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3 min read

The Top 5 Ways to Make Extra Money

By NAIFA on 9/4/23 10:00 AM

Making extra money can be achieved through various methods, depending on your skills, resources, and time availability. Here are some ideas to consider: 

4 min read

How to Speak About Finances So Your Parents Will Listen

By Carefull on 9/1/23 10:00 AM

Watching the news unfold in this era of COVID-19, many of us are experiencing varying levels of anxiety and stress – especially if you have family members who are at high risk for complications.

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Estate Planning
5 min read

Rules for IRA Inheritance

By Northwestern Mutual on 8/28/23 10:00 AM

Every year, millions of Americans receive an inheritance—from their parents, a spouse or other loved ones. An inheritance can include many different assets, from investment accounts to real estate to individual retirement accounts (IRAs). 

Topics: Retirement Planning Retirement Retirement Plans Individual Retirement Accounts
6 min read

How to Protect Yourself From Financial Fraud

By NAIFA on 8/25/23 10:00 AM

Protecting yourself from financial fraud is crucial in today's digital age. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of financial fraud: 

Topics: Senior Financial Protection
2 min read

Make a Will Month

By NAIFA on 8/23/23 3:26 PM

With the warmth of August enveloping us, it's time to reflect on life's uncertainties and take concrete steps to secure our future. Creating a will is one such step, and that's why August has been recognized as "Make-A-Will Month." A last will and testament is a vital legal document that spells out your desires for asset distribution and the care of your loved ones after your departure. In this post, we'll delve into the necessity of having a will and the peace of mind it can offer.

6 min read

What Is an IRA Rollover?

By Northwestern Mutual on 8/21/23 10:00 AM

Over the course of a career, it’s not uncommon for a person to accrue a variety of retirement accounts: 401(k)s from one or multiple employers, IRA(s) with different companies, etc. But having multiple accounts with different companies can get complicated, making it difficult for you to keep an eye on fees, diversification and your overall financial picture.  

Topics: Retirement Planning Retirement Retirement Plans Individual Retirement Accounts
8 min read

How Does Social Security Work?

By Northwestern Mutual on 8/14/23 11:45 AM

If you’ve ever looked closely at your paycheck (or your self-employment taxes, if you’re self-employed), you’ve probably noticed a portion of your earnings is taken out every month for Social Security. Those contributions are tied to a benefit you could be eligible for someday, one that many Americans take advantage of in retirement. According to the Social Security Administration, 66 million people received monthly Social Security benefits in 2022—and 51 million of those were retirees and their families.  

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance
6 min read

How Much Should I Contribute to an IRA and How Often?

By Northwestern Mutual on 8/14/23 10:00 AM

High inflation levels have eroded many Americans’ confidence in their retirement preparedness. According to the 2023 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study, U.S. adults aged 18 or older expect they will need $1.27 million to retire comfortably, a 20 percent rise since 2021.  Luckily, Americans’ average retirement savings increased a bit to $89,300.

Topics: Retirement Planning Retirement Individual Retirement Accounts
1 min read

Your Mid-Year Retirement Planning Checklist

By NAIFA on 8/11/23 10:00 AM

It's not January 1st, but who says you can't make a resolution at any time of year? Now is a great time to review your saving, investment, insurance, and tax strategies for retirement. Not sure where to start? Use this guide to make sure you don't forget anything!

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Retirement Plans Individual Retirement Accounts
2 min read

Studies Show Most Seniors Wish They Planned Differently for Retirement

By NAIFA on 8/7/23 10:00 AM

A recent survey reveals that over half of retirees in the United States would have planned their retirement differently if given the chance.

The most significant regret among older Americans is not starting to save for retirement earlier. Retirees also want investments that provide a steady income stream and automatic paychecks from their retirement assets. Additionally, many retirees feel they should have prepared better for unexpected events like inflation and market volatility by investing in solutions that protect them from losses. Annuities are a great option to address these concerns.

Topics: Retirement Planning Retirement Research/Trends
1 min read

How Can Retirees Enjoy Summer Vacations Despite Inflation?

By NAIFA on 8/4/23 10:00 AM

Inflation has caused the cost of travel to rise, making it more difficult for retirees on a fixed income to afford their summer plans. The overall cost of travel has increased by 18% since before the pandemic, and the demand for travel is high, especially for international trips by Americans.

Topics: Retirement
5 min read

How Whole Life Insurance Can Help With Multiple Financial Goals

By Northwestern Mutual on 7/31/23 10:00 AM

As you go through life, you’re likely to have many financial goals: saving for retirement, paying for your child’s education or wedding, or having enough for emergencies. And for each of these goals, you probably rely on a specific financial product to help reach it.  

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Planning in Advance Insurance
5 min read

Life Insurance in Your Retirement Planning

By Northwestern Mutual on 7/28/23 10:00 AM

Once the kids move out and the house is paid off, it may seem like you don’t really have a need for life insurance anymore—after all, some of the main things you would want a death benefit for are now behind you (phew!). But as you approach retirement, life insurance—specifically permanent life insurance—can still fulfill many different roles in your financial plan.

Topics: Retirement Planning Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Insurance
4 min read

Americans Say Working with a Financial Advisor Boosts Confidence

By NAIFA on 7/26/23 3:09 PM

A new study from Northwestern Mutual highlights the state of financial planning in America and the role of financial advisors in boosting confidence and trust. According to the data, about two-thirds of Americans believe their financial planning is insufficient, with younger adults showing even higher concern. Economic uncertainty has prompted some people to seek or plan to work with financial advisors.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Benefits of a Financial Advisor
5 min read

A Guide to Employee Benefits for Small Businesses

By NAIC on 7/24/23 10:00 AM

Each month, more than half a million aspiring entrepreneurs in the United States take the bold step of starting their own businesses. For these determined individuals, the right insurance choices can make all the difference between celebrating their business's first anniversary or experiencing a disappointing inaugural year. Whether they have a small team or a few hundred employees, whether they sell products or offer services, and whether they run their operations from a home office or a separate location, small business owners must consider insurance in a distinct manner compared to individual consumers.

Topics: Disability Insurance Group & Employee Benefits Small Business Insurance
2 min read

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

By NAIC on 7/21/23 10:00 AM

Whether you have a family, own property, or want to leave a legacy for your loved ones, life insurance is an essential part of any sound financial plan. Read on to learn how to determine how much coverage you need.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Insurance
3 min read

Home & Auto Insurance for Military Service Members

By NAIC on 7/17/23 10:00 AM

Before you buy any insurance, make sure to ask the agent specific questions about how the company handles issues related to military deployment. Each company has its own way of doing things. Compare prices and the level of service from a few different insurance providers. By shopping around, you might find an insurer that specializes in serving service members.

Topics: Insurance
2 min read

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Cybersecurity

By NAIC on 7/14/23 10:00 AM

Technological advancements make life easier. But, they can come at a cost. Every day it seems like another data breach story hits the news. As individuals and families use more technology, there is a lot at stake when it comes to protecting themselves online.

We increasingly rely on the Internet to work, bank, shop, and socialize. Our health and financial information is stored online and devices are connected to control everything from home security systems to thermostats and TVs. While convenient, these connections open the door for possible malicious activity.

Topics: Small Business
2 min read

Navigating the Sharing Economy

By NAIC on 7/10/23 10:00 AM

The sharing economy is rapidly gaining popularity. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) expects it to hit $335 billion in global revenue by 2025. Before you jump in on peer-to-peer transactions, understand how they work and how to avoid financial pitfalls.

6 min read

Americans Average Retirement Savings by Age, and What They Think They’ll Need

By Northwestern Mutual on 7/7/23 10:00 AM

Americans think they’ll need $1.27 million dollars for retirement. They report having less than $90,000 on average in retirement savings. Those are the results of the 2023 Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress study. 

Topics: Retirement Planning Life Insurance & Annuities Retirement
2 min read

A Guide to Life Insurance for Military Families

By NAIC on 7/3/23 10:00 AM

To help members of the military better understand their life insurance needs, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers these tips and considerations.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities
4 min read

Life Insurance for Small Business Owners

By NAIC on 6/30/23 10:00 AM

For the over 500,000 entrepreneurs in the United States who begin their own businesses every month, making informed decisions regarding insurance can determine whether their first year is a success or failure. Regardless of the number of employees, whether products or services are being sold, or whether the business is operated from a home or a separate location, small business owners must take into account insurance considerations that differ significantly from those of individual consumers.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Group & Employee Benefits Small Business Insurance
4 min read

All About Health Insurance: A Guide for Consumers

By NAIC on 6/26/23 10:00 AM

Having health insurance usually means you pay a premium every month and, in return, your health plan pays part of the bill when you need a service from a doctor or another provider to keep you healthy or treat a disease. Health insurance usually covers doctors' visits, prescription drugs, medical, and surgical services.

There are several different ways to get health insurance. Some people buy coverage on their own. Many people get coverage through their job or a family member's job. Others are covered through public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. State insurance regulators provide oversight for some of these types of health insurance. Different regulatory agencies have responsibility for other types of coverage. Explore the ways to get health coverage below.

Topics: Health Care Insurance
4 min read

How to Protect Your Small Business

By NAIC on 6/23/23 10:00 AM

For the more than half a million U.S. entrepreneurs who start a business each month, making the right insurance moves can mean the difference between a first-anniversary celebration and an inaugural-year flop. Whether you have one or a few hundred employees, sell products or offer services, or command your operation from inside or outside your home, your insurance considerations as a small business owner are quite different from those of an individual consumer.

Topics: Small Business Insurance
2 min read

Auto Insurance 101: Coverage Types and Rates

By NAIC on 6/19/23 10:00 AM

Auto insurance is one of the most used types of personal insurance. Most states require that you purchase some kind of insurance coverage to drive legally in the state. Auto insurance can be divided into two basic coverage areas: liability and property damage.

Two factors determine what you pay for auto insurance. The first factor is underwriting, where insurance companies assess the risk associated with an applicant. The second factor is rating; the rating assigns a price based on what the insurer believes it will cost to assume the financial responsibility for the applicant’s potential claim.

Topics: Insurance
3 min read

The Top 5 Myths About Flood Insurance

By NAIC on 6/16/23 10:00 AM

Flooding is the most frequent and expensive natural disaster in the United States. Yet, flood peril is not typically covered through most homeowners' and renter's insurance policies.

With more than 20 percent of the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) claims coming from outside high-risk flood areas, those who live in areas with low-to-moderate flooding risk should understand their risk and consider flood insurance. The FEMA flood map service allows you to determine your flood risk.

Topics: Planning in Advance Insurance
8 min read

How to Protect Your Finances as You Age

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 6/12/23 10:00 AM

Freedom. Enjoyment. Stress-free. 

Those are the top three words that workers surveyed by the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies said they associate with retirement. However, to enjoy freedom in retirement and live stress-free as you age, you need to take steps to protect your finances. Otherwise, you could end up facing the biggest fears that those surveyed by TCRS said they have about retirement: outliving savings and declining health that requires long-term care.

Topics: Financial Planning
2 min read

5 Tips for Staying Safe Online

By NAIC on 6/9/23 10:00 AM

If you're like most Americans, you use the internet every day. But how can you keep yourself and your data safe? Learn how with these five tips.

Topics: Data Security
4 min read

What Are the Types of Life Insurance?

By NAIC on 6/5/23 10:00 AM


All life insurance policies have one thing in common – they're designed to pay money to the "named beneficiaries" when you die. The beneficiaries can be one or more individuals or even an organization. In most cases, policies are purchased by the person whose life is insured, but life insurance policies can be taken out by spouses or anyone who is able to prove they have an insurable interest in the person.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Insurance
4 min read

Everything You Need to Know About Annuities

By NAIC on 6/2/23 10:00 AM

Annuities are a financial contract with an insurance company that make a series of income payments to you at regular intervals in return for a premium and premiums previously paid. The value in an annuity contract is the amount in premiums you have paid, minus any applicable charges, plus any interest your premiums have earned. There are two types of annuity products: deferred annuities and fixed deferred annuities.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities
1 min read

Celebrate National 529 College Savings Plan Day With NAIFA

By NAIFA on 5/29/23 8:00 AM

NAIFA is proud to celebrate National 529 College Savings Plan Day today! It's a day that holds special significance for parents, students, and guardians. The importance of a 529 College Savings Plan when it comes to financial planning should not be overlooked! 

Well what is a 529 College Savings Plan? A 529 plan is an education savings plan designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, these plans are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions, and offer tax advantages to boost educational savings.

Topics: Financial Literacy Financial Security
3 min read

Health Insurance for Military Service Members & Families

By NAIC on 5/26/23 10:00 AM

Before purchasing any insurance policy, ask the agent specific questions about how the company handles issues related to the military deployment of their policyholders. Each company’s practices can vary. Compare prices and the level of service across a few different insurance providers. By shopping around, you may be able to find an insurer that specializes in the needs of service members.

Topics: Insurance Veterans
1 min read

NAIFA Celebrates National Lucky Penny Day!

By NAIFA on 5/23/23 8:00 AM

On May 23rd, we celebrate National Lucky Penny Day. The penny may be the smallest denomination of American currency, but it has a big story to tell. In today's society, finding a penny is often seen as a sign of good luck.

This is also a perfect day to look at the power of the penny when it comes to saving and investing!            

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
3 min read

A Guide to Homeowner's Insurance

By NAIC on 5/22/23 10:00 AM

Homeowners insurance is a financial protection policy that pays a lump sum if your house is damaged or destroyed by fire, weather, theft, or other disasters.

Topics: Insurance
4 min read

What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

By NAIC on 5/19/23 10:00 AM

Long–term care insurance is different from medical care because it generally helps you to live as you live now instead of improving or correcting medical problems. People often think of long-term care as strictly nursing home care. Long-term care services actually may include help with activities of daily living, home care, respite care, hospice care, or adult day care. This care may be given in your own home, a daycare facility, assisted living facility, a nursing home, or a hospice facility.

Topics: Long-Term Care Medicaid Medicare Long-Term Care Insurance Insurance
4 min read

Tempted by FOMO? Ask Yourself These 7 Questions

By EveryIncome on 5/15/23 10:00 AM

Your best friend invites you to her unexpected destination wedding. The $3,000 tropical trip is next month.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Security
1 min read

Is Your Family Covered? Exploring the Need for Disability Insurance

By NAIFA on 5/12/23 10:47 AM

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month which focuses on ensuring that Americans are protected if they cannot work due to illness or injury. Rick Cordaro, DIA, DIF, LUTCF is the Disability Income Regional Vice President at Principal and was recently featured in an Insurance News Net article about protecting gig economy workers with disability insurance. We're #NAIFAproud of Rick's dedication to serving Main Street Americans. You can read his InsuranceNewsNet article here

4 min read

Yours, Mine & Ours: How Couples Counselors Say You Should Talk About Money

By EveryIncome on 5/12/23 10:00 AM

When we fall in love, everything is idealized. We promise to spend our lives together. We make plans for the future. And we often forget to talk about money.

As more couples wait until later into adulthood to get married, it becomes more of a challenge to blend households, says Ted Chapin, Ph.D., President of Chapin & Russell Associates in Peoria, Ill., and a licensed clinical psychologist.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Wellness Financial Literacy
3 min read

Need Extra Income? Harness Your Passion to Earn It

By EveryIncome on 5/8/23 10:00 AM

If you’re looking to generate extra income, a great place to start is by looking at the things to which you’re already devoting time and energy.

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning
6 min read

How Financial Care Is Part of Aging in Place

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 5/5/23 10:00 AM

If you want to age in place, your home will likely need modifications to allow you to remain there as long as possible. However, successfully aging in place requires more than just a first-floor bathroom and bedroom, wide doors, entrance ramps and other accessibility features.

Topics: Gerontology/Aging Potential Partners for Advisors
2 min read

Avoid Spending Too Much In These 4 Areas

By EveryIncome on 5/1/23 10:00 AM

Budgeting seems to come naturally for some people. For others, however, it takes research, discipline, and shrewd analysis. Americans sometimes overspend in unexpected areas; small purchases can add up fast, and some recurring charges are easy to miss. If it seems like you’re spending just as much as you’re taking in, evaluate your spending in these four areas. By making a few small changes (or some big ones), you can improve your spending habits and keep your finances in check.

Topics: Planning in Advance Budgeting
4 min read

Which Type of Business Ownership Is Right for You?

By EveryIncome on 4/28/23 10:00 AM

Before launching your new venture, you’ll need to determine which type of business ownership works best for your situation.

Topics: Planning in Advance Small Business Financial Wellness
1 min read

NAIFA Embraces National Teach Your Children to Save Day

By NAIFA on 4/27/23 7:00 AM

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is dedicated to equipping individuals with the necessary financial know-how and confidence to successfully navigate their financial lives. That's why we're wholeheartedly embracing National Teach Your Children to Save Day, a nationwide initiative focused on providing young people with the vital skills and resources needed to make informed financial choices.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security
1 min read

NAIFA celebrates National Financial Awareness Day

By NAIFA on 4/25/23 7:00 AM

At NAIFA, we're devoted to empowering individuals with the financial knowledge and confidence they need to effectively manage their resources. That's the driving force behind our enthusiasm for National Financial Awareness Day, a nationwide effort centered on equipping people with the essential skills and resources to make wise financial decisions.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Financial Security
3 min read

How to Find the Best Health Savings Account

By EveryIncome on 4/24/23 10:00 AM

Do you have high-deductible health insurance? If so, you may have the option to open a health savings account (HSA) to help buffer your finances against damaging medical debt.

If you can get an HSA, you definitely should. Here’s why.

Topics: Health Care Tax Savings Health Savings Accounts Savings
6 min read

Long-Term Care Insurance: When to Buy It & More

By Coventry on 4/21/23 10:00 AM

For many seniors, long-term care (LTC) insurance—an insurance policy that helps pay for chronic medical care—can be a worthwhile choice. After all, nearly 70% of seniors aged 65 or older will require some form of long-term care in their lifetime—a service that can be prohibitively expensive, setting families back thousands of dollars a month.

But is long-term care insurance worth it? This policy tends to come at a steep price: in the U.S., for example, the average 55-year-old man pays an annual premium of $2,220. And thanks to insurance marketing tactics, potential buyers often believe that they’ll spend years in a nursing facility—which isn’t always the case.

Topics: Long-Term Care Financial Planning Extended Care Planning in Advance Long-Term Care Insurance Insurance
1 min read

NAIFA Celebrates Money Smart Week

By NAIFA on 4/19/23 10:00 AM

At NAIFA, we're passionate about helping people become more financially savvy and confident in managing their money. That's why we're excited to celebrate Money Smart Week, a nationwide initiative focused on empowering individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to make smarter financial decisions.

Money Smart Week is all about raising awareness of the value of financial literacy, ensuring everyone has access to essential financial resources, and highlighting the importance of making wise money choices. Our goal is to improve the financial well-being of everyone, acknowledging the unique challenges many people face when it comes to managing their finances.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security
5 min read

What to Do After You File Your Taxes

By EveryIncome on 4/17/23 10:00 AM

You’ve filed your taxes and now feel like you can sigh a big sigh of relief.

While you can, there are still important steps you should take now that your taxes are filed. Tax preparation should take place all year long, not just in the month of April. The more proactive you are throughout the year, the easier it is to stay on track with your taxes.

First, let’s look at what you should do immediately after filing your taxes.

Topics: Financial Planning Taxes Financial Wellness
4 min read

Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Aging Parents’ Home Safe

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 4/14/23 10:00 AM

Your parents will likely want to remain in their home as they age. The problem is, their home likely doesn’t have the features your parents need to live safely and comfortably. In fact, only 10% of homes are aging-ready, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

1 min read

Free Webinar: Financial Wellness Concepts & Career Opportunities

By NAIFA on 4/13/23 10:00 AM

Financial wellness is more than understanding how to budget and manage your money – it’s about having security and stability planning for the short-term and long-term. It means setting financial priorities and thinking about how you want your future self to live.

On April 25, Retirement Council Inc., Financial Advisor Joeseph Chalom, CLU, RICP, LUTCF, LACP,  will provide an overview of how to achieve financial security in the webinar "Financial Wellness Concepts & Career Opportunities." This one-hour crash course provides you with the tools to create the best, most financially sound plan for you and your family.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Careers in Financial Services
2 min read

NAIFA Highlights the Importance of Financial Security for Women on National Equal Pay Day

By NAIFA on 4/11/23 4:58 PM

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is dedicated to promoting equal pay across the United States year-round. Today, we celebrate National Equal Pay Day by shining a spotlight on the unique financial planning challenges that women face. 

3 min read

How to Negotiate Medical Bills

By EveryIncome on 4/10/23 10:00 AM

The leading cause of individual bankruptcy in America? Health-care expenses.

According to CNBC, 67 percent of individual bankruptcies arise from high medical bills, which affect around 530,000 families each year.

Thankfully, there are tools to help you manage medical debt and stave off financial ruin. But did you know you can also negotiate your medical bill as soon as you get it, or even before you see it?

3 min read

Snowball vs. Avalanche: Which Debt-reduction Strategy Is Right for You?

By EveryIncome on 4/7/23 10:00 AM

Debt is the worst.

Sometimes people draw distinctions between “good” and “bad” debt, but for most of us, this is mostly just unhelpful hairsplitting. Debt is no fun even when you get something out of it, such as a college education.

We all tend to have a few different debts, often including student loan debt, credit card debt, and debt from medical expenses.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Debt
1 min read

NAIFA Celebrates Financial Literacy Month

By NAIFA on 4/5/23 10:00 AM

NAIFA is dedicated to promoting financial literacy education across the United States year-round. Each April, we shine a spotlight on local, state, and national efforts to provide Americans with financial wellness education.

2 min read

Paid To Take Online Surveys: Is It Worth Your Time?

By EveryIncome on 4/3/23 10:00 AM

Everyone has opinions, right? And who doesn’t like making money?

The prospect of earning money sharing your views in an online survey might seem too tempting to turn down. Plenty of websites offer that opportunity.

Of course, answering surveys could never become a full-time career — and if you find anyone touting that, you’ve probably uncovered a scam.

But is it worth your time to take a few of these “pop quizzes” for cash while, for example, waiting in the doctor’s office?

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Wellness
3 min read

Tax-Sheltered Savings Options: How to Keep More of Your Money

By EveryIncome on 3/31/23 10:00 AM

The phrase “tax shelter” may sound sketchy, but the term is a little misleading. Law-abiding citizens can invest their income in several perfectly legal tax-sheltered savings accounts. These savings strategies allow you to reduce your taxable income and keep more cash in your pocket.

Topics: Financial Planning Tax Savings Taxes Financial Wellness
3 min read

How To Get Out—And Stay Out—Of Debt

By EveryIncome on 3/27/23 10:00 AM

It might not be easy to get out of debt, but it is absolutely worth it. Start with these debt-elimination tips. The increased flexibility and peace of mind you gain when you’re no longer saddled with debt can transform your life — including your mental health.

By acquiring a few good financial habits, you can not only get yourself out of whatever debt you’re in right now but also live debt free indefinitely.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Financial Security Debt
3 min read

How To (Legally) Reduce Your Taxes

By EveryIncome on 3/24/23 10:00 AM

Let’s face it: No one likes paying taxes.

When you start to think about how much of your hard-earned money goes toward them, it can get frustrating—particularly when it comes time to file your taxes, and you see the yearly totals.

While there’s no way to avoid taxes altogether, there are ways to legally reduce how much you pay. Below are a few tips and tricks for keeping more money in your pocket.

Topics: Financial Planning Tax Savings Taxes Financial Wellness
3 min read

Get Debt Help from Your Creditors: How They Can Help You Pay Down Debt Faster

By EveryIncome on 3/20/23 10:00 AM

Debt can be scary, overwhelming, and isolating. When all you can afford is the minimum payment on a high-interest-rate credit card, it’s too easy to believe that you will never get out of the red.

Where can you turn for debt help? Here’s a debt elimination tip that you shouldn’t overlook: The answer might be the creditors themselves. They have the same goal in mind — helping you find the best and quickest strategies to pay down your debt.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Debt
4 min read

The Self-employed Person’s Guide to Tax Planning

By EveryIncome on 3/17/23 10:00 AM

Are you one of the many individuals who are taking charge of their careers by choosing to become self-employed?

If so, you need to take charge of your record keeping (especially for tax purposes), and that process can be a bit daunting. Here are some tips that will help you achieve the best financial outcome and ease the pressures of tax season.

Topics: Financial Planning Tax Savings Taxes Financial Wellness
4 min read

5 Products That Make Tax Planning Easier

By EveryIncome on 3/13/23 10:00 AM

Tax planning is not always simple or straightforward, but there are a variety of affordable products that can help guide you through the process and make it as efficient as possible.

These five top-rated tax-planning products can help you navigate your tax-filing journey, allowing you to reach the best outcome for your individual financial and business goals.

Topics: Financial Planning Taxes Financial Wellness
3 min read

Make Money as a Landlord Without It Being a Dirty Word

By EveryIncome on 3/10/23 10:00 AM

There’s something slightly grand and sinister about the word “landlord,” harking back to medieval days of feudal serfdom when the lord lived off the fat of the land and the toil of the peasants.

These days, though, landlords are half of a mutually beneficial relationship that can earn them a nice income.

But how do you become a landlord, and what are the most efficient ways of earning money through rental properties?

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness
4 min read

Picking A Side Hustle to Help Reduce Your Debt

By EveryIncome on 3/6/23 10:00 AM

Paying off debt is hard. If you have a little extra time, energy, creativity and motivation, you should strongly consider starting a side hustle.

Most of us have some debt. But there’s good debt and there’s bad debt.

Taking out a mortgage or student loan are examples of good debt because both will generate money over time.

Credit card debt is an example of bad debt. And most of us have it.

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Wellness Debt
3 min read

The 4 Best Free Tax Calculators on the Internet

By EveryIncome on 3/3/23 10:00 AM

Taxes can be a headache, so if you’re always looking for tools to make them easier, we don’t blame you. An online tax calculator might be the answer.

However, don’t wait to calculate your taxes until the night before April 15. To avoid any nasty surprises, it’s good to think about taxes year-round and make a point of regularly estimating how much you might owe. 

This is where an online tax calculator can help. This tool can save you a lot of time estimating the amount of money you might owe.

Here are four of the best free tax calculators.

Topics: Financial Planning Taxes Financial Wellness
3 min read

Which Is Better, an Annuity or an IRA?

By EveryIncome on 2/24/23 10:00 AM

“Should I buy an annuity with my 401(k) or roll my 401(k) into an IRA?” Many people struggle with the annuity vs. an IRA question as they approach retirement.

Before we delve into the pros and cons, it’s important to understand the nature of each type of retirement plan. Below are brief descriptions.

Topics: Retirement Planning Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Retirement Plans
2 min read

Can You Live off Dividends in Retirement?

By EveryIncome on 2/20/23 10:00 AM

A dividend is a return on your investment paid out at intervals throughout the year, typically on a quarterly cycle, by the company in which you purchased shares.

Established, financially secure companies are more likely to issue dividends, an indication that funds are plentiful and that the company is able to both reinvest in its operations and reward shareholders.

Many investors put their money into dividend-paying stocks because they offer a significantly better return than bonds, and they are typically not high-risk investments.

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Financial Wellness Financial Literacy
6 min read

How to Find the Best Mortgage Refinance Rates

By Home.com on 2/17/23 10:00 AM

When mortgage refinance rates drop, many homeowners begin to do the math to see if mortgage refinancing should be in their future. 

Refinancing for a lower interest rate can save them money. But how do you get the best mortgage refinance rates? 

This post will look at mortgage refinancing pros and cons, what to look for in a mortgage refinance lender, and what steps you can take to get the best refinance rates.

5 min read

What Does ‘Mortgage Rate Lock’ Mean for You?

By Home.com on 2/13/23 10:00 AM

Mortgage interest rates fluctuate often, which can make it frustrating for homebuyers to snag their ideal rate at closing time. This is where a mortgage rate lock comes in.

Locking in your interest rate can save you the stress of losing a great rate while you wait to close on your mortgage. 

Generally, the benefits far outweigh the risks, but working closely with your loan officer will help you make the right moves.

Learn what a mortgage rate lock does, when you should do it, and why it is beneficial in most loan scenarios.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy
3 min read

When to Consider ‘Married Filing Separately’ on Income Taxes

By EveryIncome on 2/10/23 10:00 AM

Most married couples never think about filing their taxes separately. They simply check off “married filing jointly” on their tax form and move on to the hard questions.

Generally speaking, a married couple should file their taxes together. Filing jointly combines a couple’s two incomes into one amount, which, after excluding nontaxable income, becomes the couple’s adjusted gross income (AGI). This larger number may push a couple’s income into the eligibility zone of certain deductions and credits.

Nevertheless, there are certain situations when you should consider opting for “married filing separately”.

Topics: Financial Planning Tax Savings Tax Benefits Taxes Financial Literacy
5 min read

Should I Refinance My Mortgage to Pay Off Debt?

By Home.com on 2/6/23 10:00 AM

If you’re saddled with significant debt, you might wonder if refinancing your mortgage to pay off debt is a good idea.

Millions of Americans are dealing with consumer debt—estimated to have increased to $15.31 trillion in the third quarter (or Q3) of 2021, an increase of 5.4% or $772 billion.

And consumer debt is not the only kind they have to figure out how to repay. 

Topics: Planning in Advance Loan Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Debt
4 min read

What Is an Annuity and How Does It Work?

By EveryIncome on 2/3/23 10:00 AM

Despite Americans holding over $2 trillion in variable annuities, the average person knows little about how annuity retirement plans work or their pros and cons.

What is an annuity?

An annuity is a special type of life insurance that provides reliable income in retirement. You make premium payments toward the annuity during your working life or purchase the annuity with a lump sum before retirement.

6 min read

What to Know About the Different Types of Long-Term Care

By Cameron Huddleston on 1/31/23 10:00 AM

Realizing that a parent or loved one needs long-term care can be a tough pill to swallow. It can be hard to watch as a once healthy and active person can no longer manage simple tasks on his or her own. It can be even tougher to have the long-term care conversation with your loved one. After all, who wants to be told that she is no longer capable of caring for herself?

Topics: Long-Term Care Long-Term Care Insurance Insurance
3 min read

Retained Death Benefits: What Are They and Why Are They So Important?

By Coventry on 1/27/23 10:00 AM

Life insurance can be a financial lifeline for your family should something happen to you, but it also comes with a financial responsibility that can be challenging to keep up with. There is a way to reduce the cost of paying for a life insurance policy while still ensuring security for your loved ones. Retained death benefits, a form of life settlement payout, gives the policy owner the option to retain a portion of the death benefit for their beneficiary while removing the burden of policy premiums. You can even elect to receive a combination of cash and coverage with no future premium obligations.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Insurance
2 min read

Income-focused Investing for Beginners

By EveryIncome on 1/23/23 10:00 AM

Investing for the future can be daunting, and people have different priorities and financial strategies.

While some investors are attracted to taking more risks, especially when they’re young and have time to recover, many investors prefer an approach that yields peace of mind over wealth accumulation.

This approach, known as income-focused investing, emphasizes the virtue of stability and embraces a “slow and steady wins the race” ideology.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Investing Financial Literacy
6 min read

The Right Way to Use a Credit Card in Place of an Emergency Fund

By EveryIncome on 1/20/23 10:00 AM

Emergencies aren’t fun and they are even worse if you don’t have an emergency fund saved. In today’s tough times, many people have either blown through their emergency fund or just weren’t able to save one. 

That doesn’t mean that emergencies won’t happen, though. So, what are you to do? 

You’ve heard credit card debt is bad and who wants to put themselves further into debt, right? While it’s not ideal, a credit card can bail you out in an emergency. 

Here’s what you need to know to keep it from putting you further into debt. 

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy Emergency Savings Savings Budgeting
5 min read

When Will Interest Rates Go Down?

By Home.com on 1/13/23 10:00 AM

Mortgage rates have been consistently on the rise as the Fed struggles to battle inflation. 

With a recession looming in the distance, you might ask yourself: “Is now the right time to buy a house?” 

It’s an understandable question considering how inflation has soared, house prices are high, and mortgage rates keep rising in response. No one wants to make a wrong financial decision. 

But it might not be a bad financial decision to buy a house right now. Let’s talk through mortgage rates, how they work, and whether or not today is the right time to buy a home, given the state of the market.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Loan Financial Literacy Budgeting
7 min read

Buyer's Guide to USDA Loan Credit Score Requirements

By Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. on 1/9/23 10:00 AM

The USDA home loan credit score requirement is surprisingly reasonable, especially considering that it’s a 0% down mortgage.

Most lenders require a 620 minimum credit score, but if your score falls below that, you’re still in the game. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t set a hard minimum, which means lenders can still approve you with a lower score.

Wondering how? We’ll break down the USDA credit score requirements and what you can do to increase your chances of qualifying for a mortgage.

Topics: Financial Planning Loan Financial Literacy
23 min read

Down Payment Assistance: 50-State Guide to Homebuying Programs

By Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. on 1/6/23 10:00 AM

Short on cash for your mortgage down payment? You’re not alone.

A Realtor.com study revealed that 45% of first-time homebuyers cited a lack of down payment funds as their biggest barrier to buying. It was the most-cited homebuying barrier by a wide margin. 

After all, even a small down payment on a modest home requires thousands of dollars — a tough hurdle, especially as today’s rising rent prices make it even harder to set aside money.

But you may not need to save a huge down payment all by yourself. Many loan programs offer low and no down payment options, and you may also qualify for down payment assistance*.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Loan Financial Literacy
6 min read

Paying for Long-Term Care: Know Your Options

By Coventry on 12/22/22 10:32 AM

The decision to move yourself or a loved one into long-term care can be a difficult one, and determining how to pay for long-term care can add unnecessary stress to a phase of life that’s already full of transitions. Understanding the costs you may encounter and developing a proactive plan to afford long-term care can help ease the burdens that accompany it.

Topics: Long-Term Care Extended Care Limited Care Limited & Extended Care Planning Center
4 min read

How Much Home Can I Afford?

By Home.com on 12/16/22 10:00 AM

Deciding to own a home is not only a major lifestyle change but also likely one of your biggest investments.

When searching for a home, you’ll want to consider your comfort on many levels – including what you can reasonably afford.

We’ve provided a guide to the basic factors that impact how much home you can afford, including details about your personal finances and the costs of a mortgage.

As you move toward buying a home, a loan officer can recommend the most affordable loan options and help you nail down more specific costs of owning a home.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Loan Financial Literacy
6 min read

What Are Experts Predicting About Mortgage Rates?

By Home.com on 12/12/22 10:00 AM

If you’re considering purchasing a new home, you’ve likely been paying attention to mortgage rates. 

Unless a homebuyer can make a cash offer to buy a home, mortgage rates can make a big difference toward when they buy and what kind of home loan product they use.

The housing market has been quite volatile over the last couple of years. Mortgage rates had incredible lows at the beginning of the pandemic, but, as expected, rate increases came about this year.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Loan Financial Literacy
6 min read

What is a Financing Contingency on a Purchase Contract?

By EveryIncome on 12/9/22 10:00 AM

When you sign a purchase contract, you’re signing a legally binding agreement. Most of the time you also put down earnest money. If you back out of the contract without any reason that’s legally backed, you lose your earnest money, which could be thousands of dollars.

Since buying a home is one of the largest purchases you’ll make, you want to enter the contract carefully. You sign a contract that doesn’t work in your favor, but you also don’t want to have so many contingencies that a seller won’t accept your bid.

One of the most popular contingencies you can add to a purchase contract is a financing contingency. Understanding what it is and how it works is important.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security
7 min read

Your Complete Guide to Managing Medical Debt

By EveryIncome on 12/5/22 10:00 AM

The level of medical debt in America is shockingly high.

According to Debt.org, America’s debt-help organization, the average cost to an individual to stay in a hospital is $3,949 per day. And the average healthcare consumer pays more than $10,000 per year. As a nation, we spent $3.5 trillion in 2017 for health care.

The numbers paint a bleak picture. Americans pay more for health care than anyone in the world, and the impact of facing extreme medical debt can be financially devastating for individuals and families.

Yet despite what the numbers say, there are ways to lessen the financial burden of individual or family health care. Find out how in this guide to managing medical debt.

Topics: Health Care Health Savings Accounts Debt Budgeting
3 min read

Budgeting for a New Baby: Don’t Let Finances Keep You Up at Night

By EveryIncome on 12/2/22 10:00 AM

Whether you are deciding to have a child after years of planning or your new bundle of joy is an unexpected addition, having kids is expensive. From diapers and childcare to braces and college, parents sign themselves up for a continuous barrage of purchases, both large and small. Child-related expenses can add up on their own, but parents often have their own unrelated financial situations to consider. Budgeting and financial planning are critical for new or expecting parents, and these tips can help you start parenthood on firm financial footing.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy Budgeting
2 min read

Make More Money by Assessing Your Lifetime Income Potential

By EveryIncome on 11/28/22 10:00 AM

Virtually everyone would choose to make more money if given the opportunity, but choices that impact your lifetime income potential are rarely that clear-cut. A variety of factors influence the amount of money a person makes, and the choices they make throughout their lifetime help to dictate their ability to earn money. Taking a hard look at your lifetime income potential can help you make more money in the long term, allowing you to financially support your lifestyle and retire in comfort.

Topics: Retirement Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy
6 min read

How Real Estate can be a Good Investment During Inflation

By EveryIncome on 11/25/22 10:00 AM

If you’re sadly looking at your portfolio and wondering what happened, you aren’t alone. Inflation has hurt a lot of portfolios because businesses are struggling to stay afloat. The higher the costs get, the harder it is for companies to be profitable, which hurts stock prices. 

If you’re only invested in the stock market, you could be doing yourself a disservice. During high inflationary times like now, it’s best to diversify your portfolio and the best way to do it is by investing in real estate. 

Topics: Financial Planning Investing Financial Literacy
2 min read

Retirement Planning and More: 3 Questions to Ask Your Aging Parents

By EveryIncome on 11/21/22 10:00 AM

As people get older, many must begin to rely more upon their children for care and support. Even the most independent retirees often chat with their kids to discuss finances, medical concerns, and housing plans for their golden years. Some people wait until they experience an accident or health scare to share their plans with loved ones, while others put off these conversations until it is too late.

People with aging parents (or retirees with adult children) should be proactive about discussing these difficult topics and life decisions. If you are an adult with aging parents, consider sitting down with them to discuss retirement planning, estate planning, and their wishes regarding housing and end-of-life care. 

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Lifestyle Planning
5 min read

Why You Need a Trusted Contact to Protect Your Finances

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 11/18/22 10:00 AM

Think back to the last time you went to a doctor’s office or medical facility. You likely were asked to name an emergency contact, and you probably didn’t hesitate to write down the name of your significant other, a family member, or a friend. 

It makes sense to have someone medical personnel can get in touch with if something happens to you. After all, this can ensure your well-being. 

But what about your financial well-being? If your financial institutions and advisors asked you to name a trusted contact, would you be willing to provide the name of someone they could reach out to if they were concerned about activity in your account and couldn’t reach you?

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning
7 min read

Choosing a Mortgage Lender: The Number One Question to Ask

By Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. on 11/14/22 10:00 AM

You’ve got a lot of decisions to make when you buy a home: property type, city, neighborhood, square footage, amount of yard space.

But choosing a mortgage lender is almost as important as choosing your home, especially in today’s real estate market. The right lender can help you gain a competitive edge over other buyers and get into the home you want.

Topics: Reverse Mortgages Loan Financial Literacy
8 min read

Financial Risks That Make It Difficult to Age in Place

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 11/7/22 10:00 AM

An overwhelming majority of older adults want to remain in their homes as they age. A survey by AARP found that 77% of adults 50 and older want to age in place. Other surveys have found that the percentage is even higher—nearly 90%.

It’s one thing to want to age in place. It’s another thing altogether to actually be able to make it work. That’s because there are several financial factors that can jeopardize adults’ ability to remain in their homes as long as possible. In fact, without adequate financial security and safeguards, living independently at home isn’t possible.

It’s important to understand the financial risks that can make it difficult to age in place and to take steps to reduce those risks.

Topics: Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Financial Security
5 min read

How First-time Homebuyers Can Compete as Prices Rise

By Home.com on 11/4/22 10:00 AM

It’s a seller’s market out there. 

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy
5 min read

6 Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund in Retirement

By Carefull on 10/31/22 10:00 AM

An emergency fund—money dedicated to unexpected expenses—should be part of every household budget. When things go south, you won’t have to go into debt to fix them. While the fund might not be enough to completely cover truly serious emergencies, it will at least reduce the amount you have to finance.

During your working years, an emergency fund is a big help. During retirement, it’s crucial to your budget. After all, you’re living on a fixed income. You can’t take on a little overtime to help pay for that transmission repair.

Here are six reasons why an emergency fund is essential.

Topics: Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security Budgeting
6 min read

6 Financial Tasks Retirees Should Tackle Now to Stay Independent and in Control

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 10/28/22 10:00 AM

One of the key needs that people have is to be autonomous. In other words, it’s human nature to want to feel independent and in control. 

For those near or in retirement, financial independence is especially important. You need to have the resources to live comfortably and securely without a regular paycheck. You also need to protect those resources. 

That requires putting systems and safeguards in place. To remain financially independent and in control, tackle these tasks sooner rather than later.

Topics: Retirement Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Financial Wellness Financial Literacy
3 min read

Don’t Let Impulse Buys Damage Your Financial Health: Use the 30-day Rule

By EveryIncome on 10/24/22 10:00 AM

Impulse buys happen to all of us. You’re in a store or on a shopping website, and you see something you really want to buy. It’s a new release of software you own, an expensive pair of shoes marked down to half price, or a miter saw that will work way better than the 15-year-old one you currently own.

You know you want it. Do you need it, though? You’ve already pledged to save money for an emergency fund. This purchase will make a dent in that fund.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Budgeting
8 min read

What You Need to Know About Retirement Plans

By EveryIncome on 10/21/22 10:00 AM

When you retire, do you plan on doing one or more of the following?

  • Travel the world and explore exotic locales
  • Spoil your grandchildren
  • Relax in your beach house or mountain cabin
  • Live comfortably until you pass away

Internally, we all have big dreams for that day when we finally step down from our job and step into a life of leisure in our golden years.

But those dreams will require money. Lots of money.

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Financial Literacy Retirement Plans Individual Retirement Accounts
4 min read

A Guide to the Different Types of VA Loans

By Home.com on 10/17/22 10:00 AM

f you’re a veteran, active duty service member, or surviving spouse, you have specific mortgage loan options available to you.

VA loans are offered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

They can be used to build or purchase a home, refinance a mortgage, or make repairs. And they offer numerous benefits to borrowers.

Learn more about the VA loan types available to you, the benefits, and how to qualify.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy
4 min read

Which Credit Scores Do Mortgage Lenders Use?

By Home.com on 10/14/22 10:00 AM

If you have a credit card, chances are you’ve gotten a letter or email encouraging you to check your FICO credit score. 

But what is this score, and where does it come from?

Depending on the types of credit you have, you likely have multiple FICO scores. 

Mortgage lenders check these scores to evaluate your creditworthiness when you are looking to buy a home or refinance.

Learn why mortgage lenders look at your credit scores, how they use them, and which scores your lender may use when applying for a mortgage or refinancing.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy
3 min read

Where You Put Your Savings Depends on What They’re For

By EveryIncome on 10/10/22 10:00 AM

So you’ve decided to put away some savings. Great choice. It’s never too soon to start.

A lot of Americans don’t have any savings, and many don’t have enough to last them through their retirement years, so you’re smart to make this decision.

But where should you put the money? Here’s how you can make good choices.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Financial Security Savings
3 min read

Should Real Estate Mutual Funds Be Part of Your Portfolio?

By EveryIncome on 10/7/22 10:00 AM

Even novice investors know that the key to investing is ensuring you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Diversifying your portfolio allows you to hold a mix of low-risk, stable ventures alongside higher-risk investments that could produce significantly larger returns.

For those new to investing, mutual funds are an excellent place to start.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Investing Financial Literacy
6 min read

Freezing Your Credit – Should You and How Do You Do It?

By EveryIncome on 10/3/22 10:00 AM

If you’ve been hacked or your identity stolen, you know how vulnerable it can feel and how scary. Trying to make sense of it all and get your account straightened out can months or longer depending on how bad it is.

Even if you haven’t had the misfortune of experiencing identity theft, it can still be scary knowing your information could be out there on the dark web or in the hands of a hacker and you might not even know it.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security
6 min read

The Do’s and Don’ts of Retirement

By EveryIncome on 9/30/22 10:00 AM

Retiring is an exciting time in your life, but it can also be the scariest. Suddenly you are without an income and must be self-sufficient. Getting yourself to that point is the key to success. You must plan carefully and know what you need before you retire. 

Here are the tops dos and don’ts of retirement to help you make the most of your golden years. 

Topics: Retirement Planning Planning in Advance Retirement
6 min read

The Best Fall Home Improvements to Increase Home Value

By Home.com on 9/26/22 10:00 AM

Primary residences make up a quarter of all assets held by households in America and continue to be the biggest asset for homeowners. 

Whether you intend to build equity or get top dollar when you sell, repairs and smart improvements can protect your asset and even increase home value. 

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy
6 min read

The Top Ways to Hurt Your Credit Score

By EveryIncome on 9/23/22 10:00 AM

Your credit score is one of the most important factors in your personal finance life. A bad credit score can make it impossible to get approved for a loan, get good insurance rates, or even get a job sometimes.

Knowing what can hurt your credit score can help you keep your credit score in good standing. 

Topics: Debt Savings Budgeting
4 min read

Is an FHA Mortgage Loan Right for You?

By Home.com on 9/19/22 10:00 AM

Becoming a first-time homebuyer can be exciting and overwhelming. While the first step in purchasing your new home is obtaining a mortgage, you will also need to decide on the mortgage type you want. You may have heard that an FHA mortgage loan is a great option.

But you may be wondering, “What is an FHA loan, and is it the right loan for a first-time homebuyer?” For most, an FHA loan is appealing because it can be easier to qualify for than a conventional loan. It has many advantages that are worth learning about before deciding to make such a large financial commitment. 

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy
3 min read

Real Estate Investment Return Calculator

By EveryIncome on 9/16/22 10:00 AM

Before buying an investment property, you want to make sure you’ll make money off it. One way real estate investors evaluate investment profitability is by calculating return on investment, or ROI, which measures cash return expressed as a percentage of total investment cost on an annual basis.

You can calculate ROI yourself using a simple formula, or you can use a real estate investment return calculator.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Investing Financial Literacy Financial Security
3 min read

What Is a Good Investment Property?

By EveryIncome on 9/12/22 4:56 PM

Smart investors know that investing in real estate is what the cool kids do. If you’re careful about the properties you buy, it can be a venture with a tremendous upside and a comparatively low downside.

First, you should know that real estate is an investment that diversifies portfolios, pays off its own debt, and produces predictable and stable cash returns, even when you’re sound asleep.

And once you generate enough profit, you can use your returns to buy more properties. In other words, your houses can buy you more houses. It’s the snowball effect of snowball effects.

However, to find success as a real estate investor, you’ll need to know how to pick the good apples from the bushel.

Topics: Financial Planning Investing Financial Literacy Financial Security
1 min read

NAIFA Members Help Spread the Word About Life Insurance Awareness Month

By NAIFA on 9/9/22 10:14 AM

NAIFA-Los Angeles members have worked with local and state elected representatives to get official recognition of September as Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM). The City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, and California State Senate have all issued resolutions or certificates recognizing NAIFA and LIAM.

Topics: Life Insurance Awareness Month State Advocacy
3 min read

4 Secrets to Successful Investing

By EveryIncome on 9/9/22 10:00 AM

Buy! Sell! Bull! Bear!

It’s no wonder people are spooked by the frequent fluctuations of the stock market. Financial news websites and TV channels frequently dramatize the highs and lows of the financial world.

So why would you want to put your money into a marketplace that is often compared to the latest hair-raising roller-coaster ride?

Because there’s a better solution than fretting over each day’s gains and losses. Instead, consider taking a long-term approach to investment, which is a proven method of accumulating wealth and ensuring your financial future.

Topics: Investing

Get Out the Vote: Know Your Registration Deadlines

By NAIFA on 9/7/22 10:00 AM

Did you know? Most states require voters to register 2-4 weeks before election day. Don't wait until the last minute — find your state's registration deadline with NAIFA's Get Out the Vote. Find links to register to vote as well as information on the candidates and ballot measures you'll be voting on.

6 min read

Emergency Funds – How Much Is Too Much?

By EveryIncome on 9/5/22 10:00 AM

Everyone needs an emergency fund to use should they experience the unexpected. Job loss, falling ill, or having other major financial catastrophes can wreak havoc on your finances. When you have an emergency fund set aside, though, you can focus on overcoming the emergency and not stress about how you’ll pay your bills. 

But is there such a thing as having too much money saved for an emergency? 

There could be. Saving too much for the wrong reason can cause you to feel it in other areas. Here’s what you should know.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy Financial Security Emergency Savings Savings
3 min read

Real Estate Investment Mortgage Rates

By EveryIncome on 9/2/22 10:00 AM

Mortgage interest rates play a large role in how much mortgages cost, and they can also affect your cash flow.

Understanding real estate investment mortgage rates can help you find properties you can afford and profit from, as well as organize your finances before you head into a deal.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Investing
2 min read

Consider Your Life Insurance Needs During Life Insurance Awareness Month

By NAIFA on 9/1/22 10:00 AM

Life insurance is a crucial part of any solid financial plan, but 41% of Americans say they don’t have sufficient life insurance coverage. That's why NAIFA partner Life Happens created Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) and why NAIFA strongly supports efforts to promote the benefits of life insurance during September and all year long. For agents and advisors, LIAM is the perfect time to meet with your clients to make sure their life insurance coverage meets their needs. 

This year's LIAM spokesperson is Roselyn Sánchez, actress, producer, proud Puerto Rican, and mother. She is featured on many of the LIAM promotional materials available from Life Happens.

"Let's educate people about the importance of life insurance so they can make that easy decision for their family," Sánchez says.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Life Insurance Awareness Month
2 min read

How to Maximize Your Savings at Your First Job

By NAIFA on 8/29/22 10:00 AM

When you land your first job, it's important to learn how to manage your income. Now is the perfect time to establish healthy spending and saving habits. Read on for tips to manage your finances with your new paycheck.

Topics: Retirement Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Emergency Savings Savings Budgeting
2 min read

5 More Tips to Manage Your Finances During a Recession

By NAIFA on 8/26/22 10:00 AM

Recessions are never easy. Whether you're becoming aware now or already following the news of a possible economic crisis, it's good to have a mitigation plan for when it happens. Learn how to prepare your finances so they can carry you through a recession and in the aftermath with these tips. 

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy Budgeting
3 min read

NAIFA Members Recognized as Forbes Top Financial Security Professionals 2022

By NAIFA on 8/24/22 4:33 PM

Each year, Forbes and SHOOK Research select the industry's premier financial security professionals. The Forbes Top Financial Security Professionals list aims to answer the question: “Would we recommend these professionals to a family member or a friend?”

Rather than focusing on performance and profits, Forbes selects candidates based on quantitative factors (including production, assets under management (AUM), and client-related trends and data) and qualitative factors (including adherence to best practices, use of team and team dynamics, and level of community involvement).

This year's Top Financial Security Professionals list includes 27 NAIFA members:

Topics: Members
1 min read

3 Strategies for Coping with Economic Anxiety

By NAIFA on 8/22/22 10:00 AM

Everyone, regardless of their income, gets antsy when there's a recession, depression, or even a slight downturn in the market. The uncertainty can cause a lot of anxiety about what's to come. It can make people put life plans on hold, start to look for other employment, or reassess how they're managing their money. Even though no one can predict how long or impactful a recession will be, there are some things you can do to cope and manage during a stressful time.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Benefits of a Financial Advisor Financial Literacy Financial Security
2 min read

5 Tips to Manage Your Finances During a Recession

By NAIFA on 8/19/22 10:00 AM

Recessions affect every part of life. The cost of goods and services goes up, borrowing money gets more expensive, and businesses suffer. During a recession, you may need to adjust your spending habits to stay financially secure. Read on for tips to mindfully manage your finances during periods of economic uncertainty.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy Financial Security Budgeting
6 min read

How Does Term Life Insurance Work?

By EveryIncome on 8/19/22 10:00 AM

If you’re in the market for life insurance, you have many options, but the most common choice is term life insurance. 

It’s often the least expensive policy and it’s the easiest to get. It’s a temporary policy so there’s a lot you must understand about how it works. Here’s what you must know about it. 

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy Financial Security

Get Out the Vote: Know Your Legislation

By NAIFA on 8/17/22 10:00 AM

Do you know what laws have passed in your state legislature this year? Find out with NAIFA's Get Out the Vote! With just a few clicks, you can find a full list of the bills your state congress and the U.S. Congress considered this year. Search by keyword, bill sponsors, bill status, and more to find the legislation that affects you every day. Whether you want a quick summary or the full text of a bill, you can find everything you're looking for here.

6 min read

What Is Whole Life Insurance?

By EveryIncome on 8/15/22 10:00 AM

Life insurance is vital to protect your loved ones financially when you die. While no one likes to think of the worst happening, planning is essential because life is unpredictable.

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that protects your beneficiaries for your entire life. It doesn’t expire.

Here’s what you must consider when deciding if whole life insurance is right for you.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning Planning in Advance Investing Financial Literacy Financial Security
1 min read

August 14 Is National Financial Awareness Day

By Ronan Friend on 8/14/22 10:00 AM

National Financial Awareness Day is the perfect time to take stock of your finances. Do you keep a monthly budget? Only 32% of American families do and half of American households live paycheck to paycheck.

Managing finances is one of the most important—and least understood—skills. It may seem daunting, but just like any other skill, it can be learned if you put in the work. Financial literacy is more than just knowing how to save money—it's also knowing what to do with it. 

This year, celebrate National Financial Awareness Day by taking the first steps toward financial literacy.

Topics: Financial Literacy
3 min read

Sandwich Generation: 5 Morsels to Help You Deal with Stress

By EveryIncome on 8/12/22 10:00 AM

Whether it’s raising your own children or caring for aging parents, being a family caregiver is fraught with the fulfillment that comes at a price: stress and strain.

It’s becoming more common to be caught somewhere in the middle — being a parent to one’s own children while simultaneously caring for elderly parents. Known as the “sandwich generation,” this unique group of middle-aged adults can find themselves in a pickle.

To help navigate that feeling of being sandwiched, chew on these five ideas to help you manage the double dose of stress.

Get Out the Vote: Find Your Voting Resources

By NAIFA on 8/10/22 10:00 AM

Do you know how to register to vote? What are your state and local laws around voting early or by mail? Who's on your ballot?

Topics: Advocacy
5 min read

How to Handle Inflation

By EveryIncome on 8/8/22 10:00 AM

A majority of consumers today are suffering from the effects of inflation. We’re seeing inflationary rates that are akin to what happened in the 80s, so we’re talking decades ago. At the rate inflation is increasing lately, most people can’t afford what they’re used to and it’s causing financial strain on families everywhere. 

Topics: Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Investing Budgeting
2 min read

Planning Ahead: How to Cut Expenses and Build Your Savings

By EveryIncome on 8/5/22 10:00 AM

Many people have specific financial goals (e.g., filling a rainy-day fund, buying a house, paying down debt, or starting to invest), and most of these goals involve saving money. If you are struggling to put money away for your financial plans, reducing your spending may be necessary. Consider these tips to help you cut expenses and build your savings to facilitate your future financial plans.

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Financial Security Budgeting

Get Out the Vote: Know What's on Your Ballot

By NAIFA on 8/3/22 10:00 AM

Do you know what issues are on your ballot this November? If you live in Missouri, Arizona, or Iowa, there are tightly-contested primary races in your state.

Topics: Advocacy
6 min read

3 Ways to Budget

By EveryIncome on 8/1/22 10:00 AM

Do you want to get on a budget but don’t know how? You look at your income and expenses and your head just spins. How do you know where to budget and how?

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy Budgeting
6 min read

Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Auto Insurance

By EveryIncome on 7/29/22 10:00 AM

If you’re in an accident and you aren’t at fault, generally the damages are the other driver’s responsibility. But what happens when that person doesn’t have insurance? Even though it’s the law, many people still drive without insurance or without enough insurance to cover the damages. As much as 13% of drivers are uninsured.

Topics: Insurance

Get Out the Vote: Know Your Legislators

By NAIFA on 7/27/22 10:00 AM

Do you know who your legislators are? Fewer than half of Americans do. That's why we created NAIFA's Get Out the Vote. You can find information about your local, state, and federal elected officials, including how to contact them and tips for writing to and meeting with them. Legislators want to hear from their constituents and your input directly impacts their actions!

4 min read

A Couple’s Guide to Building a Budget — Without Killing Each Other

By EveryIncome on 7/25/22 10:00 AM

Money can be a big challenge for relationships, especially for couples on a budget with limited income or a lot of debt. Overwhelming debt, lack of communication, and financial secrets can lead to arguments, guilt, finger-pointing, and resentment. Here are the steps to help.

Understanding what a budget is, what it can do, and how to build one together can help couples address problems in a healthy, positive way as they work toward mutual financial goals.

A budget is simply a roadmap for dividing household income into expenses (including mortgage, groceries, and discretionary spending). Building a budget together means agreeing on the roadmap and helping each other stick to it.

Topics: Financial Planning Benefits of a Financial Advisor Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Financial Security Budgeting
3 min read

Win Havir Advocates for Financial Literacy in Diverse Populations and Recruiting Diverse Talent

By Ronan Friend on 7/22/22 11:50 AM

What’s your money story?  

NAIFA member Win Havir, CPCU, CLF, LUTCF, LACP, describes a “money story” as how we conceptualize and relate to money and finances in a new article in California Broker magazine. Havir grew up in East Los Angeles as the child of a Chinese immigrant. When she was a child, her father would often say “We don’t have any money.” This mantra affected her developing inner narrative. “I was embarrassed and didn’t understand why we stood in line to get huge blocks of orange cheese, powdered milk, and a loaf of white bread,” she says. As she grew older, she realized that this mindset helped her be empathetic and assist others in achieving financial literacy.  

Now, Havir works to promote financial literacy in underserved populations. She emphasizes the importance of serving diverse populations as well as recruiting diverse talent into the insurance and financial services industry. 

Topics: Talent Development Center Diversity Women
2 min read

Why You Should Consider a Career in Financial Services

By NAIFA on 7/22/22 10:00 AM

Are you looking for a new career? A career in insurance and financial services could be the best decision you can make for your future. As an insurance agent or financial advisor, you can work with a variety of clients—individuals, families, small businesses, or large corporations—to find financial solutions that meet their needs.

Let's look at some of the benefits of a career in insurance and financial services and the perks that come with it.

Topics: Careers in Financial Services

Get Out the Vote: Know Your Polling Dates

By NAIFA on 7/20/22 10:00 AM

Do you know when your next local and state elections are?

Most Americans know that presidential elections are held every four years in November, but do you know when your state and local elections are? If you live in one of 17 states—including Minnesota, Florida, and Vermont—you have an election coming up next month!

Find your election dates, state voter information, and much more with NAIFA's Get Out the Vote. This easy-to-navigate site is your one-stop shop for voting information. Check out everything GOTV has to offer today!

1 min read

NAIFA's Get Out the Vote: Your One-Stop Shop for Voting Resources

By NAIFA on 7/15/22 3:48 PM

Has it been a few years since your last civics class? Don't worry—NAIFA's Get Out the Vote is the resource for everything you need to know about voting, legislation, and your elected officials.

2 min read

How Millennials Can Plan for the Future with a Financial Advisor

By NAIFA on 7/15/22 10:00 AM

The millennial generation has grown up in an era dominated by rapid changes in the economy. In recent decades, the responsibility of saving and investing has been largely delegated to individuals, as opposed to previous generations where this was mainly the role of governments and employers. Improved standards of living have also translated to increased life expectancies among millennials. The implication of this is that young people today have to make sound financial decisions to achieve financial security in retirement.

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Retirement Legacy Planning Tools Financial Literacy Retirement Plans Financial Security
1 min read

How Can I Help My Parents Figure Out Medicare Coverage?

By NAIFA on 7/11/22 10:00 AM

When considering applying for Medicare, you need to know what your options are. The Improving Medicare Coverage Act has made distinct changes to the lives of Americans, leading to improved health benefits. Many Americans over the age of 60 live with little or no medical insurance, making it difficult for them to have access to proper medical care.

There are several groups of people who are eligible for the Medicare program. The program caters to persons aged 65 and above, young people with some disabilities, and persons suffering from end-stage renal failure. Elderly persons above the age of 65 can receive Medicare under two different plans: Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (Medicare insurance).

Topics: Financial Planning Medicare
2 min read

How to Detect Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

By NAIFA on 7/8/22 10:00 AM

The elderly in our communities are all prone to getting scammed at some point. Many perpetrators of such exploitations take advantage of the fact that seniors are old, and hence an easy target. A number of these con artists use technology to serve their purposes since most elderly people are not tech-savvy. They may use calls and emails or pose as salesmen to achieve their goal of getting financial access to the unknowing elderly person.

The risk is imminent, and we have to remain vigilant to protect our elders from these vile perpetrators. To that end, we have come up with 4 red flags that you should look into when you suspect foul play.

1 min read

Bank Account Bonus Month

By National Today on 7/1/22 3:55 PM

This month is Bank Account Bonus Month! If you haven't started a bank account, this is the month to do so.

Topics: Finance Financial Security
6 min read

How to Choose an Auto Insurance Deductible

By EveryIncome on 7/1/22 10:00 AM

You need car insurance – it’s the law, but as long as you have the minimum coverage required in your state, the rest of the decisions are up to you, including the amount of your deductible.

Knowing how to choose your deductible is important. It’s the amount of money you must pay if you file a claim. It’s not an optional payment, so knowing how to choose yours wisely is important.

Topics: Insurance
5 min read

Reverse Mortgages: No Longer Just a Loan of Last Resort

By Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. on 6/24/22 10:00 AM

Many people have very strong opinions on reverse mortgage loans. Frequently, those opinions are based on misconceptions about what reverse mortgages are and how they work. One such fallacy that continues to live on is that reverse mortgages are just a loan of last resort—something that’s only for cash-strapped homeowners to utilize when all other viable solutions have been exhausted. 

In a recent New York Times article titled Reverse Mortgages Are No Longer Just for Homeowners Short on Cash, the author writes: “It was conventional wisdom that a reverse mortgage was a last-resort option for the oldest homeowners who desperately needed cash. But a growing number of researchers say these loans could be a good option for people earlier in their retirement […] who are not needy at all.”

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Reverse Mortgages Loan Financial Security
6 min read

Using Your Tax Refund to Improve Your Credit

By EveryIncome on 6/20/22 10:00 AM

Are you expecting a tax refund this year? What if instead of spending the money before you even have it in hand you use it to improve your credit?

If you have poor, fair, or even average credit, your credit score could use a boost and your tax refund could be the perfect way to make it happen.

Here’s how to use your tax refund to improve your credit score.

Topics: Financial Planning Taxes Financial Literacy
2 min read

4 Ways Inflation Affects You

By NAIFA on 6/17/22 10:00 AM

Inflation is the increase in the prices of goods and services over time. The current inflation rate is 8.6%. When the inflation rate is high, you'll spend more money on buying goods and services. Therefore, inflation leads to an increase in the cost of living.

Higher interest rates can mean more money in your savings, but it can also have a dramatic impact on your cost of living. Keep reading to learn the basics of inflation and how it affects you.

Topics: Lifestyle Planning Budgeting

How Not To Tear Your Family Apart: Things That Bring You Joy

By Carroll Golden on 6/17/22 9:30 AM

Life can be unpredictable and challenges will arise. We cannot always control our circumstances, but we can control our perspective and what we focus on. Choosing to see the good in bad or hard situations is what will make the ultimate difference in the long run. The CPT (Care Planning Team), is an important resource regarding this. They help individuals get back on track in their lives and continue that joy perspective.

Topics: Limited & Extended Care Planning Center

How Not To Tear Your Family Apart: What Can You Grow?

By Carroll Golden on 6/16/22 9:30 AM

Long-term growth requires long-term planning. Reduction in taxes, fewer fees, more savings, and exponential growth, are all factors of long-term planning. A long-term care funding plan was also created which increases success in these areas and is an option for those wanting to be smarter with their finances.

Topics: Limited & Extended Care Planning Center

How Not To Tear Your Family Apart: Cash Flow Concerns

By Carroll Golden on 6/14/22 9:30 AM

Proper preparation = better cash flow. Without thorough forethought and intention put into place for the future, cash flow is bound to be a concern. This excerpt dives into the specifics of what a lack of preparation results in and the cash flow measures that should be taken to prevent them.

Topics: Limited & Extended Care Planning Center
6 min read

What’s the Right Amount to Save Each Month?

By EveryIncome on 6/13/22 10:00 AM

From emergency funds to retirement accounts and everything in between, it can feel impossible to save enough money each month. Even if you make more than enough money to make ends meet, you might wonder if you’re ever saving enough. While there’s no cut and dry answer as to how much you must save each month, we’ve created a guide to help you determine what’s right for you.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy Emergency Savings Savings Budgeting

How Not To Tear Your Family Apart: Caregiving Impacts Retirement

By Carroll Golden on 6/13/22 9:30 AM

One of the most overlooked threats to retirement is when people need to either limit their earning potential in the workforce due to caregiving demands (think not taking a promotion or limiting the ability to travel), or they leave the labor force altogether because the demands of caregiving are so great. This excerpt explores the impact that leaving/diminished workforce engagement has on future retirement planning.

Topics: Limited & Extended Care Planning Center
2 min read

An Introduction to Annuities: How They Work and Their Pros and Cons

By NAIFA on 6/10/22 10:00 AM

What is an annuity?

An annuity is a financial product that provides regular and guaranteed payments to an individual, typically for a period of time after retirement. Annuities are often used as a retirement planning tool, as they can provide a guaranteed stream of income for life. This can be especially helpful for those worried about outliving their savings. 

Topics: Retirement Planning Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning Planning in Advance
6 min read

The Do’s and Don’ts of Achieving Financial Freedom

By EveryIncome on 6/6/22 11:00 AM

We all want to be financially free, right? Living under the burden of bills, saving, and trying to figure life out feels impossible and overwhelming at times. What if we told you that achieving financial freedom is within your reach – you just have to know the do’s and don’ts of handling your personal finances. 

Here’s what you should know. 

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Financial Security Budgeting
5 min read

What Is an Appraisal and How Does It Affect Homebuyers?

By EveryIncome on 6/3/22 10:00 AM

When you buy a home, the lender will require an appraisal. It sounds scary and like it could stop you from getting the loan you need or the home you want. While an appraisal can be a stumbling block when you’re trying to buy a home, it’s there to protect you and the lender. Understanding the appraisal, how it works, and what your options are if the appraisal doesn’t come in high enough is important.

Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Security
6 min read

7 Ways to Improve Your Money Mindset

By EveryIncome on 5/30/22 1:00 PM

You could set as many financial goals as you want, but without the right mindset, they are nearly impossible to reach. How you think about money—consciously and subconsciously—can affect your decisions, how you handle money, and how much money you have overall. The good news is that you can change your money mindset at any time and turn your personal financial situation around. 

What Is Your Money Mindset? 

Your money mindset is any thoughts or feelings you have about money. For example, if you tell yourself, "I’ll never make enough money to retire early", then guess what? You won’t. 

What you tell yourself and how you think about money determines how you handle money. If you tell yourself you aren’t good enough, then you’ll never stretch beyond your limits and make your financial goals a reality. 

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Budgeting
2 min read

3 Essentials for Saving During Your First Job

By NAIFA on 5/20/22 10:00 AM

You are starting your career, and you know you should save some of your income. Here are some essentials to saving and helping secure your future.

Topics: Emergency Savings Savings Budgeting
1 min read

3 Benefits of a Career in Financial Services

By NAIFA on 5/16/22 10:00 AM

A career in financial services may seem like a daunting venture, but there are many benefits to working at a large corporation. This article explores how a finance career can help you build your future and chart your course for success.

Networking opportunities

The financial services industry is growing, highly innovative, and competitive. Capitalizing on opportunities and adding value to clients are the hallmarks of success in the financial services business. And network professionals are essential in this endeavor. They can help you gain access to the right contacts, improve your image and reputation among senior executives, and get a lot of exposure for your company and your brand. 

How Not To Tear Your Family Apart: Caregiving Impacts Retirement

By Carroll Golden on 5/15/22 12:00 PM

One of the most overlooked threats to retirement is when people need to either limit their earning potential in the workforce due to caregiving demands (think not taking a promotion or limiting the ability to travel), or they leave the labor force altogether because the demands of caregiving are so great. This excerpt explores the impact that leaving/diminished workforce engagement has on future retirement planning.

Topics: Limited & Extended Care Planning Center
2 min read

Finances for Your Aging Parents: What to Expect and How to Prepare

By NAIFA on 5/13/22 10:00 AM

Finances for Your Aging Parents: What to Expect and How to Prepare

It's not always easy to think about your parents getting older and more dependent on you. When it comes to their finances, what do you need to know? What are the most important things for aging parents to consider when it comes to their finances? 

This article will cover what you need to know about planning for your elderly parent's financial needs in retirement so that they can maintain some level of independence. 

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Planning in Advance Medicare Limited Care Financial Literacy
1 min read

Becoming an Independent Contractor: Pros & Cons

By NAIFA on 5/9/22 5:00 PM

Due to shifts in the job market, it's now easier than ever to become an independent contractor in almost any field. Not just for plumbers and builders, even wait staff can become independent contractors if they know how to obtain gigs and promote their services online. Let's take a good look at the pros and cons of becoming an independent contractor.

Topics: Financial Planning
1 min read

Remote Work Challenges and How to Overcome Them

By NAIFA on 5/6/22 5:52 PM

More and more organizations are moving to a remote workforce permanently. While this seems a straightforward thing, it comes with various challenges. If you plan to start working remotely, here are the challenges your team will face and the solutions to help you overcome them. 

Challenges of Remote Working

Managing Projects 

When your team works remotely, they will have challenges managing projects and meeting deadlines. The main issue is communication breakdown, where the managers will not communicate effectively with team members to ensure effective collaboration during projects. 

How Not To Tear Your Family Apart: 20 Years from Now

By Carroll Golden on 5/4/22 11:00 AM

"A lack of planning has immediate consequences and possibly consequences that will reach 20 years into the future," says Golden in her new book, "How Not to Tear Your Family Apart". Golden has been bringing the concept to both financial advisors and consumers that we need to get the conversation started far sooner than anyone expects so that dire consequences do not occur that possibly impacts generations to come.

Topics: Limited & Extended Care Planning Center Financial Security
2 min read

Why You Should Consider Investing in Life Insurance

By NAIFA on 5/2/22 1:30 PM

Do you ever worry about what will happen if something happens to you? Not the fear that grips you when you are alone in your home at night, but the stress and anxiety associated with trying to provide for your family, pay off debt, or maintain your lifestyle. This is where investing in life insurance can have various benefits.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning Tax Savings Financial Literacy Insurance
6 min read

Saving For Retirement

By EveryIncome on 4/29/22 11:52 AM

No matter how young or old you are, everyone should be thinking about retirement. We know it’s hard when you’re in your 20s or 30s because 59 ½ – 65 years old seems so far off, but it will be here before you know it.

The earlier you save for retirement, the more money you’ll have to enjoy your golden years. Plus, when you save early, you give your money more time to grow, which is like passive income – you don’t have to work for it, yet you grow your retirement account fast.

Understanding how retirement funds work, how to save for retirement, and the tax consequences of each account is important.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
2 min read

Life Insurance Is Key to Financial Security

By NAIFA on 4/26/22 12:23 PM

New research by LIMRA and Life Happens shows two significant trends: life insurance is key to financial security and gender gaps extend to life insurance coverage.

Financial Security with Life Insurance

Financial insecurity affects all age groups, but one thing is clear: having life insurance increases Americans' feeling of financial security. 68% of life insurance owners feel financially secure compared with 47% of non-owners, and those who feel most secure have coverage both through their employer and a separate individual policy. The study also showed that the COVID-19 pandemic had increased awareness of the need for life insurance, with 31% of those surveyed saying they are more likely to buy life insurance in 2022.  

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Research/Trends Insurance
6 min read

Understanding FHA Loans

By EveryIncome on 4/25/22 11:48 AM

Among your many loan options are FHA loans. They are a common choice for borrowers that don’t qualify for conventional (traditional) financing.

FHA loans have a bad reputation, but they are one of the most flexible and easy-to-use programs for first-time homebuyers and subsequent homebuyers.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
2 min read

3 Most Common Medical Debt Mistakes

By EveryIncome on 4/22/22 1:30 PM

Each year, many Americans struggle to manage their medical expenses. Routine healthcare procedures can be expensive enough, but there are even more significant costs associated with emergency medical care, chronic illness management, and childbirth. Too many Americans are finding themselves drowning in the medical debt they’ve accrued from essential treatment and medication, with or without health insurance. Three major mistakes can cause patients to rack up more significant medical debt than is necessary, but fortunately, these strategies can help.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security Debt Medical
2 min read

Student Debt: Understanding Financial Aid Packages

By EveryIncome on 4/18/22 11:00 AM

Getting accepted to an academic program can be one of the most exciting events in a student’s academic career. However, this excitement is often followed by panic. Many students and their families become overwhelmed by applying for financial aid, taking out loans, and cutting costs to afford a college education. Student debt is something that can plague individuals and their families long after graduation, but doing extensive research before borrowing can help. Here are a few things that borrowers should know about student debt before they sign on the dotted line.

Topics: Financial Planning Loan Financial Literacy Debt
2 min read

Should You Invest While Paying Off Debt?

By EveryIncome on 4/15/22 2:00 PM

Traditional approaches to eliminating debt tend to create a black-and-white view of money matters—reduce spending so you can increase debt payments.

It may seem counterintuitive, but investing while you’re managing and paying off loans can help you eliminate debt. How? By increasing the earnings you have available to make payments.

Here are four things to consider.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy Debt
5 min read

Buying or Leasing a Car – What’s the Difference?

By EveryIncome on 4/11/22 1:30 PM

If you’re in the market for a car, you have the option to buy or lease it if you aren’t paying cash outright for the car. 

Many people are opposed to leasing and will only buy cars and vice versa, but how do you know which one is right for you.

Here’s everything you must know about the difference between buying and leasing a car.

Topics: Financial Literacy
3 min read

Stressed Out? Avoid These 10 Terrible Ways to Cope

By EveryIncome on 4/8/22 11:31 AM

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), we are stressed out.

The latest Stress in America report from the APA, published in 2018, found that over half of millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) and members of Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2015) feel stressed out, with just under half of baby boomers and older adults feeling the same.

Money, work, and health concerns are America’s main stressors, and mental health crises are prevalent outcomes of high stress.

The report clearly states one thing—stress is a certainty, and you’re going to get your turn with it sooner or later. Here’s a list of 10 things to avoid when stress rears its ugly head.

Topics: Financial Planning Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy
3 min read

Tax Planner: Should You Hire One?

By EveryIncome on 4/4/22 2:30 PM

There are tons of online tax tools. Why go through the trouble of finding and hiring a tax planner?

Because a tax planner could save you millions over your lifetime, along with other benefits. Here’s what you need to know about tax pros.

What is a tax planner?

They are accounting professionals — certified public accountants (CPAs) or tax attorneys — who work with clients over a long period. A tax planner’s primary goal is to ensure that the client is prepared for the next filing season and pays the minimum taxes legally possible.

Topics: Financial Planning Tax Savings Taxes Financial Literacy
2 min read

What Are Exchange-Traded Funds?

By EveryIncome on 4/1/22 5:21 PM

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have only been around for about 25 years.

Nevertheless, they can be a productive part of a diversified portfolio, and they have certain distinct advantages over other types of funds and/or traded assets.

What are they?

ETFs are grouped collections of securities. Like a mutual fund, an ETF pools money from a number of investors into a single fund that purchases a diversified selection of bonds, equities, and other assets with a certain investment goal in mind (income or speculation, for example).

Topics: Financial Planning Investing Financial Literacy
6 min read

How Your Risk of Financial Exploitation Increases as You Age

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 3/29/22 10:00 AM

You know that you can expect to be at an increased risk of health issues as you age. However, what you might not realize is that aging puts you at a greater risk of another issue: financial exploitation. 

In fact, the rate at which adults over the age of 60 can expect to experience financial exploitation—1 in 20—is higher than the incidence of many age-related diseases, according to research published in The Journals of Gerontology. And that’s likely an underestimate of the problem because, according to the report, “many older adults are unaware or unwilling to report exploitation.” 

Topics: Long-Term Care Limited Care Limited & Extended Care Planning Center Potential Partners for Advisors Insurance
6 min read

What Is a Home Equity Loan?

By EveryIncome on 3/28/22 5:20 PM

If you own a home and have paid your mortgage down a bit, you may have some equity in your home. Equity is the difference between your home’s value and the outstanding mortgage. In other words, it’s your investment in the property. 

At first glance, it may feel like your equity is tied up in your home since homes aren’t liquid. You probably think you have to move to get the difference between your home’s value and your mortgage. But there are ways to get your equity out while allowing you to stay in the home. 

Here’s what you must know.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
5 min read

Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Reward Credit Card

By EveryIncome on 3/25/22 5:20 PM

You hear credit cards are bad so you don’t use them, right? What if we told you they could be good when used in the right context? What if you could build an even better credit score if you had reward credit cards as a personal finance tool? 

It’s true, reward credit cards can be a great way to build and keep a good credit score. Even better, they pay you rewards just for spending money. But you have to know how to find the right card and how to use them right so you don’t get in over your head in debt.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
6 min read

Building Credit From Scratch

By EveryIncome on 3/18/22 2:15 PM

It takes credit to build credit, but if no one will give you credit without a credit score, what do you do?

It’s not as hard as you think to build credit from scratch. Before we show you how to build credit, though, we’ll explain what credit is and why it’s important.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
2 min read

Health and Wealth Benefits on the Job

By NAIFA on 3/14/22 8:00 AM

Employee benefits are an important part of your compensation package. Benefits range from paid time off (PTO) to health insurance to retirement and 401(k) plans. Most employer health plans are more comprehensive than what you can buy privately, have lower deductibles, and are much cheaper. Understanding benefits can help you accurately assess a compensation package and ensure that you're not leaving money on the table.

Let's look at some common employee benefits.

Topics: Financial Planning Group & Employee Benefits
2 min read

How Do I Help Prepare My Parents for Medicare?

By NAIFA on 3/11/22 3:30 PM

Medicare is a government program created to provide healthcare coverage for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and those on Social Security. It covers hospital stays, doctor visits, lab tests, eye exams, and more.

Medicare has many options for beneficiaries, including traditional Medicare (Parts A & B), which is full-service coverage but only includes items that are medically necessary or preventive in nature; a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), which provides prescription drug coverage; and an Advantage plan or Part C that combines both Parts A &B plus supplemental medical insurance.

Topics: Long-Term Care Financial Planning Planning in Advance Medicare
1 min read

The Main Street Code for Financial Success

By NAIFA on 3/10/22 11:45 AM

What's your most important financial asset? What's the best way to grow your money tax-free? NAIFA President Larry Holzberg answers these questions and more with Neil Himmelstein on the podcast "The Main Street Code for Financial Success".

Holzberg and Himmelstein discuss the importance of working with a financial advisor and having the right kind of insurance to protect your assets and your family. “[Life Insurance] allows people to maintain their lifestyle, reach their goals, and do the most important thing—love their family,” says Holzberg.

Listen to the Episode Here

Topics: Disability Insurance Long-Term Care Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning Podcast Financial Wellness Careers in Financial Services
1 min read

How to Prepare Financially for Natural Disasters

By NAIFA on 3/7/22 9:00 AM

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes can paralyze your finances when they strike. Unfortunately, many people fail to prepare financially and are caught unaware when natural disasters hit.

Here are two ways to prepare financially in the event of a natural disaster.

Topics: Financial Security Emergency Savings
1 min read

3 Tips on How to Save and Pay Off Student Loan Debt

By NAIFA on 3/4/22 2:45 PM

Are you a young professional planning for your financial future? You may be contemplating how to clear your student loan debt and save more for your retirement. Discipline and commitment will never go wrong when it comes to financial decisions, but having a financial plan is key. Read on for three reliable tips on how you can save and pay back your student loans.

Topics: Retirement Planning Financial Planning Financial Literacy Budgeting
3 min read

Keep From Being Miserable While Living on a Tight Budget

By EveryIncome on 2/28/22 11:53 AM

No one particularly wants to live on a tight budget, but there are times when we need to rein in our spending and pay better attention to where the money is going.

But, you can still live well on a tight budget. There are ways to live your best life while spending less.

Topics: Financial Planning Budgeting
1 min read

Creating Healthy Tech and Media Habits with Your Teen

By NAIFA on 2/26/22 10:30 AM

NAIFA supports teen mental health. Financial security begins with a healthy relationship with money, which starts with a healthy relationship with oneself.

On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, Families for Depression Awareness will present the webinar "Creating Healthy Tech and Media Habits with Your Teen". Host Meredith Gansner, M.D., will discuss how technology can affect teen mental health and how parents and adults can help. All are welcome to attend: parents, guardians, family members, youth workers, and any other adult with a teen in their life.

Topics: Technology Social Media Webinar Financial Wellness Family
2 min read

No Heirs? Why You Still Need to Have an Estate Plan

By EveryIncome on 2/25/22 2:00 PM

Having no heirs doesn’t absolve you from the need for proper estate planning.

The most avoidable problem is what happens to your wealth if you die without making a will (or dying intestate). When this happens, the state court system decides how to handle your money and belongings.

Therefore, whether you have no heirs or a hundred, the most important element of estate planning remains unchanged: Make a plan. Even a flawed plan is better than none, so consider tackling this task as soon as possible.

Topics: Financial Planning Estate Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security
6 min read

Financing a New Car

By EveryIncome on 2/21/22 3:00 PM

If you’re looking to buy a new car, you will likely need to finance it unless you can pay for it in all cash. Fortunately, there are many options to finance a car, but understanding your options and how they work before you look for a loan is important.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
2 min read

How to Have Fun on the Cheap

By EveryIncome on 2/18/22 11:30 AM

A big part of why we want to make (or save) money in the first place is to enjoy it. But it’s hard to save for concert tickets, travel, and other bigger purchases when all your money disappears on an average Friday night.

The good news? A small budget doesn’t mean you’re forever confined to your home alone. There are plenty of ways to entertain yourself with little to no spending.

Topics: Financial Literacy Budgeting
2 min read

An Expanded View of the Gig Economy: Beyond Apps

By EveryIncome on 2/11/22 10:00 AM

When most people think of the gig economy, they immediately think of the popular ridesharing apps, food delivery services, and grocery delivery options that have become ubiquitous in today’s world. However, with significant legal questions over large ridesharing companies’ classification of drivers as non-employees, the future of some large players in the industry is starting to seem a bit uncertain. The gig economy is a lifeline for many workers trying to provide for their families during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are a few ways for individuals to expand their view of the industry beyond the most popular app-based options.

Topics: Small Business Financial Wellness
3 min read

The Hidden Costs of Home Ownership

By EveryIncome on 2/7/22 10:00 AM

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, a majority of Americans (around 75 percent) believe that owning a home is the best way to make a solid investment in their future, and so it is a goal that many people strive towards.

Whether you’ve saved for years and are considering buying a home, or you have already become a homeowner and are planning your financial future from here, you must consider the hidden costs of home ownership.

In this article, we’ll talk about those costs and what to consider, no matter what stage of the home-buying process you are in.

Topics: Planning in Advance
3 min read

Find a Mortgage Before You Find the House

By EveryIncome on 2/4/22 10:00 AM

Buying a home is a significant step. With so much at stake, both financially and emotionally, you must be prepared for the process of fitting the house into your life — as well as fitting your life into the house.

If you need a mortgage to buy a home, take the task of finding a mortgage as seriously as any other task related to homeownership. The mortgage process might seem intimidating, but you can boil it down into five categories:

Topics: Planning in Advance
10 min read

What to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

By Cameron Huddleston, Carefull Family Finance Expert on 2/3/22 12:11 PM

If you developed a disability or chronic condition that required long-term care, how would you pay for that care? Would you expect health insurance or Medicare to pay for it? 

Unfortunately, you can’t count on either of those options to pay for ongoing care that you might need. Medicaid might cover the cost of long-term care services if you have very limited income or assets. Otherwise, if you need professional care at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home, you’ll have to pay for it. 

Topics: Long-Term Care Planning in Advance
2 min read

4 Must-Haves for Your Fixed-Income Portfolio

By EveryIncome on 1/31/22 9:00 AM

No matter how carefree we are in our youth, as we start to approach retirement age, we begin to value reliability and predictability — in our portfolios as well as our Wi-Fi connections.

It’s also when we begin to prioritize income generation over capital growth. Fortunately, income-focused doesn’t have to mean low return, and a fixed-income portfolio might be just the ticket for a financially carefree retirement.

Topics: Investing
2 min read

Hiring an Estate-Planning Attorney? Look for These 5 Qualities

By EveryIncome on 1/28/22 9:00 AM

Planning your estate can easily feel overwhelming at times. Choosing the right attorney to help you can make a world of difference in easing your stress as you plan ahead.

Topics: Financial Planning Estate Planning
1 min read

Hear Real Life Stories on the Impact of Life Insurance

By NAIFA on 1/27/22 11:28 AM

Join us for a special webinar on Thursday, February 3, 2022, presented by NAIFA-CT's Richard Terhune, a loyal NAIFA member since 2008. The event will feature two real-life stories of the power of life insurance on the lives of families across the country.

Terhune and his client, Sara Mathews Dixon, were selected as recipients of the Life Happens' Real Life Stories program. When Sara's husband died unexpectedly, his life insurance policy protected her and their three children from financial hardship.

Don't miss this impactful and inspiring webinar on February 3, 2022, at 2 pm eastern.

Topics: Life Insurance & Annuities Financial Planning
3 min read

How Careful Tax Planning Saves You Money

By EveryIncome on 1/24/22 10:00 AM

Even just a little tax planning can help save you money when tax time comes. Among other things, tax planning can help you and your accountant or tax advisor evaluate your financial situation in light of the current tax laws.

Below are some basic ideas and strategies you and your tax advisor might use to manage your tax burden.

Topics: Financial Planning Tax Savings Tax Benefits Taxes
2 min read

How to Build a Strong Investment Portfolio

By EveryIncome on 1/21/22 9:00 AM

Do you know how to start building a powerful investment portfolio?

An investment portfolio is simply a rundown of your assets — stocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, 401(k) retirement account, savings, money market accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), cryptocurrency, employee stock options, and futures.

Now let’s talk about how to build a strong one.

Topics: Investing
2 min read

Why Millennials Need a Financial Advisor

By NAIFA on 1/19/22 10:00 AM

We know that millennials are facing staggering economic challenges. With the high cost of living and low wages, money management can be challenging. That's why it's essential to work with a financial advisor - one who understands your needs and can make sure you're getting the best information for your unique financial situation.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Literacy
2 min read

A Healthy Work-Life Balance Can Improve Job Satisfaction

By EveryIncome on 1/12/22 8:00 AM

Ah, that ever-elusive work-life balance.

We all know about it, we all crave it, but maybe we don’t exactly know how to achieve it.

Well, there’s no time like the present to take control of your personal happiness—it will translate into a happier, healthier work environment, which is the key to a healthier home life, which will make you a better worker, and so on. It’s a cycle that can make or break your mental health.

Topics: Time Management
2 min read

Perks of Remote Jobs: Home Office Deductions and Other Financial Benefits

By EveryIncome on 1/10/22 2:18 PM

While some professionals are returning to their daily grind at the office, many Americans are continuing to work from home. Although focusing on work can be a challenge amid kids, pets, and other distractions, many workers are discovering and embracing the financial benefits offered by remote jobs. Here are some of the ways that remote workers can save money.

Topics: Tax Savings Financial Wellness COVID-19
2 min read

Succeeding in the Gig Economy

By EveryIncome on 1/7/22 1:44 PM

As Americans face the harsh realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are turning to the gig economy for income. While most people think of delivery and ridesharing services as the only job opportunities on offer, there are plenty of other careers that are part of the gig economy. Freelancers, construction workers, web designers, and hourly workers in a variety of positions are also included in this category. If you are thinking about turning towards jobs in the gig economy to supplement your income, there are a few things you should know.

Topics: Networking Small Business Financial Wellness
2 min read

Young Person’s Portfolio: Should Income-Focused Investing Be Included?

By EveryIncome on 1/5/22 8:00 AM

You’re young. You’ve got time on your side. Conventional wisdom may say: Invest heavily in stocks. You’ve got many years ahead to ride out any downturns.

Topics: Financial Planning Investing Financial Literacy
2 min read

Tax Planning for Ordinary People: What You Need to Know

By EveryIncome on 1/3/22 8:00 AM

“Tax planning” is a phrase many people associate with large corporations, the rich and powerful, or super-humanly organized accountant types.

Topics: Financial Planning Taxes Financial Literacy
3 min read

How to Become Debt-Free on a Low Salary

By EveryIncome on 12/31/21 8:00 AM

Being in debt is stressful, especially if you’re on a salary that barely covers your other regular expenses. However, it is possible to get out of debt on a low salary.

Just like any other trying financial situation, becoming debt-free with a smaller income requires focus, persistence, patience, and the ability to be honest with yourself.

Topics: Financial Planning Financial Security Budgeting
3 min read

Charitable Giving by Your Business? Consider This First.

By EveryIncome on 12/29/21 8:00 AM

Entrepreneurs and business owners are often solicited for donations of one kind or another — by everyone from national advocacy groups and political campaigns to local soccer teams and school dance troupes.

So how do you decide where to donate? And what’s in it for you and your company

Topics: Tax Benefits Grow Your Business