Financial Planning for New College Students

If you or your child is heading off to college in the fall, financial planning is critical.  According to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, 60% of 2013 graduates from Iowa’s regent universities owe an average of over $28,000 in student debt.  Despite the high and rising cost of education, you can take steps to control these costs and begin professional life without crippling debt.

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Financial Planning: Don’t Forget the Insurance!

Although it is a cornerstone of any sound financial plan, insurance is an often undervalued aspect of financial planning.  There are many reasons people fail to carry sufficient insurance.  Choosing plans can be confusing, and consumers often misunderstand what types and levels of coverage their policies actually provide.  There is also the natural tendency to not want to think about death, disability, and serious illness.  Pretending risk does not exist, however, simply amplifies the consequences of unexpected events, allowing them to wreak unnecessary havoc on the finances.  Health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance are tools available to protect your financial plan from the unexpected.

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Financial Planning Tips for Getting Out of Debt

“Always pay; for first and last you must pay your entire debt.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson  You might well be thinking, “That was easy for Emerson to say; he had a Harvard degree and a sizeable inheritance.”  It’s true that staying out of debt is easier for some than for others.  Many Americans struggle every month to find enough money to meet current expenses as well as battle their existing debt.  If you have been trying to get out from under the burden of debt and are frustrated by your lack of progress, don’t despair.  There are some simple steps you can take to make this seemingly insurmountable task more manageable.

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Financial Planning 101: Building Good Habits

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Moving away from home for the first time represents, for many people, the beginning of adult life.  It may be the first time you are more or less fully responsible for yourself.  How you take care of your space, how you allocate your time, and how you manage your money are up to you when you leave your parents’ home and start to create your own.  Forming good financial planning habits during this time will serve you throughout the rest of your life. Read more