Time for an IRA checkup

Individual Retirement Arrangements, or IRAs, are a great way to save for retirement. Unfortunately, many IRA account holders put their accounts on autopilot. They fund them every year and they adjust their investments from time to time, but they rarely step back and take a careful look at how their IRAs are set up.
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The fine art of charitable giving

Giving effectively to charity is one of the most rewarding aspects of learning how to manage wealth. It is also an area full of pitfalls. If you are thinking about starting a charitable giving program, try to get your financial advisor involved early in the process. She can help you avoid many of the frustrations and mistakes that hamper some charitable giving efforts. In addition, your financial advisor can help you do the careful due diligence that should precede your charitable giving
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Five last-minute tax questions

When it comes to minimizing taxes, it is good to leave no stone unturned. Here are five questions to ask yourself as we come to the end of 2018. As you think through these, you should consult with your own tax professional or financial advisor to see how they apply to your particular situation.
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Giving Stock

Q: When I was a kid, my grandfather gave shares of stock to his grandkids—actual stock certificates. He thought it would help us learn to be better investors. I remember how I loved to look at those colorful and intricately engraved pieces of paper. Is it still possible to give stock certificates today?
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3 ideas to make the holidays brighter

I love the holiday season. It is a great time to gather with family and friends and build memories that last a lifetime. However, sometimes the holiday bustle can turn into a real hassle and the post-holiday let down can be a real bummer. If the shine has come off your holidays in recent years, maybe it’s time for a change. Here are three financial ideas that might help your holidays shine a little brighter.
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Making the most of a bad market

In case you hadn’t noticed, the stock market has been under a little pressure lately. The S&P 500 index has fallen 10% from its all-time high on September 21. The tech-heavy NASDAQ index has been hit even harder, dropping 15% from its high on August 29. The market’s sharp drop has raised the anxiety level for some investors. I have had several people ask me if this is the start of a bear market. I always tell them the same thing: I don’t know. Nobody does. The pundits who try to tell you otherwise are simply fooling themselves.
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Saving for retirement with your HSA

Q: I contribute every year to a health savings account and use it to help pay for medical expenses before I reach my deductible. Recently someone told me that they use their HSA to save for retirement, kind of like an IRA. I’m not sure exactly how that works, but is it a good idea? Is it better to use the money now or save it for later?
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How Safe Are My Retirement Accounts, Really?

Q: I have a very successful small business. My wife and I are the only employees. Over the years, we have been blessed to save a significant amount of money in our retirement accounts (SEP IRAs, Roth IRAs and solo 401k plan). Much of our net worth is tied up in those accounts. I’m not worried about bankruptcy at this point, but I am worried about protection from other potential creditors, particularly lawsuits. How safe are my retirement accounts, really?
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