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The Benefits of the Collaborative Process: A Financial Perspective

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Kristina George is a CPA, Certified Financial Planner ® and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. ® She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Collaborative Law Alliance and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She has participated in collaborative practice since 2012.

Kristina has provided tax, financial planning, and investment advice to individuals and business owners for over 24 years. Additionally, Kristina works extensively with lawyers, mediators and clients to address financial issues that arise in the divorce process. Kristina can be found at Northstar Financial Planning, Inc. in Windham, NH.

While marriage may be all about love, it has been said that divorce is all about money. I'm not sure that's always true, but what I do know is that during a divorce, there is an overwhelming amount of personal and financial decisions at a time when most people are already feeling depleted and overwhelmed.

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Is Your Adult Child Putting Your Retirement at Risk?

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As parents, we are hard-wired to help our children—emotionally, physically, and financially. Often, we will do whatever is within our power to grant them as many opportunities as we can afford. But, where do we draw the line? How long is too long to assist in supporting your adult children? Is your current level of financial assistance helping or hurting them? Are you sacrificing your own financial goals to do so?

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3 Summertime Tax Preparation Tips

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April 15th may seem far off, but once school starts and the holiday season rolls around, tax preparation may be the last thing on your mind. Those who have experienced significant life changes, individuals with Flexible Health Spending Accounts, and high-income earners could especially benefit from the extra planning time to improve their income tax strategy. Why not take advantage of these longer summer days by getting some year-end tax-saving tasks out of the way now?

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What Women Need to Know About Social Security and Divorce

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Estimating income and expenses is one of the most crucial steps in building a viable, long-term retirement plan, so having an accurate representation of how your social security benefits will fit into that picture is essential. Maximizing benefits is especially important for divorced women whose ex-spouse’s benefits may trump their own, ultimately providing a higher guaranteed income for the duration of their retirement years.

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The Journey Forward: A Widow’s Guide to Taking the First Steps

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Any widow would likely attest to the fact that the loss of a spouse is one of the most difficult life changes—a change that disrupts the very foundation of your reality and how you envisioned your life unfolding. Whether your spouse’s passing was expected or completely unforeseen, no one can ever fully anticipate the implications of becoming a widow until they are faced with the reality of taking on life’s new challenges alone. At Northstar, we specialize in helping widows emotionally and financially and find the following first steps can help improve your sense of well-being as you navigate through this difficult life transition.

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Financial Coaches, Counselors, and Planners: How Do They Differ and Which Might Be Right for You?

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From kindergarten to college, the core of our education is focused on English, Reading, Science, Math, and History. We are taught to memorize geometric proofs and analyze Paradise Lost, but what about financial literacy? Where are we taught about budgeting, debt management, or preparing taxes? Unless we learn from our parents or study finances as adults, we typically are not taught how to manage money, let alone how to prepare for retirement or finance large purchases. Luckily, a number of different financial professionals exist to help bridge the gap between what you should have been taught and what you were actually taught.

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5 Life Transitions and Times When a Financial Advisor is Needed

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When it comes to your financial future, the decisions you make today can change the course of your life. Choosing the right investment strategy, ongoing tax planning, establishing an estate plan, analyzing and potentially purchasing life insurance, considering long-term care, preparing for retirement, etc.—navigating these complex matters can quickly become overwhelming.

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Have You Factored Long-Term Care into Your Retirement Plan Yet?

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When it comes to retirement planning, the possibility of eventual long-term care is often overlooked. It’s easy to disregard the potential costs associated with aging when you are young but should you or a loved one become physically or cognitively impaired, you’ll find the cost of care can quickly consume your income and deplete your retirement savings.

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Rush Hour, Market Volatility, and Evidence-Based Investing: Part II

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Actively vs. Passively Managed Funds 

There is no lack of debate in the financial community regarding which type of fund is superior: actively managed versus passively managed funds.

Actively managed funds are a group of funds that are controlled by a manager or team of managers who aim to outperform the market with the frequent buying and selling of equities based on that manager’s expertise, experience, or personal judgment—similar to the types of drivers who exit the highway in rush hour believing they’ll find a quicker route and only return when the congestion appears to have cleared. Due to the nature of this active management, these funds carry higher expense ratios and charge heftier management fees than their passively managed counterparts.

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Rush Hour, Market Volatility, and Evidence-Based Investing: Part I

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Have you ever been caught in rush hour traffic? Do you find yourself feverishly searching your GPS for a faster route the longer you are stuck in it? Maybe you contemplate whether you’re better off waiting out the bumper-to-bumper gridlock on the highway or taking your chances with city traffic lights. You know that your chances of outrunning highway traffic with an alternate route are slim, but your impatience is chipping away at your sense and you strongly consider it. Plus, look at all those other cars clearly getting off to avoid the slowdown!

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