Richard Ropelewski

7 Ways to Handle A Windfall

Growing up, my friends and I often attended the horse races. One afternoon, I hit an exacta and won $150 – a fortune for me at the time. I bought dinner for my friends with my windfall.

February 2019 Small Business Optimism


Small business optimism stopped its recent decline in February 2019 according to the National Federation of Independent Business.  This index of 10 components rose 0.5 percentage point to 101.7 after falling for five consecutive months.  This mild uptick is a welcome reprieve from the recent trend.


Are Headlines Real…or are they Something Else?

Delivering clarity in a world of overwhelming and confusing information is one of the most important things Charter Oak provides its clients.

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What gifting strategies are available to me?

There are a number of different gifting strategies available for planned giving. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Health Insurance in Retirement

At any age, health care is a priority. When you retire, however, you will probably focus more on health care than ever before. Staying healthy is your goal, and this can mean more visits to the doctor for preventive tests and routine checkups. There's also a chance that your health will decline as you grow older, increasing your need for costly prescription drugs or medical treatments.

Out Of This World Stats

By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA

When I was younger, everyone thought I was going to be an engineer. It didn’t seem entirely out of character back then, as I was (and still am) fascinated with how things work. While other children were reading the Hardy Boys, I was reading books about how planes fly and how cars are built. Even today, it’s not uncommon for me to get sucked into many of the Smithsonian or Discovery Channel shows that go into a painful amount of detail about engineering marvels or mega machines. In fact, this very topic came up in the latest episode of one of my favorite shows (Amazon’s ‘The Grand Tour’ – formerly BBC’s ‘Top Gear’) where one of the show’s hosts was talking about the evolution of automotive technology and how it has advanced since the construction of the Saturn V rocket (yes, the one that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon). It’s a scary thought, but the engine management system on the Ford Fiesta has 10,000 times the computing power of the great Saturn IV, the most complex machine ever built. Try to comprehend that for a minute.

Be Prepared For an Emergency by Maintaining Financial Flexibility

Hospital bills, divorce, car repair, how do we address items when they come to us as a financial surprise? When we don’t anticipate certain financial events happening, can you plan for that in advance? The answer is yes, to a certain extent.


Financial Missteps

Personal finance, like just about everything else, is mainly common sense. Advice like “don’t spend more than you make; start investing while you’re young; don’t loan money to friends with the expectation of getting it back,” have been around for generations, and most likely will survive the next few generations as well.

Eight Ways to Improve and Maintain a Good Credit Score

Whether you like it or not, your credit score can determine how easy or how difficult it is to buy a car, buy a house, get cell phone service, or even get a job.  A bad credit score can negatively impact just about every area of your life. Sometimes, a bad credit score can result from events entirely out of your control such as illness, disability, or from the loss of a job.

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