When You And Your Spouse Just Can’t Agree About Money

It starts with the small arguments. You don’t agree on where to eat out on a date night during the weekend. Then it turns to small petty arguments with not being able to agree on whether to paint the family room that has been all scratched up by the kid’s toys. Ultimately, it leads to full scale arguments about issues on whether to send the kids to private or public school, whether to vacation in Hawaii, and potentially doing a complete bedroom remodel 10 years after you have lived in your home. Although you tied the knot and agree it would be until ‘death do us part’, there are many nights one of you goes to bed before the other simply over the fuming battle about money. Money creates interesting behaviors in all of us.  Some of these feelings were ingrained is us as children based upon the way we were raised.  Some of us came from nothing and our ...

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What Happens To My Frequent Flyer Points When I Die?

When a loved one passes away, there are often many financial matters to deal with in the estate planning process. Often, you have to deal with collecting life insurance policy proceeds, closing out bank accounts, and dealing with the transfer of IRA and 401(k) accounts. In most families, there is also lots of discussion over possessions including automobiles, jewelry, or other collectibles. But, what about all of those frequent flyer points? Will they continue on to a beneficiary or just drift away into a black hole of frequent point oblivion? Before we discuss various programs and what the potential outcomes are at death, let’s talk about some best practices. Most families don’t even really track their miles or points. This is why we encourage people to use the online personal financial dashboard with oXYGen Financial because you actually have the ability to track all and any point programs to know exactly what you have. It’s not a great idea to ...

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Want To Get Wealthy? Try A Budget Cleanse!

There is so much discussion out there on the internet about picking stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, and mutual funds.   It’s dizzying to sort through the thousands of articles to really ascertain whether indexing is better than active or value is better than growth.  When you think about building wealth, the discussion centers primarily around ‘asset management’, and which assets categories to own to grow your overall net worth.   However, being an expert in the X and Y generation, the next 20 years of financial planning should be much more centered about your ‘cash flow management’ rather than your ‘asset management’. Since we have moved to a society where largely all transactions move through some sort of electronic currency.  For most of you that means debit or credit cards, although we know that many forms of mobile financial technology are developing to easily allow two entities or people to transfer cash to one another.   Rarely do people write checks today ...

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Should I Leave My Kids A Million Dollars

Just the other week, I had one of the more interesting conversations with a client which sparked me to write this article. I’ve never been the kind of advisor that wants to ‘sell’ my clients insurance. I have always felt it to be best to implement risk management products for the best cost possible or utilize insurance vehicles in the best way to accumulate cash based upon each individual client situation. One of my clients called the other day and said they were considering buying a second to die policy. When I initially heard the request, I said, “Well, you don’t really have a need for more life insurance and we have really good accumulation strategies set up for your other goals.” As the conversation deepened, he told me that he wanted to be 100% certain that when he and his wife died that each child would get 2 million dollars no matter what happened with the rest of his ...

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Five Valentines Day Money Saving Ideas

Valentine’s Day is one of those special holidays that can put a real dent in our wallet. The average person in 2016 spend $147 according to the National Retail Federation. Here are five quick money ideas that you can use to still make a special Valentine’s Day while also being smart on how you spend your money. Become Your Own Private Chef – Have you ever tripped through one of those tasty.com videos on Facebook where you see recipes you always thought about making. This would be a great time to avoid the crowded restaurants and make a special meal for your significant other. Flowers At The Grocery Store – Skip the florist and discover that some of your best deals are located right at the local grocery store. Stop by at the end of the day on Tuesday and you’ll pick yourself up a great deal. Buy A Card At Trader Joe’s – You mean food, right Ted? Nope. ...

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Is It Time To Make A Roth IRA Conversion?

Over this past year, more clients have asked me about whether or not it makes sense to do a conversion from their Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.   I’ve written before on the merits of a back door Roth IRA (http://bit.ly/2jNBfFA) before on Your Smart Money Moves, but the larger question about converting an existing account can be a tricky one to approach in your personal finances.   More importantly, if you are not proactive in your tax planning, you could miss a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of a bad year with your business or if you have a substantially down year of income.  Given the volume of planning cases I see every month, especially those in their late 40’s to late 50’s should be looking at this strategy very closely if you are in a transition phase. With the potential upcoming changes in the tax code suggested to move from seven tax brackets down to three, each family needs ...

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