Archives for Financial Literacy

What’s the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA?

Common financial wisdom tells us that as a paid member of the American workforce, you should contribute the maximum to your 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) or similar retirement plan, especially if your organization matches a percentage of your contributions. But not every company has one of these plans. As an individual taxpayer with earned income, you have other options available to you in order to save for retirement, including the IRA or “Individual Retirement Account.”   An IRA is a type of account which acts as a shell or holder. Within the IRA, you can invest in many different types of
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Retirement.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

Risk Management Is About More Than Your Investments A lot of financial services professionals talk about “risk” when it comes to your stock market investments. But risk can encompass more than your investment risk tolerance. The broader definition of financial risk is the possibility of loss from any unexpected life event. For instance, what will happen to your family’s income if one spouse passes away, becomes disabled or unable to work, or needs long-term care? What happens to your kids’ education fund, or your retirement? Risk management in this case means shifting risk of financial loss from adverse events to
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Categories: Financial Literacy.

When Should I Seek Financial Advice?

Here are some life milestones and events that mark when you should make the call to a financial advisor. When there’s a new baby in the family. Parents, grandparents, siblings—everyone is affected when the new baby comes along. Now is the time to plan for what this tiny family member will grow to need in the future—especially college funds. And now is also the time to make sure that you have the right insurance and protections in place to see the child through to adulthood should something unexpectedly happen to you. When you get married. Two people joined together in
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Financial Planning.

How the Rich Think About Their Wealth

The 2018 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey found that while increased wealth provides greater freedom, only half of high-net-worth individuals have a plan in place to optimize the opportunities their wealth provides. However, creating and continuously evolving a customized plan is the key to putting wealth into action. Findings from a recent survey of high- and ultra-high-net-worth adults across the United States revealed that while increased wealth brought greater freedom to people, most felt they had still not optimized their opportunities for taking risks, pursuing passions, giving back and making a bigger impact on the world. Comprehensive
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Categories: Financial Literacy.

What You Should Know About Annuities

Annuities are similar to a pension you purchase for yourself.     Company pensions are pretty much a thing of the past in corporate America. While the ubiquitous 401(k) plan might help workers save pre-tax dollars for retirement, they’ve also shifted the responsibility for retirement planning to the individual. And as many people saw in 2008, 401(k)s can be fraught with market risk, including the risk of losing it all and having to go back to work. Annuities can be thought of as a way to transform savings into income. When you purchase an annuity, you are exchanging a sum of
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Categories: Annuities and Financial Literacy.

April is Financial Literacy Month. Here Are the Top 10 Things You Should Know.

Tax reform changes a lot of things starting in the 2018 tax year. (And a lot of the new law sunsets in 2026, returning to 2017 levels.) Under the new tax law passed last December—the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act”—some of the changes include new tax brackets, new limits to mortgage interest deductions, lower deductions for local property/sales taxes, higher standard deductions, higher estate tax exemptions, and more. We suggest that you meet with both your financial advisor as well as your tax professional to see how you will be affected, and how you might best prepare for 2018 and
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Categories: Financial Literacy.

Financial Resolution for 2018: Buy More Time!

When the New Year rolls around, many of us focus on making financial resolutions. These goals often include things like getting out of debt, saving more or negotiating a higher salary. These are all worthy endeavors and they all have something in common: The result of achieving any of these goals is reduced stress and happiness. But the fact is, limiting stress in your life can actually mean spending a little more money, too. The results of a study published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, suggests that
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Lifestyle.

5 Must-Know Things about College

FAFSA dates have just changed Even if you think your family makes too much money to qualify for aid, most experts say you should apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) anyway, because colleges, state scholarship agencies, and foundations use the FAFSA when deciding who gets their scholarships, as well as how much each student will receive. For students college-bound in the 2017-2018 school year (as well as students already on campus), there is an important date change: the application date was just changed from January 1, 2017 to October 1, 2016, and 2015 tax data must be
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Financial Planning.

7 Tips to Get Your Finances in Shape.

Even if it’s not spring, cleaning up your finances is always a good idea in any season. Here are some tips to help get you started.   MAKE GRAPHIC OUT OF THIS QUOTE, OR FIND APPROPRIATE PHOTO   ======================================================================= Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. –William Morris ======================================================================= Take a hard look at your credit cards. New credit cards are equipped with computer chips that make it nearly impossible for hackers to use your data. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to check your statements every month to make
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Financial Planning.

“What’s Your Retirement Number?” May Not Be the Right Question

We’ve all heard the advertising. “What’s your retirement number?” This question is based on asset accumulation. If we knew exactly how long we were going to live, that calculation might be valuable. But since we don’t know that timeframe, the better question to ask is, “How much sustainable income will I need during the different phases of my retirement?” Asset accumulation is normally the goal, pre-retirement. When planning for retirement, the focus shifts to developing sustainable income. Sustainable Income The primary purpose of sustainable income is to create a predictable amount to cover expenses throughout the phases of your retirement.
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Retirement.