Financial Planning

Student Loans – Due in 2022?

The Department of Education announced in early August the final extension of the student loan payment pause until January 31, 2022. With this comes relief measures for eligible loans including: Suspension of loan payments 0% interest rate Stopped collections on defaulted loans Even with the extension, this highlights the need to plan for the resumption of loan payments for student loan borrowers in February 2022. Here are a few important questions every borrower should ask themselves soon to be ready…

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How to Avoid a Spending Hangover after the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and for most Americans that means the beginning of a hectic holiday season. Here are some pointers so that you can make the gift buying season easier for your wallet and your stress level. 1. Create a budget and stick to it. Make a list of all of the people you need to buy for this year, set a spending limit for each gift, and then follow it! 2. Use credit cards in…

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Ten Questions to Ask a Potential Financial Advisor

You’ve determined that now is the time to enlist the help of a professional for your financial affairs, now what? It’s a good idea to find a few advisors and interview them to see if they are the right fit for you. This will be an important relationship and you want to be able to trust this person and feel comfortable talking about important subjects like money and personal goals. Here’s a good list of questions to ask during your…

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Personal Finance Applications

Having an easy to manage spending plan is the cornerstone for financial success. It’s important to know your cash inflows and outflows so that you make the most of your hard-earned cash. Knowing how much you spend on categories like groceries, eating out, or gas can help you identify areas where maybe you are spending too much. This can help you direct funds towards something else that has importance to you, such as saving for retirement, a new home, or…

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Financial Planning – More Important than Ever

Over the past few months, we have been living a new “normal.” This includes wearing face masks in public, social distancing, and communicating with our friends and loved ones not in person, but almost entirely virtually. These changes may cause you to pause and consider your priorities and what your future looks like. Many things in life are out of our control, but working with an advisor to create or revise your financial plan is a great way to take…

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What to Do During a Bear Market

We know you may be concerned about recent declines in the stock market. Markets go up, but they also go down. Fortunately, they go up more often than they go down. There are things in our lives that we can control and that makes sense to focus on, especially during turbulent times. Here are some personal financial items to review that can have a positive impact on your financial future. Review your expenses. As markets go down people start to…

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The SECURE Act: Some Important Changes to Know

You may have recently read that the SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. So, what does that mean for you? It could have more of an impact than its name alludes to since it’s 29 original provisions address many topics from inherited IRA distributions to the age for required minimum distributions. Here are some key points to take into consideration. 1. Required Minimum Distribution Age Changed to 72 The first major impact of the Setting Every…

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Our Newest Certified Financial Planner™

We are pleased to announce that Michelle is officially a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional!  She successfully passed the CFP® Board exam in November. What is a CFP®? A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is an advisor who has met rigorous education and experience requirements, and is held to a high ethical and professional standard in the financial industry. The education component is met by completing college level courses in investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance planning, financial management, and…

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Annual Financial Check-Up: 6 Housekeeping Items to Check Off Your List

Just like getting the oil changed in your car on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to check on your financial house to be sure everything is in order. Here are a few items to review every year to be sure they are working in your favor: Personal spending plan – if you are not following a spending plan yet, create one and follow it. Cash flow is the cornerstone of achieving financial goals such as retirement and funding…

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There is No Such Thing as a “Best Investment”

An article published in the USA Today titled “Warren Buffett: This is the best investment most people can buy” was forwarded my way recently. I find it interesting to read statements attributed to Warren Buffet, even if the journalists covering them sometimes rephrase or take things out of context.  Judging by the quotes in the article, all Warren actually asserted was that the Vanguard 500 Index fund is a great choice if you are looking for passive exposure to the “American…

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