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Tax Planning

Now that it’s December, you’re probably busy with family gatherings and holiday celebrations. Still, try to find some time to think about a non-holiday topic: taxes.

You may have until April 17, 2006, to file your taxes, but you only have until the end of the year to make some moves that could benefit your tax situation - so you’ll need to take action soon. read more »


You’ve probably heard that “generosity is its own reward.” This may be true, but when you make a charitable gift to a non-profit organization, your generosity also can reward you — especially when you file your taxes.

In fact, you can get at least three types of tax benefits:

Immediate tax deduction: You can deduct your charitable gift from your current income taxes. For example, if you give $1000 in cash to a charitable group this year, and you are in the 28 percent tax bracket, you can deduct $280 from your taxes on your 2005 tax return. read more »


Gosh, 2005 is almost over! Can you believe how time flies when you’re having so much fun? And, speaking of fun and the end of the year, why not take a moment and reflect on your upcoming taxes?

December tends to be the month that everyone waits for to do those things that are put off until there just isn’t any more time. Like tax-loss harvesting, for example. I know this is one that crops up every year but, let’s just cover the basics to make sure we’re all on the same page. First off, any losses that are to be accounted for in tax year 2005 must be taken in 2005. Period. read more »


The holiday shopping season is in full swing. In a country where spending is already a national past time, this is the time of year when many people significantly increase their debt and overextend their already overextended finances. Many people will be starting the New Year faced with a pile of credit card bills, wondering where all their money went.

Corrie J. Moore, a financial advisor with Waddell and Reed, Inc., of Silverdale, gave five reasons why people end up in financial dire straits, both during the holidays and throughout the year. read more »


Recognizing good investment opportunities starts with a good understanding of the stock market and its rules. Investors who have moved beyond the basics are in much better position to invest into individual companies instead of mutual funds and other options. read more »


During this past election season, you probably heard very little about recent tax legislation signed into law amidst the presidential debates, negative campaign ads, and the conflict in Iraq. On October 4, 2004, the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 was signed into law. This Act essentially extended reductions in tax breaks for individuals. read more »


Insurance certainly doesn’t rank as one of life’s most exciting purchases. Although it is just one part of your overall financial plan, it is a critical one that often is overlooked. Insurance is designed to cover a financial loss due to death, disability, accident, disaster or other event. It’s that simple. read more »


The investment markets have gone through another wild year — fortunately, this time, the volatility was generally in a positive direction. But the dramatic swing in stock returns after three bear years, along with dramatic swings in some other types of assets, again raises a question all investors should answer every year: Do I need to rebalance my portfolio?

Rebalancing a portfolio involved periodically readjusting its mix of assets. read more »


Insurance, in some form or another, is one of those things that nearly everyone has and that no one likes to talk about. It’s not interesting, it costs money whether you use it or not, and some people even question its necessity. Because of this, many people never think of their insurance agency as a resource to use for anything other than purchasing insurance products. But many insurance agencies go beyond the role of simply selling insurance and offer additional services to their clients and the community. read more »

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