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The Economics of Borrowing from Your 401(k)

When times are tough, that pool of dollars sitting in your 401(k) plan account may start to look attractive. But before you decide to take a plan loan, be sure you understand the financial impact. It’s not as simple as you think. The basics of borrowing A 401(k) plan will usually let you borrow as …

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Two Social Security Strategies for Married Couples

Deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits is a major financial issue for anyone approaching retirement because the age at which you apply for benefits will affect the amount you’ll receive. If you’re married, deciding when to retire can be especially complicated because you and your spouse will need to plan together. Fortunately, there …

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On the Precipice: the “Fiscal Cliff”

The phrase “fiscal cliff” has been used to describe the unique combination of financial realities scheduled to take effect in 2013: expiring tax breaks; the imposition of new taxes on high-income individuals; and automatic deficit-reduction spending cuts. Expiring tax breaks Lower federal income tax rates, part of the tax landscape for more than ten years, …

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Economic Perspective

U.S. economic growth accelerated in the third quarter, rising to 2% from 1.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ initial estimate. The increase was driven in part by a 14.4% jump in construction spending, consumer spending that rose 2%, and a 3.7% increase in federal spending, primarily on the military, while capital spending by …

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Market Recap – October 2012

Superstorm Sandy had relatively little impact on financial markets despite the first back-to-back weather-related closings in more than a century. However, other factors–disappointing corporate earnings, anxiety about the proximity of elections and the fiscal cliff, profit-taking after September’s year-to-date highs–had already taken their toll. Investors brushed off some relatively benign economic data and sent equities …

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