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    1. Your Tax Refund Might Be Smaller Than Usual This Year. Here’s Why

      Your Tax Refund Might Be Smaller Than Usual This Year. Here’s Why

       if you're anticipating the usual windfall this year, you might want to adjust your expectations. So far, the average tax refund is coming in at $1,865, which represents an 8.4% drop from the $2,035 the IRS was dishing out to taxpayers the same time last year. Not only that, but the number of refunds issued declined by 24.3%. If you're expecting money back from the IRS, know that the sum you receive might be lower than usual -- and prepare accordingly.

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    2. Variable Annuities for Retirement Savers Go Back to Basics

      Variable Annuities for Retirement Savers Go Back to Basics

      Variable Annuities for Retirement Savers Go Back to Basics Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Even with today's simplified variable annuities, you need a good grasp of the pros and cons before putting part of your nest egg into one. More After years of making variable annuities more complex and expensive, some insurers are offering products that have fewer bells and whistles, are easier to understand and have lower fees.

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    3. 4 Tips to Survive the 2019 Tax Season

      4 Tips to Survive the 2019 Tax Season

      Most of us don't enjoy doing our taxes, but for some folks, the process of filing a return can be downright anxiety-inducing. And this year, Americans have just a bit more to worry about. That's because this season is the first in which the recent tax overhaul will play out on tax returns. With that in mind, here are a few steps you can take to make the current tax season less stressful.

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    4. A Retiree's Guide to Key Dates in 2019

      A Retiree's Guide to Key Dates in 2019

      When ringing in a new year, many people resolve to be better organized or improve how they manage their finances. "On January 1st, you should be waking up thinking, 'What is my overall game plan for this year?' " We suggests developing a road map for this year's financial journey. After all, the start of a new year is a great time to assess your financial situation and make plans to improve it.

      To make that easier, this calendar highlights the critical dates that are pertinent to preretirees and retirees for 2019, covering categories such as taxes and health care. Miss a deadline, and it could sock your finances. So print out these pages and post them on your fridge, or set reminders on an online calendar to avoid forgetting a crucial deadline.

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    5. 4 Ways to Make Retirement More Affordable

      4 Ways to Make Retirement More Affordable

      While people may disagree about the appropriate amount of retirement savings or the ideal spending rate in retirement, there's one fact everyone can agree on: Retirement is expensive. Getting an early start on savings can help to ease the pain, but there are also strategies that reduce the amount of money you'll need in retirement. Here are four smart ways to cut costs to prepare for your golden years. 1. Downsize or move to a more affordable area.

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    6. 10 Scams That Will Ruin Your Retirement

      10 Scams That Will Ruin Your Retirement

      Getty Images Scams can hit anyone at any age, but falling victim to fraud is especially painful for retirees, many of whom are counting on the fixed income from their nest eggs and Social Security benefits to last through retirement. According to Federal Trade Commission data , 1.1 million frauds were reported in 2017, with 21% of the fraud victims suffering a financial loss. Fraud losses for all ages totaled $905 million in 2017, with a median loss of $429 per victim.

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    7. Retirees, Year-End Moves to Trim Your Tax Tab

      Retirees, Year-End Moves to Trim Your Tax Tab

      The coming tax-filing season will be full of twists and turns. New tax forms should be in place. Old, familiar tax breaks are gone, replaced by new breaks and new tax-saving opportunities. And the new, lower tax rates are in full effect. If the 2019 filing season were a reality show, no doubt it would be the most dramatic season yet.

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    8. How Much Tax Will You Owe Next Year? Get an Inside Look Now.

      How Much Tax Will You Owe Next Year? Get an Inside Look Now.

      Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site. Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, with its lower tax rates and higher standard deduction, has put extra money in workers' paychecks in 2018. And many taxpayers may realize when they do their taxes next season that they're eligible for even more tax breaks.

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    9. 4 Out of 5 Workers Are Making This Costly Retirement Mistake

      4 Out of 5 Workers Are Making This Costly Retirement Mistake

      You're doing everything you can to prepare for retirement. You're contributing to your 401(k), you've got a rough estimate of your retirement number , and you've thought about when is the best age to finally leave work for good. Chances are, though, you're still forgetting about one thing that could significantly derail your retirement: healthcare costs.

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    10. 5 Frequently Asked Medicare Questions

      5 Frequently Asked Medicare Questions

      Medicare provides insurance for millions of seniors. If you're one of them -- or if you're about to enroll in Medicare -- you may have lots of questions about exactly how this health insurance program works. Fortunately, we've got the answers to five key questions so you'll be better prepared to get the Medicare coverage you need and to use it effectively.

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    11. Should You Claim Social Security at 62?

      Should You Claim Social Security at 62?

      Should You Claim Social Security at 62? Christy Bieber, The Motley Fool Reblog The decision on when to claim Social Security benefits is one of the most important choices you'll make for your retirement. The age at which you claim benefits affects how much income you'll receive from Social Security each month. It also can impact the spousal benefits and survivor's benefits available to your husband or wife.

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    12. More Than 25% of Adults Skipped Medical Care Last Year Because of Cost

      More Than 25% of Adults Skipped Medical Care Last Year Because of Cost

      Medical care is an expense that countless Americans contend with each year, and even those who have insurance struggle to keep up with their bills. In fact, medical debt is the No. 1 source of bankruptcy filings in the country, and the problem doesn't seem to be getting better anytime soon.

      It's not shocking, then, to learn that some folks are willing to go to extremes to keep their medical costs as manageable as possible. For more than 25% of U.S. adults, however, that meant skipping necessary medical treatment last year, according to the Federal Reserve Board.

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    13. 5 Problems With Retiring in Your 50s

      5 Problems With Retiring in Your 50s

      Many workers dream of early retirement and the more relaxed lifestyle that comes with it. And if you save well enough during your career, calling it quits during your 50s could wind up being more than feasible. At the same time, there are several pitfalls you might encounter by leaving the workforce so far ahead of the average American. Here are a few you should know about. 1.

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    14. Living on Social Security? Here's a Tax Credit Just for You

      Living on Social Security? Here's a Tax Credit Just for You

      Living on Social Security? Here's a Tax Credit Just for You Wendy Connick, The Motley Fool Tweet Share If you're among the 23% of married retirees or the 43% of single retirees who rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income, then you likely qualify for the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled -- a tax credit that can save you thousands of dollars every year. For that matter, even retirees with other sources of income may qualify for this tax credit.

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    15. Annual Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum Returns May 18

      Annual Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum Returns May 18

      The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce will once again collaborate with an impressive group of sponsors and partners to produce Orange County's premier trade event, the 2017 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum (OCWTW) on Thursday, May 18, at the Irvine Marriott.

      In its third year, this preeminent event has continued to grow in response to Irvine and Orange County's vital role in the California, U.S., and global economies. Trade and exporting of Irvine/Orange County goods and services fuels more than $19 billion in exports annually or 11 percent of California's export economy.

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