8 Ways to Use a HELOC

8 Ways to Use a HELOC

Tackle your to-do list with your available home equity line of credit — you can borrow up to your maximum credit limit, when you need it, as you need it. It’s as simple as making a transfer in Online Banking! Your HELOC provides more flexibility to support your goals than other loan options due to… Read more »

Social Security

Social Security’s Uncertain Future: What You Should Know

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, which means today’s workers are paying taxes for the benefits received by today’s retirees. However, demographic trends such as lower birth rates, higher retirement rates, and longer life spans are causing long-run fiscal challenges. There are simply not enough U.S. workers to support the… Read more »

Federal Government

Advancing Tax Proposals Put Corporations and High-Income Individuals in Spotlight

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   On Saturday, September 25, 2021, the House Budget Committee voted to advance a $3.5 trillion spending package to the House floor for debate. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation had previously released summaries of proposed tax changes intended to help fund the spending package…. Read more »

FAFSA Application

FAFSA for 2022-2023 School Year Opens on October 1

October is the kickoff season for financial aid. That’s when incoming and returning college students can start filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for the next academic year. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants, and work-study, and may be required by colleges before they distribute their own… Read more »

Beware of Skimmers & Shimmers

Beware of Skimmers & Shimmers

You’ve probably heard about it on your local news over the last few years; criminals caught with equipment that allowed them to capture credit and debit card activity of unsuspecting consumers fueling up at the local gas station or using their cards at other outdoor accessible transaction terminals. These criminals are typically found with cash,… Read more »

Cybersmart

Do Your Part, Be Cybersmart

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In past years, you may have ignored the issue as cybersecurity might have felt like a problem for large companies or an issue for the hero to help solve in a spy movie. But the world is changing, and fast. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the first… Read more »

Housing Market

Too Hot to Handle: What’s Ahead for the U.S. Housing Market?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   The U.S. housing market, already strong before the pandemic, has heated up to record levels in 2021. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which measures home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas, reported a 12-month increase of 18.6% in June 2021, the largest year-over-year gain in data going back… Read more »

College Student

Positioning Your Income/Assets to Enhance Financial Aid Eligibility

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   What Does it Mean to Enhance Your Financial Aid Eligibility? If you qualify for federal financial aid, there are a number of strategies you can try to implement to enhance the amount of aid your child will receive when you apply for financial aid. The idea is to lower your… Read more »

Student Financial Aid

Are There Any Assets Not Counted for Financial Aid Purposes?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Yes, assuming you are talking about federal financial aid. Under the federal government’s financial aid formula, four main types of assets are excluded from consideration when determining your child’s financial need: All retirement accounts (e.g., IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s) Home equity in a primary residence Annuities Cash value life insurance These assets… Read more »

Rent Relief

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program: Now Covering 100% of Rent and Utilities for Income-Eligible Renters & Landlords

The State of California has increased funding for income-eligible renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19 to cover 100% of unpaid and future rent or utilities. This increase in rental assistance payments to 100% of unpaid rent will help make landlords whole and keep tenants housed. You can verify your eligibility for… Read more »