After a relatively flat year, 2016 has kicked off to a less than enthusiastic start. As with any coverage of the stock market, you will have those that proclaim the great rise of stocks ahead, and others that spout doom and gloom and warn of the next inevitable crash (and usually at the same time). The past few days have been no different. The recent increased volatility has put investors on edge, tempting some to consider reducing their exposure to stocks and others to comptemplate selling out of the stock market altogether. It is difficult for investors to watch the market go down, and it is during these times when investors are especially vulnerable to being affected by the ‘herd mentality,’ causing many investors to run for the exit at any sign of bad news. Unfortunately, it is these emotional reactions that cause investors to make irrational decisions that adversely affect their performance. (more…)

The recent budget agreement did more than authorize the federal government to engage in additional borrowing, it also changed the rules for claiming Social Security. Going forward, two claiming strategies that had given some couples the potential for higher lifetime benefits will no longer be available.

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The following information is provided to assist you with questions concerning rollover(s) into government/public sector Employer Deferred Compensation Plans (Code Section 457), for eligible public safety officer and other governmental/public sector employees. As with all income tax-related concerns, retirees should consult with the Internal Revenue Service or their Tax Advisor.

457b rollover distributions Retiring Public Safety officers and government-Public Sector employees

All too often, a taxpayer will file his or her income tax return and discover that someone else has already filed and received a refund under the taxpayer’s name. There are various measures that taxpayers can take to prevent identity theft and tax refund fraud. In Part I, we discussed the IRS IP PIN and its role in preventing tax return fraud. In Part II, we will discuss the most recent tax scams, what to look for to identify these scams, and what you should do if you think you are being targeted. (more…)

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, tax refund fraud is expected to hit $21 billion by 2016, up from just $6.5 billion two years ago. Preventing this type of fraud is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS. The IRS has been heavily criticized lately for its outdated fraud-detection system, requiring only a name, date of birth, and social security number to file a false return. (more…)

A big drop in the value of a retirement portfolio is enough to give any investor pause. But when you are living off your investments in retirement or nearing that point, it may feel like the stakes are higher than they were when you had years or decades before you would start to use your money. So retirees need a plan for how to deal with sudden drops in the value of their investments.

Read the Quarter 4 2015 Public/Government Sector Newsletter

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