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Personal Finance Academy

Do you have a financial plan?   What about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs? Have you started to plan for retirement? Or maybe you wonder how to maximize your assets?  Financial planning can make your life and  retirement easier.

Personal Finance, a happy older couple
Personal Finance Academy
Do you have a financial plan? What about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs? Have you started to plan for retirement? Or maybe you wonder how to maximize your assets? Financial planning can make your life and retirement easier.

Personal Finance Academy Courses

Please note that the courses may vary by term, and not all courses are offered every term.

This course will address the major components of retiree health care: Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Long-Term Care. Health care costs typically rise at twice the inflation rate, so the course will also address ways to fund this expense through tax-advantaged plans. You will determine the cost of supplemental coverage, evaluate your ability to pay for health care not covered by federal or state programs, and be able to project your health care expenses. The target audience for this course are those who are newly retired and those who plan to retire within 10 years.

Learn to control your personal finances with spending, saving, paying loans and expenses, and earning money. You will learn when and how much you should be saving for specific goals. Topics include: banking, savings, credit loans/credit reports and insurance; protecting against financial scams and identify theft; setting financial goals; developing budgets; and creating a financial plan. You will also learn how to track your money and expenses.

Are you a Federal Government employee or retired from federal service? Do you understand the ins and outs of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)? In this course, you will learn about the differences in TSP investment funds, tax considerations, the Roth TSP option, short-term and long-term considerations, and withdrawal options. In addition, you will discuss required minimum distributions and the Life Annuity option. This course is only relevant to TSP participants or Federal employees considering participation.

This course will deliver a comprehensive examination of the investment tools required to take charge of your own investment portfolio, regardless of its size. Learn the pros and cons of investing in stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, REITs, convertibles, and mutual funds, and how to use asset allocation and diversification to reduce risk and increase return. Other topics include tax-deferred investments (401k, IRA) versus taxable investments, hedge funds, efficient market theory, indexing versus active management, minimizing taxes, market timing, and duration. Focus is on practical techniques that
you can use immediately to improve investment return.

Social Security is a cornerstone of retirement income for most Americans. Yet the nuances of how/when to receive benefits are often overlooked and can lead to missed opportunities. This course will address individual and couples’ benefits, special situations for widows and ex-spouses, reductions due to federal pensions, and taxation of benefits. The target audience for
this course are those who are newly retired and who plan to retire within 10 years.

American retirees are often the target of fraud. Learning how to invest safely can mean a big difference in your retirement years. In this course, you will discuss investment risk and fees, the common red flags of investment fraud, and
questions to ask before investing and choosing a financial professional. The talk will also cover how to plan for diminished financial capacity well before it happens. This course is presented by a representative from the Securities and Exchange
Learn about the many ways to save for retirement as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Discover how to save money on taxes, manage investment risks, and protect your assets from potential long-term health care expenses.
Fee includes a course workbook and study aids.
This course will provide students with tools to understand and evaluate stocks. In addition, this course will review multiple strategies for using stocks in a personal portfolio. Topics include: understanding U.S. and global economic cycles, how to evaluate a company’s financial health, and how to use stocks for personal finances
Whether you manage your own investments or someone manages them for you, it is important to understand the different types of investments. In this course, an experienced investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner explains advantages and disadvantages of different investments, risks, ways to own investments, asset allocation, tax considerations, historical
performance, and more. For instance, are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) better than mutual funds? TWA
Take a deep dive into personal estate planning. Learn about the real differences between wills and revocable trusts; why everyone always needs a power of attorney and health care directives; and what it really means to go through Maryland
probate (and how to avoid that if appropriate). Topics include the use (and misuse) of revocable living trusts, the pros, cons and dangers of joint ownership, the right way to make and receive gifts (and why there is a very wrong way), and the
impact of the Federal estate tax and Maryland’s two separate death taxes on your estate.