Financial Planning

Saving for college, investing in the stock market, online trading, mutual funds for many, these topics are overwhelming. No worries. We'll give you accurate, easy-to-understand information in the Financial Planning section.

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A lot of people don't like to think about death, which is why many estates go unplanned. But if someone dies without a will, their survivors may end up in a long expensive fight in probate court.

By Alia Hoyt

Refinancing your mortgage may be a great way to lower your monthly bills, but you need to keep these points in mind.

By Alia Hoyt

Not all investment professionals are fiduciaries — we've got four questions that smart investors need to ask a financial adviser before putting him or her in charge of their investments.

By Dave Roos

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Mortgage refinance rates can vary from lender to lender. So, how do you know that you've got the best rate you can?

By Alia Hoyt

"How low will my new interest rate be?" is not the only question to ask before you refinance your mortgage. Here are five others you should think about.

By Alia Hoyt

So you have homeowners insurance, but do you know exactly what you will need in order to file a claim when the time comes?

By Patrick J. Kiger

The annual cost of homeowners insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars and depend on many different factors. How can you save money on this necessary expense?

By Patrick J. Kiger

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You'd like to take advantage of the low interest rates out there to refinance your mortgage, but your credit is less than stellar. Is it worth even trying to refinance?

By Alia Hoyt

Homeowners insurance generally is required only if you have a mortgage on your home. But even when your home is paid off, you'd be wise to maintain coverage.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Need some extra cash to take care of some debts? You could tap into your home equity through a cash-out mortgage refinance. But what are the pros and cons?

By Alia Hoyt

Many people think the only life insurance payout option is a lump sum after the insured person dies, but there are actually many choices out there. We look at some of them.

By Dave Roos

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Many people may not have enough homeowners insurance coverage to replace their homes in the event of a disaster. Are you covered?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Do you have to have a relationship with the person, or can it be any old Joe?

By Dave Roos

Hurt feelings are likely to result but experts say there are times when you should leave more money to one child in your will. Just don't keep everyone in the dark about it.

By Dave Roos

In 2000, a document called a military testamentary instrument was recognized by Congress to provide some clear-cut basic requirements for a military will, exempt from individual states' varying laws.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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A new meta-analysis of 150 studies finds that only one in three U.S. adults has a written living will or healthcare power of attorney documents.

By Patrick J. Kiger

The American Dream has usually meant that U.S. children will do better financially than their parents. But is this being upended by all the economic downturns of the 2000s? Can millennials overcome their poor economic start?

By Dave Roos

Land trusts have been used for both good and bad. They can be created for environmental conservation or to keep housing affordable. Or they can be a way to disguise the true owner of a property. Let's look at the pros and cons of land trusts.

By Dave Roos

The average American changes jobs every four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you're average, that means you'll have a lot of 401(k)s before you retire. Should you consolidate them into one retirement account?

By Dave Roos

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After you leave a job, what do you do with your 401(k) if you're laid off or going to a job with no similar plan? You can take a transfer or rollover of your cash. We explain the difference between the two.

By Dave Roos

The unsexily named "long-term municipal bonds" are pretty important to our everyday lives. They pay for building schools or highways in our neighborhoods. And almost anyone can buy one.

By Laurie L. Dove

Government-backed agencies appeal to investors looking for something safe that still gives them a little interest. But are there any drawbacks?

By Laurie L. Dove

Moving all your credit card debt to one card may see like a great deal, and sometimes it is. How do you decide whether consolidation is the best approach to tackling your unsecured debt?

By Maria Trimarchi

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Most college graduates leave school with a significant debt load, and it often takes years to pay off that education. Is it better to lump loans together? What are the pros and cons?

By Maria Trimarchi

Few people thought the Facebook stock price would slide after its IPO, which goes to show there are many risk factors, even in a so-called sure stock. What are some of the top factors?

By Dave Roos