Retirement challenges for single people

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The financial industry tends to focus on married couples or widows.  The assumption one is tempted to make is the retirement planning for single people is easier and that single people don’t need help.  The opposite is actually true – single people have more complex retirement planning needs and the need for outside help is just as great as for married couples.  There are several reasons for this.  Below is my list of issues that single people face that married ...

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Small investors regain confidence and return to markets

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This headline wins the first “Reasons Why You Need A Financial Planner” headline award of 2013.  Why is this so scarry?  Because the equity markets are near their pre-crash highs after a trying 5 years in the markets.  If small investors ran from the markets during and after the crash and are just coming back now, they have done exactly what people say they don’t do – buy high and sell low.  How else do you explain selling as the market drops ...

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Paying for college

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One of the questions I frequently get related to paying for college is should my kids pay part of the bill?  There is no right or wrong answer to this question.  My general advice to the parents is that whatever decision they make should be consistent with their family’s values and the other financial decisions they have made up to this point.

Here is a short list of some of the reasons to have the children pay part of all of ...

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Roth versus Traditional IRA – the hidden assumption

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It’s almost tax day, and as usual we are seeing a lot of articles about whether people should use a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.  The difference between the two options is when you pay taxes.  When you use a traditional IRA, you get a tax deduction today and all the earnings in the account grow tax free until you take the money out.  When you withdraw the money, it is taxed as ordinary income.  With a Roth IRA, ...

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2012 Health care costs

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According to an article today (8/25/2011) on Kiplinger.com,  the National Business Group on Health issued a report that shows we can expect to pay more for health insurance in 2012.  The increases are expected in all areas – premiums, co-pays and deductibles.  Additionally, 17% of employers plan to offer only High Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts (HDHP/HSA) .  These health plans require the employee to pay deductibles  of at least $1,200 for individuals ...

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