Blog

Grow Your Financial Garden

Spring is here and it’s time to think about growth potential—for both your garden and your journey toward financial wellness! The following steps can help you cultivate a budget that works for your life, so you don’t have to worry about falling short of your financial goals.
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Retiring Early? Things To Know

Perhaps you want the freedom and flexibility to pursue other opportunities and adventures that life has to offer. Or maybe you just want to cut back and do something else on a part-time basis. If so, here are some things to think about before deciding to retire early...
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Environmentally Friendly Money Saving Tips

Here are some easy ways to protect the environment and improve your budget at the same time…
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Social Security Survivorship Benefit Impacts to Life Insurance

Generally speaking, conversations about life insurance revolve around whether you should buy term or permanent insurance. However, every decision to buy life insurance begins with deciding what is the right amount of life insurance. And, integral to determining the right amount of life insurance is understanding the role of your Social Security Survivorship Benefit (SSSB)...
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Importance of Your Credit Score

Understanding the value of your credit score is an important first step to improving your financial health...
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What to know about Medicare before Retirement

Medicare is essential for many older Americans, helping them cover the costs of many necessary health care services. You have to be 65 to enroll in Medicare, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to learn how the program works. In fact, you’ll benefit by planning ahead for enrollment even when eligibility is many years away.
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Ready to Purchase Investment Property?

If you’re looking to diversify your investment portfolio, you may want to consider purchasing investment property. Depending on how hands-on you want to be, you may want to purchase real estate as a short-term investment; fixing up the property and then selling it immediately for profit. For a long-term investment, rental property can provide a steady income stream over the longer term.
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Savings Options for College Costs

The cost of college continues to escalate. If you have children or teens, develop a savings plan to help support their education. For most Americans, college is expensive (so much so that for those with young children, imagining the day when they enter college and reach out to you for their quarterly tuition check is terrifying, to say the least). Have you begun saving for the big day?
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Building Money Mindfulness

There are practical steps you can take to strengthen your financial health. There are a few key areas that will go a long way to strengthening your finances: reducing debt, creating (or building up) an emergency fund, protecting your savings when your income takes a hit, and creating a budget.
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Gift Tax Exemption & Exclusion

There are tax-free limits on what you can gift in a year and during your lifetime!
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Let’s Tune Up Your Financial Plan

There are fundamental steps you can take to get on-track with your financial plan...
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Considering Goals Outside of Retirement

Retirement savings isn’t the only financial goal you might want to consider in a lifetime. There are other considerable milestones that you want to take into account as well...
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Financial TRAPS to Avoid

There’s a good reason so many athletes, entertainers and business people who made seven figures and higher suddenly find themselves filing for bankruptcy. Money mismanagement can eat through even the biggest bankrolls. Here are some specific threats to financial stability that people can avoid to help effectively manage their wealth...
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Are You A Responsible Credit Card User?

No need to be afraid of credit cards—if you use them wisely… Follow these guidelines to help you charge responsibly.
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Begin Investing While Young

There’s a simple word that has profound implications for savings and investing: compounding. Like a snowball that grows as it rolls down a hill, compounding provides the potential for your money to grow, reinvesting your investment earnings...
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When Do I Start Collecting Social Security?

Deciding when to begin collecting Social Security depends on a number of factors, including how long you anticipate needing it…
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How To: Optimize Required Minimum Distributions

Required minimum distributions take on added urgency as you approach (and reach) age 72, with specific rules and tax implications...
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Milestone Ages For Your Retirement Planning

As you travel the savings road toward retirement and beyond, certain key dates will pop up. Some of these dates are critically important to your retirement planning efforts. Taking the right retirement planning steps as you reach each of the following age milestones could help you maximize your income, minimize your taxes and avoid penalties.
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Appetite For Risk

Investing is a risky business. Understanding the different types of investment risk and the impacts they play on returns is critical for planning a successful, long-term investment strategy...
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Retire Your Debt When You Do

When it’s time to retire, it’s important to find ways to minimize your debt...
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“Perfect Timing”: The Elusive Strategy

Trying to buy or sell assets based on absolute market highs or lows may produce lower returns. Buying low or selling high is a prudent strategy for most investors, an effort to maximize returns. But buying lowest or selling highest is an elusive strategy, one that is difficult to execute and that may lead to lower returns and missed opportunities...
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Uncertain Times: How Can 529s Help?

For many people, a 529 savings plan offers an opportunity to achieve an important life goal and improve overall financial health. As college and university administrators determine how higher education will look in the future (classes on campus, remote learning or a mix of both), the benefits of a 529 plan have never been more meaningful. Here are three benefits that are particularly important during these times o´ especially as the cost of higher learning continues to rise...
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Tallying Your Social Security Benefits

Did you know that while the Social Security Administration has stopped mailing annual statements, you can still calculate your (approximate) retirement benefits?
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Refinancing Your Home Mortgage

When interest rates decline, many homeowners refinance their home mortgages. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Let's examine the pros and cons of refinancing...
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Unique Financial Planning Considerations for Women

Did you know? There are unique financial planning considerations for women that translate into a need to save more money...
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Are You Investing For Your Future?

For years, you’ve diligently invested in your retirement portfolio, accumulating wealth that you hope will sustain you throughout your Golden Years. To help see that your assets are sufficient to help you support your lifestyle standards, there are important steps that you can take...
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Managing Your Retirement Plan When Switching Jobs

Changing jobs can impact your retirement plan. To minimize disruptions to your contributions and the vested portion of your previous employer’s contributions, it’s important to understand the choices you may have when you make a career transition.
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Happy Holidays!

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Tax Strategies for Retirees

Managing taxes in retirement can be complex. Thoughtful planning may help reduce the tax burden for you and your heirs...
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6 Tips to keep you Accountable… Financially

After the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, we dig up our hopes and dreams and make some resolutions. Getting back in the gym, losing weight, and eating clean, are usually at the top of the list, but what about your finances? The health of your accounts, spending habits, and investments are just as important to evaluate. When it comes to your financial resolutions this year (and beyond) use these tips to actually keep and work towards your goals...
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4 Annuity Mistakes to Avoid

Because annuities can be both expensive and troublesome if a mistake is made, it is important to exhaust all efforts in avoiding them in the first place. Here are some major mistakes people can make with any investment decision, but particularly with annuity investments...
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What’s Your Risk Management Plan?

Most people couldn’t bear the financial hardships resulting from unexpected events, such as a major house fire, a car accident, a disability or the premature death of a family breadwinner, which is why one of the most important component of a sound financial plan should be your personal risk management strategy. Fully protecting your and your family’s financial future against the unexpected will help you to move forward with greater confidence in your wealth management decisions.
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Confirmation Bias: Is It Hurting Your Investments?

Have you made up your mind on just about everything, even before you know what it is? For instance, when you meet someone, is your opinion of the person formed from the first impression? Or, when you hear a political argument from the other side, is your mind opened or closed? Are you able to concede the “good points” the other side make, or do you dismiss the whole argument?
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Do You Need a Living Trust?

Drawing up a will has become so easy, and it is relatively inexpensive, leaving very little reason why everyone shouldn’t have one. The question becomes whether you should have a living trust in addition to your will...
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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Financial Literacy 101 for Children

In a survey by JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy, only 26% of those between the ages of 13-21 said that they had been taught how to manage money. Yet, when they turn 18, kids are signing contracts for student loans, opening credit card accounts, and in many instances, living away from home with little financial guidance available.
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Why Should I Think About Retirement Planning?

If you’ve only just begun your career and are starting to collect a decent paycheck, the last thing on your mind is probably retirement planning. When you’re in your twenties and thirties, retirement can feel light years away, but it will get here much quicker than you can imagine. And when it does, you’ll want to be prepared.
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Your Money & Home Costs

While you’ve probably already figured out exactly how much home you can afford, which is something your mortgage broker will communicate to you fairly quickly during the mortgage approval process, have you considered the cost of all of the other expenses associated with home ownership?
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5 Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs

It’s certainly no secret that healthcare costs have escalated in recent years, and there’s no reason to believe that the end is in sight. But whether you have a comprehensive health insurance policy or have purchased a catastrophic policy, there are ways to save on healthcare costs.
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Do Spouses Need the Same Amount of Life Insurance?

When it comes to life insurance with your spouse, there are things to consider. If you depend on each other's income, either to pay bills or manage debt, remember that you'll need to replace your spouse's income if something happens...
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529 Plans: Big Questions Answered

Assets in 529 college savings plans more than doubled in ten years, topping $370 billion at the end of 2019 according to the Federal Reserve. Interest in 529 plans has grown as students and parents fret over rising tuition costs and increasing student debt loads. These accounts offer many advantages for saving for higher education expenses, but it’s also important to know the rules about how they work...
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The 4 Foundations of Financial Literacy

Being financially literate means you have the wherewithal to make financial decisions with confidence. There are many resources—web sites, magazines, books and more—that dispense financial knowledge for your learning pleasure. But like most things, the best way to get more financially literate is through practice. You can build financial literacy by focusing on these financial planning principles...
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What to know about Medicare before Retirement

Medicare is essential for many older Americans, helping them cover the costs of many necessary health care services. You have to be 65 to enroll in Medicare, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to learn how the program works. In fact, you’ll benefit by planning ahead for enrollment even when eligibility is many years away.
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Working From Home Saves Money. What Should You Do With It?

There are challenges to remote work, but the ability to spend less on work-related expenses is one of the rewards. As the coronavirus pandemic disrupted office life, many workers found themselves exploring the possibilities of working from home (WFH). While some employees cannot work remotely, those who can may find they are able to work more efficiently, enjoy more flexibility with their schedules, and most importantly, find money to save.
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Optimizing Your Auto Insurance Policy

For many people, structuring their auto insurance policy comes down to obtaining the greatest amount of coverage at the lowest cost. Because auto insurance has become commoditized, the focus often shifts to the premium amount as the primary point of comparison, which is fine as long as you don’t lose sight of what it is you are trying to protect....
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Year-End Planning to Help Your Tax Bill

The sooner you start, the more efficiently you can manage your tax exposure! By planning ahead and taking advantage of these time-proven tax strategies before year-end, you may be able to lessen your tax bite come April.?
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Habits For Financial Freedom

The truth is that ultimate financial freedom is not about making a single choice to attain it; rather it is about making many choices on a daily basis that will make it a reality. Find out how...
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Making Money in Real Estate: Pitfalls to Prepare For

Ask anyone and even if they don’t know a thing about investing they’ll say, “oh, real estate is a great investment!” Well, it can be if you approach it in a smart way that works for you and your financial situation.
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Handle With Care: Planning for Long-Term Care Costs

Thinking about how you’ll pay for long- term care should be a part of everyone’s retirement planning process...
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Role of Insurance in Your Financial Plan

If hard work, saving, and investing are the strength behind your financial plan, then insurance — in its many forms — is the glue that holds your financial plan together. There are different types of insurance, and each have their own variations, but they all have a similar purpose — they protect you and your loved ones in different ways against the cost of accidents, illness, disability, and death.
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Identity Theft and Taxes

Identity theft is rampant in America. And tax-related identity crimes are among the fastest-growing offenses. Learn what the IRS is doing -- and steps you can take -- to help you stay protected.
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Paying Off Student Loans

There are many choices for repaying student loans. This checklist can help you weigh them...
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SECURE Act Changes Loom for Business Owners

If you are a business owner, navigating the 401k plans that you have in place for your employees may be a responsibility you have under your belt. Well remember 2019? It was in December of that year (which seems very long ago now) that the SECURE Act was signed into law.
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The Battle of Financial Priorities

Careful planning can help you manage competing financial priorities.Does this sound familiar? You keep meaning to increase your retirement plan contribution, but there seem to be too many other financial priorities that get in the way. Fortunately, with a little planning, you can develop a strategy to cover those expenses and help stay on track for retirement. Here are some tips to help balance competing financial priorities...
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Tap into the Power Nap

With all the fear, uncertainty and drastic changes that have occurred over the past several months, who has been able to tune out and enjoy a good, old-fashioned nap? As it turns out, now may be a good time to revisit something that you may not have done regularly since you were a child (or a growing teenager).
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Financial Fitness: Make Your Money Last

To live a long life, you’ll need a healthy supply of money to go the distance with you. The risk of outliving your money is called “longevity risk.” Begin early and follow the following good financial habits, and you’ll increase the likelihood that your money will last as long as you will...
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EXTRA CREDIT: Tips on Your Credit Report, and Fixing Errors

Following are six of the key items that appear on a credit report, with tips on how to fix any errors you may find...
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Consider This Before Buying Your First Home

Finding the right first home starts with a price range and a short list of desirable neighborhoods. But you may need to consider many other factors before investing in what may be your biggest asset.?
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Tips for Managing Debt and Credit

Avoiding credit card overload increases your opportunities to save and invest for important goals. Debt and instant credit are part of our everyday lives. Most of us borrow to pay for our cars and houses, and nearly everyone has at least one credit card. But the convenience of credit can easily entice you to spend more than you earn. Knowing when and when not to use credit — and what type of credit to use — can help you avoid getting in over your head.?
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Does Your Portfolio Reflect Your Risk Tolerance?

There are many types of risk associated with investing. Understanding each type and the effect it may have on your portfolio returns is crucial to your long-term investing success. Because all investments entail risk, smart investors understand all types of it -- and use that knowledge to their advantage.
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Tips on Helping to Care for Aging Parents

Many adults are finding that their aging parents are in need of health care assistance. Luckily, there are many options available today to help your parents grow old gracefully, either in their own home or in a facility, and several ways that you can finance the costs of the care.??If your parents are healthy seniors who can look after themselves, they generally are eligible to enter an assisted living community. They may also live with family. While living alone is also an option, t
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Winning A Gold Medal in Investing

Pre-Pandemic days, fans of summer athletics look forward every 4 years to a major athletic event. Hundreds of athletes converge to compete, and some will be awarded bronze, silver, or gold medals, depending on how they perform. Although times have changed now, to help celebrate motivating and inspiring events like summer athletics, why not try to earn a gold medal for investing in your retirement plan? Participate in the events below on a regular basis to help earn your medal...
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Budgeting: How To Put Yourself First

Personal savings are essential to ensure a comfortable future. Learn how to track monthly expenses with a budget and potentially free up cash for saving.?
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We're Hiring!

Join Our Team as Registered Administrative Associate!
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403b(7) Accounts… What’s In It For You?

Are you a schoolteacher or are you employed by a non-profit organization? Funded by your own pre-tax contributions, a 403(b)(7) account—if available at your employer—can be an effective way to invest, save money and plan for your financial future.
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You & Financial Planning

Financial planning pulls together all your finances, and organizes them to help make management easy and effective. The more you understand and better manage your wealth, the more prepared you are for your goals and dreams.
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How Much Do You Need To Retire?

Uncertainty over the future of Social Security, longer life expectancy, and inflation all factor into how much you'll need to save for a comfortable retirement...
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Brush Up on Your IRA Facts

IRAs are one of the most popular retirement savings vehicles in use today. If you own an IRA, be sure you are familiar with all the latest rules governing them...
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When Should You Collect Social Security?

A growing number of Americans have been forced to delay their planned retirement date due to job and savings losses suffered during the past recession. Postponing retirement not only means working longer but also delaying when you start collecting Social Security...
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Importance of Diversification in Times of Uncertainty

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly tested the resolve of even the most seasoned investors. To help regain some confidence and sense of empowerment, it may be helpful to review a fundamental principle of investing: diversification.
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Retirement Plan Loans: Do They Make Sense for You?

Is there anything your 401(k) plan can't do? It allows for tax-deferred earnings in traditional accounts and tax-free earnings in Roth-style accounts. And traditional plans enable you to make contributions in pretax dollars, helping to reduce your taxable income. It even offers a menu of professionally managed investments from which to choose.
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Moving Forward in the Social Distancing Age

Activities that people used to take for granted have changed in major ways — like a trip to the grocery store, attending a live concert or sporting event, participating in church services or even just hugging a friend. Remember that the simple things, like exercise and eating right are essential to maintain your health. Here are some things to focus on as we continue to adjust to the changes in our daily lives.
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Online-Only Banking: The Good and The Bad

Most people tend to use a mix of online and regular banks, as even community banks will have mobile site or app component. But, there’s also the option of online-only banks with no physical location which comes with its own benefits and detriments.
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Becoming a “Smart Saver” Family

Saving money doesn’t have to mean drastic reductions, rather small, targeted steps as an entire family can mean substantial savings. No matter the size of your family, use these tips to increase your family’s frugality and reduce the constant feeling of financial squeeze
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Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards

Most consumers typically have both a credit card and a debit card. Of course, the biggest difference between the two is that a debit card will immediately take money out of your bank account when used, unlike a credit card, which will pay for the purchase and later add the amount of the transaction to your monthly statement. But are there any other differences between the two?
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What to Look for in a Disability Insurance Policy

Disability insurance can be considered more complicated than other types of insurance. . If there’s one thing none of us like to do, it’s to pay for something we don’t fully understand; however, once you understand the risk and your need for protection, purchasing a disability insurance policy becomes much more straightforward. Then you just need to know what to look for in a disability insurance policy to best suit your needs.
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Your Medicare Options in Retirement

Retirees today, have a multitude of health care options to choose from, with costs and coverage varying significantly. It’s important for retirees and those nearing retirement to understand the available choices and tradeoffs to make the best decision for their specific situation.
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3 Mistakes With Your Finances

Tidemark's Financial Consultant Frank Alvarez goes over the three common mistakes people are making with their money...
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Budgeting For A Baby

Congratulations! Starting a family is truly one of life's most fulfilling experiences. As you take the first step consider your family’s financial needs, here’s our guide on how to address the key areas before and after your new child comes home.
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Don’t Neglect Your Benefits When Switching Employers

Whether you’re feeling excited for the career change, or maybe a little bittersweet as you leave your current company and colleagues, making sure you’re on top of the various benefits offered by your employer is critical for your financial health. Here’s our guide to careful consideration of your employer benefits when switching companies…
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Have a Long Term Goal? Financial Planning Can Help

A financial goal is a life destination which requires a map and a way to get there; and, assuming you have finite resources with which to successfully make the trek, they need to be used wisely or you are likely to come up short. If you have a long term goal, financial planning can help you get there.
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5 Money Tips for Educators

Tuning into your money to ensure you reach your financial goals is important for teachers—just as much as anybody else. Here are some quick tips to help you navigate your way to financial success!
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How To Save For Your Child's College

In today's hyper-competitive world, college expenses can be a financial burden for many families. Make sure you understand the ways you can save for your child's education costs.
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The Great Disconnect

Investors like labels for the economy and financial markets—many of them with the word “great” in them. The Great Depression. The Great Recession. The Great Lockdown. Well, we’ve moved into what we might call the Great Disconnect. How can stocks have rebounded so strongly in the last month amid so much suffering and economic damage? What’s Wall Street seeing that so many on Main Street are not?
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Explanation of a 401(k)

Want to know about how 401(k)'s work, watch this quick video and act now if you aren't currently signed up for yours.
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How to Choose the Right Investment Advisor

A lot of people have questions on how to choose the right advisor. Here is a quick video on what you should be asking.
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Specialized Advice for Specialized Careers

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