Articles

Estate Planning

Assuring the Smooth Distribution of Your Estate

What is it? One of the nicest gifts you can leave your heirs when you die is an estate that's in good order, planned according to your wishes, with a guardian designated to represent any minor children, and with provisions to cover estate taxes . You can accomplish...

Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan

If you care about what happens to your money, home, and other property after you die, you need to do some estate planning. There are many tools you can use to achieve your estate planning goals, but a will is probably the most vital. Even if you're young or your...

Caring for Your Aging Parents

Caring for your aging parents is something you hope you can handle when the time comes, but it's the last thing you want to think about. Whether the time is now or somewhere down the road, there are steps that you can take to make your life (and theirs) a little...

Trust

Marital Trust (also called an A Trust)

What is it? Marital trust used in conjunction with bypass trust to minimize estate taxes and provide for children A marital trust (also known as an A trust) is a type of trust that is used by married couples, usually in conjunction with a bypass trust , to minimize...

Living Trust

What is it? A living trust (also known as a revocable or inter vivos trust) is a separate legal entity that you create to own property, such as your home, boat, or investments. You transfer some or all of your property to the trust as soon as it is created. During...

Investment Planning

Active vs. Passive Portfolio Management

One of the longest-standing debates in investing is over the relative merits of active portfolio management versus passive management. With an actively managed portfolio, a manager tries to beat the performance of a given benchmark index by using his or her judgment...

Introduction to Investment Planning

What is investment planning? The investment planning process If you're fortunate enough to have money left over after paying the costs of living, you may be able to make that extra money go to work for you by investing it to earn a financial return. Investment...

Insurance

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Your life insurance needs change as your life changes. When you are young, you may not have a need for life insurance. However, as you take on more responsibility and your family grows, your life insurance needs increase. Your needs may then decrease after your...

The Fundamentals of Disability Insurance

Disability insurance pays benefits when you are unable to earn a living because you are sick or injured. Most disability policies pay you a benefit that replaces a percentage of your earned income when you can't work. Why would you need disability insurance? Your...

Fundamental Needs for Life Insurance

What is the financial impact of premature death? In general The premature death of the head of your household can leave you with unresolved financial responsibilities, including the following: • An unpaid mortgage • The funding of your child(ren)'s college education •...

Determining the Need for Disability Income Insurance: How Much Is Enough?

What is it? Most people believe that they are adequately insured against disability because they think they have coverage through their employer or through the government. That's probably why 80 percent of Americans don't own private disability income insurance...

Education

529 Plans and Financial Aid Eligibility

If you're thinking about joining a 529 plan, or if you've already opened an account, you might be concerned about how 529 funds will affect your child's chances of receiving financial aid. Of all the areas related to 529 plans, financial aid is perhaps the most...

Funding Private Elementary/Secondary School

How can you pay for your child's private school? Many parents are committed to sending their children to private elementary or secondary school. Yet paying private school tuition can present a compelling cash flow problem. The reason is that, unlike with college or...
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