• Podcast,  Retirement Planning

    Face The Fear Podcast – Erin Martin, Retirement Plan Adviser, Take 2!

    In this episode, we welcome back Erin Martin, Retirement Plan Adviser at Phillips Financial to talk about 401(k)’s, retirement accounts, vesting and withdrawing money from your 401(k) and how that can impact your long term goals.

    Joining us in this episode is Nick Lucas and Nick Shoemaker, students at the University of St. Francis!

    Instagram: face.the.fear

    Facebook: facebook.com/FaceTheFearFW

    Twitter: @Face_The_Fear

    Website: www.facethefearfw.com

    Email: FaceTheFearFW@gmail.com

    Don’t forget to subscribe, leave a review and share!

    XOXO – Nicole and Kaitlyn

  • Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Guest: Jordan Bell – The Good People Podcast

    On this podcast episode we sit down with Jordan Bell from The Good People Podcast. We have a heart-to-heart about millennials, finances, life experiences and what Jordan’s podcast is all about. Join us for a fun conversation and get to know us a bit more! PS – Hi Jordan’s mom! 🙂 

    Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

    Face The Fear Website: https://www.facethefearfw.com

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    YouTube: Face The Fear

    Instagram: @Face.The.Fear

    Facebook: Facebook.com/FaceTheFearFW

    Twitter: @Face_The_Fear

    Link to Jordan’s Podcast:
    https://soundcloud.com/thegoodpeoplepodcast

  • Podcast,  Retirement Planning

    Face The Fear Podcast – Father’s Day Chat with Darrell and Allison Perry

    On this special Father’s Day episode, we chat with Darrell and Allison Perry, a father-daughter duo! We hear from Darrell, the father of Allison on how he raised his two kids, advice he has given them in regards to finances and how that influenced Allison so far in her life. You won’t want to miss what they have to say!

    And if you like us, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

    Face The Fear Website: https://www.facethefearfw.com

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Real Estate,  Videos

    First Time Home Buyer? What You NEED To Know!

    This week, the DeVisser Real Estate Group is our special guest on Face The Fear! Brendin DeVisser, a Millennial real estate agent, answers some of your most common questions about the home-buying process. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and leave a comment! The DeVisser Group with Five Star Lakeshore is a hardworking team of real estate agents in West Michigan who work hard to inform and educate people on the home buying process, especially when it’s their first time buying a home! From credit scores to pre-approval, we can help you better understand these big transactions that can change your life. With helpful guidance and preparation, you’re on your way to owning your own property! If you have any questions, you can find us on social media (links below) or give us a call!

    DeVisser Group:

    Website: http://brendin.seewestmichiganhomes.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brendinfives…

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bd5starreal…

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdevissfivestar?l…

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendin-d…

    Snapchat: @bdvrealestate

  • Real Estate

    First Time Home Buyer? What You NEED To Know!

    Feel free to watch the video here!

    Hey guys! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Brendin DeVisser, a real estate agent in West Michigan! I’m 25 and I’m the founder of The DeVisser Group with Five Star Lakeshore which consists of other real estate agents and my marketer.

    My goal here is to quickly and simply, help you through the process of buying your first home! I know it can sound intimidating and stressful, however, if you surround yourself with professionals you can trust, that stress and intimidation will disappear

    I was 19 when I first invested in real estate. Crazy right? Was I scared? Nah. I’m a big tough man and I can handle all this stressful money stuff. I’m kidding. Of course, I was scared!I was putting a lot of money into something that would eventually be mine, but right now felt like it was burning a hole in my wallet. However, with the right guidance from experts I trusted, I was able to purchase a duplex, rent it out and start paying it off. 

    You’re buying your first home, or you’re thinking about it. Well, now is the time to do it! The real estate market is still hot but it won’t be forever. Interest rates will rise and so will the prices of homes. 

    So, where do you start? 

    You contact someone like us. A real estate team you can trust to guide you and prepare you for what is ahead. If they’re anything like us, they will be there to answer any questions you have, anytime. You want to prevent as many conflicts from arising as possible and that is the agent’s job. 

    They can refer you to a bank or lender they rely on to check your credit score to see if you’re capable of getting a loan and eventually approval to buy a home. 

    What’s a credit score?

    Ahh, the dreaded credit score. If you’re afraid of it, it’s for one of three reasons.

    1. You don’t know what it is, therefore you’re afraid of the unknown. 
    2. You don’t have one.
    3. You have a bad one.

     First of all, what is a credit score?

    Simply put, a credit score is something you receive and earn by making a payment on time and for a period of time. (Examples: Phone, car, rent etc.)

    Secondly, how do I improve my credit score?

    • Increase your points by paying in full and on time
    • 850 is a perfect score 
    • Earning a perfect score gives you the best possible interest rate for purchasing your home 
    • Accomplishing this proves to a lender/bank you’re responsible
    • If you have zero credit it will be very difficult in most instances to get an approved loan for a home
    • This process is similar to a car loan if you’ve had one, but we are generally talking a bigger loan, which means more requirements. 
    • Consistent payments for at least 6 months is what lenders are looking for

    Keeping this up and being responsible with your money and payments will offer an easier time buying a home later on.

    Do you have to be Pre-Approved to buy a home?

    Yes, unless you’re paying in cash. 

    The preapproval letter tells us you are ready to buy a home

    To Rent or to Buy? 

    This is the question I get all the time.

    If you plan on staying where you are for a short period of time, renting could be your best option. However, if you plan on settling down in the area for several years, investing in a home, in my opinion, is the best way to go. Then you can add equity (or real property value) instead of paying rent for something you don’t (and won’t) own.

     It’s different for everyone, so make sure you’re talking to a professional you trust to figure out what’s best for you and your situation!

    Some Challenges I Ran Into Buying My First Home

    As I mentioned before, I was 19 when I first bought my duplex. I was taught to use cash for everything so, if you were paying attention, you know what that means. My credit score was NOT perfect, which made it difficult to take out a loan and buy my first home. Learn from my uneducated 19-year-old self and start working on that credit score! Find people you trust and search for a worthy investment!

    These simple steps are crucial as a first time home buyer! I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions feel free to contact us. You can find us on almost every social media platform to learn more about real estate.

    Article Contributed By: Brendin DeVisser

    DeVisser Group:
    Website: http://brendin.seewestmichiganhomes.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brendinfivestarealestate/?ref=settings
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bd5starrealtor/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdevissfivestar?lang=en
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendin-devisser-877a09118/
    Snapchat: @bdvrealestate

  • Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Randy Kitzmiller, Social Security

    In this episode, we sit down with Randy Kitzmiller, Social Security Advisor and Retirement Income Consultant, to discuss the basics of Social Security: what it is, how it works, and how it may change in the future. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s not going away! *Phew*) Join us as we dive into Social Security and how it will affect Millennials’ retirement in the future.

    Here are the links Randy mentioned in the podcast:

    Social Security Website: https://www.ssa.gov

    National Social Security Advisers Website: https://www.nationalsocialsecurityassociation.comFace The Fear Website: https://www.facethefearfw.com

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

  • The Market: 101

    Drop It Dow Low: What is the Dow Jones?

    You may (or may not) have heard that the Dow Jones has been dropping it like it’s hot lately, dipping 1,150 points just last week. World events and uncertain economic conditions can result in market volatility — when the stock market changes moods faster than your teenage sister. But, what exactly is the Dow Jones? And why has it been making major money moves recently?

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a stock market index that includes 30 large, U.S. publicly-traded companies and acts as a thermometer, testing the overall health of the U.S. marketplace. Sounds a lot like the S&P 500 index, right? 

    Here are several key differences between the S&P 500 and the DJIA:

    S&P 500Dow Jones (DJIA)
    Founded in 1957Founded in 1896
    500 of the largest U.S.-based publicly-traded companies across all industries 30 of the largest U.S.-based publicly-traded companies across all industries (originated with just 12 companies solely in the industrial sector)
    Companies selected by S&P Committee (owned by McGraw Hill Financial)Companies selected by Dow Jones & Co. Averages Committee
    Companies selected based upon specific qualification criteria No defined criteria for how a company is selected — generally, must be a large leader in their industry
    Stocks within the index are weighted by market capitalization (market cap = # of outstanding shares x market price)Stocks within the index are price-weighted (the higher the stock’s market price, the more influence it will have on the index’s performance)
    Often considered the “single best indicator” of stock market performance, because of its broad and diverse collection of companies across all industriesMost well-known stock market index. But, because if its exclusivity (only represents 30 of over 3,000 US public companies), it is more an indicator of blue-chip stocks than the market overall

    OK, now that we’ve got a grasp on what the Dow Jones Index is, let’s talk about why it’s been dropping faster than your bank account after a trip to Target.

    The stock market can be affected by many factors, such as political changes, natural disasters, inflation, interest and exchange rates, and unexpected world events — just to name a few. Most recently, when the Dow Jones stumbled and fell by 4 percent in early October, it was likely due to sipping a cocktail of rising Treasury yields, the increased Federal Funds rate, and the China-U.S. trade war. Just like how you get a little wobbly after drinking one too many cocktails, the stock market also gets shaky (see: volatile) when too many uncertain events are mixed together at the same time. The stock market: it’s just like us.

    But, not to fear. Similarly to how you will drink lots of water, take an Advil, and eat greasy food to bounce back after a night out, the stock market bounces back, too. Usually, the severity of the market fall will determine how long it will take to rebound. Small corrections can be overcome in just a few days, whereas a full-blown financial crisis may take years to recover from (think: the 2008 Great Recession).

    To recap: the Dow Jones is the most well-known market index, comprised of only 30 companies across various industries, and is used to evaluate general trends in the stock market. Recently, the Dow Jones took a big tumble due to a woozy cocktail of world events and interest rate changes. But, don’t worry. Analysts remind us that the market often panics over everything and can sometimes be a bit overdramatic…#Relatable. So, for now, be prepared to ride the roller coaster of market volatility, because over the long-term, the market always trends upward. Ask Warren Buffett.

    Congratulations! You now know what the Dow Jones is and why it’s been in the headlines lately. But, this article was not meant to be an in-depth analysis of the Dow Jones (because ain’t nobody got time for dat). If you’d like to dig in a little deeper to the topics covered above, feel free to click on any of the hyperlinks (including that one) to become a Dow Jones expert. You’re welcome.

    Written By: Kaitlyn Duchien (@ktaylor1395)

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • The Market: 101

    Taking Stock: What is the S&P 500?

    Standard and Poor: Is this the title of my autobiography? Or a stock market index? Honestly, both.

    The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 is a stock market index consisting of 500 of the largest publicly-traded U.S. companies, measured by market capitalization. In other words, the S&P 500 is a exclusive group of 500 hot-shot companies that–as a whole–provide a glimpse at how the U.S. economy is doing overall.

    In order to enter the exclusive S&P 500 club, companies need to meet some pretty intense qualifications. Just to name a few, the company must have:

    • Headquarters in the United States
    • A market cap of $5.3 billion or more (market cap = $ of shares x # of shares outstanding)
    • Positive earnings in the last 4 most recent quarters
    • Actively trading at a reasonable price, with the majority of its shares held by investors (instead of sitting on a shelf waiting to be sold)

    But, even after meeting all of these requirements (and then some), a company is still not guaranteed to be included in the S&P 500 index. Think of the S&P 500 like Regina George and The Plastics — they’re rich, famous, and everybody wants to be in their group.

    OK, so now that you know what the S&P 500 is, why does it matter to you? Well, think of it this way. When you go on Amazon to buy literally anything, the first thing you do is check the reviews on the product to make sure it’s a reasonable investment, right? You want to poll the masses to see what the general public has to say first, preventing you from spending your hard-earned money on a sketchy product that takes six months to be delivered and, when it arrives, might not even be “as pictured.” Overall, the more five-star reviews the product has, the better.

    The S&P 500 is similar in the sense that it provides the public a simple gauge to understand how the stock market is performing overall, which will help us guide our investment decisions. This is also why the S&P 500 is a popular index to invest in through mutual funds and other sources, as it pools some of the largest companies across the U.S. into one collective group, rather than investing into each individual company separately. It’s the same reason why you would probably buy a TV on Amazon with 5,000 4.5-star reviews, rather than a TV with only one five-star review. Crowd-sourcing (on Amazon) and diversification (in your investment portfolio) makes all the difference, people.


    Congratulations, you now know what the S&P 500 is and why it matters to you! But, this article was not meant to be an in-depth analysis of the S&P 500 (because ain’t nobody got time for dat). If you’d like to dig in a little deeper to the topics covered above, feel free to click on any of the hyperlinks (including that one) to become an S&P expert. You’re welcome.

    Written By: Kaitlyn Duchien (@ktaylor1395)

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Insurance

    Why Buy Life Insurance?

    As a millennial, life insurance is likely not high on a list of financial priorities. With rent, student loan payments, and other essentials, life insurance premiums can seem like an unnecessary expense. When you’re young and healthy (read: invincible), what’s the benefit of life insurance?

    I had these same objections just a few months ago. But then I learned more about the benefits, and I bought my first personal life insurance policy.

    Here are a few reasons why:

    • The cheapest time to buy life insurance was yesterday

    Life insurance gets more expensive every year, so why not buy it as cheap as possible? For a 25 year old male in good health, the premium could be as low as $18 a month! This policy would provide a tax-free $100,000 death benefit to your designated beneficiary if you die any time in the 20 year policy period.[1]

    • Buying now secures your insurability for life

    Let’s say you buy that 20 year term policy. If in 10 years you develop a significant health problem that could prevent you from buying more life insurance in the future, you are still protected. Even if you couldn’t buy life insurance because of your health impairment, if you currently hold a term policy, you can convert it into a permanent one, albeit for a higher premium, and keep it for life.

    • It’s not for you – it’s for your loved ones

    The main reason most people buy life insurance is to provide their family with tax-free money in the event of an untimely death. But what if you’re single and have no kids? Well, there are still plenty of people affected by your death! Your funeral expenses need covered, which can be $10,000 or more. Also, any co-signers on a loan you have may still have to pay that loan if you die. That $100,000 policy protects your family members. And remember, if you get married and have kids, but become uninsurable, you can convert the term policy into a permanent one.

    Life insurance when you’re young is inexpensive and has long-lasting benefits. It protects your insurability in the event of future health problems, and protects your family in the event of a premature death.

    Still not convinced? Or do you have other personal finance questions? Let’s talk! Face The Fear is here to help millennials make smart financial decisions that fit their lifestyle. Contact us at: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    [1] Protective Classic Choice Term, Male, Indiana, Age 25, $100,000, 20 year term

    Article Contributed By: Xavier Serrani

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Videos

    Welcome to Face the Fear!

    Hi Friends! Nicole Ellsworth and Kaitlyn Duchien here. We are two motivated millennials facing the fear of our financial futures. Join us on the journey, as we dive into topics such as investing, retirement planning, life insurance, budgeting, and so much more.

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5PcXSzVvR9KZKWm4Ihh3pg

    Instagram: @Face.The.Fear

    Twitter: @Face_The_Fear

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaceTheFearFW/

    Podcast: Face the Fear (on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher)