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My Advice for New Empty Nesters

The first 50 years of someone’s life usually follows a pretty typical progression: It starts with parents who look after their children for the first 18 years or so, allowing the child to experience and learn new things. High school gives way to college and the journey of living independently and discovering a profession. After college come work, a career and maybe even a spouse with which to have children. But then comes the hard part for most parents, the time when their children get ready to leave the house and begin their own lives.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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Thinking about Retiring? 5 Steps to Get Started

So you’re thinking about retiring.

That’s a big decision. There is a good chance you’ll be retired for as long as you worked. Think about that – 20 to 30 years – that’s a long time to be without a paycheck. So I want to offer pointers for those considering retirement and what you can do today to increase the likelihood of an enjoyable retirement.

Planning for retirement is something you do while working and receiving a paycheck. Figuring out how to live when the paychecks stop is not easy. Visualizing life 30 years from now is equally difficult. But the longer you wait to start planning, the harder it will be to get ready for retirement. The goal is to plan an enjoyable retirement, but wait too long and it may vanish.

Here are five steps you can take today to start planning for an enjoyable retirement.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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How to Control Your Finances When the Sky is Falling

As the Dow reaches another all time high it seems like a good time to reflect on the past 12 years. Think about it: five years ago we thought the world was going to end. Today, we have recovered from the second worst market correction since the Great Depression.

Sometime during the past 12 years, everyone, even those with the strongest convictions, questioned the market’s ability to recover. But it always did. So what lessons can we take away from this? I think the message is simple, focus on what can be controlled, not the things that can’t.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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Debt Ceiling 101

Here we go again! We just avoided the fiscal cliff and now we’re headed for the debt ceiling. Misinformation and half-truths are the headlines of the day as the political rhetoric rises. So in this Prosper On I want to set the record straight. I’ll start with an explanation of the debt ceiling and then take a look at the arguments for raising it and why that’s not the best idea. We’ll get started with an example.

Let’s use our fictional character Bob. Bob has a credit card and was doing a good job paying off the balance every month. Along came an unexpected expense like an auto repair or emergency. Now normally this would be no problem for Bob, but money was tight that month and he decided to keep a small balance on his credit card. The balance was so small he didn’t notice the 20% interest charge.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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Prosper On: The Year-Long Hangover – Tax Changes for 2013

American taxpayers will have more than just a hangover to deal with come January first. With new tax laws taking effect at the start of 2013, even the non-party goers could be feeling the pain. These changes are broad, significant and far more complicated than they have been in years past.

While the details are still up for debate, it’s safe to say there will be some changes. Depending on an individual’s specific situation, it could be a non-event, a missed opportunity, or an event anticipated and planned for. We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about any of this information.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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Fiscal Cliff 101

Those who can explain complex ideas in simple ways always amaze me. That’s why I took an interest in the book “The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money”, written by Carl Richards. He has the ability to simplify complex personal financial concepts with a drawing on the back of a napkin. This week I challenged myself to do the same with the impending “fiscal cliff”.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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4 Financial Tips to Teach Your Kids

When I meet someone with good money habits it’s usually because they have someone important in their life, a family member or friend, who took the time to share their financial values and experience. For those fortunate people, money management skills come easy. These skills were ingrained as a child and will serve them well into adulthood.

But some of us haven’t had a mentor. So if you’re a young person just starting out or you’re older and looking to develop better financial habits I hope this article helps you get started down the right path.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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The Italian Job

As financial advisors we have the good fortune of working with people and their families at a very personal level. I often hear personal stories, some of which are very inspirational and insightful. Sometimes they even help me to live a better life.

As some of you may know, I took a trip to Italy last month with my son Kyle. In April my brother invited us to join him and his family in Greece for a vacation. Kyle and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and wanted to do some travel on our own, so we honed our sites in on Italy. Now travelling to Italy is challenge enough for someone who’s only been to Cancun and Vancouver, but I wanted to take it a step further.

I wanted to do it on a motorcycle.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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The Biggest Loser

After JP Morgan announced a $2 billion trading loss last Thursday (due in part to a risky strategy focusing on credit derivatives) several parties are feeling the pain. But to determine who is the biggest loser we have to look at each of them individually.

The first is JP Morgan –they’ve lost $4 billion of net income over the past three years and approximately $25 billion in shareholder value according to the Wall Street Journal.

But the shareholders also took a hit after losing approximately 14% of the share price this past week.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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