Money Matters: 529, Coverdell or Custodial Account? How to Choose

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – The cost of a college education continues to rise. The projected average total college costs for a child born in 2015 are nearly $550,000 for a four-year private college and $240,000 for a public college.1 If you are looking for tax-advantaged ways to get ahead of the curve, you have several choices – 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and custodial accounts created under the Unified Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) or Unified Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) – but which ones may be right for you? Read more

Money Matters: I’m Getting Married. How Could Marriage Potentially Affect My Finances?

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – Marriage affects your finances in many ways, including your ability to build wealth, plan for retirement, plan your estate, and capitalize on tax and insurance-related benefits. Read more

Money Matters: Hucksters and Hype: Signs of a Stock Scam

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – If an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are a few tips to help you determine if a stock is worth taking a chance on – or best avoided. Read more

Money Matters: Too Young to Think About Investing? Think Again!

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – “How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss’s whimsical take on life has been delighting children of all ages for generations. His simple but powerful words continue to resonate today, even in the context of planning for a financially secure future. Because when you get right down to it, the younger you are, the more you potentially have to gain by taking advantage of the time ahead of you. Read more

Money Matters: Is Your Estate Planning Up To Date?

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed his article.

Cary, NC – One of the first steps you’ll take in the estate planning process is determining how much planning you’ll need to undertake. Two key components of your initial needs evaluation are an estate analysis and a settlement cost analysis.

Read more

Money Matters: Boost Your Borrowing Power by Boosting Your Credit Score  

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – Your credit score is a rating that lenders can use to gauge how likely you may be to repay debts on time. A typical credit score will range between 300 points and 850 points. Generally speaking, higher scores are presumed to represent lower risks – the more attractive your score might be to a lender, the better the deals you may be offered. In other words, you can improve your position in the borrowing process by taking steps to boost your score. Read more

Money Matters: The Lowdown on Robo-Advisors

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – The trend toward online investing and advisory services, also known as robo-investing and robo-advice is gaining momentum, but industry participants are struggling to get a handle on how retail investors view and/or use robo-services to conduct their financial affairs. Read more

Money Matters: I’m Changing Jobs. What Should I Do With the Money in My Plan?

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – Changing jobs is an important decision – one that many of us are making more often. Once you’ve decided to switch jobs, your next move is to determine what to do with the money in your former employer’s retirement plan. Read more

Money Matters: Is Long-Term Care Insurance a Good Idea?

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – There is a good possibility that you or your spouse will eventually require some form of long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70 percent of people aged 65 or older will enter a nursing home for some period of time during their lifetimes.1

Whether you or your spouse will be among this group is impossible to predict. But it is wise to consider how you might pay for long-term care and whether long-term care insurance is a good idea for you.

Read more

Money Matters: Surviving the Holiday Spending Season – Debt Free

Editor’s Note: Briant Sikorski from Stratos Wealth Partners in Cary contributed this article.

Cary, NC – As the traditional giving season approaches, there is one important item to add to your to do list: Create a holiday budget. Read more