6 Ways Prioritizing Your Health Can Save You Money

It can be easy to lose focus on your own health needs, especially if you have other obligations. This can be an expensive mistake for several reasons. Consider these ways putting your health first can help you both physically and financially.   Outrun medical costs While finding the time to exercise can pose a challenge, it can reap big rewards in the long run. That’s because leading an active lifestyle may help you dodge health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer, each of which can come with pricey medical expenses, such as for prescriptions and doctor visits. By staying healthy and avoiding these costs, you may have more money to contribute to long-term financial goals, such as saving for retirement or paying off your mortgage. Reduce food bills Preparing healthy meals for yourself may require careful planning, but you might find it’s worth the effort. Americans spent about $2,375 on restaurant and takeout food in 2022. Since food made at home is generally cheaper, you could save by preparing your own healthy meals. Then you could possibly put some money toward time away at a spa or other restful location. Pay less for transportation You can spend less on maintaining your car or for bus, cab, or train fare if you walk or bicycle instead when possible. Plus, you’ll enjoy numerous health benefits that can possibly stave off expensive medical care. The additional exercise can strengthen your lungs, muscles, and joints. You might also be able to enjoy the many benefits sunshine can provide, such as improving your levels of vitamin D, which can help regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Maintain your weight Weight

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The Role of Insurance in Your Financial Plan

A critical part of financial planning that is often overlooked is insurance. Having various insurance policies will provide different benefits to your financial plan, ranging from protection to tax breaks. In fact, insurance is a component of most financial plans, and some financial professionals are licensed to sell it themselves. Read on to learn more about the role insurance plays in financial planning and what policies you might consider. Risk Coverage All insurance policies are designed to mitigate risks. They help offset the potential financial loss you may experience due to a foreseen event. From death to hospitalization to a house damaged in an earthquake, insurance will help to absorb some of the financial burdens.1 Tax Benefits Insurance policies also provide tax benefits for the holder as well. Money paid toward life insurance premiums will be able to be deducted under Section 80C of the tax code. The premiums you pay for your health insurance may also be deducted from Section 80D of the tax law. Additionally, any death benefit from a life insurance policy will be tax-free, so your loved ones won’t be saddled with an additional tax burden.2 Insurance Policies You Should Have in Your Portfolio While there are insurance plans to cover everything from your jewelry to your long-term care, there are a few types of policies that you will want to have in your financial portfolio. Life Insurance: A term life insurance policy will provide a death benefit in the event of premature death. These policies are crucial to your financial planning as they will provide needed funds should the family’s provider pass away and the family faces a significant financial loss. Home Insurance: One of

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3 Key Money Moves Every Parent Should Make

Whether you are expecting your first child or have been a parent for years, finances and building a future for your family go hand-in-hand. Luckily, there are money moves you can make now to help manage financial stress, support yourself and your loved ones, and help your children as they get older. Here are three key financial moves all parents should consider making. Review and Update Your Life Insurance For many, life insurance is a necessary but unmanaged expense for a good reason. It is not pleasant to consider a situation where your life insurance policy may become relevant to your loved ones. However, for parents, in particular, having adequate life insurance might be the difference between your children struggling or enjoying a comfortable future. Many employers offer life insurance to their employees, often at a specific multiplier of their salary. For some families, this amount may be adequate; but in other cases, you may need to purchase an additional term policy that provides coverage until your youngest child is an adult. It is worth reviewing how much coverage you have, then comparing this with your average projected earnings over the next decade or so. Also, update your beneficiaries after any major changes. A divorce decree does not remove an ex-spouse’s name from a life insurance policy. For any changes in your marital status or if a named beneficiary passes away, you must update your list of beneficiaries with your insurer. Consider a College Savings Account As anyone who is still paying their student loans could confirm, college costs may be a major expense. For many, student loans are second only to the cost of a home purchase. Fortunately, time

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Homeownership: What It Could Mean for Your Estate Plan

There is one thing that we will most likely all do one day: regardless of your status in society, position at work, or whether you are tall or short, you may pass down assets to loved ones. When that day arrives, an estate plan is essential for managing and distributing those assets without too many hiccups. Physical real estate is one of the more valuable items on your asset list. It is critical that you are knowledgeable of how the process works in your state and how to design an estate plan that can suit your wishes.   Ownership How the property was owned can be the determining factor in what happens to it during the distribution phase of your assets. Depending on your estate plan, the home or the amount of equity you have in a home can transfer to heirs, beneficiaries, or surviving owners unless otherwise specified. There are several ways to purchase real estate. Understanding these types of ownership and how they could impact you and your beneficiaries is crucial.   Sole ownership Sole ownership is the possession by an entity or individual who is legally eligible to hold the title. Typically, sole ownership is held by single people, or married individuals who hold property apart from their spouse. Pros It is easier to complete transactions as no one needs to authorize the process. You control what happens to your property. Cons The transferring of ownership from one owner to another is not a simple process especially if the owner didn’t have a will. Your heirs will probably have to probate your estate to transfer the title. Community property This is a type of ownership by spouses

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The Surprising Benefits of Getting Life Insurance Later in Life 

A common piece of standard life insurance advice is to get it as early as possible — and there are good reasons why. If you’re young and in relatively good health, purchasing a term life insurance policy is usually much cheaper than it will be a decade or two later. But while it can seem counterintuitive, there are actually several surprising benefits to getting life insurance later in life. Continue reading to learn more about what you can expect if you purchase life insurance in your 50s, 60s, or beyond. Coverage for Final Expenses Many people who buy life insurance in their 20s or 30s consider income replacement. If you have a spouse or minor children at home, it can be critical to leave enough in life insurance proceeds to help cover lost income or pay your children’s college expenses. But once your children leave the house, you no longer need an enormous life insurance policy. Instead, you may want to focus on covering more specific costs, like funeral expenses, medical bills, or the cost of settling your estate. This life insurance can help you plan (and pay for) exactly what you want without placing any financial burden on your loved ones. Supplemental Retirement Income Term life insurance covers a certain term of years and pays out only if you pass away during this period. But other types of life insurance, like whole life or permanent life insurance, will accumulate cash value over time. If you purchase these policies later in life, you can use this cash value as an extra source of retirement income—whether via a policy loan or a withdrawal. Estate and Legacy Planning Tools Life insurance can

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Exercise, Diet, and Financial Wellness – 3 Tips to Ensure You’re in Good Financial Health for Retirement 

To maintain good physical health, most people must exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and keep stress to a minimum. Achieving financial wellness is no different. It requires careful planning, smart decision-making, and consistent efforts toward improvement. Below, we discuss three tips to help you gain and maintain top financial health in retirement. Figure Out Your Retirement Number Just as you set concrete fitness goals for yourself, like running a half-marathon or losing 10 pounds, it’s crucial to set clear financial goals for retirement. The most critical of these goals is determining how much money you’ll need to maintain your desired lifestyle once you leave the workforce for good. You’ll want to start with your current annual spending level to get a rough ballpark of this number. Then, subtract any budget items that will be reduced or eliminated in retirement, like clothing, dry cleaning, parking expenses, gas, and vehicle wear and tear. If you plan to pay off your mortgage or downsize your home in retirement, you can also eliminate these costs from your projected budget. Next, add any additional costs for healthcare coverage, travel, and other leisure activities that aren’t part of your current budget. By crunching these numbers, you’ll have a much better idea of how much you’ll need each month. Once you have your retirement budget, you can work backward to see how much of a nest egg you’ll need to cover these expenses. (Don’t forget your Social Security income!) Your retirement number can vary depending on when you’d like to retire. The younger you are at retirement, the longer you’ll be retired, and the more money you’ll need. Create a Budget and Stick to It Budgeting

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How Will My Children Pay for College? 7 Tips to Help You Plan, Save, and Pay

As a parent, one of the most significant concerns is ensuring that your children have the financial resources they need to pursue higher education. With college tuition costs continuously rising, it’s no surprise that many parents stress about their children’s future college expenses. It is never too early to start planning and saving for college or changing spending habits to prepare for education expenses. Start saving early The best way to ensure you have enough funds for your children’s college education is to start saving as early as possible. Thinking about college expenses when your children are still young may seem unusual. However, the earlier you start, the more time you have to save and plan. Even small contributions can add up over time and make a significant difference in covering the cost of college. Here are some education savings strategies to consider: 529 Plans 529 plans are tax-advantaged savings plans designed to save and pay for college. There are two types: Education savings plans- Education savings plans grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals are tax-free when the monies are used for qualified education expenses. Prepaid tuition plans- Prepaid tuition plans allow the account owner to pay today’s tuition rates for future attendance at a college or university. Coverdell Education Savings Account A Coverdell Education Savings Account, also known as an ESA, is a tax-deferred account where earnings and distributions are tax-free as long as the funds are used for educational purposes. Cut unnecessary expenses Look at your current monthly expenses and identify areas to cut back. It could be as simple as eating out less, canceling unused subscriptions, or finding more budget-friendly entertainment options. You can free up extra cash for

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Senior Cyber Safety – How to Avoid a Cyber Identity Crisis

You may have thought your digital identity was safe and not a likely target of a cybercriminal until one day, the bank calls wondering if purchases made at a store that you have never been to, 2,000 miles away, were made by you. Every day, similar scenarios play out for unsuspecting victims across the country and the world. Cyber scams and other cybercrimes have proven to be an escalating problem that requires people to be especially vigilant when using electronic devices.   Senior citizens, in particular, may be an attractive target for cybercrime because thieves may assume that they are not as technologically savvy or that they are easier to manipulate and convince to part with their money. According to Morgan Stanley, senior citizens lost an estimated $1.7 billion from cybercrime last year alone. [i]   It could be helpful to enlist the assistance of a financial professional who can help monitor your retirement and investment accounts to help eschew malicious behavior from cybercriminals. We want to share several ways seniors can work to circumvent falling victim to a cyber-predator.   6 Precautionary Measures to Help Seniors Identify and Avoid Cybercrime   Use a strong password – Safeguard access to your electronic devices and accounts with a secure password. Do not share this passcode with anybody you do not know or trust.   Enable multi-factor authentication – In many cases, you can turn on a second layer of defense via multi-factor authentication. A two-factor authentication process may require a fingerprint or facial scan (biometric login) and a one-time code that gets sent to your phone. [ii]   Ensure cybersecurity software is installed and up-to-date – Having proper protection software can

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Wealth, Success, and Mental Health: Finding the Balance Between Wealthy and Healthy 

April marks Stress Awareness Month, which provides a great opportunity to shed light on a topic often overlooked in the world of high-net-worth investors, which is mental health. For anyone who is used to managing substantial wealth, the pressure to sustain success may take a toll on your mental well-being. Here are some of the mental health challenges that high-net-worth individuals may face, how to address stigmas surrounding the issues, and a few practical tips to help you prioritize your mental health while continuing to pursue wealth and success. Isolation and Loneliness Wealthy individuals often find themselves isolated due to the challenges of managing significant assets. Common fears of being misunderstood or taken advantage of may further contribute to feelings of loneliness, particularly for those who grew up in lower-income families and then became wealthy. Perfectionism and High Expectations Pursuing success may breed perfectionism and high expectations. Constantly striving for excellence may lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and a never-ending quest for validation along the way. Fear of Failure and Financial Stress Even when you have financial success, the fear of an economic downturn or other crisis may be a constant source of stress. The pressure to maintain a certain lifestyle may also create a perpetual cycle of anxiety. Stigma Around Mental Health It’s common for high-net-worth individuals to hesitate to seek help due to the stigma surrounding having mental health problems. The misconception that money equals happiness may deter people from acknowledging, let alone addressing, their mental health struggles. Tips to Help You Prioritize Your Mental Health Here are some tips to up-level how you deal with your mental health. Break the Silence Challenge mental health stigmas by openly

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Asking for Help Is a Strength, Not a Weakness. Here Are 10 Ways a Financial Professional Can Assist You.

Often, there is a misconception that seeking financial help indicates incompetence or lack of financial self-sufficiency. However, seeking help is the exact opposite. High-performing individuals who excel in their respective fields adopt a more pragmatic approach – they understand the importance and benefits of employing a financial professional’s services. Seeking the help of a professional to assist in one’s wealth planning leaves more time for them to focus on their primary specialty area, thus driving efficiency in managing results. Often, these individuals are focused on their careers, are business owners, or are high achievers with many goals. Here are ten ways a financial professional can assist high-performing individuals work toward improving their financial health. Planning for goals A financial professional can develop a customized plan considering income, expenses, financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment strategies. This holistic plan considers all aspects of a high-performing individual’s financial life and aligns them with their goals. Planning for retirement It’s vital to start planning early to maintain your desired lifestyle while working and after retirement. Financial professionals will work to understand your retirement lifestyle goals and devise a comprehensive plan based on your goals, risk aversion, and timeline. Investment advice based on your situation Investing can be a complex process. A financial professional can help with investment diversification and recommend suitable investment strategies to help manage financial goals. Tax planning Efficient tax planning can result in significant financial savings. Financial professionals are equipped to recognize your tax liabilities and objectively propose strategies to mitigate taxes. Risk management and insurance From health insurance to life and property insurance, financial professionals can help you understand the importance of appropriate insurance coverage. Your assets may avoid

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