The Advisor’s Corner is a resource for the community that offers insightful information into personal financial considerations and business financial issues.

The articles cover a broad range of topics, and we hope that you will find them useful in helping you to think about getting your fiscal house in order. Economic Empowerment starts at home.

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) for Federal Student Loans

The federal government’s income-based repayment program (IBR) for student loans allows qualified borrowers to tie their monthly federal student loan payments to their discretionary income. A new version of the IBR program called “Pay As You Earn” took effect on December 21, 2012 (it was originally scheduled to be phased in during 2014, but the Obama administration took regulatory measures to make it available sooner). The potential for IBR to change the landscape for college borrowers is enormous.

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Just How Risky is Your Portfolio?

If you’re like most people, you probably evaluate your portfolio in terms of its return. However, return isn’t the only factor you should consider; also important is the amount of risk you take in pursuing those returns. The term “risk” is often understood to mean the risk of loss. However, a portfolio is generally a means to an end, such as paying for retirement or a child’s college tuition. In that context, “risk” also means the risk of not meeting your financial needs

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Are You Prepared If a Natural Disaster Strikes?

It seems as though there’s always a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, blizzard, or mudslide happening somewhere in the United States. A storm or other natural disaster could destroy your home, business, or workplace and put you in financial straits, but there are things you can do both before and after the event to help you recover quickly.

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Four Retirement Savings Myths

No matter how many years you are from retirement, it’s essential to have some kind of game plan in place for financing it. With today’s longer life expectancies, retirement can last 25 years or more, and counting on Social Security or a company pension to cover all your retirement income needs isn’t a strategy you really want to rely on. As you put a plan together, watch out for these common myths.

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A Business Plan is Your Vision of Success

What is your business’s key to success? Unique products, flawless customer service, nimble operations–or something entirely different? As a business owner, you may instinctively know what makes your organization succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. A business plan helps you share that knowledge with important stakeholders–including key employees and potential investors and lenders.

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