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David P. Ford, CFP®
Lynn M. Ford, CRPC®
Thomas A. Sutton


Back to School Planning

The month of August is when many parents are preparing to send children back to school this fall. While the checklists grow and the kids soak in the last few minutes of summer break, it's important to remember college planning and back-to-school shopping. While getting an education can be difficult at times, paying for it can feel like climbing up an unending hill. The earlier you start planning and saving, the easier sending a child off to school can be.
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Younger Workers Stashing More for Retirement

The importance of retirement savings has been gaining traction among younger workers, with Generation Z and Millennials taking a proactive approach to secure their financial futures. According to new research from Vanguard, younger workers today are participating in their workplace retirement plans at higher rates and saving more compared to 15 years ago.
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Staying Invested in a Tricky Market Environment

Making economic forecasts and stock market predictions can be humbling. It's especially tough when you expect stocks to go higher and get a big drop instead. The environment today is the opposite, but still tricky, as recession hasn't followed the chorus of predictions. In some ways, figuring out what to do now that stocks have gone up is as difficult as considering what to do when stocks are down.
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The Ultimate Downsizing Checklist Before Retiring

As retirement approaches, many consider downsizing their home as a way to simplify their lives, reduce expenses, and focus on what truly matters. While the process can be emotionally and physically challenging, it can also be liberating and rewarding. To help you navigate this transition, we've compiled a comprehensive checklist for downsizing your home.
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Better-Than-Expected First Half

As we finalize the log on the first six months of 2023, we believe there's value in reflecting on recent months gone by. Doing so can help crystallize key learnings and help chart a course through the rest of the year. Looking back on the first half of 2023, it's probably fair to say the outcome has been a bit better-than-expected for the stock and bond markets, especially compared to 2022's tumult.
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Financial Planning Tips for a Prosperous July 4th

Embrace the spirit of independence by making wise financial choices. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, it's essential to prioritize safety and financial well-being alongside the festivities. While the 4th of July is traditionally associated with barbecues, fireworks, and family gatherings, it's also an opportune time to consider financial planning strategies that align with this patriotic holiday. Here are some tips.
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Debt Ceiling Drama Is Behind Us

Every so often Washington likes to remind us how hard it can be to get things accomplished. The most recent example is the debt ceiling - the amount Congress can borrow to pay its bills. It seems like we have this debate every few years and in the end a deal is made, which is just what happened this time. Considering equity markets never really reacted to the drama, perhaps this is a good reminder that focusing on long-term objectives is the best strategy.
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Investor Sentiment Tested

Spring is often thought of as an uplifting time, marked by growth and renewed hope as we emerge from the long months of winter and look ahead to the rest of year. Investors saw signs of such renewed hope in recent weeks, especially on the inflation front as several inflation measures showed signs of improvement.
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Waiting for New Highs

Financial markets have experienced quite a bit of change this year in just two short months. We started the year hopeful that stocks would benefit from a better economic and monetary policy environment by the spring, but recent developments suggest that may be further out than we initially thought. We remain confident that a new bull market will come - it just may require a bit more of our patience before we get there.
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Opportunities in 2023

Whether you're one to set ambitious New Year's resolutions or simply use the beginning of the year to reset on a few habits, there's almost always some value in reflecting on the past year before looking ahead. The same is true for the markets. When we look back on 2022, it's easy to identify the challenges - but if we look closer, we can also uncover some opportunities.
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The Best and Worst of Times

When it comes to stock market performance, August was "the best of times and the worst of times." The strong market rally that peaked in mid-August was viewed by many analysts as a transition from a bear to bull market, based on the surge in breadth that stocks enjoyed and the magnitude of the two-month rally that began in mid-June totaling 17%.
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Social Security and You: What Does the Future Hold?

Social Security benefits currently represent approximately 33% of the aggregate total income of Americans aged 65 and older, according to the Social Security Administration. For future generations of retirees, Social Security may represent a much smaller percentage of retirement income.
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Should You Take an Early Retirement?

The story is a common one these days. You have been furloughed or laid off, just a few years before you plan to retire. Or, your work-from-home arrangement is ending, and you're not keen on resuming the commute or going back to a crowded workspace. So why not retire now, since fate has presented the opportunity? Many 50- and 60-somethings are asking themselves this very question.
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Your Estate Plan: Time for a Checkup

COVID 19 has brought tragedy to many families and businesses and impacted personal finances. It has also rendered many an estate plan inaccurate and unrepresentative of current circumstances. If you, your family or your beneficiaries have been affected by the virus, you may need to review and make changes to your plan.
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Think Twice Before Tapping into Your Retirement Savings

New legislation -- the CARES Act -- permits qualified individuals to take early distributions from their retirement assets, such as their 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA) -- penalty free. The rules, which sunset after 2020, are designed to help the many cash-strapped Americans who have suffered financially as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. But tapping into your retirement savings has its costs, and there may be better ways to shore up your short-term cash flow.
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Deciding When to Start Taking a Pension

Most businesses today do not offer a pension plan. But pensions are still a common benefit for teachers, federal employees, and others who work in the public sector. Many grandfathered private-sector plans also still exist.
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