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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
The American family with a child born today can expect to spend about $233,610 to raise that child to the age of 18. And if you’ve already traded that supercharged convertible dream for a minivan, you can expect your little one’s college education to cost as much as $198,000.
But before you throw your hands up in the air and send junior out looking for a job, you might consider a few strategies to help you prepare for the cost of higher education.
First, take advantage of time. The time value of money is the concept that the money in your pocket today is worth more than that same amount will be worth tomorrow because it has more earning potential. If you put $100 a month toward your child’s college education, after 17 years’ time, you would have saved $20,400. But that same $100 a month would be worth (more…)
Who among us wants to pay the Internal Revenue Service more taxes than we have to? While few may raise their hands to voluntarily pay more taxes, Americans regularly overpay because they fail to take tax deductions for which they are eligible. Are you one of them? Let’s take a quick look at the six most overlooked opportunities to manage your tax bill. (more…)
Investment firms have a new client service requirement. They must now ask you if you would like to provide the name and information of a trusted contact.1 You do not have to supply this information, but it is encouraged. The request is made with your best interest in mind – and to lower the risk … Continue reading “Who is Your Trusted Contact?”
There’s a subjective uncertainty associated with financial wellness. Are you financially fit? And if so, how fit are you? While there is no clearly defined threshold for answering affirmatively, much less grading your level of fitness, there are baseline elements associated with financial fitness. To make sure that you’re on the right track, develop a … Continue reading “The Basics of Financial Fitness”
When you marry or simply share a household with someone, your financial life changes—and your approach to managing your money may change as well. The good news is that it is usually not so difficult.
Gold has climbed to a nine-month high after breaking out from a bottom formation last fall. The yellow metal is now up nearly 20% off the September lows, including over a 5% year-to-date gain as of Monday, January 23. The recovery in gold has primarily been fueled by a weakening dollar and fading market expectations … Continue reading “Market Update – Can Gold Continue to Shine?”
Do you work for yourself? Then you may want to consider the solo 401(k), which marries a traditional employee retirement savings account to a small-business, profit-sharing plan. To have a solo 401(k), you must either be the lone worker at your business or its only full-time employee.1
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