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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
financial house v2

Getting My Financial House in Order for the New Year

It's that time of year when our minds turn to getting our lives ship-shape. Big box stores have set up huge displays of storage containers and gadgets to get us organized. Ads are pushing dieting and getting in shape. My personal goal is to get my paper and electronic records cleaned out and ready for another year. I want to know that I can find a document when and if I need it,...

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Season of Giving: Wise Charitable Decisions

I celebrate my friendships and family at this time of year! I love to choose gifts that I think will make them happy, and I'm thankful that I can afford to shop without worrying about each dollar. While I'm celebrating, however, I'm very aware that for many times are tough. Part of my giving each year is to organizations that help others; sharing is part of money management, in my opinion....

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Are there advantages to a trust compared to wills and beneficiary designations?

There are lots of different tools you can use for estate planning. (See the last part of my post from March for a list.) So it's not surprising that a lot of us don't know how they work together, or which ones we should use. Last month , I answered the first part of a reader's question, about whether you need a...

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Holiday gift cards-Beware the Scams!

Holiday gift cards-Beware the Scams!

Over the years, gift cards have become a favorite gift. You don't have to worry about color or size, and there is one for every taste. Shipping costs are minimal, and you can purchase them almost everywhere. If you get a gift card for somewhere you don't shop, or for a store that's not in your area, there are websites where you can sell or exchange them for cash. However, gift cards hav...

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holiday shopping tips

Holiday Spending Tips

The holidays are coming up… and with it is the ability to overspend. Whether you're shopping for a few or many, having a plan for the holidays can help. Below are my top 3 holiday spending tips! 1. Use a budget within a budget. Although this seems tedious, having a budget within a budget will help to keep your spending in check. In a normal spending period, you have all of your...

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Do I need a will if I have named beneficiaries on most of my assets?

After my recent post about mistakes people make about naming beneficiaries – and the unintended outcomes that result – I received this question from a reader: If our beneficiaries are in place, is a will still important for transferal of things? In what areas and ways? Does it speed up the process or limit lawyer ent...

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Health Insurance Helps Protect Our Financial Security

Sometimes we spend money on fun things and sometimes we spend money on things we need or to protect our future financial security. Paying for health insurance falls under the category of needed, but not fun. We buy health insurance to protect ourselves from unknown financial risk. While we can't predict our future health needs, we can use insurance to protect our finances in case we hav...

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