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       Michael J. Germano, IV CFP®, ChFC®

Blog

Understanding Retirement Income Tax

Understanding Retirement Income Tax: When you retire, you likely draw your income from several sources such as retirement accounts, taxable investment accounts, and Social Security Benefits. Each of these sources is taxed according to its own rules. So, in order to accurately plan for your retirement, you need to know what these rules are, whether (and when) you required to make withdrawals, and how paying taxes on distributions will impact your overall financial goals. Here...
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6 Steps to Protecting Your Wealth During Divorce

6 Steps to Protecting Your Wealth During Divorce: A divorce is one of the most difficult transitions you can go through. When you add uncertainty about money, that transition can get even more stressful. Here are six steps to help keep your finances intact during and after a divorce:Step 1. Assess your finances and make a budget. As divorce proceedings get underway, take stock of your finances. Start by reviewing your income, retirement accounts, investment portfolio, and insurance...
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How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft: Online banking and electronic payment options offer consumers unprecedented access to their financial accounts. Yet, this convenience comes at a price - greater risk of identity theft. Identity thieves can use your personal information to open fraudulent accounts and steal your money through unauthorized purchases and withdrawals. Luckily there are steps you can take to protect against identity theft and reduce the damage when it happens.
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Five Rules of Long-Term Investing

Five Rules of Long-Term Investing: These best practices can help you stay invested during the market ups and down. The COVID-19 pandemic helped put an end to the longest bull market in history. The stock market plunged, and many investors were tempted to pull their money out of the market to avoid additional losses. But periods of uncertainty offer a good reminder to investors that investing is a long-term proposition. Your ability to stay calm and stick with your plan...
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Two Strategies for Rebalancing Your Portfolio

How to bring your portfolio back in line with your goals. Your investment portfolio is more than the sum of your account balances. It represents your pathway toward important financial goals, whether a comfortable retirement or a college education for your kids. But over time, the inevitable ups and downs of the financial markets can change the profile of your investment plan, leaving you with more risk than you'd like or less growth potential than you need. Fortunately, a...
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Is Your Business Protected if Disaster Strikes?

A disaster plan can help your business survive a worst-case scenario.What would happen to your business after a fire, a massive data breach or the sudden loss of a key employee? Would it recover? How long would it take? If you've never really thought about the answers to these questions, it's time to make a disaster plan. Operating your business without a disaster plan is like driving without insurance: It leaves you vulnerable to forces outside of your control. Here are some steps...
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Your IRA and Your Legacy: IRAs can play a valuable role

Individual retirement accounts (IRA) are a cornerstone of many people retirement savings strategy, and for good reason: The ability to contribute pre-tax income and to defer taxes until you start making withdrawals means your savings can potentially grow more quickly than they could in a taxable account.But there's more to IRAs than tax advantages for retirement savings. In fact, IRAs can play a valuable role in estate planning, offering powerful tax benefits...
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Understanding Behavioral Bias:Learning how emotions affect decisions can make yo

Are you a better-than-average driver? Chances are, you answered yes. That's because nearly three-quarters of people think they are better-than-average drivers.[1] Besides being mathematically impossible, this statistic is an example of overconfidence and is just one illustration of how certain biases can influence our thought patterns.These behavioral biases sometimes help us make smart decisions. But they also can cloud our judgment and lead us to make irrational decisions.
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Keeping emotions at bay during virus volatility

Keeping Emotions at Bay During Virus Volatility Fear, uncertainty, volatility, panic—these emotions are nothing new to the world of investing. In fact, they seem to reappear on a fairly consistent basis. The outbreak of Covid-19 has brought them back with a vengeance, but wise investors know how to stay the course, keep their emotions in check, and take advantage of new opportunities. Crises Are an Expected Part of the Economy
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