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    Emotions of Investing

    When financial markets are performing well -- i.e. overall investment returns are positive  -- it's easy to be excited about opening your monthly statement or checking online balances to see how your accounts are performing.  But this enthusiasm can quickly change to concern when markets turn negative and returns seem to decline overnight.  Understanding your emotional response to market ups and downs can help you temper your emotional reactions to the normal, and necessary, market fluctuations when they occur.  

    Long-Term Care

    We recently participated in a webinar hosted by Ash Brokerage that focused on Long-Term Care and the importance of having a plan.  The webinar touched on a variety of topics such as the types of care available, how to qualify for care and the cost associated with the care.  The three general ways to finance a long-term care event include:  1) Self-funding with personal assets; 2) Partnering with an insurance company to share the cost of care; 3) Medicaid.

     

    Identity Theft Can Happen at Any Time

    We asked Denise Werner in our office who answers clients' questions about technology to give us some thoughts on cyber security.  Here are some tips she suggests for protecting your identity.

    Identity theft can happen to any of us, at any time, through no fault of our own. Sometimes it can take months before you become aware your identity has been stolen and by that time, the thief could have done serious damage. Taking the time now to learn about available identity theft protection tools and services, and what to do if you become a victim, is well worth your while.

    Spring Clean Your Finances

    I am not ashamed to admit that I don’t love to clean! BUT I also don’t love living in a mess, so I understand that cleaning is one of the necessary evils of my life. The same goes for your finances. You may not need to clean up your finances as often as you do your home, but it’s still something you should try doing on an annual basis. So, why not do some spring cleaning of your finances? Here are a few easy cleaning ideas:

    Reviewing Your Tax Strategies

    It’s that time of year…tax season! I’ve yet to meet anyone that enjoys paying taxes, but it’s a necessary evil that we all have to do. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay more than you have to. Reviewing your financial picture and current tax strategies available to you regularly can potentially help minimize your income taxes. Although your tax picture is unique to you, here are a few common strategies to consider.

    Student Loans: To Pay or Not to Pay? That is the Question.

    The Federal Student Loan Relief has been extended through September 30, 2021. What does this mean for student loan borrowers? First, it only applies to loans owned by the Department of Education. Therefore private loans or loans not owned by the Department of Education do not qualify. Second, the types of relief available include student loan payment pause, student loan interest waiver, and stopped collections on defaulted student loans.

    5 Simple Financial New Year's Resolutions

    Ahh yes, here we are the beginning of a new year! The time when we’re all out to make a fresh start for the year and leave old habits behind us. If one of your resolutions has been to get your finances in check, here are 5 simple ways to do just that:

    Financial Tips for My 20-Something Year Old Self- Tip #3: Understand Your Investment Options and DIVERSIFY!

    If you had asked me when I was 22 the difference between a stock and a bond, my response would have been, “Do I really need to know that?”.  Ok, that might be a bit extreme, I’m pretty sure I knew the difference then, but my point is that I didn’t care to understand how investments really worked.

    When I started participating in my first 401(k), I had no clue what investments to pick so I’m pretty sure I just invested 100% in my company stock at the time. If not 100%, it was definitely a large majority of my portfolio. Let’s think about this, I started investing in my first 401(k) around 2006…guess what happened a couple of years later…the Great Recession. How do you think my 401(k) held up? Not so great to say the least.

    Financial Tips for my 20-Something Year Old Self - Tip #2: Credit Cards are NOT Free Money!

    Ok, this might be a tip more for my 18-year-old self, but the lesson followed me into my 20’s. “YOLO” and “FOMO” weren’t actual acronyms when I was in college, but I sure lived by those mantras, “You Only Live Once” and “Fear Of Missing Out.” When asked if I wanted to go shopping… Heck yeah! When asked if I wanted to go out for dinner…You betcha! When asked if I wanted to take a trip to NYC…DUH! All of these “Yes” answers led me to over-extending myself and spending money I didn’t have. The $500 worth of parking tickets I racked up in NYC certainly didn’t help! I maxed out a credit card in a span of 6 months and spent the next 4 years paying it off.

    Financial Tips for My 20-Something Year Old Self - Tip #1: Save Early

    Picture this, circa 2005 I’m 22-years old fresh out of college with the world ahead of me! I haven’t landed my dream job yet, but I’m working full-time as an assistant manager in a retail store and making okay money. I know this isn’t where I plan to end up, but it will do for now. STOP! Right then and there I wish I hadn’t just looked at that as a job to make money and get by. I was making enough to be saving, but I had a “spend what you make” mentality.