Take Our Survey: What Does Financial Freedom Mean to You?

As we celebrate Independence Day later this week, we thought it was a good time to stop and think about what freedom might mean to us — especially when it comes to money.

We’ve put together a brief survey to help us understand our collective relationship with money and what it means to be “financially free.”

Take the survey

We’d love to have you take the survey today and we’ll publish the results here, on our blog, on July 21st.

Today We Raise a Glass to Marriage Equality (and Optimizing Social Security Benefits)

Today’s historic Supreme Court decision recognizing marriage equality will have a big, positive impact on financial security in retirement for same-sex married couples.

As a result of the ruling, equality means same-sex married couples nationwide are now eligible for the same Social Security spousal and survivor benefits previously only available to male/female married couples.

Watch our video showing how Social Security benefits work.

Continue reading Today We Raise a Glass to Marriage Equality (and Optimizing Social Security Benefits)

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Financial Engines Services

Do you wonder if you can use Financial Engines? The answer is it depends. Our service is provided via your employer. They offer Financial Engines to you to help you invest your retirement savings. We are an independent investment advisor and a fiduciary – which means we are hired to work in your best interests to help you manage your 401(k) investments. We don’t sell securities or receive any commissions.

You can get help by choosing one of two different services.

Continue reading How to Know if You’re Eligible for Financial Engines Services

After the Wedding Comes Retirement Planning for Modern Couples

Wedding-RingsWedding season is upon us! June and September are the most popular months to tie the knot, according to XO Group, Inc., a global media and technology leader and creator of the top wedding website TheKnot.com. So what comes to mind when you think of weddings? Heartfelt vows, visits with distant family members, open bars, hit-or-miss wedding DJs, retirement planning, etc.…

Wait, what? Retirement planning doesn’t come to mind? If you’re the happy couple, after you’ve chosen your floral arrangements and pored over seating charts for the umpteenth time, you might want to consider spending some time thinking about your retirement hopes and dreams. This could be a very romantic conversation if you allow yourself to get creative!

Continue reading After the Wedding Comes Retirement Planning for Modern Couples

How Much is the Right to Marry Worth When it Comes to Social Security?

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on marriage equality and the legal status of same-sex couples later this month.

If the Justices vote in favor of marriage equality nationwide, all American same-sex married couples (not just those in the 37 states in which same sex marriage is already legal) could receive the same status and benefits as other legally married couples. Among the many financial benefits that could become available to same-sex married couples are the marriage benefits for Social Security. Those benefits provide an additional layer of financial security for older Americans—as much as $100,000 or more in lifetime Social Security benefits, depending on your unique situation.

Let’s unpack where those additional benefits come from.

What’s your Social Security benefit? Use the Financial Engines Social Security planner.

Continue reading How Much is the Right to Marry Worth When it Comes to Social Security?

Gen X Doesn’t Have it Easy Financially – If That’s You, Here’s Where to Start

Source: Northwestern Mutual 2015
Source: Northwestern Mutual 2015

In a study released this spring, Northwestern Mutual found that the generation following on the heels of the Baby Boomers, Gen X, is having a hard time when it comes to saving for retirement.

If you’re between the ages of 35 and 49, you’re a member of Gen X.

Gen Xers are likely to remember the energy crisis in the 70s, the Space Shuttle Disaster, President Clinton and life before iPhones, the Internet and TiVo. While Gen X is often considered “the cynical generation,” that’s not a very fair characterization. Gen Xers are also known for being entrepreneurial, individualistic and technically competent. Alas, when it comes to money, they aren’t feeling all that good.

Continue reading Gen X Doesn’t Have it Easy Financially – If That’s You, Here’s Where to Start

Graduation Season – Here’s How to Help New Grads Handle Money

With Memorial Day 2015 in the books, we are right in the middle of graduation season. While most students are focused on reading, writing and arithmetic, one thing kids may not have learned in school is how to manage money. We’ve pulled together some tips for helping your new grad, regardless of their age.

For college grads

Money magazine offers a comprehensive article for college grads to help them understand topics like budgeting, housing, credit cards, student loans (and how to repay them), working, health insurance, emergencies and last, but not least, saving. There’s something for everyone here, as it covers the basics with tips, apps, and more for setting up a solid financial future. Read the story.

Continue reading Graduation Season – Here’s How to Help New Grads Handle Money

Born After 1980? You May Have a Financial Advantage. Here’s Why.

Living in the shadow of the Baby Boomer and Gen X, the Millennials – those born after 1980 – somehow got the message about money.

According to a study conducted by Wells Fargo in 2014, the main reason may be the Great Recession of 2008. The study found, “a strong majority (80%), say it taught them they have to save “now” to survive economic problems down the road.” Good to know something good came out of that shared economic experience.

Continue reading Born After 1980? You May Have a Financial Advantage. Here’s Why.

Are You Leaving Cash on the Table? [infographic]

Our new research shows many American employees aren’t taking full advantage of an employee benefit that puts money in their savings.

Are you one of them?

Take a look at the facts and figures in the infographic and then our quick run-down on what you can do to get all of the money your employer is offering you.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Compelling Research Points Out You Are Not Getting Money That’s Yours to Take

Our company just released a new study (and infographic) that finds regular people – like you and me – are walking away from “free money.” The numbers are fairly staggering, totaling 24 BILLION(!) dollars a year. What’s this free money I speak of? Your company 401(k) match – the money your company is willing to invest in your future.

Here’s the catch: they will only give it to you if you are willing to invest in your own future.

That means you need to start saving in your 401(k).

Continue reading Compelling Research Points Out You Are Not Getting Money That’s Yours to Take