The end of the year is a good time to hit the reset button in general. This includes taking stock of your financial picture, regardless of where you stand at the moment. And, in fact, if you’re feeling uncertain or worried about your financial picture, this step becomes even more important. Think of year-end as a time to step back, reflect, and reassess where you are financially – to take in the bigger picture – so you can make thoughtful, confident decisions about how to move forward in the coming year.

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I have had several clients tell me that their previous advisers told them to “just trust me.” I don’t think that is an appropriate response when a client has a question. Your adviser should never dismiss your concerns.

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Many people deal with financial stress a lot like they deal with their health; that is, they ignore it for as long as possible and hope it works itself out. Even individuals who know what they should do are often unable to overcome the barriers that keep them from taking action.

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It’s difficult to think about saving money for emergencies, the future, and retirement when you’re holding a large amount of student debt and living paycheck to paycheck, but that’s no excuse for not saving. Start now. That should be the mantra of all 20somethings when it comes to saving for the future.

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We must continue to work collectively toward systemic change that addresses the gender pay gap, but every woman must also take individual action to protect her own financial health and that of her family. To women who want to start building a more secure future despite the gender pay gap, I recommend the following steps.

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