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Plymouth, MN 55447

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Blog

Save and Invest Without Even Thinking About It

Automate your retirement planning and wealth-building approach.Build your emergency fund with automatic transfers. Practically any bank or credit union can arrange daily, weekly, or per-paycheck transfers of money from a checking account into a savings account, or split your incoming paycheck into percentages going to both accounts. Try some apps. Apps like Qapital subtly direct spare change from debit and credit card purchases into your savings account.1Arrange per-paycheck salary deferrals. Pa
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Working a Little After You Retire

What should you remember as you look for a job? Finding work at age 60 or 65 is decidedly harder than finding work at 30 or 35. It can be done, but there are key things to keep in mind. You should be open to different kinds of work. Employers sometimes regard older jobseekers as inflexible—resistant to new technologies and unwilling to accept variations from their established occupations. Communicate that you are evolving in your life and career, learn a cutting-edge technology to return t
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Clean Energy

So far in 2018, corporations have purchased 7.2 gigawatts of clean energy, shattering the 5.4 gigawatt record set in 2017. Facebook alone accounted for 1.1 gigawatts.Source: Bloomberg, August 3, 2018
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Quote of the Day

A cardinal sin of investing is "hope". Hope is fine in sports and religion, but it has no place in investing. Hope is nothing more than emotion, and emotion clouds your decision-making and allows you to ignore discipline and logic. Hope is never part of the equation and don't forget it.Per Jim Cramer
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Little Known Military Benefit

The HEART Act permits rolling all or part of life-insurance and combat-related-fatality payouts directly into the tax-free retirement plan, but few take advantage of this little-known benefit. I realized how important is was when I had a prospect come to me with proceeds from her husband’s life insurance contract.  I started to look into this benefit for her since it would’ve allowed her to put up to $500,000 into a Roth within one year of receiving the proceeds.  The widow
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Democracies Today

More democracies exist today than at any previous point in history: There were 11 in 1900, 20 in 1920, 32 in 1970, 77 in 2000 and 116 in 2018.Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2019
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11 Year old Hacker

At the hacking convention DEFCON, 11-year-old Emmett Brewer hacked into a replica of Florida’s election website changing its voting results. It took him less than 10 minutesSource: Qz.com, August 13, 2018
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Quote of the Day

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Republican President

S&P 500 has produced the best outcome under a Republican president and a split Congress yielding an average annual return of 12% since 1928.    -MarketWatch, November 8, 2018
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Manufacturing Leader

One sector of manufacturing where America remains a leader: computer chips. The U.S. exports $44 billion in semiconductors annually, making them America’s fourth-largest manufacturing export after cars, airplanes, and refined oil. There are roughly 80 wafer-fabrication plants in the U.S. in 19 states. Source: Axios, September 5, 2018
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Quote of the Day

The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business-or almost anywhere else for that matter.Lee Iacocca
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Since the Early 1800's

On average, since the early 1800’s, stocks have returned 6.7%, after inflation. Bonds came in at 3.5%, Treasury bills at 2.6%, gold at 0.5%, while the dollar actually depreciated by -1.4%. That means $1 invested in stocks over that time would have turned into $1.4 million while that same dollar in bonds would have become $1,599 and T-bills would be worth $263. Gold clocks in at $3.09 and if you held onto that dollar, it would now be worth 0.95 cents. Source: Wharton, September 18, 201
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Quote of the Day

Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself! -Theodore T. Hunger
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$300 Billion in Overseas Cash

Companies in the United States brought $300 billion in overseas cash back into the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018.   
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Quote of the day

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Oil and Gas in Past 7 Years

For seven straight years, the U.S. has pumped more oil and gas out of the ground than any other country.  U.S. natural gas production stole the top spot from Russia in 2008, and exceeded Saudi Arabia's oil production in 2013. Since 2008, U.S. petroleum and natural gas production has jumped nearly 60%.-Quartz, May 23, 2018
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Quote of the Day

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.-Margaret Mead
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Paris climate agreement

The United States may have pulled out of the Paris climate agreement but that doesn’t mean that government and business leaders aren’t still trying to meet the agreement’s emission targets by its 2025 deadline. The U.S. originally promised to cut its carbon emissions by more than a quarter from 2005 levels and is currently on track to cut them by 17%, and could hit 24% by the deadline. -MarketPlace, September 12, 2018 
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Quote of the Day

"Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness."-George Santayana
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Relationships

Strong social relationships boost a person’s chances of staying alive by 50%. That’s about the same improvement to mortality as the one that comes from quitting smoking. -Bloomberg News, October 9, 2017  
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Quote of the Day

Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.-William Thackeray
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The Wall Street Journal

For years, customer calls have been answered on a first come, first served basis.  Today, with the use of data mining, companies can instantly examine factors like a caller's credit history and social media profile to "tailor calls for each customer" by matcing them to the agents who've had success with similar customers.Source: The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2017
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Largest Surplus in History

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ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

  Friday, January 27, 2017 The United States imported 30% of the energy it consumed in 2006, a dependency that has dropped to just 12% in 2016. Source: TerraJoule.us
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Quote of the Day

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.-Anne Frank
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Not Completely on Our Own

24% of the petroleum consumed by the United States in 2015 (including crude oil, gasoline and diesel fuel) was imported from foreign countries. The 24% was the lowest import percentage since 1970.Source: Energy Information Administration
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Quote of the Day

"Reputation is for time: character is for eternity.-J. B. Gough
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House Prices

The average price of a single family home in the United States peaked in March 2007, bottomed in May 2011, and then rose back above its March 2007 average high price in November 2015 where it has stayed through July 2016 (latest data released). From its May 2011 low, home prices are up +32%. From its March 2007 previous high, home prices are up just +4%.Source: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight
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Quote of the Day

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Medical Loss Ration

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance companies to spend at least 80% of the premiums they receive on health care services (e.g. doctors and hospital bills) and no more than 20% on administrative costs (e.g. sale commissions and advertising). If your monthly health insurance premium was $500 in 2015 and your health insurance company spent 75% of premiums received on health care services (5% short of the required 80%), you were due a $300 refund by 9/30/2016 ie., $500 X 12 x 5%S
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Quote of the day

Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.-Abraham Lincoln
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Social Security Facts

  Friday, October 28, 2016   The Social Security trust fund is huge. At $2.8 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2016, it exceeds the gross domestic (GDP) of every economy in the world except the five largest: the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, and the U.K.. In an average month, 48.2 million people age 62 and older receive a retirement benefit from the Social Security Administration. Source: Social Security Administration, 2016
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Quote of the day

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
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Sage Advice

It was 8 years ago (10/16/08) that Warren Buffet wrote his “Buy America, I Am” op-ed article in the New York Times. Buffett encouraged investors to “be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” Buffett’s letter was released less than 5 months before the stock market bottomed on 3/9/09, ending a 57% decline of the S&P 500*.source: New York Times*The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization weighted index of 500 stock
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Quote of the Day

Quote of the DayAll love that has not friendship for its base, is like a mansion built upon sand.-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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HealthCare in Retirement

  Friday, September 23, 2016 A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need an estimated $260,000 to cover health care costs in retirement, a 6% increase over the 2015 calculation. The new estimate was the highest since Fidelity started making calculations in 2002. Not included in the estimate were other health-related expenses, such as over-the-counter medications, most dental services and long-term care.-Fidelity’s Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, 2016
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$100,000

  $100,000 Friday, January 5, 2018 More hurricane-related relief: Retirement plan participants and IRA owners who live in an area affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria and sustained an economic loss may take a "qualified hurricane distribution" of up to $100,000 until January 1, 2019.  Thes distriubtions are not subject to 20% withholding or the 10% early distribution tax.  Taxpayers may spread the tax liability for these distributions or re-contribute these amoun
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