Review Category : At Home

How To Save BIG Money On Your Teenagers Auto Insurance

It’s Official!  Effective November 1st of this year, I officially have three children that can drive an automobile.  On one hand, it’s a sigh of relief because now I have three drivers who can make a run to CVS or Chick-Fil-A to do those small errands I simply don’t want to do at all. On the other hand, you simply worry every time your children get out on the road and spend your nights waiting up to make sure that they get home safely.   Beyond the bad and good of having your children be able to drive, the one that really hits home is your auto insurance. In fact, when my 20 year old went on to our auto insurance for the first time, even a seasoned financial advisor like myself gulped a little bit with sticker shock as a good solid student cost more than $2,000 per year.  When my second daughter went on about two years later and ...

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5 Ways To Increase Your Family Cash Flow

One of the biggest financial planning concerns I hear every week is how to manage the family cash flow.  So many people see their incomes increasing, but it isn’t necessarily translating to the bottom line.  If you are struggling to make ends meet or just want to stretch your paychecks further, here are five ways to increase your family cash flow. Review Your Tax Return? While you might love getting a tax refund, this is essentially giving an interest free loan to the Government for a year or more.  While some people see this as a form of forced savings, one strategy you could consider is to adjust your withholdings to get more of those dollars back in your paycheck so you aren’t falling behind every month.  In addition, many taxpayers don’t spend the time to take advantage of every tax deduction legally available to them.  You should thoroughly review your tax return and what deductions are available to you ...

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What Women Need To Rethink About Their Money After Divorce

  Have you ever heard that term ‘they traded in for a new model’ when it comes to discussion around a divorce?   While divorce is never emotionally easy, the more challenging part especially for women is thinking about how to get their finances set after the divorce is finalized.  Many women don’t build a financial plan to recalculate their own goals and objectives, nor do they always fully understand the implications of child support, alimony, or how to best get the assets set up that they took over after the divorce.  Here are five important consideration every woman should rethink after the divorce. Your Home – The last thing in the world you want to do is to sell the house that your kids are used to or move to a new school district. Just the thought of making new friends, new neighbors, and navigating a new school traffic pattern in the morning can be daunting.  However, many women take ...

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5 Ways You Are Wasting Money Without Even Realizing It

The truth is that more people are struggling with cash flow issues in their finances than they do with their investment assets.  The challenge is that we often blow our money in places where we don’t even realize it is going out the back door.  $20 here…$100 there…it can seem at times that we are nothing more than our own ATM machine.    It’s hard to define the difference between spending money and wasting money, but making quality decisions as the CEO of your family finances is paramount to having a successful personal financial picture.  Here are five ways I see that people waste money. Buying Too Large A House – We can convince ourselves that buying a large home is a great idea because we expect long term growth of the value of our home. Remember that primary residence should never be considered an investment, but rather your home.  The place you will raise your family or use a source ...

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Big Financial Pitfalls If You Plan On Working Longer

There are more people I meet every day who tell me that they aren’t planning to retire early, but instead enjoy life a little bit more and succumb to the fact that they are going to have to work later into their lives.  While on the surface this all seems fine and dandy, the harsh reality is that there are some major pitfalls with trying to work past the age of 65.   This strategy is often filled with some pretty unrealistic expectations and can have close to retirement families grasping for straws if their plan isn’t executed successfully.  Here are my pitfalls and tips to be thinking about if you want to work past the age of 65. Reality vs. Fantasy – In a recent study by the employee benefit research, 38% of the workers in the workforce expect to retire at the age of 70 and only 4% actually retire at the age of 70.   So, many workers are ...

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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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