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What can I learn from looking back on my financial situation in 2017?

If your financial plan for 2017 didn’t work out the way you wanted it to, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, ask yourself the following questions to determine what you

can learn from reflecting on your financial situation in the last year.

 

Did you meet your financial goals and expectations for 2017?

 

Perhaps you started the year with some financial goals in mind. You wanted to establish a budget that you could stick to, or maybe you hoped to build up your

emergency savings fund throughout the year. If you fell short of accomplishing these or other goals, think about the reasons why. Were your goals specific? Did you

develop a realistic timeframe for when they would be achieved? If not, learn to set attainable and measurable goals for your finances in the new year.

 

How did your investments perform?

 

A year-end review of your overall portfolio can help you determine whether your asset allocation is balanced and in line with your time horizon and goals. If one

type of investment performed well during the year, it could represent a greater percentage of your portfolio than you initially wanted. As a result, you might

consider selling some of it and using that money to buy other types of investments to rebalance your portfolio. Keep in mind that selling investments could result in

a tax liability. And remember, asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss; it is a method to help manage investment risk. All investing

involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful.

 

Are your retirement savings on track?

 

Did you contribute the amount you wanted in 2017? Or did unexpected financial emergencies force you to borrow or withdraw money from your retirement

savings? In that case, you can help your savings recover by contributing the most you can to your employer-sponsored retirement plan and taking advantage of

employer matching (if it’s available to you). Contributing to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan can help you save more consistently because your contributions are

automatically deducted from your salary, helping you avoid the temptation to skip a month now and then.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or retirement advice or recommendations. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IN, MI, MN, NY, NC, OH, SC, TX, VA, WA and WV. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017.
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Four Numbers You Need to Know Now

When it comes to your finances, you might easily overlook some of the numbers that really count. Here are four to pay attention to now that might really matter in the future.

 

1. Retirement plan contribution rate

 

What percentage of your salary are you contributing to a retirement plan? Making automatic contributions through an employer-sponsored plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is an easy way to save for retirement, but this out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach may result in a disparity between what you need to save and what you actually are saving for retirement. Checking your contribution rate and increasing it periodically can help you stay on track toward your retirement savings goal.

self-employed

Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Being self-employed has many advantages — the opportunity to be your own boss and come and go as you please, for example. However, it also comes with unique challenges, especially when it comes to how to handle taxes. Whether you’re running your own business or thinking about starting one, you’ll want to be aware of the specific tax rules and opportunities that apply to you.

 

Understand the self-employment tax

 

When you worked for an employer, payroll taxes to fund Social Security and Medicare were split between you and your employer. Now you must pay a self-employment tax equal to the combined amount that an employee and employer would pay. You must pay this tax if you had net earnings of $400 or more from self-employment.

 

The self-employment tax rate on net earnings (up to $127,200 in 2017) is 15.3%, with 12.4% going toward Social Security and 2.9% allotted to Medicare. Any amount over the earnings threshold is generally subject only to the Medicare payroll tax. However, self-employment and wage income above $200,000 is generally subject to a 0.9% additional Medicare tax. (For married individuals filing jointly, the 0.9% additional tax applies to combined self-employment and wage income over $250,000. For married individuals filing separately, the threshold is $125,000.)

Jack V. Butterfield Investment Company is a registered Broker-Dealer, member SIPC