What Blackjack Will Teach You About Retirement

sponsored by Midland National You have made it to Las Vegas and settled into your favorite hotel.   After a few quality minutes of checking out your luxurious room, you decide it’s time to hit the main gambling floor.  Choices, choices.  You walk by the sports book, past the slots, the screaming at the craps table, and you wind up sitting down to play your favorite game – blackjack.   So, what in the world can playing blackjack teach you about your retirement? More importantly, HOW can blackjack teach you one of the most valuable lessons about protecting your retirement assets? Blackjack is an interesting game.  It’s part strategy and part social chatting depending on whether the dealer is giving you a run of easy cards to play or a set of more difficult choices depending on what the dealer doles you out.   In a perfect world, you would be getting blackjack after blackjack (or 21 after 21), but in reality you’ll ...

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Five Biggest Mistakes Families Make with Life Insurance

sponsored by Midland National The month of September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.  While it’s still a few months away, it’s not too early to start protecting yourself today. Most families are getting tons of information thrown at them around the topic of investing, far too often I see families make major mistakes when it comes to life insurance.   I had a widow come to see me just a few months ago when her husband had a tragic accident.   He left her with three young children and a $500,000 insurance policy.   With hardly any other saved money, she was left bewildered on how she would be able to make her bills, pay for her kids’ college education, and then also take care of her retirement.   While $500,000 seemed like a lot money at the time they applied for the insurance, in reality it was barely enough to get by given all of the family goals.  Here are the five biggest ...

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How To Get That College Graduate Out Of The House

Now that your baby is all grown up and has an official college degree, your responsibilities have ended, right?  Wrong!  Your son or daughter has informed you that that they will be moving home after college while they prepare themselves for their next phase in life. According to The Guardian, almost a third of Italian adults (31%) live with their parents.  The highest proportion was amongst 18 to 29 year olds for whom unemployment is particularly high with 60.7% reported living at home.  Are we taking over the Italians?   Last year, NPR reported that a whopping 32.1% of kids aged 18 to 34 were living at home with Mom and Dad. Here are four tips to get that college graduate off the couch and launching into real life. Use Social Media…Yes, Social Media – In order to get your college graduate up and working in a real job, you have to make them treat getting a job like a job. ...

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What Does It Mean To Have “Conditional Receipt” When You Apply For Life Insurance?

sponsored by Midland National It’s never fun having a discussion as a family or with a financial professional to figure out how much life insurance you need.   Most people dread this conversation as much as going to buy a new car because you are going to always feel like the insurance agents are ready to pounce on making a sale.  As long as I’ve been doing this, I have still yet to hear a surviving spouse tell me that they bought too much life insurance. In many married couples, it is still usually one spouse who drives the conversation about how much life insurance the family needs.  Usually it is the major breadwinner of the family.   Recently, I heard yet again another sad story from a surviving spouse whose husband passed away way before his time.  When I learned a little more about the situation, she revealed that he had been approved for a large sum of life insurance a ...

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7 Tricks You Still Fall For At The Grocery Store

Grocery stores have turned into much more than grocery stores today.   They don’t just sell us frozen foods, vegetables, meats, and bread, but today they have become a virtual cornucopia of products and services that range across many different spectrums.  However, at their core, grocery stores aren’t much different than taking a trip to the Wynn in Las Vegas.  They are there to separate you from your money.  As I try to look out for you as a consumer, I thought I would give you the seven best tricks I see grocery stores employ today and how you can become a smarter shopper at the store. Dairy Is In The Back – You might think the reason that dairy products are the last thing you buy in a grocery store is because you don’t want them to get too warm before you check out, but the reality is that dairy is typically in the back or the last aisle because ...

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When You Realize The Best Things In Life Are Free

Sometimes, people will make fun of me for driving a car with 204,000 miles of wear and tear on it.    There isn’t a month that goes by that someone doesn’t ask me, “Ted, when are you going to get a new car?”  On top it, I’m not the kind of person who buys myself much anymore.  I don’t spend a lot money on clothes, I don’t have an expensive hobby, and I don’t even wear a watch anymore.   You’d think I was bunkering up for a financial Armageddon, but in reality a few years ago I realized that no matter how much money you make the best things in life are free. Growing up as a child, we would have NEVER even thought about going to a four star hotel.  Now, for most families it isn’t even about taking a vacation.  It’s about the style points associated with the vacation.   “Hey, have you gone to the Ritz Carlton in …..?” ...

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Five Great Technology Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is tomorrow and word on the street is that spending is up this year…bigger than ever. The National Retail Federation estimated that consumers will spend 23.6 billion dollars on Mom this year in 2017, so who says people aren’t shelling out their wallets for Mom. If you are counting that is an average of $186.39 per consumer which is an 6% increase from 2016. Moms work hard and they are entitled to a show of appreciation on their special day. Most consumers will acknowledge that appreciation with a greeting card (77.9%%), though it appears her loved ones will also look for special gifts. Two-thirds (68.5%) of those celebrating will buy mom her favorite flowers, spending a total of $2.6 billion, and 37% percent will look for spring sweaters and blouses, spending a total of $2.1 billion on apparel and accessory items. Mom’s loved ones will also buy 2 billion dollars of consumer electronics this year, so you should ...

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How To Make Money From Your Old Cell Phones?

There is a small green wicker basket that sits in one of our drawers at home.  It doesn’t really do anything at all except store cords, chargers, and phones.   This basket has become a bit nostalgic because in just the last five to ten years, it almost acts like a mobile phone historic museum on how the smart phone has evolved.   It’s funny seeing something like a Blackberry that was so modern 10 years ago and looks so ancient today.   But since we love to figure out how to make money on items that are just sitting and collecting dust, just how can you make some dough off of your old cell phones? Gazelle With Gazelle, it is extremely fast, painless, and easy to sell your old cell phone. You will simply answer a few questions about your old devices and Gazelle will let you know how much it’s worth to them. They will send you a box to ship ...

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