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Unburdening Your Family From Some Tough Decisions

Many older people say they “don’t want to be a burden” on their families. And yet, by not making a handful of key decisions and not completing the associated paperwork, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to the very
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How Well Are You Preparing for Later Life?

What are the keys to successful retirement planning? Many factors matter, of course, and a lot of them can feel frustratingly out of your control. However, there’s one factor that is well within your control and it has
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Searching For An Alternative To AARP? Here Are Six Options

AARP, the nation’s largest organization for older Americans, traces its heritage to the late 1940s when a high-school principal set out to make sure retired teachers had adequate health insurance. About a decade later, the
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Women Out-Invest Men and Other Points To Ponder

Low volatility means…what exactly? “I’m uncomfortable that people are so comfortable with this. I’m concerned about the very, very low volatility levels. But valuations aren’t super stretched, and companies are cashed
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August Sightings

Enjoy Wall Street’s Quiet Time While It Lasts Stock market calm has reached new extremes as ongoing central bank asset purchases — mainly out of Japan and Europe — quell volatility. Investors have rarely had it better. A
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SMI on the Radio - The Wisdom and Foolishness of Saving Money

SMI Executive Editor Mark Biller is on the radio this weekend with Rob West and Steve Moore of Compass — Finances God’s Way. Their conversation takes a closer look at saving money — how much is too little and how much is
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Traditional vs. Roth: How Fuzzy Math Works In Your Favor

We often use this space to document the many cognitive biases that pull people off track with their investments. However, there’s one such bias—or perhaps it’s just blissful ignorance—that seems to be working in some
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Ready Cash: As Home Prices Rise, Cash-Out Re-fis Are on the Rise Too

Many American homeowners are re-embracing a once-popular method of generating cash: refinancing their home loans and getting cash out in the process. Five years ago, in the continuing wake of the financial crisis, only 12
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Upgrading In Your 401(k) Plan When Your Options Are Limited — A Guidestone Case Study

What’s an SMI member with a bad 401(k) plan to do? In this case, “bad,” means a plan with limited investment options. SMI’s Personal Portfolio Tracker, available to both Basic and Premium members, was designed with that
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It May Be Time To Review Your Estate-Planning Documents

As a financial planner, one of my responsibilities is to keep up with legislative changes and their effects on clients. Estate planning is an area where change is so frequent—and so confusing—it’s a challenge to stay
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