such as a Fourth of July barbecue, a family vacation, a reunion, or time spent at a family cabin or lake house. Whatever the form, in our always-on-the-go society, getting the whole family together is a rare occurrence. Consider taking advantage of this time together to discuss your estate and financial wishes with your family by including a family meeting in your
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Managing Your Digital Legacy

We are all familiar with the benefits estate planning can provide. By clearly defining how we want our loved ones taken care of after we pass, wills and trusts help ensure a safe and secure transfer of assets and avoid probate issues. Yet, an often-overlooked part of estate planning is defining how our heirs should manage our digital assets after we pass or become incapacitated. Families must consider what happens to their loved one’s email accounts, airline and hotel points,
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Broker/Advisor Outperformance?

Can an individual broker/advisor and their team consistently deliver outperformance? Perhaps we can look to the mutual fund industry for the answer. Afterall, individual brokers/advisors and their teams are essentially a smaller version of larger active mutual fund managers. Both are looking to deliver outperformance through specific stock picking and market timing. Each year, Dimensional analyzes returns from a large sample of US-based mutual funds. The objective is to assess the performance of mutual fund managers relative to benchmarks.* This
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Business Owners: 10 Strategies to Create, Manage and Distribute Wealth

Despite a lengthy global pandemic, supply chain delays, inflationary spikes in segments of the economy, and a very tight labor market, your business is highly successful. Yet maybe these challenges, or even other circumstances, have placed financial pressure on your business that you still need to successfully navigate. Whether your business is currently healthy or under a bit of strain, a key question still needs asking: How is your personal financial situation? A healthy business does not automatically translate into
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Give the Gift of Long-Term Happiness

We’ve all seen the pictures: Kids in their pajamas sitting amongst dozens of presents stacked high around them, massive grins on their faces as they get ready to rip through the wrapping paper like the Tasmanian Devil. As parents, we think, “Wow, that is one happy kid. He’s the center of attention, and outside of that itchy sweater from grandma, he got everything on his holiday wish list! What a moment! This kid will remember this day for the rest
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Planning for Uncertain Times

With last month’s election and ongoing health and economic concerns related to COVID-19, uncertainty remains high, as it has for most of 2020. Unfortunately, this is likely to continue well into 2021 on health, financial and societal fronts. As investors, it’s never enjoyable to navigate periods like this, so we wanted to step back and reinforce our perspective on financial markets as we head into the close of 2020 (and if you are anything like me, it can’t come quickly
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Proposed “SECURE Act 2.0” May Boost Retirement Savings

The House of Representatives introduced a new bipartisan bill on October 27 called Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020 (SSRA). With a majority of Americans falling behind with their savings, this bill would nudge individuals in the right direction. Michael Townsend, Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, says, “It’s not likely this will be passed into law this year, but the bill has backing from key leaders on both sides of the aisle, so it stands a very good
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Refocus Post-Election Stress to Your Financial Plan

The 2020 election is moving closer to conclusion, and like many investors, you may have mixed emotions about the future. If you’re looking for clarity and guidance, here are key points for refocusing that post-election stress and anxiety back to your financial plan. Avoid acting hastily based on election results. Equity markets moved higher in the week following the election. However, experts’ consistent point of view is to avoid reacting to immediate news related to the election. Avoid assuming anyone
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