With the ever-increasing costs of higher education, state-sponsored 529 plans have quickly become a popular vehicle for saving and investing for these expenses. However, a drawback of these tax-advantaged plans has been what to do with leftover funds should the beneficiary not need them. In this month’s blog post, we will discuss what options are available to those with an unused 529 plan funds, including insight into the exciting new option introduced with the passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act in 2022.
In times of financial hardship and limited options, it can be challenging to turn a blind eye to a supply of money reserved for something as abstract as the future. A withdrawal from a workplace 401(k) plan, whether it be a permanent distribution or temporary loan, is allowable in certain circumstances and recent data from Bank of America shows that more participants are taking advantage: hardship withdrawals are up 36% from the second quarter of 2022, and plan loans have increased as well.
Cognitive biases and behaviors surrounding money and investing can significantly affect individual’s financial decisions and overall wealth accumulation. While money and investing are often seen as rational and objective matters, human psychology can introduce biases, fears, and irrational behaviors that can hinder one’s long-term financial success. In this month’s blog, we will explore ten common cognitive biases so you can better understand how they may be impacting your decisions when it comes to your money and investments.
Beginning June 30, 2023, the 60-day countdown to the end of the federal student loan freeze began. While the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness proposal as of this writing, the three-year pause on payments that went into effect due to the Covid -19 pandemic is set to resume in September regardless. There can be no more extensions of the freeze of student loan payments. According to research by VantageScore, a credit data analytics company, up to 76% of federal student loan borrowers may miss the first required payment and that single missed payment can ding a borrower’s credit score by as much as 82 points, on average. This month we will look at how to prepare for making payments again (or for the first time if a borrower graduated during the forbearance period).
An internet search for “best rewards credit card” returns a seemingly endless number of listicles from every news and travel outlet touting different cards as the best. Like many things, however, the “best” is highly individualized. Some highly rated cards accrue bonus points when used in specific categories such as dining or gas, however the benefit to the cardholder will be minimal if he or she rarely spends money in those categories. Other cards offer excellent benefits but carry a hefty annual fee, which can be difficult to stomach for some.