Introducing Collections: Financial Guidance at Life's Biggest Moment

October 28, 2021

Life's biggest moments are also accompanied by impactful financial decisions — that means complicated choices that can have implications for the rest of our lives. Every individual’s situation is different, and serving up a generalized article talking about the homebuying process or how to save for retirement won’t meet everyone’s needs. People need targeted financial guidance to make these key life decisions. 

At Chimney, we just released collections that allow our clients to publish a suite of calculators designed to provide answers for life’s major milestones. Take a look...

Buying a home (first-time homebuyer calculators)

According to the National Association of Realtors’ survey of homebuyers, first-time buyers who financed their home typically financed 93% of the purchase. Given that the median home price was $272,500, it’s not an exaggeration to say buying a home is a long-term, life-altering decision. 

In addition to making a giant financial decision that will potentially put them in debt for the next 30 years, first-time home shoppers also face a steep learning curve. There’s terminology to learn, steps in the application process to navigate, and lots of advice to filter through.

Buyers will turn to a variety of sources for financial guidance — including your site! You want to make sure that you are providing helpful content, as well as a way to help your customers crunch their unique numbers so they can understand if it’s a wise time for them to buy, how much house they can afford, and ultimately choose the home loan product that’s best for them.

Chimney'sHome Buyers Collection includes the following calculators:

  • Home Rent vs. Buy
  • Home Affordability
  • Mortgage
  • Loan Comparison

Owning a home (home equity calculators)

Did you know that as of the first quarter of 2021, the average homeowner gained approximately $33,400 in equity during the past year? Anyone who owns a home may have a potential financial lifeline available to them. And the more equity someone has, the better their position to borrow from that equity if needed.

With interest rates still hovering at historic lows, for some consumers, it may make sense to borrow from their home equity, whether it’s to pay off other high interest debt or to fund a home improvement project. Of course, putting one’s home on the line is not a decision to be made lightly. 

That’s why anyone considering a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is advised to think ahead to make sure they can handle paying back whatever they borrow. This is yet another scenario where abstract guidelines and generic advice just don’t cut it. People need to work out the raw numbers for themselves to understand what the real dollar-for-dollar savings would be if they consolidated their debt, if they have enough equity and meet the income requirements to qualify for a HELOC, and then what their repayment schedule would look like.

Chimney's Home Equity Collection includes the following calculators: 

  • HELOC Debt Consolidation
  • HELOC Calculator
  • HELOC Payment Calculator
  • Income Required for a Mortgage  

Shopping for a car (auto loan calculators)

Consumer auto loan debt reached a record high of $1.37 trillion in 2020, according to Experian data. Considering that young adults do a lot of the borrowing — and that auto loans are available to customers across the credit spectrum — making a smart auto loan and car-buying decision is important. 

Not only can auto loans impact monthly bills, but how one manages their accounts can set the tone for future borrowing opportunities.

For anyone in the market for a car, there are a few main options to consider, including leasing, paying cash, or financing a new or used car. Some people may also try to sell or trade in the vehicle they have when getting a new car, or might look to refinance existing auto loans for a more favorable rate and term.

The route one takes is a personal financial decision that can depend on a few factors. It’s another situation when providing your customers with interactive content to help them understand their different options can go a long way toward building trust and credibility with your brand.

Chimney's Car Shoppers Collection includes the following calculators: 

  • Auto Loan
  • Car Affordability
  • Auto Depreciation
  • Auto Refinance
  • Car Lease Vs. Buy

Saving for a goal (like a house or a vacation)

Most consumers would love to save money to achieve their dreams or splurge on something that brings them joy, but it’s hard. A Schwab report found that 59% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That can make saving up for a house down payment, for example, a huge challenge.

Even smaller goals like taking a vacation can require careful planning: The average amount that American travelers spend on vacation each year is about 3% of their annual pretax income, according to Fidelity. 

For someone who wants to commit to saving more and sticking to a budget, they may look online for guidance. Not just for ideas as to how to trim their spending, but to also set specific dollar goals each month, and then find products that can help their savings grow. By helping customers figure out how much to save, how long it will take them, and then highlighting the products (that you happen to offer!) that can help accelerate their timeline, you will be offering valuable information that will have a real-life impact.

Chimney's Growing Deposits Collection includes the following calculators:

  • Savings Goal Calculator
  • Savings Interest Calculator
  • Future Value Calculator
  • Certificate of Deposit (CD) Calculator

Financial education (topics like savings, budgeting, student loans, and saving for college) 

Just consider some of these stats:

To borrow a famous line: Life comes at you pretty fast. Whether it’s paying student loans and other bills for the first time, saving for a house, or seeding your future nest egg, these major life stages require financial literacy — and they aren’t the topics people necessarily think about until they are in the thick of it. So you want to be there for them when they are ready to do their research and get financially educated.

Give people the financial tools they need to figure out how to navigate whatever life stage they find themselves in.

Chimney's Financial Education Collection includes the following calculators:

  • Home Affordability Calculator
  • Savings Goal Calculator
  • Car Affordability Calculator
  • Future Value Calculator
  • Budget Calculator
  • College Savings Calculator
  • Retirement Nest Egg Calculator

Planning for your future (retirement and life insurance calculators)

With PwC reporting that just 36% of the US workforce thinks their retirement savings plan is on track, it’s no wonder why people start to go all-in on planning for their golden years as they get older.

But planning ahead also includes things like considering how much life insurance you need, or putting aside money for your children’s (or grandchildren’s) college education.  

For example, while the average 529 plan balance was $25,664 in June 2020, according to the College Savings Plans Network, it’s hardly enough to cover four years of college.

Supporting your audience with not just their immediate goals but also their future plans is the key to keeping them as long-term, loyal customers. One way to do this is to provide financial content and tools that help them plan ahead and add some long-term goals to their budget.

Chimney's Planning Ahead Collection includes the following calculators:

  • Retirement Nest Egg Calculator
  • Retirement Income Calculator
  • Retirement Savings Calculator
  • College Savings Calculator
  • Savings Goal Calculator
  • Life Insurance Calculator

Show up for your customers when they need you

These life moments (and more) are perfect examples of times when your target audience is looking for personalized financial guidance. Giving them a reason to turn to you for answers with easy-to-understand content and interactive recommendations will help you do more than meet their immediate needs — it will create a relationship where customers know they can trust you to help during their most important life moments. 

Ready to get started? Check out our financial calculator templates to see how you can start providing the digital guidance your customers are looking for today.

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