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75% of Americans agree they would benefit from having basic financial education and information.

Source: The 2016 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, The National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Welcome to our research center! We've put together a library of information on important financial topics that we believe you'll find helpful.

Simply click on one of the general financial topics below and you'll find a selection of easy-to-understand information sheets about related financial concepts and strategies. This information is updated regularly to reflect the latest facts, figures, legislation, and economic trends.

Estates & Trusts

  • Estate Planning

    Wills and trusts allow you to spell out how you would like your property distributed, but they also go beyond that.

  • Living Trusts

    A living trust can help control the distribution of your estate upon death.

  • Benefits of A-B Trusts

    An A-B trust can be an effective way to help reduce estate taxes and preserve family assets for heirs.

  • Charitable Lead Trusts

    Charitable lead trusts are designed for people who would like to benefit a charity now rather than later.

  • Family Limited Partnerships

    One estate planning strategy that families with closely held businesses could consider is the family limited partnership.

Retirement

  • Profit-Sharing Plans

    Profit-sharing plans give employees a share in the profits of a company and can help to fund their retirements.

  • Save Now or Save Later

    If you start saving for retirement sooner, the more money you are likely to accumulate and possibly retire sooner.

Tax Planning

  • Required Minimum Distributions

    Required minimum distribution is the annual amount that must be withdrawn from a qualified retirement plan/account.

  • Withdrawing Before Age 59.5

    Tax-deferred retirement account withdrawals before age 59½ generally triggers a 10% federal income tax penalty.

  • Tax Deferral

    There can be a substantial benefit to deferring taxes as long as possible.

  • Tax Deductions

    Changes to the tax code have left a few key deductions for itemizers, like medical, dental and some business expenses.

  • Tax Strategies for Retirement Plans

    Consider a trustee-to-trustee transfer to an IRA versus a lump-sum distribution from a workplace retirement plan.

Investing

  • Mutual Fund Taxes

    Mutual fund taxes can be cumbersome, but there are ways to help mitigate the amount of taxes you may owe.

  • Diversification

    An important element to successful investing is to manage investment risk while maintaining the potential for growth.

  • Stock Indexes

    Stock market indexes can be useful benchmarks for gauging the performance of an investment portfolio over time.

  • Mutual Fund Loads
  • Fixed vs. Variable Annuities

    Both fixed and variable annuities could be appropriate options for an individual interested in purchasing an annuity.

  • Asset Classes

    There are five broad asset classes that you should take into consideration when constructing your investment portfolio.

  • Dollar-Cost Averaging

    Dollar-cost averaging involves investing a set amount of money on a regular basis, regardless of market conditions.

Cash Management

  • Managing Cash

    There are numerous investment alternatives available to help provide liquidity.

Risk Management

  • Annuities as an Insurance Product

    An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company to pay you future income in exchange for premiums you pay.

  • Additional Liability Coverage

    Consider additional liability insurance to help protect you from the potentially devastating effects of liability lawsuits.

  • Medicare Coverage

    Medicare is the federal health insurance program for those persons age 65 and over. But what does it cover?