Tax Changes That May Be Overlooked

Some alterations to the Internal Revenue Code were less publicized than others. Late last year, federal tax laws underwent sweeping changes. Nearly a year later, you can be forgiven for not keeping up with them all. Here is a look at some important (yet underrecognized) adjustments that may affect the numbers on your 2018 federal return. First, most miscellaneous itemized deductions are gone. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated dozens of them through the year 2025. Tax preparation expenses? You can no longer deduct those. Expenses linked to a hobby that made you some income? In 2018, no deduction available. Legal fees you paid that were related to your work as an employee? No, you can

Your Diversified Portfolio vs. the S&P 500

How global returns and proper diversification are affecting overall returns. “Why is my portfolio underperforming the market?” This question may be on your mind. It is a question that investors sometimes ask after stocks shatter records or return exceptionally well in a quarter. The short answer is that while the U.S. equities market has realized significant gains in 2018, international markets and intermediate and long-term bonds have underperformed and exerted a drag on overall portfolio performance. A little elaboration will help explain things further. A diversified portfolio necessarily includes a range of asset classes. This will always be the case, and while investors may wish f

Preparing to Retire Single

Unmarrieds need to approach retirement planning pragmatically. In an ideal world, it would be simple to prepare for a solo retirement. You would just save half as much as a couple saves, buy half as much insurance coverage, and expect to live on half the income. Reality dictates otherwise. Real-world planning for a solo retirement begins with an assumption. You assume, at some point, that you will retire alone. You may be ready to make that assumption at age 40. Or, that distinct probability may emerge at age 55. These midlife assumptions aside, you should acknowledge the possibility that you may end up spending some of your retirement alone, even if you retire with a spouse or partner. As a

Debunking a Few Popular Retirement Myths

It seems high time to dispel some of these misconceptions. Generalizations about money and retirement linger. Some have been around for decades, and some new clichés have recently joined their ranks. Let’s examine a few. “When I’m retired, I won’t really have to invest anymore.” Society still sees retirement as an end instead of a beginning – a finish line for a career. In reality, retirement is the start of a new and promising phase of life that could last a few decades. If you don’t keep one or two feet in the investment markets (most notably the equities markets), you risk quickly losing purchasing power as even moderate inflation will devalue the dollars you’ve saved. Keep saving, kee

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