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April is National Social Security Month

April is National Social Security Month. This is a great time to familiarize yourself with the suite of services available to you on SSA.gov. Check out today's blog post and see all that you can learn and accomplish online.

Beware, there's a new wave of Medicare scammers

Identity theft and protection is a common topic we discuss with clients as technology has made it both easier to do business and to have your information mishandled. There are a number of steps you can take to protect your information including using secure internet only (no restaurant WIFI), maintaining complex and different passwords for financial sites, and using multi-factor authentication. Please contact us if you have any questions about this, we are always happy to assist. Remember, if you see anything in your account that gives you pause, let ARS Wealth or TD Ameritrade know so we can look into it for you. The article we are sharing today talks about a new scam around Medicare. We see these types of types of scams pop up each year and want to help our clients be more aware.

9 Things You Didn't Know Were Tax Deductions

It is that time of year again, where we sit down and begin our tax preparation. Whether you work with you own CPA, have ARS complete or go at it alone, knowing what you can deduct will help you save every dollar you can. Remember, these rules may only apply to 2017 taxes and many of the common deductions will change for tax year 2018. If you have questions or want to set up an appointment for tax planning, please give your portfolio manager a call. We are here to help!

Most States Don't Require Specific Financial Literacy Classes

It may come as a shock to you, but the average high school graduate does not know how to balance a checkbook, file their taxes or how student loans work. In fact, just 5 states require students to take at least a half- year personal finance course as part of their graduation requirements! This lack of basic financial knowledge can have a long standing impact on the futures of today's young people. The importance of budgeting, using debt wisely, and saving early for retirement is one we cannot stress enough. Today's article shares some resources to supplement what kids are learning in school.

What is Happening?- Our Thoughts on Recent Market Moves

After a record increase in stock values in the first days of 2018, the market has returned to Earth and as of Monday, February 5, the S&P 500 is down -0.80% year to date. If we arrived at a negative -0.80% in equal increments during the last five weeks, no one would think anything of it!

What caused the sharp pullback? Is this the beginning of an extended bear market? What is going to happen this week? Those are a few of the questions people are pondering.

Perhaps the first question that should be considered is why did the market have such a strong move upward in the last few weeks? The underlying economic strength we are experiencing certainly creates a good foundation for corporate profit growth. Profit growth is generally correlated with higher stock prices and profit growth is robust. We believe the move up in the market was in part fueled by this.

What caused the pullback?

Retirees: Still Saving After All These Years

Congrats, you're retired! Now what?? Many retirees find the shift from saving mode into spending mode to be more difficult than they thought. This study found that a third of retirees had actually increased their net worth while retired. With thoughtful retirement and income planning, one can create a plan that allows you to enjoy your retirement nest egg while staying confident that your funds will last throughout your retirement. We are happy to review your retirement plan with you anytime.

8 Financial New Year's Resolutions for 2018

Shannon, McLay, FORBES

The beginning of a new year is the most popular time to set goals and make plans, and everyone’s resolution list should include a few financial resolutions. Resolutions, like goals, are best when they’re specific. When you set a resolution or a goal, think of it as picking destinations on a road trip: If you just say you want to head west, you’re probably going to waste a lot of time and fuel getting there; however, if you say you want to go to San Diego, CA, you’re going to get there faster and more efficiently.

Student Debt - 4 Tips to Get Your Finances to a Passing Grade

With the holiday season upon us, you will likely see relatives that you don't get to visit with throughout the year. This is a great article to share with the recent college grads in your life!

So you’ve got your degree, now what?

These days, only on television is landing your dream job after graduation a thing that could actually happen. The reality is, in a recent survey of 503 - recent grads - entry-level job seekers by national career matchmaking firm GradStaf, “nearly 70 percent of respondents were either unemployed or working in a full-time non-professional job to make ends meet.” Pair that with the idea that ‘the average cost of one year at a public university for an in-state student is $20,090. That increases to $34,220 if you hail from out of state,” student debt is something far too many millennials have to face.

Before You Pay for Financial Advice, Read This Guide

At ARS Wealth, we often get asked by prospective and current clients how to differentiate between the different types of financial advisors and firms. This article explains some of the different ways that financial professionals work with the public and the right questions to ask to make sure your advisor is working for you!

Here's how the GOP wants to overhaul the tax system

Christine Wang, CNBC

  • House Republicans unveiled their plan to overhaul the tax code on Thursday.
  • The plan would reduce the number of income tax brackets, raise the child tax credit and preserve popular retirement savings plans.
  • Tax reform has been a major focus for a GOP in need of a legislative win since their failure to repeal Obamacare.

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