Demystifying College Financial Aid

Demystifying College Financial Aid

College tuition ranks among housing and medical expenses as having the highest lifetime costs for many Americans. Making matters worse, planning for college involves a daunting landscape of savings plans, loans, scholarships, and trying to build the foundation for your children’s future. If you would like to help your child pay for college, we recommend saving for costs ahead of time. We’ve already reviewed flexible options for college savings like 529 Plans, Coverdell ESAs and UTMAs. This article covers the financing options you have to supplement those savings when it comes time to actually pay for college.
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The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund

The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund

Life can throw you curveballs and if you aren’t prepared financially, these curveballs can turn into major problems. That’s why it’s so important to have a savings buffer, also called an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a cash account that you keep separate for life’s unexpected events. It can help prevent additional stress when these events occur. (more…)

How Much Risk Do You Need To Take?

How Much Risk Do You Need To Take?


Figuring out how much risk to take in a portfolio can seem like a simple calculation, but for most people, emotions tend to make the process more challenging. On the surface, we all know risk is a necessary component of investing, but finding the right amount of risk to achieve our goals is more complicated than just picking a number between one and ten.

There are many factors that determine how risky an investment is. (more…)

6 Tips for a Powerful Financial & Fitness Year

6 Tips for a Powerful Financial & Fitness Year

Co-written with Dan Kleckner, Co-Owner of Kutting Edge Fitness

 

Merriman’s Finance Tips

Tip #1 – Build up at least three months’ worth of emergency cash

When you have unexpected expenses, like those associated with a job loss or a major house repair, an emergency fund can help fill the gap so you don’t have to turn to credit cards or withdraw from a retirement account. Holding three months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund at the bank is a good start. You should increase this fund over time as your income and living expenses grow. (more…)