Archive - March 2018

1
Financial planning and college acceptance
2
How Much Is Too Much College Debt?
3
The Family Maximum Benefit (Retirement)
4
Women: Use Your Clout as a Consumer
5
Volatility is a Two-Way Street

Financial planning and college acceptance

If you have a senior in high school, this is an anxious time. College acceptances and rejections are rolling in, and it’s tough. It’s an emotional drain and the decision can have a huge impact on your finances well into retirement. So, some points to ponder:

Accept a college you can afford. Unless you have significant savings, current high income, or significant financial aid, a state school is going to be most people’s best financial option. The cost of attendance at private schools has become breathtaking—four years at Northwestern is going to cost around $300,000. Four years at the University …

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How Much Is Too Much College Debt?

Over 44 million Americans walked away from their time in higher education with some amount of college debt. The total amount of student loan debt collectively carried by college students and grads today is $1.45 trillion, and the average 20-something-year-old borrower pays $350 per month on their loans.

There’s no question about it: student loan debt is a serious financial burden for many students, parents, and newly-minted grads.

Whether you’re considering college costs for a family member or want to go back to school yourself, you likely want to avoid dealing with student loan debt thanks to statistics like

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The Family Maximum Benefit (Retirement)

When a worker is receiving retirement benefits and/or members of his family are also receiving benefits based upon the retirement benefits, such as via spousal benefits, benefits for children, or other family members benefits, there is a maximum amount of benefit that can be distributed in total.  (There is a separate maximum benefit computation for disability benefits, which we’ll cover in another article.)

How the Family Maximum Benefit is Computed

When computing the Family Maximum Benefit (FMB), the Social Security Administration falls back to its old habits of using a very convoluted formula, similar to the formula for computing …

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Women: Use Your Clout as a Consumer

Recently, CNN reported, “SnapChat stock loses $800 million after Rihanna responds to offensive ad,” one that she said made light of domestic violence. That startling monetary loss came not because this celebrity stopped patronizing them herself but because she also asked her fans to drop Snapchat as well.

While everyone does not meticulously research the retailers and service providers that get their dollars,  more people are paying attention to the stances the businesses they patronize take on certain issues. You can use your clout as a consumer to express your views on political and social issues, especially if …

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Volatility is a Two-Way Street

In many cases, whenever we think of volatility we think negatively. Try it yourself. Think of the word volatility and say it out loud. What thoughts, words, or images pop into your head? Bad news? Market losses? Losing money? The color red?

The point is that we tend to give volatility a bad rap – and rightfully so. Generally, the word is thrown at us during periods of when the market, and our investments, lose value. Volatility, however, works both ways. It’s also present when the market and our investments are doing well. We just don’t call it volatility. We …

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