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We are now in plain view of the “fiscal cliff”. After the election, Congress may or may not end up keeping income and estate tax rates at their recent levels. Next year may bring some notable financial developments, and it isn’t too soon for households to think about them - and for financial professionals to ready their clients with strategies to help soften the blow.

1. You may want to prioritize tax reduction. If the Bush-era tax cuts sunset, everyone will see higher taxes. The federal income tax brackets (10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, 35 percent) that we have known for the last nine years would be replaced by five higher ones (15 percent, 28 percent, 31 percent, 36 percent, 39.6 percent) come 2013.

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