Ask the Financial Counselor: Navigating Money Setbacks

 By Susana Raya

Susan is a financial expert with GreenPath Financial Wellness, the national nonprofit organization that provides financial counseling, education and products to empower people to lead financially healthy lives. Through their work with GreenPath, Susana has helped people with debt and credit management, homeownership education, and foreclosure prevention.

As the pandemic continues, many Americans are trying to figure out how to juggle expenses, get the most mileage out of unemployment, and keep current with housing and other essentials. And while financial relief programs have helped, whether they’ll be extended to provide further aid is uncertain. Continue reading

It’s a Money Thing: 4 Credit Score Myths Debunked

Credit scores are an area of personal finance that seem a lot more mysterious than they actually are. Many people believe that improving them is a matter of trial and error and, as a result, there’s a lot of “credit score advice” floating around that can end up doing more harm than good. Four common credit score myths have been rounded up and debunked below:

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California’s New Consumer Privacy Act: Know Your Rights

The majority of Americans are growing more concerned about how companies and the government collect and use their personal information, according to a recent survey by Pew Research Center. Eight in 10 consumers believe that the potential risks of data collection overshadow any potential benefits.

This sentiment is not surprising, given the data breaches that have occurred over the last few years. To increase individuals’ privacy rights, legislators passed the California Consumer Privacy Act bill (CCPA) in 2018. The law became effective Jan. 1, although enforcement begins July 1, 2020. This will give companies adequate time to comply with CCPA requirements. It’s likely that other states will follow California’s lead with their own privacy laws in the near future. Continue reading

Ask the Advisor: Ways to Stick with Your 2020 Resolutions

by Kathryn Hackney

For more than 30 years, Kathryn has been helping people work toward their financial goals. She takes pride in  providing Members with an objective review of their current situation and helping them create long term goals. Kathryn likes to remind Members that retirement planning doesn’t end at retirement. “Members often think that once they retire things will take care of themselves,” she says. “There are a lot of opportunities that retirement presents for managing your retirement savings. Working with Members to make sure they are getting the most out of their plans is something I really enjoy.”

Kathryn is a fully registered financial advisor and licensed insurance agent. When she’s not working with Members, Kathryn loves to get outside, bike riding and spending time with her family and friends.

 

A new year typically brings new challenges. Maybe you have some financial resolutions you’re already working on. But what are the best ways to help you stick with them so your circumstances change for the better — permanently?

Here are some money moves that can help you stay on track this year.

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Don’t Fall for These Social Security Scams

As fraudsters become more sophisticated, they find more ways to separate consumers from their hard-earned cash. One of the ways they’re making inroads is via a caller ID “spoofing” scheme pretending to be a representative from the Social Security Administration. Other scams use email or snail mail. There are variations of all these tricks, but the goal is the same – to steal your money, identity or both.  Here are just a few to guard against.

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It’s a Money Thing: Pay Yourself First … Automatically

Like going to the gym or eating a healthy diet, saving money is one of those concepts that’s simple to grasp but weirdly challenging to put into practice. We understand its benefits. We agree that it’s essential to our wellbeing. We know that it’s something we should be doing. But paycheck after paycheck, it’s the same routine: after the bills have been paid and the regular expenses have been looked after, there just isn’t quite enough left over for our savings goals.

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