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Ground Rule #8: Better Than a Crystal Ball

Published January 21, 2010 4553 Views

I don't have a crystal ball. And if I did I'm not sure I would know how to use it. It seems like having a crystal ball would come in handy to figure out what investments to choose in your 401(k) or 403(b). You look at a list of funds or go online and see a bunch of choices, maybe read about a few...

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Life's Two Certainties: Dentists and Taxes

Published January 21, 2010 4652 Views

I might have re-written that old axiom a little bit, but I'll bet you a new toothbrush none of the readers of this blog have ever successfully avoided the dentist. This week our Experts in You spot features dentist Dr. Ron Heinle and his wife and business partner, Colleen. Everyone has financ...

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Don't fumble the FAFSA

Published January 20, 2010 4923 Views

Over the next few weeks, many of us will be filling out the dreaded FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online to try to score some financial aid for our children in college. Here are some guidelines to help you maximize your future financial aid package: Save money in the parent's n...

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Ground Rule #9: Ignore This

Published January 20, 2010 4586 Views

Sometimes in personal finance - as in the rest of life - you get false clues, things that seem important but lead you astray. Here's how you can spot a false clue and ignore it. Let's assume you are already participating in your employer's retirement plan or are about to start. You have to decide...

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Ground Rule #10: Start

Published January 19, 2010 4733 Views

Today I'll start the countdown of my Ten Ground Rules for 401(k)/403(b) Success. These are common sense guidelines I have refined from nearly three decades of talking with clients and observing their results within employer-sponsored retirement plans. The first rule seems so simple and obvious as to...

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Expected the unexpected

Published January 15, 2010 4905 Views

Out of the millions of Tylenol tablets that are taken daily it only took 70 to get Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) into a world of trouble with the FDA today. JNJ, which was trading down $1.00 as of 1:48PM, was criticized for not responding to 70 customer complaints in an efficient manner. So does this...

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The Week Ahead

Published January 15, 2010 4551 Views

All week I have been steamed about boffo bonuses at bailed-out banks. Now it's time for me to climb down off my soapbox and get back to offering useful advice for our clients. Next week I will start a countdown of my Ten Ground Rules for 401(k)/403(b) Success. Many employers offer retirement plan...

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Are Some More "Equal" Than Others?

Published January 14, 2010 5147 Views

George Orwell's book "Animal Farm" is a satire of totalitarian governments. Totalitarianism invariably boils down to hypocrisy: someone is in charge and they will do as they please and fairness be damned. Though the animals in the story resolve that all are equal, gradually their seven commandment...

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Invest in Your Child's Future with a 529 College Savings Plan

Published January 14, 2010 4568 Views

I know I'm not the only parent groaning over the hefty check I have to write for my daughter's college education. With such high price tags, college degrees are not easy expenses to stomach. However, with the right planning, you can at least be prepared for one of life's most costly undertakings....

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Business owners - read this post!

Published January 13, 2010 4741 Views

There is a little known tax credit called the "Work Opportunity Credit." A business can claim a credit equal to 40% of the first $6000 of wages paid to employees of certain targeted groups. The two new targeted groups that have been added are unemployed veterans and disconnected youth. What the heck...

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