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Financial Checklist for Your 20’s

Derek R. Munchow, CFP®, CRPC®, AAMS®, is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Long Beach, CA. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 11 years. Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax issues. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.

Getting an Early Start Your twenties can be the most eventful decade of your life. You may be a student, new to a full time job, a new renter or homeowner, married or single, a parent or even a small business owner. No matter what you’re experiencing, you’re likely rather new to managing your money. While no financial advice is the same for every situation, there are several common strategies that people in their 20s may want to embrace. Live within your means The...

So You Want to Start a Small Business?

Starting a small business is the american dream

American Dream The United States is home to millions of small businesses. While many thrive, there are certain risks and challenges that often accompany operating an independent company. If you’re thinking about starting a small business, keep these considerations in mind. Create a business plan When you’re fired up about an idea, it’s easy to overlook the details. A business plan forces you to define your business goals and how you plan to achieve them. It also helps you examine your competition...

Managing Your Taxes in 2015

2015 Tax Changes You Should Know

Important Changes There’s one thing you can count on as we kick off a new year – changes to the tax code. While there are few major new laws affecting taxpayers in 2015, it is important to understand how any adjustments to tax rules or your income might affect your tax liability. It is a critical aspect of your overall financial plan and can help you avoid any surprises when you file your 2015 tax return next year. Be aware that new laws can...

Financial Implications of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

Financial Implications of Same Sex Marriage

Financial Equality The opportunity for same-sex couples to legally marry has expanded to 19 states and Washington D.C. with more likely on the horizon. The social and emotional benefits of living in a legally recognized union have been widely discussed. But what does legal marriage mean for your finances when you’re a same-sex couple? There are a number of immediate and long-term benefits. More Protection for Your Shared Assets With the repeal of section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), certain federally mandated financial benefits...

Mistakes to Avoid When Saving for Your Kid’s College Education

Mistakes to Avoid Saving for College Education

Education Preparation Do you plan to help pay for your child’s college education? If so, you may find it surprising — and a bit disheartening — that between 2001–02 and 2011–12, prices for undergraduate tuition, room, and board at public institutions rose 40 percent, and prices at private nonprofit institutions rose 28 percent, after adjustment for inflation.1 But don't despair. Instead, avoid these common financial mistakes so that you're financially well prepared for your child’s post-secondary aspirations. Six Common Pitfalls to Avoid Waiting to...

Why You Should Pay Attention to Open Enrollment Time

Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Your Choice If you are employed by a company that offers flexibility in choosing your benefits, the open enrollment period is right around the corner. It’s your chance to make changes to your benefits. Many employees simply opt to maintain their current benefits. That could be the best choice for you, but before you default to your existing slate of benefits, consider if there are any potential financial advantages to making a few changes. Finding cost-effective health insurance Many employees now pay part or...

More Women Are Taking Control of Their Finances

Women Taking More Control Over Finances

As women’s economic, political and social power increase, they’re also taking a more active role in their finances. According to the recent Ameriprise Financial Women and Financial PowerSM study, women of all generations are involved in financial decision making — either shared or on their own — in their households. In fact, among the Boomer, Gen X and Millennial women surveyed, only 4 percent said they weren’t involved in financial matters. More than half (56%) share in making financial decisions with a spouse...

What Does an Unstable World Mean for the Markets?

What Does an Unstable World Mean for the Markets

Sign of the Times The past few months have seen a number of troubling situations develop around the world. Russia’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict has continued, and recently airstrikes began against the Islamic state extremist group in Syria. The growing list of global concerns may add to a sense of unease for investors. Despite these issues, stock markets continued to soar to new highs through the middle of 2014 with the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping 17,000 for the first time on July...

Tips for Managing the Costs of Your Kids’ Sports

Youth Sport Programs can be expensive

Pay to Play? At a time when so many children are involved in organized sports, and often more than one, how can you make sure you’re not breaking the bank to fund these extra-curricular activities? Not to mention if you have more than one child in numerous sports. Back in the day, kids often honed their athletic skills at the neighborhood park. Organized sports teams, camps and clinics have now replaced parks and pick-up games. What’s more, the cost of youth athletics, like...

Create a Plan to Cover the Necessities of Retirement

Planning for Retirement

Planning for Retirement What’s going to happen when your paycheck stops? It’s one of the biggest questions that people nearing retirement have. It’s difficult for people to imagine what life will be like when they start to withdraw money from their hard-earned savings. For many, the feeling of anxiety often comes from trying to determine whether they have enough to cover essential living costs that will continue in retirement. Many people would consider these the basics of day-to-day living. They include: Food, shelter and clothing...

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