Unexpected emergencies happen all the time, but we never think they’ll happen to us - or to our loved ones. Emergencies are stressful, and often expensive, times of life that can put an unnecessary strain on your financial and emotional life.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Although emergencies are (almost) always a surprise, there are still ways you can financially and mentally prepare.

Many retirees plan to travel during retirement. Unfortunately, your cash flow as a retiree isn’t limitless. Travel often has to be done on a budget - but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world and embrace this exciting new phase of your life!

On average, most people will be retired for over 20 years. That’s a long time! Think back to the first 20 years of your life: what did they look like? They were probably filled with school, friends, first loves, and new careers. Many people think of their 20s as a time of growth, change, excitement, and freedom.

Why not look at the 20+ years you’ll spend in retirement in the same way?

Marie Kondo has taken the process of organization to a whole new level. Through her “spark joy” campaign, the business of cleaning-house has grown a new commercial leg. Marie Kondo says she loves clutter and relishes in the opportunity to help people weed out the unnecessary things in their lives to get to the root of what really matters to them.

Why don’t we try and apply this method to our finances: do your financial habits bring you joy?

Your income channels will drastically vary when you reach retirement. Without the cushion of a biweekly paycheck from your employer, it becomes even more important to understand your revenue streams and where they will come from.

Fraudulent tax schemes have devastated many families. From losing money to forfeiting personal information, tax scams can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life. Scammers use many means to identify and initiate contact with their targets: phone, email, social media, and regular mail.

There are a few telltale signs that your letter from the IRS is not real. Here are some of the easiest ways to tell that it is a scam.

If you’re a retiree, you may be preparing to take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) this year. Most retirees plan to take theirs by the end of each year, and they may consider making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) to mitigate the impact of taxes on their RMDs. However, you don’t have to wait until year-end to pursue this option. In fact, recent studies have shown that early planning of QCDs can often have an even bigger tax benefit than waiting.

Tax season.

Those two words can send some people running for the hills.

Many women struggle to find a financial advisor who understands their concerns and feels like a good match for their financial planning needs. This happens for a variety of reasons, but the truth is simple: women aren’t a homogenous group. We’re all unique individuals with specific goals, desires, dreams, and worries.

Too many advisors gear their advice toward women by offering generic platitudes without getting down to the nitty-gritty. Women want an authentic relationship with their advisor that dives deeper beyond the surface-level financial advice and small talk. They want a custom plan that supports their short and long term goals, and they don’t want to have the advisor continually address their husband or partner instead of directing questions their way.

Making financial “check-in’s” part of your regularly scheduled programming can be a colossal benefit for your financial life right now, and it can set you up for success in the future. When I talk to people about their financial habits, I hear a recurring theme:

You’ve tried the latest budgeting app. You’ve done weekly “allowances” for you and your spouse. You’ve made a lot of strides in a few short months - only to fall off the wagon again.

You’ve gone through the recommended next-steps - and you’re tired of seeing your day-to-day money habits continue to backslide.

Did you know that freezing your credit is one of the best ways to protect your identity? So many people skip credit freezes because they’re worried that it’ll be difficult to un-freeze it if they need it. The truth is, un-freezing your credit is a relatively straightforward process, and it has additional benefits - like forcing you to hit “pause” before making a major financial decision that requires a credit check.

The good news is that freezing your credit is an easy “to do” that you can check off your list in an hour or less. Ready to get started? Here’s your quick-start guide.

The holiday season is in full swing--family begins to arrive, gift wrap covers the floor, and the oven seemingly won’t recover from all the work it has been doing. This time of year is busy for many people. With the swirl of the holiday itinerary, money seems to be left on the back burner for the new year. By that time, it is often too late to recover from the tiring workout you have put your finances through this season.

In the world of financial planning, we often talk about building a retirement strategy that stands the test of time. We want to plan with longevity in mind because you never want to be without cash flow - even if you live to be 100+! However, financial planning has an often-untold side: spending is just as important as saving. Even though we want to plan with longevity in mind, that doesn’t mean anything if we deprive ourselves today and pass away unexpectedly tomorrow.

Millennials are the next generation entering and rising through the ranks of the workforce. Their needs, however, differ distinctly from the Baby Boomer generation that preceded them. In a general sense, millennials are not focused on attaining the same types of goals as their predecessors, namely expensive houses, and cars. Rather, their priorities lie in spending money on experiences, travel, and personal development.

Financial advisors need to be aware of the shifting needs of their millennial clientele and actively think about ways to better help them reach their goals.

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