Financial Wellness @ Work

Author Archives: Linda Robertson

About Linda Robertson

CFP®, AFC, ChFC®, Masters in Financial Planning, CEBS

Linda Robertson is a Senior Resident Financial Planner at Financial Finesse. Linda has a keen ability to bring financial planning and workplace benefits planning together to help employees maximize their benefits.

Linda is a widely sought after public speaker specializing in workplace employee financial issues and writes a weekly blog on the subject.

Her background includes 18 years in the financial services industry with positions ranging from Banking to Tax Specialist to Financial Planner. She achieved the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 1999 and the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation in 2001.

Favorite Book: Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Fun Fact: Linda uses her vacation home down in Florida as her "landing pad" between her cross-country travels when the weather isn't nice in Philly.

Favorite Quote: Just Do It (Nike Slogan)

Your House Needs a Vacation Too

With summer coming to a close, have you planned your last vacation of the season?  As you pack your bags and finalize your itinerary, make sure to plan a holiday for your home as well. Specifically, give your home a rest regarding the electric use when you are away.  Here are four tips on how: Read more

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Should You Split Up With Your Spouse In Retirement?

Some couples could benefit from a split strategy in retirement but I don’t mean breaking up with your loved one.  The Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch blog recently highlighted a split strategy for couples when deciding on the best time to take Social Security benefits. One spouse (the lower income earner) takes benefits as early as possible, which is at age 62.  The other spouse would wait until age 70 to take their own benefit but at their full retirement age (66 to 67 – depending on your year of birth) would claim the spousal benefit based on the lower income earning spouse.  Read more

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Does Your Summer Include a Sales Tax Holiday?

I’m lucky to be only a 20 minute drive from the Delaware line, which is known for tax-free shopping all year long. Whenever I need to make a big purchase, I head out of Pennsylvania to avoid the 6% sales tax.  If you live in a state that has a high sales tax, you may not have that option.   Read more

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Getting the Best Value for Foreign Currency Exchange

As I walked through the airport a few weeks ago, the Travelex Currency Exchange booth caught my eye and gave me a great idea.  For a bon voyage for my stepson’s upcoming trip to Austria, I decided to get him some euros for pocket money so I checked out the rates. At the airport, 1 USD=0.6610 EUR but I wondered whether there might be an extra cost for the convenience of travelers getting euros at the airport.   Read more

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Traveling with Kids – 10 to Be Exact

My colleague, Rich, recently returned from a family road trip where he visited eight states from as far west as CO, as far south as NC, and as far north as upstate NY.  He and his family went to four Six Flags parks, three beaches, and three tourist sites and still had time for visiting family both immediate and extended. The amazing part: he did all this in 18 days…with 10 children and for less than $400 each!  Read more

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Would You Scream for Free Ice Cream?

As the saying goes, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”  This comes from lyrics from a 1925 song by the Waring’s Pennsylvanians, an American band.  With July being National Ice Cream month, you don’t even need to scream to get ice cream and in some cases, a cold scoop could even be free! If you are in Portland or New York City, be on the lookout for the Ben & Jerry’s CoreTour scoop truck this week, which is traveling the East and West coasts this summer giving away samples of their core flavors.   Read more

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Stay Off the Chex

I’m not warning you away from cereal, but from ChexSystems – a consumer reporting database used by 80% of financial institutions that determines whether you will be able to open a checking or savings account with a bank or credit union.  Any past banking issues within the last 5 years can appear on the report, including overdrafts, unsatisfied negative balances, fraudulent check deposits, or suspicious account activity. Unfortunately, low income individuals who are more susceptible to overdrawing their accounts are often barred from the traditional banking system and forced to use high cost check cashing options or pre-paid debit cards.   Read more

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Here’s a $2 Million Jackpot Worth Playing For

Would you like the thrill of gambling without the out-of-pocket cost?  Now you can combine the good habits of saving and paying down debt with the ability to win entries to prizes from SaveUp.com ranging from gift cards to the chance of winning the $2 million jackpot.  I learned about this prize-linked savings incentive by reading an article in the July issue of Kiplinger’s and signed up a few weeks ago to check it out.  So far, the only thing I have won is a 1 year subscription to Prevention Magazine, but it is fun and motivating to earn credits to play online card games to win prizes like a $5,000 savings deposit or your bills paid for a year.  Credits can also be used towards entries to the $2 million drawing, called the SaveUp Super Jackpot.  (Pick 6 numbers and the next jackpot numbers will be announced on August 1.) Read more

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What’s Your PDQ?

What is the risk to losing your most valuable resource – your ability to earn an income?  That’s what the Personal Disability Quotient (PDQ) calculates based on your own chance of becoming sick or injured for an extended period of time and missing work (and your paycheck).  The PDQ calculator, sponsored by the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), only took me a minute to complete and mine came up with a PDQ of 18%.  That means I have an 18% chance of becoming sick or injured and not being able to work for at least 3 months.  What was really scary to me is if I did become disabled for more than 3 months, there is a 43% chance that I’d be out of work for over 5 years, with the estimated average of 86 months for a long-term disability for someone like me.    Read more

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5 Tips Before Your Road Trip

With summer now here, is a road trip part of your vacation plans? AAA predicts almost 9 in 10 travelers will be driving to their destinations to kick off the summer driving season so don’t get caught on the side of the road as they pass you by. Adding insult to injury is the cost of roadside assistance, towing, car repair, a rental car, and possibly even lodging while your car is in the shop far away from home. Minimize the risk of a roadside breakdown by following these 5 tips: Read more

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