Posts by Gregory DuPont

Top 5 Things Baby Boomers Should Know

The Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) in 2019 will be 2.8%. This is the largest COLA increase from the Social Security Administration since 2012.1 Social Security benefits are often taxed. If you work and are at full retirement age or older, you can earn as much as you want and your benefits will not be reduced; however, you may have to pay taxes on them. If your annual combined income is from $32-$44,000 filing jointly, you may have to pay taxes on 50% of your benefits. If your income is more than $44,000 filing jointly, then you may
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Categories: Retirement.

Estate Planning Basics

October is “Estate Planning Awareness Month.” Here are some basics about estate planning that everyone should know. Everyone should have a plan Even if you think “you’re not rich enough” to have an “estate,” unless you’re homeless or destitute you should have an estate plan in place. Estate plans provide for the people you leave behind when you pass away, and help ensure that your final wishes get carried out. The last thing you want is your family members fighting over dishes or fishing poles when you’re gone, or having to sell the family home or take other drastic measures
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Categories: Estate Planning.

Resist Tapping Into Your 401(k), Employer-Sponsored Plan If You Can

‘Leakage’ can erode assets and negatively impact your retirement wealth If you find it difficult to save or pay for big financial emergencies when they arise, tapping into a pot of money can be tempting – even if it’s your 401(k)-style employer-sponsored plan. But if you’re able to resist, rewards do come from the power of compounding. The problem, though, is that a small percentage of Americans take early withdrawals and withdrawals after age 59½ from their 401(k)s each year or cash out of their plan when they switch jobs. A large percentage – typically about 20% of plan participants
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Categories: Financial Planning.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

Risk Management Is About More Than Your Investments A lot of financial services professionals talk about “risk” when it comes to your stock market investments. But risk can encompass more than your investment risk tolerance. The broader definition of financial risk is the possibility of loss from any unexpected life event. For instance, what will happen to your family’s income if one spouse passes away, becomes disabled or unable to work, or needs long-term care? What happens to your kids’ education fund, or your retirement? Risk management in this case means shifting risk of financial loss from adverse events to
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Categories: Financial Literacy.

When Should I Seek Financial Advice?

Here are some life milestones and events that mark when you should make the call to a financial advisor. When there’s a new baby in the family. Parents, grandparents, siblings—everyone is affected when the new baby comes along. Now is the time to plan for what this tiny family member will grow to need in the future—especially college funds. And now is also the time to make sure that you have the right insurance and protections in place to see the child through to adulthood should something unexpectedly happen to you. When you get married. Two people joined together in
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Financial Planning.

7 Things You Should Know About Medicare Before You Retire

It’s important to understand the facts about Medicare before heading into retirement. Here is a basic overview of seven things you should be aware of when it comes to this important federal health insurance benefit. But keep in mind that certain parts of the Medicare program vary by state, so you will want to get more in-depth information before you turn 65 based on your primary retirement residence. It’s not free. Even though studies have shown that Medicare is cheaper than most health plans offered by private insurers, it still does not cover all health costs when a person retires.
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Categories: Medicare and Retirement.

How the Rich Think About Their Wealth

The 2018 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey found that while increased wealth provides greater freedom, only half of high-net-worth individuals have a plan in place to optimize the opportunities their wealth provides. However, creating and continuously evolving a customized plan is the key to putting wealth into action. Findings from a recent survey of high- and ultra-high-net-worth adults across the United States revealed that while increased wealth brought greater freedom to people, most felt they had still not optimized their opportunities for taking risks, pursuing passions, giving back and making a bigger impact on the world. Comprehensive
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Categories: Financial Literacy.

What You Should Know About Annuities

Annuities are similar to a pension you purchase for yourself.     Company pensions are pretty much a thing of the past in corporate America. While the ubiquitous 401(k) plan might help workers save pre-tax dollars for retirement, they’ve also shifted the responsibility for retirement planning to the individual. And as many people saw in 2008, 401(k)s can be fraught with market risk, including the risk of losing it all and having to go back to work. Annuities can be thought of as a way to transform savings into income. When you purchase an annuity, you are exchanging a sum of
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Categories: Annuities and Financial Literacy.

Vacation Tips for the Traveler

Whether you’re planning a modest long-weekend trip or an elaborate European vacation, here are some tips for travel this summer. PACKING Consider borrowing luggage from a friend if you don’t travel often. Pack as lightly as possible—have no more than a week’s supply of fresh, washable, weather-appropriate clothing. If flying and checking luggage, mark the bags in some way so that they stand out in the airport baggage claim carousel (i.e. big pink ribbon), and make sure your current address and phone number are securely attached to the outside of bags in case they get lost. Speaking of lost luggage,
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Categories: Lifestyle.

April is Financial Literacy Month. Here Are the Top 10 Things You Should Know.

Tax reform changes a lot of things starting in the 2018 tax year. (And a lot of the new law sunsets in 2026, returning to 2017 levels.) Under the new tax law passed last December—the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act”—some of the changes include new tax brackets, new limits to mortgage interest deductions, lower deductions for local property/sales taxes, higher standard deductions, higher estate tax exemptions, and more. We suggest that you meet with both your financial advisor as well as your tax professional to see how you will be affected, and how you might best prepare for 2018 and
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Categories: Financial Literacy.