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Top Year-End Investment Tips

Top Year-End Investment Tips

Just what you need, right? One more time-consuming task to be taken care of between now and the end of the year. But taking a little time out from the holiday chores to make some strategic saving and investing decisions before December 31 can affect not only your long-term ability to meet your financial goals but also the amount of taxes you'll owe next April. A note on AMT The lower tax rates on long-term capital gains and qualifying dividends apply to alternative minimum tax (AMT) calculations as well. However, because they're included in calculating alternative minimum taxable income, large…
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How to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Threats

How to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Threats

Risk management is a key component in any successful business plan. In today's world — where data breaches are common occurrences — it's especially important for business owners to understand the digital risks they face. Are you doing all you can to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack? The importance of cybersecurity Many small-business owners may think their organizations hold little appeal to hackers due to their small size and limited scope. However, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), this naiveté may actually make them ideal targets. Small businesses are keepers of employee and customer data, financial account information,…
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2020 Year-End Tax Planning Basics

2020 Year-End Tax Planning Basics

The window of opportunity for many tax-saving moves closes on December 31, so it's important to evaluate your tax situation now, while there's still time to affect your bottom line for the 2020 tax year. Timing is everything Consider any opportunities you have to defer income to 2021. For example, you may be able to defer a year-end bonus, or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. Doing so may allow you to postpone paying tax on the income until next year. If there's a chance that you'll be in a lower income tax bracket next…
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The Tax Benefits of Your Retirement Savings Plan

The Tax Benefits of Your Retirement Savings Plan

Taxes can take a big bite out of your total investment returns, so it's encouraging to know that your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan may offer a variety of tax benefits. Depending on the type of plan your employer offers, you may be able to benefit from current tax savings; tax deferral on any investment returns you earn on the road to retirement; and possibly even tax-free income in retirement. Lower your taxes now When you contribute to a traditional retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), your plan contributions are deducted from your pay before income taxes are…
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Four Things Women Need to Know about Social Security

Four Things Women Need to Know about Social Security

Ever since a legal secretary named Ida May Fuller received the first retirement benefit check in 1940, women have been counting on Social Security to provide much-needed retirement income. Social Security provides other important benefits too, including disability and survivor benefits that can help you and your family members. 1. How does Social Security protect you and your family? When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you're paying for three types of benefits: retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Retirement benefits Retirement benefits are the cornerstone of the Social Security program. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), because women…
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