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Nov
14
November is Long Term Care Awareness Month
November is Long term Care Awareness month, and when you think of long term care insurance, what comes to mind?  With rising costs of healthcare in the United States, being able to financially secure your retirement has become increasingly costly.  The government does not pay for these costs, and Medicare does not pay for most long term care options. Maybe its time to discuss your options, let us run down these options with you. What is long-term care insurance? Answer: Long-term care insurance is designed to pay for the cost of your care in a variety of settings, including a nursing home if you can no longer care for yourself independently. Long-term care policies vary widely in their coverages, limitations, and exclusions. A...
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Sep
07
How To Be Financially Prepared To Buy Your First Home
How To Be Financially Prepared To Buy Your First Home         Getting ready to buy your first house can be daunting. Credit scores, down payments, and mortgages are all on your mind. Here’s a guide to help you get ready to make one of the biggest purchases of your life. Buying your first home can be one of the most exhilarating — and stressful — moments of your life. But armed with the right information, you can shop for a house, apply for a mortgage, and close the deal with confidence. Buying your first home: Where to start The first thing to do before buying a home is to make sure it’s the right time to do so. Generally speaking, owning a home pays off financially if you will live in it for at least five years. Otherwise,...
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Aug
30
Dear Millenials- Open Letter from the Stock Market
An open letter from the stock market Dear Millennials, While reading The Wall Street Journal I came across an article I found quite distressing. Apparently, your generation is flocking to my bastard cousin, real estate, in the hopes of securing your financial future. You're flippantly tossing around hurtful statements about how I "spook" you or putting your money in my grasp is nothing more than gambling. I am The Stock Market and I believe it's time the two of us have a little heart-to-heart. Yes, there have been times I caused panic and destruction. Your history books teach you about Black Tuesday and your parents may have lost some money when I took a dive in 1987. Most of you are probably frightened by me because of what happened...
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Aug
24
Sudden Wealth
Sudden Wealth What would you do with an extra $10,000? Maybe you'd pay off some debt, get rid of some college loans, or take a much-needed vacation. What if you suddenly had an extra million or 10 million or more? Whether you picked the right six numbers in your state's lottery or your dear Aunt Sally left you her condo in Boca Raton, you have some issues to deal with. You'll need to evaluate your new financial position and consider how your sudden wealth will affect your financial goals. Evaluate your new financial position Just how wealthy are you? You'll want to figure that out before you make any major life decisions (e.g., to retire). Your first impulse may be to go out and buy things, but that may not be in your best interest....
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Aug
16
Fall is Approaching, ways to maximize summer
Fall is approaching ever so quickly and we need to appreciate those last days of summer to the fullest. Shucks! First of July feels like yesterday. Holding on to that fleeting summer feeling I’m sharing some of my ways to enjoy the last days of summer! Who’s with me? 1. Let’s go outside! / Of course the most obvious thing to do during one of the last days of summer. Catching up all the vitamin D’s, putting up your sunglasses and walking around without a coat (or a really thin one). It’s also the perfect moment to go to the beach before you’ll freeze your toes of or enjoying those magical golden hours and sunsets with you loved ones. 2. Delicious summer food! / This is the perfect moment to enjoy all those typical summer foods to the...
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Aug
10
How much can I invest in a 529 plan?
How much can I invest in a 529 plan? Answer: Section 529 of the tax code requires that a 529 account not accept more contributions than are necessary to meet the qualified education expenses of the account beneficiary. A plan will pass this test if it limits total contributions to the amount needed to fund five years of the beneficiary's tuition, fees, and room and board at the most costly college allowed under the program, and many states are including graduate school costs in the tally. Each plan can set its own limit within this guideline. When the value of a beneficiary's account reaches the limit chosen by the state, no more contributions may be made to that state's 529 plan for the beneficiary. (Some states may also impose an...
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Aug
02
Teaching Children money- Frugality is a compound game
Frugality Is A Compounding Game But it only costs $20! Or $10. Or even just 5 measly bucks. So what's the big deal? It's remarkably easy to lull myself into thinking that a couple dollars spent here or there won't amount to a hill of beans (oh but there are so many things one can cook with a hill of beans… ). When I start to think this way, I remind myself that frugality is a compounding game. Or more accurately, money...
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Jul
25
Teaching Money Management Skills to our Children
Teaching Money Management Skills to our Children Financial skills are made up of simple, basic life skills that build upon each other, just as a child learns to sit, crawl, walk and then run. We don’t learn to play a sport or drive a car solely by reading a book — we must have hands-on practice to learn from our successes as well as our mistakes. Both types of experiences are important for developing knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. The same applies to managing money — a child needs consistent and frequent hands-on practice. Modelling and learning from observation are two of the most powerful methods of learning in all young children. Waiting until the teen years for the "money talk" is too late; habits and beliefs around...
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Jul
12
10 years and counting- Points to consider as you approach retirement
If you're a decade or so away from retirement, you've probably spent at least some time thinking about this major life change. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some capacity? Will changes in your income sources affect your standard of living? When you begin to ponder all the issues surrounding the transition, the process can seem downright daunting. However, thinking about a few key points now, while you still have years ahead, can help you focus your efforts and minimize the anxiety that often accompanies the shift.
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Jun
20
Summer Fun
For those with children this week marks the end of the school year. The children are home every day, unless they are in camp but these can be expensive especially to do all summer long, and looking for activities to fill their day. To help save you from going over your budget during the summer think of some great activities to do that doesn’t require an excessive amount of money or are free to do! The idea of summer time usually comes with the plans of a summer getaway with the family. Summer getaways give everyone in the family the opportunity to bond, relax, and recharge while building priceless memories. However, while those memories are priceless the getaway is usually anything but. If you are interested in a summer vacation with...
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Jun
10
House Season
We are well past the winter weather, the sun is shining more and more each day and we have warm weather every day now. Along with the warm weather and sunshine, neighborhood lawns begin to sprout those ever familiar “for sale” signs. Although sales start to increase beginning in February and gain momentum in April, June is the peak month of housing sales. This can also greatly vary depending on location because of weather and family considerations. When the topic of house buying is brought up it can be an extremely exciting adventure that you want to jump into quickly but there are a couple things that you’re going to want to take into consideration before scoping out those dream houses. One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle that you...
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May
31
Finances Together
Marriage is an important and wonderful step in anyone's life and it brings many decisions and changes with it, such as the management of finances as a couple. The money decisions that you make in the beginning of your marriage can have a lasting impact on your financial future together. When you were single, you had the option to manage your finances as you saw fit. You did not have to get approval on financial decision from anyone but yourself. However, this is no longer the case. As a married couple financial decisions can effect both spouses and therefore an agreed upon system for budgeting the finances and paying of the bills should be in place. First, it’s important to discuss financial situations with your spouse. What are your...
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May
19
Navigating your Financial Journey
Have you ever been river rafting or canoeing and tried to paddle upstream? If you have I don’t need to tell you how difficult it is, but if you haven’t it can be extremely difficult and cause you to become tired and over the experience rather quickly. However, if you go with the flow of the river you will find it much easier to navigate and enjoy the experience. This is very much like your financial journey. Knowing what your goals are on your financial journey can be extremely useful so that you are able to plan accordingly to find the best path for you so that you don’t have to spend your journey battling “upstream”. If you don’t plan and prepare your journey then you’re most likely going to have to work an unnecessarily hard and not...
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May
02
Strengthen bonds
Maintaining a strong relationship between grandparents and grandchild are getting increasingly more difficult as they leave for college or become busy building their careers and own families. There are some pretty significant differences between the members of the millennial generation who were born 1981 through 1996 and the Silent generation who were born 1928 through 1945. According to a Pew research study, ·         68% of men and 63% of women in the millennial generation are employed, compared with 78% of men and 38% of women in the Silent generation when they were young. ·         68% of millennial generation members have never been married, compared with 32% of Silent generation members when they were the same age. ·...
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Apr
22
Scams
Scams are nothing new to us and unfortunately people have been trying to scam others for a long time. Now there are scammers who are combining sophisticated technology with age-old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. There was a man I knew who called me all excited about a trip that he won. When I started asking about his good fortune and exciting trip, he told me that he had received a call and the "super nice person" on the other line informed him of the trip he won and all he had to do was provide his social security number and bank information, for "security purposes" of course. He was told to expect a packet in the mail with the trip information. I told him that I thought he had been a victim of a...
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Apr
08
Let's get moving!
We are officially four months into the new year. That means we are a third of the way through with the year and a short eight months until the new year and in extension of that a short eight months until our "new" New Year’s resolutions. But what about this year’s New Year’s resolutions? Roughly, a quarter of all American’s made their new year’s resolution to get their finances in order by saving more and spending less. However, the New Year’s resolution to get one's finances in order is one of the most frequently broken resolutions. So what was your resolution and how are you doing at maintaining or even achieving it? April fool’s day just past, we can no longer allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking "it's only the beginning of...
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Mar
24
Small Businesses
Small businesses are the back bone of the United States. When you decide to run to the store whether it is for groceries, to fix something, or anything else you might be in the need of more than likely to first think of running to a major store corporation but don’t shrug off those “mom and pop” small businesses just yet. Unfortunately, more times than not small businesses tend to be overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Many individuals believe that small business prices will automatically be higher than that of a corporate business, which is not necessarily true. In addition to this, they overlook the benefits of shopping at a small business such as customer care and community support. Making the decision to shop at small businesses...
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Mar
09
Getting organized!
“Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.” –Christina Scalise. Being organized is not only an asset to our everyday life but is a vital part of running a business. Without organization, chaos can erupt and bring a business down from all sides. Did you know that when paperwork is not organized correctly it can cost a business roughly $120 in labor to track down a document and roughly $250 in labor to recreate that said document? How about, the average American will spend one year searching through desk clutter?  All this time wasted due to being unorganized can cost a business a substantial amount of time and money. There...
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Feb
23
Bucket Lists
When someone usually thinks of a bucket list they think of these big extravagant things they have to achieve but anything can go on a bucket list, from something that might seem small to something that might seem large and intimidating. We all have them even if we don’t call them our “bucket list”. We talked about bucket list not too long ago on here and I wanted to see how everyone was doing with their goals? Have you achieved any or are you still waiting for the “right time”? If you have achieve some of your goals or done some of the items on your bucket list, awesome great job! If you have not achieved any of your goals because you’re waiting on the “right time” then let me tell you that the right time is now, it was yesterday! Don’t...
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Feb
03
Financial Aid 101
Financial Aid 101 Many parents pay for college with a combination of current income, savings, and financial aid. By learning the basics of financial aid, you'll be able to understand how the aid process works and compare the aid awards your child receives. What is financial aid? Financial aid is money distributed primarily by the federal government and colleges in the form of student loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study jobs. Loans and work-study must be repaid (through monetary or work obligations), while grants and scholarships do not. A student can receive both federal and college aid. Financial aid can be further broken down into two types: need-based, which is based on your child's financial need, and merit-based, which...
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Jan
05
Resolutions
Resolutions. You know the ones I am talking about. The ones you made back on January 1st. The ones that you never seem to keep, no matter how hard you try. Most of the time, the resolution doesn't even last 48 hours. However, it is never too late to try it again or even come up with a goal for this year. Therefore, here are a few tips to help you create and keep those resolutions. Focus on one resolution One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you'll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you'll succeed. Get someone to hold you accountable Having an "accountability buddy" is an old, yet...
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Dec
07
Holiday Travel Tips
Holiday Travel
It's the most wonderful time…for holiday travel. You know what I'm talking about: busy interstates, snowy roads, and children repeatedly asking "are we there yet?" The song "Over the River and Through the Woods" makes going to Grandmother's house seem like such an easy sleigh ride. Unfortunately, we all know that is normally not the case. As someone who grew up traveling in West Virginia for the holidays, I know how stressful it can be. Therefore, I found a few tips online to help make the trips you have planned for this holiday season a little smoother. Don't follow the crowd. Sometimes the best time to travel is on the holiday itself. Or, if you can take the time, a couple of days before or after the holiday rush. Think like a Boy...
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Nov
09
Veterans Day: History and Events
Now that November is here, it is about that time where we all take reflect upon and appreciate what we are thankful for. Before you skip ahead to planning for Thanksgiving, though, do not forget about another holiday where we as Americans show our gratitude: Veterans Day. Veterans Day is celebrated every year on November 11. It marks the day in 1918 that an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany during World War I. It was declared a federal holiday in 1938 as Armistice Day, but became Veterans Day in honor of those who fought in the wars that followed. It is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who died in battle or as a result of battle injuries. Parades and other celebrations are held around...
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Oct
06
Importance of Document Shredding
With the rise of companies and homes going digital, you may forget that you need to continue storing and disposing of printed documents properly. Document shredding is an important practice that everyone should do when they are done using papers that contain personal or private information. You can buy a small garbage bin size shredder for your home or office, or you can look to shredding companies that provide larger scale services for big companies or shredding gatherings. You may have even been invited to a shredding party. If you skipped out, you should go to the next one and here are a few reasons why: Preventing Identity Theft One person's trash is another person's treasure, and all businesses are likely to throw out important...
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Sep
15
Social Media Security
Fortress Financial Adviser Newport News
We at Fortress Financial are fans of social media (Insert shameless plug to follow us on Facebook and Twitter) and we believe it is a great way to keep in contact with important people in your life. These websites help you stay connected from virtually anywhere in the world and give fast and easy methods of communication. Just like anything on the internet though, using social media comes with its own set of risks and potential security breaches. It is important that users know how to use social media safely and securely. Here are some tips we found to help you do just that: Limit the amount of personal information you post - Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, such as your address or information about your schedule or...
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Aug
17
Campus Security Tips
It’s about that time of the year again. College students are headed back to their universities and freshmen are arriving for their first semester. Living on campus is an adjustment from life at home, which requires different measures for security and safety. Though it may seem like a buzzkill, it is important to discuss this with your kids who are going off to school. As the marketing intern for Fortress Financial who is about to start her fifth year in college, here are a few tips I would like to share with you to pass on to your loved ones. Your college may have an honor code, but the surrounding city may not It’s easy for a student to find comfort amongst their peers on campus, especially if they go to a smaller school....
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Jul
20
Starting Your Bucket List
As you can see from our Bucket List page, at Fortress Financial we encourage our clients and readers to get out and explore the world as much as they can while they can. When's a better time than summer? The weather's warm, the skies are beautiful, and everyone is ready for a break and looking to relax. Even if it doesn't involve travel, think about the things you have always wanted to do, but told yourself you'll make time later. Like most things, the hardest part may be just figuring out how to start. Here are some tips we found on "Creating a Useful Bucket List" Target different areas of your life. Usually when people start their lists, the vast majority of the first things they write down are things related to travel.  I want to go...
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Jun
06
Summer Planning
With June approaching fast, it's time to start thinking about your summer activities. Do you have a realistic budget for your vacation? Are you doing your best to plan trips that you can afford? Though it's important to make the most of your money, at Fortress Financial we understand travelling and vacations also require more than just monetary planning. Expect the unexpected. When travelling, allow yourself time in case unavoidable delays occur, like traffic or plane cancellations. Take advantage of mobile technology and use apps that allow for online booking and destination information. Keep personal I.D.'s and credit cards safe and make photocopies of important documents in case they are misplaced while you are away.  Vacations are...
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Dec
04
"Breaking News"
*  Mark 11 December on your calendar to attend our first annual Open House in our new office.  Come out of the cold and share some holiday fare.  There will be treats and surprises for everyone.  Bring a guest, neighbor, or friend and meet Emma and Brook.  Emma is our media intern currently attending CNU.  Brook is our office manager, responsible for administration and client services.  Come on out and welcome Emma and Brook to Fortress Financial. **  Don't forget about your College Plans.  You have just a few weeks to make contributions and have them count for your year 2014 state income tax return. ***  If you're over age 71, have you taken your required distribution from your IRA?  You have until the end of the year to do so.  Don't...
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Thomas Bucklin, Registered Principal offering securities through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. A Broker/Dealer. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative offering advisory services through Capital Investment Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor, Cambridge, Capital Investment Advisors, and Fortress Financial are separate and unrelated companies.

Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.



This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of AL, CO, DE, FL, IL, IA, KY, MD, MI, MN, OH, RI, SC, TN, VA and WA. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.
 


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