What if You Get Audited by the IRS?

As the saying goes, there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. On the former, there is not much you can do to make the experience more enjoyable than live a good life. As far as the latter is concerned, the process is rarely painful unless you find your return under audit by the IRS. The Tax Foundation notes that the IRS audited the returns of some 1.2 million American households in 2015, but that does not necessarily mean you are likely to face an audit yourself.

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What You Should Keep in Mind Amid Market Volatility

Investing in the stock market can be a nerve-wracking experience, to say the least. The US markets have been some of the most successful and powerful in the last century of human history, but the markets are never sunny every day. There are downs to correct the ups, and even when the markets seem invincible, downturns are lurking just around the corner. After all, the Dow Jones Industrial Average alone had a remarkable year in 2017, setting one record close number after another.

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Global Economy: The Good News

With the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis hidden away for the time being, markets around the globe are beginning to show some positive signs. In 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States set 70 record close marks, surpassing the previous record from 1995. A few weeks in to 2018, and the Dow has surpassed the 26,000 mark with an eye on continued growth beyond that mark. Around the globe, there are other good signs looming for investors who have been wary in previous years.

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How to Grade your Financial Health

When you visit your doctor, you go through several tests to determine your health. You step on scales to measure your weight, have the doctor listen to your heart rate, and find out your cholesterol, body mass index, and a variety of other important indicators of your health. Most Americans know these measures of their physical health, but do you know how to grade your financial health? NerdWallet has a survey you can take to judge your financial health, but may not help you gain great insight on your finances.

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2018 Economic Outlook

The 2017 calendar year has come to an end and it has been quite the rollercoaster ride. The economy, globally and in the US, has been up and down. With hopes of President Trump rolling back restrictions on the American economy, many businesses started spending, hiring, and investing capital. Additionally, the rough 2017 hurricane season dented the economy and slowed it down as major cities went into recovery mode. With these factors in mind, what is the outlook for the economy in 2018?

 

US GDP Growth Will Rise

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Financial Checklist for Holidays

The year might be coming to an end, but many American households are seeing a significant uptick in activity and even spending. With Thanksgiving dinners to host, Christmas presents to wrap, and a festive party or two to throw, your finances can quickly balloon out of control during the last two months of the year. If you want to stay in control of your finances this holiday season, consider looking through this financial checklist to help stay on track.

 

 

Look Under the Microscope

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What Should I Do with my Inheritance?

Most heirs do not realize the average inheritance takes more than a year and a half to complete the probate court process and distribute money to the heirs. Young and rich; it sounds like a great combination; and it is, but “rich” is a relative term. A sum that can last one person a lifetime might last another just a few years, months, or even weeks. If you are lucky enough to inherit a large amount of money when you are young, here are six tips that will help ensure that your fortune lasts at least if you do.

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5 Ways to Prepare for Long-Term Care

When you are planning for retirement, one of the most overlooked aspects that many forget to consider is long-term care. It is one thing to set aside money throughout your life to cover monthly expenses such as mortgage/rent, groceries, gas, and entertainment. It is an entirely different concept when looking forward at the potential need for long-term care. How would you or your family members pay for a long-term care facility or in-home nurse? As is the case with many things in life, preparation in advance is key. Here are five things to look at regarding long-term care.

 

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Charitable Giving: What to Give That Makes the Biggest Difference

When hurricanes strike, earthquakes level cities, or economic downturns impact those most in need, many Americans respond to the call with charitable giving. It comes in many forms, from financial donations to food, medical supplies, and other materials. A 2016 report from Giving USA found that 2015 was the most charitable year in American history, with Americans donating $373.25 billion to charities that year alone to break the record for a second consecutive year.

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2017 Outlook - Key Points

2017 Outlook

In 2016, all of the major stock categories posted gains in the fourth quarter with a significant percentage of gains realized following the U.S. presidential election.  Small caps performed very well in the fourth quarter and energy stocks led equities as oil prices recovered. 

After the election, the financial sector rose due to hopes of deregulation and higher interest rates.  The promise of fiscal stimulus was the reason for a sharp rise in industrials.  Not surprising, the health care sector trailed due to an uncertain future.  

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