Author - Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

1
Teachable Moments at Thanksgiving
2
Which Comes First: Student Loans or Retirement?
3
Married? Get into Retirement Planning Before Losing a Spouse
4
Estate Planning is a Plot Point in “The Goldfinch”
5
Financial Planning is Savvy, Not Scary

Teachable Moments at Thanksgiving

As people prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, some are looking forward to it and waxing poetic about family togetherness while others are just going to try to grin and bear it. Here is another approach: think about the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to help younger relatives prepare for a better financial future. It can be a teachable moment.

Whether it is your own children and grandchildren or your nieces, nephews, and cousins: “As Thanksgiving approaches, you have the ability to influence young people to save and invest now — not to put that off until some later day.” 

This advice …

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Which Comes First: Student Loans or Retirement?

People go back and forth debating whether or not to save for retirement or pay down debt. Both are financial priorities and while it is possible to put some money towards both, some people want to know whether or not to concentrate on one or the other.

In “Here’s why you should make paying off your student loans a priority over saving for retirement,” Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary writes:

 “If you’re struggling under the weight of student loans — human behavior being what it is — pay off the debt as soon as you can …

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Married? Get into Retirement Planning Before Losing a Spouse

Kiplinger.com offered advice for married women who may need to do some retirement planning, mentioning this “sobering reality” – “Most widows feel unprepared to make key financial decisions in their live-alone years.” While it isn’t pleasant to think about death, married people do have to consider they may need to continue without a spouse: not simply emotionally but financially as well. “Thus, it’s extremely important for women to empower themselves with the tools they’ll need to take ownership of their financial future.”

If your spouse is in charge of finances, you need to make sure that you know where …

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Estate Planning is a Plot Point in “The Goldfinch”

One plot point in The Goldfinch (the movie version of this novel was released this year) involves a young boy whose mother has died and left him some money. In the movie, Theodore’s father coerces Theodore into calling his mother’s lawyer to ask that the lawyer to transfer a large sum of money to him. Theodore is to tell the lawyer that the money is for his own benefit but of course they father does not intend to use the money to directly benefit Theodore. The lawyer is unable to send any money because of the conditions Theodore’s mother outlined …

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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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