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From High School to High Pay and a Personally Rewarding Career

(NewsUSA) - The best career is one that gives you so much personal satisfaction that you’d gladly do it without pay. But don’t worry; you won’t be working for free if you become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. In fact, the pay is high, with experienced advisors earning an average of $192,000 a year. And the demand for talented and skilled CFP® professionals is greater than ever. The benefits of becoming a financial planner go well beyond the financial rewards and include the following:

Working With People: Financial planning is a people business that succeeds by building trusting relationships with clients. It’s a great feeling when you help someone reach their financial goals!

Setting Your Own Schedule: Many financial planners enjoy the flexibility to balance career and home life. The more life you experience, the more well-rounded a CFP® professional you become, and the more value you bring to your employer and clients.

Growing in an Expanding Industry: The U.S. government predicts that personal financial advice careers will grow 15% a year through 2031, far faster than other occupations. 

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But how do you become a CFP® professional?

Your road to becoming a CFP® professional starts with a bachelor’s degree. It can be in any major at any accredited college or university. Once you have that diploma in hand, you’ve fulfilled one of the two education requirements toward becoming a CFP® professional. Next, you’ll complete coursework through a CFP Board Registered Program.

Or you could earn your degree from a CFP Board Registered Program. With more than 300 registered programs to choose from, you have lots of options to find the program that makes the most sense for you. After you pass your coursework, you’ll take the CFP® exam.

The exam is tough, but you don’t have to navigate this path alone. The most successful athletes and entertainers had a mentor who guided them from the beginning. So can you. You can find a CFP® professional mentor who is ready to help and support you as you prepare for the CFP® exam. Mentors can help you focus on time management, study strategy, staying motivated, dealing with work/life balance and more. By connecting with a mentor, you can gain valuable insights from your mentor’s own experience preparing for and passing the CFP® exam.

As you graduate high school, who knows what adventures lie ahead for you? One of them can be an exciting and rewarding career as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERprofessional. Learn more today!

How to Help Your Aging Parents

(NewsUSA) - At some point, you may need to step in and help care for the parents who once cared for you. Starting this new role can be a challenge, but with preparation you’ll be ready. These concrete steps will help you support your aging parents.


Start by talking to your parents and family members, and then get others involved, including professionals such as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional or lawyer:

  • Sit down with your parents to get a handle on their finances, healthcare, plans for their estate, and other legal matters.
  • Looking forward, decide between yourself and your siblings or other family members how you want to approach and share your parents' future care. Will family members divide up responsibilities? Would you prefer to pick one trusted agent to handle these matters? If you decide on someone outside the family, discuss how duties and costs will be shared by family members.
  • Be sure to have legal documents in place. This includes current power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a terminal care directive. All of these documents can name a specific person to make decisions during periods of incapacity.

Financial Matters

If or when cognitive decline becomes an issue, put systems in place to protect your parents’ finances:

  • Make sure bills are physically mailed to the home instead of electronically, where they can be missed.
  • Create a separate checking account for discretionary spending that the parent can control with limited overdraft protection.
  • Keep money for major bills and savings in a separate account that requires a dual signature.
  • Arrange for transaction alerts to be sent to family members to help catch errors and reduce fraud.
  • If possible, have a power of attorney on file with Social Security and Medicare, so someone other than your parents can discuss financial issues with these organizations. Common power of attorney forms do not provide this authorization.


Ensure that your parents will have access to the healthcare they want and need as they age:

  • Evaluate your own finances to see how you could help in the case of a large medical bill.
  • Add your names to the paperwork on file with your doctors’ offices to make sure you and your siblings have a right to inquire about the health of your parents.
  • Plan for someone to periodically attend medical appointments to get an understanding of health needs and prescribed medications.
  • Evaluate long-term care insurance options that could cover the cost of a home health aide.
  • Think about how to help with clothing and food choices, medication management, and meals as your parents’ physical abilities change, such as fading eyesight or decreased mobility.  

Safety at Home

Make sure your parent’s house is safe and fits their needs:

  • Consider saving up for higher housing expenses, perhaps in a joint account with other family members.
  • You may want to hire someone to mow the lawn and do odd jobs to ensure that your parents aren’t climbing ladders or putting themselves at risk doing chores.
  • Put in safety rails and non-slip flooring.
  • Add lighting by steps, close to doors, and around outside areas.
  • Install alarm systems that can be connected to devices to detect falls or health changes, such as heart or blood pressure changes.

Stepping in to help when our aging parents need assistance can seem overwhelming, but only if we’re not prepared. Mapping out a strategy ahead of time, with love and care, can be rewarding and can bring a family even closer together.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional can help you plan for the uncertainties ahead. Visit to find local CFP® professionals near you or your parents today.

Investing in Your Child's Future: The Advantages of a Career in Financial Planning

(NewsUSA) - As a parent, you want your child to succeed in life and have a career where they are fulfilled and paid well. It’s even better if that career can offer benefits such as personal and professional growth, job security, and the ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional offers those benefits and more — and entry into this growing profession is easier than you might think. College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline (no math or finance major required) can begin the path to CFP® certification.

With the demand for financial planners across the United States expected to grow at a rapid pace over the next eight years, those in the profession are working hard to educate both young people and their parents about a career that many people know little about.  

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is making recruitment of young people a priority. CFP Board Chair Dan Moisand says focus groups have shown there are many misconceptions about financial planning careers, including the belief that financial planners are focused on sales. But when parents were asked about the qualities of an ideal job for their child, “they said things like flexibility, work-life balance, helping people, a good salary — many of the qualities that describe a career in financial planning,” explained Moisand.

CFP® professionals have wide-ranging income potential, with many starting out at $50-70k. Those with more experience earn an average of $192,000 per year. Financial planners also have the privilege of helping people with major life decisions, such as preparing to have a child or planning for retirement.

Financial planning can also offer a great deal of flexibility. CFP® professionals can choose to work for a large financial services firm, a bank, or a credit union, or they can develop a specialized niche, establish their own firm, pursuing different paths for growth and advancement. And depending on their unique work situation, financial planners have the flexibility to set their own schedules to create a balanced work and personal life.

Encouraging your child to become a financial planner can offer numerous benefits, including excellent career prospects, high earning potential, and the opportunity to help others. It's a rewarding and challenging career that requires continuous learning and provides a great deal of flexibility. With the right education and training, your child can excel in this field and create a fulfilling and prosperous future for themselves. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a CFP® professional today

Not Sure What to Do When You Graduate College? Consider CFP Certification

(NewsUSA) - If you’re getting ready to graduate from college, congratulations! After years of dedication and hard work, your future awaits! And while it’s an exciting time, it can also be challenging if you haven’t yet decided on a clear career path.

Consider becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. Financial planning is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the country and obtaining CFP® certification can accelerate your career. As part of a profession focused on helping people, financial planners rely on their analytical and interpersonal communication skills — and they report high career satisfaction. As a college graduate, you’re in the perfect spot to get started. You don’t need to be a math or finance major; all you need is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline to start pursuing CFP® certification.

The benefits of becoming a CFP® professional are many and include:

High Salary Potential 

CFP® certification is the standard of excellence in financial planning and paves the way for an exceptional career with wide-ranging income potential. While salaries vary, experienced financial advisors earn $192,000 on average, with a $50-70K starting salary.

Opportunities for Growth and Advancement

As a financial planner, you can work for a large national financial services firm, bank, credit union, or independent firm; develop your own niche; or establish your own firm. You choose how to carve out your own career path. Many firms also provide professional development programs, including assistance for those pursuing advanced training such as CFP® certification.

Job Security

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for financial planners will increase at a faster than average rate of 15% over the next eight years. Financial planners can find plentiful career opportunities at firms of many types and sizes.

Scheduling Flexibility

Whether you have your own practice or work for a large firm, financial planners have a lot of flexibility in terms of schedules. You could tailor your financial services career and create a schedule allowing for balanced work and personal life.  

Ability to Help Others

CFP® professionals change lives and help people achieve their financial goals. It can be extremely satisfying to know you’re helping your clients pay for college for their children, build an investment portfolio, or plan for retirement.

Continued Professional Development

Once you’ve attained your CFP® certification, you’ll continue to stay current by building knowledge through ongoing education, professional memberships, and more. There are many opportunities to continuously build your expertise in financial planning.

Becoming a CFP® professional offers personal, professional, and financial rewards, as well as exciting opportunities for a strong future. Learn more and start your journey to CFP® certification today.

5 Tips to Help Young Professionals Prepare a Tax Return

(NewsUSA) - Filing your taxes can be stressful and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. As the deadline for filing taxes approaches, don’t let the pressure overwhelm you. Follow these five tips for a smooth tax season.

Know the different types of taxes you might have to pay.

Federal Taxes: Your money is taxed at a rate between 0% and 37%, depending on how much you earn. Your employer will deduct the money for these taxes, and the taxes listed below, from your paycheck each payday.

State Taxes: Not all states require you to pay state income taxes, but those that do typically take 3% to 11%.

Local Taxes: These apply only to certain large cities, such as New York City, and can be as much as 10% of your gross paycheck.

Social Security: Your employer will withhold 6.2% of your pay to cover Social Security taxes.

Medicare: For this tax, 1.45% of your pay is withheld from your check.

Understand what getting a tax refund means.

People make big plans for tax refunds, but most Americans are unclear on why they’re getting a refund. A refund indicates that you overpaid your federal and state taxes, essentially giving the government an interest-free loan. Adjust your tax withholding through your payroll to have less money deducted from your paycheck.

Understand the different tax forms you might receive.

These are the different forms needed to file your taxes:

  • W-2: This comes from your employer and summarizes wages, taxes and deductions throughout the year.
  • 1099: These are used to report other types of income you’ve received, including bank interest (1099-INT). Not every taxpayer receives these forms.
  • 1098: This form and its variants show payments you’ve made that may qualify you for tax benefits. For example, a regular 1098 shows mortgage interest paid, a 1098-T shows money paid for school tuition and expenses, and a 1098-E shows student loan interest paid.

Understand due dates.

Your tax return is usually due on April 15, although this year’s deadline has been extended to April 18. If you’re not ready, you can request a six-month extension, but this is only an extension for filing the return. The money you owe is still due by the regular tax deadline.

Understand what to do if you owe taxes and don’t have the money to pay right away.

Don’t panic, but don’t ignore the problem either. Contact the IRS to set up a payment plan. You’ll have to pay the government eventually, and until you do the IRS can add costly interest and late fees to what you owe. Get started, pay what you can as soon as possible, and then continue making payments.

Just as you can change your withholding to have your employer deduct fewer taxes from your paycheck, you can increase the amount to keep from owing in the future. Contact your HR/Payroll department to learn more.

For help in figuring out how your income taxes impact your financial situation, reach out to a CFP® professional at

Benefits for Women Becoming Financial Planners

(NewsUSA) - The financial services industry is changing and diversifying, and this includes women becoming financial advisors at a rate higher than ever before.

If you’ve ever considered a career in financial planning, now may be the perfect time to take the leap. Benefits include high earning potential, flexible work hours, professional growth, and more.

High Earning Potential

There’s a clear demand for financial advisors, and women are moving into those positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job opportunities for personal financial advisors will grow 15% in the next 8 years — much faster than the average for other occupations. With all that demand, financial advisors can potentially earn high salaries, including into the six figures.

Flexible Work Hours

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses have become open to employees working remotely and establishing flexible working arrangements, including in financial services. Women can tailor their career choices and create schedules allowing for balanced work and personal life.

Professional Growth

More firms and businesses are recruiting women with opportunities to become financial planners, investment advisors and wealth advisors. Many provide professional development programs, including assistance for those pursuing advanced training such as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Additional support is available through CFP Board, which offers scholarships and mentoring programs.

“There is also a growing number of women who are willing to mentor younger women and make it their life’s work to make sure we’re reaching back down and pulling people up,” explains Kate Healy, Managing Director of CFP Board Center for Financial Planning. “It’s wonderful to see and really starting to have an impact.”

Helping Clients Achieve Financial Goals

One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a financial planner is helping others achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. CFP® professionals can help navigate many of life’s big transitions, from saving for college savings to preparing for retirement.


As more women become advisors, they can empower other women to take control of their financial future. It's important that CFP® professionals reflect the public they serve, and women CFP® professionals can act as role models and provide guidance to other women interested in finance. Many women are even going on to start their own firms. The number of women-led firms is growing thanks to women supporting each other through networking, advice and feedback.

To learn more about the opportunities available within the financial planning profession, as well as financial planner training and compensation, check out CFP Board’s Career Guide. Explore how you can become a CFP® professional, with all the benefits that provides.  


(NewsUSA) - Teaching children about money is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Start when they’re young with simple lessons like saving up to buy a toy. You can build upon those lessons as they get older and become responsible for things like buying their own car or preparing their finances for college.

Talking about money isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t trust your own money management skills. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can boost your self-confidence and help you create a plan that supports your family members in understanding their finances.

Little Kids

When your kids are very young, stick to the basics. Explain three things you can do with money: Spend it, save it or give it away. Show them how to divide money they get from gifts or an allowance by putting a portion into savings or donating to a charity, and then allow them to spend the rest.

Also, share how you make money decisions for the family when you shop, cook and pay bills.


When teenagers get their first job, they get hands-on experience with budgeting. They learn to allocate money they earn to buy what they need, such as gas for their car. It’s also the perfect time to teach them about taxes. Go over their first paycheck and point out payroll deductions, explaining how the system works.

And when your teen is ready, introduce them to the magic of compound interest and the basics of investing.

College Students

Once your child reaches college age, engage in more straightforward money conversations. Discuss spending and cost-saving strategies. Go over student loan and credit card debt, making sure they understand their statements, interest rates, loan terms and repayment options.

Adult Children

With adult children, the type of money conversations you have will depend on whether they’re living on their own or with you. If your child still lives with you, strike a balance between helping them and protecting your own financial well-being, perhaps even drawing up a move-in agreement to keep everyone on the same page.

Regardless of where they live, speak to your children about your estate plan. Explain who you’ve designated to serve as your estate executor (the person responsible for distributing your estate and paying any remaining debts).

Make your children aware of the option of working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to build a more successful and financially secure future. To find a CFP® professional near you, visit


How Anxious Are Americans About Their Finances? Very.

(NewsUSA) - A new poll paints a troubling picture of how anxious Americans are about their finances.

Nearly half of respondents said they didn’t feel “financially stable,” according to the survey from financial services firm Edward Jones and Morning Consult, and 29 percent admitted to having less than $500 in their emergency savings fund.

That’s right, less than $500.

Anyone who’s been to the supermarket lately – the price of a dozen eggs in January was up 70% from the same time last year – can guess one of the main reasons for that low savings rate.

“People have been facing turbulent times,” said Meagan Dow, senior strategist at Edward Jones.  “Understandably, inflation is forcing consumers to spend more on necessities, like housing and groceries, while market conditions are startling investors, so savings are falling low on the priority list.”

How to take control when so much seems out of our control?  If, like most respondents, you measure “financial wellness” as being free of debt and worries over monthly bills, and having enough money to care for your family, read on for ways to move forward:

  • Build three to six months’ worth of living expenses in savings to cover emergencies.  Keep in mind that even a few hundred dollars can help improve your financial stability, so start small and celebrate your progress. The specific amount to ultimately target depends on variables like whether your car is on its last leg, or your house is in an area prone to natural disasters.  “There’s also your risk of temporary loss of income to consider, especially if you're a single earner or have job insecurity,” said Dow. "The higher your risks, the more you'll want to save."
  • Save enough for your unique retirement needs. This year the average senior can count on only $21,924 from Social Security, with the maximum benefit for those retiring in 2023 and claiming at age 70 being $54,660. Most people won't want to solely rely on Social Security for their retirement income. 

    Which means, if at all possible, you'll want to be saving money now. At a minimum, you should contribute enough to take full advantage of any employer match for a 401(k) or other employer plan. A match is essentially free money, and generally a 50% or 100% return on your  contributions. Then look to increase your savings over time, ideally at least annually or whenever you get a raise. "Many plans offer a feature to  automatically increase your contributions, making it easier than ever to boost your savings," said Dow.

    And if you're working but don't have access to an employer plan or have maxed out your contributions? You may be able to save in an IRA. For  2023, you can contribute up to $6,500 if you have taxable compensation, or $7,500 you’re age 50 or older. Although a Roth IRA has income limitations that may prevent you from contributing the full amount, a backdoor Roth strategy allows you to contribute to a Roth IRA even if you exceed those income limitations. A financial advisor can help determine if this strategy makes sense for you.
  • Pay down debt.  Start with high-interest, non-deductible debt. The most common form of this is credit card debt, but any high-interest debt is likely to cost you more in interest than you can expect to earn on your investments. Take a look at the "Minimum Payment Warning" box on your statement to see how paying extra can save you in interest payments, and significantly shorten how long it will take you to pay off your balance.

    Then you can focus on paying down other debt, starting with the highest after-tax interest rate. "Target a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 35% or  lower if you have a mortgage, and 20% or lower if you don't," said Dow. To calculate your DTI, divide your monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income.

Interestingly, the survey also found that those who said they used a financial advisor, instead of trying a do-it-yourself approach, were twice as likely to feel confident about their present and future financial situations. A trusted local advisor at Edward Jones can help you create a roadmap to work toward your own financial wellness.      


Keeping the Holidays Cozy and Bright

(NewsUSA) - Natural gas and electricity produced with natural gas are critical sources of energy throughout the year, but especially during the winter months when families need to keep their homes cozy and bright.

Households this winter are expected to use more natural gas because of slightly colder weather projections than last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. The fact that about half the homes in the United States use natural gas for heating highlights the importance of having dependable service.

Williams, which is one the largest natural gas infrastructure companies in the United States, is focused on reliably handling approximately 30 percent of the nation’s natural gas so it is there when consumers need it most.

Making this happen requires a sophisticated infrastructure network that spans the country as well as a dedicated workforce committed to working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep the gas flowing. That includes holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Nathan Thee is a senior pipeline controller for Williams in Tulsa, Okla. with more than 10 years of experience. He knows the critical nature of his job means his work shift fluctuates and can require sacrificing time with family on the holidays to perform his job alongside teammates.

Pipeline control is like air traffic control at an airport, except we’re directing gas in pipelines,” said Thee. “We’re in constant communication with processing plants and well operators, making sure gas flow is up and running from the well heads to the plants.”

As a controller, Thee typically monitors several pipelines remotely and directs assets where they need to be so there’s no service interruption to customers. Pipeline controllers are also coordinating with operations employees in the field around the clock with any necessary work or checks they need to ensure system reliability.

Natural gas is most often associated with home heating in the winter, but it is also used to generate most of the electricity used in the United States, according to EIA. Therefore, in the summer months when demand for electricity to run air conditioners increases so does demand for natural gas. To cushion these high-demand periods of winter and summer, the industry stores away huge quantities of natural gas every year. The most common way to store natural gas is in large caverns underground. It can also be stored in smaller quantities in tanks above ground.

The gas is injected into underground storage typically late in the spring or early in fall. These periods are known as the “shoulder months” when natural gas demand declines with the mild weather. Building up gas inventories during these times ensures there is enough supply on hand when the seasons change and demand returns.

As the world moves to a low-carbon future, Williams is well positioned to support the continued replacement of higher-emitting fuels such as coal and heating oil domestically and abroad. According to EIA projections, the displacement of emission-intensive coal with natural gas and renewable energy will allow the U.S. to continue reducing carbon dioxide emissions into 2035.

In addition, natural gas remains an indispensable partner in supporting society’s ambitions to add more renewable energy to the power grid. Natural gas ensures reliable power generation when intermittent wind and solar resources are unavailable. Concurrently, the ability of the U.S. to export liquefied natural gas will also provide other countries with the environmental benefits of replacing more carbon intensive energy sources.

Demand for clean energy is on the rise and natural gas is playing a critical role in moving the world to a low-carbon future. This winter as families depend on the warmth of their homes – and during every season of the year – Williams and its employees will be there to safely and reliably provide the natural gas that is used each day.

To learn more about the benefits of natural gas visit



Three Money-Saving Cell Phone Plans to Brighten Your Holidays

(NewsUSA) - Inflation got you worried money’s tighter than Santa’s belt?

If you’ve searched everywhere but the couch cushions for extra cash for gifts, switching to one of these no-contract wireless service providers could be just what you need to make the holidays merrier.

1.Total by Verizon

Total by Verizon

This is a great holiday choice to keep you living well on a Scrooge's budget.

Not only do you get access to what’s been rated as America’s most reliable 5G network – just think, no annoying lags while watching videos – but Total by Verizon plans start at just $30 and come with lots of perks.

For the best value, though, check out its $50 Unlimited plan. It includes 5G Nationwide, unlimited data, 10 GB of hotspot data, as well as unlimited talk & text to five countries of your choice and Disney+, the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

In other words, you’re getting uncompromising network quality, the latest smartphones and exceptional benefits all while beating the average American cell phone bill. Which, according to JD Power, is $70 per month for a single user.

Think of all that extra cash in your pocket as a much-deserved present to yourself.  

2. Straight Talk Wireless

Straight Talk Wireless

For the practical people on your list, Straight Talk stacks up as a smart, savvy choice.

For starters, Straight Talk offers great smartphones, including a Samsung Galaxy A13 5G, with no contracts or mystery fees at $99.99. Then there's the wide selection of amazingly priced service plans, including the $45 Silver Unlimited plan, which comes with unlimited talk, text and high-speed data – plus 5GB of hotspot data so they can save money while staying connected with loved ones.



Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, if you’re in the market for a quality phone with a simple, budget-friendly plan tailored for those who want what they need, when they need it, then it’s hard to beat Tracfone’s unlimited talk and text plans starting at just $15 a month.

Need data? The $30 Unlimited Talk & Text plan gives you 4GB of high-speed data. And $40 monthly gets you Unlimited Talk & Text plus 8GB of high-speed data with Hotspot capability and IDnotify from Experian. So no matter which plan you choose, if you don't use all your data it simply carries over to the next month.

Meaning, you’re in control and pay only for what you need. Period.

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