Author: Katherine Plotnik

Four Reasons to Review Your Life Insurance Needs

You may have purchased life insurance years ago and never gave it a second thought. Or perhaps you don’t have life insurance at all and now you need it. When your life circumstances change, you have a fresh opportunity to make sure the people you love are protected. Marriage When you were single, life insurance might have seemed like an unnecessary expense, but now someone else is depending on your income. If something happens to you, your spouse will likely…
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Stock Market Risks in the Spotlight

During March 2021, the widening availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, signs of improving economic conditions, and a third, $1.9 trillion stimulus package brought about more optimistic growth projections. Even though a healthy economy could be good news for many businesses and the financial markets, rising inflation expectations caused a multi-week sell-off in U.S. government bonds that pushed up longer-term yields and sent the Nasdaq Composite Index into correction territory on March 8, 2021.1 Promising a patient approach, the Federal Reserve stated…
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International Investing: Opportunity Overseas?

For the past decade, U.S. stocks have outperformed foreign stocks by a wide margin, due in large part to the stronger U.S. recovery after the Great Recession. In general, U.S. companies have been more nimble and innovative in response to changing business dynamics, while aging populations in Japan and many European countries have slowed economic growth.1 Despite these challenges, some analysts believe that foreign stocks may be poised for a comeback as other countries recover more quickly from the effects…
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Don’t Let Debt Derail Your Retirement

Debt poses a growing threat to the financial security of many Americans — and not just college graduates with exorbitant student loans. Recent studies by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveal an alarming trend: The percentage of older Americans with debt is at its highest level in almost 30 years, and the amount and types of debt are on the rise. Debt Profile of Older Americans In the 20-year…
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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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Tax Event

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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