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Investing for Retirement

Retirement may seem a long way off, but it's never too early to start planning--especially if you want retirement to be the good life you imagine.

Equities moved higher continuing to build on a strong first half of the year

Equities moved higher over the past quarter, continuing to build on a strong first half of the year.

Gift and Estate Taxes

If you give away money or property during your life, those transfers may be subject to federal gift and estate tax and perhaps state gift tax.

Estate Planning: An Introduction

By definition, estate planning is a process designed to help you manage and preserve your assets while you are alive, and to conserve and control their distribution after your death according to your goals and objectives. But what estate planning means to you specifically depends on who you are.

Identify your sources of retirement income

Once you have an idea of your retirement income needs, your next step is to assess how prepared you are to meet those needs. In other words, what sources of retirement income will be available to you?

Reaching Retirement | Facing a shortfall

What if you're nearing retirement and you determine that your retirement income may not be adequate to meet your retirement expenses?

Getting Help from a Financial Professional

When considering employing a financial professional, try to determine whether the individual or firm has experience in dealing with situations similar to yours. If you have substantial assets, you may require someone with a broader range of expertise than would be needed if your finances were relatively simple.

Life Insurance and Charitable Giving

Life insurance can be an excellent tool for charitable giving. Not only does life insurance allow you to make a substantial gift to charity at relatively little cost to you, but you may also benefit from tax rules that apply to gifts of life insurance.

What are Charitable Remainder Trusts?

A charitable remainder annuity trust, or CRAT, is a trust with both charitable and noncharitable beneficiaries. Every year for the term of the CRAT, the noncharitable beneficiary receives a payment (the annuity amount) from the trust property. At the end of the trust term, the remaining property passes to the charity. For this reason, the charity's interest is described as a remainder interest.

What is a Charitable Lead Trust?

A charitable lead trust is a trust with both charitable and noncharitable beneficiaries. It is called a lead trust because it is the charity that is entitled to the lead interest in the trust property. After a specified term, the remaining trust property passes to you or another noncharitable beneficiary you designate.