Mark P. Cussen, CFP®, CMFC, AFC

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  1. Divorcing? The Right Way to Split Retirement Plans
    Retirement

    Divorcing? The Right Way to Split Retirement Plans

    Mishandling how you define and allocate retirement-plan assets in a divorce can cost you plenty in taxes and aggravation. Here's how to do it right.
  2. How To Create A Business Succession Plan
    Entrepreneurship

    How To Create A Business Succession Plan

    Make sure the business you built continues to thrive long after you've left the helm.
  3. Should You Roll Over Your 401(k)?
    Retirement

    Should You Roll Over Your 401(k)?

    Before moving your retirement funds into another account, consider your options.
  4. Are Return-Of-Premium Riders Worth It?
    Home & Auto

    Are Return-Of-Premium Riders Worth It?

    Find out if this policy coverage will add money to your pocket, or cost you in the long run.
  5. Introduction To Financial Planning Organizations
    Personal Finance

    Introduction To Financial Planning Organizations

    Organizations such as the FPA and NAPFA are striving to provide higher standards for the financial planning profession and greater protection for consumers through a combination of community programs, ...
  6. Top Companies That Manage 529 Plans
    Personal Finance

    Top Companies That Manage 529 Plans

    Planning to open a 529 plan? Check out our roundup of top-rated providers and what makes them special. Then see what works best for you.
  7. Benefits Of A SIMPLE IRA
    Retirement

    Benefits Of A SIMPLE IRA

    If you're at a small company, you may be offered a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan. Contribution limits are lower, but vesting is instant, with other benefits.
  8. Top 7 Estate Planning Mistakes
    Retirement

    Top 7 Estate Planning Mistakes

    Many people try to avoid this process altogether, making things difficult for heirs.
  9. Retirement: The One Thing Couples Shouldn't Do Together
    Retirement

    Retirement: The One Thing Couples Shouldn't Do Together

    Staggering retirement can have both financial and emotional benefits for married couples.
  10. Introduction To Growth Investing
    Investing Basics

    Introduction To Growth Investing

    There are principles and techniques that are applicable for many different types of investors and growth strategies.
  11. Insurance: Avoiding The Modified Endowment Contract Trap
    Insurance

    Insurance: Avoiding The Modified Endowment Contract Trap

    Congress has placed limits on the amount of money that can be put into life insurance policies - what can you do to counteract this?
  12. Using Life Insurance To Make Charitable Donations
    Home & Auto

    Using Life Insurance To Make Charitable Donations

    Your life insurance policy can be a great tool for charitable giving. Find out how.
  13. Introduction To Commercial Paper
    Bonds & Fixed Income

    Introduction To Commercial Paper

    Commercial paper is a short-term instrument that can be a viable alternative for retail fixed-income investors looking for a better rate of return on their money.
  14. State Laws Dictate Division Of Joint Property
    Retirement

    State Laws Dictate Division Of Joint Property

    In breakup, divorce or death, community or common law will determine how property is divided.
  15. 5 Lesser-Known Retirement And Benefit Plans
    Retirement

    5 Lesser-Known Retirement And Benefit Plans

    These plans aren't widely used, but they fill a specific niche for employees in certain situations.
  16. Trending Toward Asset-Based Management
    Insurance

    Trending Toward Asset-Based Management

    Will charging fees instead of commission increase your client base?
  17. Preparing Finances For Deployment: A Guide For Service Members
    Personal Finance

    Preparing Finances For Deployment: A Guide For Service Members

    Those who follow the instruction in this article can look forward to a homecoming of financial prosperity.
  18. Manage Your Clients' Expectations
    Professionals

    Manage Your Clients' Expectations

    You can't control how they react to the market, but you can help them understand the reality of the situation.
  19. Beware Of Company Stock In Qualified Plans
    Investing Basics

    Beware Of Company Stock In Qualified Plans

    While this strategy does have a few advantages, it can also pose some substantial risks to employees.
  20. Is Your 401(k) Administrator Competent?
    Savings

    Is Your 401(k) Administrator Competent?

    The more that employees know about their employee 401(k) plans, the better. But what doesn't your administrator know?
  21. Will You Pay Taxes During Retirement?
    Taxes

    Will You Pay Taxes During Retirement?

    Income taxes are one of the things that's certain in life. We'll explain the different tax situations when you retire.
  22. Financial Planners: Specialize In Seniors
    Retirement

    Financial Planners: Specialize In Seniors

    Find out how this demographic has all the needs to keep your firm busy year-round.
  23. A Guide To Financial Designations
    Personal Finance

    A Guide To Financial Designations

    Find out which certifications can bring you the greatest career returns.
  24. Top 10 Life Insurance Myths
    Insurance

    Top 10 Life Insurance Myths

    The most difficult aspect of this complex product is determining how much coverage you need and why.
  25. Roth Feature Boosts Benefits For 401(k) And 403(b) Plans
    Retirement

    Roth Feature Boosts Benefits For 401(k) And 403(b) Plans

    Roth accounts tend to beat Traditional plans over the long term by providing tax savings.
  26. Living And Death Benefit Riders: How Do They Work?
    Insurance

    Living And Death Benefit Riders: How Do They Work?

    Find out how these different riders work, and which type is right for you.
  27. Portfolio Growth Strategies
    Investing Basics

    Portfolio Growth Strategies

    There are many ways to grow a portfolio, and the best approach for a given investor will depend upon various factors.
  28. How Will Your Investment Make Money?
    Investing Basics

    How Will Your Investment Make Money?

    Discover the basic types of investment income and which asset classes pay them.
  29. Make No-Load Annuities Your Viable Alternative
    Home & Auto

    Make No-Load Annuities Your Viable Alternative

    These alternative retirement funds provide diversification with no fees, so what's the catch?
  30. America's Compensation Gap Shows No Signs Of Slowing
    Personal Finance

    America's Compensation Gap Shows No Signs Of Slowing

    The gap between the rich and the poor and middle classes is rapidly increasing in America. Historically this is not a good sign, as a strong middle class has been the backbone of the U.S. economy for most ...
  31. Would A Retirement Plan Overhaul Fix Our Savings Shortfall?
    Retirement

    Would A Retirement Plan Overhaul Fix Our Savings Shortfall?

    There are several theories and ideas about how we can make up for the $6.6 trillion retirement savings shortfall in America. Adjustments to Social Security and our retirement savings plans are some of ...
  32. 5 Investments You Can't Hold In An IRA/Qualified Plan
    Retirement

    5 Investments You Can't Hold In An IRA/Qualified Plan

    The list of prohibited investment vehicles is short, but it's important to know what is off limits.
  33. 2010: The Year To Convert Your IRA
    Retirement

    2010: The Year To Convert Your IRA

    Thanks to fewer restrictions, it's now easier than ever to convert your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA.
  34. Understanding The Insurance Transfer-For-Value Rule
    Taxes

    Understanding The Insurance Transfer-For-Value Rule

    If you are banking on your life insurance payout being tax-free, you may be in for a surprise.
  35. The Best Investments For Young People
    Investing Basics

    The Best Investments For Young People

    Young investors today who wish to begin a savings plan face a bewildering array of investment options.
  36. 7 Counterintuitive Retirement Strategies That Work
    Retirement

    7 Counterintuitive Retirement Strategies That Work

    We address seven investment misconceptions, and how you can make your retirement plan make sense.
  37. A Closer Look At Accelerated Benefit Riders
    Insurance

    A Closer Look At Accelerated Benefit Riders

    Accelerated benefit riders can allow policy holders to access the death benefit in their life insurance policy while they are still living if they meet certain conditions. Knowing what you get for what ...
  38. Top Strategies For Saving In A 529 Plan
    Savings

    Top Strategies For Saving In A 529 Plan

    Saving for college can be a daunting task. These 8 strategies can help to make the process a little easier.
  39. Managing A 529 Plan Based On College Expectations
    Savings

    Managing A 529 Plan Based On College Expectations

    529 Plans are a popular way to save for college. Here's how to be strategic about how to fund them, depending on your children and their expectations.
  40. Last-Minute Strategies To Help Pay For College
    Budgeting

    Last-Minute Strategies To Help Pay For College

    Find out what to do when your kid is ready for higher education, but you aren't.
  41. How To Appeal Your IRS Audit
    Taxes

    How To Appeal Your IRS Audit

    The auditor's review isn't always the last word. Many taxpayers who are audited can successfully appeal their audits and save thousands of dollars.
  42. Top Student Loan Providers
    Credit & Loans

    Top Student Loan Providers

    Many banks and institutions offer student loans, but some offer better deals than others. Read this list of top student loan providers before you borrow.
  43. Cut Your Tax Bill With Donor-Advised Funds
    Taxes

    Cut Your Tax Bill With Donor-Advised Funds

    Beat the tax man come April 15 by investing in a charity-friendly fund.
  44. Debt Consolidation: When It Helps, When It Doesn't
    Credit & Loans

    Debt Consolidation: When It Helps, When It Doesn't

    Here's the smart way to use a debt consolidation to get your financial life back on track
  45. 7 Ways To Consolidate Debt
    Credit & Loans

    7 Ways To Consolidate Debt

    Different loan sources to use when you consolidate debt.
  46. Using Home Equity Loans For Debt Consolidation
    Credit & Loans

    Using Home Equity Loans For Debt Consolidation

    A home equity loan or line of credit is a convenient way to consolidate debts, cut your interest rate and gain a tax deduction. But there are big risks.
  47. Special Trusts For Special Needs
    Personal Finance

    Special Trusts For Special Needs

    If you or someone you love has a disability, these trusts can help ease the cost of care.
  48. Deducting Disaster: Casualty And Theft Losses
    Taxes

    Deducting Disaster: Casualty And Theft Losses

    If you've been a victim, your losses may be deductible. Find out how.
  49. Consolidating Your Retirement Money
    Retirement

    Consolidating Your Retirement Money

    By midlife, you're likely to have accumulated a string of IRAs, 401(k)s and the like. This tutorial helps you organize them around your retirement goals.
  50. Is Whole Life An Obsolete Product?
    Insurance

    Is Whole Life An Obsolete Product?

    New, more-flexible features and current market conditions make traditional whole life insurance worth another look.
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