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1
Oct

Five Things to Add to Your Financial To-do List

Five Things to Add to Your Financial To-do List

The weather is getting cooler, the colors are changing, and the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air signaling the beginning of fall and holiday season. But October isn’t just known for pumpkin carving and corn mazes, October is also the month for financial planning. It’s a great time to review the fiscal year thus far and begin planning for holiday spending and traveling. Before you break out the long sleeves and pumpkin spice lattes, here are five things to add to your October to-do list:

 

  1. Make a holiday budget: With holiday season comes an increase in spending. Before you shop, create a spreadsheet of your average monthly expenses so you can plan accordingly. Applications such as Mint by TurboTax, will help you track spending and develop a budget.
  2. Review Your Credit Report: Every 12 months, you can receive a free credit report from each credit bureau. After the Equifax breach last year, it is crucial that you keeping track of your credit accounts for fraudulent activities and incorrect reporting. In your report, look for credit lines opened without your knowledge and accounts that are closed but are still being reported as open. You can grab your credit report now on https://www.annualcreditreport.com.
  1. Fill Out The FASFA: The school semester is coming to an end, and with it, your child might be exploring college options for next year. On October 1st, the Federal Application for Student Aid will become available and once filled out, will determine your eligibility for financial aid. Because federal aid can be handed out on a first-come, first serve basis, you should submit this as soon as possible. Within a week, expect the Student Aid Report to arrive and show if you qualify for federal need-based aid such as work-study programs and Pell grants. After, you should head to the school’s website and use their net-price calculator to estimate how much school will cost after factoring financial aid.
  1. Do A Retirement Plan Check-Up: Whether retirement is around the corner or down the road, you should be making periodic updates and adjustments to your retirement portfolio. When reviewing, check investments and make sure they still reflect your risk tolerance and estimated retirement time. You should also consider how much you are investing and if you should increase or decrease based on your financial situation.
  1. Set Goals For Next Year And Beyond: October is a great time to start planning out next year’s financial goals so you can be set for success in the long-term. Look at your day-to-day finances and locate where you can improve and where you can save more. After, consider which goals are most important for your long-term success. Just as time changes, so should your financial plan. Things like marriage, children, and career can impact your financial goals, so make sure you are reviewing your plan at least once a year.

By implementing some or all the tips above into your October to-do list, you can carve your pumpkin in comfort knowing your financial future is good to go. If you go through these steps and do not like where you are financially wise, schedule a meeting with your financial professional to see how they can help you get your finances back on track.

*Content derived from consumerreports.org and cobizmag.com

The post Five Things to Add to Your Financial To-do List appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Provided by: Adult Financial Education

1
Sep

5 Signs You’re Ready to Retire

5 Signs You’re Ready to Retire

You are nearing the average retirement age and each day it becomes closer and closer. The question is, are you ready to retire? Check out these 5 signs you’re ready to retire.

  1. Your Savings Exceeds Your Retirement Goals: At one time or another, you sat down and made an investment plan so you could retire happily. Now the time has come to see if all your savings has paid off. When calculating the savings you have and if it will be enough for retirement, consider using ‘Rule 25.’ This rule states you should have 25 times the value of your annual expenses.
  2. All Debts Are Paid Off: When entering retirement, make sure you don’t have any large payments you will have to make. Big expenses such as mortgage, loans, and large credit balances are things you want paid off before you consider retiring. Paying off large bills before retirement will allow your money to go farther so you can enjoy your life after work without worrying about saving for your next large payment.
  3. You Can Currently Live on Your Retirement Budget: More often than not, when you enter retirement you live off of fixed monthly income that is typically less than when you were working. Before retiring, consider living on your ‘Retirement Budget’ so you can determine if you can live comfortably on your new budget.
  4. Healthcare Is Covered: Regardless if you are on the verge of retirement of not, healthcare can be very costly. Simple things like blood tests and non-generic prescriptions can make your expenses skyrocket and cause you to not live the retirement you dreamed of. When exploring options, see if you can stay on your employer’s plan, if not your spouses. Does your company offer a Health Savings Account (HSA)? You can use this for tax-free distributions to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. If all else fails, sign up for private healthcare, just make sure the monthly cost is included in your ‘Retirement Budget.’
  5. Have a New Plan or Project for Retirement: Although it may seem like a distant dream now, retirement will be upon you before you know it; and while you might be looking forward spending long days doing nothing, research shows this can lead to an unhappy retirement. Before you retire, brainstorm some of the hobbies you enjoy and/or consider looking for a part-time position to pass the time. Do you like golfing? Replace your weekly meetings with weekly golf outings. Just like you should test-drive your ‘Retirement Budget’, take a week or two off from work and spend your days just as you would in retirement.

Deciding when to retire comes with a lot of considerations, from being healthy and debt-free to living on a budget; make sure you are more than well off before considering the move into retirement. After reviewing these signs and feeling confident about your decision to retire, it is always best to consult a financial professional to make sure you didn’t miss any areas and aren’t in for any surprises when you open the retirements doors.

*Content derived from Investopedia.com

Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.

The post 5 Signs You’re Ready to Retire appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Provided by: Adult Financial Education

1
Aug

Tips for Back to School Season

Tips for Back to School Season

Although it’s not even August yet, storefronts and businesses are beginning to advertise what some kids dread, and others cherish, back to school time. In a report from Huntington Bank Backpack Index, school supplies have increased a whopping 88% since 2007. With this statistic, here are 3 tips to consider for this back to school season.

  1. Kids are good at persuading
    • Leave the Kids at Home:
      In a 2017 report from National Retail Federation, 65% of back-to-school purchases were a direct result of their children’s influence. Instead of brining your child, involve them early in the process by checking out store ads at home and pointing out what they like. This will help you get more of what matters, and less of impulse purchases
    • Bring the Kids with
      Want to bring your kids with? Use it as a learning experience by teaching them about prioritization and budgeting. Not only will this help them realize the difference between want and need, but will also help them understand the value of money and how to be a savvy shopper.
  2. Looks for the deals
    August brings slightly cooler weather and more importantly, great back to school deals. Before shopping, check your mailbox and email for the latest deals on school supplies. This will help you narrow down which stores to shop at. Beyond this, check out the stores loyalty program. Businesses like Kroger offer loyalty cards that can help you save on supplies as well as groceries and other necessities.
  3. Buy/Rent Used
    Gone are the days where required textbooks come brand new with a price tag of $100 and up. Companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer online and in-store textbook rentals at the fraction of the price of brand new textbooks. Once you receive a list of required material, you can search the title and/or ISBN # to find the best deal all while saving you time.

The earlier in life a child begins learning about saving on the little things for big savings in the long term, the better off they are for ‘real world budgeting’. By utilizing some of these strategies, you will be able to make your school supplies list and credit card statement shorter, just like they should be! Most importantly, these tips will help you save all while growing your child’s knowledge on finances and how to save.

Questions about other ways to save for your child’s education? Have left over money after purchasing back to school supplies and want to put it toward your retirement goals? Reach out to your financial advisor today and see how they can help you on your financial journey!

*Statistical references and content derived from Forbes.com and Marketwatch.com
Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.

The post Tips for Back to School Season appeared first on Adult Financial Education Services.

Provided by: Adult Financial Education