Guest Blogger: Kristen Smith

Guest Blogger: Kristen Smith
Kristen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional at Axial Financial Group with over 15 years of experience working with individuals and their families in all facets of their financial life. For registered representatives: Kristen is a financial consultant located at The Axial Company, 5 Burlington Woods, Suite 102, Burlington, MA 01803. She offers securities as a Registered Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC. She can be reached at 781.273.1400 or ksmith@axialfg.com. CRR, LLP, Axial Financial Group, and Commonwealth Financial Network are separate and unrelated entities.
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Recent Posts

A Guide to Benefits When Changing Jobs

If you’re changing jobs, you probably have a lot on your mind. As you wrap up work with your previous employer and prepare for your new role, it can be easy to let important benefits-related decisions fall by the wayside. If that happens, you could miss a limited opportunity to sign up for new benefits or miss out on making wise changes to your plans. To stay on track financially during a career transition, be sure to review the status of your retirement accounts and other valuable employee benefits.

529 Plans: Qualified and Nonqualified Expenses

You’ve put in the hard work of saving for college, and now it’s time to start using those 529 plan assets to help with a family member’s education-related costs. But before you begin withdrawing those funds, it’s important to understand the difference between qualified and nonqualified expenses.

Financial Planning Considerations for Single Women

For various reasons, the state of a woman’s financial security often depends on her marital status. A study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office says that women’s household income dropped by 41 percent after divorce, nearly double the size of the decline men experienced. In 2020, women earned just 82.3 cents on the dollar compared with men, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, a gap that was more pronounced for women of color. And women earn less than their male counterparts in nearly every occupation. Whether you are newly divorced, widowed, or single by choice, the following tips could help you shore up your financial security.

Debt Management in a Healthy Financial Plan

Wise debt management is a key component of healthy and effective financial planning. Today, most people carry some amount of debt to finance a degree or buy a home or car. Other debts may be incurred out of necessity or as part of an investment plan. Whatever your reasons for taking on debt, you should understand the different types of debt and their risks. This knowledge will help you manage debt wisely as part of your overall financial plan.

Here's What You Should Know About Bitcoin

We’ve all seen the stories about bitcoin over the past few years—the triumphs and the pitfalls. For many investors, this cryptocurrency has raised a lot of questions and a lot of curiosity. Is bitcoin just a “scam” that will end in a meltdown? Or does it have the potential to revolutionize financial markets as we know them?

If you’re one of the many who are curious about bitcoin, read on for some of what you should know about the emerging world of cryptocurrency.

Top 4 Exceptions to the 10 Percent Early Distribution Penalty

Generally, the IRS will impose a 10 percent early distribution penalty if you withdraw assets from your traditional IRA before the age of 59½. So, what would happen if you needed to tap into your IRA before then? Sure, you’ll have to pay income tax on the untaxed portion of the IRA. But are there ways to avoid paying that 10 percent early distribution penalty? Luckily for some, the IRS offers several exceptions to this penalty. Here are four of the most important ones.

The Powerful Effects of Compound Interest

Getting an early start on your retirement savings may be the best financial move you can make for yourself. Thanks to the power of compound interest, you can make your money work for you and grow exponentially on a tax-deferred basis. 

5 Positive Financial Habits to Adopt Today

Like most people, you probably have a vivid, exciting picture of what your ideal retirement will look like. Maybe it’s spending time with family at a beach house, crossing off the books that have accumulated on your to-read list, or finally being able to volunteer enough of your time to make a difference for your favorite charity. But there’s no doubt that the journey to retirement is long and winding—and, as with any journey, you’ll encounter challenges along the way before arriving at your desired destination. Adopting good financial habits is a must for plotting a successful retirement journey. Let’s explore five positive ways to get—and stay—on the right track.

Is a Roth 401(k) Right for Me?

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 introduced the Roth 401(k) as a retirement plan that employers may offer to their employees as of January 1, 2006. Of course, there are questions that need to be considered, the most important being, should you contribute to a Roth 401(k)?

5 IRA Misconceptions and How You Can Make the More Informed Choice

Some IRA planning and investment strategies may appear easy to execute, but errors can lead to unexpected taxes or penalties, loss of the IRA’s tax-exempt status, and even disinherited beneficiaries. Where can things go wrong? Here are five common IRA misconceptions, as well as tips for making a more informed choice.