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Drug Discount Programs vs. Medicare Part D

CAUTION! Drug discount programs ARE NOT a replacement for a Medicare Part D policy.

Reasons To Think Twice About A 72(t) Payment Plan

Don't be lured into withdrawing IRA funds before age 59-1/2 by an IRS rule that allows you to avoid the 10% penalty.

You Should Pay Off These Types of Debts First

When finding yourself with extra cash, some analysis is required when deciding which debts to pay off first.

Things You Need To Know About Your Inherited IRA

A significant percentage of IRA assets will ultimately go to non-spouse beneficiaries. When these beneficiaries inherit the funds, special rules kick in. You need to know these rules to avoid making a costly mistake.

Hospital Observation and Medicare - Inpatient vs. Outpatient

Did you know that under Medicare, it’s possible to spend the night in the hospital but still be considered to be receiving only outpatient care? Find out how to avoid being caught by this Medicare loophole.

Surprising Facts About Retirement

Retirement is a topic that regularly makes headlines, and not all of them are encouraging. Americans are living longer than ever before. Here are some of the more startling truths about retirement in the United States.

How Spousal Benefits Are Calculated By Social Security

The size of your Social Security spousal benefit depends on a number of factors, including your age, the maximum amount of your spouse's benefit, and whether other benefits are available to you. There are a number of complicating factors that must be considered.

August 31, 2020 Deadline for Qualified Plan Actions

Due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, certain actions must be taken by August 31, 2020, regarding qualified retirement plans. If you have taken a 2020 RMD, sponsor an employee plan, or made a 2019 IRA contribution, be sure to read this article.

What Is Your Ideal 401(k) Contribution?

No matter your age, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns about saving for retirement. How to save for it, what options are available, and how much money should you be socking away? Get help determining an ideal 401(k) contribution strategy.

What Is Your Money Personality Type?

Like almost everything else in life, your response to money is largely dictated by your personality. See how making small changes can often yield big results.

The Safe Way to Cancel a Credit Card

You’ve likely heard that canceling a credit card account could damage your credit score. And while it is true that closing a credit card can impact your score, that isn’t always the case. Here is a cancellation checklist to follow should you decide to do so.

Dow Jones Industrial Average vs. S&P 500: Knowing the Difference

Both indexes arrive at a number by tracking the price movements of a representative list of stocks. Learn the difference between these two indexes.

Understanding Credit Card Balance Transfers

While the offer looks great on the surface, people who take advantage of it might find themselves on the hook for unexpected interest charges. Learn the balance transfer math, and the deceptive marketing practices identified by the CFPB.

Five Ways to Control Emotional Spending

For some people, shopping is much more than a pastime - it's actually an addiction called oniomania.

World's Cheapest and Safest Retirement Countries

More people each year choose to retire abroad for a number of reasons. Which countries might you consider for your retirement?

Five Things You Need To Be Pre-approved For A Mortgage

Potential buyers benefit in several ways by consulting with a lender and obtaining a pre-approval letter. Here's how to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

When (and When Not) to Refinance Your Mortgage

Refinancing a mortgage means paying off an existing loan and replacing it with a new one. You might want to evaluate refinancing your mortgage.

Market Downturns

Collectively, since 1871, the time it takes for the market to recover (top to trough to top again) is a mere 7.9 months. Learn the history of market downturns and recoveries.

SECURE Act Makes Major Changes in IRA Rules

If you are a small business owner, a part-time worker, approaching or over age 70-1/2, a beneficiary of someone's IRA account, or the owner of a 401(k) plan, you MUST read about the changes made by the SECURE Act of 2019.

Ten Promising Job Prospects for 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined the occupational fields that will virtually guarantee a job for those graduating in the next few years. Choose your career wisely.

How Long Will I Live?

The average American now lives to 88. Based on 400,000 NIH data samples and a short quiz about your lifestyle, find out what your life expectancy might be.

Six Ways To Cut The Cost Of Your Car Loan

There are numerous ways to save money on your car payments. Here's how to get a lower cost car loan.

Four Important Steps For Choosing Dental Insurance

Dental insurance policies have an annual limit to coverage, along with a $50 to $100 deductible. To avoid getting caught with unexpected expenses, here are some key steps to take when buying dental insurance.

The Six Worst Student Loan Mistakes You Can Make

No one loves the idea of student loans. But they're often a necessary evil - the only option for financing college, which (despite some debate of late) remains the best route for good jobs and rewarding careers.

Safe and Liquid Investment Options For Your Emergency Fund

When considering where to put your emergency funds, make sure you'll be able to access the money quickly, easily, and without a withdrawal penalty when you need it.

Ignore the Financial Media

The financial media is omnipresent. Whether it’s hearing about what the Dow did today on your drive home or a talking head pontificating about how the markets are obviously about to tank, we are constantly immersed in a miasma of prognostication.

How to Plan for Medical Expenses in Retirement

A 65-year-old newly retired couple will need $285,000 for medical expenses. Here's how to plan for these expenses.

Beware, the IRS is Eyeing Your Inherited Money

One of the perils of being well-off is the constant risk that the federal government and/or your friendly state and local tax collectors will figure out new and different ways to snatch more of your wealth, especially wealth that you earned the old-fashioned way: by inheriting it.

Seven Ways To Recession-Proof Your Life

There are many everyday habits the average person can implement to ease the sting of a recession, or even make it so its effects aren't felt at all. Here's how to prepare for a recession.

How a Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Can Hurt You

If you don't manage your home-equity line of credit prudently, a HELOC can become very expensive and get you into financial trouble.

Should You Lease or Buy Your Next Car?

Many car shoppers are stymied by the decision to lease or buy. Let's see if we can help you with the decision.

Safe Deposit Boxes: Store This, Not That

A safe deposit box (or safety deposit box) is an individually secured container — usually a metal box — that lives in the vault of a federally insured bank or credit union. Here's what (and what not) to put in it.

Tips and Ideas for Cutting Car Insurance Costs

Car insurance rates are on the rise across the country. The good news is that there are things that you can do to minimize increases and/or reduce the burden on your wallet.

Mortgage Interest Rates

Buying a home with a mortgage is probably the largest financial transaction you will enter into. Here's what you need to know about mortgage interest rates.

Are Credit Karma Scores Real and Accurate?

Only you can evaluate whether getting a free credit score is really worth giving up your personal information, especially in an era when hackers are alarmingly successful at getting their hands on that personal data.

What Happens If You Don't Pay Your Student Loans?

Most student loans are guaranteed by the federal government, and the feds have powers about which debt collectors can only dream. Here's why you should pay your student loans.

Credit, Debit and Charge Cards

From a financial perspective, debit and charge cards are structured so that they pose little danger to your financial well-being. Learn how to use the right plastic money.

Reverse Mortgages

When used properly, it can be an effective financial planning solution. If you are approaching or over age 62, you should learn more about reverse mortgages.

Freezing Your Credit File

Now you can freeze your credit file for free. Learn about this new tool to manage your credit.

Four Unusual Ways to Boost Social Security Benefits

There are little-known strategies available that may help you decide when you or your spouse should apply. Here's how to get more from Social Security.

What Medicare Covers While Traveling

There are only a few instances where Medicare will cover services obtained in a foreign country. Here's what you need to know about Medicare when traveling.

Property Taxes (And How To Lower Them)

Property taxes are a major source of income for the city, county, and state governments, and other entities such as school districts. Knowing more about these taxes may help you to lower yours.

Qualified Charitable Distributions

If you are over the age of 70-1/2, there is a way to reduce your taxable income, and therefore the taxes you pay, by taking advantage of the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from an IRA account.

The Average Retirement Savings By Age

A survey of the value of retirement accounts by age group. How do your savings compare to your peer group?

Beginner Estate Planning

For millennials, it's never too early for estate planning.

The Top 5 Financial Mistakes Millennials Make

The millennial experience with the 2008 financial crisis may have given them a perspective that can be detrimental to achieving any long-term aspirations they might have. This distorted view may have led many to make any number of mistakes.

Withdrawal Of Retirement Assets

While we tend to focus on the total value of our retirement assets, once we start to use those assets to fund our retirement an optimal distribution strategy can minimize the impact of taxes and save you money.

Letter Of Intent Will

While it has no legal standing, and a letter of intent cannot override a will, it can be an invaluable document for your family in any kind of an emergency, not just your passing.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Is a Medicare Advantage plan right for you?

HELOC and Second Mortgage Loophole

You may still qualify for the Home Equity Line of Credit deduction.

Guarding Your Social Security Number

When and why you need to give your Social Security number to someone, and when you shouldn't.

Words of Wisdom Courtesy of Joseph Heller

Authors Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island. Wisdom ensued: what is really important about wealth.

Best Personal Finance Apps

A quick look at some personal finance apps.

Homebuyer's Guide

Whether you're buying for investment or for a place to live, there are things real estate pros know about buying a home. Learn them so that you can buy your next home like a pro.

Building Health Care Costs Into Retirement Planning

There is one aspect of health care and health care costs that is controllable amid many that are not: whether people are in good health or not. Here's how to lower your retirement health care costs.

Social Security Administration shortchanges widows and widowers

Don't count on Social Security bureaucrats to have all the answers.

Qualified Plan Withdrawals: IRA vs. 401(k)

There are differences in how withdrawals from IRA accounts are regulated versus those from 401(k) employer plans. Knowing these differences will help you use the best strategy for funding your retirement.

Surprise! Millennials Are A Generation Of Savers

It appears that Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are going against stereotype, with more than half of them saving for retirement. As usual, stereotypes can be misleading.

Don't Get 'Escheated' Out Of Your Money!

Unfortunately, the English common law on escheatment has evolved from making sure abandoned property does not go to waste, to making sure the state has another source of income. Avoid unwittingly giving your money to the state.

Free Money!

Find money you didn't know you had.

Turning 65? Here Are Some Pitfalls When Signing Up For Medicare

The Medicare enrollment decision is too important to get wrong.

Like Exercise, Long-Term Investing Requires Persistence and Patience

Dave Rowan, a CFP from Rowan Financial reflects on the parallels between financial and physical wellness. Learn how to exercise your investment skills.

Proposed Department Of Labor Rules: How They'll Impact Advisors and Investors

In 2016 the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new rule requiring just about every professional who deals with retail investors to adhere to a fiduciary standard of practice. Learn what a fiduciary is, and why you would want one.

Six Things Every College Graduate Needs to Know About Money

Just getting started? Beyond the relative safety of college sits the stressful and sometimes messy world of adulthood. Learn how to make the transition from college to career success.

Big Changes To Social Security

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, passed by Congress and signed by the President, includes significant changes to Social Security's rules. Learn what changed about Social Security.

Supreme Court Decides That Inherited IRAs Are NOT Retirement Accounts

On June 18th,2014 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that, for the purpose of federal bankruptcy law, an inherited IRA is no longer considered a “retirement account” and is therefore accessible to creditors in bankruptcy. Learn how to protect your heirs.

Required Minimum Distributions

These are withdrawals from IRA accounts required by the tax code once a person reaches the age of 70-1/2 and every year thereafter. The IRS imposes a 10% penalty if you get it wrong.

The Case For Benign Neglect

"Benign neglect, bordering on sloth, remains the hallmark of our investment process" - Warren Buffet.

Roth IRA vs. Roth 401(k)

If you're lucky enough to have access to a Roth 401(k) through your employer, you probably know that there are a couple of differences, to your advantage, that the Roth 401(k) has over an individual Roth IRA.

Do You Have A Super-IRA?

Well, it's not an IRA, but a Health Savings Account (HSA). Read on to find out how to use your HSA to your best advantage.

Maximize Your Social Security

If like me, you're over 55 (way over!), you've probably received regular invitations in the mail to attend a seminar on Social Security from an advisor that is just dying to buy you lunch or dinner.

Welcome to Stout Bowman and Associates

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