Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Welcome to March Madness!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Charles Schwab & Co. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week.

Many of you may have thought about this issue and wondered about the right course of action. Schwab provides some helpful insights below.

Have a wonderful week!

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Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

From Charles Schwab & Co.

Some people enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being debt-free in retirement. But warm and fuzzy feelings should be weighed against solid financial facts. Whether it makes sense to pay off your mortgage when — or before — you retire depends on your individual situation.

The interest rate on your mortgage may be the single biggest factor in this decision, according to Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “If the rate on the mortgage is low, an early mortgage payoff might not be the best option,” he says. “It may be better to maintain liquidity of your funds and diversify your assets.”

Should you pay or stay? Rande says you should consider these factors when deciding whether to retire your mortgage or keep it: [Read more…]

Seven Quick Tips To Set You Up For Financial Success

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Happy daylight savings time week!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Seven Quick Tips To Set You Up For Financial Success” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Charles Schwab & Co. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week.

This is a really short piece from Schwab on important items you should consider to make your financial life easier and more successful. I hope at least one of these ideas works for you.

Have a wonderful week!

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Seven Quick Tips To Set You Up For Financial Success

By Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • New Year’s resolutions are often abandoned by early January, especially if they’re unrealistic or too general.
  • To make a resolution stick, you really need to have a specific plan of action.
  • When it comes to your financial resolve, try these seven financial tips to help set yourself up for success all year long.

We’re still in the early part of 2017 and do you know what that means? For a lot of us, it means our New Year’s resolutions are already a thing of the past. It isn’t that we’re not committed to positive change. It’s just that often we’re not clear about how to achieve it. Especially if resolutions are general — sure, we all want to lose weight or save more money, but it can be hard to follow through.

So what’s the answer? First, when it comes to your finances, get specific about what you really want to accomplish. For instance, how much do you want to save each month? What bills do you want to pay off first? The second essential part of success is making a plan and then sticking with it. The following financial tips are designed to help make it easy — almost automatic — to stay on track. Basically, these are simple things you can set in motion now that can keep you going in the right direction all year long. [Read more…]

Buffet’s Investing Advice From His 2017 Shareholder Letter

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! The days are getting longer and the darkness is receding. Warmer weather is just around the corner!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Buffett’s Investing Advice From His 2017 Shareholder Letter” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week.

Every year Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder letter contains insights on investing from Warren Buffet that many eagerly await reading. You may be surprised at some of Mr. Buffet’s thoughts this year outlined below.

Have a wonderful week!

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Buffett’s Investing Advice From His 2017 Shareholder Letter

By Janet Levaux, Editor in Chief, Research Magazine

According to Chairman Warren Buffet, the market value of Berkshire Hathaway’s shares has roared ahead at a compound annual growth rate of 20.8% since 1965 — more than double the S&P 500’s 9.7%. In 2016, Berkshire shares soared 23.4%, beating the S&P’s 12.0% improvement. A year earlier, the shares dropped 12.5%, while the S&P gained 1.4%.

While the information on returns is always welcome by investors and market watchers, it is the Oracle of Omaha’s musings on a variety of topics that are eagerly anticipated. Read on for the top eight nuggets of wisdom gleaned from this year’s 28-page letter to investors: [Read more…]

Top Five Money Habits Of Happy Couples

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! It was in the 60’s this weekend — I think spring is on the way!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Top Five Money Habits Of Happy Couples” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

Ever wonder how some couples seem to navigate the money thing so easily? The article below reveals their secret money habits! [Read more…]

Six Keys To Investment Success: T. Rowe’s Brian Rogers Reflects

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Remember Valentine’s Day is tomorrow!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Six Keys To Investment Success: T. Rowe’s Brian Rogers Reflects” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

As his retirement approaches, Brian Rogers, Chairman and CIO at T. Rowe Price, shares his knowledge gained from 35 years working with investments.

Have a wonderful week!

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Six Keys To Investment Success: T. Rowe’s Brian Rogers Reflects

By Emily Zulz, Staff Reporter, ThinkAdvisor

On Brian Rogers’ desk at T. Rowe Price is an engraved cube displaying the reminder, “Doubt everything. Believe nothing.” “And I think those are good things for investors to do,” as well, Rogers said

As the time nears for him to step down from his current roles as chairman and CIO at T. Rowe, Rogers is taking time to reflect on his career. “One thing that really struck me” in 1982 when he joined T. Rowe, he recalled at the event, is how “passive was making increasing inroads into our business.” In addition, he said, “fees were under cyclical pressure in 1982. Fast forward to 2016 and it feels like the same two trends are in place, and will continue.”

Recently, T. Rowe Price announced that Rogers will retire as chairman and CIO on March 31, 2017, after nearly 35 years at the firm. While he will stay on as a non-executive chair, his role as CIO will be taken on by six senior investment executives. Recently, Rogers shared six keys to investment success he’s learned over his career. [Read more…]

Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! How about that Superbowl?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

It’s time to start thinking about filing your taxes. If you are an early filer — which is smart since early filing reduces the likelihood of becoming a victim of tax filing fraud — or someone who files at the last minute, you will find these tax-filing tips helpful.

Have a wonderful week!

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Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

From Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

When the IRS is reviewing your tax return, it doesn’t care whether a filing mistake is intentional or inadvertent. Any error can trigger a notice, says Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

While a mistake won’t necessarily lead to an audit, you want to avoid as many red flags as possible — particularly if you’re a high-income taxpayer since they tend to be audited more frequently.

Understating income and overstating deductions are two potential problem areas for filers, Rande warns. But those aren’t the only places where returns can go off the rails. Here are five frequent mistakes people make, and ways to prevent them. [Read more…]

How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Welcome to the Donald Trump presidency. Hang on!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

You can make better financial decisions if you know what information is important and use the right financial knowledge base. This piece from Schwab can help you focus on the essential financial knowledge you need to make better financial decisions.

Have a wonderful week!

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How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017

By Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Want to make smarter financial decisions in 2017? Start by focusing on the key elements that should comprise your financial knowledge base.
  • Help raise your personal financial IQ by zeroing in on just 10 important details of your own financial situation.
  • Instead of making resolutions you might not keep, set up a support system that can help sustain you throughout the year.

It’s that time again. And while you may have promised yourself to be smarter about your finances in 2017, we all know that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously ineffective. Despite our best intentions, the vast majority of us simply don’t follow through. So this year, instead of making an overwhelming list of things to do, I’m suggesting that you focus on a few concrete things you need to know. In other words, if you educate yourself about your finances, you’ll be laying the foundation for success by building the right financial knowledge base.

Improve your financial knowledge base by raising your financial IQ

The financial world is filled with numbers and details, many of which you don’t really need to think about. I believe you can improve your financial knowledge base in 2017 by just zeroing in on the following 10 things — all practical information that only require simple math: [Read more…]

Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Looks like we might reach the low 50’s in Wisconsin this week!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Taxes: What’s New For 2017?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the headings below.

As you work on your tax return for 2016, it may be wise to look at what is changing in the world of taxes for 2017. Understanding right now what is different this year ensures that you have ample time to reduce what you pay in 2017 taxes.

Have a wonderful week!

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Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Tax changes in recent years included an additional Medicare surtax for high-income earners, a new top rate for dividends and long-term capital gains, and the phase-out of itemized deductions for high earners.
  • If you’re subject to higher taxes, it’s even more important to take advantage of whatever tax breaks apply to you.
  • Learn more about this year’s inflation adjustments and common tax breaks, including retirement plan contributions and charitable giving.

Although there are no major tax law changes this year, there are still inflation adjustments and other routine changes to consider. Remember, it’s important to take advantage of the tax break you’re entitled to — it’s not what you make but what you keep that counts. Here are a number of items to consider as you plan for the year ahead. [Read more…]

Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017

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Happy New Year!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each heading.

Start the new year off right by organizing your finances. This piece from Schwab provides guidance on what to focus on as you begin your 2017 financial planning.

Have a wonderful week!

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Get Your Finances in Shape for 2017

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • The New Year is a great time to reevaluate where you stand financially.
  • Consider these five resolutions as you start your 2017 financial planning. They include tips on budgeting, estate planning and more.

It wouldn’t be the New Year without resolutions. But whether it’s trimming your waistline or firming your financial profile, the key isn’t making the list, it’s sticking with it. Here are five steps to get you started on your 2017 financial planning road to financial fitness. [Read more…]

13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend! Time to get some holiday shopping done this week?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of financial planner Mary Beth Storjohann. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each tip below in bold.

2016 is quickly coming to a close. Take a look at the suggestions below, maybe one of them can be a game changer for you.

Have a wonderful week!

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13 Financial Moves To Make Before 2016 Ends

By Mary Beth Storjohann

The year is quickly coming to a close and there’s New Year’s resolutions aplenty.

However, with resolutions being so open-ended, it’s easy to pile too much on at once and while you may feel motivated at first, fast forward a few weeks or months and you may find that you’ve thrown caution, boundaries and rules to the wind and are in the exact same position you want to get out of.

Rather than resolving to change in 2017, there’s still time to opt for buckling down and getting things done in 2016. In many instances, the end of the year closes a financial window or opens a new door. Are you ready to wrap up your loose ends and set yourself up to take advantage of any opportunities the New Year brings?

Here are 13 financial tips you should consider before the end of the year: [Read more…]