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Estate Planning Basics

It’s a new year, so let’s look at some financial resolutions, specifically, the basics of a solid estate plan. Not having these basics in place can cost a person’s family thousands of dollars in legal, medical, and/or probate fees. When…

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Where Do I Start?

For any new investor wondering where to start, the number of options, decisions, and issues can be daunting. Having worked at a banking center across from a major university early in my career, I can tell you that most of…

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Paying for College? 5 Strategies

Prepare yourself. $20,298. That’s Virginia’s average in-state cost for one year of college (tuition and room and board). If the average annual cost increase remains the same as the current 6.8 percent, in ten years, the price tag for a year…

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Mom and Dad’s Money

Wait, Mom did what with her money?” Questions like this are uttered amongst siblings many times over, and will continue to be asked with the aging demographics of our society. The problem is, too often, adult children find out about…

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Lessons Learned

No matter how you slice it, the cost of going back to school is expensive. Notebooks, pens, pencils, paper, backpack, calculator, computer, tablet, and you know the rest of the story. If the annual inflation rate of 7.3% for back-to-school…

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It Starts with a Budget

The bottom line for success in your financial house boils down to one word: budget. More specifically, know your monthly budget and the numbers that make it up. Now, I’m not talking about the easy figures, like the mortgage, power…

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Pre-Tax Assets

Decisions about pre-tax assets – such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, simple IRAs, SEP IRAs, and traditional IRAs – can either protect or greatly reduce the beneficiary’s overall benefits, so make sure you understand related terms, options, and strategies. A pre-tax asset’s…

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Living and Learning

The only thing that is certain in life is change, so having flexible financial plans and products matters. Let’s look at two examples of how unsuspecting needs arose and how a greatly misunderstood financial product came to the rescue. A…

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Top 6 Not-So-Smart Financial Moves

People make common financial mistakes every day – bad decisions that cost them money. Do any of these blunders apply to you? 1. Not paying off credit card balances.  Sometimes people have a credit card balance that seems small, so…

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Tips for Single Parents

When one parent shoulders the responsibility of raising children, the pressure is real, especially with finances. The cost of basic expenses alone – food, shelter, and clothing – is enough to cause hardship. What’s a single parent to do? I’ve…

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