Today, the field of financial planning is growing in popularity, with more people than ever working to create some type of financial plan for their future. For those who possess little understanding of the financial industry, financial planning can be overwhelming and difficult. In these cases, it might be prudent to seek the services of a financial professional, such as a financial planner or a financial advisor, to help you. What do financial professionals do and how can they help you with your finances?

Financial Planners and Financial Advisors

When looking for a financial professional to assist you in planning your finances, you will encounter…


People have a wide range of investment options when it comes to saving for retirement, from exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to annuities. One investment that you may not have considered for retirement is dividend-paying stocks.

While not all stocks pay dividends, some will provide a regular payout to shareholders. These dividends are a share of the company’s profits. You can invest in dividend-paying stocks both before and during retirement. While still saving for retirement, these dividends can be reinvested to purchase more shares and boost savings even more. During retirement, dividends can provide some additional income to be used for monthly…


Working with a financial advisor to help you achieve your financial goals has become increasingly common. Where once people considered financial advisors and financial planning in general only appropriate for the very wealthy, now people from a broader range of income levels are interested in creating a comprehensive financial plan for themselves and using a professional to help them do so.

If you have one financial advisor, you might wonder whether that one is enough. Maybe you have considered multiple financial advisors to address multiple distinct financial needs. Maybe you’re wary about putting all your assets in one advisor’s hands…


As you set out investing in an individual retirement account (IRA) or a 401(k), you may come across options for both exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. These two investments are similar in many ways, and choosing between the two can be difficult. Both ETFs and mutual funds involve pooling investor money and then buying several securities, which makes it possible to diversify without needing to purchase and manage many individual assets.

ETFs are newer than mutual funds and have grown significantly in popularity in recent years. While there were only 123 ETFs in the United States in 2003, there…


Retirement planning covers a variety of different areas, from 401(k) plans to estate planning. Navigating this complex area on your own can be a challenge, so it is beneficial to seek out the services of an experienced financial planner, particularly one who is knowledgeable about retirement. One aspect of retirement planning that is sometimes overlooked is life insurance. Many different types of life insurance plans are available, and the one you choose will depend on a variety of factors specific to your situation. Today, the two most popular types of life insurance are term life insurance and whole life insurance…


Estimating your expenses in retirement is one of the most difficult steps when you’re preparing for this stage of your life. Debt is often one of the most stressful expenses, so it makes sense that many people want to reduce the debt they need to repay while retired.

Often, people try to avoid carrying a mortgage into retirement. Given the recent drop in interest rates, some retirees who still have a mortgage may be considering a refinance. Refinancing can help lower the monthly payment on your mortgage or, alternately, reduce the length of time you’re repaying the loan. However, it’s…


For most Americans, large portions of their money sit in retirement accounts without a second thought. Few even consider those funds again until they begin to approach retirement age. One often-overlooked area in retirement is the issue of required minimum distributions (RMDs) and how they might affect you in the future.

Many people reach their 60s with little to no knowledge of what the rules are for RMDs and how this could affect them during their retirement years. What is happening for the most part here is that Americans are simply postponing taxes on 401(k)s or other IRAs until they…


The complexities involved in planning for retirement change every year depending on inflation, account contribution levels, living standards, and unforeseen expenses, among other factors. However, continuing to grow funds in your retirement account might be a little more difficult than usual in 2021 as a result of the economic effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some may have to consider early retirement with significantly less money than anticipated, while others might be forced to suspend contributions to their 401(k) or Roth IRA for the foreseeable future. The following are five trends concerning retirement planning for 2021.

Possible Increase in Unplanned Retirements

While it’s vital…


One of the key elements of estate planning is establishing a trust fund, a special type of account that holds assets on behalf of a person or organization. Through a trust fund, you can pass assets to other people and create stipulations about how the money can be accessed. For example, you can put money in a trust for your grandchildren that they will not be able to access until they turn 30. You can also place restrictions on how the money can be used. A trust could be created solely to cover educational expenses, for example.

Trusts follow both…


For many people, a 401(k) will not provide enough income to make ends meet during retirement. For this reason, you should consider alternative investments, whether that means other tax-advantaged accounts or unique products such as annuities.

A way to secure guaranteed income during retirement, annuities are contracts sold by insurance companies that provide regular installments based upon the initial agreement. An annuity can act as a supplement to Social Security and serve as the backbone of any retirement plan, especially since these contracts can provide guaranteed income for life. …

Robert Ryerson

Robert Ryerson authored the 2016 book What’s the Deal With Identity Theft?: A Plain English Look at Our Fastest Growing Crime.

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