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IRS Releases Updated Form W-4 and Withholding Calculator

The IRS has released a new version of Form W-4 and a revised Withholding Calculator on irs.gov (IR-2018-36). These updated tools can help you check your 2018 tax withholding to determine if it's still appropriate following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017. The IRS urges taxpayers to use these tools to make sure they have the right amount of tax withheld from their paychecks, taking into account significant changes to the tax law for 2018.

Umbrella Liability Insurance

When your local weather forecaster tells you that it's going to rain, what do you do? That's easy--you reach for your umbrella. So why not purchase an umbrella that can protect you in stormy financial weather? Umbrella liability insurance (ULI) can do just that. By providing liability protection above and beyond the basic coverage that homeowners/renters and auto insurance policies offer, ULI can protect you against the catastrophic losses that can occur if you are sued.

New Reports Highlight Continuing Challenges for Social Security and Medicare

Most Americans will receive Social Security and Medicare benefits at some point in their lives. For this reason, workers and retirees are concerned about potential program shortfalls that could affect future benefits. Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release lengthy annual reports to Congress that assess the health of these important programs. The newest reports, released on June 5, 2018, discuss the current financial condition and ongoing financial challenges that both programs face, and project a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019. 

Health Savings Account Utilization Strategies

Health savings accounts (HSA) are a means for an individual with a qualifying high deductible health plan(1) to save for both current and future health expenses. Unlike any other savings vehicle, they are largely appealing for the triple tax benefit that they offer: contributions are tax-deductible, the interest and/or earnings grow tax free, and account owners may make tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses (2).

The Importance of Tax-Efficient Portfolio Rebalancing

In recent years, investors have been fortunate to experience strong returns from equities. With the S&P 500 being up about 70% from this same point five years ago, there’s a lot for investors to be happy about. While being content with a surge in asset values, many investors are facing tough decisions on how to free up liquidity in their taxable brokerage accounts without being hammered by capital gains tax. This brings up the question, how can I free up liquidity while remaining true to my desired asset allocation and limiting capital gains tax?

Tax Strategies for Charitably Inclined Taxpayers

2018 Tax reform has brought about some of the biggest changes to the tax laws since the 1980’s. With new law, often comes confusion and occasionally misinformation for taxpayers. Many taxpayers believe they will no longer be able to deduct their charitable contributions in 2018 and going forward. The standard deduction has been increased, meaning that many people with modest charitable contributions each year may not see the same benefit. However, strategies exist for the charitably inclined to realize tax benefits in 2018 and going forward.

15 Signs You Need a Financial Planner

You wouldn’t depart for an important trip without a clear idea of how to get to your destination — or at least without a GPS or map to show you how to get there. The same logic applies to your journey through life. You’re likely to get lost without a clear financial plan to get where you want to go, now and well into the future.

Handling Market Volatility

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up, must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when it's your money at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the following common sense tips can help.

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