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Refinancing Your Mortgage

Refinancing Your Mortgage

When you refinance your mortgage, you take out a new home loan and use some or all of the proceeds to pay off the existing one. Why refinance your mortgage? There are a variety of reasons why you may want to consider refinancing your mortgage, such as: Lowering your monthly mortgage payment by refinancing to a lower interest rate Shortening the length of your loan (e.g., from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage) to potentially reduce interest charges over time Accessing extra cash through a cash-out refinancing to pay for home improvements, pay for college, or consolidate debt Refinancing…
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Funding a Roth IRA

Funding a Roth IRA

With the potential for tax-free retirement income, Roth IRAs are popular investment vehicles. There are three ways to fund a Roth IRA — you can open an account and contribute directly, you can convert all or part of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, or you can roll over or convert funds from an eligible employer retirement plan. 1. Open account, contribute directly In general, you can contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA (traditional, Roth, or a combination of both) in 2021 (unchanged from 2020) ($7,000 if you'll be age 50 or older by December 31). However, your…
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Key Estate Planning Documents You Need

Key Estate Planning Documents You Need

There are five estate planning documents you may need, regardless of your age, health, or wealth: Durable power of attorney Advance medical directives Will Letter of instruction Living trust The last document, a living trust, isn't always necessary, but it's included here because it's a vital component of many estate plans. Durable power of attorney A durable power of attorney (DPOA) can help protect your property in the event you become physically unable or mentally incompetent to handle financial matters. If no one is ready to look after your financial affairs when you can't, your property may be wasted, abused,…
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Maintaining Your Financial Records: The Importance of Being Organized

Maintaining Your Financial Records: The Importance of Being Organized

An important part of managing your personal finances is keeping your financial records organized. Whether it's a utility bill to show proof of residency or a Social Security card for wage reporting purposes, there may be times when you need to locate a financial record or document--and you'll need to locate it relatively quickly. By taking the time to clear out and organize your financial records, you'll be able to find what you need exactly when you need it. What should you keep? If you tend to keep stuff because you "might need it someday," your desk or home office…
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Financial Basics for Millennials

Financial Basics for Millennials

 With age comes responsibility, so if you're a young adult in your 20s or 30s, chances are you've been introduced to the realities of adulthood. While you're excited by all the opportunities life has to offer, you're also aware of your emerging financial responsibility. In the financial realm, the millennial generation (young adults born between 1981 and 1997) faces a unique set of challenges, including a competitive job market and significant student loan debt that can make it difficult to obtain financial stability. Poor money management can lead to debt, stress, and dependency on others. Fortunately, good money management skills…
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