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Author Archives: Ike Trotter

Putting your tax refund to work

According to a recent TD Ameritrade poll, 47 percent of U.S. taxpayers expect a refund this year. The important question to ask is: What do they plan to do with the money? The answers may surprise you. While 15 percent of the survey respondents indicated they would spend their refunds on discretionary purchases, 47 percent said they would save the ...

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Why it is wise to diversify

Most all of us know of friends and neighbors who try and “chase returns” with the stock market today. Throw in to that mix day traders and others who are constantly hunting for the next hot stock, endlessly refreshing browser windows in search for breaking news and tips from assorted gurus. Is that the path to making money in stocks? ...

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A nice tax surprise for April

Anytime I write about financial products that are also offered through my practice, I run the risk with this column of taking what some may view as unfair advantage of promoting products I also happen to write. While I think my many years of writing a financial column has dispelled this notion, I am sensitive to this criticism and do ...

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Bad money habits to break in 2013

Do bad money habits constrain your financial progress? Many people fall into the same financial behavior patterns year after year. If you sometimes succumb to these financial tendencies, the New Year is as good an occasion as any to alter your behavior: No. 1 — Living without a budget. You may make enough money that you don’t feel you need ...

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Social Security claiming strategies

According to current data, roughly half of retirees claim Social Security benefits today by age 62 –or as soon as they become eligible. And while some people delay benefits and postpone using their retirement savings as an income source, far more today apply out of necessity; their financial situation leaving them little in the way of choice. These factors aside, ...

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Some fiscal cliff scenarios

Will 2013 be as severe as some economists think? Many think a lot will depend on what happens with our country’s so called “fiscal cliff” scenario as the deadline looms closer and closer. Question is; how will Congress respond? In the worst-case scenario, Congress argues and deadlocks. Mandated tax hikes and roughly $109 billion in federal spending cuts takes place ...

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Here’s to enjoying a long and active life

As many to this column know by now, I am intrigued with human longevity. I do find it interesting to study the reasons why many experience long lives, and then again, why others depart this life earlier than planned. Certainly, in my own family, I watched my wife’s amazing grandmother who lived to age 104. My father, who died in ...

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Financial considerations for 2013

We are now in plain view of our country’s “fiscal cliff.” After the election, Congress may or may not end up keeping income and estate tax rates at their recent levels. Next year may bring some notable financial developments, and it isn’t too soon for households to think about what may be in store: You may want to prioritize tax ...

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Some financial rules to live by

One of the best pieces I ever read on money management was penned by a financial columnist Liz Pulliam Weston, who published a commentary a couple of years back through MSN Money titled “9 Money Rules to Live By.” Her common sense approach to money and life was refreshingly candid. Rather than churning out the usual canned answers, her comments ...

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Life insurance is for people who live

It has become somewhat of a custom for me to write about life insurance concepts during the month of September. And, my comments come fairly easy because I believe in life insurance and have seen the many ways in which it has held families together during financial uncertainties. My comments for this month are also prompted in good part to ...

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