Save Money

Saving Money Isn’t a Luxury — It’s a Necessity

Saving money can often be a challenge—especially during times of financial uncertainty. As humans, we’re wired to take care of our needs now, and worry about later… well, later. However, saving money is a critical component of financial wellness.  Here, we break down why saving (even a small amount) can make all the difference: Saving… Read more »

Employer Insurance

I’m Looking for a Job. How Can I Tell if an Employer is Offering a Good Insurance Benefit Package?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Ultimately, an employer is offering a good insurance benefit package if it’s one that appeals to you and meets your needs. But here are some specific things you might look for. Perhaps the most important piece is the health insurance offered. You’ll want coverage that adequately meets your medical needs. Hopefully,… Read more »

Save Money

15 Clever Ways to Cut Costs

During our recent webinar presentation, Money Management in Turbulent Times, we asked our attendees to collaborate and share their top tips for cutting costs. Cutting costs is an important strategy for stretching your budget so you can pay your debt down faster or hit your savings goals quicker. Check out the top 15 tips to cut costs… Read more »

understanding Tax Brackets

Understanding Tax Brackets

There are many misconceptions about how marginal tax brackets work and how they impact your federal tax return. This is what you need to know: For the 2020 tax year (to be filed by in 2021), the IRS set marginal rates of 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. Your tax rate depends on… Read more »

Federal Tax Filing Season Starts Soon

Federal Tax Filing Season Starts Soon

The IRS has announced that the federal income tax filing season for tax year 2020 returns begins on Friday, February 12, 2021. Although tax seasons frequently begin in late January, the additional time will allow the IRS to update its programming and test its system to take into account any changes made by the Consolidated… 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 »

Identity Theft Myths

Top 10 Identity Theft Myths

In today’s world it is more important than ever to focus on the things that we can control to better safeguard our financial future. It’s easy to get complacent, lulled into a false sense of security, when there are many other more urgent things to think about. That’s why we assembled the Top 10 Identity… Read more »

Sweetheart Scams

Beware of Sweetheart Scams

Sweetheart scams, also known as romance scams, are becoming increasingly common as people seek out connections online. The FTC reports that Americans lost over $209 million to sweetheart scams in 2019 — which is 40% more than reported the previous year. Sweetheart scammers seek out their victims online, through social media or dating websites. While… Read more »

Student Loans

Federal Student Loan Relief Scheduled to End

Update August 18, 2021 — On August 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced an extension of the pause on federal student loan payments to January 31, 2022. The payment moratorium, currently in effect for millions of federal student loan borrowers, was set to end on September 30, 2021. Update January 20, 2021 —… Read more »

W-4

Am I Withholding Enough?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER If you fail to estimate your federal income tax withholding properly, it may cost you in a variety of ways. If you receive an income tax refund, it essentially means that you provided the IRS with an interest-free loan during the year. By comparison, if you owe taxes when you file… Read more »