Why am I writing this blog?

Financial education is what I am passionate about. I have devoted my professional life to that cause. I thrive on delivering workshops about the financial decisions we face, but I wanted another way to share my take on personal finance. I missed blogging, and I made the decision in early 2020 that I would start blogging again. I blogged for University of Illinois Extension’s Plan Well, Retire Well blog for over ten years, and I missed writing! Writing and talking about personal finance makes me happy.

But of course, I procrastinated. Then the coronavirus hit. The COVID-19 pandemic closed libraries as well as almost everything else. Money Smart Week 2020 was cancelled and along with it, all of my workshops . I needed another way to reach out. So here we are, with the first post for this blog.

If you want to learn more about me and my background, check the About Karen page. If you’d like to know where I’m presenting, go to Upcoming Programs or sign up for a quarterly email listing those events.

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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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