Tapping Your Retirement to Buy a Home

If you’re planning to buy a home, you may be worried if you’ll have enough money saved for a down payment. You’ve probably heard that you can use retirement funds to help, but it’s important to know the restrictions, or you could be stuck paying penalties and taxes. And even though a home can be a great investment, taking out retirement funds early could hurt your long-term security.

Here’s what you should know before you make any financial moves.

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Ask the Advisor: Should I Contribute to an IRA?

Sander+Tom

Sander Tom is a Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner™ with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry; more than 15 of those with SchoolsFirst FCU. Over this time, he has developed a deep understanding of investing and its powerful impact on a person’s life. 

Should I consider an IRA?

An Individual Retirement Account—or IRA—allows anyone with earned income to save for retirement. That’s why it’s a great option to start saving for your future, especially if you don’t have an employer-sponsored retirement plan through your job. Also, if you’re self-employed, you can use an IRA to create a retirement plan. In addition, there are special rules that may allow a stay-at-home spouse to contribute to an IRA. Continue reading

Tips to Save for Emergencies and Your Future

If you feel like you could do more to improve your saving and investing habits, or don’t know how to get started, here are some tips that can help. Financial experts agree that there are two important things to focus on: start and contribute regularly to an emergency fund, and contribute at least 10% of your paycheck to a retirement account.

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Ask the Advisor: Money Moves to Make in Your 40s

By Sander Tom, CFP® 

Sander Tom is a Certified Financial Planner with SchoolsFirst FCU.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, American workers who invested in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or individual retirement account, or IRA, said they saved more and felt less stressed. Here are some smart moves to help you save more and protect your family and assets. Continue reading

Ask the Advisor: Rules of Thumb to Save for Your Future

By Aaron Handfield

About the Advisor

Aaron Handfield has more than 14 years of insurance and financial planning experience, including four years of financial planning at JP Morgan and Edward Jones Investments. He is a registered and licensed investment and retirement planning professional and is registered to sell securities. He also holds a California Life/Health Insurance License.

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It’s a Money Thing: It Pays to Start Saving Now

In case you haven’t heard, compound interest is the best.

You may remember it as an equation you had to memorize for math class, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the concept that powers all sorts of savings and investment products and, over time, allows you to turn your money into, well, more money!Even though compound interest is easy to understand—compound interest = more money for you!—those who can potentially benefit most from it (those in their teens and 20s) don’t seem to be taking advantage of it. Savings contributions and retirement savings participation rates are falling among young adults.

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Financial Advisors Are for Everybody

If you worry about your finances—you’re not alone.  Seventy percent of adults who participated in a recent Consumer Financial Literacy Survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and NerdWallet said they worry too. And while three in four people agree they could benefit from getting professional financial advice, they haven’t. Why?

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