Updates

Trade Truce?

After three weeks of declines, the S&P 500 rose 0.62% last week leaving the index roughly unchanged for the quarter. Weakness early in the week disappeared on Friday as news of a partial agreement in the trade negotiations between the United States and China began to circulate. Details have not been made clear other than […]

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Six Predictors of Happiness in Retirement

A study of adult development has been carried out at Harvard for roughly the last century and is a study worth reading about happiness in retirement. It identifies characteristics and behaviors which are good predictors of happiness in retirement. Three groups have been tracked: 268 Harvard graduates born about 1920; 90 middle-class gifted women born […]

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Potential Trading Triggers

After moving lower, down 5.00% or more intraday Wednesday, stocks rebounded in the last half of the week to finish the week mixed. The DJ Industrial Average ended the week down 0.92%, the S&P 500 finished 0.33% lower and the NASDAQ was up with a gain of 0.54%. Interest rates edged lower throughout the week, […]

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When the Future Takes a Turn

One of the major issues for keeping wealth in the family has long been the federal estate and gift tax. The tax rate today is 40%, but historically has been as high as 70%. The exemption amounts were far lower in the past than they are today. To gain control over this tax exposure, some […]

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Predictability

Last week’s economic news continued to signal the expansion is continuing although at a slightly slower pace than was experienced in the quarters from Q3 2017 through Q3 2018. The slowing trend experienced over the last three quarters is not expected to stabilize in the two percent growth range for the foreseeable future. S&P 500 […]

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Ask a Trust Officer: Planning for the Long-term

Dear Trust Officer: Should I buy long-term care insurance? Is it a good deal? — Retiring Soon DEAR RETIRING SOON: These are excellent questions for which there are no simple, easy answers. You are wise to be addressing your potential need for long-term care now, while you still have choices. According to the AARP (formerly […]

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Planning for Efficient Distributions

Planning for accumulation is the initial stage of all but a few financial plans. This beginning phase in the decades-long process of accumulating wealth to provide for educational needs, housing, retirement and family support is a decades-long process. Accumulation strategies are also the basis for most personal finance writing. The distribution phase of a financial […]

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Philanthropy and your IRA

Making a direct transfer from an IRA to a charity, a long-time valuable planning strategy has become even more valuable following the enactment of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This is because the higher standard deduction coupled with the $10,000 cap on the deduction for state and local taxes effectively means there will […]

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Diversification of Focus and Assets

Stocks rebounded from their summer correction which, to date bottomed in mid-August after a decline of around 6% (fall officially begins on September 23rd). The S&P 500 was up nearly one percent for the week, finishing about one-half percent under its all-time high of 3,025.86. The real action lately has been in the normally sleepy […]

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Everyone Needs a Will

As important as estate planning is, it often gets neglected. A 2017 survey by Caring.com revealed that only 42% of U.S. adults have a will or a living trust in place. In part, it is an age thing, as the table here shows. Source: www.caring.com/articles/wills-survey-2017 When asked why they have not completed their estate planning, […]

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