How Will I Know?

In 2012, the singer Whitney Houston died suddenly, drowning in a hotel bathroom after years of battling drug addiction. Yet the world will always treasure her musical legacy. The Guinness Book of World Records reports that she was the most awarded female artist of all time, with two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among 400+ awards. Rolling Stone listed her debut album as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. And VH1 put her number three on their "greatest women of the video age" list, behind Madonna and Janet Jackson.

NFL Playoffs: Blue States Versus Red

NFL playoffs have begun, and Wild Card Week featured some real competition. On Saturday, the red-state Tennessee Titans barbecued the red-state Kansas City Chiefs, 22-21, and the red-state Atlanta Falcons defeated the blue-state Los Angeles Rams, 26-13. On Sunday, the purple-state Jacksonville Jaguars pounced on the blue-state Buffalo Bills, 10-7, and the red-state New Orleans Saints marched past the purple-state Carolina Panthers, 31-26.

He's Mister Tax Miser

Welcome to 2018! New Years' always brings changes to taxes. Key numbers, like tax brackets, standard deductions, personal exemptions, and qualified plan contribution limits, all roll over on January 1. But this year brings more change than any year since 1987. Washington has just passed a sweeping overhaul of the entire tax code, from working individuals all the way to multinational corporations. Tax planners across the country are scrambling to ferret out the opportunities hiding in its 503 pages of typically dense, impenetrable text. (There's a reason tax lawyers drive Jaguars.)

We Now Interrupt This Broadcast . . .

On Sunday, October 30, 1938, Mercury Radio Theatre fans, who were listening to Ramon Racquello and His Orchestra, were interrupted by a news broadcast reporting an odd explosion on the planet Mars. Soon after, they learned that a cylindrical object had fallen on a farm in Grovers Mills, New Jersey. The radio audience listened in horror as a pulsating Martian emerged from the cylinder and obliterated the crowd with heat rays. Soon, an entire army of Martians had invaded New York, and very real panic had spread across the country.

The Twelve Days of Taxmas

Every year, PNC Bank publishes their "Christmas Price Index" to track the cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas. For 2017, it's a hefty $157,558. (And you thought your holiday spending was out of control!) The index may not be completely accurate — for example, the ten lords-a-leaping are valued using the cost of male ballet dancers, rather than actual lords, and the eight maids-a-milking don't include eight actual cows. But still, it got us wondering . . . what sort of taxes are we looking at on the whole affair?

    Will It Rain During Retirement?

    Perhaps you have a strategy that satisfies your retirement income needs and leaves some money left over. Have you also taken the time to prepare for the unknown?

    Unforeseen medical expenses can rain down at any time and flood your retirement with overwhelming debt and stress. Although you can’t control if or when a rainy day will happen, you can control how much coverage your umbrella provides.

    What You Can Do With a Will

    A will is often the cornerstone of an estate plan. Here are five things you may be able to accomplish with a will:

    Distribute Property as You Wish

    Wills may enable you to leave your property at your death to a surviving spouse, a child, other relatives, friends, a trust, a charity, or anyone you choose. There may be some limits, however, on how you can distribute property using a will. For instance, your spouse may have certain rights with respect to your property, regardless of the provisions of your will.