Saving for College: The Guide to 529 Plans for 2018

Mosaic / Jun 12, 2018 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Financial Planning

A 529 plan can be a powerful tool to help fund a family’s education goals for their children. These plans have excellent value, and with the new changes made to them under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), families have greater flexibility in funding their educational savings need.

This guide goes into the nuts and bolts of 529s, including their benefits, limitations, and variety. Ready? Lets dive into the details.



6 Ways to Combat 'Bag Lady Syndrome'

Liz Revenko / Jun 7, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Women's Issues / Life Balance / Financial Planning

Women worry more than men about their financial security, according to an annual nationwide survey by the American Psychological Association and Harris. Nearly a third of women polled say they worry about finances all or most of the time, and nearly half reported stress in struggling to pay for basics. In addition, in a 2013 study by Allianz, almost half of women reported that they “sometimes” or “often” fear losing all their money and becoming homeless.

Extreme anxiety over finances is common enough among women that it has been dubbed “bag lady syndrome.” What is bag lady syndrome? This definition represents the fear of running out of money, losing your home and ending up destitute and alone, save for some plastic shopping bags stuffed with whatever you can carry.

This anxiety can erode a woman’s mental and physical well-being, place strain on her relationships, affect her career and even create the very situation she fears, no matter how money-savvy she really is. It can make a woman feel alone.


Savings Plans for College, and When to Start Saving

Mosaic / May 31, 2018 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Financial Planning

For many families—even those with significant savings and means—the cost of college has become daunting. According to FinAid, the nation’s current student debt amount is rising at a rate of $2,698.30 per second.

CollegeBoard reports that the average cost of tuition and fees with room and board is now $20,770 per year for public, four-year in-state school and $46,950 for private nonprofit four-year school—and these figures continue to grow faster than the rate of inflation.

This has caused families and their students to stretch all financial means available, sometimes without fully understanding their options.

Independent nonprofit organization The Institute for College Access and Success, reports on the wide range of average debt by state in their Project on Student Debt, and their other published data sets report that private loan borrowing is increasing, asserting that almost half of all private loan borrowers (by Stafford Loan Usage) could be using more affordable federal loans.

If you are unable to fully fund a college student’s education with your own resources, how can you best avoid having to take on overwhelming debt?


Valentines Day relationship resources that last longer than flowers

Sabrina Lowell / Feb 14, 2018 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Life Balance

Tired of giving the same old gifts to your valentine year after year?

Supplement the heart-shaped chocolates, red roses, and mylar balloons with an offering that displays a little more depth: financial literacy.


Teaching money habits for life: Turn older kids into money masters

Mosaic / Oct 13, 2017 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

If your kids are older and missed out on crucial financial building blocks like those outlined in the first article of this two-part series, it’s not too late to start teaching your child about money management. Remember that Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

According to CNBC, young Americans fear student debt more than North Korea’s nuclear threats. This fear of debt carries over into consumer debt, which, as CNN notes, can keep an individual from learning how to use credit wisely. Teaching your child money habits for life can lessen such fear, replacing it with confidence. And teaching children about money can happen no matter what age your child happens to be.

So let’s plant that tree. Here’s how.


Teaching your child money habits for life

Mosaic / Sep 28, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

Teaching children about money and what it can do helps build crucial 21st century skills. Most education curriculum falls short in teaching kids about the basics, and sadly many parents don’t seem to have the time or skills necessary to address this crucial topic.

Still, without basic financial expertise and behavioral understanding, children run the risk of getting trapped on a hamster-wheel of debt that our consumer-oriented culture seems to conspire to enslave us.

Here’s how to give kids the edge they need to successfully navigate modern money culture.


Paying Off Student Loans

Mosaic / Jun 16, 2017 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

Your student debt may very well be one of the biggest financial obligations you will have. Actively managing your debt is an important part of sound financial health, and there are many strategies that could help you manage student loans efficiently.

Whatever you choose, your plan must fit your circumstances. Here is a checklist to help you weigh and decide on the right course for paying off student loans.


Effective Financial Strategies: The Q1 2017 Newsletter

Mosaic / Mar 16, 2017 / Mosaic News / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Financial Planning
What's Inside:
  • Tips for the Trump era - what investors should prepare for;
  • Learn how coaching strengthens and enhances client service, from financial planning to investment management;
  • Find out how to craft a personal financial policy;
  • Read about how shared values kept one couple together for five decades;
  • Get re-acquainted with advisor and CCO Geoff Zimmerman and his why
  • Read about upcoming Women's Circles, and other events;
  • Stay up to date on Mosaic advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

To read the new issue of Effective Financial Strategies, please click here


The Job-Changer's Financial Checklist

Mosaic / Feb 23, 2017 / Employee and Government Benefits / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Insurance

There may be a lot happening when you change jobs. As you look forward to starting a new job, it's important to consider how you will manage your finances while making the transition from one employer to the next. This job changer's financial checklist can help you keep in touch with important details. It's divided into two parts: the first is for those to use before beginning a new job, and the second is for those who don't have a new position lined up just yet.


Turning 30 and Getting Serious About Finances

Mosaic / Feb 9, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

This article profiles one hypothetical investor in order to highlight the benefits of beginning to pursue important financial goals as early as possible.

Throughout her twenties, Nancy McKinsey dreaded the day she turned the big 3-0. It signified adulthood, closing the door on her young adult years. 

The day finally came—and went. “And it was no big deal,” said Nancy. “It was really sort of a letdown after all that worrying,” she joked.

One thing did change for Nancy, however. After turning thirty, she decided to get serious about her financial life—and her future. “I wasn’t dreading the future anymore. I started to plan for it.”

Here's how she pivoted.


14 Ways to Trim Spending and Save for a Large Purchase

Mosaic / Jan 5, 2017 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

There it is, glinting on the horizon: the goal. See it sparkle in the distance? You can reach that pot of gold with proper planning. While true for most any goal, planning is especially important for financial targets like saving for a large purchase. A little planning can help you trim spending and save for a large purchase more easily.

What’s your savings goal? Are you saving for a real estate down payment? A snazzy flat screen? A wedding? Make a visual reminder of what you’re working for. Hold an image representing your goal in your mind. Reconfirm your commitment to attaining this goal. Consider printing out a small picture that represents your goal and display it where you’ll notice it regularly, or set an image of your goal as your phone’s wallpaper. 

Buying something on credit can be significantly more expensive than paying cash when you figure in the cost of borrowing the money for the purchase. Interest rates can be high and late payments can impact your credit score. Owing money on a purchase can impact its emotional worth.

Many people find that saving the money beforehand is a more efficient strategy for making a large purchase. Here’s a few sound tips that can help you along the way.


Happy New Year: Thriving Through Shared Core Values

Liz Revenko / Dec 29, 2016 / Mosaic News / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Life Balance

My parents got married at year end fifty years ago. In a blizzard. Here is a great photo of my snow-covered mother grinning through a mouthful of wind-blown veil as she edges down slippery stairs and into the limo, wearing gum boots generously given up by the driver:

Five decades together doesn’t come without challenges, financial and otherwise. (E.G., My sister and I were once teens. Shudder. Mom and Dad: apologies.)


Effective Financial Planning Tips and More: The Q4 2016 Newsletter

Mosaic / Dec 1, 2016 / Mosaic News / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Women's Issues / Financial Planning
What Financial Planning Tips are inside:
  • Discover why long-term exposure to emerging market countries makes good sense; 
  • Learn actionable ways women can close the retirement gender gap, including estimating retirement income needs and investigating long-term care insurance;
  • Find out how to save and pay for college without accruing overwhelming debt;
  • Learn about recommended best practices for handling identity theft;
  • Get acquainted with new Financial Planner George Galat V and his why
  • Read about the advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

To read the new issue of Effective Financial Strategies, please click here


What you gain -- and lose -- with a 15-year mortgage

Mosaic / Oct 28, 2016 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Financial Planning

Lower interest rates have made refinancing a smart option for many homeowners. You might be able to lower your monthly payment or even “cash out” your mortgage, letting you consolidate other debts or fund large expenses, such as home renovations or your children’s college educations.

Lower refinance rates are also making it possible for homeowners to refinance their 30-year loans into 15-year loans. Norm Boone and Kyle Morgan join forces to discuss the pros and cons of this tactic.


Newsletter: 3rd Quarter, 2016

Mosaic / Sep 22, 2016 / Mosaic News / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Women's Issues / Financial Planning
What's inside
  • Discover which portfolio protection strategies will serve you well over the long haul, and which strategies won't; 
  • Delve into cross-border planning issues so you'll be prepared to move money internationally;
  • Learn how talking about money with trusted friends changed Sheila Schroeder's relationship with her finances, and get started on money talks of your own;
  • Find out about Women's Circles, Mosaic's guided conversation groups for women;
  • For those starting their first jobs, get help understanding your benefits in our "Ask a Planner" segment; 
  • Get introduced to our newest team member, Shelby Stahr, and
  • Read about the speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.