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From Budgeting to Investing: A Comprehensive Approach to Financial Planning in Bellevue, Washington

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Situated in the core of the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue, Washington, stands as a beacon of opportunity and prosperity. Financial Planning in Bellevue Washington, is important to securing one’s future and achieving financial goals. From budgeting effectively to making informed investment decisions, every step is pivotal in ensuring economic stability and growth in this city. This article dives into the various facets of capital planning, covering everything from budgeting basics to advanced investment strategies for city residents.

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Understanding the Impact of Accountants on the Financial Landscape of Care Homes

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In the intricate world of care homes, where the primary focus is on providing quality care and support to residents, the role of accountants becomes indispensable. 

Behind the scenes, these financial experts play a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation and sustainability of care homes. This article talks details into the huge impact of accountants on the financial landscape of care homes and how their expertise goes beyond mere numbers and taxes.

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Why Effective Tax Management Leads to Financial Security

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Are you worried about your long-term financial security? You’re not alone – managing money can be a stressful and confusing process. To get yourself on the right track, one important step is to make sure that your taxes are handled correctly. Effective tax management doesn’t have to be complicated; with the right information and tools, it’s surprisingly simple. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of why proper tax management is essential for achieving lasting financial security.

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How to Help Your Child with Financial Planning

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When you have teenagers or young adults in the house, it might seem like everything requires some learning on your part. While they are no longer a child you can tell what to do, they also don’t have the life experience they need to make important decisions on their own, like how to manage their money. There are a few ways you can teach your child how to better handle their money so they can prepare for the future.

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Financial Planning Competition Awards Three NJ Students Financial Scholarships

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Dunellen NJ,  the Financial Planning Association of New Jersey (FPA of New Jersey), the leading membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals in the State of New Jersey, is pleased to recognize three college students for their performance in the 2nd Annual Cheddar Bowl, a competition designed to showcase the financial planning understanding of students in financial planning programs in several New Jersey colleges and universities.

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Financial Planning Done Right: How To Protect Your Future

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Financial planning refers to the process and step-by-step approach to meet an individual’s life goals. A financial plan is a crucial aspect and acts as a guide through the journey of life. It is essential and helps you manage your money and achieve your goals by allowing you to control your investments, income, and expenses. Living the way we desire and accomplish the things we want will require a significant degree of financial planning.

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Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents’ Stuff

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Advice for boomers desperate to unload family heirlooms

By Richard EisenbergMoney & Work EditorFebruary 9, 2017

After my father died at 94 in September, leaving my sister and me to empty his one-bedroom, independent living New Jersey apartment, we learned the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

Admittedly, that’s an exaggeration. But it’s not far off, due to changing tastes and homes. I’ll explain why, and what you can do as a result, shortly.

The Stuff of Nightmares

So please forgive the morbidity, but if you’re lucky enough to still have one or more parents or stepparents alive, it would be wise to start figuring out what you’ll do with their furniture, china, crystal, flatware, jewelry, artwork and tchotchkes when the mournful time comes. (I wish I had. My sister and I, forced to act quickly to avoid owing an extra months’ rent on dad’s apartment, hired a hauler to cart away nearly everything we didn’t want or wouldn’t be donating, some of which he said he’d give to charity.)

Many boomers and Gen X’ers charged with disposing the family heirlooms, it seems, are unprepared for the reality and unwilling to face it.

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3 Tips For Staying On The Same Financial Page With Your Spouse


Plenty of things can kill the romance in a relationship.

March 20,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, But traditionally, money and all the complications that come with it sit near the top of the list.

“I’ve worked with hundreds of married clients and have seen a lot of spending habits over the years, both good and bad,” says Dan Carter, an Investment Advisor Representative for Safeguard Investment Advisory Group (

“There’s no doubt that when the numbers in the bank account start dropping, the tempers can start flaring.”
Carter recalls that when he and his wife were planning their wedding, the minister declined to perform the ceremony unless they met with him three times beforehand.

“Guess what he talked about – money,” Carter says. “He said money can cause a lot of problems in a marriage. When the wolves are at the door, couples stress, argue, and often break up.”

In fact, 20 percent of couples say that financial decisions cause tension in their relationships every day, and 31 percent say money issues lead to stress weekly, according to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council.

The key is for couples to get on the same page about money, Carter says. Tensions can’t help but grow if one spouse is extraordinarily frugal while the other is a spendthrift. He suggests:

• Sit down and talk about what is important. If a husband’s financial goals and a wife’s financial goals are at odds, trouble is inevitable. He might want to stash more away for retirement. Her chief concern might be saving enough to help the kids through college. The important thing is that each understands the other’s priorities and concerns, and then they can work from there, Carter says.
• Understand that there must be a balance. Some couples spend recklessly, racking up massive credit-card debt, while others go to the opposite extreme, fearful of parting with money for anything other than basic necessities. Be disciplined, but treat yourselves once in a while, Carter says. An occasional splurge isn’t a bad thing. Couples can benefit from a dinner at a nice restaurant or a weekend trip to the beach. “The problem is when splurging becomes the norm,” Carter says. “But life shouldn’t just be one dreary chore after another. You do need to live a little.”
• Ignore the Joneses. Let your neighbors, relatives and co-workers do what they do, buying unnecessarily expensive cars, living in houses they can’t afford and traveling to exotic destinations that are really outside their budgets. Enjoy life, but live within your means.

“There are plenty of sayings about money, like ‘money can’t buy you love’ and ‘the love of money is the root of all evil,’ ” Carter says. “Those sayings may contain a little truth, but I’d say money also can be a useful tool, a very positive thing. If you use it wisely, it can enhance your life and your loved ones’ lives, too.”

About Dan Carter

Dan Carter, an Investment Advisor Representative for Safeguard Investment Advisory Group (, has 18 years experience in the insurance and estate planning industry. Carter also is the radio host for a financial radio program, “The Big Picture Radio Show,” on KVTA 1590, Ventura County’s Gold Coast “News Talk” station. Carter holds California Life-Only and Accident and Health licenses (#0C32681), and holds a Series 65 license, and is registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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58% of Americans are making this huge retirement mistake


Maurie Backman, The Motley FoolPublished 9:03 a.m. ET Feb. 21, 2017 | Updated 24 hours ago

We all want to save money for retirement, but these 5 costs that retirees face might shock you. USA TODAY NETWORK

Do you have a will or trust in place? Your loved ones could face a world of upheaval without one.

When most of us start planning for retirement, we think about things like what our living costs will be and how much money we’ll have access to. Many of us, in fact, get so focused on how much we are or aren’t saving that we fail to make one critical move: creating a will or living trust.

In a recent study, 58% of American adults admitted to not having either type of crucial document in place. Even scarier, among adults with children under the age of 18, that figure climbed to 64% of folks without a formal estate plan.

Now the good news is that older Americans are more likely to have a will or trust than their younger counterparts. Here’s how the data breaks down:


37 to 52  36%

53 to 71  60%

72 and older 81%

Data source:

Though it’s not surprising to see that almost 80% of younger Americans don’t have a will, it’s an attitude that can hurt Millennials as easily as it can folks 20 or 30 years their senior. And while you might think you have plenty of time to draw up a will, or that not having one isn’t such a big deal, it’s a mistake that could be far costlier than you might imagine.

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Financial Planning Association of New Jersey Launches “Know Your Money” Campaign

November 28,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The Financial Planning Association of New Jersey (FPANJ) is launching a new, five-part video series to stress the importance of learning about your money, and how a Certified Financial Planner(TM) can play a role in reaching your financial goals.
The series features “man on the street” interviews with people, asking them questions based on the following topics:
  • Estate Planning
  • Taxes
  • College Planning
  • Social Security
  • Health Care
“These are topics that everyone – regardless of their income – is impacted by every day, whether or not they want to think about it,” said FPANJ President Rob Rafano. “The purpose is to demonstrate all of the various issues that CFP®s help clients handle, and why not knowing what you don’t know can keep you from building wealth, planning for retirement and so much more.”

The first installment of the Know Your Moneyseries will be on Estate Planning, and can be viewed on the FPANJ’s You Tube Channel. Its debut coincides with a presentation on December 13 on Estate Planning issuesregarding elder law that every CFP® should be aware of.

“We are hoping that this will start the conversation among consumers about how to get started learning more about their finances, saving and investing more, and leaning on the expertise of financial professionals to get them there,” Rafano said, adding, “we are also relying on our local media to help educate the public, as there is always something happening in the news that these videos relate to.”
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Retirement Planning for Small Businesses at Arcola Country Club

Arcola Country Club
Retirement Planning for Small Businesses
Wed, November 02, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: Arcola Country Club, Paramus Rd., PAramus, NJ 07652

Craig Castner
Retirement Plan Counselor
American Funds
American Funds
Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

ABOUT THIS WORKSHOP Would you like to know more about which type of retirement plan might be best for your business? If the answer is “yes,” you’re not alone. Unfortunately, many business owners have little time to learn how their business may benefit from a retirement plan as it gets lost among the numerous day-to-day responsibilities associated with running a business. Get answers to your questions:

•I don’t think I have enough employees: Learn about plans for businesses of every size, whether you have 3 or 300 employees.
•Plans are too expensive: Retirement plan solutions are more affordable and your employees can help pay for annual costs. You may also qualify for federal tax credit which can pay for start-up costs during the first three years of the plan – up to $500 per year.
•What if the economy gets worse? A number of retirement plan solutions offer flexibility in how you run the plan. You can adjust employer contributions, according to your circumstances and profitability.
•It sounds complicated. Today’s small-business plans are relatively easy to set up and operate. Some have no annual IRS reporting requirements. So you can focus on what’s really important —running your business.
Email Anita Srivastava at or 201-251-6538
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Robo-Advisors Vs. Humans: Gauging The Outer Limits Of Automated Financial Advice


August 18,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The use of robo-advisors is on the rise among investors looking for an alternative way to get help with financial planning.

In fact, a report by the consulting firm A.T. Kearney predicted that robo-advisors will be managing 5.6 percent of Americans’ investment assets by 2020, up from 0.5 percent when the report was done in 2015.

Despite the intriguing name, don’t imagine that robo-advisors resemble something from a science fiction movie, with lights flashing as they dole out warnings about dangers to your portfolio.

Instead, a robo-advisor is an online wealth-management service that uses a software program to provide automated advice based on an algorithm.

Robo-advisors have their merits. Clients save money, at least on the front end, because fees are usually lower, says Rick Rivera, a partner at Safeguard Investment Advisory Group (

The required minimum investment also usually is low, which could be helpful for young investors who haven’t had time to build wealth.

“If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, it might work for you,” Rivera says. “But is it something that saves you money for the long term? Maybe not.”

Investors should weigh the advantages against the disadvantages, he says. Examples of when robo-advisors fall short include:

• Looking at the big picture. Robo-advisors are limited to what their software is designed to handle. Human financial planners don’t have that limitation. They can provide advice based on the bigger picture of how all of a person’sassets, tax liabilities and other factors interact and affect each other.
• Adapting to market fluctuations. Questions remain about just how well robo-advisors react to rapid market changes. Recently, when U.S. markets experienced extreme volatility because of Brexit – the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union – at least one robo-advising firm halted all its trading. “People were saying this could have been negative for those trying to buy when stock prices dropped,” Rivera says.
• Helping with estate or long-term care planning. Older clients often are concerned about how to best leave wealth to their heirs through trusts or other means. They also worry about whether they will need expensive long-term care that
can eat away at their savings.  These aren’t areas robo-advisors usually venture into, but human ones do. “We can say here are your options, here is what we can do to protect you,” Rivera says. “We can show them avenues that robo-advisors

Ultimately, robo-advisors may appeal to those who have uncomplicated portfolios and can get by on general advice, but for many investors a one-size-fits-most approach doesn’t cut it, Rivera says.

“I can’t tell you how many times someone has come to me and said they heard that all life insurance is bad, or all annuities are bad, or all mutual funds are bad,” Rivera says.

“But each of those things is created for a specific purpose. Whether they are good or whether they are bad depends on your needs. That’s where human advisors can step in and help you weigh just what those needs are.”

About Rick Rivera

Rick Rivera is a partner at Safeguard Investment Advisory Group ( and has more than two decades of experience in the financial industry providing guidance to those planning for retirement. He is an investment advisor representative holding a series 65 license, as well as Life-Only and Accident and Health licenses in California.

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Financial Literacy Month Is The Right Time To Get Your Fiscal House In Order


March 31,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Parents often are encouraged to teach their children how to handle money and to begin the lessons at an early age.

One problem with that, though, is many adults aren’t all that financially literate themselves.

For example, one survey revealed that about 80 percent of Americans admit to making some sort of financial mistake, such as not saving enough for retirement, failing to track their spending or taking on too much debt.

“People can make financial mistakes for a lot of reasons,” says Brett King, the managing/founding partner and Senior Vice President Investments for Elite Financial Associates (
“But often it’s because they simply haven’t taken the time to make a personal budget and plot out their spending and investing habits.”

April is National Financial Literacy Month, making it the opportune time for people to review their fiscal situation and figure out how to do better.

King says there are several steps to consider as people try to make sure they are getting the most out of their money:

• Build a reserve account for emergencies. Major medical problems, job loss or other unexpected events can undermine anyone’s financial stability. That’s why it’s important to build an emergency fund. Many experts recommend the fund be large enough to cover all your expenses for three to six months, though that’s a tough goal for most people. But something is better than nothing, King says, so try to stash away at least a little each week.
• It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. “A lot of people tell themselves they will begin to save for retirement when their income reaches a more comfortable level,” King says. “But the longer you delay, the harder it’s going to be to accumulate the amount of money you will need when you retire.” If saving is difficult right now, one strategy would be to start small and increase your contribution each year as your salary grows. Even setting aside a small amount out of each paycheck now can make a big difference over time because of the power of compound interest.
• Adjust your strategies as financial circumstances change.Reviewing your income and expenses shouldn’t be a one-time event. For example, if you become a new parent you may want to shift some of your money into a college-savings plan for your child. Be ready to change to deal with the new realities life tosses your way.

“If you have concerns about whether you’re making the right decisions about your money,” King says, “you should seek the assistance of a financial professional who can give you guidance in getting your financial house in order.”

About Brett King

Brett King is the managing/founding partner and Senior Vice President Investments for Elite Financial Associates ( Brett is a registered representative of IFS Securities. His career in financial services spans more than three decades. He holds a Series 7 stockbroker license, a Series 22 for limited partnerships and a Series 24 Securities Principle license. He also holds insurance and annuity licenses in multiple states.