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Financial Preparedness for Hurricane Season

Not only is September the peak of hurricane season, it is also National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Ready Campaign of FEMA and held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for potential emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. The Ready Campaign asks individuals to do three key things to prepare for the unexpected: 1) get an emergency supply kit, 2) make a family emergency plan, and 3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses. Something else to consider is your financial readiness in case of an emergency.

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What To Know When A Loved One Passes

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be difficult enough without the additional responsibilities of settling the deceased's estate, particularly when it comes to bills, taxes, and other outstanding debt.

Legal requirements regarding a decedent's expenses can vary widely state by state, so if you are handling a loved one's estate, be sure to consult with an attorney. Here are some important factors to keep in mind.

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Strategies for Smart Retirement Planning

A study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated that Americans born between 1948 and 1954 will face a retirement savings shortfall of more than $70,000.1 How can you avoid a similar fate?

Some factors that influence your retirement savings results, such as the types of investments available to you through your plan and the performance of the financial markets, can't always be controlled. But there are some factors you can influence that can help keep your portfolio on track.

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Saving for College — Why Waiting Could Cost You

Being able to afford to send your children to the colleges of their choice, without being limited by cost, can be one of the greatest satisfactions of being a parent. Continuing our month-long look at the Sandwich Generation, today we offer some helpful tips for planning ahead to cover your children’s college education expenses.

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Financial Records: What to Shred and When

Washington Trust and Cintas® are hosting a free document shredding event on Saturday, July 26th from 9:00AM until 12:00PM at Washington Trust’s East Providence branch at 587 Taunton Avenue in Providence, Rhode Island. Ahead of the event, we thought we would share some helpful tips on financial record keeping, and determining what should be shredded and when.

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Don't Let Inflation Erode Your Investments

What does inflation have to do with investing? Plenty. You may know that if the rate of return on your investments is less than the inflation rate, the value of your money -- in other words, its purchasing power -- will decline over time. Of course, the challenge is that no one knows what the inflation rate will be a year from now, much less 30 years down the road. However, you can develop investment strategies to help hedge against inflation.

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Meet a Sandwich Generation Family

As a consequence of an aging population, more working Americans are finding themselves faced with a new challenge: trying to save for retirement while sandwiched between financial obligations to children and to elderly parents. All of this leads to one of life's biggest questions; How can I afford to do it all? 

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Focus Today on Saving for Tomorrow

July is National Sandwich Generation Month, a reminder that there’s no better time than now to start saving for your future. Careful financial planning will help ensure that you have enough savings in case you find yourself needing to take care of children and parents simultaneously. Saving also protects you from having to rely on your own children as you grow older, thus breaking the cycle of sandwiched responsibility for future generations.

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Sandwich Generation Month

Sandwich Generation Month is an annual commemoration and celebration of the dedication, patience and caring of adults who are part of the "sandwich generation" ? those caring for their children as well as their own aging parents. The term "sandwich generation" was coined by Dorothy A Miller in 1981 and officially added to the dictionary by Merriam-Webster in July 2006.

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Driving Down Debt: A Key to Pursuing Long-Term Goals

As you prepare to hit the busy highways this holiday weekend, consider the road ahead. It takes a lot of planning to travel, but no trip is without its bumps in the road. The road to financial stability is no different. If you want to do more to prepare financially for the future but find yourself slowing behind debt, here are some ideas for plotting a clearer route.

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Economic Review and Outlook – June 30, 2014

After winter’s deep freeze and 2.9% contraction in the first quarter, U.S. GDP has snapped back, possibly reaching a growth rate of 3.5% in Q2. This is obviously good news, but the arithmetic is simple. First half GDP taken as a whole was very sluggish. For the full year, GDP growth may lag the low end of our forecast range of 2.5% to 3.0%. Given that growth in China has also slowed and recovery in Europe is barely perceptible, it is little wonder that the World Bank recently downgraded its full year 2014 global GDP forecast to 3.4% from 3.7%.

 

We expect that the U.S. can maintain a growth rate of about 3% for the balance of the year. The U.S. economy reached a major milestone in May when nonfarm payrolls exceeded the prior peak of January 2008 as the economy at long last recovered the job losses of the Great Recession. After four consecutive months of employment gains in excess of 200,000, it appears that job creation has moved up a notch.

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RI State Tax Exemption

The latest budget that just passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly (2014 H-7133) contains several tax provisions, including one which raises the RI estate tax exemption. Specifically, the exemption increases to $1,500,000 for decedent’s dying on or after January 1, 2015; a fairly significant increase over the current 2014 exemption of $921,655.

 

However, the law backs into the $1,500,000 exemption amount. Section 44-22-1.1(a)(4) states, in part, “the tax is a sum equal to the maximum credit for state death taxes allowed by 26 U.S.C. section 2011, as it was in effect as of January 1, 2001; provided however, that a Rhode Island credit shall be allowed against any tax so determined in the amount of $64,400.” This $64,400 credit is the maximum credit for state death taxes, pursuant to Section 2011, allowed against a $1,500,000 taxable estate.

Additionally, another major benefit of this new law is that it eliminates the “tax cliff” that in most situations, taxed the entire estate once the exemption amount was exceeded.

Lastly the $64,400 credit amount will be indexed for inflation beginning January 1, 2016.


The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author and may not reflect those of The Washington Trust Company. The information in this report has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to change at any time without notice. Any person relying upon this information shall be solely responsible for the consequences of such reliance. Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.

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