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By

Pete Rakozy

Why You Want a Retirement Plan in Writing

Many people save and invest vaguely for the future. They know they need to accumulate money for retirement, but when it comes to how much they will need or how they will do it, they are not quite sure. They will “wing it,” hope for the best, and see how it goes. How do they...
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How Much Do You Really Know About Long-Term Care?

How much does eldercare cost, and how do you arrange it when it is needed? The average person might have difficulty answering those two questions, for the answers are not widely known. For clarification, here are some facts to dispel some myths.   True or false: Medicare will pay for your mom or dad’s nursing...
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Retirement Planning Weak Spots

Many households think they are planning carefully for retirement. In many cases, they are not. Weak spots in their retirement planning and saving may go unnoticed.   Couples should recognize that they may face major medical expenses. Each year, Fidelity Investments estimates how much a pair of newly retired 65-year-olds will spend on health care...
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Getting (Mentally) Ready to Retire

A successful retirement is not merely measured in financial terms. Even those who retire with small fortunes can face boredom or depression and the fear of drawing down their savings too fast.   Financial Challenges of Retirement   Practically all retirees have some financial anxiety. It relates to the fact of no longer earning a...
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The Importance of Financial Literacy

 There is a reason why we focus on educating our clients at Smart Financial. We want to ensure our clients understand retirement tools and how they can affect retirement. If only money came with instructions! If it did, the route toward financial security would be clear and direct. Unfortunately, many have inadequate financial knowledge, and...
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Year-End Charitable Gifting

 Are you making charitable donations this holiday season? If so, you should know about some of the financial “fine print” involved, as the right moves could potentially bring more of a benefit to the charity and to you.   To deduct charitable donations, you must itemize them on I.R.S. Schedule A. So, you need to...
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Health Care Costs Are Cutting into Retirement Preparations

You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in health care expenses during the rest of their lives.   In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $275,000, up 70% from its initial estimate in 2002. The effort...
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Are Financial Advisory Fees Tax Deductible?

Do you itemize your tax deductions? If so, you might have a chance to partly or fully deduct the cost of the advisory fees you pay for the investment, legal, and tax advice you receive.   Under federal tax law, you may deduct “investment fees, custodial fees, trust administration fees, and other expenses you paid...
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Are Your Beneficiary Designations Up to Date?

Here’s a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k), annuities, or life insurance policies? You may be saying, “I’m not sure.” It is smart to periodically review your beneficiary designations.   Your choices may need to change with the times. When did you open your first IRA? When...
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Tax Efficiency in Retirement

Will you pay higher taxes in retirement? Do you have a lot of money in a 401(k) or a traditional IRA? If so, you may receive significant retirement income. Those income distributions, however, will be taxed at the usual rate. If you have saved and invested well, you may end up retiring at your current...
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