Articles

Retirement Planning: What Women Do Right — MassMutual

Women, it seems, have the temperament and resolve to potentially manage their money more effectively than men, character traits that could help counter some of the significant financial headwinds against them as they seek to build a retirement nest egg.

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5 Smart Ways to Use Your Home Equity — U.S. News & World Report

Cash-strapped middle class families may be richer than they think. Or at least, that could be true if they have owned a house for a while. Equity in a home – that is, the value of a property in excess of any mortgage balance – can be a powerful financial tool if used correctly.

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5 Smart Ways to Use Your Home Equity — Yahoo! Finance

Using home equity to pay for a major purchase can make financial sense. The danger of using home equity is that a borrower might be tempted to extend the repayment period. “When you get into them, you have to have a plan to pay them off,” says John Gajkowski.

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How Might Changes to Obamacare Affect You? — Daily Worth

Newly installed President Donald Trump has made healthcare legislation a top priority during his administration, and a Republican Congress appears willing to repeal the landmark legislation. But with no consensus on a replacement plan, many Americans are wondering how potential changes may affect them.

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Year End Tax Planning Moves — MassMutual

Tax planning may well be a year-round job, but the fourth and final quarter of the year is where the rubber meets the road.

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How to Ditch that Holiday Debt — MassMutual

It was another joyful holiday season and your gifts to friends and family did not disappoint. Sure, you went a bit over budget, but you did elicit some memorable “wows.” Now, as you set your sights on a happy and halcyon 2017, you must first settle up/make peace with the credit card companies that bankrolled your generosity.

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16 signs you’ve ‘made it’ in America — Business Insider

Below, find 16 signs from the survey that you’ve “made it.” And remember: Just like the Dream has evolved over time, it also varies from person to person. Whether or not you’ve truly “made it” isn’t about your car or travel schedule. It’s completely up to you.

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Are bonds always the safest investment bet? That depends on what kind of investor you are — Yahoo! Finance

“Everything has risk,” Coutu said. “You just have to understand where the risk is, and then determine if you can tolerate it.” The first step is to evaluate whether bonds should be part of your portfolio at all.

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Bonds aren’t always surest bet for every investor’s portfolio — CNBC

The problem, advisors say, is that many investors think all bond investments are risk-free. The truth is more complicated. The idea, advisors say, is to understand the benefits that bonds bring to an investment portfolio and the various risks that come with them.

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Becoming a Grandparent — The Hartford, Extra Mile

In addition to financial support for big-ticket items, it’s common for grandparents to shower their grandchildren with toys, books and clothing, but Gajkowski suggests splitting your spending between those items and a savings fund.

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Millennials: A 401(k), Roth Combo May Win — MassMutual

Millennials and those with modest incomes listen up: You may be able to give your retirement savings a boost by contributing less to your 401(k).

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If you want a comfortable retirement, better get ready — The Washington Post

Much has been written about the nation’s lack of retirement preparedness. Most of us aren’t prepared. Still, it’s never too late to start.

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Steps to take to ensure a satisfying retirement — The Washington Post

You’ve probably seen them both: the happy retiree and the bored, miserable retiree. The fact is fewer Americans say they are “very satisfied” in retirement, and increasing numbers are not at all satisfied.

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Postelection Market Concerns? Here’s How Investors Can Cope — NerdWallet

The market doesn’t play politics, but it does vote against uncertainty.

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It takes a lot of work to be ready to retire. Don’t forget these things. — The Washington Post

We get busy in life. Between raising a family, starting a career, buying a home and then eventually sending the kids to college, it’s not a big surprise that retirement planning takes a back seat.

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Are You Taking Too Much From Your Retirement Funds? — Yahoo! Finance

After 40 years of saving money in retirement accounts, people are left to determine how to use that money wisely once they leave the workforce.

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First Home Was Their Vacation Home — Chicago Tribune

Rent in Chicago and buy in Michigan? For some millennials, it makes sense to lease in an apartment in the city but also buy that cottage on the lakeshore.

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Local Financial Advisor Receives Advanced Training from America’s IRA Experts at Ed Slott and Company, LLC — Chicago Tribune

2-Day Workshop held for members of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group to train on the latest retirement account planning strategies, new tax laws and guidelines for new Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule.

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How (and Why) Men and Women Retire Differently — U.S. News & World Report

When it comes to investing in retirement, men are more aggressive and willing to take risks compared to women.

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The Money Move That 75% Of Retirees Wish They Had Made — Investor’s Business Daily

Some ideas from financial advisors about steps that can save you $500 or more for each expenditure, usually yearly. Put some or all of the savings into your retirement accounts!

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Is it Worth it to Switch to a Roth 401(k)? — Money

In this ‘Ask The Expert’ feature, Nancy Coutu explains why it may make sense to invest in a Roth 401(k) versus a traditional 401(k) depending on your financial situation.

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The most important step to take to get out of debt is something most people don’t consider — Business Insider

According to a recent study, 80% of Americans are in debt. Learn the most important step to getting out of debt.

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7 steps anyone can take to get out of debt — Business Insider

What is the most efficient way to dig out of a financial hole? John Gajkowski gives us debt-repayment tips and strategies.

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Kayne West says he’s $53 million in debt — here’s how he can get out of it – Business Insider

Kanye West recently claimed that he’s deep in personal debt after funding his various business endeavors.

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Got life insurance through work? Here are 2 reasons why that’s not enough – Bankrate

Relying too heavily on your life insurance through work could put your family at risk, for 2 key reasons.

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2 reasons you may decide to skip buying life insurance for your kids – Bankrate

While financial experts say life insurance is essential for parents, it’s less important to buy a policy to cover your kids.

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Retirement Income Via Annuities: Pros And Cons – Investors.com 

Annuities have an image problem. If you Google “annuity drawbacks,” the search engine coughs up nearly 120,000 results.’

Is an HSA Missing From Your Retirement Savings Strategy? – US News 

HSAs are another way for you to beef up your retirement savings.

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How to give your kids money without losing half of it to taxes (Beware the kiddie tax) – Business Insider 

If you want to leave your children a generous amount of money in your will, the federal estate tax may eat up a large chunk of their inheritance.

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Why Banks Won’t Increase Savings Account Rates Even After Interest Rates Rise- GoBankingRates

If you are among the 29 percent of Americans who actually have at least $1,000 in a savings account, you might have noticed that it is not earning much interest.

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Time to Plan for 2016 Money Matters – USA Today

Halloween is Saturday, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the hectic holiday season is coming soon, so there’s no better time to get your money matters in order and nail down a 2016 game plan. Money stuff you need to address includes your investment portfolio, debt load, retirement savings and insurance needs.

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4 Pre-Retirement Savings Strategies – Financial Planning Magazine

Because life expectancies have increased, many individuals, not surprisingly haven’t saved enough for retirement.

 How a Buy-Sell-Hold Strategy Works in a Bear Market – U.S. News & World Report

The phrase “putting your money to work” is a staple of financial services marketing. But right now, would your money do more for you if it took a nap?

Coffee break: John Gajkowski – Daily Herald Business Ledger 

With people living longer than ever before clients have become truly scared of outliving their money.

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Will illness derail your retirement plans? – The Daily Herald 

A third of Americans expect to work at least until age 65. Another 10 percent don’t plan to retire at all.

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You may intend to keep working. But life may say otherwise – The Washington Post

Half of retirees say they retired earlier than they had planned. You should be ready.

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The Best Investment Gift for a Grandchild – Money.com

Whether you have $100 to give or $10,000, the best investment gift for a young grandchild is to open or contribute to a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan.

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Monthly Report: Your Retirement Checklist – USA Today

Financial planners often tell stories about 50-somethings who come to them for help and have saved little or nothing for their retirement.

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Wirehouses and RIAs Are Worlds Apart on Prospecting – Financial Advisor IQ

Wirehouses and RIAs may not be separate universes, but advisors who’ve worked in both channels say they are worlds apart regarding the pursuit of prospects.

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How Young Women Can Bridge Retirement Savings Gap – Chicago Tribune

Saving enough money for retirement can be daunting for anyone. But a growing body of research shows that women in particular lack the confidence to plan for old age.

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Tips for People Behind in Retirement Savings – USA Today

Financial planners often tell stories about 50-somethings who come to them for help and have saved little or nothing for their retirement.

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 When a Client Has More Than One Adviser – Wall Street Journal

The most important condition for managing just a part of a client’s wealth: Full disclosure from the client.

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Financial decisions young adults can make to usher in a prosperous New Year – Chicago Tribune

The holidays are usually not the time when you want to tackle money chores. But doing a little financial housekeeping could be the best gift you give yourself this year.

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Best Practices: Smart Ways To Run Your Advisory Firm – Investor’s Business Daily

Her on-the-run schedule includes running financial classes in three cities: her home
base of Ammon, Idaho; Rexburg, about 27 miles to the northeast; and Pocatello, 49
miles southwest.

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Retirement: Should you pay off the mortgage when you retire? – USA Today

It was different back in the day. You worked 30 years, got a watch and a pension. Your health care was probably provided by your company’s retiree insurance plan, or even your union.

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Don’t ignore 2013 as you take stock in 2014 – Chicago Tribune

The calendar may say 2014, but a few pivotal events from 2013 will continue to hold some influence in the new year, and financial advisers say January is a good time to take action.

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Can They Retire Early? – Money Magazine

Dave and Kathy Frazier are among the dwindling number of Americans eligible for generous pensions in their fifties. The most intimidating task on the horizon, though, is financing college for the couple’s children, Austin, 10, and Emily, 8.

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Women face hard retirement choices – USA Today

Financial planners have long known that women face unique issues in retirement.

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How one woman fell in love with the insurance industry – LifeHealthPro

Nancy Coutu studied finance and economics in college, but she never imagined that more than 30 years later she would find herself in the financial services field.

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Keep Your Retirement Dream From Going Up In Smoke – Crain’s Wealth

Learn the tricks financial advisers use to help clients achieve their retirement dreams.

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How to Get the Most of 529 College Savings Plan – Fox Business

With college tuition prices rising around 5% to 7% a year, the sooner you start to save for your children’s higher education the better.

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Investing Mistakes to Avoid When Retirement is Just Around the Corner – Fox Business

Saving for retirement is complicated, and investing mistakes are common. But when retirement is just around the corner, a blunder could be disastrous on a nest egg.

There’s no guarantee when playing the stock market, but there are common mistakes consumers can steer clear of to better protect their retirement fund.

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Turning a Job Loss in to Early Retirement – The Wall Street Journal

The woman called financial advisor Nancy Coutu in a panic.

Her 57-year-old husband had just lost his job as a system programmer. The couple had planned to retire in five years and was still $300,00 short of their retirement savings goal. Now they faced the prospect of having to close that gap without the husband’s $80,000 annual salary and his 401(k) match. His pension also was reduced substantially to only $13,000 a year.

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7 Retirement Investing Mistakes – Bankrate.com

Retirement is a gradual process that involves some planning. Ideally, people begin to transition their portfolio into retirement mode years before they actually hang up their working hats.

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Sound Strategy for Your Financial Future – Chicago Women Business Leaders

When a man lost his job at age 50, he realized he was unlikely to get another one that paid as well, due to his age and other factors. Fortunately, he and his wife had been working with Chicago-based Money Managers Financial Group (MMFG) to ensure they would have enough to retire. “They had already amassed a pretty good sum in their retirement portfolio,” says Nancy Coutu, CFP®, founder and president. “They sold their house in Illinois and bought a substantially less expensive one in Arizona. That was 15 years ago. They still have enough money for another 25 years, if they need it.

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5 of the Biggest Money Mistakes Retirees Make – Yahoo! Finance

When you’re young, you can afford to make some financial mistakes. The closer you get to retirement, however, the more costly those missteps can be. And whereas past generations often just waited for their pension checks to come each week, nowadays retirees have to handle most of the saving themselves and figure out how to allocate that money for a longer life span.

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At what age should you start claiming Social Security? – USA Today

It’s a big decision, one we’ll all have to make: Should I take Social Security as soon as I’m eligible, at age 62, or wait till I’m 66 … or even 70, when I would receive the maximum benefit?

The answer is not as simple as you might think. And the consequences are enormous.

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Retirement: Plan ahead for these 5 nasty surprises – USA Today

You’re all set for retirement. You’ve been planning and saving for years. You’re just two years away from the big day, and everything’s on track.

Then, boom! Something happens. An unexpected legal or medical expense. A grown child moving back home after a divorce. If it happens when you’re about to retire or are already retired, it can throw your well thought-out retirement plan into chaos.

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