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Financial Fitness Blog

Looking for a last minute gift for that special kid?

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Brenda EcheverriaWhy not open up a 529 college savings account on a child's behalf for a meaningful holiday gift?

A 529 is a tax-advantaged savings plan offered by a state that makes it easier to save for college or other post-secondary education. Wisconsin’s plan is called Edvest. If you enroll before December 31 this year, you can take advantage of the Wisconsin state tax deadline.

Although contributions are not deductible on your federal tax return, any investment earnings can grow tax-deferred, and distributions to pay for the beneficiary’s college costs come out federally tax-free. If you're a Wisconsin resident, contributions reduce Wisconsin taxable income up to a maximum of $3,100 per year, per beneficiary for each tax year. Contributions to Edvest may also reduce the taxable value of your estate. See the "Tax Advantages" section at EdVest for more information.

To make gifting really easy, you can purchase an Edvest “Gift of College” gift card. You can choose to have a physical card delivered or get an instant link sent via text or email. There is no expiration date for redeeming the funds. Learn more about giving the gift of education at

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

Does your home policy offer this kind of protection?

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Mark DannehlThis summer we announced that our enhanced home insurance policy offers you and your family more protection than ever before. If you haven't checked it out yet, you might have missed a few policy highlights you may be interested in.

  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost
    If your home was built in 1950 or later, we will pay the full cost to repair or replace your home with materials of like kind and quality without the limits imposed by most other insurers.
  • Extended Replacement Cost
    For homes built before 1950, this coverage allows for up to 125% of the dwelling limit on your policy. (Certain restrictions may apply.) 
  • Loss on School Premises
    $2,000 coverage for loss of personal property at school—regardless of cause. No deductible!
  • Loss of Prep Materials
    $500 coverage for stolen or damaged prep materials for classroom-related activities. No deductible!

Call 1-800-279-4010 or get your insurance questions answered by scheduling a personal consultation.

Or, if you'd like a home insurance quote, visit

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant

New resource for young educators

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Eric SchwartzIf you’re a recent grad or young educator (or you know someone who is), you may be feeling overwhelmed by new responsibilities and financial obligations. The good news: Member Benefits can help you lessen your anxiety and gain more financial confidence.

Take advantage of our new online resource, Educator’s Guide: 10 Money-Saving Tips New Teachers Want to Know.

It can be difficult to juggle rent, utilities, transportation, student loan payments, food, and every once in a while...a night out with friends. Our eBook can help you find some balance.

  • Get smart with helpful financial tips and surprising facts.
  • Find free resources you can use right away to help you plan and learn.
  • Read about real life financial challenges and solutions from other young teachers.

Download the guide at

Eric Schwartz, Financial Planning Specialist