Tag: Money

The Key to Farming SUCCESSion Conference

March 20, 2018 │ Newton, KS

Join us for The Key to Farming SUCCESSion Conference on March 20th from 10:00AM-4:00PM. The conference will feature keynote speaker, Roger McEowen! Featured breakout session topics include:  Advanced Health Care Planning; Where Do I Start?; Preparing for the What If; Estate Planning 101; New Tax Laws; and Navigating Family Differences. Attendees will leave with new knowledge and strategies to grow their business and secure farm assets for future generations to come.

Event information is available at http://www.harvey.k-state.edu/agriculture/

View the event flier at http://bit.ly/2FbVevO

By:  Nora Rhoades

The Money That You Keep

For far too many of us, the money we earn is spent almost as soon as we make it. For those managing burdens of debt, it could be argued that the money we earn is already spent before we earn it.

But what if you could pay yourself first, and keep some of those earnings for things you need today, or might need tomorrow?

“We know that Americans for several years — actually some decades, probably — have not saved as much as Americans in the past,” said Elizabeth Kiss, a family resource management specialist for K-State Research and Extension.

America Saves (americasaves.org) provides a list of strategies to help individuals and families grow their nest egg, rather than scramble their finances.

Start With A Plan — The old adage is true: Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Saving money requires some thought, and a plan of action. “Looking at your goals, think about how much money you need, how much you can realistically put aside on a regular basis, and that’s the plan part,” Kiss says. “Without a plan we’re just kind of maneuvering without full information, without direction.”

Automate The Process — Most wage earners are paid by direct deposit. It might be possible to have your paycheck deposited into two or more different accounts, designating one of those accounts for savings. “If you don’t see that money in your checking account, it was never really there, you don’t miss it. And hopefully you’ll think twice before taking it out of savings,” says Kiss.

These things take practice, so don’t be surprised if it takes two or more attempts at finding just the right amount to be set aside — an amount that will still leave you enough for regular expenses.

Expect the Unexpected — Things happen. The car needs a repair, the dishwasher breaks down, your kid knocks a glass of water onto your phone. Saving for those “rainy day” eventualities takes some of the sting out of those surprises when (not “if”) they happen. Kiss advises that health expenses should probably have their own separate column or account, away from the Rainy Day Fund. “Health expenses are a little bit different, so money for deductibles and co-pays should probably keep that money separate from the Rainy Day Fund,” she says.

Saving Shouldn’t Be Boring — We all need to unwind, whether it’s a night at the movies or a weekend at the beach. A good savings plan should have some fun, some discretionary money built into it. “If you’re meeting your basic needs and all of your financial responsibilities, and putting some aside for the future, there’s no reason not to have some fun money, too,” says Kiss.

Saving to Stop Working — Things like Social Security and pension plans can only cover so much. If you plan to stop working in your later years, you’ll need to plan today, for tomorrow. Some employers match contributions to a retirement plan, Kiss says, and that could be the biggest wrench in your toolkit. “If you need to put in a certain amount to get the maximum match from your employer, that’s the ‘free money’ — that’s the no brainer. Do everything you can to put in what you need to, to get the maximum amount of matching funds.”

Save The Extras — Not all of life’s surprises are unpleasant: things like raises at work, tax refunds, gifts and inheritances. Those things don’t necessarily have to be an excuse to splurge. The recent tax reforms signed into law will take effect next year are a good opportunity for savings. “If you see an increase in your actual take home pay, think about putting at least some of that aside for whatever your financial goals are,” Kiss suggests. “Also, consider knocking down any debt you may have, whether its student loans, mortgages, or credit cards.”

Funds For the Whole Family! — Good habits start at home, and they start young. America Saves can help you teach younger members of the family about the importance of saving money and planning ahead. Some might balk at the idea of showing children where all Dad’s money goes, but Kiss says it’s a golden opportunity. “Talking to your children about your savings goals helps them to understand that you can’t always have everything right away. It’s the concepts of deferment, planning and making tradeoffs,” she says. “If the family wants to go on a vacation, ask the kids for ideas to help save money for that. Kids have great ideas and they just might surprise you.”

“If you’re realistic, and start with a small goal, that success can build up,” Kiss says. “One of the organizing principles of America Saves is that when you write it down and then share it with someone, you’re more likely to continue to work toward your goal and to have better success at achieving it.”

By:  Nora Rhoades

Preserving the Family with Estate Planning

Upcoming Workshops in Phillipsburg and Great Bend

Mark your calendars now to attend one of K-State Research and Extension’s “Preserving the Family with Estate Planning” workshops set for two locations in northwest Kansas in February: Phillipsburg and Great Bend.

Thursday, February 22, will be the date for the workshop in Phillipsburg, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Phillips County Fair Building; Monday, February 26, the workshop will be presented in Great Bend, also from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Great Bend Recreation Commission – Burnside Room. A meal and materials are included in the $20 registration fee, and family members can attend for an additional $15 each if registered at the same time. Early registration is due February 16th. Meals and materials cannot be guaranteed if registering late.

The Estate Planning workshops will have sessions with attorneys and experts from K-State as well as a Q & A session at the end. Sessions will cover several topics including Getting Started with Estate Planning, Estate Planning Basics, and Farm & Small Business Succession.

For more information go to www.northwest.ksu.edu under “Events” or call the Phillips-Rooks Extension District – Phillipsburg Office at 785-543-6845 or the Cottonwood Extension District – Great Bend Office at 620-793-1910.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Leaving a Legacy

February 28th

6:00 PM:  Light Meal

7:00 PM: “Leaving a Legacy”

Presented by: Doug Beech, Kansas 4-H Foundation Planned Giving Officer

Veteran’s Building Osborne, KS

Explore and understand tools – some familiar, some not – that will allow you to preserve and pass on your values through an estate plan. The program, hosted by the Post Rock Extension District and the Osborne County Community Foundation, will be valuable for those considering making charitable estate gifts and for charities and charity board members interested in learning about these options. Discover complete event details at www.postrock.ksu.edu.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Transition Planning: 12 Steps to Keep the Family Farming

While many family-owned businesses have the long-term objective of “passing the business on to the next generation,” this is not an easy process. A great deal of planning, preparation, and communication is needed in order to accomplish the feat of moving the business from one generation to the next. The aspirations of both generations need to be addressed along with the financial feasibility of the operation supporting all involved. Checkout the K-State Research and Extension publication “Transition Planning: 12 Steps to Keep the Family Farming” and watch the video below as you work through the farm succession planning process!

By:  Nora Rhoades

Identity Theft: What to know, What to do

Is someone using your personal or financial information to make purchases, get benefits, file taxes, or commit fraud? That’s identity theft.

If have become a victim of fraud, the Federal Trade Commission shares that the first step is to call the companies where the fraud occurred.

  • Call the fraud department. Explain that someone stole your identity. Ask them to close or freeze the accounts. Then, no one can add new charges unless you agree.
  • Change logins, passwords, and PINS for your accounts.

Visit IdentityTheft.gov to report theft and get a personal recovery plan. Learn more steps in the FTC’s resource, Identity Theft: What to know, What to do.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Buying and Using Health Insurance – Consumer Resources

Nora Rhoades
Family and Youth
Development Agent

When choosing a health insurance plan for you and your family there is much to consider. The right plan for you and your family will depend on your health and your financial situation. The University of Maryland Extension provides some helpful consumer resources. These tools can help consumers be smart about buying and using health insurance. To access the resources visit https://extension.umd.edu/insure/consumer-resources.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Know Fact from Fiction about Insurance Coverage

Taking the time to read the fine print of health, auto and home insurance policies may not always happen with consumers. But it pays to understand what you’re purchasing so there are no surprises if you ever need to file aclaim.

Understand 9 common insurance misconceptions that may occur from a lack of policy knowledge. They were compiled from questions to the Kansas Insurance Department Consumer Assistance Division and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Ken Selzer, CPA, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance provides insight about each misconception in the July 2017 column, “Insurance Matters”: http://www.ksinsurance.org/documents/department/insurance-matters/July2017-insurance-matters.pdf

By:  Nora Rhoades

Saving at Tax Time

Do you have plans for your tax refund? A tax refund provides the opportunity to improve your financial situation. Use the 30-40-30 plan to pay for your past, present and future. For more savings resources and tips on how to get the most value from your tax refund, visit America Saves at https://americasaves.org/ 

30-40-30 PLAN

  • PAST: Designate 30% of your refund to paying off debt and catching up on outstanding bills.
  • PRESENT: Earmark 40% for current use.
  • FUTURE: Use 30% to jumpstart an emergency fund or longer term savings.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Set a Savings Goal

Saving money, improving your financial life, building wealth. It all starts when you set a goal and make a plan to reach that goal. So what is your goal? Set up an emergency cash fund? Get out of debt? Make a down payment on a car or home? Sock away money for college or retirement? Setting a savings goal is important, and those with a savings plan are twice as likely to save successfully. There are lots of little things you can do to fund your savings.

Visit americasaves.org for saving tools and resources.

By:  Nora Rhoades


Simple Steps to Save Successfully

America Saves Week (February 27 – March 4, 2017) is an annual opportunity for individuals to assess their savings and take financial action. Set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically.

  • Assess Your Savings: Like your health, you should assess your savings annually to make sure your savings priorities are on the right track.
  • Evaluate your Savings Preparedness: Take time to evaluate your savings accomplishments and identify where your savings habits need strengthening for your future goals.
  • Take the America Saves Pledge: Savers with a plan are 2x more likely to save for retirement, have emergency savings, and stick to a budget. When you take the America Saves pledge, you can choose to receive text message tips and reminders to help you save towards your goals.
  • Follow America Saves on Facebook and Twitter to connect with the challenge and identify saving strategies that can work for you. You can also connect with savings resources by following the Post Rock Extension District on Facebook and Twitter.

By:  Nora Rhoades