Tax Planning for the Self-Employed

Self-employment is the opportunity to be your own boss, to come and go as you please, and oh yes, to establish a lifelong bond with your accountant. If you're self-employed, you'll need to pay your own FICA taxes and take charge of your own retirement plan, among other things. Here are some planning tips.

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Financial Planning: Helping You See the Big Picture

Do you picture yourself owning a new home, starting a business, or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.

That's where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you target your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources.

Why is financial planning important?

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Seven Steps to Your Financial Future

Sometimes, even highly-compensated individuals may find it difficult to achieve long-term success when it comes to managing their personal finances. Although they may attain a comfortable level of income, their focus may be on career development, rather than on securing their financial future.

However, no matter what your income level, consider these seven steps to help you manage your personal finances:

1. Pay yourself first. Transfer a set amount from your earnings to your savings each month.

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Annuity Options: Choices Abound for Today's Retiree

As the earliest baby boomers begin to enter retirement, the various income guarantees and other living benefits offered through variable annuities (VAs) are gaining in importance.

Yet before you rush to add a VA to your retirement funding scheme, take some time to understand what VAs have to offer in a general sense and to sort through the host of optional features and their associated fees and investment risks.

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Setting a Retirement Savings Goal

Many Americans realize the importance of saving for retirement, but knowing exactly how much they need to save is another issue altogether. With all the information available about retirement, it is sometimes difficult to decipher what is appropriate for your specific situation.

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Working With a Financial Advisor

The world of 50 years ago was a lot different than it is today. An individual often worked at the same job all his or her adult life, lived in the same house, and stayed married to the same spouse. In those days, too, one spouse could support a family, paying for college ordinarily didn't require taking out a second mortgage, and people could look forward to retiring on Social Security and possibly a company pension.

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Is Long-Term Care Insurance a Good Idea?

There is a good possibility that you or your spouse will eventually require some form of long-term care (LTC). According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, at least 70% of people aged 65 or older will require some form of long-term care services and support during their lives.1

Whether you or your spouse will be among this group is impossible to predict. But it is wise to consider how you might pay for long-term care and whether long-term care insurance is a good idea for you.

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