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Teaching Kids About Cashless and Online Finances

In an increasingly digital world, your kids will need to know how to handle their finances online and how to responsibly use debit cards.

Start teaching with cash

More and more consumers use cards and mobile devices to conduct everyday financial transactions. Start lessons with real money and work into the online world. By the time kids are five years old, they can have an allowance, and you should open a joint savings account. Kids should learn to make change, so pay allowances in cash.

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Time to Get Real about Family Money

Instead of debating about politics or sports whenever they get together, what if families spent some time having candid discussions about their finances and plans for the future?

We know money is a hard topic for many families to broach. For the older generation, it can bring up the issue of aging and might signal the loss of independence. Younger family members may also have difficulty accepting that their parents may need their help and worry that they’re not up to the task.

Whatever the reason, know this: without a plan for finances, a family could run the risk of giving up control of health care and inheritance.

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Finance Talk with Grandkids: Not An #AwkwardFamilyMoment

By Paul Gydosh

Talking about finances with your teenage grandkids doesn’t have to become their next Snap about an #AwkwardFamilyMoment. Despite a few eye rolls, young people are willing to listen to their grandparents’ advice. An intergenerational study by the MIT AgeLab and TIAA-CREF found that 85% of kids are open to having “the finance talk” with grandparents, while only 8% of grandparents are likely to start a conversation about money. And, the study found that grandkids view their grandparents as positive role models when it comes to the importance and ability to save money.

So, grandparents, it’s time to stop shying away from “the finance talk” and share your life experiences with your grandchildren. Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid being caught in an #AwkwardFamilyMoment in the process.

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Debt Management: The Snowball Method

If you have debt, odds are you want to ditch it. You can work to eliminate debt on your own using the snowball method. The snowball method is a debt-reduction strategy where you start by paying off debts starting with the smallest balances first, moving to the largest thereafter. Try this method for yourself by following the following steps:

  1. Build a list of your debts, ranking them from smallest to largest balance. If you have a mortgage, do not include it in this list.

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Understanding Employee Stock Grants

Many successful companies know the importance of rewarding and retaining key employees. Some forms of this include non-cash compensation, bonuses, stock, or stock options.

Here, we’ll delve into stock and stock options, specifically company stock grants and incentive stock options. Both give you the opportunity to profit directly from your contribution to the success of your company.

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Smart Ways to Handle a Financial Windfall

A financial windfall is something many people dream of, and for quite a few people that dream actually comes true. When people imagine this happening to them, they often think of winning the lottery or sweepstakes and using that money to purchase expensive luxury items.

In fact, financial windfalls generally occur in more traditional ways such as stock options or a company IPO, the sale of a family business or a substantial property, an insurance or legal settlement, a large bonus, or an inheritance.

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Financials of Marriage

When you get married, you begin to share a long list of things with your loved one, but what about finances? Did you know many financial benefits can arise from marriage?

Going into marriage with an open mind to shared finances is extremely important. As communication can play a significant role in the overall health of a relationship, having open communication about your financial situation can allow you to financially prosper as a couple.

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First Time Home Buying: Questions and Answers

Purchasing your first home is a key life event that may have been a personal goal for years. Once it’s a financially viable option, you may feel eager to begin home shopping and dive headfirst into the process, but it’s crucial to carefully prepare for the largest purchase of your life to date.

Here are some questions before going through with your very first home purchase:

How much can I afford to spend on a home?

As a home buyer, you’ll want to have a solid understanding of your monthly mortgage payments. A good rule of thumb is to avoid spending more than 28% of your monthly income on mortgage payments and additional home costs like property taxes. You must also look at your cash reserves to determine what you have available to cover your down payment and closing costs.

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Protecting Your Loved Ones

Nothing in life is 100% predictable. However, there are ways to help you prepare for the unexpected.

Insurance was created to help combat certain unexpected situations, and there are different types of insurance to cover you in ways that best suit your needs, whether it be a disability, car accident, medical need, or the loss of a life.

Here, we’ll review a few important types of insurance products to consider when building your ideal plan. There are so many different types of insurance that it can be overwhelming to read about it all. We’ll cover a few here and then talk more about your life goals to figure out what other insurance topics we should talk about.

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CARES Act Resources

There are currently many resources circulating about the new CARES Act due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team at Kensington Wealth Partners is continually educating ourselves on the financial incentives the government is releasing.

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Benefits of Pet Insurance

By Paula Tarpey

Our furry family members bring us lots of joy every day. Many people view their dogs or cats as another member of the family and would do anything for their pet. I am truly one of those people and I know many of our clients feel the same way.

It’s becoming more common for dogs to have knee surgeries and cancer treatments or for cats to need kidney treatments. I have had many rescue dogs throughout the years and while I love to rescue, you likely have much less information about their background and their potential health problems at the time you adopt. Animal hospital and veterinary bills from an illness or accident add up quickly. I have experienced vet bills from $3,000 - $5,000 and have heard about pet cases totaling $15,000 or more.

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10 Steps to a Better Financial Future

By Paul A. Gydosh, Jr. CFP®
Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp a broker/dealer (Member SIPC) and registered investment advisor.

Whether you’re a working member of the Baby Boomer generation, approaching retirement or already retired, here are ten steps you can take now to help improve your financial future.

  1. Seek to save a million. A general rule is that someone planning for a long retirement should seek to save $1 million for every $50,000 in annual retirement income desired. While this may be different for you, you need to build your retirement savings.

    As a financial planner spanning three decades as a key advisor to many in the city, one would think I would favor planning first. Act first. Start now. Do the planning for sure, but don’t wait for the plan. Use periodic and automated methods of saving to avoid procrastination. Capture the money every week or month, directly from your paycheck or your checking account.

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Retirement Planning

Responsibility for one’s retirement no longer falls to an employer via a pension. It’s now squarely on your shoulders. We can partner with you to lighten the load. It involves planning. Then action.

Over the past three decades there has been a complete reversal of retirement funding responsibility from employers to employees. The days of being provided a monthly retirement income, solely funded by an employer, for the most part, are gone. In addition, employees are more mobile and are far less likely to have long-term careers with the same employer.

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Financial Planning

If you have financial and life goals, you need a plan. Find out how to achieve your goals and make your money work for you.

However you live your life—whether you choose to be single or get married, have children or not have children, live in a big city or a tiny town in the Midwest—as long as you want to prepare for the future financially, it’s worth your while to examine your finances and do the work necessary to ensure that you are prepared for the future.

Where do you begin? The first thing you need to do is identify your goals. If you have children, one of your goals might be to save for college expenses. If you’ve always wanted to travel when retired, maybe you want to save for a retirement trip to Europe. So carve out some time to identify your financial needs and wishes.

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Financial Strategies for Women

Stop putting yourself last on your “to do” list. Take the appropriate steps to prepare for your financial future now.

It’s true that these days we all live hectic lives. But consider women who, more often than not, juggle the demands of work, child care, and maintaining a household. While it’s good for each individual and family to have a sound financial plan for the future, women may be more inclined than others to put financial planning at the bottom of a giant heap of daily activities and responsibilities. And they may need a plan more than men: there are many studies that provide statistics illustrating that women earn something like 20% less than men in comparable jobs.

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Personalize Your Portfolio

Defining your goals, comfort-level with risk, and investment time horizon can help you choose an investment strategy suited to you. Learn more here.

Whenever you review your personal investment portfolio you should have both your long- and short-term goals in mind. As you go through life, you’ll find that your goals are always changing or being modified to reflect your current planning situation—such as funding a child’s education, buying a new house, starting a business, or planning for an early retirement.

Personalizing a portfolio simply means that your choices for savings and investments will be based on specific criteria tailored to you and/or your family’s short- and/or long-term goals. You can develop a strategy that creates a feeling of comfort depending on your risk tolerance, time frame, and your objectives.

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Basic Estate Planning: Tips for Getting Started

A solid estate plan can help you toward attaining your estate planning goals and objectives. Start building your estate plan here.

Preparing an estate plan is personal and highly individualized. You should also prepare it with a knowledgeable team of professionals; your lawyer, accountant, trust officer, financial and insurance advisors.

A sage once said; “planning for the future means considering many possibilities before they occur”. We all know it’s impossible to accurately predict future events. And in the case of estate planning, you are in all respects creating a plan for others at a future point in time. Those others may be your closest family, your children, or business associates.

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Estate Planning Strategies

Minimize your tax liability while preserving your wealth. Find out how to structure your estate plan to do both, here.

For individuals who have accumulated a significant amount of wealth, it is essential to consider several situations if they want to preserve that wealth for current and future generations. One of the most prominent situations is that estate taxation can erode wealth. Above certain levels of wealth, estate taxes may be difficult if not impossible to eradicate.

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Now is the Time to Think about the Cost of College

The cost of a four-year college education is daunting. So how can you build a college fund? Find out about your options here.

You don’t have to go far or long to hear or read about the rising costs of attending college. It’s easy to lie awake at night wondering how you will be able to help your children when they’re ready to start their education.

Colleges often provide financial aid for families who can’t afford all the costs, but it’s next to impossible to know in advance how much money a family will receive, and in most cases college estimates of a family’s financial need are far lower than the actual need. So what’s a good approach?

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Working with a Financial Advisor: Six Steps to Help You Get the Most Out of the Relationship

Would you trust your medical diagnosis to a casual acquaintance? Do you cut your own hair or dry clean your own clothes? For some services, it makes more sense to pay a professional who has the expertise to deliver the appropriate results. A professional financial advisor can help you build a sound estate plan, designed to help you toward your long-term financial planning goals. These six steps can help you locate and get the most out of this important relationship.

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The Future of Your Business: Succession Planning

Find out how to protect your financial independence and the future of your business with a comprehensive succession plan. Start here.

If you’ve developed a successful business through years of hard work, you may want the business to continue in some form in the event of retirement, death, or disability. Perhaps you want a family member to inherit and manage it, or you want the family to own the business but have it be run by a trained management team. Perhaps you want to sell the business and make sure that it sells at a fair value and is run well. There’s a lot to consider: to make sure everything will run smoothly at the time you leave the business for whatever reason, you need to prepare what is called a succession plan.

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Executive Compensation: Keeping Competitive

In order to hire the best in your industry, develop a compensation plan that rewards key employees. Learn how here.

As a company owner, you may have what many potential employees would characterize as the “dream job” that includes ideal working conditions and a competitive salary base. But staying competitive in the marketplace for exceptional employees may mean that you will need to offer especially skilled people something above and beyond the basics. In other words, creative employers should offer talented people more than enough incentives to keep them loyal to the company and willing to stay for the long haul. It is essentially a smart business strategy.

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