Economic Update 02/08/16

By Robert Pagliarini on February 8, 2016

UNEMPLOYMENT NOW BELOW 5% Although the economy added just 151,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department’s latest employment report also showed a reduction in the headline jobless rate to 4.9%. The broader U-6 measure of underemployment remained at 9.9%. Monthly payroll gains have averaged 231,000 since November; in fact, the 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month job…

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Saving For College

By Robert Pagliarini on

According to Sallie Mae, U.S. families with one or more college students spent an average of $24,164 on tuition, housing, and linked expenses in 2015. That was 16% more than in 2014. Statistics like these underline the importance of saving and investing to fund a university education, but that effort has become optional to many.…

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How to Save and Pay for College

By Robert Pagliarini on February 5, 2016

How can you cover your child’s future college costs? Saving early (and often) may be the key for most families. Here are some college savings vehicles to consider. 529 plans. Offered by states and some educational institutions, these plans let you save up to $14,000 per year for your child’s college costs without having to…

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UGMA & UTMA Custodial Accounts

By Robert Pagliarini on January 31, 2016

If you want to save for college, you may wish to consider a UGMA or UTMA account. These custodial accounts are typically created by parents and other relatives who want to gift minors without having to set up a trust. Many parents and grandparents create UGMA or UTMA accounts as college savings vehicles. You can…

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Read This If You Have An Education 529 Plan

By Robert Pagliarini on January 29, 2016

Do you have a 529 plan account? Then you will want to know about a pair of federal tax law changes which may benefit you and your student, one involving a February 16 deadline. As 2015 ended, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH). Deep in its fine print were two “sweeteners”…

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Can You Buy Real Estate In Your IRA?

By Robert Pagliarini on

You can invest your IRA assets in different ways. Should you invest a portion of those assets in real estate? At first thought, putting real estate into an IRA may seem like an off-the-wall idea. It is one you might want to consider, but you must be aware of the rules. The concept is not…

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Chapters of Retirement: The 5 Phases of Life After 50

By Robert Pagliarini on January 26, 2016

The journey to and through retirement occurs gradually, like successive chapters in a book. Each chapter has its own things to consider. Chapter 1 (the fifties). At this stage of life, retirement becomes less like a far-off dream and more like a forthcoming reality. You begin to think about when you can retire, and about…

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Economic Update 01/25/16

By Robert Pagliarini on

OIL REBOUND DRIVES STOCKS HIGHER Thanks to frosty weather hitting the Northeast and a round of short covering, WTI crude settled at $32.19 on the NYMEX Friday – up 9% for the day and 9.4% for the week. Oil’s surge (and hopes of quantitative easing overseas) bolstered stocks: across four days, the Dow gained 0.66%…

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Economic Update 01/19/16

By Robert Pagliarini on January 19, 2016

LIGHT SWEET CRUDE SETTLES AT $29.42 Oil closed at its lowest level in more than 12 years Friday, plummeting 11.3% for the trading week on the NYMEX. Two factors contributed greatly to the rout: the Energy Information Administration’s forecast of the global crude glut lasting well into 2017 and the imminent expiration of sanctions against…

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Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

By Robert Pagliarini on January 12, 2016

Many people plan their estates diligently, with input from legal, tax, and financial professionals. Others plan earnestly, but make mistakes that can potentially affect both the transfer and destiny of family wealth. Here are some common and not-so-common errors to avoid. Doing it all yourself. While you could write your own will or create a…

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