Now that you may be spending more time at home and online, knowing how to keep your sensitive information and conversations safe has become even more important.
Are you following the best practices for protecting your financial details (and other sensitive data)?
Here are five steps you may want to take.
Use a password manager. Do you struggle to remember which version of your favorite password goes with which site? Eliminate this frustration while improving your security by doing some research and choosing an expert-approved program. What makes these programs safe from hackers? They heavily encrypt your data.
Choose Password phrases over one word password. Having a phrase is much more difficult to hack than a simple one word password. Adding symbols (if it's allowed) and numeric, upper case and lower case letters adds to the complexity.
Consider a VPN subscription. A virtual private network keeps your data secure and your activity private when...
It can sometimes feel awkward or challenging to talk about money and the future, especially with your children.
But if you want to help minimize stress for everyone, you may want to prioritize certain conversations.
Whether your kids are adults, teens or younger, here are a few big financial topics to keep in mind as you work to set the right expectations.
Since parents can claim their children as dependents on their taxes, it’s important to discuss this tax credit as your children grow older and begin to earn their own money. Specifically, you can prepare your children for the date when they’ll no longer qualify as dependents.
Education: Parents who want to help pay for college and offset the burden of student loans can talk to their kids about savings, budgeting and what schools make the most sense.
Weddings: Many parents pay for their children’s weddings in part or in full. Sooner rather than later, it may...
Are you familiar with the new provisions about retirement accounts from the SECURE Act and coronavirus relief bill?
Some of these changes may affect how you make retirement decisions in the coming weeks and months.
These new rules don’t apply to everyone and it’s important to reach out to discuss your situation before making any big changes, but if you need a quick recap of a few key details, take a look:
If you have a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan, you may be losing money to overpriced investments and hidden costs. The good news? If you understand the fees you’re paying, you may be able to lower them.
If you haven’t looked closely at the details of your plan lately, now is a good time for a checkup.
Here are a few misconceptions and details to keep in mind when it comes to employer-sponsored retirement plan fees.
Misconception 1: My plan doesn’t have any fees.
All plans have fees. Investment management fees pay financial professionals to manage the investments available through the plan, such as mutual funds. Administrative fees pay for tasks such as issuing statements, running the employees’ account management website and providing customer service.
Misconception 2: My employer pays my plan’s fees.
While the costs may be shared, it's likely that most employees are paying for the bulk of the fees associated with their account. Note: Your...
When it comes to your finances, it can seem impossible to manage everything at once.
And you’ll probably face competing priorities at some point: Should you save for retirement or contribute more to your child’s college fund? Should you pay off any outstanding debt or save for a bigger house?
Coming up with the right strategy can be challenging, but here are a few things to think about:
College and Retirement
Are your children going to college soon? How much longer do you anticipate staying in the workforce (and do you have enough to retire)? These are just a couple of the questions to consider before allocating money to a 529 college savings plan or doubling down on your 401(k).
If you have any high-interest rate debt (say from student loans or credit cards), sit down and calculate how much more interest your debt will accumulate. Then compare that amount with how much you’ll earn from any investments you’re considering. This may not be a...
Maybe you’re in a position to pitch in and make a difference, but you’re wondering about the best ways to do so.
A smart giving strategy may not only provide greater resources for worthy causes, but also possibly lower your tax bill.
If you’re thinking about your favorite local businesses, your employees, or your community at large, here are a few ways you might make an impact while keeping your own finances streamlined.
Support Your Community
Want to make an immediate impact? Consider leaving a generous tip for your grocery or takeout delivery person, donating to the local food bank, or continuing to extend some support to anyone on your payroll (think landscapers, babysitters and personal assistants) even if their services are on hold.
Pick a Global or Nationwide Cause
Think about the causes close to your heart and look into the best way to support them, be it by sending an online donation or helping them secure the supplies they need. Be sure to keep...
You’ve worked hard to build a safety net and plan carefully for the future, but that doesn’t mean your preparations are set in stone. As we’ve learned over the last few months, things can change when you least expect them to.
By cultivating a healthy approach to uncertainty and your finances in general, you can continue to make the right decisions for you and your family.
Do you have questions? Reach out anytime. And for now, here are a few ways to help maintain a balanced mindset.
Declutter Where You Can
In the same way you probably streamlined your home workspace, you can put your financial life in order, as well. Organize all your physical and digital documents, save what you need to save and delete or shred what you don’t. This simple act can help you feel more in control.
Check In With Your Budget
Even if you’re comfortable and haven’t experienced any major setbacks, it’s smart to know where your money is going and to...
Every parent wants to raise their kids to be self-sufficient adults who feel empowered to achieve anything they want in life. One way to set children up for success is to be honest with them about financial topics and teach them money management skills starting at a young age.
The Early Years
When your kids are young, talk openly about money rather than painting it as a taboo subject. You may also choose to give them a weekly or monthly allowance so they have a hands-on way of learning about spending, budgeting and saving. Encouraging children to think carefully about their purchases can instill smart habits that will come in handy later on.
Leaving the Nest
College tuition is a major expense to plan for, so start discussing different strategies once your kids reach high school. Research scholarships together, learn about student loan options and be clear about what you will and won't help with. Graduating with as little debt as possible should be the goal, so if this means they'll...
Creating the perfect budgeting system isn’t easy, but the more you view money management as an ongoing practice rather than a yearly or quarterly event, the more likely you are to succeed.
Get started by outlining your current expenses as well as your short- and long-term goals and then consider embracing these three practical tips.
1. Adjust Your Mindset
Many people feel like they’re failing at budgeting if they fall short of a savings target or forget to log a few expenses. The reality is that your situation will always fluctuate, so instead of getting bogged down by dollars and cents, establish a realistic range for each spending category and strive for balance over time.
Occasionally you might miss your mark. Instead of feeling discouraged and giving up, keep focusing on your big picture goals -- like paying off your debt or building a retirement fund -- and allow for some flexibility to get there.
2. Identify Your Style
If the idea of opening...
Are you ready to become an ideal spender?
If you spend too much, you’ll find yourself in debt. Spend too little, and you’re not maximizing your financial potential. So how do you know if you’re spending just the right amount? And, if you need to make a change, how should you go about it?
If you have a significant revolving balance in your checking account, you might want to think about ways to make your money work harder. Adding just a few more dollars a week to your retirement fund or a high-interest savings account can yield greater benefits in the future.
Tip: Chronic underspenders may also simply be out of touch with their finances and thus unsure of what they can reasonably spend. Need a more accurate point of view? Sit down and take a close look at your accounts and expenses.
Not having a budget or not sticking to the one you’ve made can easily lead to overspending. If you find yourself in this category, take the time to...