Blog Posts

Home loans frequently make up significant amounts of household debt, and reducing as much debt as possible before entering retirement can seem like a good idea. A 2013 survey found that 40% of Americans age 55 and older believe that paying off their mortgage was the smartest financial move they ever made. There’s also a certain peace of mind that can come from having one less bill to pay in your later years.

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By Michael J. Searcy

Let’s consider two forms of debt: consumption debt and investment debt.

Consumption debt comes from buying things you want or need when you don’t have enough cash to pay up front. This could include a car, a vacation, furniture or any number of items. These items are usually paid for on credit cards and can depreciate in value over time or immediately after purchase. For my long-time readers and clients, you know I am not a fan of consumption debt. I believe you should save up in advance for a purchase and pay cash, but I understand that, without a plan, this is easier said than done.

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By Michael J. Searcy

If you’ve reached the month of March and your New Year’s Resolutions have completely flown out the window, you’re not alone. A Journal of Clinical Psychology report found that only eight percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions. They also noted the number of money related resolutions was near thirty-four percent, so the low success rate is troubling because failing at smart money management can impact your future. Let the following six habits for smart money management serve as a guideline to help you get your finances in order and make life-long, healthy financial choices:

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By Marc C. Shaffer

Most people would not complain about unexpected money coming their way, but knowing what to do with the money can pose an opportunity for some and a challenge for others. You may have received a large year-end bonus or even a significant monetary gift for the holidays. Perhaps you will be receiving a significant refund from your taxes in the next few months. Do you have a plan for how you would manage your money in this situation? Before you find an influx of cash burning a hole in your pocket, consider these tips for responsibly managing unexpected money:

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By: Marc C. Shaffer

It is easy to stray from basic, solid principles of finance. These remain true no matter what your age or circumstances. To make it easy, here are seven keys to fulfilling your financial vision of a steady tomorrow.
Consider each one closely. They should be ingrained in your brain. You need to continually read and practice them.


1. Pay yourself first. Make saving for your future a first priority, which you put before your other financial obligations. Put away as much as you can, and try to save at least 10% of your annual income (total, not take-home). Depending on your obligations, you may be able to save more or less. The more you save, the more wealth you create – but something is better than nothing.

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