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Wow, was 2020 a challenge!

It is difficult looking back on 2020 without feeling a sense of being both overwhelmed and somewhat unsettled.  It was a difficult year filled with the uncertainties of COVID-19 and a vaccine.  The fears that we felt, the lack of clarity and the stresses emerging with regard to economic instability, each provided a sense of normlessness. Moreover, we cannot forget the masks and social isolation that interrupted our ordinary routines and lives. Some of us experienced the joyous events of weddings

“Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you…”

Sunset

“Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.”   Stephen King We have all heard that “an attitude of gratitude” will improve our daily outlook. That we should approach every situation looking for that silver lining, or the positive in a field of negatives. In a year like this one has been, that can be incredibly difficult! I found this quote from one of my favorite authors

KEEP CALM AND INVEST ON

In volatile times, remember your time horizon; follow facts not feelings; and, if needed, reposition gradually Within a matter of weeks, the spreading Coronavirus, tumbling oil prices, recession fears, alarming headlines, and a 10-year Treasury yield well under 1% have thrown a record-high S&P® 500 index into, at least, temporary turmoil. In many corners of the market, the bulls’ decade-long ebullience has been swiftly replaced by palpable panic. To borrow from Britain’s World War II motivational poster, now is the time for

Investing in a Volatile Market

Coming to Terms with Stock Market Volatility There’s no getting around it. The stock market is volatile. Every day the stock market goes up and down in reaction to any number of issues involving business, the economy, or geopolitical events. Most of the time investors take the market’s ups and downs in stride. It’s only when the market declines substantially that investors can become unnerved and make decisions that can be harmful to their long-term retirement portfolios. To understand market volatility, it’s

Coping with Market Volatility: Avoid Rash Decisions

If you’ve been watching the market lately, perhaps the first question on your mind is, “Should I make a big change in my investments?” In reality, a volatile market isn’t the best time to do a complete makeover of your portfolio, especially if you have long-term financial goals you’re trying to address. Even if you feel that your portfolio needs adjusting, maintaining a firm grasp on your fundamental investment strategy can help you be more thoughtful about making any changes. Think of each investment as a tool in

CARES Act Drastically Changes Required Minimum Distribution Rules For 2020

This helpful article from FORBES.com is a good starting point for questions regarding the changes in the CARES Act for 2020. The CARES Act essentially suspended required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020 across the board. However, there have been a lot of questions about what this means for those who already took out distributions, and the impact on taxes and inherited accounts. It is important to remember that the CARES Act is a relief bill, and by suspending 2020 RMDs,

Understanding Social Security

Understanding Social Security

Approximately 68 million people today receive some form of Social Security benefits, including retirement, disability, survivor, and family benefits. (Source: Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2019) Although most people receiving Social Security are retired, you and your family members may be eligible for benefits at any age, depending on your circumstances. How does Social Security work? The Social Security system is based on a simple premise: Throughout your career, you pay a portion of your earnings into a

Time to Fear the Coronavirus?

Monday, fear over the Coronavirus finally gripped investors, as both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index fell over 3% – the largest daily declines in two years. These drops wiped out all the gains for the year. Frankly, it’s amazing to us that the market had been so resilient! Maybe it’s because recent history with stocks and viruses is that markets overreact leading to significant buying opportunities along the way. Over a 38-day trading period during the

The SECURE Act is Official!

Significant Changes for Employer-Sponsored Plans and IRAs On December 20, 2019, the President signed into law the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, which includes the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act provisions previously passed by the House in April 2019. This is one of the most comprehensive retirement plan reforms in more than a decade, and this is a brief overview of some highlights. Many of the provisions are effective January 1, 2020. Congress has attempted to pass major

Share Your Plans!

In my opinion, there is nothing more difficult to accomplish during a time of intense stress than trying to put finances in order.  The stress that I’m referring to in this instance is the death or disability of a loved one.  Perhaps you’re a spouse who has lost a partner, a child who has lost a parent, or a dear friend trying to pick up the pieces of a life. Over the years, we all tend to accumulate things –  financial assets, property such as our home, vehicles, jewelry