student loans

5 Steps To Improve Your Credit Score

 

Applying for student loans?  Worried about your credit score?  Here are 5 steps you can take today to improve your credit score.

At this time of year, many parents start scratching their heads and turn to their keyboards to search for answers to their pressing financial questions.  Parents, reeling from the sticker shock caused by their son or daughter’s college acceptance and award letter are trying to figure out how to pay for college.  Students are asking questions about credit, many for the first time.  Want to guess the financial question Google gets asked the most?  It is “how do student loans work?”  No wonder.  According to a recent Marketwatch article, Americans are trying to figure out how to deal with $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.  A study conducted by Liberty Bank for Savings found Google gets an average of 2.4 million searches per month from folks looking for the answer to this question.

Financial Literacy

Woman-millionaire

Want To Be A Millionaire? 3 Things You Need To Know If You Inherit A Windfall

3 Things You Need To Know If You Inherit A Windfall

Want To Be A Millionaire?  Of course, who doesn't, right?

Recently a young 30 something brought an interesting situation to my attention.  She learned she will be inheriting a significant amount of money, in the several million dollar range.  Her first reaction was “Whee!! I can travel the world!”  Fortunately, someone much wiser recommended having a conversation with me before she goes off the rails and takes all the money with her.

I was happy to see her asking questions before she received the inheritance.  Here are the top 3 tips I gave her about what to do once she becomes a millionaire.  I thought I would share them here in case you or someone you know is as fortunate.

1)  Establish a Trust to hold your assets.  Give serious thought to how you spend money.  Try to maintain the discipline of retaining your current lifestyle.  Consider your current budget.  If possible, work with a trustworthy investment professional that will construct a portfolio where you earn dividends that cover your lifestyle expenses.  This way, you won't be depleting principal.  The person that created the estate you inherited probably followed a similar conservative philosophy. 

New Years Resolution

New Year’s Resolutions – How Are You Doing?

How To Succeed With New Year's Resolutions

New Year, New You – heard that before? Here's 4 Steps To Help You Attain Your Goals

For some, the new year is a time of looking back on what you didn’t accomplish and hope this new year provides a fresh start and a new chance to make lifestyle improvements.  If you are like most people, your commitment to your resolutions for 2018 started to wane by January 12, and by today, January 17, they are nothing but a memory.  Here are a few important strategies to get back on track and make 2018 your best year ever.

3 Most popular New Year's Resolution categories:

Fitness/Health Goals

Is this the year you said to yourself “I’m going to get in shape”?  If you did, you are not alone.  Getting in shape, losing weight, taking better care of yourself, quitting a bad habit like drinking or smoking are the most popular resolutions.  This is why gyms run specials in January and do-it-yourself courses advertise like crazy.  People join, have great intentions, and by February they are just a name on the membership’s roster.  Or you buy or subscribe to the fitness program and 6 months later, it’s still in the box.  If this sounds like you, read on.

Financial Goals

I’m going to stick to my budget, pay off debts, stop using credit cards, save more, invest more, increase my 401K contribution.  Sound familiar?  How’s it going so far?  Getting your finances in shape is the second most popular resolution.  January 1st starts off with great intentions, but the days and weeks go on and nothing’s changed.  Going online to change your contribution keeps slipping your mind.  Reaching for the plastic is so much easier than cash.  You keep meaning to transfer money to your savings account, but something stands in the way.  Sound familiar?  Read on.

Education/Inspiration Goals

Have you resolved to watch less TV, read more, take a course, finish your degree, improve your skills, learn a new language, or start a hobby?  This is the 3rd most popular category for resolving to improve your quality of life.  So, looking over the last 16 days, have you done anything different? If not, read on.