Down Payment for a Home

When it comes time to consider purchasing a home, many things go into the decision-making process. Most people will need to take out a mortgage to make the purchase as it will typically be a significant investment. One thing to plan for is the down payment required to close the loan and purchase the home.  Depending on the type of loan, that amount of money could range from nothing required up to 20% of the home purchase price. Some loans require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which protects the lender in case of a borrower default. A rule of thumb is that if …

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Should You Consider a Career Change?

Considering a career change is a serious decision. Depending on where you are in your career, making a change could be a relatively easy adjustment, or a very difficult one. As you think about changing careers, make a plan to get yourself into a position where you can make the switch as easily as possible. If your finances are not under control, then you need to stabilize them. If you are purchasing a home, wait until after the purchase is complete before changing so you will not create an issue with the financing. If you need to get more education …

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Estate Planning

At the start please note that the information in this article provides ideas and should not be considered as professional advice. Consult with your financial and legal licensed professionals for discussions on your specific situation. As possessions and wealth accumulate, everyone needs to make sure they give those assets to the people they want to receive them, at the right time, and with the least burden. If we believe that we do not have to do anything and everything will work out when we pass away, then our heirs will be in for many difficult issues. If we do not have a …

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What to Expect When Filing 2018 Taxes

As the April 15th 2019 deadline approaches for filing 2018 tax returns, there are several changes that will affect your tax refund,  what you need to pay, or what you claim. These changes listed below are only some of those instituted, and their effect on each situation may differ. Please note I am not a tax advisor. I suggest you consult with your tax advisor on questions related to your specific circumstances. The first change to discuss is the downward adjustment of tax brackets for most filers. The good thing about this change is that you can expect to owe …

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Paying Off Credit Card Debt

  Now that December is over many credit card statements will arrive with higher balances owed due to increased spending. So if you find yourself with a higher than normal balance on your credit cards there are several ways to reduce the debt. One way is to pay them off completely, and if you have the excess cash to do that it is a great idea. If you do not have the cash to pay them all off, but can pay the balance off of one (or more) of them, then deciding where to apply the funds to provide the …

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Year End Checkup and Plan for 2019

As we approach the end of 2018, it is time to look at your financial achievements and opportunities for improvement. If you paid off debt, increased your savings, reduced (or at least maintained) your monthly expenses, invested money and still had enjoyable experiences during the year then you should congratulate yourself on your performance. If you were successful in at least one of these aforementioned areas, then you should be happy to have your efforts pay off and consider how you can improve in the areas you did not achieve your plan.   In planning your finances for 2019 one …

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Purchasing a Vehicle

There comes a point in time to purchase a vehicle. For some people that time comes often as they believe owning a newer vehicle is best for them. For others it may be when the cost to repair their current vehicle is more than it is worth, or the likelihood of something major failing is strong even if they fix a current issue. Another case for the need of a different vehicle may come due to an accident, or a new driver in the home. Whatever the case may be, it is important to look at your options and current …

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Ideas to Protect Against Financial Crime

Financial crimes have always been an issue in the world, but with the growing sophistication of those intent on perpetrating the crimes it can be trickier to avoid them. Although some schemes are not that detailed, just letting down your guard for a minute and sharing with a scammer can bring about misfortune. Sometimes the criminals prey on the elderly so even if you are not prone to be taken advantage of you might share with a friend, or family member some tips on how to be safe. Scam: One of the more recent scams that trips up people is …

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Basic Things Needed When Purchasing a Home

Over the last couple of months we have covered issues related to financial well-being. If some of those ideas have been put into practice it may be time to think about purchasing a home. Even if you already own a home it may have been awhile since you have gone through the process so below are some of the basic things you will need when purchasing a home. One of the first things you should do is get pre-qualified for a loan with a mortgage loan professional. Please note that your credit report will be checked, so it is better …

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Ideas to Increase Wealth and Thrift

Increasing wealth is an admirable goal for many people. Although to some that goal may seem to be selfish, if wealth is used to help others it can be a great thing. Accumulating assets may also help protect against economic downturns and provide adequate income after retirement. So how do you increase wealth? That depends on your situation. One great place to start is to see if you are generating more income than your expenses. If that is the case then you have income you can start to save or invest. Some things to consider for wealth building (please note …

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