Know Your Mutual Funds

 
Know Your Mutual FundsAlmost 100 million Americans, representing about 44% of U.S. households, owned mutual funds in 2018. Saving for retirement was the primary goal for 73% of investors; other goals included saving for college or a house, building an emergency fund, or providing current income.1
 

Mutual funds offer a convenient way to participate in a broad range of market activity that would be difficult for most investors to achieve by purchasing individual securities. With almost 8,000 funds available on the U.S. market, you should be able to find appropriate investments to pursue your goals.2 However, it’s important to periodically examine the mix of funds you hold. Continue reading

Tax Scams to Watch Out For

 
Tax Scams to Watch Out For While tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. As a result, it’s in your best interest to always be vigilant so you don’t end up becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme.
 

Here are some of the more common scams to watch out for.
 

Phishing

Phishing scams usually involve unsolicited emails or fake websites that pose as legitimate IRS sites to convince you to provide personal or financial information. Once scam artists obtain this information, they use it to commit identity or financial theft.
 

It is important to remember that the IRS will never initiate contact with you by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media. If you get an email claiming to be from the IRS, don’t respond or click any of the links; instead forward it to phishing@irs.gov. Continue reading

Hidden Gem: HSAs in Retirement

 
Hidden Gem: HSAs in Retirement When saving for retirement, you’re probably aware of the benefits of using tax-preferred accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. But you may not be aware of another type of tax-preferred account that may prove very useful, not only during your working years but also in retirement: the health savings account (HSA).
 

HSA in a nutshell

An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that’s paired with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). You can’t establish or contribute to an HSA unless you are enrolled in an HDHP. An HDHP provides “catastrophic” health coverage that pays benefits only after you’ve satisfied a high annual deductible. However, you can use funds from your HSA to pay for health expenses not covered by the HDHP. Continue reading

Can a flexible work schedule help you stay in the workforce after having children?

 
Can a flexible work schedule help you stay in the workforce after having children?Yes, it just might be the key. Your job is the foundation for general financial security, including retirement. In addition to providing you with a steady salary and valuable employee benefits, it typically brings with it the ability to save in a tax-advantaged employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), and if you’re lucky, a pension. It also allows you to start qualifying for Social Security retirement benefits.
 

Women and men may start out on relatively equal financial footing in their 20s. But when children come along, women are much more likely to take time out of the workforce to care for them.1 A common refrain is “my salary would just go to daycare costs anyway, so what’s the point?” This is often true. But it’s really not fair for one parent to assume sole responsibility for child-care costs; it is a shared financial responsibility that both parents should take on. Continue reading

Women: Are you planning for retirement with one hand tied behind your back?

 
Women: Are you planning for retirement with one hand tied behind your back? Women can face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Let’s take a look at three of them.
 

First, women frequently step out of the workforce in their 20s, 30s, or 40s to care for children — a time when their job might just be kicking into high (or higher) gear.
 

It’s a noble cause, of course. But consider this: A long break from the workforce can result in several financial losses beyond the immediate loss of a salary. Continue reading

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