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December 2012

Charitable Giving When You Are Poor

I have come to believe that if a person cannot give charitably when he or she is poor, then charitable giving will not all of a sudden come naturally once additional wealth is obtained. I recognize that there are many different ways to help and serve others, and money is only one way.  Some of [...]

Medicare 101: Understanding the Basics of Medicare

Maintaining appropriate health insurance is very important both before and during retirement.  Healthcare expenses can quickly exhaust one’s savings if proper insurance is not maintained.  Fewer and fewer people will receive healthcare benefits from their employer after retirement due to spiraling healthcare costs.  This is where Medicare comes into play. Medicare is a United States [...]

529 Plan 101: The Basics of 529 Plans

People use a variety of different investment vehicles to save for their children’s education, including IRAs, custodial accounts, and 529 plans.  529 plans are by far the most popular option.  So what is a 529 plan and how does it work? Saving for a child or grandchild’s education can be very important.  However, it may [...]

How Hard is the CPA Exam & How to Pass It

Being a CPA and CFP, I frequently get asked by accounting and finance students and recent graduates how to pass the CPA and/or CFP Exam on their first try.  I'll focus on the CPA exam in this article. Fortunately, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to pass the CPA Exam, and yes, [...]

Annuity Basics 101: How Annuities Work

Annuities are a tool to hedge against a very real and serious risk:  that of running out of money during retirement.  There are many valid reasons to be worried about running out of money: Traditional pensions are becoming rare. Nobody knows what will happen to Social Security. Healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and employer provided healthcare [...]

Charitable Giving and Service

In my opinion, charitable giving and service should form an important part of any personal financial plan and an important part of life.  Below are some quotes that I believe help answer some of the more commonly asked questions regarding charitable giving and service.  I also add a few of my own thoughts.  “The value [...]

Dental Insurance vs Discount Dental Plans

Your teeth are an important part of your appearance and health.  Sadly, I recently read that over 40% of Americans don’t have dental insurance.  Many don't have discount dental plans either. Dental services are normally not covered by a traditional health insurance plan or Medicare.  Additionally, in an effort to cut costs, many employers have [...]

Home Equity Loan Basics

A home equity loan, commonly referred to as a second mortgage, is a note or line of credit that is secured or collateralized by the equity in your home. The term of a home equity loan is generally shorter than that of a first mortgage, and similar to a first mortgage, the lender has the right [...]

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