The Advisor’s Corner is a resource for the community that offers insightful information into personal financial considerations and business financial issues.

The articles cover a broad range of topics, and we hope that you will find them useful in helping you to think about getting your fiscal house in order. Economic Empowerment starts at home.

Is It Wise to Trade Your Pension for a Lump Sum?

Many pension plan participants have the option to take their money in a lump sum when they retire. And since 2012, an increasing number of large corporate pensions have been implementing “lump-sum windows” during which vested former employees have a limited amount of time (typically 30 to 90 days) to accept or decline buyout offers.3 (Lump-sum offers to retirees already receiving pension benefits are no longer allowed.)

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Is Smart Beta a Smart Strategy for You?

Traditional investment indexes such as the S&P 500 are weighted based on market capitalization, the value of a company’s total outstanding stock. This means the largest companies in the index may have much greater influence on index performance than smaller companies. … Funds that track market-weighted indexes may be the most direct way to participate in broad market performance, but there has been increasing interest in an alternative indexing strategy called smart beta (also known as strategic beta or factor-based investing)

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Why Diversification Matters

When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there is one concept you will likely hear about over and over again โ€” diversification. Why is diversification so important? The simple reason is that it helps ensure that your risk of loss is spread among a number of different investments. The theory is that if some of the investments in your portfolio decline in value, others may rise or hold steady, helping to offset the losses.

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Due Date Approaches for 2016 Federal Income Tax Returns

Tax filing season is here again. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to start pulling things together โ€” that includes getting your hands on a copy of last year’s tax return and gathering W-2s, 1099s, and deduction records. You’ll need these records whether you’re preparing your own return or paying someone else to do your taxes for you.

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Grandparents Can Help Bridge the College Cost Gap

For many families, a college education is a significant financial burden that is increasingly hard to meet with savings, current income, and a manageable amount of loans. For some, the ace in the hole might be grandparents, whose added funds can help bridge the gap. If you’re a grandparent who would like to help fund your grandchild’s college education, here are some strategies.

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Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Being self-employed has many advantages โ€” the opportunity to be your own boss and come and go as you please, for example. However, it also comes with unique challenges, especially when it comes to how to handle taxes. Whether you’re running your own business or thinking about starting one, you’ll want to be aware of the specific tax rules and opportunities that apply to you.

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