Articles

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

Retirement

  • What Is a 403(b) Plan?

    A 403(b) plan is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan that can only be offered by a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity.

  • Why Do People Buy Annuities?

    Annuities, an insurance-based financial vehicle, can provide many benefits that retirement investors might want.

  • What Are Annuity Living Benefits?

    Living benefits can help protect variable annuity owners from running out of money in retirement.

  • How Much Do I Need to Save?

    Many realize it’s important to save for retirement, but knowing exactly how much to save is another issue altogether.

  • What Is a 1035 Exchange?

    A Section 1035 exchange is a tax-free exchange of an existing annuity contract or life insurance policy for a new one.

  • Unforgettable Birthdays

    There are key dates after you turn 59 that can impact your taxes, Medicare eligibility, and retirement benefits.

  • What Are My Retirement Planning Options?

    There are a variety of retirement planning options that could help meet your needs. Here are some of the most popular.

  • Will Social Security Retire Before You Do?

    Greater demand is being placed on the Social Security system as the baby boom generation has begun to retire.

  • Social Security Income

    The Social Security Administration’s retirement estimator gives estimates of your future benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record.

  • What Is a Self-Employed Retirement Plan?

    Tax-deferred retirement plans for self-employed individuals have higher contribution limits than IRAs.

  • What Is an Indexed Annuity?

    An indexed annuity may provide some upside potential and downside protection.

  • Retirement Plan Distributions

    When receiving money accumulated in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, you have two options: lump sum or annuity.

  • What Is a Traditional IRA?

    If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you might consider a traditional IRA.

  • What Is a 401(k) Plan?

    401(k) employer-sponsored retirement plans have many benefits, including that the funds accumulate tax-deferred.

  • Save Now or Save Later?

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

  • What Is a Roth IRA?

    Qualified Roth IRA distributions in retirement are free of federal income tax and aren’t included in gross income.

Tax Planning

Investing

  • What Are Dividends?

    It is important to understand how dividends (taxable payments to shareholders) fit with your long-term goals.

  • What Is Stock?

    Before investing in stocks, it is important to understand some of the basics and the risks involved in owning stocks.

  • What Are Zero-Coupon Bonds?

    Zero-coupon bonds represent a type of bond that does not pay interest during the life of the bond.

  • What Is Diversification?

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

  • What Types of Bonds Are Available?

    Bonds are issued by many entities and share many characteristics, each type of bond has certain benefits and risks.

  • What Is a Bond?

    A bond is simply evidence of a debt from a government entity or a corporation and represents a long-term IOU.

  • How Do Mutual Funds and Stocks Differ?

    The difference between purchasing an individual stock versus shares in a mutual fund to potentially earn dividends.

  • What Is a Mutual Fund?

    A mutual fund is a collection of stocks, bonds, and other securities with certain benefits and risks.

  • What Is an Annuity?

    An annuity is a flexible financial vehicle that can help protect against the risk of living a long time because it provides an option for a lifetime income.

  • What Investment Risks Should I Know About?

    Understanding different types of investment risk can help investors manage their money more effectively.

  • What Are the Different Classes of Assets?

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

  • What Is Asset Allocation?

    Asset allocation is a method used to help manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss.

  • 529 Lesson Plan: High Scores for 529 Plans

    529 plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that generally allow people of any income level to contribute.

Cash Management

Risk Management