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If helping others is one of your financial goals, consider tools and strategies that may help you maximize your charitable gifts.

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In our last Financial Empowerment article, we talked about the basics of financial planning. We reviewed the process and the major information needed to start building a plan. Of those pieces of information, we discussed income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Today, we are going to focus a little more on one of those topics: income.

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A living trust is one of the most prevalent estate planning tools in use today. Most people use a living trust instead of a will to avoid probate, a court-supervised process for transferring assets to the beneficiaries listed in your will, which can be expensive and exposes your estate to public record. A living will does not avoid the estate tax but makes the settlement process much easier.

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To protect your family's financial well being, take a tip from the Boy Scouts and "be prepared." Look over this checklist to see if all your bases are covered in the event of a debilitating injury or death.

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Discover why a sound financial plan should include trust and estate planning.

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Are you on target to meet your retirement goals? Half of all American workers don’t know how much money they will need to retire comfortably. A strong financial plan can help you juggle challenges and keep you on track towards meeting your long-term goals. Here are some tips for getting your retirement plan on target.

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When crafting a financial plan for retirement, you should assess your goals, identify income streams and determine your future needs and options.

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Family conflict after a loved one passes can often be avoided through open communication and preemptive planning to help ensure that everyone is on the same page

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Preparing for your later years requires looking at a host of personal and financial details. To enhance your chances of living the retirement lifestyle that you desire, you may want to start by making decisions about how you want to live and basing your financial planning on these lifestyle parameters.

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In October, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), will be released. Early indications suggest that the cost-of-living adjustment that will take effect for social security recipients at the beginning of 2019 could come in between 2.5%-3.00%. This is the first increase in some years that has not been consumed by Medicare premium hikes. Do you know enough about Social Security to leverage your benefits?

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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