Welcome, Fans of Financial Education!

To help you manage the financial impacts of the coronavirus, I have compiled a list of government programs and hardship options offered by private lenders as a result of COVID-19, and general money management tips on a new page, Tools for Managing Your Finances During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

If it has to do with money – how to spend it, save it, invest it, insure it, or retire with it – that’s what I teach about.

My goal is to give you the knowledge to make informed decisions about your money. Whether the choice is about canceling a credit card or when to claim Social Security benefits, knowledge truly is power.  As a professional educator who is also a Certified Financial Planner™, I have built my reputation by combining those skills to make even complicated subjects easy to understand.

I sell no financial products or services. If you’re looking for unbiased, non-commercial financial education, you’ve come to the right place.

Get the knowledge you need to make wiser decisions with your money!

Join me at an upcoming workshop. If you live in the greater Chicago area, I frequently present programs for area libraries.

Sign up for quarterly notices about future programs.

Contact me about a program for your organization. If you’re looking for an unbiased, stimulating presentation about personal finance for your staff, customers or patrons, check out my workshop topics .

Explore on your own, using the Resource Lists I create as I research each of my presentations.

Read my posts on University of Illinois Extension’s Plan Well – Retire Well blog. I write about many of the same topics on which I speak.

Money Smart Week 2020 has been cancelled. Click the image for more details.
Freeze Your Credit Reports for Free

As of September 21, 2018, anyone can freeze, unfreeze, or temporarily thaw a credit report for free. You must do this separately with each of the three major credit reporting agencies:

Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services or 800-685-1111

Experian.com/help or 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)

TransUnion.com/credit-help or 888-909-8872

How will the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 affect you?

There are lots of moving parts to the new tax law, making it difficult to know how it will affect you beginning in 2018.  In three posts that I wrote for University of Illinois Extension’s Plan Well – Retire Well blog, I explain these changes.

  1. To see how your 2018 return will compare to your 2017, Check this head-to-head, line-by-line comparison of your 2017 and 2018 tax returns
  2. To understand how the changes will affect you, you need to know something about Tax Rates
  3. Other changes include Inflation Adjustments, IRAs, 529 Plans, ABLE Accounts, Student Loans, & Estate Tax
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