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Reining in Your Debt

Reining in Your Debt

Americans are spending freely again. That has a downside.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Credit-Debt-small.jpgAs the Great Recession faded, American household debt gradually decreased. In fact, it declined by $1 trillion between mid-2008 and mid-2014, according to the Federal Reserve.1

 

Now household debt is increasing once more. The Fed found it climbing by $78 billion (0.7%) during Q3 2014.1

 

On the macroeconomic level, that can be interpreted as a positive: it hints at greater consumer spending, easier credit, and more lending taking place to accommodate consumer borrowers. On a microeconomic level, it is more troublesome. It may mean a change in perception, with debt not seeming as onerous as it once did.

Rehearsing for Retirement

Rehearsing for Retirement

 

Try living as a “retiree” for a month or two before you commit to leaving your career.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Cheerful-Old-Woman-Sitting small.jpgImagine if you could preview your retirement in advance. In a sense, you can. Financially and mentally, you can “rehearse” for the third act of your life while still enjoying the second.

    

Pretend you are retired for a month or two. Take two steps to act out your rehearsal – one having to do with your budget, the other with your expectations.

  

Talking About Money Before & After You Marry

Talking About Money Before & After You Marry

 

No money secrets should stand between the two of you as you wed.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Golden-Engagement-Ring-small.jpgNo married couple should suffer from financial infidelity. If you hide debt, income or assets from your spouse, it can lead to a fight and possibly even an impasse in your relationship.

 

Communication & transparency are essential when it comes to money. That truth should be recognized by every couple tying the knot, or even just cohabitating. Yes, financial matters can prove hard to discuss – but if you can’t talk about them together, that’s already a serious problem.

Are Your Children Financially Literate?

Are Your Children Financially Literate?

New Approaches to a Changing Problem.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Girl-Saving-Money-With-Family--smaller.jpgHow bad is financial illiteracy today? So bad that your children may be at risk of making some serious financial mistakes. Some are finding that talking to children about finances has become less about the nuts and bolts of money and more about putting money’s importance to our daily lives in the correct context.

Women at particular risk. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that only 45% of working women ages 21-64 have a retirement plan. The DOL also notes that more women work in part-time jobs, and are more likely to interrupt their careers to take care of family, whether that be raising children or looking after parents. Some of these patterns are just luck of the draw, but others may come from what parents teach children about money, and how they teach it.1

Are Americans Growing More Optimistic About Retiring?

Are Americans Growing More Optimistic About Retiring?

Pragmatism seems to be replacing pessimism, at least.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Happy-Senior-Lady-With-Hands-small.jpgIs it okay to retire today? Many baby boomers shelved notions of retiring during the past few years. Layoffs, the decline in home values, the crushing bear market of 2007-09 – those memories were just too fresh, and their economic effects were still being felt by many households.

 

In 2015, boomers seem a bit less hesitant to begin their “third acts.” In this year’s CareerBuilder retirement survey, 53% of workers older than 60 indicated they are postponing their retirements. That may not seem a statistic worth celebrating, but five years ago 66% of respondents to the survey said they were putting off leaving work.1

An Alert for People Who Use CDs for Their IRAs

An Alert for People Who Use CDs for Their IRAs

 

A recent tax court ruling now limits the frequency of IRA rollovers.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Save-Or-Invest-40125847.jpgDo you like to shop around online for the best CD rates? Do you have a habit of moving certificates of deposit from bank to bank in pursuit of better yields? If you do, you should be aware of an obscure but important IRS decision, one that could directly impact any IRA CDs you own.

 

Pay attention to the new, tighter restrictions on 60-day IRA rollovers. This is when you take possession of some or all of the assets from a traditional IRA you own and deposit them into another traditional IRA (or for that matter, the same traditional IRA) within 60 days. By making this tax-savvy move, you exclude the amount of the IRA distribution from your gross income.1

Will You Have to Pay Back Health Insurance Credits?

Will You Have to Pay Back Health Insurance Credits?

 

Millions of taxpayers may end up doing so in 2015.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Insurance-small.jpgIf you received a 2014 health insurance subsidy, you may get an unpleasant surprise. When the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) went online in late 2013, Americans shopping for coverage were asked to see if they qualified for a subsidy called the Premium Tax Credit. Millions of Americans did receive this federal assistance, which made it easier for them to pay health insurance premiums. PTCs were awarded based on household size and estimated 2014 household income.1

Getting Your Household Cash Flow Back Under Control

Getting Your Household Cash Flow Back Under Control

 

Developing a better budgeting process may be the biggest step toward that goal.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Dog-With-Calculator-Cents-small.jpgWhere does your money go? If you find yourself asking that question from time to time, it may relate to cash flow within your household. Having a cash flow management system may be instrumental in restoring some financial control.

 

It is harder for a middle-class household to maintain financial control these days. If you find yourself too often living on margin (i.e., charging everything) and too infrequently with adequate cash in hand, you aren’t the only household feeling that way. Some major economic trends really have made it more challenging for households with mid-five-figure incomes.

 

4 Money Blunders That Could Leave You Poorer

4 Money Blunders That Could Leave You Poorer

 

A “not-to-do” list for the new year & years to follow.

 

Provided by Exemplar Financial Network

 

bigstock-Investing-Your-Savings-small.jpgHow are your money habits? Are you getting ahead financially, or does it feel like you are running in place?

 

It may come down to behavior. Some financial behaviors promote wealth creation, while others lead to frustration. Certainly other factors come into play when determining a household’s financial situation, but behavior and attitudes toward money rank pretty high on the list.

 

Exemplar Financial Network and Crystal Lake Force Present Donation to Casa of McHenry County

As Presenting Sponsor of Kicks 4 Kids Annual Soccer Tournament

 

kicks 4 kids casa check presentation small.jpgExemplar Financial Network as presenting sponsor of the Kicks 4 Kids soccer tournament presented a check for $11,238.82 to Casa of McHenry County at their January 6 board meeting along with the Crystal Lake Force.

Kicks 4 Kids is a not-for-profit organization that creates awareness on how to rear healthy children through exercise, proper nutrition, positive thinking and taking care of the environment. Each year in August, the Crystal Lake Force runs the Kicks 4 Kids Classic soccer tournament as a way to show kids that you can give back to your community while still having fun. Since the tournament's inception in 2013, Exemplar Financial Network has been the presenting sponsor of this exciting community event.

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