Tag: Financial Planning

Outlook 2020

Jan 3, 2020

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Taking Charge of Your Financial Life

Dec 27, 2019

Arrows pointing down a street
Delegating responsibilities to others may lead to problems down the road.

When you are putting together a household, it isn’t unusual to delegate responsibilities. One spouse or partner may take on the laundry, while another takes on the shopping. You might also decide which one of you vacuums and which one of you dusts. This is a perfectly fine way to divvy up household tasks and chores.

One household task it’s valuable for both partners to take part in, however, is your shared financial life. It’s important, regardless of your level of wealth or stage of life. Counting on one spouse or partner to handle all financial decisions can create a gap for the other partner. (more…)

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Establishing Good Credit in College

Dec 9, 2019

Wallet and Credit Card
After you get that first card, how can you manage your FICO score?

Good credit may open doors. It is vital to securing a loan, a business loan, or buying a home. When you establish and maintain good credit in college, you create a financial profile for yourself that can influence lenders, landlords, and potential employers.

Unfortunately, some college students do not have good credit. In fact, Credit Karma says that the average 18-to-24-year-old has a credit score of 630. A FICO score of 730 or higher is considered good. (more…)

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Ways to Repair Your Credit Score

Nov 29, 2019

Laptop and Credit Card
Steps to get your credit rating back toward 720.

We all know the value of a good credit score. We all try to maintain one. Sometimes, though, life throws us a financial curveball and that score declines. What steps can we take to repair it?

Reduce your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization ratio (CUR) is the percentage of a credit card’s debt limit you have used up. Simply stated, if you have a credit card with a limit of $1,500 and you have $1,300 borrowed on it right now, the CUR for that card is 87%. Carrying lower balances on your credit cards tilts the CUR in your favor and promotes a better credit score. (more…)

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Cash Flow Management

Nov 25, 2019

Scale
An underappreciated fundamental in financial planning.

You’ve probably heard the saying that “cash is king,” and that truth applies whether you own a business or not. Most discussions of business and personal “financial planning” involve tomorrow’s goals, but those goals may not be realized without attention to cash flow, today.

Management of available cash flow is a key in any kind of financial strategy.Ignore it, and you may inadvertently sabotage your efforts to grow your company or even build personal wealth. (more…)

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Protection Against Uninsured Drivers

Nov 22, 2019

Broken Glass
Getting in an accident with the uninsured might be costly.

About 13 percent of all motorists, or one-in-eight drivers, do not have automobile insurance.

Having the misfortune of getting into an accident with an uninsured motorist may have serious financial consequences depending upon the state in which you reside and whether it is a “no-fault” or “tort” state. (more…)

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Insurance When You’re Newly Married

Nov 15, 2019

Car with a "Just Married" sign
Assess the coverage for your new household.

Marriage changes everything, including insurance needs. Newly married couples should consider a comprehensive review of their current, individual insurance coverage to determine if any changes are in order as well as consider new insurance coverage appropriate to their new life stage.

The good news is that married drivers may be eligible for lower rates than single drivers. Since most couples come into their marriage with two separate auto policies, you should review your existing policies and contact your respective insurance companies to obtain competitive quotes on a new, combined policy. (more…)

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Spotting Credit Trouble

Nov 1, 2019

Credit Cards
How to check for problems.

Americans aged 45 to 54, who have credit card balances, carry an average debt of $9,096 per individual.

The wise use of credit is a critical skill in today’s world. Used unwisely, however, credit can rapidly turn from a useful tool to a crippling burden. There are several warning signs that you may be approaching credit problems: (more…)

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End-of-the-Year Money Moves

Oct 30, 2019

Laptop, Cell Phone, and Notepad
Here are some things you might consider before saying goodbye to 2019.

What has changed for you in 2019? Did you start a new job or leave a job behind? Did you retire? Did you start a family? If notable changes occurred in your personal or professional life, then you will want to review your finances before this year ends and 2020 begins.

Even if your 2019 has been relatively uneventful, the end of the year is still a good time to get cracking and see where you can manage your tax bill and/or build a little more wealth.

Keep in mind this article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Please consult your tax, legal and accounting professionals before modifying your tax strategy. (more…)

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Minimizing Probate When Setting Up Your Estate

Oct 16, 2019

Locked Documents
What can you do to lessen its impact for your heirs?

Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees, and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s assets. Probating a “routine” estate valued at $400,000 could cost as much as $20,000.

What do those fees pay for? In many instances, routine clerical work. Few estates require more than that. Heirs of small, five-figure estates may be allowed to claim property through affidavit, but this convenience isn’t extended for larger estates.

So, how canyou exempt more of your assets from probate and its costs? Here are some ideas. (more…)

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More Insights

Jan 17, 2020

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is now law. With it, comes some of the biggest changes to retirement savings law in recent years. While the new rules don’t appear to amount to a massive upheaval, the SECURE Act will require a change in strategy for many Americans. For others, it … Continue reading “The Secure Act”

Jan 15, 2020

For most, creating an estate strategy is important to make sure your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. But it may be just as important to have an estate strategy for your business. Whether you’re a sole proprietor who will be passing on your business to your heirs or your business partners … Continue reading “Buy Sell Agreements for Businesses”

Jan 13, 2020

Financially, many of us associate April with taxes – but we should also associate April with important IRA deadlines. April 1, 2020 is the deadline to take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from certain individual retirement accounts. April 15, 2020 is the deadline for making annual contributions to a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and certain … Continue reading “2019 IRA Deadlines Are Approaching”

Jan 10, 2020

  You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in healthcare costs during the rest of their lives. In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $285,000. The effort to prepare for these potential expenses is changing the … Continue reading “Healthcare Costs are Cutting into Retirement Preparations”

Jan 8, 2020

If you ever have the inkling to manage your investments on your own, that inkling is worth reconsidering. Do-it-yourself investment management can be a bad idea for the retail investor for myriad reasons. Getting caught up in the moment.When you are watching your investments day to day, you can lose a sense of historical perspective. … Continue reading “Why DIY Investment Management Is Such a Risk”

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