Ideas & Insights

From Head in the Sand to Toes in the Sand: How to Control Your Finances for a Perfect Retirement

March 28, 2019, No Comments by Kimberly L. Curtis


Mark and Tracy were raised in working-class families that never talked about money. At ages of 63 and 56, the two college-educated software engineers were enjoying the life they had worked hard for. But even without kids, the first-generation success stories had not saved as much as they had hoped.

What your financial advisor won't tell you (but you should ask anyway)

December 04, 2018, No Comments by Kimberly L. Curtis

Selecting a financial advisor can be a stressful process. You want to ensure you’re well informed about your advisor’s ability and that your goals are aligned. Unfortunately, you can be left with more questions than answers when  researching financial advisors. Worse, you may not always know exactly what to ask as you evaluate your personal financial advisor.

Consider asking these six questions to your future financial advisor..

Buying a Home

December 16, 2016, No Comments by Niels A. Jepsen


Whether you're planning for retirement or just starting your financial planning, buying a home can impact your entire financial picture. Often times, families and individuals purchase in the summer--However, if you're trying to score a deal, winters can be a buyers market. Before taking the mortgage plunge, consider the following home-buying checklist. 

Charitable Giving

December 08, 2016, No Comments by Shannon E. Johnson


As we're counting down to 2017 and the year is coming to a close, you may begin to start thinking about charitable giving. Whether the holiday season is inspiring you to pause or you're thinking of year end planning, it's helpful to know some basic charitable giving information before the year-end tax deadlines. 

Holiday Spending Tips

November 30, 2016, No Comments by Kimberly L. Curtis


So, we've made it through Thanksgiving... now onto the rest of the holiday season! The holiday music is beginning and we start to see lights on our neighbors houses. While the fun begins to build, it can also be a financially stressful time. Americans plan to spend an average of $935 on holiday gifts this year, according to the National Retail Federation...  $140 gets spent on themselves as well while shopping, bringing the whopping total to $1,075. Ouch! If you're starting to feel the stress creep in, here are three helpful spending tips for the holiday season. 

Paycheck ABCs

September 16, 2016, No Comments by Shannon E. Johnson


Every other week you watch funds come into you account... It's payday, hooray! So, when was the last time you took a few minutes to check out the summary of information on your paycheck? Do you know what all of those letters mean? Once you know what all the abbreviations stand for, you can make sure your various elections are correct. Check it out: 

Car Ownership

September 09, 2016, No Comments by Niels A. Jepsen


Other than real estate, buying a car may be one of the more expensive purchases you make. Seeing how the car fits into your financial plan is an important step. Before jumping into a big-expense item, it's important to assess what you prioritize and your financing options. 

Labor Day Deals

September 02, 2016, No Comments by Kimberly L. Curtis


Ah, summer is almost over! Did that fly by or what? As school is back in session, kids are off to college, and the (dare I say it?) leaves begin to change, Labor Day weekend is our last opportunity to take in the summer time. Hopefully, you get to celebrate a long weekend with family, friends and a cook out. Another tradition around the Labor Day holiday is the DEALS. As financial advisors, it's no surprise we love a good deal. US News & World Report released information about how to get the best bang for your buck this weekend. Here are the main take-a-ways: 

Life Insurance Needs

August 26, 2016, No Comments by Shannon E. Johnson


September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month As fall approaches and the resources are readily available, it is an excellent time to consider if you're adequately covered with your current insurance.  Did you know 86% say they haven't bought life insurance because it's too expensive, yet over estimate the cost by more than 2x? It's time to consider the financial trade offs. As you begin to consider your options, it's helpful to know the basic distinctions between policies. Here are the fundamentals of the different cash-value life insurance options: 

Federal Student Loans

August 18, 2016, No Comments by Niels A. Jepsen

As thousands of students head off to college, some may be considering the financial impact of their student loans. Great news, the federal student loan interest rates have decreased from the 2015/2016 year. The breakdown is as follows: 

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