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College Savings Guide

Taking steps now to save for you or your child’s education is one of the wisest financial decisions you can make to help support a bright future. This blog covers important information from Capital Group – American Funds about college savings accounts and strategies that will guide you.  What are the benefits of starting a 529 savings plan? Tax advantages – Tax-advantaged treatment applies to savings used for qualified education expenses. State tax treatment varies. Flexibility – You (the account owner), rather than the beneficiary,

Financial Knowledge

understanding your financial paperwork

Do you have someone in your household who traditionally “takes care” of the bills, or is “in charge” of your finances?  When meeting with potential clients, all else being equal, I will hear that there is one person who is the “go to” for all things financial. This may be because they have an interest or aptitude in that area, or they’ve just had that responsibility allocated to them in the division of household duties. Though it is encouraging to hear

The importance of basic building blocks of a solid financial plan

Last week I met prospective clients who were interested in discussing retirement strategies and various types of investments.  They told me that “now that things are getting back to normal, it’s time to start planning again”. Both were young professionals and had substantial savings.  During an initial meeting I will review the overall financial situation and discuss goals both near- and long-term.  Part of this meeting also involves me asking about various insurance coverages and legal documents (I never give legal

Plan B – Building Resilience

Resilient: Capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture; Tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.From Merriam-Webster Yesterday my coach told me that her mantra for this month is “resilience”.  She explained – in her training, there are days where it seems like all goes well, and others where for a multitude of reasons it may not.  However, if she has a plan in place, she can adjust to absorb these “shocks” and continue with her

It is Hard to Imagine

It is hard to image that in just 29 trading days between February 12 and March 23 the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped from a high of 29,551 to a startling 18,591. And yet it has rebounded to over 23,883 as of this writing. In that short time a little known virus, COVID-19 had become a household word, closings of businesses & schools became a new normal, and the wearing of masks as well as social distancing and staying at

Planning a vacation without going into debt

We thought it might be nice while we’re in the midst of a Central New York winter to write about taking a vacation! Maybe you’re planning on traveling somewhere warm with hot sand and calming waves; maybe your idea of a vacation is traveling to another country with exotic food and historic sights to see! Wherever you visit this summer, the financial stress of vacations can be an uninvited downer. However, planning ahead eases that stress and can ensure you stay out of debt so you

Saving for college? Break these three bad habits.

It’s National College Savings Month — and there’s no better time to make sure your savings strategy is on track   Parents — your kids may have headed back to school, but before you know it, they’ll be heading off to college. Fittingly, September is National College Savings Month, so let’s talk strategy. I was recently reading the Student Loan Hero 2018 survey about saving for college and found three worrisome statistics:1 44% of parents feel guilty that they haven’t saved more for

The pitfalls of handling your own financial matters: The Importance of Working With your Financial Advisor

We are now in the heart of tax season, and many of us have our taxes prepared by a Tax Accountant or CPA. In the same way we hire a plumber if we need a pipe unclogged, an attorney to write our wills and prepare other legal documents, an electrician for electrical work, and a mechanic to work on our cars. However, many balk at the idea of hiring a Financial Advisor to assist with investment planning or future money

What are the new rules for 401(k) hardship withdrawals?

The Bipartisan Budget Act passed in early 2018 relaxed some of the rules governing hardship withdrawals from 401(k)s and similar plans. Not all plans offer hardship withdrawals, but the ones that do will be required to comply for plan years beginning in 2019. In order to take a hardship withdrawal from a 401(k) or similar plan, a plan participant must demonstrate an “immediate and heavy financial need,” as defined by the IRS. (For details, visit the IRS website and search for

Have You Made Any of These Financial Mistakes?

As people move through different stages of life, there are new financial opportunities — and potential pitfalls — around every corner. Have you made any of these mistakes? Your 50s and 60s 1. Raiding your home equity or retirement funds. It goes without saying that doing so will prolong your debt and/or reduce your nest egg. 2. Not quantifying your expected retirement income. As you near retirement, you should know how much money you (and your spouse, if applicable) can expect from three