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May
20

Child Tax Credit Payments

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Starting in July, Americans who have children aged 17 and under, will be receiving payments for the Child Tax Credit that passed legislation under the American Rescue Plan. The IRS will begin sending out monthly payments of $250 or $300 through December to qualifying families.

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Mar
18

What to do with your stimulus payment or tax refund

windfall-money

While there are several individuals in great need of the stimulus payments from the government for others it is a windfall. Likewise, tax refunds can be unexpected bonus income that you are not relying on for your regular expenses. So, what do you do with this money?

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Feb
01

Athena’s Top 3 Tips about Investing

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Pay yourself first

You know the scenario, it’s payday and before you know it bills are paid and you’ve already planned three dinners out with friends. Your budget is wiped out and you did not add to your savings. One of the best methods to ensure that you are hitting your savings goals is to pay yourself first.

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Sep
08

Teaching Your Kids About Money

Kids and Money

Talking about money with your children does not have to be complicated. The best way to accomplish this is to use day-to-day activities and turn them into learning opportunities.

Younger children often do not understand money and its’ value. This is most apparent when you are giving your child coins. For example, if you give your child the choice between a penny, a dime and a nickel they will almost certainly choose the nickel simply because of the larger size. It is highly important to teach your child value at a young age.

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May
21

Grad Gifts

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It’s Graduation time!

We all recognize the difficult and unprecedented time that we are in and how that is affecting all our graduates. Whether your loved one is graduating high school or college or finishing up their master’s degree, they are somehow being shortchanged in this rite of passage. We see huge window displays and yard signs and drive by parade’s hoping to honor the work and accomplishments our graduates have achieved.

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Apr
08

Financial Literacy #7: Your Retirement Income Plan

Retired couple on the beach

As you approach retirement, you’ll want to think through your retirement income plan. Common retirement income strategies include:

Drawing off the income

After you’ve spent years saving for retirement and building your nest egg, you’ll want to find a balance between a withdrawal rate that gives you assurance that your savings will last, but doesn’t shortchange your standard of living.

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Apr
08

Financial Literacy #4: How to Build Your Nest Egg

Jar of savings

During your income-earning years, maximize your retirement plan contributions to build your nest egg and retirement savings:

401(k)

A 401(k) plan is a retirement savings plan sponsored by your employer, which allows you to save and invest part of your paycheck before taxes are taken out. Many employers offer an employer match, usually ranging dollar for dollar anywhere from 2-5% of your salary deferral (depending on the plan). If you elect not to participate, you essentially leave money on the table.

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Mar
10

The Cost of Children

happy-family

Starting a family is not a life event that should be taken lightly, especially financially. The price tag for a baby born in 2015 is about $233,000+ from birth to age 17. That is NOT including college! So the questions becomes, how can you manage those costs and still prepare for your own future. Here are a few ideas to help manage your money as you raise your family.

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Sep
05

Relationships and Money, Part II: Married Couples

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Marriage is not just roses, chocolates and diamonds. Marriage is a business relationship that needs thorough discussion and often times compromises. When couples plan for possible scenarios in the future, everyone involved is protected and feels secure. There are several ways that couples can ensure healthy financial decisions pre and post nuptial.

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Mar
11

Pay Yourself First

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Earlier this month, we discussed dollar-cost averaging as a strategy for investing which can offer you a higher average rate of return over the long-term and a seamless means of investing each month without too much pain for your wallet. Today, we will discuss the best way that you can achieve this strategy through the concept called “Pay Yourself First”.

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Jun
12

Tax Reduction Strategies

tax-cut

​1. Pay Yourself First

The utilization of company retirement plans (401-k's and Simple IRA's) are the easiest way to build up tax advantaged assets for your retirement goals. Verify that you are contributing the amount required in order to maximize the employer's match. Above that amount it would usually be prudent to try to contribute the maximum amount possible in order to minimize your income tax liability.

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May
30

Retirement Strategies

retired-couple

There are many ways to implement plans for your retirement. The two sides of the spectrum of possibilities are to develop a plan and stick to it no matter what, or just go with the flow and see how things play out. Outlining these two options seems almost ridiculous as they represent extreme polar opposites of one another. The reality is that the best plans are those that are well thought out but also allow for flexibility.

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Apr
28

Your Financial Pyramid

Your Financial Pyramid
When you develop your Financial Pyramid there are numerous factors that you need to be mindful of. One of the most important is the concepts of managing your risk versus reward and diversification. With this in mind it is of critical importance that you start off with a good financial base which mitigates your risks. Insurance needs, including medical, home & car insurance (just to name a few) are imperative for protecting your assets from unforeseen loss. As an example of how this can affect your Financial Pyramid and your overall budget, we once had a client whom had drastically cut their annual budget expenditures. After further inspection, we discovered they had cancelled their medical insurance – thinking that they were young and healthy; they didn't need to be concerned with that "unneeded" expense. At that point, we advised them to immediately reinstate their insurance. They had saved up a large nest egg which they intended to invest in the stock mar...
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