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Our Client Appreciation Program Newsletter -- Financial Articles

Every month we send out a newletter to our best clients and friends ... each one of them provides information about a different, carefully chosen topic that is are always relevant and contain valuable information that can be used by everyone. We mail out the newsletters on a monthly basis to our clients and friends ... some by postal mail and some by e-mail (depending upon their preferences). You can be added to the mailing list if you Contact Us for any information about real estate in our market area or elsewhere.

We have separated the list of past newsletters by topic ... Automotive, Buying a Home, Financial, Home Improvement, Lawn and Garden, Personal Development, Real Estate Market, Selling Your Home, and Technology.

Each month there is a new topic. Some of the entries, though, are time-sensitive and will be removed when they are no longer relevant. We hear from many of our clients about how this information has helped them in one way or another ... we would love to hear which of these articles you find useful. You can Contact Us for more information about any of these articles or about our Client Appreciation Program and the special benefits we offer.

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April 2019 Why Homeowners Are Actually Saving Money -- A mortgage may seem daunting at first, but it actually saves you money in the long run.  Committing to a mortgage payment is often cheaper than committing to monthly rent in most places.  We're providing information that will help you determine whether or not you would be better off owning a home and paying a monthly mortgage or renting and paying off someone else's mortgage.  If you have any quesitons about your specific situation and needs, feel free to Contact Us today.  We can arrange a referral for you, for your family or for your friends to one of the great lenders with whom we work so that we can help you review your options. 

April 2019 Getting the Mortgage Monkey Off Your Back -- Only 34% of Americans own their homes free and clear.  All other homeowners have a mortgage that they are chipping away at.  Some experts believe that the interest paid on home mortgages is "good" interest because it is deductible for tax purposes.  However, it may be an advantage to pay off your home mortgage early, so if you are one of those people you may want to consider paying it off early.  We're providing seven strategies to help you do just that!  These tips could also help you pay off other forms of debt more quickly, too ... and that could improve your credit score and help you increase your wealth.

March 2019 Make Your Money Work For You -- Once you have an automatic savings mechanism set up, what should you do next?  You may want to consider creating passive income to grow your money.  Investing is a major part of building wealth ,but it can be intimidating to start.  We are providing some information to keep in mind as you start your investment journey.  If you don't have someone to help you with your financial strategy, feel free to Contact Us so that we can arrange a referral for you, for your family or for your friends to one of the great financial advisers with whom we work.

March 2019 How to Build Wealth the Smart Way -- Make the right moves when it comes to managing your money.  Many entrepreneurs keep a copy of "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clason on their bookshelves.  In this classic, Clason offers timeless financial advice through several parables.  You can read this piece to see some of those valuable lessons.  We recommend that you get a copy of the book ... it is an easy read!

February 2019 The Truth About Auditing -- Did you ever wonder who gets audited and how you can avoid it?  The information that we are providing this month indicates that the IRS auditing process is totally random and that a statistical formula compares your tax return to those considered normal in your similar tax situation.  We're also providing some tips of things to watch out for when you're doing your taxes.

February 2019 The New Tax Law at a Glance -- Here are a few major changes to the Federal tax code that may affect your 2018 income tax returns.  We are providing this information as a service ONLY ... we are NOT tax preparers, tax accounts or tax attorneys, so if you have specific questions about how your taxes may be affected, you should contact a trusted source.  If you dont' know a good tax professional, Contact Us so that we can provide you with a few people you can speak with about your situation.

December 2018 Wealth-Building Financial Goals for Every Stage of Life -- The financial goals you set in your 20's will be different from the goals you set in your 50's.  This information suggests financial goals to set in each decade of life from your 20's to your 60's, to help you build wealth and create a financial legacy. 

December 2018 Achieve Your Financial Goals in 2019 -- With the new year right around the corner, it's time to start thinnking about what we would like to achieve in the coming year.  Many have goals pertaining to finances, whether it's to save for retirement or a down payment on a home, build wealth through investment or reduce debt.  We're providing you with information to help you set realistic goals that you can actually achieve.  If you think that speaking with a financial planner would be helpful to you, Contact Us and we will provide you with a couple of referrals of financial professionals in our database.

September 2018 Retirement Worksheet -- We are providing you with a worksheet to help you estimate how much you will need to save for retirement.  Although it doesn't take into account any unforeseen setbacks, it does provide insight into how much you may need to save to retire according to your preferencdes.  For a more in-depth assessment of your retirement savings needs, Contact Us and we will connect you with a great financial planner.

September 2018 How to Retire Well -- Conventional wisdom suggests that we should save about 10 to 12 times our current income; however, many people approach retirement having saved much less.  So how much is enough?  The amount of money you should have saved before you retire depends on many personal factors and considerations.  Read through these and then Contact Us if you need help with working this out ... we can put you in contact with one of the financial experts in our database. 

August 2018 Good Financial Habits to Keep You Debt-Free -- A budget is a tool that allows you to plan your spending each month based on your income and current expenses.  Creating a budget is a good exercise that provides insight about your spending habits and may motivate you to make changes and provide guidance for future spending.  In addition to a budget, we are providing you with five other financial habits that can help you reduce your consumer debt load.

August 2018 Benefits of Reduced Debt -- If you have set a goal to pay down your debt this year, you're not alone.  According to a study by NerdWallet, more than 40% of Americans have this goal in sight.  Strategically reducing or paying off debt benefits your finances tremendously, but can positively impact other areas of your life as well.  This information is designed to get you started!

April 2018 Boost Your Credit Score, Regardless of Your Age -- People are more conscious of their credit scores than ever before. Although more consumers are earning higher credit scores, younger consumers seem to be left in the cold. This information delves into why younger consumers have lower credit and offers tips to help them improve their scores.  If you think that you need additional help resolving credit issues, you should speak with a fully-licensed lender at a financial institution ... don't fall for quick "credit fix" scams.  If you don't have a trusted lender to speak with, feel free to Contact Us and we can recommend a couple of our preferred lenders who will be happy to assist.

April 2018 The Benefits of Great Credit ... and How to Boost Yours -- Whether you want a loan to make a large purchse or you're applying for a job, a high credit score may give you an advantage.  It not only helps you secure a lower interest rate and save money over the life of your loans, it also demonstrates to lenders and potential employers that you're financially repsonsible, and likely responsible in other areas of your life. 

March 2018 Three Online Tax Preparation Options -- Although it's always a good idea to consult a tax preparation professional, some people can use online options ... we are providing information about three of them for you.  If you don't know a qualified tax professional, feel free to Contact Us and we can recommend a couple of our preferred people who may be able to help you.

March 2018 Prepare You For Tax Time -- Tax Day (April 17, 2018) is right around the corner.  For many people, taxes are stressful.  Whether they plan to complete their tax returns themselves in a weekend or are pulling together information to give to their tax preparer, this information will help take some of the stress out of the process by giving you tips to get organized.

February 2018 How to Protect Your Information Online -- Prevent tech-savvy thieves from stealing personal information!  This information offers several strategies to help you protect your information when you go online, whether it's at home or at your computer or while you are out and about with your smartphone or tablet.  If this informaton actually helps you avert identity theft, we would love for you to Contact Us and relay your story.

February 2018 What to Do if Your Information Has Been Stolen -- Although the interconnectivity of the Web has made it more convenient for people to pay bills, shop and other tasks, it also makes it easier for tech-savvy thieves to steal people's personal information.  The information we have this month delves into the topic of identity theft and cyber data breaches.  It provides tips and information to help our clients and their relatives, friends and acquanintances protect their information and outlines what to do if you are impacted.

August 2017 How to Maintain Great Credit -- Once your credit is in great shape, make sure it stays that way. We're providing you with five steps to do just that.

August 2017 How to Repair Your Credit -- Do you feel that your credit stands in the way of getting approved for financing for a home or a new car? Having bad credit can do more than prevent you from getting approved for a loan; you may also have to pay more for insurance and provide a security deposit on utilities if you move. The good news is that you can begin to improve your credit immediately. This information will help you to get started.

February 2017 Get Organized for Taxes -- One of the most stressful parts of doing taxes is tracking down all of the paperwork involved, especially if you plan to itemize. This information provides a checklist to help you track down the documents that you will need to fill out and file your 2016 taxes.

February 2017 It’s Not Too Early to Start Thinking about Taxes -- Many of us wait until the last minute to file our taxes. Doing so, however, often means that we miss taking all of the money-saving deductions that we may qualify for. This information outlines several deductions that may be very beneficial to you and also helps you to get organized for tax season by providing a list of tasks to tackle now. If you know a good tax preparation expert or software package, Contact Us so that we can share it with our clients and customers.

December 2016 The Scoop on Solar -- Homeowners who want to go a step further to reduce their energy consumption may want to look into generating their own electricity. This information will provide you with the pro's and con's of installing a solar energy system at your house.

December 2016 Save Money on Home Energy This Winter -- For many of us, November and December may be when we see the highest energy bills all winter. As the days get shorter and temperaturs drop, we begin to use more energy to light and hat our homes. The tips contained in this information may be very useful for many of us. If you or someone you know wants to investigate some of these solutions and need help with it, Contact Us so that we can hook you up with one of our great contractors!

September 2016 How to Save for Big Events -- There are certain “big ticket” things that most people will save for: an emergency fund, a down payment on a home, college and retirement. This piece outlines specific ways for people to plan and save for these big events without biting into their wallets or budgets.

September 2016 How to Achieve Financial Freedom -- Financial freedom is a goal that many people have for their families, but they may be too overwhelmed to put a plan into action that would help them achieve it. This information provides an overview of strategies to help you save more of what you earn and get out of debt ... two essential steps of achieving financial freedom. We have relationships with some great financial people (bankers, lenders, financial planners, etc.) that can help you ... let us know if you'd like a referral!

August 2016 Can Thieves Crack Your Code? -- Many of us use our smartphones for more than answering emails, sending texts and connecting with friends on social media; we may also use them to manage bank accounts, pay bills and apply for jobs. While having them makes it easier to manage our lives, it also makes our information more vulnerable to thieves and hackers. We're providing tips to help you keep your smartphone as safe as possible.

August 2016 Protect Your Information from Thieves -- More than 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014 alone3. Most victims discovered their information had been compromised when their banks contacted them about suspicious activity. Identity thieves can strike at any time. While the majority of people take steps to prevent thieves from stealing their identities, there are situations where it may be difficult to prevent. We're providing you with several ways that thieves can steal your information, from ATM skimming to email and phone scams. We hope you find it helpful!

March 2016 Basic Home Improvements that Save Money -- Did you know that a few easy home improvements can help you save money on your monthly utility bills? It’s true. This month's information utlines six simple home improvements that you can make to help you save money on your utility bills. Changing faucets to low flow models, fixing leaks and sealing drafts with weather stripping are a few small ways to save resources, both natural and financial. It also offers tips to help boost the value of your homes. If you have basic improvements that are needed at your home ... whether your own or are renting ... you should Contact Us today so that we can have one of our contractors visit and discuss the options with you. Saving money at home is a good idea for everyone!!

February 2016 Saving More for a Down Payment -- For many first-time homebuyers, saving for a down payment can be difficult. This information offers tips to help you turn saving into a habit; one that will last even after you have bought a house. If you are considering buying a home, you should Contact Us today so that we can discuss your options and help you get started. We have relationships with some great financial professionals who can give you some great advice and point you in the right direction

December 2015 Save Money This Holiday Season -- Don't break the bank on gifts and decorations this holiday season! There are many ways to save money while spreading holiday cheer, not only on holiday gifts, but also for decorations and entertainment.

March 2014 Sell Household Items Today! -- If you're like most people, you probably have items in the attic, basement, garage and closets that you don't need, use and maybe even forgot that you had.

March 2014 Find the Right Site to Sell Your Stuff Online -- While garge sales are an ideal way to get rid of the stuff you don't want anymore, the Internet may be the best place to sell valuable items that you want to get rid of for top dollar. Here are a few sites to help you get started.

May 2013 Protect Yourself from Identity Theft -- Becoming a victim of identify theft can cost you more than just money. Here are tips to make help you make your identity more secure.

May 2013 Ninety Percent of Passwords Can Be Hacked in Seconds -- Create stronger passwords to protect your on-line security.

October 2011 How to Achieve Financial Freedom -- There are several steps that you can take to improve your finances and alleviate the stress you feel every month when you pay your bills.

October 2011 How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster -- A mortgage is often the largest debt anyone can have. Here is a list of ideas to help you reduce your mortgage principal.

We send out the newsletters every month. If you would like to receive a copy, be sure to Contact Us today and we will start your subscription.

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