Start Saving for College Now, or Pay Much More Later

The price tag for attending college 18 years from now is projected to be considerably higher than it is today—up to hundreds of thousands of dollars higher for a four-year degree. But using a tax-favored strategy to save for college can help make the costs of future educational expenses less daunting.

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Three Reasons Uncle Sam Took More Money from Your Pocket in 2013

Many Americans made more money in 2013, thanks in part to last year’s soaring equity market and continuing economic recovery. Partly as a result, however, many Americans will be writing bigger checks to Uncle Sam come April 15. Here are the three things most people overlooked in anticipating their 2013 tax bill:

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Endowments and Foundations: Should a Windfall Change Your Investment Policy?

Brian Wodar and Ashley Velategui Board members at Uptown Community Foundation (UCF) faced an enviable dilemma: what to do when an unexpected bequest boosted UCF’s capital from $10 million to $12.5 million. One board member welcomed the chance to reduce portfolio volatility by cutting the stock allocation. Another had the opposite view: with increased financial strength, [...]

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Don’t Forget the Beginning-of-Year Gifting Season

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Brian Wodar Many people see December 31 as the deadline for tax-advantaged giving each year. While that’s generally true for charitable donations, it may make sense to give one type of gift as early in the year as possible—the annual exclusion gift.

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Lessons Learned in 2013

In 2013, interest rates rose, bonds fell, equities soared, and US income-tax rates climbed higher. Before starting to place bets for 2014, investors would be wise to think about some important lessons from 2013.

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Doing Well by Doing Good

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Paul Robertson Charitable giving remains one of the few ways that US taxpayers can avoid taxes outright. If you’re philanthropically inclined, giving can be a win-win that benefits you and society at the same time.  

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Reality – Expectations = Happiness

Many US investors may be disappointed when they open their account statements.  Despite the widespread news that the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 21% in the  first 10 months of 2013, most US investors’ taxable portfolio returns were far lower—typically somewhere between 5% and16% range.

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Think You Missed the Boat on Roth Conversion?

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Paul Robertson Not likely. As long as you don’t expect to spend down all of your IRA assets, our research suggests that converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can save you plenty on taxes. Conversion would have saved you even more before the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) [...]

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Retirement Planning: When You Have to Compromise

Kathleen M. Fisher (pictured) and Tara Thompson Popernik Sometimes things fall into place nicely, and you can chart your course to a comfortable retirement relatively easily. You choose a suitable asset allocation, using tax-deferred accounts to their best advantage and optimizing your Social Security payouts. But what if things don’t work out so well?

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Investing in Retirement: Bonds Aren’t Enough

By Kathleen M. Fisher (pictured) and Tara Thompson Popernik What should you invest in after the spigot of earned income is turned off? It’s a vexing question, especially since we expect lower stock and bond returns going forward.

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