All About Credit Scores

It’s difficult to imagine functioning in today’s world without credit. Whether buying a car or purchasing a home, credit has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Having easy access to credit goes hand in hand with having a good credit score, so it’s important to know how to maintain a positive credit score and credit history.

Death of a Family Member Checklist

Losing a loved one can be a difficult experience. Yet, during this time, you must complete a variety of tasks and make important financial decisions. You may need to make final arrangements, notify various businesses and government agencies, settle the individual’s estate, and provide for your own financial security. The following checklist may help guide you through the matters that must be attended to upon the death of a family member.

10 Years and Counting: Points to Consider as You Approach Retirement

If you’re a decade or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about this major life change. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some capacity? Will changes in your income sources affect your standard of living?

Don’t Let Debt Derail Your Retirement

Debt poses a growing threat to the financial security of many Americans — and not just college graduates with exorbitant student loans. Recent studies by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveal an alarming trend: The percentage of older Americans with debt is at its highest level in almost 30 years, and the amount and types of debt are on the rise.

Company Stock and Your Retirement Strategy

The opportunity to acquire company stock — inside or outside a workplace retirement plan — can be a lucrative employee benefit. Your compensation may include stock options or bonuses paid in company stock. Shares may be offered at a discount through an employee stock purchase plan and held in a taxable account, or company stock might be one of the investment options in your tax-deferred 401(k) plan.

Grandparent 529 Plans Get a Boost Under FAFSA Rules

529 plans are a favored way to save
for college due to the tax benefits
and other advantages they offer when funds are used to pay a beneficiary’s qualified college expenses. Up until now, the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) treated grandparent-owned 529 plans more harshly than parent-owned 529 plans. This will change thanks to the FAFSA Simplification Act that was enacted in December 2020. The new law streamlines the FAFSA and makes changes to the formula that’s used to calculate financial aid eligibility.

Four Reasons to Review Your Life Insurance Needs

You may have purchased life insurance years ago and never gave it a second thought. Or perhaps you don’t have life insurance at all and now you need it. When your life circumstances change, you have a fresh opportunity to make sure the people you love are protected.

Types of Risk

In the investment world, risk generally is associated with uncertainty. It refers to the possibility that you will lose some or all of your investment or that an investment will yield less than its anticipated return. The more volatile an investment is–the more unpredictable its returns–the riskier it is generally considered to be.

Signs of a Scam and How to Resist It

Although scammers often target older people, younger people who encounter scams are more likely to lose money to fraud, perhaps because they have less financial
experience. When older people do fall for a scam, however, they tend to have higher losses.

Life Insurance Beneficiary Mistakes To Avoid

Life insurance has long been recognized as a useful way to provide for your heirs and loved ones when you die. Naming your policy’s
beneficiaries should be a relatively simple task. However, there are several situations that can easily lead to unintended and adverse consequences you may want to avoid.