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Linking traditional IRAs, tax management and retirement

CharlesSimsJr-160Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) can be a good way to save for retirement. If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or would like to supplement that plan, a traditional IRA could work for you.

A traditional IRA is simply a tax-deferred savings account that has several investing options and is set up through an investment institution. For instance, an IRA can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash equivalents, real estate, and other investment vehicles.

One of the benefits of a traditional IRA is the potential for tax-deductible contributions. In 2014, you may be eligible to make a tax-deductible contribution of up to $5,500 ($6,500 if you are 50 or older). Contribution limits are indexed annually for inflation.

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Building ‘The Team’

onwealthy 600President Barack Obama has been very vocal about the significance of small businesses to our economy. According to the White House website, www.Whitehouse.gov, the President views small businesses as "the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our communities".

Unlike their Fortune 500 business counterparts, whose heavily entrenched internal culture makes swift change difficult, small businesses are agile, more flexible and can adapt more readily when the economy requires or the business model no longer works. So it comes as no surprise that we as a community put forth every effort to support and grow our small businesses.

Frequently forced to wear many hats, small business owners often juggle legal, accounting, marketing, operations, hiring, firing, manufacturing and distribution duties. Some do it all of this while maintaining a full time job and family. The idea is to grow the business enough so that the entrepreneur can leave the job and focus on the business.

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Making a living or making a life?

hester 600Today's employers are not looking for people who want to work to make a living, they are looking for people who, more importantly, want to make a life.

Consider our parents and our grandparents and how they were able to do so much with so little for so long. They knew the difference between making a living and making a life. While it may seem like purely a matter of semantics, believe me, it's more than just a play on words.

Knowing which you are focused on can make the difference.

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First Lady travels to China and invites young people to participate

FirstLadyChina 600First Lady Michelle Obama, who headed to China on March 19th, continues her official visit this week, with the trip set to conclude on Wednesday.

"Over the past five years as First Lady, I've traveled around the world – to countries like Mexico, India, South Africa, Ireland and others across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America – and China is another important stop on this journey," Mrs. Obama posted on whitehouse.gov. "With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the most populous country on earth, and it plays an important role on the world stage."

Our lives here in America are connected to the lives of people around the world, she said.

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Tracing family’s roots gives a ‘broader sense of self’

GinaPaige 600WASHINGTON– For African Americans, the quest to trace one's origins is fraught with mystery and dead-ends. But with time and a willingness to dig, it's totally feasible – and often rewarding.

"Now that I know or have an idea about my family and genetic past, it gives me a broader sense of self," says James Morgan III, who has been tracing his lineage for the past six years. "To be able to view myself more – not as a one-dimensional person, just American – but as a citizen of the world, of space and time, is something that I think everyone deserves."

Morgan, a New Jersey native, began researching his ancestry in college. But his interest in topic began much earlier.

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