In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
Home energy efficiency projects offer many benefits, including health and safety, comfort, structural durability, and energy savings. The money you save by making energy efficiency upgrades can help cover the costs of financing the improvements, making these a great investment from day one. To sweeten the deal, there are multiple programs, rebates, and discounts designed to make energy efficiency possible for people of most income levels. Here are some of the biggies:
August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day—a good reminder to take personal stock of your financial awareness. What does it mean to be financially aware? Financial awareness is akin to financial literacy and both refer to the knowledge and skill sets that support solid financial decisions and overall financial health.
If you’re a parent, you may find that as the school year gets closer, figuring out a game plan to pay for college gets more overwhelming by the day. For most, funding education from savings alone is not an option.
If you have a financial advisor, it’s important to understand how he or she is charging you and how that affects your investments and the advice you receive. Not all advisors charge in the same way, and how they charge has an impact on the type of relationship you have with your advisor.
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The idea of leading a balanced life is not a new idea. We are more fulfilled when we achieve balance in all areas our life, including our work, personal relationships, family, and finances.
The gender pay gap has been a topic of conversation and concern for years. Statistically, women make about 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man (20% less). Once they hit 65, they tend to make about 25% less than men and make increasingly less than men as they age. There are a lot of reasons for the gender pay gap, which we won’t get into here, but the sad truth is that the gap continues into retirement, leaving women with a lower retirement income than men.
There’s no denying that the markets have become more turbulent. In fact, the major market indexes in the United States entered a bear market on Christmas Eve of 2018. In a bear market, prices for stocks and other securities fall, which can lead investors to panic and sell off their securities. As more and more people sell, securities prices continue to fall. In general, a bear market will eventually come to an end, hopefully leading to a bull market that brings the markets back up to their former glory, but in the meantime, your portfolios, mutual funds, IRAs, 401ks, and other securities-based accounts may lose value. Determining how to invest in a bear market can help protect your investments from the long-term effects of stormy markets.
If you have an individual retirement account (IRA), your annual contributions have a limit. In 2019, those limits are rising, which is great news for those who like to save the maximum. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the new maximums and your phase-out range (if you are covered by a retirement plan at work).