5 Retirement Questions to Ask

5 retirement questions to ask before ‘How much should I save?’

5 retirement questions to ask(BPT) – How do I plan for a comfortable retirement? This question is top of mind for many Americans. Yet how to afford that dream retirement remains a mystery to most. According to The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 42% of working-age people have tried to calculate just how much they need to save to live comfortably in retirement.

But “how much money you need to retire” is not the only question you should be asking — and not even the initial one. There are a few key questions you should consider first to help determine what “retirement” means to you, which will help paint a clearer picture of that magic savings number. Before you pull out your calculator, consider these View full post…

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Stepped-Up Cost Basis Rule Can Reduce Your Taxes

Stepped-Up Cost Basis – Very Important Tax Benefit

Stepped-up cost basis rule saves taxesPractically all married couples have their home and other assets titled jointly with a right of survivorship. What that means is that when one spouse passes away, their ownership of the home or other asset passes on to the surviving spouse. This triggers a tax benefit called stepped-up cost basis.

This arrangement works very well for married couples who have a modest estate and want all of their assets to pass on to the surviving spouse. In most situations, these assets will pass to the surviving spouse without any federal or state death taxes. Plus, there is no need to get involved with lengthy and complicated estate or probate procedures.

What often happens though, the surviving spouse and/or inexperienced executors overlook a very important tax benefit that the survivor is qualified for. Perhaps because the joint ownership rules are so simple, this fact doesn’t surface.

A home, for instance, may have been purchased by the couple at very low cost many years ago. Over the years, it may have increased in value substantially, and at the date of death of the first spouse, may View full post…

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9 Tips on How to Create a Financial Plan Yourself

Creating a Financial Plan Yourself Isn’t Difficult

Learn how to create a financial planYou don’t have to spend a lot of money to learn how to create a personal financial plan. Our tips will show how to do it for free.

A 2019 survey by a respected financial firm, revealed some interesting statistics. The survey pointed out that about 75% of individuals who had a financial plan in place paid their bills on time.

In contrast, about 35% without a plan paid their bills on time. In addition, about 65% who had a financial plan, set up an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. About 25% of those who had no plan, created an emergency fund for future unforeseen expenses.

Statistics like these show that anyone, regardless View full post…

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DIY Home Improvement Project

5 tips for financing your next DIY home improvement project

Create a budget for a diy home improvement(BPT) – Whether it’s transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home or just giving a makeover to your kitchen or bathroom, DIY home improvement projects are on the minds of many new homeowners across the country.

While many things about renovating your home are flexible, your budget might not be. In general, not a single floor-board is laid, or a new countertop installed without money, which is why every home renovation project should begin with careful financial planning.

To help homeowners with their renovation projects, Marcus by Goldman Sachs(R) is working with home renovation expert, JoJo Fletcher, to share her budget-friendly home renovation tips.

“Think about small changes you can make if you don’t have the time to take on a big project right now, like freshening up any kitchen by refinishing your cabinets with a bright white coat of paint,” said JoJo Fletcher, ambassador for Marcus by Goldman Sachs(R). “When it comes to financing View full post…

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Homeowner Insurance Claims

The most common causes of  a homeowner insurance claim

Homeowner insurance claims(BPT) – The value of a homeowner insurance policy is often thrust into the national spotlight when natural disasters happen. The devastation and financial loss they can cause reinforces the importance of making sure you have adequate insurance coverage to rebuild if disaster strikes your home. In 2017 alone, the U.S. was struck by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events, resulting in a record-breaking $300 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Thankfully, most Americans don’t experience large-scale natural catastrophes, but millions of homeowners do experience some kind of property loss each year and need to make an insurance claim. The most commonly reported homeowner insurance claims are actually the result of events that can occur at any time, so it’s important for homeowners to be prepared for these potential risks. View full post…

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