College is an exciting time, but it’s also an expensive undertaking. According to collegescholarships.org the average accumulated student loan debt is between $26,000 and $100,000.
It’s important that parents prepare their college freshmen for their money choices, just like they would prepare them for other life decisions. Before they head off to school, make sure your college student knows these tips that will allow them to enjoy the college experience at the lowest possible cost. Continue reading
After a divorce, you can claim retirement benefits based on your own earnings record (if you have been employed and have accumulated enough credits over the years), or you can claim benefits based on your ex-spouse’s earnings record (whether or not you ever worked), provided that certain requirements are met.
It takes some work to determine the ideal amount to be held in a cash reserve. This amount should reflect several important aspects of your current personal and financial situation–aspects that must be considered simultaneously and many of which are difficult to quantify.
Travel insurance refers to specialized coverage you can buy to insure yourself against various risks that travelers face. Travel insurance policies may protect you against one type of hazard (e.g., getting sick or having a trip canceled) or against a group of hazards. You can purchase travel insurance from insurance companies, travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines, rental companies, or travel assistance companies. Coverage, cost, and terms vary widely. Continue reading
The real estate market is hot once again. Thinking about buying for the first time or upgrading? Do you know how much you can afford? How do you determine your purchase limit and still live stress free? Continue reading
People ordinarily buy property and casualty insurance to protect their possessions (houses, cars, and furniture) and life insurance to provide income for their survivors. However, many people don’t think about protecting their income with disability income insurance. How well could you live if you weren’t able to work? Continue reading
Health care in retirement is available from many sources. Government programs (such as Medicaid and Medicare) offer numerous health care benefits. However, you may need to purchase supplemental health insurance or Medigap, as well. Most Americans are eligible to begin receiving Medicare benefits at age 65, but qualifying for Medicaid may require some planning on your part. In addition to these resources, you may also be entitled to military health care benefits if you are a veteran, retired service member, or the spouse or widow of a veteran or retired service member. Continuing care retirement communities and nursing homes also offer health care services for older individuals. Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, you may use any number of these resources during your retirement years. Continue reading
Simply stated, estate planning is a method for determining how to distribute your property during your life and at your death. It is the process of developing and implementing a master plan that facilitates the distribution of your property after your death and according to your goals and objectives.
At your death, you leave behind the people that you love and all your worldly goods. Without advance planning, you have no say about who gets what, and more of your property may go to others, like the federal government, instead of your loved ones. If you care about (1) how and to whom your property is distributed, and (2) ensuring that your property is preserved for your loved ones, you need to know more about estate planning. Continue reading
Our lives have increasingly become more complicated and busy. Our financial lives are no different. Most of us have multiple credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, investment accounts, 401(k) accounts and insurance policies. Monitoring each account can be time consuming. Seeing how they all work together to achieve your personal goals can be even more challenging.
A single Financial Dashboard makes getting organized simple and it allows you to see your entire financial picture in one safe location. Most dashboards provide easy to use graphs and reports that provide a simple snapshot of your financial net worth. Other features allow you to streamline the creation of a budget and allow easy maintenance to help you stay on track with your financial goals. Continue reading
Owning a home outright is a dream that many Americans share. Having a mortgage can be a huge burden, and paying it off may be the first item on your financial to-do list. But competing with the desire to own your home free and clear is your need to invest for retirement, your child’s college education, or some other goal. Putting extra cash toward one of these goals may mean sacrificing another. So how do you choose? Continue reading