Mindy Charski is a business journalist, content writer, and ghostwriter currently covering marketing, adtech/martech, personal finance, and small business.
6 ways community banks can build a better onboarding experience
The first few weeks of an employee starting a new job are pivotal in terms of how they’ll connect to their new company and their role. I spoke with community bankers about how they have perfected their onboarding processes.
Universal life insurance vs. whole life insurance: Which is right for you?
Life insurance is designed to provide that financial security for your loved ones after your death. However, types of permanent life insurance also have a bonus: the opportunity to build savings over time that you can use during your lifetime. Two popular permanent life insurance options include universal life insurance and whole life insurance. Comparing the two can help you discover the best option for you.
Market your community bank with first-party data
Customer data fuels efficient and effective marketing these days. Community banks own an enviable amount of data, but not all are leveraging it to its fullest extent. I delve into why that is and how banks can begin to implement a first-party data strategy in this story for Independent Banker.
How the SECURE Act 2.0 affects small businesses
American workers and their families gained new retirement savings opportunities when the SECURE Act 2.0 was signed into law in late 2022. The legislation affects small businesses as well, providing new tools and incentives to benefit both employers and employees. This story shares some key provisions that small business owners should know about.
Considering a Roth 401(k)? Here's what you need to know
A Roth 401(k) can help you work toward your retirement savings goals, but it has a different kind of tax advantage than a traditional 401(k). A Roth 401(k) shares its tax advantage with its older cousin from the other side of the family tree, the Roth individual retirement account (IRA).
These accounts play well together—you can use all three to grow your nest egg. First, though, you should explore the ins and outs of a Roth 401(k) and understand how it differs from other retirement plans.
Tips for Buying a New Car in Today's Market
Buying a new vehicle today takes resourcefulness, patience and flexibility. Healthy doses of luck and digital savvy go a long way, too. If you haven't shopped for a vehicle recently, there are some things you should know to prepare for the topsy-turvy road ahead.
MDIs and CDFIs bolster minority-owned businesses
Many community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs) received an influx of capital from the Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP). My piece explores how three community banks are putting the money to good use.
Estate tax planning: Tips to help you pass on your wealth
There's more to estate management than simply swapping the names on your bank accounts. Your estate could owe taxes on property that transfers when you die, which would reduce the total value of the assets available to your beneficiaries.
You can minimize the impact of these "death taxes" through thoughtful estate tax planning. The first step is understanding the nuances of how taxes fit into wealth transfer strategies to use them to your advantage, whether upon your death or during your lifetime.
Here are seven things you should know to help you strategize your estate tax planning.
Clear Mountain Bank reaches new heights
Clear Mountain Bank is embracing flexibility, innovation and collaboration as it continues its ascent as a small-business connector in West Virginia.
Do I need a will? How it works & what to consider
If you're an adult who owns anything, even if you have minimal assets and no children, you need a will. It's even more important if you have a family. The good news is that creating a will doesn't need to be complicated, and you can always make updates as your circumstances change.
Think of your will as a gift to yourself and the people you care about.
The Future of Workplace Flexibility
An evolution in employee expectations is challenging community banks to figure out how to balance new methods of working while maintaining the personal touch and local knowledge that help them win and keep customers.
How inflation and interest rates are related: A simple explanation
At this point, you likely know inflation has been hitting historic highs worldwide. In the U.S., a gauge known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicates that consumer prices rose 9.1% from June 2021 to June 2022 —the largest 12-month increase in 40 years.
And it's not just inflation that's increased—both inflation and interest rates have moved sharply higher, which is no coincidence.
How much Social Security does a divorced spouse get?
Retirement funds may be particularly top of mind if you're going through a divorce in your later years. You may wonder if you're eligible to collect Social Security based on your ex-spouse's record—and, if so, how much you're entitled to.
How inflation works and what causes it
Inflation is the rate of change in the prices of many goods and services over time. That rate has hit historic highs over the past year: You likely experience the pinch of inflation every time you make a purchase these days, but this headache-inducing phenomenon still may feel unfamiliar to you. After all, inflation in the U.S. economy has generally been low for the past 30 years.
As prices skyrocket, it's worth understanding how inflation works and how to tame it.
How do ETFs work?
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may sound like intimidating investment instruments, but at their core, they're diversified portfolios, like mutual funds, that are easily traded, like stocks. But how do ETFs work exactly, and could they be a good addition to your taxable, tax-deferred or tax-free accounts? Read on to learn more about these increasingly popular securities.