Blog header — tax season

Enhanced Child Tax Credit for 2021

If you have qualifying children under the age of 18, you may be able to claim a child tax credit. (You may also be able to claim a partial credit for certain other dependents who are not qualifying children.) The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 makes substantial, temporary improvements to the child tax credit… Read more »

Lifestyle Creep

Beware of Lifestyle Creep

Lifestyle creep, or lifestyle inflation, happens to the best of us. As your standard of living improves, your non-essential discretionary purchases gradually increase. You might even start to think your “wants” are “needs.” Some creep is natural and to be expected, but excessive creep can derail your finances. In extreme cases, lifestyle creep forces you… Read more »

Comparison

Singing the Comparison Blues is the Theft of Joy (and Your Savings)

Do you use others for the barometer of what you should have or deserve to have? Constant exposure to your friends’ vacations, experiences, dining out, luxury purchases, new cars, and house upgrades on social media amplifies “FOMO (fear of missing out)” and the desire to “keep up with the Jones’s.” Overtime, the idea of what’s… Read more »

I'm a Credit Union Saver

I’m a Credit Union Saver — Youth Activity & Coloring Book

Download I’m a Credit Union Saver, a fun activity book filled with coloring pages, puzzles, and more!  I’m a Credit Union Saver is an introduction to credit unions and saving money. Check out more fun online tools to teach kids about money. 

Financial Literacy for Kids

Financial Literacy for Kids

Practical money management skills learned at an early age can have a lasting impact on the rest of your child’s life. In fact, this is one of the most important areas where you can truly change the course of their life. Educating your children about financial wellness will help them build healthy spending habits for… Read more »

Fund college education

Should I Use My 401(k) to Fund My Child’s College Education?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER You can, but it isn’t your best option. Your 401(k) plan should be dedicated primarily to your retirement. There are two primary drawbacks to using your 401(k) for college funding. First, if you withdraw funds from your 401(k) before you are 59½, you will owe a 10% premature distribution penalty on… Read more »

Financial Aid Changes

Financial Aid Changes on the Horizon

The U.S. Department of Education has designated February as Financial Aid Awareness Month, and this year there’s a lot to talk about. On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, another relief package in response to the pandemic. Included in the bill were several provisions related to education, including many changes to… Read more »

Student Loans

Federal Student Loan Relief Scheduled to End

Update January 20, 2021 — President Biden signed an Executive Order directing the Department of Education to extend the suspension of student loan payments until September 30, 2021. Those with student loans can start planning for the October 1, 2021 resumption of payments. Learn more below: Update January 19, 2021 — The incoming Biden administration has announced… Read more »

Be Cyber Smart

Be Cybersmart — Youth Coloring & Activity Book

Download Be Cybersmart, a fun activity book filled with coloring pages, puzzles, and more! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and being cyber smart is important for the whole family. Be Cyber Smart is an introduction to strong passwords and the tricks bad guys use to get your information. Check out more fun online tools… Read more »

Financial Planning Issues for New Parents

Financial Planning Issues for New Parents

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER As you prepare for life with your new child, it’s time to prepare a new financial plan for your family or make any necessary changes to your existing plan. You’ll want to consider how your baby will affect your budget, make sure you have adequate insurance, protect your child’s future with… Read more »