Money Management

Property Insurance Blues

By |2024-06-19T21:20:47-05:00May 29, 2024|Current Issues, Money Management|

When we discuss prices going up our focus to date has been food, energy and of late, insurance. “Home insurance premiums rose about 30% from 2019 to 2023, while rebuilding and replacement costs went up 55% during the same period.” – Ouch! A number of natural disasters combined with general inflationary trends have caused prices to skyrocket, particularly in markets like Florida. Car insurance has also been impacted by shortages of certain parts and the need for more electrical components for electric vehicles. We can all agree it’s a problem so what are some ways we can reduce our insurance costs? I spoke to my good friend Kreg Foster who owns Foster Insurance Services in Webster City, Iowa. He had some specific tips to manage your insurance costs: 1. Get quotes with higher deductibles. I may offer some savings but not always. It’s always important to have funds available [...]

Welcome to “Adult Life”… Where Do I Even Begin?

By |2024-05-16T22:09:52-05:00February 1, 2024|Money Management, Featured, Investing, Young Investors|

You did it! Your days of 8AM classes and cramming for final exams are over, now what? There are so many things that college doesn’t prepare you for, like what’s a 401k and how does it work? How am I going to save for my future? How do I pay off this massive student loan balance? These are things that most likely didn’t cross your mind while you were in school, but now that you have your diploma, and you are out in the “real world” these questions surface and can become quite stressful. Once you begin working and you start to make a steady income, a few things will become a little clearer. These things include how much your fixed monthly expenses (like rent, utilities) are and how much you tend to spend on other things like food, entertainment, and late-night shopping sprees when you can’t sleep. For some [...]

The Peril of Comparison

By |2024-03-03T20:07:13-06:00December 12, 2023|Money Management|

When satisfaction or contentment is derived primarily from our comparative view of others, particularly their financial persona, we may find ourselves never finding real satisfaction or contentment. One can rarely attend a party, share a round of golf or meet up with relatives without forming some opinions about other’s “lot in life.” Those opinions are then assimilated into a construct of we are either “better off” or “have work to do.” Cindy’s new purse, Jack’s new house, or your brother-in-law’s new sports car can cause many of us a mix of angst and, sometimes, envy. We then take these comparative narratives and either act or ruminate about how we should modify our own lives. This is a slippery slope and one that rarely serves us well. A few things to consider include: In many cases, the opinions we internalize may not reflect the other crew’s actual situation. “The problem [...]

What Factors Have the Greatest Impact on Your Credit Score?

By |2024-03-03T19:43:37-06:00December 12, 2023|Money Management|

Fun fact: You probably have dozens of credit scores out there, and each one might be a different number. You’re probably familiar with a credit score, why it’s essential, and what it’s used for, but do you know how it’s calculated or why your score may differ depending on the credit bureau? Let’s tackle the last question first. The most quoted credit scores are from the three major credit reporting bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each company uses a different scoring methodology, leading to different results. In addition, different credit bureaus hold different information about you. For example, your car loan might report to TransUnion but not to Experian, while your credit card might report to Equifax but not to TransUnion. There might be a mistake in one credit report but not in another. All these differences influence your credit scores, and because lenders decide which bureau they obtain [...]

A Year-End Financial Checklist

By |2024-03-03T19:43:56-06:00December 12, 2023|Money Management|

Time to Think About Year-End Financial Strategies As we roll into fall and the fourth quarter, now is a good time to pause and reflect on proactive ways to set up your finances for 2024. Economically speaking, we are now in a much different position than last year. Economic growth has been strong, and inflation appears to be trending lower. But regardless of current and future financial conditions, there are several actions you may want to take a look at before we close out 2023. 1. Consider Making Tax Moves Before Year-End Year-end is a good time to take a look at your tax situation and assess your current and future tax liabilities. Keep in mind that the ideas below are for informational purposes only and are not a replacement for real-life advice. Make sure to consult with your tax, legal, and accounting professionals before making any year-end tax [...]

10 Financial Missteps to Avoid During a Divorce

By |2024-03-03T19:47:15-06:00December 11, 2023|Money Management|

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events. Even the most amicable splits can be complicated and emotionally draining. We likely all know couples who have gone through divorce, and it can be a trying time for everyone involved. It is also a time when financial decisions are made that can impact spouses and children for years to come. With all that can be on the minds of those going through divorce, it's important to attempt to manage costly missteps. Having helped clients who have divorced, we've compiled the following list of financial missteps we've seen people make. Please share this with anyone you know who might benefit from our insights. Mistake #1: Not Asking for Help Early in the Process After deciding to get a divorce, the first person a spouse typically calls is a lawyer. This may be the most appropriate first step, but other [...]

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