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Thursday, April 1, 2021

1-Minute Video: A credit score is a 3 digit number based upon a number of factors from your financial activities. It is used to determine your creditworthiness for a mortgage, auto loan or credit card. A company called FICO creates...

 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

1-Minute Video: When looking for cash to cover a major expense such as home improvements, a child’s college education or high-interest debt, some people consider tapping into the equity of their home. Home equity is the market...

 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

1-Minute Video: If you’re struggling under a load of federal student loan payments higher than your income, there is some relief. The US government offers four income-driven repayment plans that can change your monthly payments...

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

1-Minute Video: Under the right circumstances, taking on debt can positively affect your finances. The secret is in knowing the difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt is debt used to finance something that will create...

 

Friday, February 5, 2021

1-Minute Video: Whether you’re saving for a new car, home or retirement, compound interest is your friend. By definition, compound interest is interest earned on the principal amount plus the interest that was paid earlier....

 

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Thursday, January 28, 2021

1-Minute Video: To keep your investment portfolio on target for financial goals, you want to balance risk and diversify your assets. That’s the purpose of asset allocation - the process of dividing your portfolio among major...

 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

1-Minute Video: Most Americans who turn 65 are eligible for Medicare, a federal program that covers many health expenses for seniors. But the program is complicated. Here are 5 important facts you need to know: First - Medicare is not...

 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

1-Minute Video: The medical profession refers to high blood pressure as the silent killer. In investing, the silent killer is INFLATION. The minimum return on any retirement investment must be at least equal to inflation. Here’s...

 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

1-Minute Video: Many people believe Social Security will pay for their retirement, but Social Security was designed to be just a complement to a pension and investments. So don’t rely only on Social Security for your retirement...

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

1-Minute Video: You might be asking yourself, "When should I retire? Should I retire early or defer it?" Deciding when to retire may not be just one decision, but a series of decisions and calculations. For example, you’ll need...

 

Monday, November 2, 2020

1-Minute Video: A retirement income plan is needed because life changes in retirement. Your retirement plan should account for every year in retirement, even past your life expectancy...

 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

1-Minute Video: A credit score is a 3 digit number based upon a number of factors from your financial activities. It is used to determine your creditworthiness for a mortgage, auto loan or credit card. A company called FICO creates...

 

Friday, October 2, 2020

1-Minute Video: The durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows a trusted person to act in your place if you're incapacitated. If you are unable to act on your own due to accident or illness, they can step in to take...

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

1-Minute Video: You’ve worked so hard to build your net worth, but it could fall into a sinkhole if you don’t do estate planning. Estate planning isn’t just for the rich, it is a necessity for everyone, and estate...

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

1-Minute Video: If you’re nearing retirement, you may need to consider asset allocation in a different way. Be aware that asset allocation cannot eliminate the risk of fluctuating prices and uncertain returns. When you were...

 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

1-Minute Video: What is the real cost of identity theft? It goes beyond just financial loss. In the past, identity theft happened when someone stole your wallet or picked through your trash or your mail. Today's theft is much more...

 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

1-Minute Video: We all think we know the basics about Social Security, but do we really know how different the benefits can be? The standard retirement age is between 65 and 67, depending on your birthday. Your monthly income, also...

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

1-Minute Video: Thousands of Baby Boomers are retiring each day, and many are wondering about the possibility of having to pay for expensive long term care. Long term care insurance was created to cover the costs of skilled nursing,...

 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

1-Minute Video: Just like the old warning against putting all of your eggs in one basket, if you put all your money in one company stock and it dropped like a rock, you’d lose everything. Diversification can help protect your...

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

1-Minute Video: Roth IRAs are funded with money that you’ve already paid tax on, and then they grow tax-free. This is different than traditional pre-tax funded retirement accounts. Roth IRAs offer many advantages that other...

 

Monday, June 8, 2020

1-Minute Video: If you’ve become the beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement account, it’s important to know your options. You can take the money out in one lump sum. This requires opening an account called an Inherited...

 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

1-Minute Video: Today’s longer lifespans have left some baby boomers in the difficult position of planning for retirement, helping their children and caring for aging parents simultaneously. Giving advice to aging parents on...

 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

1-Minute Video: You’ve been saving for your retirement for decades. Don’t undermine your own plans by making these 5 common mistakes when you retire. First, don’t retire too soon. Lifespans are increasing and many...

 

Monday, April 20, 2020

1-Minute Video: Stocks and bonds are two of the most common investment asset categories. When you invest in more than one category, you reduce your overall investment risk, so many people add a mix of both stocks and bonds to diversity...

 

Friday, April 3, 2020

1-Minute Video: Risk tolerance is the level of risk, or market ups and downs, an investor is willing and able to tolerate. An aggressive investor, one with a high risk tolerance, is willing to risk greater loss to potentially maximize...

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

1-Minute Video: If you’re changing jobs or retiring, it’s important to know the rules regarding moving funds from your employer sponsored retirement plan. The wrong move could cost you in income taxes and early withdrawal...

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

1-Minute Video: You can’t control if or when disaster will strike, but you can minimize the damage and economic impact with some basic planning. For example, create a family disaster plan and review it so everyone will know what...

 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

1-Minute Video: A question we frequently ask our clients is whether they’re protecting their financial accounts from hackers. We recommend starting with secure password practices. Once a hacker steals just one password, they can...

 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

1-Minute Video: Many people overlook the importance of benefits for the surviving spouse when they initially file for Social Security. Postponing collection of benefits can earn workers 8% in delayed retirement credits every year from...

 

Friday, January 17, 2020

1-Minute Video: A question we hear often is “Is it possible to increase my Social Security benefits?” The answer is yes, there are 3 basic ways you can boost your benefits; work more years, earn more in annual income, and...

 

Friday, January 3, 2020

1-Minute Video: Did you know that one of the greatest risks to your retirement portfolio can happen in the first years you retire? The timing of when you begin withdrawing money from your investments can dramatically impact your...

 

Monday, December 23, 2019

1-Minute Video: The death of a spouse is one of the most devastating events of a person’s life. During this difficult time, do not make any major financial decisions right away. Allow yourself time to only deal with the emotions...

 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

1-Minute Video: With a traditional IRA, you may qualify for a tax deduction when you invest your money. But later, when you take the money out in retirement, all those distributions are taxed. The Roth IRA is the opposite. It has no...

 

Monday, November 25, 2019

1-Minute Video: Statistics say there is a seventy percent chance that you or your spouse will experience a need for long-term care! Long-term care includes a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs....

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

1-Minute Video: One way to plan for your children's college education is through a 529 plan, which is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution. The name 529 comes from section 529 of the Internal Revenue...

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

1-Minute Video: You might be thinking, “Since I don’t need the required minimum distribution from my retirement accounts in order to live on, can’t I just leave it in my retirement account?”If you do not...

 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

1-Minute Video: People often ask us, “How long will it take to double my money?’ You can find the answer with the rule of 72. Here's how it works. Compounding interest is the interest you earn on a growing amount of money....

 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

1-Minute Video: A “Living Trust” is a trust you created that is active while you are alive versus a Testamentary Trust which becomes active at your death. When you create a Living Trust, you ensure that your assets will be...

 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

1-Minute Video: A Living Will can also be called an Advance Health Care Directive. It is a legal document instructing what actions should be taken if you are unable to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. Medical intervention...

 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

1-Minute Video: What are required minimum distributions and how are they determined? Beginning at age 70.5, you must begin to withdraw money from your retirement accounts every year. The amount is determined based on your life...

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

1-Minute Video: As life expectancy has grown, your retirement now can last between 20 and 30 years. So Social Security planning is critical, no matter how much money you have. It can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of...

 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Have you seen it yet? It usually arrives with the same certainty as the changing of the seasons. It’s as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise. And it won’t be long now. It can’t be stopped. What is it? One answer...

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

“It’s a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn’t consult a decorator or he would still be picking colors.” ~ American humorist Sam Levenson On day when my granddaughter was just five years old, she...

 

Friday, January 12, 2018

It’s that time of year again! We return to the annual challenge: “Let’s make some New Year’s Resolutions and see if we can keep them—at least through the end of the week.” Please don’t...

 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It is certainly the most wonderful time of the year! When you were a child, did the grown-ups ever tell you that it is better to give than to receive? If you are like me, you heard this and raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, right,”...

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

To Your Good Health! by Scott H. Fortney This blog gives me the opportunity to share some of my personal experiences and reflect on how they relate to my professional life. That means that I often come back to how we approach our...

 

Friday, October 6, 2017

During a recent visit to the fabric store with my wife, I was mysteriously drawn to displays of different fabrics. Bright colors! Camouflage prints! Stretchy silver polyester material! My wife had been surprised when I volunteered to...

 

Friday, September 1, 2017

I was invited to speak to the Senior Class of a local High School regarding the subjects of personal finance and the stock market. I agreed after my initial anxiety attack subsided knowing that I would be severely challenged in trying...

 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It’s August, and 2017 is more than half over. Remember the beginning of the year when we focused our attention on constructive self-examination and the establishment of New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you resolved to stop a...

 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Want a Healthy Portfolio? Use the Financial Food Groups! Do you remember when you were a child and Mom said, “Eat your carrots. They’re good for your eyes?” Or, “Drink your milk. It builds strong bones?”...

 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

SUMMER! It’s finally here! Schools are out, and we’re excited about vacation. Whether we’re looking forward to a short one-day excursion or a longer two-week holiday, we spend hours exploring choices, finalizing...

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

I eased the car out of the garage early one morning and began my daily commute to the office. I was mentally reviewing the week ahead in general; more specifically, I focused on the immediate tasks that await me on Monday mornings.

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

While walking late one evening, I saw a small black beetle scurry across my path. I was pleasantly surprised because my hobby is studying Coleoptera, commonly known as beetles. Specifically, I am captivated by the Scarabaeidae family...

 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Do you remember reading the passage in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass” when Alice came across the Cheshire Cat sitting in the tree? (I only ask because during a recent lecture to...

 

Monday, October 31, 2016

I, like most people, have a tendency to avoid confrontation. While travelling in an airplane to a conference recently I found myself situated in the middle seat on a three and a half hour leg of an eight hour journey. Naturally, as...

 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Welcome to my maiden voyage into the world of BLOGS. Blogs are the social media’s platform of the 21st Century. I’m a founding member of the Stone Age curmudgeon class (translation: a cantankerous senior citizen). Adapting...