6 Apps That Save Your Money While You Barely Lift A Finger

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Apps do a lot of things, including help us spend money. To kick off the year right, we’ve rounded up some apps that help us save ― or at least help us spend less. Here are a few that could tune up your budget in 2018, with hardly any effort on your part at all.

1. Earny

What it does: Obtains refunds automatically when prices drop on items you’ve already purchased
What it costs: Free

It’s so frustrating when you see that something you just bought is now on sale for less than you paid. About the only thing worse is not realizing it, especially if you bought the item from a retailer that will price match.

Meet Earny, which automatically monitors when retailers reduce the prices on items you purchased. When that happens, Earny goes one step further: It contacts the company to get the difference back, without your so much as lifting a finger.

2. Raise

What it does: Offers gift cards for less; sells unwanted cards for cash
What it costs: Free

Gift cards have wormed their way into our spending life, despite our tendency to lose them a lot. In 2015, there was about $130 billion in gift cards sold, almost $1 billion of which then went unspent. Yet we keep buying more: Consumers dropped about $150 billion on gift cards last year, according WalletHub.

Sometimes we intend to use them for ourselves, especially if we can find them discounted. The Raise app is one place to look.

Before you shop online or in stores, search the Raise marketplace to find discounted gift cards by brand, category or value. Shipping is always free on the physical cards, and shoppers save an average of 12 percent on purchases, according to a Raise spokesman.

On the other hand, if you have gift cards you don’t want, sell them on Raise for cash.

3. Cardpool

What it does: Operates an exchange for discounted gift cards
What it costs: Free

Similar to Raise, Cardpool works as a platform for users to buy and sell gift cards. Buyers can get up to 92 percent of a gift card’s value. Sellers may have to wait a bit longer for their money because, unlike Raise, Cardpool doesn’t post the funds directly to the seller’s bank account. Instead, the payment comes in the form of an Amazon eGift Card or a bank check sent via snail mail.

Continue onto Huffington Post to read the complete article.

How Achievable The 6 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions Really Are

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goals

With the holidays coming to a close, it’s time to get serious and set some New Year’s resolutions for 2018. Unfortunately, keeping those resolutions is often easier said than done.

In the spirit of setting achievable goals, we asked therapists to weigh in on six of the most common resolutions and grade them on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being “very attainable” and 5 being “very difficult”). See what they had to say below.

1). LOSE WEIGHT
“Losing weight requires a fairly good understanding of nutrition and calorie intake. It also requires, rather uncomfortably, changing your diet and exercise ― two of your three most basic behavioral patterns (the other being sleep) ― and then maintaining those changes indefinitely. Before I was a psychologist, I worked as a personal trainer: You have to have structured goals and set attainable goal posts. Without structured goals, it’s my experience that people do well for two or three months, lose some weight, but then revert back to their previous lifestyle and gain the weight back throughout the year. Grade: 3/5.”—Ryan Kelly, a psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina

2). GET ORGANIZED
“This is very achievable if you start small. Most people want to go from not taking any action to immediate results, which is unrealistic. Good habits are best built upon one another in small, easily achievable steps. If you want to get more organized, choose one tiny organizational skill you can do for five minutes a day until you’ve mastered it. For example, make it a goal to pick up your clothes from the floor each night before bed. It can be as simple as that. Grade: 1/5.”―Amanda Stemen, a therapist in Los Angeles, California

3). LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’
“Setting boundaries with others means understanding how to change patterns of people-pleasing. People often learn to say ‘yes’ when they’d rather not do something because in our culture, we’re rewarded for taking direction well in family and in work. Luckily, the pendulum is swinging where people are learning to practice taking care of their own needs. I recommend trusting your intuition when something feels right to you, and learning to stay grounded in your experience while still responding to the needs of others. If you’re bogged down at work before a vacation, say: ‘I hear that you need this work done by the deadline, but I also have time off scheduled and I’ll only get the most urgent things ready for the client before then. When I’m back, I’ll finish it.’ Grade: 3/5.”―Kari Carroll, a marriage and family therapist in Portland, Oregon

4). TRAVEL MORE
“Traveling is super easy to experience, and you don’t need a fancy trip to Indonesia like your friends on Instagram to escape the pressures of life and enjoy nature. Get creative and pay attention when others you know take excursions around your area. You can easily take day trips on the cheap to check out nearby towns, hikes, lakes, a resort pool or an obscure museum. Sometimes getting in the car and driving until you find something cool can be an adventure in and of itself. Grade: 1/5.”―Carroll

5). SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
“Post-holidays, you may have had more than enough of some people in your life. But if we’re not intentional about getting together, it will only happen when forced upon us by holidays or others. This one is very doable with some planning and intentionality to follow through. Get started by picking one person a month to reach out to, then be the one who initiates and plans the get together. Grade: 2/5.”―Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling for men

6). LEARN A SKILL OR TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
“As long as you’re not a perfectionist about this one, it’s achievable. I would phrase the goal as ‘time spent on a new hobby’ so it doesn’t feel like you haven’t made progress when you’ve practice tennis an hour a week and still miss the ball half the time months into it. I also think that trying new hobbies and skills is good because you may learn that you don’t actually enjoy the thing you thought you would. In that case, it’s better to switch and move onto something else. Grade: 3/5.”―Marie Land, a psychologist in Washington, D.C.

Read more from the Huffington Post here

TFS Scholarships Provides Free Access to 7 Million Scholarships Representing More Than $41 Billion in Aid

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TFS Scholarships

SALT LAKE CITY, October, 2017 – TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, today announced its commitment to helping students and their families address the rising costs of school by providing free access to scholarship information.

Through its website, TFS connects students to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. Continual increases in tuition fees and other college expenses are critical issues impacting students and families across the United States – particularly those who can’t afford to finance higher education on their own. According to the College Board’s 2016 Trends in College Planning, the average published tuition and fee price in the private nonprofit four-year sector is about 2.3 times higher than it was in 1986-87, after adjusting for inflation. It is 3.1 times higher in the public four-year sector and 2.4 times higher in the public two-year sector. As a result of these trends, an increasing number of students must rely on scholarships to attend college or graduate school.

“TFS Scholarships was inspired by my own father’s experience as an inner-city high school principal, and grew out of the realization that more could be done to support students searching for college scholarships,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “For more than 30 years, TFS has helped students achieve their higher education aspirations by making it easier to find essential funding for college.”

The majority of the scholarship opportunities featured on the TFS Scholarships website come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships that are the best fit for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database in an effort to stay current with national scholarship growth rates – maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

Since its debut in 1987, TFS has remained a free, online service that effectively connects students with college funding resources to fuel their academic future. The TFS website also provides financial aid information, resources about federal and private student loan programs, and a Career Aptitude Quiz that helps students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills. TFS Scholarships is a safe, trusted, and distraction-free platform to research scholarships and other funding resources. Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, so nothing stands between students and finding ways to fund their future.

For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit tuitionfundingsources.com.

About TFS Scholarships

TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at .tuitionfundingsources.com.

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Curves kicked off their 25th birthday celebrations and will gift 25 female veterans $25,000 each toward owning their own Curves club

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Curves Fitness

In the ever-changing and highly competitive fitness industry, there are few brands that stand the test of time. September marks the 25th birthday of Curves International Inc., one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women in the world with more than 4,000 locations in over 70 countries.

In 1992, Curves introduced the 30-minute strength training circuit and has since helped millions of women build healthier lives. Today, Curves kicked off their 25th birthday celebrations and announced that in honor of their 25th birthday, they will gift 25 female veterans each toward owning their own Curves club. To learn more about the Curves franchise opportunity gift and to apply, visit www.buycurves.com/veterans.

Curves has partnered with F7 Group to hand-pick the 25 winners of the Curves franchise opportunity gift. F7 Group is an organization dedicated to helping female veterans and women in military families strengthen themselves, their careers and their communities. Through support and mentoring, the F7 Group empowers and equips female veterans and women in military families for their entrepreneurial journeys.

“We can’t think of a better way to underscore Curves’ commitment to helping women get stronger in all aspects of their lives than by supporting 25 female veterans to become business owners. These new business owners will seek to improve the health of women in their community,” said Monty Sharma, CEO of Curves International, Inc. “Curves has an incredibly strong and dedicated community of women worldwide and we are thrilled to celebrate this 25th birthday with them.”

Throughout the month of September, Curves will celebrate their 25th birthday at their locations worldwide through a series of unique opportunities and incentives:

  • The first 25 members at every club who join between August 28thSeptember 27th can join for free with the purchase of an annual membership*
  • On September 28, Curves will be celebrating the 25th birthday around the globe with special workouts and local in-club parties. Non-members can also join their local Curves for 25 cents to celebrate the day.**
  • Follow Curves on Facebook and Instagram and comment on their giveaway post for the chance to win free goodies
  • Join the party on social media by following #25YearsStrong and #CurvesStrong
  • Be heard on social media! Go to https://www.thunderclap.it/curves to register and share a special birthday post on social media.

Curves is a club designed specifically for women, providing a 30-minute total body workout, along with a supportive and non-judgmental environment for fitness, weight loss and healthy living.

For more information, visit www.curves.com

ABOUT CURVES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Curves International, Inc. is one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women in the world with more than 4,000 locations in more than 70 countries and is famous for its 30-minute Circuit with a Coach that works every major muscle group with strength training, cardio and stretching. Curves Specialty Classes*** offer workout moves for key focus areas like strength, balance and flexibility. With Curves Complete, women have a fully integrated, personalized weight loss and weight management solution that includes the Curves fitness program, customizable meal plans and one-on-one coaching and support. Curves is committed to providing women with the tools necessary to empower them to live more fulfilling lives. For more information, please visit curves.com.

ABOUT F7 GROUP
The F7 Group was founded in 2010 when USAF Veteran, Cassaundra Melgar-C’De Baca realized there was a lack of resources for Female Veterans and Women in Military families who had the desire to be entrepreneurs. As a very successful entrepreneur herself with many ventures under her belt, she began the long journey to where they are today. Through support and mentoring, the F7 Group provides female veterans and women in military families with essential access to resources within their communities to help empower and equip them for their entrepreneurial journeys. In 2013, the Group’s CEO and Founder, Ms. Melgar-C’De Baca, MBA, was honored as the first female veteran to be named Champion of Change by The White House.

No purchase necessary to enter. Open to eligible female US veterans who are legal residents of the US. Void where prohibited. All entrants must read and agree to the Official Rules at www.buycurves.com/veterans. 25 winners, if qualified and approved, will receive a $25,000 credit, which covers the Initial Franchise Fee and part of the equipment cost. Winners will be required to pay other initial fees, including but not limited to the remainder of the equipment cost ($15,034), cost of all permits and licenses, expenses to attend training and other fees as described in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This giveaway and the information relating thereto is not an offer to sell a franchise, which can only be done in a state where our FDD is filed and registered, or we are exempted, as set by state law, and only if we deliver the FDD in compliance with applicable law.

*Joining fee waived for first 25 members who join at each location starting 8/28/17. Monthly membership fees required and vary by location. Offer based on enrollment for a 12-month recurring billing fitness membership. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No cash value. Expires 9/27/17.

**Monthly membership fees also required and vary by location. Offer based on first visit enrollment for a 12-month recurring billing fitness membership. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No cash value. Valid only on 9/28/17.

***Classes offered at participating clubs only

SOURCE Curves

MassMutual study finds Latinos feel less secure and worry more about money than other Americans

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Hispanics and Money

Springfield, Mass.—Middle-income Latinos in the workforce say they feel less financially secure and worry more about money than other Americans, posing higher hurdles to planning for retirement and building wealth, according to new research commissioned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual).

Amongst the key findings:

• Emergency preparedness. Three in 10 Hispanics reported having less than $500 saved for emergencies, leaving workers unprepared and more likely to struggle if they were out of work for one month or experienced unexpected events. Furthermore, Latinos in the workforce are less likely than others to have at least $5,000 set aside for emergencies (28% vs. 42% of the general population).

• Debt. In addition, unlike other consumer segments, the study revealed that debt and bills/cost of living tie as the top issues that face Latinos in their households. Latinos in the workforce find it more difficult than others to manage their monthly finances and nine in ten attribute this difficulty to high levels of debt and not having enough money.

• Retirement preparedness. When it comes to preparing for retirement, Hispanics feel they are falling behind, and, more so than others, wish their employer did more to educate them about saving for retirement. Just over half say that having benefits through their employer makes them feel more secure.

• Well-being. Among the concerns and obstacles to middle class workers’ financial security, a key concern for Latinos is the well-being of their parents and their own personal health. While, like others, Latinos are most worried about politics and the direction of the country, they are also more likely than others to express concern about their household’s financial situation and housing situation. More than half worry about household finances at least once a week.

“Securing a good financial future requires saving and planning,” says David Hufnagel, Latino market director, MassMutual. “We want to empower families with resources and tools to help achieve their financial goals and prepare financially for the long-term.”

Based on the research findings, MassMutual offers the following tips:

1. Develop a monthly budget and set up/reallocate priorities for short and long-term financial planning and saving.

2. Start saving for retirement as soon as possible and find out if your employer offers retirement saving plans. (Contributing a portion of your pay on a pre-tax basis to your employer’s retirement plan may help make saving more affordable. Calculate how much you need to save for retirement using online tools like the MassMutual Retirement Planning Calculator.)

3. If you have hopes to help fund a college education for children or loved ones, calculate how much it will cast with MassMutual’s college savings calculator.

4. Take advantage of financial educational opportunities offered by your employer and trusted financial advisors.

“It is no surprise that our study found that Latinos in the workforce would welcome additional financial help and guidance from their employers,” said Hufnagel. “In fact, our research revealed that Latinos show much more interest in employer-offered financial planning/counseling services, especially budgeting assistance and debt counseling, than other consumer segments.”

Methodology

The internet-based study conducted on behalf of MassMutual by Greenwald & Associates from February 28 to March 14, 2017 polled 513 Americans who identified themselves as Hispanic with annual household incomes of between $35,000 and $150,000.

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit massmutual.com.

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Positive Strides in Income and Education

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African Americans and Hispanics, the largest racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, made positive strides economically and educationally during the past year but continue to lag behind whites, a civil rights group’s annual study contends.

“The theme of this year’s State of Black America report is ‘protecting our progress,’ ” National Urban League CEO Marc Morial said.

In its recent study, the league found the standard of living for African Americans was 72.3 percent of that of whites, on average. For Hispanics, the equality index was a bit higher, at 78.4 percent. The index measures quality of life for blacks and Hispanics in terms of economics, health, education, social justice and civic engagement.

Minority employment is at its highest level in almost a decade, but “any progress made toward racial equality is increasingly under threat.” Morial said. More minorities have health care at a time when efforts are under way to roll back expanding coverage, he added.

The report indicated that African Americans made gains in education, with a growing percentage of blacks staying in school and obtaining associate degrees.

According to the report, racial disparities plague minorities in terms of social justice equality. As examples, the report noted that more blacks are jailed after being arrested than are whites, and that whites posted a greater decline than blacks in their likelihood of being victims of violent crime.

The study also found a troubling rise in hate crimes committed against members of religious and racial minorities. “A nation of a great mosaic that the United States of America represents cannot tolerate hateful incidents. It is corrosive, it is divisive and it is un-American,” Morial said.

The Trump administration has proposed major budget cuts to government programs that help low-income Americans, who are disproportionately black. The civil rights organization said it would press lawmakers and private groups to invest $4 trillion over the next 10 years in job training, enhanced education programs and infrastructure projects to revitalize minority communities.

Source: voanews.com

Boeing Board Elects Caroline Kennedy as New Director

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Caroline Kennedy

Kennedy, 59, served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017 and is an author and attorney.

“Ambassador Kennedy brings to the Boeing board professional, diplomatic and global perspectives that are highly valued in our rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive global business environment,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg. “Her diversity of experience and accompanying insights will broaden and strengthen our board in its deliberative and oversight roles for the company.”

In addition to her international experience and diplomatic service, Kennedy is an accomplished writer and editor who co-authored two books on U.S. constitutional law and edited various historical and literary titles. Having worked in public education in New York City, she has been a vocal advocate and leader on a range of education issues important to businesses, including increased science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for women. She also has held high-level positions on several prominent nonprofit boards.

Kennedy earned her Juris Doctorate law degree from Columbia Law School and holds a Bachelors of Arts from Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

She will serve on the Boeing board’s Audit and Finance committees.

Waleteros Is Introducing A New Mobile App, A Virtual Prepaid Card, And Ultra-Modern Customer Service Allowing For A Personalized Connection To Latin America Relatives

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The new Waleteros app is now available, allowing users to have access to financial services wherever they are. Unlike other applications on the market, Waleteros simplifies all tasks starting with the registration process. Getting a prepaid card has never been so easy! Simply take a picture of your country’s ID and snap a selfie. In a few minutes and for no fee, a ready-to-use virtual prepaid Visa card will be available right from your phone (while one waits for the physical Visa card to arrive within 10 days).

Being a Waletero user means you can use Direct Deposit to receive your salary, cash checks in minutes, deposit cash, buy online, pay bills, transfer money, and, of course, buy anywhere in the world where Visa debit cards are accepted. Etienne Gillard, a multi-cultural senior entrepreneur who graduated from Stanford, decided to found Waleteros to serve customers in a convenient, inexpensive and safe way for all of the millions of Latinos in the U.S. as well as their relatives in Latin America.

Waleteros offers a plan with no monthly maintenance fees that brings along some “wow features”, such as no foreign transaction fees (other cards tend to charge up to 3% of the transaction) or the possibility of switching your card from “ON” to “OFF” with a simple click. Waleteros offers a personalized customer service accessible in several ways (chat, text, call, email, Facebook, as well as other platforms). “As a client, I know how frustrating it is when a company does not solve my concerns or complaints,” explains Paula E. Vasco, in charge of User Experience at Waleteros.

According to a report published in 2016 by the FDIC, 67 million adults in the U.S. do not have a bank account or are underserved by banking institutions. Waleteros calculates that around 30% of those are Hispanics. Consequently, on a daily basis, they depend on alternative financial services to traditional banking. Unfortunately, these options tend to be very costly, time-consuming and unsafe carrying cash around. “The entire team at Waleteros is committed to the very same mission: to be the “M-Pesa” of the Americas by improving the quality of life of millions of people. They deserve the best financial services; they deserve to be treated with transparency and honesty”, said Gillard, founder of Waleteros.

The comparison to M-Pesa is not meaningless; it is the most successful mobile wallet in the world. In less than 10 years, M-Pesa has changed the life of millions of people in Kenya (Africa). Every day, more than 22 million people are using the services provided by M-Pesa. Since launching in the Google Play Store (iOS version coming soon), more than 10,000 people have already installed the Waleteros app on their phone. As proof of satisfaction, Waleteros’ first users have already invited over 3,500 friends and families to join the Waleteros family!

If you need more information about a better financial solution, please visit www.waleteros.com.

Tips:

How to send money

The cheapest, fastest, and safest way to send money is by paying your family’s electricity, water, gas, television, or telephone bills online using a card that does not charge any foreign transaction fees.

How to withdraw cash

For small amounts, the most efficient way to withdraw cash is by using “cash-back” service offered by many stores when completing a purchase.

How to collect your salary

To receive your salary at no cost to you and up to 2 days earlier, the best way is to ask your employer to pay you via Direct Deposit.

Waleteros:

Waleteros is designed by Latinos for Latinos to address the financial needs of Hispanic communities underserved by traditional banks in the United States and Latin America. Thanks to technical advances, Waleteros can offer a lower cost easy to use service which will allow its users to quickly and securely get their pay, pay for goods and services, pay bills and send money.

Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance Presents: The 2017 Women Who Count National Conference— Sign Up Now!

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AFWA’s Women Who Count National Conference will bring together hundreds of accounting and finance professionals for three days of networking and education

The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) will host its National Conference this fall in Washington, D.C.  The Women Who Count National Conference will offers technical education to keep attendees competitive and professional development to empower their potential. Not only will attendees earn up to 22 quality CPE through both technical and professional development tracks, they’ll be introduced to a network of hundreds of accounting and finance professionals, from emerging leaders to experienced industry professionals.

Highlighted topics this year include tax, non-profits accounting, fraud and identity theft, governmental accounting, and leadership development. What makes AFWA’s National Conference unique from others in the industry is how the event brings together both technical education and soft-skill development, with an overall emphasis on the advancement of women in the accounting and finance industries.

Registration for the event is open for both AFWA members and non-members at WomenWhoCount.com.

What: Women Who Count National Conference

When: October 28-30, 2017

Where: The Westin, Alexandria, Virginia

Website: WomenWhoCount.com

About The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance:

The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance promotes the professional growth of women in accounting and finance. Members of the nationwide association benefit from opportunities to connect with colleagues, advance their careers, and become industry leaders. For more than 75 years, the organization has proudly upheld its mission to enable women in all accounting and related fields to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their profession. Visit www.afwa.org for more information.

Latino parents are against children taking on student loans and debt according to MassMutual’s College Planning and Saving Study

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Springfield, Mass. June 7th, 2017— Latino parents are opposed to their children obtaining student loans, listing nine other methods to help pay for college ahead of loans, according to new research from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual).

Scholarships (43 percent), federal student aid (40 percent), parent savings (36 percent), and starting at a less expensive two-year college (31 percent) top the list of methods, followed by borrowing funds from a retirement account, a 529 plan, a part-time job for their child, work-study programs, and parents borrowing.

Interestingly, while Latinos are one of the most optimistic groups when it comes to the affordability of college, they are also the group that saved nearly the least of any ethnic group surveyed.

This optimism is likely attributed to their higher awareness of more methods to pay for college and cultural beliefs that college doesn’t necessarily have to happen on a strict four-year plan or only at one institution.

Embedded in this optimism may be deep cultural faith that it will all fall into place.

“For Latino parents, the financial security that comes from having a college education is a key factor in their level of confidence in a child’s future happiness and having an open door to opportunities they or their parents did not have,” said David Hufnagel, Latino market director, MassMutual. “College represents a way to better the family’s financial future, parallel to the collective family-oriented behaviors of Latinos.”

MassMutual‘s College Planning and Saving study examines the attitudes, behaviors and needs of families related to planning for and funding higher education. The study provides a deeper understanding of the importance placed on education and how ethnicity affects family decisions and financial behavior.

Based on the study’s insights, MassMutual offers three practical tips to help Latino families plan and save for college:

  1. Dream with a plan. Look at your financial situation today, identify priorities, prepare for the unexpected, and think about how long you have to save for your child’s education. Next, do the math:  determine how much it might cost to send your child to college and how much you can contribute to college savings every month.  There are many tools and calculators to help you figure out how much you need to save. Visit the MassMutual college savings calculator.
  1. Start saving as early as possible. Start saving as early as you can, even at birth for a child’s education.  Remember that time is on your side to have your money work for you through interest earned and compounded over the years.  With a comprehensive savings strategy, you can help reduce – or possibly eliminate – your child’s need for student loans.  You may even be able to make saving easier through the convenience of payroll deductions. Many employers allow automatic withdrawals to be made from a checking account, with that money being automatically deposited into a savings plan.
  1. Consider all options. There are many ways you can prepare for college costs and you should definitely consider all available options.  From traditional college savings plans, grants, scholarships, two-year college, even life insurance, such as whole life insurance with guaranteed cash value growth. Since your dream of seeing your child graduating from college is not a matter of  “if” but a matter of “how,” make sure you learn how all these components may fit into your child’s education funding plan.

The findings of this research study come on the heels of MassMutual’s launch of its newly refreshed brand, which was designed to better reflect and build on the legacy and the core values that have guided the company since its founding.  The new brand recognizes that while the world celebrates independence, true happiness comes from interdependence and our reliance on one another.

“We’re here to help educate Latino parents about options for their families, and then help them make their financial goals a reality,” concluded Hufnagel.

Methodology

MassMutual’s College Planning and Saving Study was conducted for MassMutual by New American Dimensions, LLC in December 2016 to examine the attitudes and needs of families related to education planning and funding. Qualitatively, 22 mini focus groups were conducted with five ethnic groups (Hispanic/Latino, African American/Black, Chinese American, Korean American, and Asian Indian American) in English and in-language. Quantitatively, a 20-minute online questionnaire, conducted in English, comprised 1,750 interviews; within the total number of surveys, 150 completes were obtained for each of the five ethnic groups. Both qualitative and quantitative research was conducted with men and women age 30 to 64 with children age 5 to 15 for whom they are financially responsible. Respondents also met a minimum household income requirement ($50,000+) and participate in financial decision-making for their household. Results for the total were weighted to the 2010 U.S. Census distributions for ethnicity to be representative of American families in this age and income bracket.

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

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Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and AWSCPA Announce 2017 Best Public Accounting Firms for Women and Best Firms for Leadership Equity

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Firms Raise the Bar for Advancing Women to Top Leadership

More women are getting further at the 12 accounting firms that comprise the Accounting MOVE Project’s 2017 Best Public Accounting Firms for Women list. Women comprise 28% of partners and principals at these firms, compared to 24% in aggregate for the 49 firms that participated in the 2017 benchmarking survey. The MOVE Project is the profession’s only annual benchmark of the status of women in the leadership pipeline.

“Innovative firms are finding that they win new clients when they clear the way for senior women to open new offices and new lines of business designed around workplace flexibility and collaborative growth strategies,” said Joanne Cleaver, president of Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., the content strategy firm that designed and manages the annual MOVE Project.

“I’m proud of the role the MOVE project has played in the progress and momentum across our industry. I look forward to it continuing to be a meaningful forum to share ideas, challenges and successes.”

-Jen Wyne, executive director of human resources at Moss Adams (founding sponsor of the MOVE Project)

“As a long-time sponsor of the MOVE Project, it is satisfying to see progress not only at our Firm when it comes to improving retention and partnership ranks but in other MOVE firms. There’s much more progress to be seen, but we’re seeing the opportunities that arise when a Firm culture embrace the understanding that when women win, everyone wins.”

-Risa Lavine, chief of staff at CohnReznick (national sponsor of the MOVE Project)

“With this year’s MOVE report, AFWA is thrilled to have data and information about women moving through the pipeline in firms. We know this report will be essential in every firm’s support of women among senior and c-suite ranks.”

-Ericka Harney, executive director of Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA)

“AWSCPA is proud to support the MOVE Project. The work to increase the women in the pipeline and at the partner levels is very important to the future of our profession.”

-Danielle Supkis Cheek, administrator of American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA)