How Money-Wise Are You? | Valerie P. Kaiser

LoudounMarApr2016HRNB_Page_11Many women are more involved with their finances now, than compared to a few short years ago. But, are they getting the most out of their investment or investing in line with their life stage? To take full advantage of the opportunities in the financial markets and ensure that your money matters are sound today and tomorrow, it is important to take even greater control of your financial future.

Financial security has become a top priority among women. And, security about any topic is rooted in confidence and knowledge. Part of becoming a
savvy investor is making a commitment to learn to learn about investment basics and increasing your ability to confidently manage your finances.

Be involved in your money matters

When it comes to household responsibilities, many couples find it easier and more productive to divide and conquer. This may be a sound practice
for household chores, but it is not a strategy that should be followed when finances are concerned. It is more important for both spouses to be equally
involved in all joint financial discussions and decisions.

Develop the ability to manage your own assets

There is a 90% likelihood that a woman will be financially self-reliant at some point in her life due to divorce, becoming a widow, or choosing to marry later in life or not at all.*

Do your homework

Successful investors research option and thoroughly understand what they are buying. Women are responsible for most of the consumer purchases
in the U.S. This shows that women are generally educated and careful consumers, which can make them savvy investors, too.

Put your needs first

If you are like most women, you spend a good amount of time taking care of others – and that sometimes means setting our own needs aside. But,
investing for your own retirement is a necessity that you cannot afford to put off.

Step outside your comfort zone

An important part of investing is to identify the amount of risk you are comfortable with. When it comes to their investments, women tend to be less willing to accept risk and generally gravitate toward ‘safer’ investments. Following the strategy could leave you more susceptible to the long-term effects of inflation which could make it more difficult to achieve your financial goals. While no investment should keep you awake at night, considering options that carry slightly more risk than you build a strong financial foundation. Your financial professional can help identify appropriate options that will continue to support your goals.

*Wise Women Money Quiz: How Money Wise Are You? Cynthia Fick, 2011

Valerie P. Kaiser, CFP®
703-610-4073
625 Elden Street. Suite 203 Herndon, VA 20170
www.kaiserfinancialsolutions.com

Creating Your Personal Financial Strategy in 2016 | By Valerie P. Kaiser

LoudounJanFeb2016HR_Page_17While many firms do strategic planning, we want you to know, we not only do it, we do it well.

Helping our clients to clearly define objectives to create credible and focused plans with results is our goal. Looking forward to serving you and helping you throughout 2016 and beyond.

Consider the checklist:

Prepare And Follow A Spending Plan
More than half of adults do NOT have budget. Putting it on paper or your wireless device is essential to your success. Without a budget and a plan
for spending, it is difficult to achieve your goals. Make it your business to sit down in January. Plan your year with a budget for spending and saving.

Pay All Bills On Time
Nearly 24% of all adults do not pay bills on time.* Paying bills on time will increase your credit score and also allow for better rates when borrowing.
It is always a good thing to do the right thing. Make paying all bills on time a part of your DNA and a positive character trait you embrace. It is never
too late to make the shift. Changing bad habits NOW and the way you handle credit including bill paying will benefit you in the long run.

Review And Update All Legal Documents
• Will
• Trust
• Contracts
• Citizenship
• Passport

Review Homeowners Insurance
Don’t forget to add newly acquired high value items including jewelry, art, etc.

Estimate Federal And State Income Tax In Advance
January is the perfect time. Determine if you can contribute more to your tax deferred retirement plan or IRA to reduce your 2015 taxes.

Review Health Insurance Plan
Call the member service line to discuss your health insurance plan. Review all benefits. Plan to change from year to year.

Review Life Insurance Coverage
Make sure you have adequate coverage. Consider supplemental benefits and coverage including disability, long term care and additional health insurance depending on life cycle changes.

Check Your Credit
Clean up any unresolved issues in your credit history.

Calculate Your Net Worth
Assets minus liabilities equals net worth – Make sure yours is positive!

Review Al Long And Short Term Debt
If disaster strikes (house burns down, unexpected surgeries, etc.) will you and your family be OK.
• Plan accordingly
• Stay committed
• Create and live your plan

And have a great year!

Valerie P. Kaiser, CFP®
703-610-4073
625 Elden Street. Suite 203 Herndon, VA 20170
www.kaiserfinancialsolutions.com

Val Connects The Dots… Career Transitions | Valerie P. Kaiser CFP

LoudounNovDec2015HighResNoBleeds_Page_27Part Two – Discover Your Purpose, What Are Your Intentions?

Leaving the security of a manager position in the corporate world with a six-figure salary and 10 weeks of paid time off for my new career as a New York Life agent with commissions only compensation was both daunting and exciting. I was following my dream for autonomy and control so that I could help others. It was a challenge that I embraced knowing that I had my family’s support. Any new business takes about five years to become established. We had our work cut out for us!

It was very soon after that I discovered that I was pregnant with my fifth child. Waiting to complete our family was not an option since I was in my forties. Growing a new business and having a baby at the same time sharpened my focus on what is most important – people. I often say that I take care of my family and my clients.

Both my growing family and business have rewarded me many times over these last 19 years. As my youngest soon enters college, my business is preparing for another expansion as we merge our practice with another established firm. In the New Year, we will announce our new business name as we finalize our merger with Tony Fulkerson, CFP® of Fulkerson Financial Group. Please note our new location in Herndon at 625 Elden Street, Suite 203. More to come soon!

In the meantime, we will continue to focus on our clients and their most important financial goals. Our purpose is to help People; our intention is to provide ongoing guidance and support to help them realize their dreams. One important part of that is to become A S.M.A.R.T. spender. Set S.M.A.R.T. financial goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) and create a spending plan in 4 steps:

1. List your income
2. Compare your income and expenses
3. List your expenses
4. List your resources and set priorities

Next, develop a savvy investment strategy: Finding the right mix of investments depends on your available assets, your financial goals, your time horizon, and your tolerance for risk. It is important to ensure a balance between three things: liquidity, return, and risk. Start systematically investing as soon as you are able so that a reasonable amount is saved, even after just a few years. The compounding effect can help to speed up your savings.

Remember, you are your most important asset: For most people, human capital is the missing piece of their portfolio. You insure your car, in the event you get into an accident. You insure your belongings, in case they’re lost or stolen. Your biggest asset is your ability to get up every day and provide for your family, whether by working or being the primary care giver. How do you insure your biggest asset?

Interested in learning more? We are here to help you get started.

Valerie P. Kaiser, CFP®
703-610-4073
625 Elden Street. Suite 203 Herndon, VA 20170
www.kaiserfinancialsolutions.com

Val Connects the Dots…Career Transitions

LoudounWOJOSeptOct2015_Page_11When I reflect on my journey and where I am today, I realize how far I have travelled. My story has many happy endings through determination, a network of support from family and friends and solid financial means.

From Navy Junior to college grad, military wife and mother, divorced mother of three, remarriage, blended family, mother of five, grandmother of five and two careers, OH MY!!

Each challenge I have faced was both life-enhancing and significant. Growing up in a Navy family, I moved nearly every year to face a new neighborhood, school and the “butterflies” of joining a new community. This lifestyle prepared me to fit in with many groups and situations. Living abroad in Italy and Germany gave me new perspectives to appreciate different cultures – that differences are to be noted and valued for their uniqueness; not viewed as being superior or inferior.

My graduations from high school in Italy and college in Virginia seemed distant as I married an Army Officer at the age of 21 and we had three children in five years. I soon realized that I needed a better way for my children and me. Considering single parenthood with three young children and re-entering the workforce after 11 years as a homemaker, I courageously took the steps to dissolve my marriage. With the weight of making a decision that would affect so many, I know that to succeed, I needed financial stability for my children. I started my first career in Information Technology as a systems analyst, based on my education; a degree from The College of William & Mary in Business Management.

Divorce means financial setbacks and many years of recovery. I was 34 and entering a new career at entry-level wages. The child support helped pay the mortgage, but the rest was on me. I labored over my monthly budget, counting each penny while sitting at the kitchen table with my ledger. I felt sure that I could make as long as there were no emergencies.

Within the year, a promotion and new position at another firm allowed some breathing room. I doubled my salary in a year and caught up with my cohorts! Being a single parent was the most difficult challenge I have ever faced – working all day then coming home to work for another five hours. Yet, I was rewarded with growing strength and confidence. I felt invincible! In another 11 years, my entrepreneur career blossomed… to be continued.

When She Is Her Money’s Keeper | Valerie P. Kaiser

LoudounJulAug2015_Page_21In previous generations, there was most likely a man at the head of the household who was responsible for making all of the family’s financial decisions. While it may be a difficult concept to grasp now, many women were not even aware of how or where the family’s savings were invested.

Fast forward to today. Woman are powerful and accomplished, earning and achieving more than before. Many women successfully handle the demands of a family, career, and household. In fact, a recent study found that 90% of women identify themselves as “chief financial officer’ of their
household. In addition, the education level attained, the earning power, and career achievements of women are greater than ever before.

Despite these triumphs, women lag behind men when it comes to taking the necessary steps to build wealth and financial security – such as investing and establishing a long-term financial plan. They also face several unique challenges throughout their lifetimes, making proactive financial planning even more important.

Whether the reason is insecurity about the subject of money, a shortage of the time necessary to organize financial matters, or a heavy reliance on others to manage longer-term finances, it is important for women to overcome these barriers and take control of their own financial future.

Understanding the importance of long-term financial goals, as well as the steps to take to help make them a reality, are the first steps to a bright financial future. You may have already discovered the importance of working with a financial professional to help you develop a personalized investment strategy. As you move through the various stages of your life, remember that your financial professional is a valuable resource who can help you regularly review and refine your personal financial needs and, as your circumstances change, recommend any adjustments to your investment strategy.

Valerie P. Kaiser, CFP®
703-610-4073
www.kaiserfinancialsolutions.com

You are Powerful BUT Are you Prepared? | Valerie P. Kaiser CFP

LWM_MJ15_web_Page_21Many women are more involved with their finances now, than compared to a few short years ago. But, are they getting the most out of their investment or investing in line with their life stage?

To take full advantage of the opportunities in the financial markets and ensure that your money matters are sound today and tomorrow, it is important to take even greater control of your financial future.

Financial security has become a top priority among women. And, security about any topic is rooted in confidence and knowledge. Part of becoming a
savvy investor is making a commitment to learn to learn about investment basics and increasing your ability to confidently manage your finances.

  • Be involved in your money matters… When it comes to household responsibilities, many couples find it easier and more productive to divide and conquer. This may be a sound practice for household chores, but it is not a strategy that should be followed when finances are concerned. It is more important for both spouses to be equally involved in all joint financial discussions and decisions.
  • Develop the ability to manage your own assets… There is a 90% likelihood that a woman will be financially self-reliant at some point in her life due to divorce, becoming a widow, or choosing to marry later in life or not at all.
  • Do your homework… Successful investors research option and thoroughly understand what they are buying. Women are responsible for most of the consumer purchases in the U.S. This shows that women are generally educated and careful consumers, which can make them savvy investors, too.
  • Put your needs first… If you are like most women, you spend a good amount of time taking care of others – and that sometimes means setting our own needs aside. But, investing for your own retirement is a necessity that you cannot afford to put off.
  • Step outside your comfort zone… An important part of investing is to identify the amount of risk you are comfortable with. When it comes
    to their investments, women tend to be less willing to accept risk and generally gravitate toward ‘safer’ investments. Following the strategy
    could leave you more susceptible to the long-term effects of inflation which could make it more difficult to achieve your financial goals.

While no investment should keep you awake at night, considering options that carry slightly more risk than you build a strong financial foundation. Your financial professional can help identify appropriate options that will continue to support your goals.

By Valerie P. Kaiser, CFP®
703-610-4073
www.kaiserfinancialsolutions.com

Why a Financial Plan is so Important | Kaiser Financial Solutions

LWMJanFeb2015-smallfinal_Page_29Many of us are familiar with the expression, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” As a Certified Financial Planner®, I can assure you that—when it comes to financial goals and objectives— this old adage still rings true.

In fact, it may be more relevant than ever. As the last few years have shown, it isn’t easy for most Americans to make financial headway. With pensions in decline, interest rates near historic lows, and household incomes yet to bounce back to prerecession levels, it takes persistence and sound planning in order to get ahead.

Not sure how to begin? That’s okay—it’s easy to become overwhelmed if you think about all your needs at once. Instead, try taking it one step at a time, starting with the basics:

Build an emergency fund—No matter where you are in life, it’s important to set aside 8-10 months of living expenses. You don’t have to do it all at
once, but every dollar you save today is a dollar you won’t have to borrow if something unexpected happens.

Protect your home and family—Most of us have people who depend on us to keep a roof over their heads and food on their plates. That’s a big responsibility, but it’s one life insurance can help you meet—even if something tragic takes you away. You can start with an affordable term life
plan at first, and then add more coverage as your needs and budget grow.

Prepare for major expenses like college—As a parent or grandparent, you naturally want the best for your loved ones. Now’s the time to start a college or wedding fund so they won’t have to go into debt to make their dreams for the future come true.

Get ready for retirement—There are plenty of ways to set aside money for retirement: 401(k)s, IRAs, and fixed deferred annuities* just to name a few. But they all have one thing in common—the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Try to increase your contributions over time—perhaps 1% with each raise—or, if you are age 50 or older, look into some of the ‘catch-up’ provisions that may allow you to contribute even more. While the recession forced many of us to take a step back financially, it also helped refocus our attention on the things that really matter. A sound

financial plan can help us accomplish many things—but perhaps the most important is making sure we never lose sight of them again.

By Valerie Kaiser, CFP®, Agent, (CA#0F39945)
New York Life Insurance Company
703-610-4073

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