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Follow these suggestions for a comfortable retirement

July 11, 2016

Planning for a comfortable retirement involves coordinating many moving parts. But you can begin by setting up a broad outline and filling in the details once you've taken the first steps.

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Investing During Retirement and Avoiding Uncle Sam’s Tax Booth, Part 2 of 3 in a Series

By Aaron Bates, CFP, Investment Advisor   |  July 7, 2016

People usually spend thirty to forty years saving and investing for retirement. Many become very familiar with the tax rules as they grow their accounts and keep taxes as low as possible during their working years. Then retirement comes and...

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Recap from the Chicago Morningstar Investment Conference

By   |  July 7, 2016

Every year, Morningstar, an independent investment research firm, hosts a conference near their headquarters in Chicago. Financial advisors and mutual fund representatives from all over the country come to discuss the current economic environment and...

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Investment Update

July 7, 2016

For the calendar year 2016, the S&P 500 Index is up 3.84%. As you can see from the chart below, which shows performance year to date, the index has rebounded from its February lows. The 10% decline that ended in February has been recovered.

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Are you at risk of an audit?

June 24, 2016

According to recent statistics, budget cuts, staff attrition, and a heavy workload for IRS employees mean your chances of undergoing a tax audit are less than 1%.

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Follow these steps to a comfortable retirement

June 23, 2016

Planning can help you achieve a comfortable retirement. Here are five suggestions to consider.

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Will you be ready for the new overtime pay rules?

June 23, 2016

In May, the Department of Labor updated the rules for paying overtime. Under the new rules, salaried employees who earn less than $913 per week ($47,476 per year) will be eligible for overtime pay. That’s double the annual exempt amount of $23,660 from previous rules.

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Understand basis to save tax dollars

June 5, 2016

Basis is an important tax concept. The most recent reminder of the importance of getting basis right is the 2015 law that requires executors of some estates to report basis...

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Keywords: tax basis

Retiring this summer? Plan for estimated tax payments.

June 4, 2016

Early retirement, delayed retirement, phased retirement - if you've decided this summer is your time to leave the workforce, you have decisions to make. One of them

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Keywords: retirement

Are You Managing Your Retirement Account Correctly?

By   |  June 3, 2016

Retirement accounts are massively important - once you stop working full time, they become your new source of income. But they are also important during your working years.

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Report your foreign financial accounts by June 30

June 3, 2016

June 30, 2016, is the deadline for filing the 2015 Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, known as the FBAR.

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Did you get your new “chip” card?

June 2, 2016

The latest credit cards have a new feature: a half-inch square on the card's face that looks like a mini circuit board.

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Keywords: chip card

May 2016 Market Insight

June 1, 2016

As the weather has warmed and plants have begun to blossom, US markets have also started to show signs of life..

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Keywords: sstock market  |   0 comments

Make June business tax planning time

June 1, 2016

Looking for suggestions to reduce your 2016 business tax liability? Here are three tips to consider as summer gets underway.

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Your business may qualify for this extended tax break

May 25, 2016

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit gives employers a tax credit for hiring veterans and others who are members of “target” groups.

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How to respond to an IRS notice

May 24, 2016

If you find yourself on the IRS mailing list, here’s what to do.

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Keywords: irs notice

Protect your family elders from tax and financial scams

May 20, 2016

The "Older Americans Reauthorization Act of 2016" was signed into law in April, and May is Older Americans Month, a national celebration of the many contributions of older Americans.

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Simplify your tax life by organizing your chart of accounts

May 20, 2016

If you haven't revised your business's chart of accounts since you initially set it up, you may be missing out on an easy way to simplify your life at tax time.

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April 2016 Market Insight

May 2, 2016

The trends from the first quarter of the year continued in April, as major index returns remained muted and growth stocks underperformed.

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Keywords: market, stock market

Are bad business debts a tax deduction?

April 28, 2016

If you're in business long enough, you'll run into a customer who doesn't pay you. Despite your best efforts, you may conclude that you'll never receive the money.

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Keep up with section 179 depreciation changes

April 27, 2016

Did you know that a recent law made changes to the section 179 expensing election for 2016? These modifications took effect as of January 1. Here's what to consider...

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Keywords: depreciation

Easy ways to ruin your credit score

April 26, 2016

Investor Warren Buffet once said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." The same maxim applies to good credit.

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Keywords: credit, credit score

Start your midyear planning with these tax savers

April 25, 2016

As you get ready for midyear tax planning, keep these lesser-known tax breaks in mind. Residential energy credit.Commercial building energy deduction.Straight-line depreciation.

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Keywords: tax savings

Social Security’s Effect on Retirement


Have you ever put together a jigsaw puzzle? If you're like me, you dump out all of the pieces, turn them so you can see a glimpse of the picture, sort out the edge pieces...

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Social Security Representative Payee Program


Another tax season has come and gone, and I learned something new this year!

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Last Call for the Social Security “File and Suspend” Strategy


The Social Security claiming strategy, "File and Suspend," will be phased out May 1, 2016, as a result of The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

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Keywords: social security  |   0 comments

Investing for Your Retirement and Avoiding Uncle Sam’s Tax Booth Part 1 of a Series

By Aaron Bates, CFP, Investment Advisor   |  April 15, 2016

Each investment decision you make comes with some sort of tax impact.A taxable account is perhaps the most common type of investment account.

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Investment Update

By   |  April 15, 2016

For the calendar year 2016, the S&P 500 Index is up 1.35%. As you can see from the chart below, which represents the trailing 12 months, the index has rebounded from ...

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Keywords: investments, stock market  |   1 comments

Estate executors: Add this new task to your to-do list

April 5, 2016

If you're an estate executor and you're required to file an estate tax return, the IRS has a new form for you: Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent.

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March 2016 Market Insight

April 1, 2016

In our December 2015 end of year market recap, we discussed the fact that the S&P 500 is a market cap weighted index. This means that bigger companies carry a bigger weight in the index...

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Keywords: market, stock market