Successful College Planning

By: Kate Hennessy

College is one of life’s most important – and expensive investment goals. As a parent of two grade school kids, I know that their heading to college will be here faster than I think it will be. With most pre-college children heading back to school this month, we thought it would be appropriate to talk about pre-paying for one of life’s biggest expenses… college. In this article we talk about the importance of understanding the costs of college, what to expect from financial aid, and how to make the most of your tax-advantaged 529 plans.

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Mortgage Rates Are Down, Time To Refinance?

Mortgage rates are the lowest they have been since 2016 and applications to refinance are up.  The national average for a 30 year fixed mortgage has fallen to 3.6% as of August 14, 2019, down almost 1% from the average rate of 4.54% in 2018.  A good rule of thumb – refinancing makes sense if rates are at least ½% to 1% lower than your current rate.  If your current rate is more than 4.375%, and it likely is if you purchased your house in the last 3 years, you may be a prime candidate to benefit from refinancing.

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Fiduciary = "Only Fee-Only"

The topic of being a fiduciary came up again with a recent SEC ruling.  Fiduciaries are legally required to act in their clients’ best interests.  One would think that anyone calling themselves a financial advisor would be a fiduciary, however, that is not the case.

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5 Myths About Social Security

As I get older, I’ve become more curious about Social Security.  I’m in my mid 40s and I have been paying into the system since high school. Hopefully, I’m 20+ years out from claiming benefits but  given how fast life goes by, it’s never too early to start thinking about and planning for Social Security. It’s a topic that many people shy away from, but in planning for your financial future, it’s an income stream that needs to be accounted for in a financial plan.

To kick off our series of articles on this topic, I am starting with 5 myths about Social Security:

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Shutdown Lesson - Why We All Need Some Emergency Cash

Politics aside, it was tragic to hear that many government workers ran into trouble paying their bills when they did not have a paycheck for a month.  Unfortunately, this cash shortfall is not unusual, as a Federal Reserve survey last year showed that 40% of American adults would not be able to cover a $400 emergency expense or would do so by borrowing or selling something.

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