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3 Tips for Serial Entrepreneurs to Safeguard Their Own and Their Employees’ Retirement Security

Article by Nathan Fisher | Found on Entrepreneur

Working professionals can take a lot for granted about a job: the hours, the steady paycheck, the retirement plan. But serial entrepreneurs don’t enjoy such guarantees: They’re busy trading stability for the chance to build something new and valuable.

In my work running an investments/401(K) company, I’ve met many entrepreneurs who know this fact all too well. They wonder not only how to prepare for retirement, themselves, but how to make sure their employees are saving for the future, too. If you’re in the business of building a business and thinking about your financial future, here are some ways to assure retirement readiness for you and your employees. Read more

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5 Financial Rules to Live By

Article by Christy Bieber | Found on CNN

Are you among the 65% of Americans being kept up at night by money worries? Managing your money can definitely be overwhelming, especially with so much conflicting advice out there.

The good news is, you don’t actually have to do much to get your finances under control. You just have to follow a few simple rules to streamline your spending and tackle all of your biggest money issues.

Here are five basic financial rules to live by that will change your life and put you on the path toward a more prosperous future. Read more

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5 money moves you need to make by 30

Article by Maurie Backman | Found on CNN

Turning 30 is a pretty significant milestone.

If you’re coming up on 30, now’s a good time to take stock of your finances and get yourself on a responsible path. Here’s how. Read more

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8 money mistakes new parents should avoid

Article by Kathryn Vassel | Found on CNN

It’s a thought many new and soon-to-be parents have: How can something so tiny require so much stuff?

While you might not need all the gear you’ve stocked up on, there’s no getting around the fact that having a baby will bring changes to your budget. Read more

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Half of Americans are Saving Next to Nothing

Article by Kathryn Vasel | Found on CNN

When it comes to saving, we aren’t doing enough of it.

Roughly half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their incomes, including 18% that are not saving anything, according to a survey from Bankrate. Only about a quarter of people are saving more than 10% of their earnings. Read more

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9 Things All Millennials Need to Know About Money

Article Found on INC.COM


What should all young people know about managing personal finance? This is a very important question, because as it stands, there is expected to be a $30 trillion wealth transfer from Boomers to Millennials over the coming decades – and only 22% of Millennials demonstrate “basic” financial knowledge. Read more

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20-Somethings Are Spending Less Money Than You Think

Article Found on BusinessInsider | Written by Tanza Loudenback

American millennials aren’t spending as much money on clothes, avocado toast, and pumpkin spice lattes as you may think.

Instead, they’re shifting their spending to focus on necessities, as housing costs increase and wages sit still.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 18-t0-29 year olds in 2016 reported spending an average of $19 less on a given day than their 2008 counterparts.

This could pose a problem for some retailers whose marketing efforts aimed at millennials have become obsessive in recent years. Read more

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Americans paid $15 billion in overdraft fees last year, CFPB says

Article by Jackie Wattles | Featured on CNN Money

Americans have racked up billions — yes, billions — of dollars worth of overdraft charges.

In 2016, U.S. consumers paid a total of $15 billion in fees for bouncing checks or overdrafting –which is when a customer tries to make a purchase without enough money in their account to cover the transaction — according to new data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

All banks with assets over $1 billion must report how much money it brought in via bounced check and overdraft fees, according to CFPB. And this year the industry rang up at $11.41 billion. That’s up 2.2% from 2015, which was the first year banks began reporting total overdraft and bounced check fees to the CFPB.

Adding in its best guess for what smaller banks and credit unions charged, and CFPB says $15 billion is roughly the grand total.

These fees are particularly troublesome for cash-strapped Americans, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said on a press call Thursday.

“Consumers living on the edge can find themselves racking up numerous overdraft charges,” Cordray said. “Despite recent regulatory and industry changes, consumers with low account balances and little margin for error continue to pay significant overdraft fees.”

Related: Money terms you’re too embarrassed to ask about

He also pointed out that the average amount of money consumers overdraft by is about $24 — but that banks often charge fees of around $34 for each overdraft incident.

Richard Hunt, the head of the Consumer Bankers Association, a bank advocacy group, responded to the study on Friday. He said he looks “forward to working with the CFPB on this issue, and we appreciate their concern for providing consumers with clear disclosures.”

But Hunt said banks already provide customers with “clear, concise procedures for opting into overdraft services,” and he pointed to a 2015 survey that found only 1% of respondents were confused by overdraft opt-in process.

Regulators have long been concerned about hefty overdraft charges.

The Federal Reserve decided to crack down on the issue in 2010 by mandating that banks must receive a customer’s explicit permission to approve a transaction when there are insufficient funds, and trigger overdraft fees. Otherwise, the transaction would simply be declined.

That year, the financial services industry was on track to make $38.5 billion on overdraft and non-sufficient fund fees, the economic research firm Moebs Services said at the time.

So, it appears that the fees have been curbed. But Cordray says data indicates some of the poorest Americans are still being hit hard by them.

He said customers that opt in and frequently overdraft “typically” wind up paying $450 per year in fees.

A 2014 Pew study also found more than half of the people who overdrew their checking accounts in the past year didn’t remember consenting to the overdraft service.

To address that issue, the CFPB said Thursday that it’s testing out a new version of the opt-in forms, which are designed to make the issue more clear for customers.

The updated form is meant to “explain that the opt-in decision applies only to one-time debit card and ATM transactions and does not affect overdraft on checks and online bill payments,” Cordray said.

“They also are designed to make clear that debit card and ATM overdraft is entirely optional,” he added.

Despite the agency’s concern, Cordray said the CFPB is not planning to propose stricter rules for banks when it comes to overdraft fees.

Isler Northwest LLC is a firm of certified public accountants and business advisors based in Portland, Oregon. Our local, regional, and global resources, our expertise, and our emphasis on innovative solutions and continuity create value for our clients. Our service goals at Isler NW is to earn our clients’ trust as their primary business and financial advisors.

Isler Northwest

(503) 224-5321

1300 SW 5th Avenue
Suite 2900
Portland, Oregon 97201

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Here’s How You Should Really be Spending Your Paycheck

Article by Larry Alton | Found on INC.COM

In the opinion of many, one of the greatest failures of today’s public school system is that it allows students to graduate without requiring that they take a course in personal finance. In fact, a highly educated individual can get a high school and college diploma without ever receiving any formal training in how to save and spend the money they’ll earn.

The result of this shortcoming is catastrophic. Otherwise educated individuals are graduating from college with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debts, securing measly salaries in entry-level positions, and then racking up thousands of dollars in additional debt because they don’t understand how to budget, save, and spend.

Something has to be done about it. Read more

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Your Money: Three Big Ideas to Make it Easier to Save for College

Article by Beth Pinkser | Article Found on Reuters

Surveys regularly find that Americans have no idea what a 529 college savings plan is, so a little tinkering under the hood is definitely needed.

For more than 20 years, families have been able to save in these dedicated investment accounts, with the funds accumulating tax free, as long as the money is used for higher education.

Changing the system even in the smallest way requires Congressional legislation, a tough sell in any given year, and even tougher in the current political climate.

“There aren’t enough hours in the day,” said Republican Representative Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, who just co-sponsored a bill with Democrat Ron Kind of Wisconsin to improve 529 and ABLE accounts, which are similar educational savings plans for disabled individuals.

Jenkins has introduced legislation over the years to tweak educational savings plans. She had success with provisions that took effect in 2015 to make computers a qualified expense and change redeposit rules if a student withdraws mid-year. Read more