Smart Stops on the Web


A Free Plan for the Future

Investors can get a free financial plan by filling out a short online questionnaire at this site. For a thorough analysis, they can download a comprehensive form and mail it to Atlantic Financial, an independent investment firm in Westboro, Massachusetts. A representative from the company will contact the investor to discuss his or her information in detail. Visitors also can get mutual fund advice and a range of articles on personal financial planning (PFP), 401(k) plans and Social Security benefits.

Dive Into Savings

The Santa Ana, California-based PFP firm Springboard Planning and Advisory Group has information on its Web site about building wealth, cutting taxes and protecting assets. When users fill out their free online financial planning survey, they receive projections for tax savings based on varying initial contributions and information about other PFP methods.

A Wealth of Information

Deloitte & Touche Online’s Personal Finance Advisor offers publications and tips, financial analysis, information about preserving and transferring wealth and a tax planning guide. The site also features the Tax Week in Review, with current events from Capitol Hill.

A Web Site for Women

The Women’s Network is for “busy women sharing solutions and advice.” Its home page features topics such as budgeting, divorce and salary. The money channel includes information on debt consolidation and PFP. Article titles include “A Man Is Not a Retirement Plan,” “Cut Your Mutual Fund Taxes” and “Tax Savvy Investing: Five Tips.”

Financial Terms Defined

The TIAA-CREF Dictionary of Financial Terms lists words from “accrued interest” to “valuation period” and their meanings. Users can access a library with articles such as “Making Sense of Social Security,” “Principles of Sound Investing” and “Taxes and Estate Planning.”

For the Financial Adviser

The Financial Planning Interactive Web site is tailored to the independent financial adviser and offers free membership and a free e-newsletter. Sections on financial planning, investments, practice management and practice transitions feature articles, industry surveys and news. Also available are financial calculators and the opportunity to earn continuing education credits that are reported to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Estate Planning for Consumers

This site has a database to locate local estate planners, a frequently asked questions section, and a tax and probate calculator. Related articles also are available with titles such as “Information Needed to Probate an Estate” and “Seniors Can Act Now to Derail Probate for Survivors/Heirs.”



How-To for Small Biz

Small-business owners can get information on how to start, run and promote their companies here. Free articles include “Legal Planning in a Family Business,” “Market Research Key to Foreign Markets” and “Prepaid Legal Plans: A Low Risk Strategy for Growing Your Firm.” The Business Information Center offers a search function on present patents and trade names. Visitors also can download free desktop toys like basketball, darts and a virtual pendulum.

New York’s New Labor Problems

The New York State Department of Labor Web site includes a section on how the agency is responding to the events of September 11th—with information about disaster unemployment assistance, reemployment services and unemployment insurance. Also available are links to other employment sites including the Career Resource Library, Career Zone and Job Bank.

Articles of Interest to Retirees

The American Association of Retired Persons Web site offers news articles and updates on topics including computers and technology, legislative issues, and money and work. The Breaking News section offers links to news stories on Social Security, Medicare and long-term care.

Financial Tools From A–Z

Users can find more than 14,000 online calculators at Martindale’s Reference Desk. By clicking the Finance–Personal link, visitors can access useful calculators such as the Cardcalc Wizard, which figures out “the true hidden costs” of using credit cards and making only minimum payments. Also, mortgage calculators are available for determining loan qualifications and payment amounts.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.