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Personal Finance 101

Personal Finance 101 – Do You Really Need Disability Insurance?

Personal Finance 101 – Do You Really Need Disability Insurance?

If you lose income because you’re too sick or injured to work, the financial cost to you and your family can be devastating. If a catastrophic event has such high odds, it makes sense to plan for it.

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Personal Finance 101 – IRAs: Are You Team Traditional or Team Roth? Part Two

Personal Finance 101 – IRAs: Are You Team Traditional or Team Roth? Part Two

You’ve mastered the basic differences between a Traditional and a Roth IRA (by reading part one of this post) and you’re ready to start saving. Now, which type of account should you use? 

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Personal Finance 101 – IRAs: Are You Team Traditional or Team Roth? Part One

Personal Finance 101 – IRAs: Are You Team Traditional or Team Roth? Part One

You’re a saver, and you’ve heard that contributing to a Traditional or Roth IRA is a good tax move. But you may be bewildered about the difference and trying to decide which one is for you. We’re here to help! This post is part one of two and will discuss the rules of Traditional and Roth IRAs.

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Personal Finance 101 – 5 Steps to Become the Boss of Your Budget

Personal Finance 101 – 5 Steps to Become the Boss of Your Budget

Budgeting does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. It can actually be comforting to know that you have a plan for your money, especially if that includes a regular Starbucks run! To help you get started, here are five simple steps for creating a basic budget.

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Personal Finance 101 – Income Taxes Made Easy … Well, Easier

Personal Finance 101 – Income Taxes Made Easy … Well, Easier
By: Brittany Mollica As a young professional, you may think you’re too busy to learn how your tax return works. Whether you’re new to adulting and filing on your own for the first time or you’ve been filing for a few years and want to actually understand it this time, you don’t need to be intimidated by the 1040. In this post we will give you an overview of Form 1040, explaining the different sections of the form while also giving you some tips so that filing your taxes can be as smooth and painless as possible. Note that all guidelines and numbers included in this article are based on 2018 rules. Section 1: This should be the easiest part – listing your personal information. In this section, you identify yourself, your spouse (if married) and your dependents (if you have any) as well as select your filing status: Single - Fairly self-explanatory. Your household is just you – no spouse or dependents. Married Filing Jointly - This filing status combines ...

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Personal Finance 101 - Building Your Emergency Fund

Personal Finance 101 - Building Your Emergency Fund
By: Brittany Mollica When we meet a new client, one of the first financial planning topics we review is a cash reserve – money set aside in savings as an emergency fund. Why? The reason your cash reserve is so important: you can never predict when your car is going to break down, when you might lose your job or when you’ll need to take a trip to Urgent Care. These surprise expenses can be costly, and you don’t want to be forced to withdraw from your retirement accounts or take on credit card debt just to pay the bills.  How? It’s often best to set up an emergency fund separate from your regular checking account. You will want to keep this money in a savings or money market fund, which will pay you a slightly higher interest rate than your checking. These types of accounts are very liquid, meaning you can access the money at any time, and you won’t have to worry about losing value in the stock market.  How Much? Generally speaking, you will want to have at le ...

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5 Quick Personal Finance Tips for Recent Graduates

5 Quick Personal Finance Tips for Recent Graduates
By: Brittany Mollica You’ve finally gotten your degree and landed your first adult job – congrats! Entering the “real world” can be overwhelming; between starting a new job, navigating a new city and making new friends, dedicating time to think about your financial situation might be low on the priority list. However, the sooner you can take a proactive approach to your personal finance, the better. As a recent college graduate myself (Go Heels!) and a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional, I can affirm that these 5 quick tips will help you get started in the right direction: Read your employee benefits handbook – While it may be tempting to just skim through the details of your employee benefits, it is extremely rewarding to have a good understanding of your benefits. For example – how many days of paid vacation do you get? Are you allowed to take extra time off to go volunteer? Does your employer match your contributions to your 401(k) plan? Do they off ...

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