How to Finance Your Dream Car

by Natalie Babik on


Car ownership is necessary for many of us to get around, especially for those who live far from public transportation. While you may choose to drive something practical for your everyday commute, errands and travel, you probably have dreams of driving a car that’s fun, sporty and luxurious. Owning...

It is not often that the topics of life insurance and annuities are brought up in the same discussion, primarily because they serve two very distinct purposes. Although they are both products of life insurance companies, life insurance policies are protection against dying too soon, and annuities are protection against living to long.

The Art and Science of Asset Allocation

by Natalie Babik on

Many investors have heard the term “asset allocation” at one time or another. From the first time we sign up for a 401k plan at the office all the way through the conversations we have with financial planners in retirement we are bombarded with messages about the importance of proper asset allocation.

In the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice arrives at a fork in the road and wonders aloud which road to take. A smiling Cheshire Cat appears and asks her what her destination is, to which she replies, “I don’t know.” The toothy cat then proffers the only possible response, “Well, then it doesn’t matter.”

If you have a child graduating from high school or college and entering the workforce, they may have the opportunity to open up a 401(k) through their new employer. In some cases, that employer will also offer matching contribution funds up to a certain percentage. While it sounds like a no-brainer...

Establishing Goals for Your Estate Plan

by Natalie Babik on

Most people think estate planning is only for wealthy people.  Certainly, the 55% of Americans who died without a will thought so, even though all of their estates ended up in probate court subject to the laws of the state.  Sadly, the surviving families were thrust into a situation that resulted in unnecessary distress, expense and, for many of them, devastating financial consequence

Intelligent Options for College Savings

by Natalie Babik on

If you are the parents or grandparents of a child of any age chances are good that the escalating costs of higher education are on your mind.

Are My Social Security Benefits Taxable?

by Natalie Babik on

The quick answer is “it depends.”  But, for the 33 percent of retirees who now rely more heavily on their Social Security benefits to sustain their lifestyle, the answer takes on even more significance.  Generally, your income from Social Security is not taxable on its own; but when it’s combined with other sources of income for tax reporting purposes, a porti

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in ways that we didn’t anticipate at the start of the year, especially when it comes to our finances. And unfortunately, just as federal emergency benefits are starting to run out, signs of a second wave of the virus are looming—and some may even say it’s...

Retiring as a Small Business Owner

by Natalie Babik on

There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States. Many people start their own businesses in order to become their own boss and take control over their schedules, career goals and finances. It can be incredibly rewarding to start and own a successful small business. But one thing that...

One of the best illustrated instances of indecision occurs in the story of Alice in Wonderland in which Alice comes to a fork in the road and must choose a path to continue her journey. She seeks the advice of grinning Cheshire cat which appears out of nowhere.