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Social Security- What You Need to Know Before You Claim

Before claiming social security there are some things you should know. When do you meet your full retirement age because that impacts how much you collect. Take a look at your longevity, your Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) and your spousal benefits. Lastly, keep in mind that there may be taxes and penalties that come with claiming too soon. We realize that this is a complex subject and encourage you to work with a financial planner, CFP® or ChFC® who is proficient in retirement planning.

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Consequences: What will increasing debt and deficits mean for the future of the United States?

"During this time of stimulus spending, tax cuts, and bond-buying by the federal reserve, I find myself wondering what the consequences of all of this debt will be? In this article, I will cover possible consequences of the debt we have accumulated (and continue to accumulate), as well as factors that will either help or hinder our ability to manage this debt load."

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2020 First Quarter Market Update -“Nothing new under the Sun”

"From a financial standpoint, the government's response to COVID-19 has been quick and dramatic, to say the least. The federal reserve has slashed interest rates and has committed to “unlimited” asset purchases. Additionally, the bipartisan “C.A.R.E.S. Act” was passed on March 27th which will provide $2.2 trillion in stimulus. The Federal Reserve, State Governments, and the Federal Government seem ready and willing to do whatever it takes to ease the pain of this Pandemic. All of this effort and stimulus combined with the fact that the stock market has proven to be resilient leads us to believe humanity and markets will emerge from this pandemic all the wiser."

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Election Years: What Do They Mean for Stocks?

It is no secret that 2020 is an election year. It is hard to escape all the buzz. We are constantly bombarded with opinions from social media, TV and radio. In this article, I would like to focus on facts; facts about how markets have performed historically during election years. I will do my best to set my opinions aside so we can take an honest look at what history can tell us about election years. I think the best way to do this is to ask (and answer) additional questions. Here we go!

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The Importance of Financial Literacy and Its Influence on Our Lives

From where did you learn most of your life skills? How did you learn to brush your teeth, read, write or drive a car? For me, it was my parents and school. What if there were something that affected just about every facet of our lives that our parents had limited knowledge of and was hardly covered in school? I am referring to Finances. Finances are consistently listed as one of the top reasons for divorce and money is one of the biggest causes of stress for Americans.

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Investing to and Through Retirement

Do – Diversify your portfolio. This may sound cliché but it is vitally important. Diversification acts as an insulator against the ups and downs of the market. If you own too much in any one company, economic sector, asset type, or country you are unnecessarily exposing yourself to additional risk. True diversification is when you own several different types of stocks (e.g. US, international, emerging market, large cap, mid cap and small cap), bonds (e.g. US, international, Floating rate, inflation protected, high yield, short term, etc.) and alternative asset classes (e.g. real estate, precious metals, oil/gas, etc.).

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The New Age of Financial Responsibility

"I grew up in a small town outside of Flint, Michigan called Swartz Creek. Many of the people in our community worked for one of the “Big Three” automakers, including my uncle, all three of my best friends’ dads, and many of my extended family. These companies were a classic example of a typical 20th-century employer. Right out of high school you could get a good job and make a very good living. It was certainly not easy work but if you stuck with it for 30 years you would be well taken care of with an opportunity for early retirement, a good pension and excellent health care benefits. Today, things are very different."

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