Rough road ahead for retirees?

When planning for retirement, it’s important to make several assumptions concerning expected investment returns, life expectancy and inflation. If you utilize conservative assumptions regarding these factors, your chances of not running out of money will improve. However, according to David Blanchett, the head of retirement research for Morningstar, stocks are likely to return in the…

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Preferred stocks

When looking for more stability and higher yields, many investors are turning to preferred stocks. These securities have some characteristics of regular stocks but also have some characteristics of bonds. According to Barrons, they are currently paying higher yields than junk bonds at an approximate rate of 6 percent. Many of these stocks are issued…

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Benefits of fixed annuities

For those looking for conservative growth with higher yields than bank products, fixed annuities can be an attractive option. Fixed annuities are contracts with insurance companies that provide for tax-deferred interest payments that go into the contract owner’s account.   The term of a fixed deferred annuity can vary but it is typically between three…

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Minimizing annuity taxes

Many deferred annuity owners have seen their accounts appreciate over the years without having to pay any taxes. However, at some point someone is going to have to pay taxes. The question is, how does one mitigate the impact of taxes?   When a deferred annuity owner takes withdrawals from his or her account, the…

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Tax-free 1031 real estate exchange

Many successful people have become wealthy from real estate investments. According to Forbes, about 10 percent of the world’s billionaires created their wealth from real estate. A significant portion of these investors were very “hands-on” over the years in the development and management of their properties.   Many real estate investors envision a retirement with…

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Maximizing the tax benefit of charitable donations

With the new tax laws, it has become potentially more difficult to receive optimal tax treatment for one’s charitable donations. Married couples filing jointly now have a $24,000 standard deduction. Unless the total itemized deductions are more than $24,000, it won’t pay to itemize. Moreover, big deductions of the past for state property tax and…

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Tariffs and the stock market

It is universally agreed that international trade wars are bad for global economies. Tariffs increase prices on goods people buy. Consumers either buy less or they increase consumer debt. Tariffs hurt corporate profits, which is bad for stock prices.   However, President Trump has nevertheless decided to place tariffs on various imports — most notably…

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A better way to plan for long-term care expenses

Seven out of 10 Americans over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care.* If you are very wealthy, you can probably afford the $41,000 per year for home health care or the $90,000 per year for a semi-private room in a nursing home.** Conversely if you are of modest means, you…

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Index annuity update

Many investors have been increasing their allocations to index annuities as a way to reduce market risk while still maintaining reasonable growth expectations. As numerous insurance carriers have recently started offering “uncapped” index annuities, there are now several attractive alternatives to choose from.   Most uncapped index annuities will allow participation in a percentage of…

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results

There is a universal disclaimer that warns investors not to assume that the recent results of any particular investment will continue into the future. Despite this warning, when contemplating potential investment strategies, investors tend to place excessive weight on recent performance. After all, who wants to invest in a fund that lost 20 percent in…

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