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Critical Financial Issues to Consider in Remarriages

January 16, 2018

About one-third of U.S. residents, ages 15 and older have been married at least twice, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Remarriage among American ages 55 and older is on the rise, while their younger counterparts are becoming less likely to have remarried.

Remarrying later in life can create several complex financial, legal, and emotional matters that couples might want to address before they get married, or as soon after the wedding as possible. If you or someone you love is about to or has recently become part of a blended family, here are five important issues to consider.

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Is Your Financial Advisor Making You Sick?

December 18, 2017

Not having enough money or being concerned about debt is an age-old reason for stress in people’s lives. But what about the stress related to entrusting the wrong person with your hard-earned dollars?

According to the 2016 “Stress in America” Survey, money and finances remain at the top of the list. 72 percent of Americans said that they felt stress about money at least once in the last month. This high percentage tells us that financial stress isn’t just for those with low levels of income and net worth. This survey also explores the health impacts that financial stress can have on people.

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Knowing Your Risk Score can Make a Big Difference in How You Invest

December 11, 2017

At Stuart Financial Group we utilize the powerful risklayze risk assessment tool for our current and future clients in order to better understand what amount of risk they should take on in their portfolio.

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5 Steps to Hack-Proofing Your Smartphone

December 4, 2017

Imagine having trouble with your smartphone. You contact your carrier for help, but they say you’re no longer a customer, and that you recently transferred your phone account to another carrier! Welcome to the central act in a growing cybersecurity threat-mobile account takeover. Consider the story of Tiffany and Kevin Bennett, who suffered this new form of identity theft.

One day, Tiffany received an email from her mobile phone company saying the password on the mobile account had been changed. She shares the account with her husband, Kevin, and figured that he must have changed the password, so she ignored the email alert.

A few hours later, however, Tiffany could no longer send or receive any messages. When Kevin tried to call her phone number it rang-but not on Tiffany’s phone. What happened? Someone hacked into the Bennett’s mobile phone account and forwarded Tiffany’s number to a new phone. All of her calls and texts were being forwarded to this number, too. The hacker was then able to enroll one of the Bennett’s credit cards, bought on the black market, in Apple Pay. When the credit card company texted the verification code to Tiffany’s number, the hacker received it instead. With access to their credit card, the impostor was able to spend hundreds of the Bennett’s dollars.

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What Do Success and Happiness Mean to You?

November 27, 2017

Conventional thinking equates success with happiness. When you see someone who has all the societal symbols of success – an accomplished professional life, an expensive car, a big home, etc. – it makes sense that you would assume that outwardly successful person is happy.

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Working Longer

November 14, 2017

Ah, the life questions we face. Young adults contemplate which college to attend and how that might affect their future. Women – and increasingly often, men – ponder whether to stay home and raise children, work or both. People contemplate job changes and relocations. And then, of course, a big question: When should I retire?…

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Family and Financial Planning for Natural and Man-Made Disasters

November 1, 2017

Disasters can strike with little notice. Some are the product of mother nature, such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria.  Others, like the recent Equifax breach, are man-made. While these two disasters may seem to have little in common, what they do share is the personal and financial devastation that they left in their wake. The hurricanes devastated many peoples homes and lives. In Hurricane Harvey alone – early estimates found that 230,000 homes were damaged and almost 13,000 of them were destroyed. The physical damage inflicted by Harvey was enormous, but the emotional fallout for all those directly impacted is harder to quantify. Losing your home, possessions, and peace-of-mind is an unfathomable experience. While homes can be repaired and rebuilt, items such as old family photos and heirlooms are priceless and irreplaceable. The Equifax breach impacted the personal data of over 4.6 million consumers, leaving those affected fearing fraud and identity theft. Dire concerns about the health of your financial future can produce much anxiety, which only adds to the stress of a recent disaster. Both disasters left millions feeling afraid and vulnerable. Although it is always difficult to minimize burden and increase feelings of confidence and security after a disaster, being proactive and putting an emergency readiness plan into place before one strikes, is invaluable when you are putting the pieces back together after a disaster hits home.  

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Increasing Peace of Mind in Retirement

September 14, 2017

Retirement is a time of possibilities. After a lifetime of working and saving, opportunities abound to spend more time with family and friends, renew connections to local community and revisit lifelong hobbies and interests (along with discovering and exploring new ones). A chance to reinvent oneself in a comfortable retirement- with all the knowledge and wisdom earned throughout the working years – is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves. Those who enter retirement with a vision of how they will actively spend these years have a greater chance of avoiding the doldrums associated with having ample time but not enough structure. The ability to visualize retirement is also key in keeping anxiety at bay during all phases of the planning process.

Planning for retirement can feel daunting in the current economic climate. The security that previous generations may have felt easing into retirement is lost on many currently planning for their life after work. A recent BUILDER article reports that over three-quarters of respondents fear that current economic conditions threaten their chances of retiring securely. Being able to retire how one wants is important, but being able to retire when one wants is also a top priority. All of this uncertainty can be very stressful, and even the most careful planning can’t sidestep the unexpected. However, being able to visualize retirement can help give peace of mind about how to achieve it. Taking the proper steps can help achieve a successful and less stressful planning process.

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