What is a Funeral Trust and a Pet Trust?

Funeral Trust A funeral trust is an arrangement entered into with a provider of funeral or burial services. Prepaying funeral expenses may allow you to “lock in” costs for future funeral or burial services at an agreed-upon price. The funeral home sometimes serves as trustee (manager of trust assets), and you usually fund the trust …

Setting Up A SIMPLE IRA Plan: It’s Simple!

Looking for a retirement plan for your employees that’s easy and inexpensive to administer? Well, there may be a simple answer: the Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers, better known as the SIMPLE IRA plan. A SIMPLE IRA plan lets your employees defer up to $12,500 in 2017 ($15,500 if age 50 …

4 Things To Do In The 4 Years Before College

College is a huge financial undertaking. With costs increasing every year and the prospect of too much student debt at the forefront of many families’ minds, it’s more important than ever to be an educated college consumer. Go into the planning process wisely with these four steps. Have questions? We’re here to help.  Please fill …

Four Numbers You Need To Know

When it comes to your finances, you might easily overlook some of the numbers that really count. Here are four to pay attention to now that might really matter in the future. 1. Retirement plan contribution rate What percentage of your salary are you contributing to a retirement plan? Making automatic contributions through an employer-sponsored …

Are you ready to retire?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are ready to retire. Is your nest egg adequate? It may be obvious, but the earlier you retire, the less time you’ll have to save, and the more years you’ll be living off your retirement savings. The average American can expect to …

What is an ERISA fiduciary?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted in 1974 to protect employees who participate in retirement plans and certain other employee benefit plans. At the time, there were concerns that pension plan funds were being mismanaged, causing participants to lose benefits they had worked so hard to earn. ERISA protects the interests of …

Is It Wise to Trade Your Pension for a Lump Sum?

Most private employers have already replaced traditional pensions, which promise lifetime income payments in retirement, with defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s. But 15% of private-sector workers and 75% of state and local government workers still participate in traditional pensions.1 Altogether, 35% of workers say they (and/or their spouse) have pension benefits with a current …

Tax Benefits of Homeownership

Buying a home can be a major expenditure. Fortunately, federal tax benefits are available to make homeownership more affordable and less expensive. There may also be tax benefits under state law. Mortgage interest deduction One of the most important tax benefits of owning a home is that you may be able to deduct any mortgage …

401(k) Withdrawals: Beware the Penalty Tax

You’ve probably heard that if you withdraw taxable amounts from your 401(k) or 403(b) plan before age 59½, you may be socked with a 10% early distribution penalty tax on top of the federal income taxes you’ll be required to pay. But did you know that the Internal Revenue Code contains quite a few exceptions …

How can I prepare financially for stormy weather?

Floods, tornadoes, torrential rain, lightning, and hail are common events in many parts of the country during the spring and may result in widespread damage. Severe weather often strikes with little warning, so take measures now to protect yourself and your property. Review your insurance coverage Make sure your homeowners and auto insurance coverage is …