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1
How to Choose a Financial Planner
2
Why Social Security Decisions Are So Tough
3
Keeping Your Investing Resolve
4
Tax Season: Tips to Save
5
Grandparents: Is Your Helping Hurting Financial Aid?

How to Choose a Financial Planner

Before you sign a contract or buy a product consider the following before choosing your financial planner.

  1. Make sure they’re a CFP®. At the very minimum, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ has the met the education, exam, ethics and experience requirements in order to be qualified to discuss your financial planning needs. Anyone can call themselves a financial planner, but not everyone is a CFP®. This should be the starting point of your search. Just because the planner is a CFP®, doesn’t mean you should automatically work with them.
  1. Make sure they’re a fiduciary. A fiduciary is legally required to act
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Why Social Security Decisions Are So Tough

If you’re facing the decision of when to file for your Social Security benefit, you’ve probably noticed just how confusing it can all be. There are so many decision-points in the system, it’s no wonder folks are confused.  Depending on your point of view and how you count the decision-points, each person facing this decision has thousands of possible combinations to consider as they decide when to pull the trigger and file for benefits.

Recently I was going over a decision tree that I had built to describe the decision-making process for filing, and within this review I have counted …

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Keeping Your Investing Resolve

Two months past New Year’s Eve and it’s quite likely your own “resolutions” are merely well-intentioned memories. It’s not easy to resist temptation and some might ask why, indeed, they should. Investors may have been tempted, for example, to eschew equities entirely after global stock prices crashed in 2008. However, for those who kept their resolve and their wits about them, they benefited from the past few years, which saw stock prices soaring, eventually rising even past their pre-crash highs.

About this time last year, investors questioned why they should hold onto bonds. Indeed, financial writers insisted that the timing …

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Tax Season: Tips to Save

As spring approaches we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of tax season gathering tax documents. Many people face this time with stress and trepidation due to the fear of the unknown. They have no idea whether they will have to pay in or get a refund.

Tax year 2014 is officially over, but there are still a few things you can do to positively affect your tax return.  And one of the most important things you can do to improve your tax return is to capture all available deductions and credits.   I have seen enough tax returns prepared …

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Grandparents: Is Your Helping Hurting Financial Aid?

Grandparents: Is Your Helping Hurting Financial Aid?

As college costs continue escalating, many gladly welcome help from family. With savvy planning, grandparents can ensure their gifts are not impeding a grandchild's ability to access financial aid.

The traditional financial aid assessment tool used by the Department of Education to award grants and loans is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines a family's eligibility for financial aid by counting certain income and assets towards their ability to pay college costs.

Under the FAFSA, grandparent-owned 529s are not counted in the formula but any distributions are counted as income in the following year. …

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