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Financial Fitness

Posted On May 4, 2022

By Warren McInnis Hughes


With inflation, consumers are paying more attention to financial decisions. If you want to buy a house, plan for future needs or make a major purchase, you could find yourself adrift without the right assistance.

Although interest rates have risen, it is still a seller’s market, so it’s essential to work with an experienced realtor. Other consumers may be wondering how inflation affects their financial planning. There are still asset categories that historically have done well in times of inflation, so seek sound advice.

It’s never too early to think about college tuition. Colleges and universities face the same inflationary pressures as other sectors. Preplanning for life events is prudent at any stage, whether it be for the birth of a child, savings for tuition or inevitable funeral expenses.


Abacus Planning Group

Since opening in 1998, Abacus Planning Group Founder Cheryl Holland has kept the firm’s focus on always putting client interests first. Although she chose an ancient accounting device for the company’s name, the firm is constantly looking for what’s new, innovative and effective. As a result, the financial advisory firm has created a unique culture centered on listening, mastery, and embracing change.

Today, this fee-only firm manages $1.7 billion in assets with a team of certified financial planners and charter financial analysts. The team takes pride in being the financial advisory firm chosen by entrepreneurial families with shared assets. Clients typically own businesses, commercial real estate, timber, intellectual property, or oil and gas properties.

The Abacus team provides clients with peace of mind by creating a financial plan through a series of meetings from goal setting to retirement planning to estate planning that meets client’s goals with a focus on completing the various tasks that clients find burdensome.

The Abacus team cherishes the life stories of its clients, hearing about their pasts, what’s important to them and where they’re headed. They appreciate that every personal path is unique, embracing the belief that active listening is a perfect of example of a human-advisor skill that can never be coded into even the most sophisticated financial planning software. Client interests remain paramount whether recommending an investment, evaluating an insurance policy, or funding a charitable program.


The Downing Group

Under the leadership of Brent Downing, The Downing Group at Keller Williams Columbia has been the top selling real estate team in the Midlands for the past ten consecutive years, while boasting the most on-line five-star reviews of any team in South Carolina.

This stellar record has been achieved through first, being a fiduciary for the clients and putting their clients’ needs above all else and secondly, through a proven, successful and innovative marketing strategy. Making client trust its top priority, The Downing Group works to ensure all available marketing resources are utilized to make listed properties easily visible and accessible in their best light and that all offers are skillfully negotiated on behalf of their clients.

These days, so much goes into selling a home for top dollar in the Midlands, Downing says. Amid a strong but fluctuating market, competition is at an all-time high for some price points with the right promotion marketing being more important than ever.

A custom marketing plan for each property ensures each home is in front of the most relevant buyers at the best price point, in its best light. In today’s world, The Downing Group believes digital exposure is critical, so listings are shared on more than 500 third-party websites immediately, advertised thoroughly on social media channels and because The Downing Group works with hundreds of buyers at any given time, they leverage their number one market share to ensure the most buyers see their listings to increase the chances of getting the best offer for their seller clients.

The Downing Group serves the entire Midlands and leads the market in all price points and areas including on and around Lake Murray, luxury, starter homes and investment properties. With its partnership with the largest real estate franchise, Keller Williams, The Downing Group has a strong competitive advantage with highly- trained, hardworking agents and a nationwide referral network.


Thompson Funeral Homes

Thompson Funeral Homes provide caring support to families through the most difficult days of their lives. With unique funeral options, families may choose among a variety of ways to celebrate a loved one.

Professional staff are always available when services are needed, although pre-planning is encouraged. When you leave planning to others, they must guess what you would have wanted. Planning ahead ensures your legacy is in your hands. When the time comes, loved ones will have peace knowing your funeral perfectly honors you because you made every decision. Organizing your funeral in advance means you are also able to secure a prepayment plan that works with your budget, protecting your family from unforeseen financial costs. A prearrangement plan also spares your family from making large financial and emotional decisions while grieving a loss.

For six consecutive years, Thompson has been voted “Best in Columbia” among funeral homes for the Greater Columbia area in Columbia Living Magazine. Whether a traditional setting in a church or its memorial chapel, a non-traditional venue in a home or an outdoor setting, Thompson accommodates the wants and needs of families with affordable, customized options.

The history of Thompson Funeral Home dates to 1928 when established by J.R. "Buddy" Thompson. In 1935, Thompson completed the first building in the area built strictly for the use as a funeral home at 200 State St. in West Columbia. In 1998, Thompson opened at Greenlawn Memorial Park Funeral. In 1999, a second location was established at 4720 Augusta Rd. in Lexington. In 2013, Greenlawn Memorial Park and Thompson Funeral Homes merged to create Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park. With a pledge to provide excellent service for families, Thompson professional staff members have well over a century of experience in caring for families. »

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