Author: Katherine Plotnik

A Steady Strategy

One of the most fundamental truths of investing is that you can’t time the market. As legendary investor and economist Bernard Baruch put it, “Don’t try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. It can’t be done except by liars.”1 Even so, it’s natural to wince a little when you buy an investment only to see the price drop, or sell only to see the price rise. And no matter how much you try to make objective…
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How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Your life insurance needs change as your life changes. When you are young, you may not have a need for life insurance. However, as you take on more responsibility and your family grows, your life insurance needs increase. Your needs may then decrease after your children are grown. You should periodically review your needs to ensure that your life insurance coverage adequately reflects your life situation. Estimating your life insurance need There are a couple of simple methods that you…
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Mature couple doing some paperwork and calculations at home

What is the State of your Estate Plan?

What is it about spring that always motivates us to get organized around the house? Getting your financial household in order is equally as important. It is a good time to create or update your estate plan. That includes such essentials as a will or trust, a living will, durable powers of attorney, a letter of intent and beneficiary forms. We know it is easy to put it off. It may not seem like an urgent need, but you never…
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Five Tips to Follow When Applying for a Mortgage

The housing market during the coronavirus pandemic has certainly been notable. Historically low interest rates resulted in record homebuying, even as housing prices escalated.1 Fortunately, the mortgage industry has been able to keep up with the pace of the real estate market by utilizing already existing technology. Homebuyers can search for lenders, compare interest rates, and apply for mortgages online. In addition, mortgage lenders are able to do alternative appraisals, perform safe home inspections, and conduct closings electronically. Even though…
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Test Your Knowledge of College Financial Aid

Financial aid is essential for many families, even more so now in light of COVID-19. How much do you know about this important piece of the college financing puzzle? 1. If my child attends a more expensive college, we’ll get more aid Not necessarily. Colleges determine your expected family contribution, or EFC, based on the income and asset information you provide on the government’s financial aid form, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and, where applicable, the College…
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Tax Deductions You Might Be Able to Take

Tax time is upon us and although nobody likes to look at how much money you are paying in, you may not have to pay as much as you think. We have come up with a few deductions that many people are not aware of. If any of these apply to you, they could help shrink your tax bill. Moving Expenses If you are moving because of a new job or because your current job changed locations, you may be…
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Changing Your State of Domicile

Whether relocating from a high-income tax state to a low-income tax state or moving to another state with increased asset protection, property owners, especially those of high net-worth, should consider certain factors for establishing domicile. Many residents of Minnesota love to move to Florida. They love the warm weather during the long winter, the ocean, the beaches and also the tax advantages. Minnesota is a high-income tax state. One of the highest. Florida as no state income taxes. Changing your…
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COVID-19 and the Importance of Disability Insurance

The prospect of being unable to work due to an illness or injury may seem remote to many of us, particularly during our younger working years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the chances of getting sick and not being able to work for an extended period, making disability income insurance (DI) more important than ever, regardless of your age. Health insurance may pay for some of the medical expenses related to your illness, but it won’t cover your lost…
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Watch Out for These Financial Pitfalls in the New Year

As people move through different stages of life, there are new financial opportunities and potential pitfalls around every corner. Here are common money mistakes to watch out for at every age. Your 20s & 30s Being financially illiterate. By learning as much as you can about saving, budgeting, and investing now, you could benefit from it for the rest of your life. Not saving regularly. Save a portion of every paycheck and then spend what’s left over — not the…
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Four Steps to Rebuilding Your Business

Few business owners have escaped the financial effects of stay-at-home orders, new safety protocols, and consumer fears related to the pandemic. Even if you took advantage of temporary federal, state, or local relief funds to help you stay afloat during the worst months, you could be expecting significantly lower sales and profits for 2020 overall. The short- and mid-term outlook for small businesses is still uncertain and varies by region and industry. In fact, challenging economic conditions could persist locally…
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