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1
Interaction of Survivor Benefits with Your Own Benefits
2
Are You a Near-Sighted or a Far-Sighted Investor?
3
Generational Financial Planning Within The Kiddie Tax Limits
4
Are your monthly statements helpful?
5
Give Your Investments Time to Grow

Interaction of Survivor Benefits with Your Own Benefits

Social Security Survivor Benefits can be a critical lifeline for surviving spouses. The interaction of survivor benefits with your own benefits can be a bit confusing though. Does starting to receive one benefit affect your future amount of the other benefit? How about vice-versa? There’s a lot written about the topic in Social Security’s POMS manual, but it becomes very simple after you study it a bit.

The interaction of survivor benefits with your own benefits can be played out in one of two ways: either you take your own benefit first and the survivor benefit later; or vice versa, …

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Are You a Near-Sighted or a Far-Sighted Investor?

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner(TM).

Are you a Near-Sighted or a Far-Sighted investor? If you’re a near-sighted investor, you probably check your investment balances frequently (even several times a day) and you feel good when your investments are up. Your focus is short-term, even though you may live another 30-50 years. Conversely, you worry or feel regret when your investments are lower. If you’re a far-sighted investor, you’re knowledgeable about your investments but you check them less frequently, you’re less worried when they decline and you may suffer less financial angst. Your focus is medium to long-term.

Like …

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Generational Financial Planning Within The Kiddie Tax Limits

The kiddie tax (or “Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income” as the IRS calls it) is a set of tax laws which force unearned income over a small amount to be taxed at the higher tax rate of the parents. For 2017, the kiddie tax limits allows $1,050 to be received without being taxed and the next $1,050 to be taxed at the child’s rate, while any unearned income in excess of $2,100 is taxed at the parent’s top marginal rate.

This tax can cause the children of wealthy parents to lose any preferential treatment of qualified dividend …

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Are your monthly statements helpful?

You may receive portfolio performance reports every three months or so—a form of transparency that financial planning professionals introduced at a time when the typical brokerage statement was impossible to decipher. It might surprise you to know that most professionals think there is actually little value to any quarterly performance information, other than to reassure you that you actually do own a diversified portfolio of investments. It’s very difficult to know if you’re staying abreast of the market, and for most of us, that’s not really relevant anyway.

Why?

The only way to know if your investments are “beating the …

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Give Your Investments Time to Grow

You may have heard talk of ‘helicopter parents,’ to refer to parents who won’t give their children space to grow because they are constantly hovering over them and perhaps even trying to do school assignments for them. Well, as Fee-Only financial advisor Margaret R. McDowell explains in “Don’t hover over your investments,’” you may be a ‘helicopter’ investor if you are not giving your investments time and space to grow.

As McDowell explains, all of out technological advances may be hurting our investment portfolio if we use the computer and phone apps to continuously check on our investments

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