Certain Uncertainties in Retirement

Certain Uncertainties in Retirement

The uncertainties we face in retirement can erode our sense of confidence, potentially undermining our outlook during those years.

Indeed, according to the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, only 18% of retirees say they are “very confident” about having enough assets to live comfortably in retirement. Almost 40% were either “not too confident” or “not at all confident.”

Today’s retirees face two overarching uncertainties. While each on their own can lead even the best-laid strategies to go awry, it’s important to remember that remaining flexible and responsive to changes in the landscape may help you meet the challenges of uncertainty in the years ahead.

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3 Simple Steps to Create a Seriously Savvy Budget

3 Simple Steps to Create a Seriously Savvy Budget

Do you follow a budget? Need some help to get started?

No, budgets are not attractive, fun or exciting in any way shape or form.  They are, however, the necessary evil that can assist in getting you and your family’s spending and saving habits back on track.  It’s difficult to understand why more individuals don’t already adhere to a budget, what with the economic crisis and unemployment still looming above us. It would seem that the majority of individuals without a budget either don’t think they need one, are unaware of its benefits, or simply don’t like discussing or even thinking about their financial situation. 

The unfortunate part about that last point is the fact that implementing a personal or family budget can help dig those individuals out of the financial holes they’ve already put themselves in.  And the best part?  It’s ridiculously easy to do.  From writing everything down on your own to downloading or purchasing budget software, technology has made it extremely simple to execute.

The first step ...

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Trends in Charitable Giving

Trends in Charitable Giving

Whether the economy is expanding or contracting, Americans tend to be consistent with charitable donations.

In 2013, as the U.S. economy continued to stabilize, Americans gave an estimated $335.17 billion to charity. That’s almost $19 billion more than the previous year. 

Americans give to charity for two main reasons: To support a cause or organization they care about, or to leave a legacy through their support.

When giving to charitable organizations, some people elect to support through cash donation. Others, however, understand that supporting an organization may generate tax benefits. They may opt to follow techniques that can maximize both the gift and the potential tax benefit. Here’s a quick review of a few charitable choices:

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