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April is Financial Literacy Month
Why do we need a Financial Literacy Month?  According to a 2013 survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), only 40% of Americans have a budget and closely keep track of expenses. Yet more than 57% said that they worry about not having enough savings.  Many of them expressed concern over not having enough rainy day funds.

Take control! With a little planning, worries will be a thing of the past.  Start by using the NFCC's budget tool to help you manage your money. Then call 1-855-FIN-PHIL (346-7445) to schedule an appointment at one of the Financial Empowerment Centers.
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Tax Time - Protect Yourself
It's time to file taxes again! Around 150 million people file their taxes each year and 80% of them will  get a refund. However, many fall victim to scams.  Remember - the IRS does not contact with taxpayers via email to request personal information.  If you receive a suspicious email, then report it to phishing@irs.gov. In the meantime, read these helpful tips about the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2013.
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AVI and Your Finances
Many homeowners are wondering how AVI will affect their finances. Most will see their property taxes decrease, while some may pay more. But "Are Philly renters at risk from AVI hikes?"  Not necessarily. Many landlords are keeping rents stable because of the economy.   The Financial Empowerment Centers can help you figure out how the change will impact your bottom line. 

Just call 1-855-FIN-PHIL for an appointment. 
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After the Ceremony: Considering Employment After College Graduation

This graduation season, as in recent years, graduates are walking across the stage and into uncertainty. Many graduates are still being encouraged to follow their hearts and do what they love but due to the questionable labor market of the present day that advice may not always be appropriate.  

The Wall Street Journal found that many graduates will have to take employment that may be low-paying and short term. Regardless of this data graduates can still work with a sense of pride and purpose whether or not they are fortunate enough to land their dream career immediately following commencement.

If you are a recent graduate and you would like to discuss your finances with a qualified professional free of charge please call us at 1-855-346-7445 to schedule your appointment today.

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Making the Best Choices with Your Money

The economic downturn has caused many to be cautious with their cash. There are seemingly harmless money decisions that could cost you in the long run.

The Wall Street Journal found that for the budget conscious public universities are a wiser choice than private ones citing that the tuition and fees average $9,000 per year at a public school versus $30,000 a year at a private one.

Another decision to be careful with is determining when to take Social Security benefits. Women, married couples, and individuals with good health are advised to wait longer to receive their Social Security benefits in order to get more per month.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a person earning $50,000 a year could get $2,000 per month from the Social Security Administration at age 70 but if they begin accepting the benefits at age 62 the monthly check will only be $1,000.

Would you like to discuss your financial plans and the best options for you with a financial counselor? Call 1-855-346-7445.

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Ease Into Retirement

Retirement can be frightful but with careful planning and consideration it is possible to prepare for that crucial stage in life.

As early as your twenties you can begin retirement planning by building strong saving habits and if possible contributing to your 401(k) (and taking full advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match if that option is available to you).

In your thirties and forties there are various financial responsibilities such as raising children and maintaining a household but you can still contribute to your retirement savings by putting any raises you receive during these years toward your retirement.

In your fifties and sixties when your children are no longer living at home you should save as much as possible and pay down large debts such as your mortgage and credit card balances.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that waiting until age 70 to begin taking Social Security benefits for a single person in good health is wise because each year that these benefits are delayed payout increases by as much as 8%.

Are you interested in speaking to a financial counselor about your retirement plans? Call us at 1-855-346-7445 no matter what stage of retirement planning you are in.

Lauricella, Tom. (May 27,2013). It’s Never Too Soon to Start Planning Your Retirement. In The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 28,2013, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323475304578500991171167504.html

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