Category Archives: Family

Don’t forget the REALLY important things.

5 Common Myths About Credit Scores

A person’s credit score is an integral part of his/her financial life. Your credit scores may be viewed by a lot more agencies, organizations and individuals than you may realize.  Everything from banks, credit unions, utility firms, landlords, insurers and even employers may be looking at this information. According to a recent survey, half of Americans don’t honestly know how their credit scores are calculated, or what factors are used to compute those three vital numbers. Here are five common myths about credit scores. Remember, knowledge is power! Continue reading

One Minute Money Lessons: Don’t Let Divorce Ruin Your Finances

Author: Beth D’Andrea

It is a sad day when you and your spouse decide to go your different ways.  Whether this parting is amicable or not, there are many very important decisions that need to get made right now that affect your future.  You need make sure that when you leave this marriage, you leave with what is rightfully yours.  Read on to check on some financial items that often get overlooked during this hectic time. Continue reading

One Minute Money Lessons: 3 Things to Teach Your Teens Before They Leave for College

Author: Beth D’Andrea

You know, the one thing they do not teach your children in high school is how to manage their money – a very valuable life lesson.  This leaves it to you, and while there are some helpful points below, don’t forget that modeling good money habits goes a long way.  So, whether your children are in 9th grade or getting ready to move out to college, work with them to get them started on the three points below. Continue reading

A Family Mission Statement Can Help Any Family Manage Assets, Philanthropy and Direction

A family doesn’t need a surname like Vanderbilt to benefit from a family mission statement.  A mission statement is a collaborative document created by one or more generations of family so standards and goals can be set for the handling of all family assets, including businesses and philanthropy in particular.

While mission statements aren’t legal documents – in fact, many are done both in written form and on videotape as a companion to legal wills and directives —  their purpose is to make a record of the family’s values, goals and aspirations and how those sentiments should drive future decisions about family wealth management, business succession plans and charitable pursuits.  Continue reading

Student Finance Advice

Anyone can identify with the heavy strain placed on a student’s finances. Besides paying for school, many undergrads and those pursuing further education have countless responsibilities and financial obligations to fulfill. Though part-time jobs can cover small expenses, bills and student loan payments can really add up. All students should keep these tips in mind: Continue reading

Adult Children with Nest Eggs Can Create Private Low-Cost Reverse Mortgages for Their Parents

Parents typically don’t like to burden their kids with their financial problems. That hesitancy can sometimes lead seniors to choose financial solutions that charge high fees and often don’t deliver what they promise.

Reverse mortgages – advertised so frequently on TV and other media  have become a major attraction for people over the age of 62 who need to pay medical bills or otherwise have a need for cash. They are perfectly legal transactions under the law – they are called “reverse” mortgages because of the way they work. Instead of the borrower making payments to the lender, the lender releases equity to the borrower in a lump sum or monthly cash payment, or as a line of credit. Continue reading

What to Know and Ask About Disability Insurance

The commercial featuring that loud, quacking duck has gone a long way to making people think about individual disability coverage as a way to keep bills paid if the family breadwinner gets sick or injured over an extended period of time.

It’s true — individual disability insurance is more important than ever, and every working individual should have it.

The key is shopping smart for that coverage. A financial planning professional is a good first stop for advice on that coverage, which should be considered as part of an overall financial plan.

Why is it a good idea to have personal disability coverage, particularly when most employees can buy such coverage at work for a nominal fee? That’s because most employers offer disability coverage that lasts 12 weeks or less and covers less than 60 percent of a worker’s pretax income. That might be workable for a surgery or injury with a relatively quick recovery time on the couch, but a diagnosis for even the most curable cancers can put workers with even the best financial coverage into a devastating financial bind. Continue reading

The Balancing Act: Retirement vs. College Savings

frank_bloggerEven as the economy begins its slow crawl back, college costs are continuing to rise – that means parents are continuing to fight a tough battle between funding college and funding their own retirements.

In October, the College Board reported that the average published price of tuition and fees for in-state students at four-year U.S. public colleges was $7,020 for the 2009-10 school year, up $429 or 6.5 percent higher than a year ago. After adjusting for inflation, the average net price paid for tuition and fees by public four-year college students overall is lower in 2009-10 than it was five years ago — but higher than it was last year. Private four-year colleges saw a smaller increase of 4.4 percent or $1,096, but for a much higher average annual tuition of $26,273 for the school year. Continue reading