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Category: Estate Planning

Making Your Own ‘What To Do If…’ Plan

In the January issue of the SMI newsletter, we ran an article that recommended taking a “fiscal health day.” The idea is to take a day off from work to catch up on your financial chores and tackle all of those
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Getting In Shape In 2017 With A ‘Fiscal Health Day’

Several years ago, when New York Times personal-finance writer Ron Lieber was furloughed for a few days, he responded in true personal-finance expert fashion. By devoting one of his unpaid days off to taking care of a list
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Preparing Financially For The Death Of Your Spouse

There are turning points in life that prompt important financial decisions. What you choose to do—or not do—at such times can have a significant impact on your long-term financial well-being. The death of a spouse is one
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Attention Husbands: You Should Know About SMI’s Ministry to Widows

In the mid-1990s I was in talks with Moody Publishers about the possibility of writing a second book. They asked what topics interested me, and among the ideas we discussed was a book tailored to the financial needs of
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2016 Contribution Limits, Deductions, and Other Rule Changes

Every year brings a number of changes in various financial rules and regs that impact our personal financial planning. Here’s a guide to some of the more significant changes for 2016. Retirement Plans If you participate
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Are You Sure Your Beneficiaries Will Benefit As You Intend?

When you think of estate planning documents, certainly wills and trusts come to mind. But two other planning instruments are also important: titles and beneficiary designation forms. Estate planning essentials The
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Which Assets Should You Withdraw First During Retirement?

Once you reach retirement and begin drawing from the storehouse of wealth you’ve worked so hard to accumulate, two questions arise. First, how much can you withdraw each year without running the risk of depleting your
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Is a Will Alone Sufficient, or Do You Need a Trust?

More than any other document, a will puts you in touch with your mortality. Perhaps that’s why more than 60 percent of adults in the U.S. don’t have a will! However, if you care about what happens to your property after
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100% Of Economists: Dead Wrong

You may remember me writing early this summer about a recent survey in which 100% of economists had agreed that interest rates would rise over the following six months: It’s not that I disagreed with the conclusion — to
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What Women Should Know About Maximizing Social Security Benefits

Planning for when to begin collecting Social Security retirement benefits is especially important for women since women tend to live longer than men. It's essential that you spend time analyzing this crucial element of
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