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Jan 20, 2023 When shopping around for the savings accounts for you, it’s important to know what you want from it. It’s also important to learn how your options stack up against the competition. For instance, are you currently earning below the average savings account interest rate? You might be surprised at what kinds of rates are available out there, especially at newer, online-centric banks. If you have questions about how your savings account fits into your overall financial plan, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 05, 2022 Saving for retirement is important for people of all ages, with a 401(k) being a particularly popular option. However, this standard account type may not always be enough. That's where an individual retirement account, or IRA, comes in. IRAs let you save for retirement without going through your employer. Furthermore, an IRA CD lets you lock in a CD-style interest rate in the form of a term-based retirement account. IRAs, 401(k)s and IRA CDs are three options to save for retirement, but there are many other possibilities on the market. Speak with a financial advisor to learn more about how this investment could benefit your own retirement plan. Read More...

Aug 05, 2022 When it comes to saving your money, you have a number of account options. You might first think of a simple savings account that allows your money to grow according to a set interest rate. You also have the options of choosing a money market account or a certificate of deposit (CD). A money market account is like a mix of a savings account and a checking account. A CD on the other hand, doesn’t offer much flexibility in accessing your money with set term and withdrawal limits. Wondering how to best allocate your savings? Speak with a financial advisor today. Read More...

May 10, 2022 Private banks want the business of  high-net-worth individuals, so they often end up creating accounts and services that are specific to those who can afford them. However, the best private banks are typically large enough that anyone can benefit from some of this activity as well. We've compiled a list of the best private banks that you could use, regardless of your net worth. If you really want to bank like the wealthy, you should consider speaking with a financial advisor who can help navigate you to your best financial outcome.  Read More...

Mar 05, 2019 A college degree is pricey and getting increasingly expensive: From 2006 to 2016, the cost of college tuition and fees increased by 63%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That may leave would-be undergraduates with sticker shock that deters them from matriculating. But forgoing a college education can limit your earning potential. From 1979 to 2017, real incomes for men with just a high school degree dropped by 18% while incomes for women in the same group rose, but only by 5%. Your best bet is to find a college education that won’t break your savings account. Public schools typically offer some of the most bang for your buck. Below, we rank the best states for higher education. Read More...

Nov 11, 2022 When browsing a bank’s account options, you’ve probably come across certificates of deposit, or CDs. These are time sensitive accounts that grow your initial deposit for a given amount of time, depending on your preferences. In these CDs, your money grows according to a set interest rate at the time of account opening. This rate is set by the issuing bank and can fluctuate with the interest rate economy. A market-linked CD, however, works a little differently. A financial advisor can answer questions about adding market-linked CDs to your financial plan. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 You've probably heard of an emergency fund, but do you have one?  Most of the financially savvy people in this world have gotten good at budgeting for the every day predictable expenses.  But what about the leaky roof that finally caves in and needs to be replaced?  Or the old car that completely dies on you? Read More...

Jan 24, 2023 There are a few options when you need a secure way of paying for something. Sure, cash is king, but not everyone feels safe carrying a thick wad around. Cashier's checks and money orders are two of the more secure options for making a payment. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let's start by defining cashier's checks vs. money orders and going over their individual pros and cons. Consider working with a financial advisor as you decide where to put your money. Read More...

Jan 18, 2023 Having a bank account closed can be inconvenient, especially if you didn’t see it coming. But why would a bank close your account? The short answer is that banks and credit unions can close accounts for a number of reasons. Understanding why a bank account could be shut down can help you avoid an unpleasant financial situation. A financial advisor can walk you through different banking options for you financial plan. Read More...

Jan 12, 2023 Both overdraft and NSF fees can hurt the cash flow in your bank account, especially when it's time to pay a bill. The respective fees could stop you from going to the store to get personal items. But while the two are often grouped together, they aren’t the same. Here is how you can get charged for each and what the differences are. Consider working with a financial advisor as you make personal finance decisions. Read More...

Jan 05, 2023 Depositing a paper check into your bank account could mean waiting a few days before you can access those funds. Banks routinely place holds on checks before crediting the amount to your account. Why do banks hold checks? There are actually several reasons why your bank might do so, all of which should be explained in its funds' availability policy. Here's what you need to know. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your savings and investing goals. Read More...

Dec 16, 2022 Just about every bank puts a limit on how much cash you can withdraw each day. In part, this is a security feature to prevent thieves from cleaning out unauthorized accounts. In other part, this helps banks and ATMs to stabilize liquidity. If accessing cash, especially on an unscheduled basis, is important to you, here’s what you need to know about daily withdrawal limits from a personal account at a commercial bank. If you’re not sure what type of financial institution should keep your money then you may want to consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Dec 15, 2022 Savings and loan associations are financial institutions similar to banks that specialize in providing mortgage loans to home buyers, making loans from deposits usually gathered from the local community. Both borrowers and depositors are considered members rather than just customers of these institutions, and it can be easier to get a loan from a savings and loan association than from a commercial bank or other lender.  A financial advisor can help you evaluate your borrowing and banking decisions. Read More...

Dec 13, 2022 Online banks generally pay higher interest rates on deposits and charge fewer fees for services than traditional banks. On the other hand, online-only banks can’t compare to brick-and-mortar branches of a traditional bank when it comes to dispensing physical dollars and cents in the form of bills and coins. Online bank customers who need cash do have options, however, including using debit cards for cash-back transactions at participating merchants, requesting paper checks and arranging wire transfers. A financial advisor can help you compare different banking options for your financial plan goals. Read More...

Nov 30, 2022 The Federal Reserve is the central banking system in the United States. There are 12 Reserve banks that offer services to commercial banks, including lending and distributing currency. The Federal Reserve also pays interest on funds those commercial banks keep on deposit. But why does the Fed pay interest to banks? Controlling monetary policy is a large part of the answer. For help managing your own money, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Nov 29, 2022 Need to cancel a check that you’ve written and sent out? Depending on how much time has passed, you may be able to request a stop payment from your bank or credit union. Stopping payment can prevent the check from being cashed, though you might pay a fee for this service. What you’ll need to do to stop payment on a check and how much it costs can depend on where you bank. If you're looking to maximize how much your money earns for you, whether in an investment, checking or savings account, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Nov 28, 2022 Chances are that you don't think about the banks involved when you're giving money to a friend. That can be especially true if you're using a service like Venmo or PayPal to transfer money. Just like you may use a service like Venmo to move money, banks have their own ways of moving money. When a bank needs to transfer money to another bank internationally, they turn to a correspondent bank to make the connection. Banking is one part of your financial plan A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your needs and goals. Read More...

Nov 23, 2022 You can use an ATM with a debit card -- or, sometimes, a credit card. While the process is straightforward, it helps to know how to use an ATM ahead of time. Follow these steps to check your balance, withdraw money or make a deposit. For help with figuring out how you want to store your own money, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Nov 23, 2022 Most large economic systems today use fractional reserve banking to stabilize and grow their economies. With factional reserve banking, banks can lend out deposits with interest to amplify the economy. The Federal Reserve was founded in 1913 to better regulate the banking market so that banks didn't run out of money and people could get access to more lending opportunities. Understanding fractional reserve banking can give you more trust in the banking system and lead to better money decisions to grow your wealth. You can also work with a financial advisor who can help create a financial plan or manage your assets for you.  Read More...

Nov 18, 2022 ACH and wire transfer are terms used to describe different ways of sending money electronically. Both are widely used, but ACH is more common when individuals are paying bills, receiving paychecks or sending money to other individuals. ACH transfers are less costly, and also easier to reverse in the event of an error. When sending money internationally or transferring large sums, however, wire transfers are often preferred. Ask a financial advisor how you can move money quickly and safely without incurring excessive fees. Read More...

Nov 09, 2022 Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) are both terms used to describe the way money moves digitally. An ACH is a specialized form of EFT, meaning that all ACHs are EFTs, but not all EFTs are ACHs. If you send or receive money in your bank account, chances are it’s processed via ACH. More than 29 billion ACH network payments were made in 2021, valued at close to $73 trillion, according to Nacha, the organization that administers them. A financial advisor can offer valuable insight and guidance on how to move money from one account to another. Read More...

Nov 01, 2022 Digital banking refers to managing your money through a bank via the internet through a website or app. This type of banking access started back in the mid-1990s, with Stanford Federal Credit Union being the first institution to allow online banking activity. Digital banking occurs through either mobile or online bank access, allowing you to do activities like make a deposit or transfer money. This can make banking easier as it eliminates the need to physically visit a bank branch. If you're not sure what type of financial institution should keep your money then you may want to consider working with a financial advisorRead More...

Nov 01, 2022 While more people are opting into online banking, it’s possible that you may still need to write or deposit paper checks from time to time. Depositing paper checks to your own bank account can be as simple as handing them off to a teller or snapping a photo using mobile check deposit. But can you deposit checks for someone else? The short answer is yes, though the process for doing so can vary from bank to bank. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your savings and spending needs and goals. Read More...

Oct 26, 2022 When writing out paper checks, there are several key pieces of information to include. Along with the payee’s name and amount, you’ll also need to add the date the check was written. If you’d like the person receiving the check to wait until a certain date to cash or deposit it, you could postdate it. Writing a postdated check could give you time to make a deposit in order to cover the amount, but it could lead to headaches if it’s cashed early. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your needs and goals. Read More...

Oct 26, 2022 A cashier’s check is a type of official check that’s drawn on the bank’s funds, rather than your own. You might obtain a cashier’s check if you need to pay for something and can’t or don’t want to use another payment method. But what happens if you lose a cashier’s check? Are you out of money? A lost cashier’s check can be a headache but there are some steps you can take to recover those funds. If you're looking for help with all of your financial needs, consider working with a financial advisor who can help you navigate through your unique situations. Read More...

Oct 26, 2022 Money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts are broadly similar. Each is a depository account that pays higher interest than a standard savings account, but which also comes with some restrictions on how you can use your money. With a money market account, you’ll have easier access to your cash but will have more fees and balance limits. High-yield savings accounts make it a little harder to access your money, but they’re also usually cheaper. Here’s a comparison of both. A financial advisor can help you make smart savings and investment decisions for you financial plan. Read More...

Oct 26, 2022 A joint savings account is owned by two people, allowing each party to deposit and withdraw funds. Joint savings accounts can simplify things for people who share their finances. But you should also keep some things in mind before opening a joint savings account. Here's what you need to know. If you're looking for ways to save more money or plan out your finances, consider working with a financial advisor who can create a whole financial plan on your behalf.  Read More...

Nov 16, 2022 Cash may be king, but most transactions are done electronically now. Even gifts, once done by cash or check, are being taken over by electronic transfers. There are multiple types of electronic transfers that may change how quickly you send or receive money. The most popular terms and types of electronic transfers are electronic funds transfers (EFTs) and bank wire transfers. Let's cover EFT and bank wires, what each is and where they're most useful. If you're looking for help on managing your finances and transferring money, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Oct 20, 2022 Closing a savings account can have a negative effect on your credit if the account has a negative balance when closed. Credit bureaus don’t consider savings and checking activity, including account closings, when compiling credit scores. But if you don’t pay off a negative balance on a closed account, the bank eventually may turn it over to a collection agency. This likely will be reported to a credit bureau, which may result in a large and lasting downgrade of your credit score. You can avoid problems by closing savings accounts correctly and making sure there are no outstanding balances. Talk to a financial advisor before making major moves that could affect your personal finances. Read More...

Oct 20, 2022 When you have money in the bank, there are many different ways to withdraw money to make purchases. One of the most convenient options is using a debit card at checkout. However, not all bank accounts offer debit cards. Most savings accounts don't offer debit cards because you're limited in the number of transactions you can make with your account. This makes the use of a debit card for your savings account pretty ineffective. Consider working with a financial advisor to help you create a financial plan and choose the right financial accounts for your situation. Read More...

Oct 20, 2022 Opening a savings account does not impact your credit score because you aren’t borrowing money and the activity in your savings account isn’t reported to a credit agency. Most financial institutions will run a soft credit inquiry when you open a savings account but it is only to check your identity. Not sure that opening a savings account is the right move? Talk to a financial advisor to work through the details of your situation and to find the right account for your financial goals. Read More...

Oct 19, 2022 There are two questions about safety when it comes to opening a high-yield savings account: First, what is the risk that your bank will fail? Second, if your bank does fail, what is the risk to your savings?The answer is that these products are generally very safe as long as you bank with an FDIC member institution. It depends entirely on where you have an account and how much is in it. Here’s how it works. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan to protect your finances. Read More...

Oct 19, 2022 Depositing money to a savings account can help you prepare for rainy days. You could also grow your money if you’re earning compound interest on your balance. One thing to consider when comparing savings accounts is how frequently interest compounds. Whether you earn interest compounded daily or monthly can make a difference in how much your balance increases over time. You can work with a financial advisor to understand which type of interest and savings account works best for your situation. Read More...

Oct 18, 2022 While friendly tellers and pneumatic tubes can make trips to the bank enchanting, banking at brick-and-mortar locations comes at a cost. For decades, online banks have interrupted the status quo of minuscule interest rates and weekly bank visits. Instead, they seek to strip overhead costs and give more benefits to customers through higher  interest rates and reduced fees. Here are the benefits to consider with online banks and how to decide if you may want to switch. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your savings needs and goals. Read More...

Oct 14, 2022 Retail banking involves providing individuals and sometimes small businesses with financial services such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, insurance and investments. Retail banks include credit unions and small community banks as well as the retail banking operations of large commercial banks. Some financial services providers such as savings and loans offer a limited set of retail banking services. Talk to a financial advisor about how to select a bank that will suit your own needs. Read More...

Dec 06, 2022 A bank guarantee is a pledge by a bank to assume liability for a sale or contract between a buyer and seller. The buyer applies to the bank, which assesses the buyer’s ability to fulfill the contract and, if approved, charges a fee for the guarantee. If the buyer fails to pay for the purchase or complete the terms of the contract, the bank will make a financial payment to the seller. Bank guarantees help sellers manage risk and give small or unknown companies the creditworthiness they need to conduct business. Ask a financial advisor how a bank guarantee can help you. Read More...

Oct 11, 2022 Standard savings accounts typically come with monthly maintenance fees and excessive withdrawal fees. While some banks charge these fees to hold your money, others waive these fees entirely. Savings account fees are the opposite of what most people want. After all, these accounts are a place to hold your money for safe keeping and perhaps earn some interest. But savings account fees run counter to that goal, eating into your account balance. Here’s what to expect and when you could get them waived. A financial advisor can help you compare different options for your savings needs and goals. Read More...

Oct 11, 2022 For the past few decades, most banks’ savings accounts provided uninspiring interest rates. However, fierce competition among banks and rising interest rates have produced a vast selection of high-yield savings accounts for customers. With exponentially annual percentage yields (APY) than typical savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts can help you accumulate substantial interest payments and easily access your money. Here are the details and a review of top high-yield savings accounts. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your savings goals and pick a high-yield savings account. Read More...

Oct 10, 2022 Interest rates are heading up, which will be a big relief to savers who’ve been making nearly nothing on bank accounts. To position your money for the best yield as rates continue to rise consider using the CD ladder strategy. A CD ladder involves putting your cash holdings into a series of short- or medium-term bank certificates of deposit with staggered maturity dates. As each CD matures during the rising rate environment, you roll it over into a new one at a new higher-paying interest rate. For help with a CD ladder or any other financial consideration, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Oct 06, 2022 Checking accounts offer convenience for managing your money in a single account and getting access to those funds at your discretion. You can use a checking account to pay bills, transfer money to linked accounts or make purchases using a debit. Those are also things you can do with a money market account, but there are a few differences. Comparing a money market and a checking account can help you to decide which one you might need. You can also consider working with a financial advisor to help you make all of your banking and investing decisions. Read More...

Oct 06, 2022 Credit unions can be a good place to keep some of your money if you’re hoping to avoid high fees that can be associated with traditional banks. Opening a share account or share savings account is often a prerequisite to becoming a credit union member. What is a share savings account? In simple terms, it’s the credit union equivalent of a savings account. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan to reach your savings goals. Read More...

Oct 06, 2022 Merchant banking offers specialized financial services to large corporations and high-net-worth individuals. The high-end services available through this type of financial institution aren't available to the general public. But if you or your company meet the qualifications, you'll find several options to choose from. A financial advisor can help you evaluate the details of your situation to determine the best banking situation for your needs. Read More...

Oct 04, 2022 Saving money can be a great financial habit to develop but that’s not always easy if you’re a spender by nature. Opening a prize-linked savings account is something you might consider if you need a little extra motivation to save. Prize-linked savings accounts (PLSAs) offer an incentive to save, usually in the form of the opportunity to win a cash bonus or prize for making regular deposits. That type of account could be just what you’re looking for if you need a little extra nudge to save. Consider working with a financial advisor if you're wanting advice on the best banking solutions. Read More...

Sep 28, 2022 Like many other consumers, you probably use a checking account to manage your money and complete everyday transactions. But, too many purchases can exceed the total amount of funds in the account. If purchases exceed the balance, many banks charge an overdraft fee to cover the transactions. Then, it’s up to you to repay the bank for covering the charges plus the assessed fee. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid overdraft fees at your bank. Here’s how. Banking is just one part of your finances. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your needs and goals. Read More...

Sep 23, 2022 There's good news for folks who want to park their money in cash amid market volatility: The best savings rates are now around of 2.25%. That's quadruple what they were just a year ago. And those rates may keep ticking upward: after a CPI report indicating inflation rose 8.3% in August compared to a year earlier, the Fed raised the federal funds rate, the central bank's short-term rate, a 75 basis points, up from 2.25% to 2.5%. Bank rates lag when it comes to the dynamics of the central bank, but those 2.25% savings rates should trend higher over time as a result. That's at least some tonic for those whose portfolios are in the gutter and whose passive cash holdings are losing precious value in light of inflation. If your savings account is delivering chump rates by comparison to those 2% rates, it might be high time to search for a more high-yield savings account to grow your hard-earned cash. For more help on which savings account might  be suit your overall financial plan, think about working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 23, 2022 Growing your retirement savings is an important goal for most investors. When you reach $250,000 in your account, it helps to understand how much income you can earn from your savings. While many people use the 4% Rule to determine a safe withdrawal rate, the answer really depends on how much you're earning from your investments. So, how much interest does $250,000 earn per year? Let's take a look at how much you can earn based on how it is saved or invested. A financial advisor can help you create a stream of income for your needs and goals. Read More...

Sep 22, 2022 Vacations can put a dent in your family's budget. Between airfare, accommodations, activities, food and souvenirs, the costs really add up. Rather than go into debt to pay for the trip, a better approach is to create a vacation savings account to set money aside and earn interest for your next trip. Here's how it works and some account options you can use. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your savings needs and goals. Read More...

Sep 22, 2022 SoFi and Chime are two popular financial technology (fintech) companies. Both offer online banks, with depository accounts and some lending products, and neither has a brick and mortar presence. This means that customers of SoFi and Chime bank entirely through their apps and websites. However, they operate in importantly different ways. If you’re looking for an online bank, here’s how you can evaluate these two products. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your banking needs and goals. Read More...

Sep 16, 2022 Opening a savings account does not impact your credit score because you aren't borrowing money and the activity in your savings account isn't reported to a credit agency. Most financial institutions will run a soft credit inquiry when you open a savings account but it is only to check your identity. Not sure that opening a savings account is the right move?  Talk to a financial advisor to work through the details of your situation and to find the right account for your financial goals. Read More...

Sep 16, 2022 Money market accounts are hybrid financial products that offer some of the advantages of a checking and a savings account. Specifically, money market accounts pay you an interest rate based on the money you hold on deposit, like a savings account. But they also allow you to write checks and withdraw money from ATMs like a checking account. While not without their drawbacks, money market accounts can be a good option for consumers who want to hold large amounts of cash on deposit. Here’s what you need to know. For more help with savings, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 15, 2022 With a limited purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) you can pay for dental and vision care expenses using pretax dollars. LPFSAs are usually paired with health savings accounts (HSAs), which require belonging to a high-deductible health plan. Like HSAs, LPFSAs have a cap on annual contributions and contributions can only be used for qualified healthcare expenses. Only some employers offer LPFSAs and, unlike HSAs, employees can’t set them up on their own. Also, unlike HSAs, LPFSA funds have to be used before the end of the year or they are lost. To find the most economical way to cover your healthcare costs, consider talking to a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 14, 2022 Savings accounts can help you to set aside money for short and long-term financial goals. One of the biggest questions you might have when deciding where to save centers on how much interest you can earn. Knowing how to calculate interest on savings account balances can help you choose the best savings option. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan to reach your savings goals. Read More...

Sep 14, 2022 Planning a wedding can be exciting but it can also turn up the pressure on your budget. Opening a wedding savings account is something you might consider if you’d like to set aside money for the big day. Choosing the right account to save for wedding expenses matters for ensuring that you have convenient access to your money while still earning a great rate. Let's break down how a wedding savings account works and what you should consider. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan to save enough money for your wedding and other financial milestones. Read More...

Sep 13, 2022 If you’re the proud grandparent of a new baby in the family, the thought of preparing for their financial future may have occurred. In between moments of joy, your mind may have been several steps down the road, thinking about college expenses, buying a new car and more. Fortunately, setting up a savings account is a straightforward process that can set your grandchild up for financial success. So whether you want an account strictly for education costs or have something more open-ended in mind, here’s how to set up savings accounts for grandchildren. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan to help pay for future family expenses.  Read More...

Sep 12, 2022 Many investors use savings accounts to earn interest on money that they don't need right away. However, sometimes they want to use their money to make a payment. Unfortunately, you cannot write checks from a savings account. Here's what you can do instead. A financial advisor can help you figure out the best way for you to manage your money. Read More...

Sep 09, 2022 Direct deposit is a convenient way to receive paychecks, tax refunds and other payments. But can you direct deposit into a savings account or do you have to use a checking account? Banks often allow you to schedule direct deposit payments into a savings account and there are some good reasons to consider doing so. Setting up direct deposits to a savings account is easy to do and takes just a few minutes. You can work directly with a financial advisor who can help you create a financial plan and give you recommendations on where to put your money. Read More...

Sep 07, 2022 Interest checking accounts, otherwise known as interest-bearing checking accounts, are checking accounts that pay an interest rate on the money held on deposit. There are key similarities and key differences between interest-bearing checking accounts and savings accounts. Here’s what you need to know. For more help with managing your money efficiently, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 07, 2022 Do you remember when you outgrew your piggy bank? It could have been because of a glut of birthday money or the unwieldy wad of cash after a summer of mowing lawns. No matter the case, children quickly grow to the point of needing a bank account. Besides providing a safe place to store and access money, bank accounts can teach healthy money habits and are straightforward to open. Since children cannot legally open a savings account, parents or guardians will need to open a custodial or joint savings account for them. For help saving for your children or with any other financial considerations, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 07, 2022 In 2021, Americans spent roughly $305 billion in interest and fees related to financial products like bank accounts, according to the  Financial Health Network’s FinHealth Spend Report 2022. While this dropped from the $319 billion spent in 2020, Americans still pay a hefty price to use financial products. However, whether you’ve been burned in the past or are new to banking, you can avoid or minimize bank fees through bank accounts that don’t charge customers. Such banks do not charge monthly maintenance fees, do not have minimum balance requirements and have low initial deposits. Here’s where to look for bank accounts with minimal fees and how to tell which suits you best.   For more help with banking and financial planning, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 30, 2022 Online banks, which offer online checking and savings accounts, have become increasingly popular among many consumers. As their name suggests, these are bank accounts that you access and operate entirely online, often making the banking process easier. The bank has no physical branches and you can’t access your account in person. Because of their reduced overhead, some can offer better interest rates than a traditional account, but they otherwise have the same rules and products as in-person banking. If you have money you need to save or invest, consider working with a financial advisor who can help you create an asset allocation plan.  Read More...

Aug 30, 2022 Offshore bank accounts are held outside of your home country and are an option to hold funds in a foreign currency. Offshore bank accounts can make sense in some situations, such as for those who have business in other countries or for those who live abroad. While these accounts aren't terribly difficult to open, there are some unique considerations to keep in mind before opening an offshore bank account. Any offshore bank account should probably be a part of a larger financial plan or strategy, which you can create with the help of a professional financial advisorRead More...

Aug 23, 2022 Online savings accounts can offer a convenient place to keep your money while potentially earning a great rate. Compared to traditional banks, online banks tend to have lower overhead costs. That enables them to pass savings on to their customers in the form of higher rates and lower fees. But is an online savings account FDIC insured? And how safe is your money? Those are important questions to ask if you’re considering moving your savings to an online bank. For more help with addressing your banking needs, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 23, 2022 How much money should I keep in my savings account? This is a valid question to ask if you’re interested in making the most of your money. Savings accounts can offer liquidity, so you have convenient access to your money. And you might be able to earn a decent interest rate on deposits, depending on where you choose to bank. There are several factors to keep in mind when deciding how much to keep in savings. For help with saving in the most efficient way, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 23, 2022 Most people use a bank as the main provider of financial services. Selecting the right bank can have a lot to do with how satisfied you are with the way your money is managed and, ultimately, with how well you attain your financial objectives. Picking a bank is a matter of evaluating your needs and choosing an institution that offers the best fit in terms of services, costs and other important features. Get your financial life on the right track with a solid financial plan. Talk to a financial advisor today. Read More...

Aug 18, 2022 Should you invest money or save it? It’s an important question to ask if you’re trying to grow wealth. Investing can offer the potential for higher returns, but it can also mean taking more risks. Saving money tends to be safer, though it may limit growth. If you’re looking for an investment that’s also safe, you might consider bonds. But which is better: bonds vs. savings account? For more help, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 18, 2022 When creating a plan for saving, one of the most important things to decide is where to keep your money. Savings accounts are one option; a Roth individual retirement account is another. Whether it makes sense to open a savings account vs. Roth IRA (or one of each) can depend on your financial needs and goals. For help figuring out how you are going to save, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 18, 2022 Savings accounts are safe, easy to open and highly liquid, making them solid choices for emergency savings or accumulating funds for future purchases. However, they pay such low rates of interest that even modest inflation erodes the purchasing power of deposits over time. Fortunately, alternatives to bank savings accounts exist that can earn more interest without sacrificing too much safety and liquidity. Some also provide tax advantages that savings accounts lack. Talk to a financial advisor before you decide where to park your savings. Read More...

Aug 16, 2022 Savings accounts are safe places to store cash you may need on short notice. You can open one at nearly any bank or credit union, often entirely online and with only a small or even no initial deposit. These accounts reliably pay the stated rate of interest and most have modest fees while some charge no fees. However, the interest earned on savings accounts is too low to keep up with inflation, raising the question of whether savings accounts are worth having at all. Despite this, most Americans do use savings accounts and they offer important benefits. A financial advisor can help you set up budgeting and savings habits. Read More...

Aug 16, 2022 If you keep money in a regular savings account you will generally owe federal income taxes on the interest that is earned. You’ll pay taxes at your regular rate the year interest is earned, whether or not you withdraw from the account. You can avoid paying taxes on interest with the help of certain tax-advantaged accounts used to fund retirement, healthcare and education expenses. However, these accounts come with restrictions that make them unsuited to keeping emergency savings. To help you decide how to save for various purposes while minimizing your tax burden, talk to a financial advisor. Read More...

Jul 26, 2022 Rising interest rates can make acquiring a loan or a mortgage more challenging, but there are ways to take advantage of  them. Many financial institutions offer checking accounts that return better interest rates than traditional checking accounts, provided you meet specific requirements. Here are the best high-yield checking account options and what to look for in your new high-yield checking account. A financial advisor could help you put a financial plan together for high-yield investments. Read More...

Jul 19, 2022 If you’re a savvy investor, you’re likely looking for ways to diversify your investment portfolio. Callable certificates of deposit (CD) are a way to invest your money for several years with a guaranteed interest rate in an FDIC-insured account. However, the issuer of your callable CD has the option of closing the account before it matures, stunting the earnings you planned on receiving for a set amount of years. Like every other investment, a callable CD has advantages and disadvantages that determine how well it will fit into your financial plan. Working with a financial advisor can give you the guidance you may need to choose the right portfolio diversification. Read More...

Jul 18, 2022 As the Federal Reserve has raised its target federal funds borrowing rate during 2022, interest rates paid to savings account depositors have lagged behind. However, since the Fed’s 0.75% increase to a target rate of 1.5% to 1.75% at its June 2022 meeting, deposit institutions have caught up. The top savings account interest rate during the first week of July was 1.61%, in the middle of the fed fund target range. By yearend, the fed funds rate is anticipated to top 2% and savings accounts will likely keep pace. A financial advisor can help you make best use of interest-bearing accounts in your financial plan. Read More...

Jul 12, 2022 Certificate of deposit (CD) accounts and savings accounts can help you keep your money safe and secure while earning some interest on balances. While they’re both deposit accounts, they aren’t exactly the same when it comes to how much interest you can earn, the fees you might pay and how easily you can access your money. Deciding whether to open a CD vs. savings account can depend on your goals. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your savings needs and goals. Read More...

Nov 16, 2021 These days, bank accounts can do a lot. They make it easy for you to track your spending and receive transaction alerts, often in real-time. They allow you to transfer between accounts and even send money to others in just seconds, even from a smartphone. And many of these accounts also help you reach your savings goals with budgeting tools, automation and competitive interest rates. However, odds are that you won’t be able to achieve all of this with just one bank account. Here’s a look at how many bank accounts you should realistically have and why you truly do need more than one. Read More...

Aug 29, 2022 If you have enough money, putting some kind of savings aside for both short- and long-term goals is important. After covering general expenses for your daily or monthly budget, an emergency fund could help you prepare for short-term costs such as unforeseen medical, auto, travel and other bills. Long-term savings can, of course, be used towards things that are less of an emergency, like planning for future vacations, buying a car or a home, and retirement. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for these goals. Read More...

Jul 30, 2021 Having a demand deposit account is the first step many people take when they embark on a saving and investing program. Most consumers begin with a checking account and add a savings account or a money market account as time passes. These accounts help you in many ways. They are a convenient way to pay your bills on time and get cash. They help you store money and earn a return on it. They are important to the economy at large since they are a part of the money supply. Here are the facts. Read More...

May 04, 2021 The Federal Reserve says that revolving consumer credit debt - including debt from credit cards, home equity lines of credit and personal lines of credit - increased to $974.4 billion in February 2021, marking a 10.1% annual rate increase from the year prior. This is almost one-third of all consumer debt - which also includes student and car loans - and adds up to a grand total of $4.2 trillion. With so many people trying to pay off credit card debt, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the best cities where it's easiest to do so. Read More...

Apr 21, 2021 While there is still a long way to go, women have made significant strides over the last few decades to achieve greater equality in education,  earnings and business ownership. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, 57.4% of adult women participated in the workforce, which is still much less than 69.2% of men, but a big jump nevertheless over the 51.5% of participating women workers in 1980. It's important to note that this rate has gone down since 2000, when women's workforce participation reached 59.9%. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset took a closer look at the U.S. cities where women are particularly successful in the workplace, and crunched the numbers to identify and rank them for the 2021 edition of this study. Read More...

Apr 21, 2021 IRS data shows that roughly 6% of American taxpayers earn $200,000 or more annually. While that figure includes income from investments, most reported income comes from salaries and wages. Across all occupations, the average worker earns $56,310 annually. In some of the highest-paying occupations, however, the average worker makes nearly three, four or even five times as much each year. These kinds of earnings in turn affect  adjusted gross income (AGI), taxes and potentially  savings. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to take a closer look at some of the highest-paying jobs in America. Read More...

Apr 15, 2021 Individuals with higher levels of financial literacy tend to adhere to better financial practices - such as having an  emergency fund and  planning for retirement - and are also more likely to  build wealth further by investing in the stock market. Many Americans, however, lack financial knowledge and do not follow financial best practices. Less than 50% of American adults have set aside three months’ worth of emergency funds, only 41% have tried to figure out retirement savings needs and just 32% have investments apart from retirement accounts. Read More...

Apr 08, 2021 It's no secret that the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 14.7% in April 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak -- up from a pre-pandemic rate of just 3.5% in February 2020. As the job market continues to rebound with the vaccine rollout and the recent wave of federal aid, which could help many Americans prepare for financial emergencies and boost their savings, Americans looking to be strategic about their job searches would do well to examine employment trends over the last few years to see where the most robust opportunities may exist. Given that some sectors have seen more expansion while others shrank -- with varied changes depending on location -- SmartAsset took a closer look at the fastest-growing jobs and the fastest-disappearing jobs in each state. Read More...

Mar 25, 2021 While many economists believe that the U.S. economy will return to pre-pandemic levels by late 2021, they are less confident that the job market will bounce back as quickly. According to February data from the National Association of Business Economics, 82% of economic forecasters surveyed expect real GDP to return to pre-COVID-19 recession levels sometime in 2021. By contrast, only 59% of respondents anticipate the total number of workers (excluding farm workers) will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 or later. As Americans scramble to boost their savings and map out their job prospects during the pandemic, SmartAsset analyzed data from 720 occupations to project the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the job market. Read More...

Apr 14, 2022 Almost one in two Americans (48%, to be exact) prefer to live in a town or rural area, according to a 2020 Gallup survey - up from 39% in 2018. And while 27% still say that they want to live in a city, almost two-thirds of that group (16%) prefer a small city to a big one. The  coronavirus crisis has also made places with low population densities more appealing, and small cities can offer the energy and creativity of urban life while  boosting your savings in an affordable community. SmartAsset compared almost 300 cities with populations between 65,000 and 100,000 to identify and rank the most livable small cities in our 2021 study.  Read More...

Mar 17, 2021 According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a household that spends more than 30% of its combined income on housing is considered "cost-burdened." And households spending over 50% are considered "severely cost-burdened." Many homeowners nationwide facing constraints based on their housing expense ratio may need to rethink their housing budget and move forward with a different personal finance plan. Some cities are more affected than others, however, which is why SmartAsset decided to take a closer look at the data to identify the cities with the most and fewest of these cost-burdened homeowners. Read More...

Mar 16, 2021 The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented job losses across many industries and occupations. However, STEM jobs have been less affected generally. The 2020 unemployment rates for all three STEM occupational categories were more than three percentage points lower than the overall rate (8.1%). Specifically, the average 2020 unemployment rates for computer & mathematical occupations, architecture & engineering occupations and life, physical & social science occupations were just 3.4%, 3.6% and 4.3%, respectively. Keeping in mind that these industries could offer more opportunities to find jobs and  save money, SmartAsset identified the fastest-growing STEM occupations in 2021. Read More...

Feb 25, 2021 While Baby Boomers and Generation X are now the bosses at many companies, more than 25% of the workforce is younger than 30. This means that Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) and millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are emerging as the generations to soon comprise the largest percentage of workers. Starting your career at a young age provides more time to build up your savings and create a retirement plan with a financial advisor. Some cities offer younger workers more opportunities for gainful employment and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out where younger employees make up the biggest percentage of the local workforce. Read More...

Feb 18, 2021 The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that computer and information technology jobs are expected to have grown by 11% from 2019 to 2029, adding 531,200 new jobs in cloud computing, big data storage and collection and information security. The median annual wage for those jobs in May 2019 was $88,240, which is $48,430 higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. Read More...

Feb 09, 2021 Dating in the time of COVID-19 isn’t easy. The pandemic has impacted Americans and the economy unevenly. And cities have shutdown and reopened at different rates. So depending on where you live, it can be complicated for a couple to find a good restaurant, see a movie, visit a museum or enjoy any other romantic activity together. One small upside is that dates during COVID-19 may be cheaper than usual. Many COVID-friendly dates such as picnics and takeout are less expensive than typical activities, so wooers won't have to dig as deep into their savings accounts to make Cupid strike. Read More...

Jan 21, 2021 How far you live from work, school and other places you frequent can cost you time, money and health. The U.S. Census says that the average commute takes Americans 27.6 minutes each way. That’s more than 240 hours annually, if you commute twice every workday in 2021. And now that many people have cut back their commutes by working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be thinking about how to save money by carpooling or biking, or you might consider moving to shorten the commuter distance. In either case, SmartAsset examined the largest cities in America to uncover the worst commutes in 2021. Find out how your commute measures up against them. Read More...

Jan 13, 2021 For most people, working is inevitable: You need a job to  afford your lifestyle. The trick, of course, is to find a balance where you can earn the money you need without spending all of your time in the workplace. Some of that depends on what the work culture is like in your city, how much you need to earn to pay for housing and how long you have to spend getting to work. To that end, SmartAsset analyzed 100 of the biggest cities in the country to find the best cities for work-life balance for 2021. Read More...

Jan 12, 2021 According to the Census Bureau, almost 20 million renters allocate at least 30% of their household income towards rent, indicating that they are housing cost-burdened. This can be especially true in larger cities where the cost of living is higher. And if time is money, then many Americans will have to resort to working longer hours to make ends meet without having to use up any existing emergency funds. Read More...

Jan 07, 2021 Since the onset of COVID-19, remote work has become the norm for many Americans, allowing them to continue to meet some of their expenses while saving where possible. In the late spring of 2020, about half of American workers were working from home, according to two surveys conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Many researchers believe that increased work flexibility and work-from-home opportunities may continue even after the pandemic is over. With that in mind, SmartAsset looked at the best cities to work from home in 2021. Read More...

Jan 06, 2021 Jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education for entry are often more insulated from unemployment than others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, total unemployment for individuals 25 years and older spiked to 13.1% in April 2020. However, the highest unemployment rate over the past year for bachelor’s degree holders 25 and older was 8.4% in April 2020. As of November 2020, the national unemployment rate was 6.7% - 2.5 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders. Read More...

Jan 06, 2021 Women’s earnings in the U.S. make up about 81% of men’s, according to Census Bureau data from the past several years. Though this figure has steadily grown over the course of decades, researchers predict the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could set back pay for women. Bureau of Labor Statistics data unequivocally shows that the COVID-19 crisis has had a disproportionate impact on women’s participation in the labor force and unemployment, and many analysts theorize this will carry over to women’s earnings. Read More...

Nov 02, 2021 Though the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in widespread fitness center closures, many Americans still want to stay as healthy as possible. Depending on the level of services and equipment required, staying active can affect people's budgets in a variety of ways. For now, virtual exercise classes and home gyms are the route most people are taking. Eventually, though, gyms will reopen at full capacity, and everyone will be able to reestablish his or her normal workout routine. When that happens, some places will be more conducive to jumping into a full-on fitness frenzy, and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find where they are. Read More...

Dec 09, 2020 A tall, frosty glass of beer has proven welcome succor during the distressing COVID-19 pandemic: Through the first half of 2020, beer sales in the U.S. rose about 16% compared to the same period in 2019, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI. Though lock-down orders and restrictions on bars and restaurants have changed the way Americans are drinking, they're still spending their money to quench their thirst for a frothy pint. But not all cities are equally equipped to provide access to the working man's amber nectar. So SmartAsset decided to find out which cities in America are best for those among us who consider themselves beer nerds. Read More...

Dec 01, 2020 While women have certainly made strides in many areas of the business world, when it comes to entrepreneurship, a significant gender gap remains. Around 10.2% of women between ages 18 and 64 are new entrepreneurs, a rate around three-quarters that of men, according to the 2018-2019 Women’s Report from The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Though there's clearly still room for growth, women who are starting their own businesses have the opportunity to take ownership of their long-term financial goals, including how much they sock away in a savings account. But not all locales are equally conducive to their success. As such, SmartAsset sought to uncover which metro areas are best for women entrepreneurs. Read More...

Nov 18, 2020 Perhaps counterintuitively, consumer credit card debt has fallen since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Federal reserve data shows that the total amount of revolving consumer credit, which primarily consists of credit cards charges, fell below one trillion in April 2020 for the first time in close to two years. Data from Experian tells a similar story. Between the end of Q2 2019 and Q2 2020, the average credit card balance of borrowers fell by about 11% from $6,629 to $5,897. Read More...

Nov 09, 2020 For Americans seeking a more affordable and less crowded alternative to the bustle of a big city but not interested in very small towns, a mid-sized city might be the best place to put down roots. But not all of them are equally suited to meet the needs of their inhabitants. That's why SmartAsset crunched the numbers on a variety of financial factors to find the mid-sized cities that are the most livable. Read More...

Oct 29, 2020 According to Census data, more than 17% of American households earn between $50,000 and $74,999, making it the income bracket comprising the highest number of people. This large cohort may not be among the most handsomely paid in the U.S., but strategically living in a place with robust employment opportunities and a lower cost of living can help Americans stretch their dollar further and enable them to sock away ample savings. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best cities in America for those with an annual income of $60,000, the sweet-spot of this range. Read More...

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