Author - Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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Financial Planning is Savvy, Not Scary
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Which Women Face the Greatest Financial Risk in Retirement?
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Estate Planning for Blended Families
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Should You Leave a Balance on a Credit Card?
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Get Set Up for Less Stress at Tax Time Next Year

Financial Planning is Savvy, Not Scary

Halloween is a good time to think about what really scares you and the ways you mask or hide behind old habits to avoid facing your financial fears. Maybe you just ignore bills as they arrive. Perhaps you avoid checking your bank balance, credit score, or investment portfolio because you aren’t sure you can handle what you might see. You might be someone that keeps using a credit card to the very limit, thinking that you will manage to pay it off somehow in the future.

Saving is savvy. People who manage to save money do so because they …

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Which Women Face the Greatest Financial Risk in Retirement?

Forbes.com discussed the surprising results of research from The Center for Retirement Research as reported by Prudential Financial:

Women in their 50s who are at the most financial risk in retirement are those who are married and in two-income households.

The research still found risk for women who were married in households with one income and those who had never been married but those who were married with two incomes had a higher percentage of risk. 

The assumption is that a woman is better off if her household is earning more but that is not necessarily so. People …

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Estate Planning for Blended Families

If you do not leave a specific, legally executed estate plan with the appropriate documents, then you are leaving it up to your state to decide how your resources are distributed. This could make things quite difficult for your heirs (at least for the people whom the law determines are your heirs if you didn’t name any.) 

And when you are becoming a stepparent or blending your family with another person’s family, it is especially important to consider estate planning. While it isn’t romantic, it can make things smoother down the road. As you can imagine there are a number …

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Should You Leave a Balance on a Credit Card?

Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary took on the “counterintuitive” advice a reader wrote in about: The reader, who was trying to refinance a mortgage, was told to leave a small balance on her credit card (rather than paying the card off). That didn’t seem quite right and the reader wanted another opinion.

While there may have been a time when many Americans didn’t even know they were being judged using a credit score, that has changed. However, even though more people are aware of the credit scoring system, it still remains a mystery to some.

The overall advice …

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Get Set Up for Less Stress at Tax Time Next Year

While you perhaps breathed a sigh of relief that it was over, experts began tax planning for 2020 right after the 2019 tax season ended (if they hadn’t started before). It’s okay if you didn’t start thinking about next year’s taxes that early, however, are still things you can do during the last quarter of the year to set yourself up for a less stressful tax season next year and the “5 Ways to Boost Next Year’s Tax Refund Now” offers tips.

Look at your tax deductions: If you find yourself in a tizzy each year trying to get …

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