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Improving Your Credit Score in 2015

14309969_m.jpg2015 is here! With a new year upon us, it's the perfect time to make a few resolutions to help improve your financial life.

One of the best ways to do that is to boost your credit scores because this will give you access to a number of useful benefits. From lower interest rates to more credit card offers with generous rewards, your credit scores play a major factor in determining where you stand financially.

But how can you improve your credit scores? With a little work and patience, you can see your credit scores rise dramatically in 2015. Here's how to do it:

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Cut These 10 Everyday Expenses and Save Thousands

January 30, 2015

tips, savings

Jennifer Calonia

fin1-300x168.jpgThe new year typically brings about many changes. People are more optimistic about fresh opportunities and are more motivated to leave bad habits behind. According to a GOBankingRates new year's resolution survey, Americans' No. 1 financial goal is saving money.

There are a number of ways to save money, but in the greater scheme of things, the fundamentals of saving money are simple: decrease your spending and increase your income (ideally at the same time). Re-evaluating your spending habits is the easier in many cases, but it can be hard to part with some habitual expenses. What you might not realize, however, is that most unnecessary expenses are misleading in their true costs. Cutting these 10 purchases from your budget will change the way you save money one day at a time, and put money back in your pocket over the course of the year.

1. Gourmet Coffee

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FinFit is Now Offering Supplemental Health and Term Life Insurance

January 30, 2015

benefits

admin

logo.pngHave you ever considered what would happen if you experienced an illness or injury that isn't covered by your medical insurance? What if you are in an accident and are unable to work? Or worst case scenario, you or your spouse passes away unexpectedly? How would you pay the medical bills and other household expenses? Supplemental Insurance is the answer!

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4 Predictions for Non-Traditional Voluntary Benefits in 2015.

January 28, 2015

benefits

Elizabeth Halkos

homework_help_mom_girl_asian_220x110.jpgWith traditional voluntary benefits becoming almost a standard inclusion in the employee benefits package, non-traditional voluntary benefits are the new trend as the variety of offerings continue to evolve and rise in popularity.

Especially due to the impact of increased health care costs and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers are relying more on voluntary benefits to build the robust employee benefits programs that help them recruit and retain employees. Even though they have to pay for most or all of the premium, voluntary benefits are popular with employees because they can customize their benefits package. 

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8 Reasons You Should Never Borrow From Your 401(k)

40521340_s.jpgNearly 20% of 401(k) plan participants who are eligible to take loans against their retirement savings exercise this option, according to 2008 data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. This number has remained stable since the early 2000s.

The average outstanding loan balance was 16% of assets. For plan participants in their 20s, the number is much higher, coming in at 29% of their savings, a percentage that drops as participants age, falling to 25% for those in their 30s, 18% for those in their 40s and 13% for those in their 50s. The figure is just 11% for those in their 60s. While it's great that older workers tend to borrow less, dipping into your 401(k) plan at all is a bad idea. In this article, we'll go over eight major reasons why you should focus on keeping your 401(k) plan until retirement, rather than using it as a piggy bank.

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Your Employer May Be Your Best Financial Advisor

fin-300x162.jpgEmployers are offering more than 401(k) advice. They are adding financial wellness programs that help workers budget, save for a home, and more.

Large employers are taking on the roles of retirement adviser and financial educator in increasing numbers, new research shows. This is welcome news, because the federal government and our schools have not done a great job on this front, and individuals generally have not been able to manage well on their own.

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Hot Topics in Retirement for 2015

January 23, 2015

retirement

admin

Recently, retirement plan sponsors have had to navigate their way through challenging situations from Supreme Court decisions impacting employer stock to mortality improvements increasing pension liabilities. This year’s Hot Topics in Retirement report shows that 2015 has no signs of slowing down.

In the fall of 2014, Aon Hewitt surveyed roughly 250 large plan sponsors representing nearly 6 million employees to gauge current and future retirement perspectives. Their focus areas congregated around three themes:

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More Employers Tackling Financial Stress

stressed-300x216.jpgThe majority of employers are taking steps to help their employees save more for retirement. But they’re not stopping there. Many also are trying to educate their workforces about all things finance.

Findings from an Aon Hewitt survey indicate that 93 percent of employers are looking beyond their employees’ retirement finances, with 46 percent “very likely” and 47 percent “somewhat likely” to augment existing plans with new features, mobile apps or online tools that can help them better understand financial concepts and financial planning.

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One Major Retirement Mistake

January 22, 2015 admin

40521340_s.jpgDon't think of your retirement savings as one big bucket of money. Instead, divide up your assets.

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Lifetime Income Estimate Wanted from Plan Participants

January 21, 2015

benefits

Noel Couch

40521340_s.jpgRetirement plan participants say they want their retirement benefit statements to include an estimate of lifetime income. 

A study finds nine out of 10 participants want to see the estimate, which helps workers understand how much lifetime income could be generated from their retirement plans. The study by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) also reveals more than 90% of consumers want their employers to provide online retirement income calculators, allowing workers to select their own assumptions to calculate estimates of lifetime retirement income.

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4 Simple Steps to Fix Your Finances in 15 Minutes

January 21, 2015

Financial Wellness

Jeff Rose

fin1-300x168.jpgThese four ideas all have the potential to improve your financial future future in 15 minutes or less. If you've done them all, consider yourself ahead of the pack.

1. Check Your Credit Report and Score

Checking your credit report is one of the best things you can do, and it's free through AnnualCreditReport.com, the government website. I was sure glad when I first checked my credit report. An old gym membership that I thought I had cancelled because I relocated back to the Midwest was still showing up -- as delinquent. Having it on my credit report was hurting my credit. Luckily, in 15 minutes I was able to get it taken care of, and my credit was restored.

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7 Easy Tips for a Financially Fit 2015

14309969_m.jpgEach New Year offers hope for a new start. We often set resolutions that quickly fade with the stresses of life. But with just a few tips and a little support, you can make 2015 the year you move forward toward financial security, making your dreams become reality.

  1. Set aside time to talk
    The first step to finding common ground with your finances is to take time to talk about money. Don’t wait for overspending, overdrafts or a financial crisis. Define your values and goals together and clarify the difference between needs and wants.It’s also important to teach children about the value of money and how to use it responsibly. Partners like Jump$tart Coalition and National Endowment for Education (NEFE) are making this easier. Programs such as Money As You Grow and Smart About Money offer tips to incorporate financial literacy into everyday conversation as early as age 2.
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January is National Financial Wellness Month...

January 09, 2015

Financial Wellness

admin

33214038_m.jpg...and it just so happens that January is also the month for resolutions and “starting fresh”. Every year most people make at least one resolution that has to do with their finances, whether it be to save more, spend less, work harder or stick to a budget. Let FinFit help you kick off the New Year with 5 simple steps to get you on the road to financial success!

READY, SET, GOAL...........

  1. Personal Financial Assessment: take FinFit's Financial assessment to determine your current financial standing, areas of improvement and get advice on how to positively impact your financial future.
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How Bad Are Millennials' Finances Compared to Previous Generations?

homework_help_mom_girl_asian_220x110.jpgMuch has been made about the shaky financial footing of Millennials. And it’s true; young adults today have high rates of unemployment and student-loan debt, which can keep them in a holding pattern when it comes to starting their adult lives.

But a recent study by the St. Louis Fed took a look at Millennials who had managed to take the first step in creating independent households—getting a job and finding their own place—in order to see how the financial health of young Americans today stacks up to that of previous generations.

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7 Ways to Jump-Start Your Retirement Savings in 2015

January 08, 2015

retirement

Emily Brandon

40521340_s.jpgSaving more for retirement is a common New Year’s resolution. But it takes more than tucking away a few dollars when you can to build retirement security. Here’s how to make a better retirement resolution you can stick to throughout the new year.

Make a specific plan. Aiming to save more this year isn’t enough. “Don’t just say this is the year that you’ll start to save,” says Hal Hershfield, an assistant professor of marketing at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. “Rather, set up a specific plan. For example, when I get back to work on January 5, I’m going to make an appointment with my human resources manager and figure out how to start contributing or contribute more to my retirement account.”

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CPAs Championing Financial Literacy for All

fin1-300x168.jpgThe CPA profession has been championing the cause of financial literacy for more than a decade. Through volunteer programs, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants has partnered with libraries, schools, local media and legislators to provide guidance on basic personal financial planning principles.

We have reached thousands of individuals through these efforts, but this is not enough. A more integrated education plan is needed to teach consumers, at a very early age, some basic money management principles.

The numbers tell a frightening tale. Consider the following:

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Employers Change Approaches to Retirement Due to Demographic Shifts

January 06, 2015

retirement, benefits

Nick Otto

employee-272x300.jpgDivorce among baby boomers and other generational differences are leading to a “fundamental” shift in how employers are planning retirement for specific segments of the U.S. population.

A clearer understanding of these changing demographics can help employers better support their workers in prioritizing savings and income security needs, said Robert A. Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA, speaking recently at LIMRA’s annual conference.

“How do we get through to them [employees] to make life insurance one of their priorities?” he asks. “How do we convince them to save more for retirement?”

Multigenerational households have risen by 50% since 1980, Kerzner said, adding that single-family households have more than doubled since 1970.

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Fiscally Fit: A New Year's Resolution

January 05, 2015

financial fitness

Paul Gores

33214038_m.jpgWhile many people are starting the new year with the goal of finally getting in shape — losing weight, putting on muscle, eating better — their personal financial situation is headed toward another 12 months of weakness and malnourishment.

But experts say the beginning of the calendar year is a good time to assess your economic health as well as your physical health and make some resolutions to help you end 2015 in better financial condition.

Financial professionals generally agree that your new-year plan should begin with something akin to stepping on the bathroom scale before launching a fitness program: performing a financial checkup that tells you where you really stand.

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Top 7 Retirement Stories of 2014

January 02, 2015

retirement

Nick Thornton

40521340_s.jpgBy any measure, 2014 was a busy year for plan sponsors, retirement advisors and pretty much anyone else dealing, tracking or trying to comply with the Employment Retirement Income and Security Act. Next year promises to be just as hectic.

Supreme Court decisions, crackdowns by the Department of Labor and a shift in the political balance of power were among the big stories on the retirement front. And 2015 promises even more.

Here’s a look at some of the hot topics of 2014 and perhaps what we can expect in the year ahead.

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