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Social Security Benefits: Spouses, Ex-spouses and Surviving Spouses

As you begin the retirement planning process, it’s important to have a strategic income plan with regard to Social Security benefits. It is particularly important for married couples to consider not only when the primary breadwinner should begin drawing benefits but also how that start date could affect a spouse whose benefit is derived from…

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Assessing your Mortgage Situation in Retirement

When it comes to retirement preparation, a common benchmark goal is having one’s mortgage paid off. This typically removes a large, ongoing payment from the budget and can reduce retirement expenses substantially. Some people even schedule their retirement just after their final payment date.   Here’s an even better idea: Schedule your retirement date six…

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Companies look to innovative options to hedge insurance risk

Companies are constantly trying to find new ways to reduce their expenses and generate revenue each year; some in quite innovative ways. The insurance industry is no different. On the health insurance side, one example is companies’ entrance into the wellness arena. By teaching members to make healthier choices and engage in healthier behaviors, and…

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Don’t let presumed costs deter your insurance decisions

The No. 1 reason to purchase an insurance policy is to cover expenses that would otherwise create a financial hardship for you or your family. Many policies are often employer-sponsored, but if you don’t have access to affordable options or would like to review potential financial vulnerabilities that could be covered by insurance, please give…

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Efforts growing to address mental health issues

Although mental illness has long been stigmatized, fortunately, things are beginning to change. Starting this year, dozens of health systems are adopting widespread solutions to address mental health conditions, including untreated depression, teen suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).1 Here are some startling statistics:2 As of 2016, 44.7 million American adults had experienced a mental…

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All About Homeowners Insurance

According to Zurich North America’s chief claims officer, natural hazards are more common and more damaging than in the past. The time to act and reduce future risk is now, particularly when it comes to nationwide infrastructure. For example, U.S. roads and bridges were simply not built for the severity and frequency of storms and…

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Notes on Social Security

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that Social Security beneficiaries have lost $6.7 million in two months resulting from a new, highly effective scam. This is how it works: Someone calls you and says they are with the Social Security Administration (SSA), stating they regret to inform you that your Social Security payments have been…

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Audits and Other Post-Tax Considerations

The first tax-filing season under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has come and gone. If you’re keeping up with the news, you’ll know that a lot of taxpayers have been surprised by their tax refunds this year. Some were pleased, but others found they owed more than they expected.1 Now that you know…

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The Future of AI in Health Care

  Artificial intelligence (AI) is not just for Amazon’s Alexa anymore. Health care patients are starting to see more mainstream uses of AI-enabled tools, such as:1   Robot-assisted surgery Virtual nursing assistants that stay in contact with both patients and providers Connected health management devices that you can download on your smartphone, wear on your…

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Take Another Look at Life Insurance

Today, more Americans are getting their life insurance through their employer rather than purchasing a policy on the individual market, according to LIMRA, an industry market research firm.1 At the same time, fewer employers are offering life insurance as a benefit. LIMRA research showed 23 percent fewer employers offered life insurance in 2017 compared with…

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