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Good Financial Reads: Review Your Financial Successes, Should You Open a Store Credit Card, and More

Good Financial Reads 12.18.15 (1)

Following along with the blogs of financial advisors is a great way to access valuable, educational information about finance — and it doesn’t cost you a thing! Our financial planners love to share their knowledge and help everyone regardless of age or assets.

Catch up on some of the latest posts with this week’s roundup:

 

Review Your Financial Successes This Year

by Cady North, North Financial Advisors

Happy Holidays! As we wrap up 2015, I like to take time to review my accomplishments for the year — especially financial ones. Oftentimes we look at our finances as a constant to-do list, which means it feels like work. There are things to learn (what did my benefits guy say about my insurance coverage again?), bills to pay, retirement to plan for…..oh, and dreaded tax time to deal with.

A tip I’ve learned to make all this work feel more rewarding is to take a moment to think about the major milestones you’ve achieved this year and celebrate them.

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Should You Open a Store Credit Card

by Cathy Derus, Brightwater Financial

With holiday shopping in full swing, you might be tempted to open a store credit card. Retailers try to entice you with offers of extra savings the day you sign up, exclusive coupons for cardholders, and/or rebates once you spend a certain amount. If you do, you’re not alone.

Credit Karma 2013 member data showed that “compared to the previous January the percentage of new store credit cards more than doubled during the months of November (13 percent) and December (11 percent), signaling the most activity of the year.” And a 2014 poll by Credit Karma found that “21 percent – or one in five Americans– opted for the discount and opened a store credit card at least once over the past two years. Shockingly, 45 percent of these shoppers admit they didn’t consider the impact on their credit or finances when they filled out the application.”

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Changes to Military Retirement – An Overview

by Patrick Ortman, Ortman Financial Group

On November 25th, President Obama signed Defense Authorization Act for 2016. With it comes long anticipated changes to the military retirement system. Over the next several weeks, I’ll dive into some of the details of the changes and how it will affect the financial decision-making of active duty and their families.

First things first, let’s address 8 basic questions to summarize the changes. Please note, this is not a complete breakdown of every detail but just a broad overview of the changes.

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Estate Planning Basics

by Jennifer Harper, Bridge Financial Planning

Estate Planning is one of the more misunderstood financial planning topics, especially for younger professionals. Since an estate plan is a cornerstone of a solid financial plan, it’s important to know it’s far more than just a Will, and why even if you’re not planning on walking through those pearly gates anytime soon, it’s still a smart move to have one in place.

I heard a fellow XY Planning Network member, Pam Horack, say that investments are the dessert of financial planning – everyone wants to focus on them first because they’re exciting and cool, but other aspects of your financial life like estate planning, insurance, and budgeting are the fruit and vegetables that should fill up most of your plate. I couldn’t agree more! Investments definitely have a key role to play in a financial plan, but they often receive attention at the expense of other aspects of a good financial plan.

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