Our Blog

    Password Security Best Practices

    When it comes to online accounts, a strong password is the first line of defense for protecting your information. Here are some tips for creating strong passwords.

    Budgeting and Saving Tips

    Many clients come to us looking for advice on how to budget better or how to save more money. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people budget well just using a spreadsheet and keeping track, others by using an envelope system, and others just keep it in their head and know how much is coming in and going out and that works just fine for them. It’s not so much the budget system you use, but just that you have one and are using it efficiently. Here are a few things to keep in mind when budgeting:

    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.