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Conventional wisdom says that life insurance is sold, not purchased. In other words, some people are reluctant to discuss the importance of owning life insurance, and others are simply unaware of the need to have life insurance. Although many large companies provide life insurance as part of their benefits package, this coverage may be insufficient. Who needs life insurance? If there are individuals who depend on you for financial support, or if you work at

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Good money habits can help you as you save and invest for the future. Bad habits can leave you treading water (or underwater) financially. Here are some to avoid. Not saving enough. Instead of paying themselves first, some families pay others first. Dollars they could save and invest are instead spent on consumer goods and services they don’t need. Money that could be saved and invested for tomorrow is spent today. Carrying too much debt.

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If you don't have a financial plan, that question may be hard to answer. To achieve financial wellness, you need to define your goals and set a time frame for reaching them. The following steps can help you take control of your finances. Build a Budget A good place to start would be with a budget. Tracking your expenses can help you determine how much money you have coming in each month and how much

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  Roth IRA Traditional IRA 10% penalty for withdrawals prior to age 59½ Yes** Yes** Tax-deductible contributions No Yes*** Tax-deferred accumulation Yes Yes Tax-free distribution Yes No Mandatory minimum withdrawals requiredto start at age 70½ No Yes   *Withdrawals after age 59½ may be taxable if the Roth IRA has not existed for at least five years. Penalty-free withdrawals can be taken due to death or disability, and for qualified first-time home purchases. **Early withdrawals

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Without a doubt, income tax laws are complex. Yet, many individuals do their own income tax returns. Sure, the advent of personal income tax software has somewhat eased this burden. Tax preparation software is reasonably inexpensive. However, you still have to gather all the information. But, on the plus side, most software allows you to try several different scenarios and see which is best for your particular situation tax-wise. Some of the programs allow you

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If you are in your twenties, you may think it’s too early to start planning for your retirement. Be assured, it’s never too early. Following are a few tips to consider in planning to feather your nest and nurture your nest egg. 1) Calculate your monthly expenditures and your income. This should include medical costs, transportation costs, and installment payments, as well as household bills and credit card bills. 2) Consider allocating a portion of

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In this competitive and recession-squeezed market, providing superior customer service can make all the difference in both your reputation and your success. All business owners would like to believe their organization provides exceptional customer service. While many businesses boast about their standards, how many are truly successful in delivering a quality of customer service that keeps even the most demanding clients coming back for more? Smaller companies may find it difficult to compete with larger

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Tax planning is more advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end. Opportunities exist for you to minimize tax liability, which will leave more income for you and/or your family. Generally, people put off tax planning because paying income taxes is an obligation. So, this “negative” view causes frustration. It is often simpler to say, “Let’s see how everything shakes out between January 1 and April 15.” However, after December

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Whether you are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or just an ordinary Joe, the gifting principles, tax benefits, and philanthropic rewards of charitable giving can be relatively the same, regardless of how large, or how small, your gifting program. The potential for a charitable income tax deduction or an estate tax reduction, coupled with an enhanced charitable image and sense of personal fulfillment, can make the gifting of assets very attractive. The fact is, you don’t

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