Sound and Practical Finance tips (SPF 15) for people in their 30’s

As we mentioned in last week’s post, good financial habits are like sunscreen – the earlier you begin to apply them the more you’ll thank yourself as you age. Last week, we addressed the specific needs of people in their 20s. This week, we are offering 15 SPF (Sound and Practical Finance) Tips to make life easier for people in their 30s: Finish paying off your student loans. If you took out a standard loan with a 10-year repayment schedule, and you completed college in your 20s, now is the time to wrap up that payment schedule. Then, to lighten that financial burden for the next generation… Open a college savings account for any children you have. Do this as soon as possible to allow those funds to earn compound interest. Consider buying a home but make sure it’s one you can comfortably afford. Shop around for the best mortgage rate and don’t panic purchase an overpriced house. Aim to have a year’s worth of salary saved for retirement. It will grow over time. Establish a good credit history by paying off your credit cards each month and making car, house and educational loan payments on time. If you have children, name a legal guardian for them. You will need a will to do this. Check the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policy. Do this annually to make sure they are current. Maintain an emergency fund with three to six months of income in it. Increase your job skills, obtain certifications and/or advanced degrees. Do the work now to increase your earning capacity later. Educate yourself about your finances. Read books, listen to podcasts, attend seminars and sit down with a financial advisor at least once a year. Achieve financial independence from your parents if you have not already done so. Pay for good insurance policies, including health, homeowners or renters, life and car. Plan your meals ahead of… | Read More »

Seven tips to keep you safer online while you are Safer at Home

As the world hunkers down in a global effort to stop the COVID-19 spread, scammers are ramping up their sinister efforts. We all need to be extra vigilant as we spend more time online. Furloughed workers who need to apply for unemployment benefits and aren’t sure how, senior citizens concerned about the decrease in their principal, and bored people who aren’t used to being home all day and let down their guard all make easy targets. We urge everyone to remain vigilant and to keep in mind that Safer at Home does not translate to Safer Online. Here are some tips to keep you safe, especially during the next few weeks. If you find yourself furloughed and need to apply for unemployment benefits, please be very cautious about what link you use. The address should end in gov. Do not click on a link you see in an ad. In Wisconsin, the correct links are  and Hang up on robocalls offering you virus treatments or work from home opportunities. Do not respond at all and do not click on any numbers, even if you are directed to dial a number to be removed from the call list. Just hang up. Do not order any home test kits or remedies touted in any advertisement. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. There are also currently no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Do not share false information about the virus. For legitimate information and updates, visit the U.S. Government’s Coronavirus site here: A $2 trillion Coronavirus stimulus package has been agreed to by the Senate, but details about how that money will be distributed have not yet been announced. Do not respond to any emails, texts or phone calls offering quick access to any stimulus… | Read More »