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Review Category : Budgeting

Should You Delegate Everything?

For many years I have had the opportunity to coach and train numerous financial advisors and high net worth entrepreneurs. One of the biggest challenges is helping them calculate what an hour of their time is worth. Truly understanding this concept is incredibly valuable for executives.  Something all these successful folks have in common is the keen ability to delegate. Successful people are productive because they are able to spend their time on mission critical activities. In order to accomplish this, they need to pass off some of the more tedious, but necessary work. If you are an incredibly busy and productive individual but you spend two hours a day driving to the office, it may make sense to hire a driver. Maybe you’re realizing how long you spend maintaining your house each weekend, for a small expense you could consider hiring a maid, and free up that valuable time. My family has given me a hard time over the ...

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Five Financial New Year’s Resolutions For 2020

It’s 2020, and that means that most of you have made at least one New Year’s resolution for this year or even for the next decade. For most of you it will surround either diet or exercise, but for some of you, getting your financial plan in order may rise to the top of the list. With the average American now surpassing more than $7,000 of credit card debt, student loans at more than $1.6 trillion, and 50% of the people in America who are 55 years and older having no retirement savings at all, it may appear cash flow management will be THE term we all need to learn for the next decade. In Your Smart Money Moves fashion, here are my ideas for a sticky 2020 financial New Year’s resolution that can help you grow your bottom line. Get Your Financial House In Order Take The 21 Day Budget Cleanse – I just published a new book to ...

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Congress Just Passed the Biggest Bill in a Decade – The SECURE Act: 7 Things You Need to Know

On December 19th, the Senate passed the most sweeping retirement bill since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The SECURE Act, whose progress had stalled until lawmakers tacked it onto a spending bill to keep the country running, aims to make saving easier amongst a bevy of changing rules. The House already passed the legislation, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. So, how does that impact you, your money, and how you will be able to save money for the future?  Does it mean you will pay more taxes?  Here are seven things you need to know about the Secure Act. (some excerpts are from Yahoo Finance) SECURE Act #1:  RMD’s Are Changing Starting January 1, 2020, the new bill pushes the age at which you need to start withdrawing money from your traditional retirement accounts from age 70½ to age 72. These required minimum distributions, as they’re called, are Uncle Sam’s way of ...

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Should More Companies Offer a Holiday Bonus?

We know that the holiday season is coming down the home stretch, but there have been some amazing stories of companies whose generosity has gone above and beyond the call of duty.  Two out of three companies say they will give some sort of holiday bonus, but St. John Properties in Maryland surprised their employees beyond belief with handing out $10,000,000 in holiday bonuses https://bit.ly/36B7pfL. The bonuses were handed out based upon your length of service with the company. So, even though the average employee bonus was $50,000, the lowest bonus was $100 and one employee who worked for the company for 44 years received a $270,000 bonus?  anta, do you hear us calling you? The news continued over the past week with a giant insurance company called the Integrity Marketing Group who paid out a $50,000,000 bonus to its some 7,500 employees, but their bonuses were skewed to the overall performance of the individuals rather than tenure or the ...

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‘Tis The Season To Be Tipping!

Why is giving the right tip such a moral dilemma? Year after year, we are faced with the same problem, yet most of us have different solutions every year. Was this a good year for me? Was this a bad year for me? Do I like this person less? Do I like this person more? It’s enough internal dialogue to make you think you were front row for your own Woody Allen movie. My mother was a fifth-grade school teacher for her entire career. We had many laughs over the gifts Mom got from kids in her class (which is why I guess they stopped this tradition). Your Smart Money Moves has prepared a holiday tipping guide for you this holiday season. First things first, you need to assess a few things before you decide what to tip. Your relationship matters. You should consider how long you have known the person, the quality of the service, and the frequency of ...

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20% Of Millennials Will Die With Debt?

In a shocking recent study on www.cnbc.com, the average millennial (aged between 18 to 34) is currently carrying $36,000 in personal debt excluding any home mortgage they have.  While this debt is certainly crushing this generation, just over 60 percent of millennials with debt have absolutely no idea when they are going to pay this debt off that they owe. But the real sobering data that came out of the survey is that one out of five millennials expect that they will carry this debt to the grave with them.  Is that any way to live? How did we get here? The debt that has cursed the millennials generation has come in three large forms; the largest and the most widely bandied about is the student debt.  Now, north of 1.6 trillion dollars of total student debt, the average student is closing in on $30,000 of student debt when they graduate college and with wages rising at a very slow ...

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Should You Be Self-Gifting On Black Friday

As the holiday season approaches us, one of the trends that is growing is called self-gifting.  Have you been annoyed in holiday seasons past because you end up getting gifts that you’ll never use or a drawer full of gift cards from stores you don’t really like?  We get so cautious about telling people what kind of gifts we want because we still like the element of surprise, but more often than not you end up dissatisfied because your expectations are unmet by gifts that just don’t cut the mustard.  So, is self-gifting an indulgence or is it an investment that will help us flourish going into 2020? Is it time like they say on Parks and Recreation to treat yo’self? Probably the most famous investor is the Oracle of Omaha who said, “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”  Last year, I wrote a significant piece that made the front page of the Wall Street ...

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Know What You Own and What is a Bad Financial Product

As an advisor pre/post- the 2008 financial crisis and throughout subsequent periods of market volatility (such as 1994, wars, terrorist events, Brexit, you name it), when working with a new client I am regularly surprised by how often they do not have a handle on what is in their portfolio and/or purposes of an asset allocation or lack thereof. During periods like the one we are in now, we watch television pundits that depending on the channel/time of day, are either predicting total market chaos, or a continuation of an extended bull market. Inevitably, it can create a lot of stress and confusion for an investor (and some financial advisors). In the end, investing should have the intended goal of creating “peace of mind” that a person(s) is on track so that they can breathe easier® (shameless plug), feel okay when they turn on the news and can live their lives the way they want to. Knowing What You Own ...

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How To Avoid A Holiday Charity Scam?

Over the past few weeks I have covered elderly scams and romance scams, but this one could hit one of your family members over the holidays… Last year, a New Jersey couple launched a fundraiser for a homeless man.  Donations poured in as hearts were ripped out about this tear-jerking story.  We see charitable causes all the time that pull the purse strings of our wallet, especially during the holidays. The story of the homeless man and the $400,000 GoFundMe money unraveled and we learned about the money that completely disappeared.  Everyone behind the GoFundMe campaign was playing America, but inevitably, they were outed. As we approach the season to be jolly, here are some tips on how not to get scammed when giving to charity. Start with the IRS – Yes, the IRS.  The IRS website has a Tax Exempt Organization Search you can use to see if the charity is in fact a legitimate organization.  Remember, you want ...

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Is Your Sister Or Brother Laughing All The Way To The Bank?

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I say it makes it grow absent.  One of the most challenge items facing families today is the fragmentation of brothers and sisters spread out across the country and the challenge of who will ultimately become Mom or Dad’s caregiver.  What does this mean to the family inheritance?  Should your brother or sister get paid?  Is the total decisions a proxy by proximity or something that should be more fully discussed?  It’s challenging to get siblings on the same page when it comes to money and it’s why so many squabble about the family inheritances even before Mom and Dad pass away.  Here are some tips to make sure your brother or sister aren’t laughing all the way to the bank as you discuss this delicate situation with your parents. Have An Estate Plan This means that your parents should have something more in many cases than just a will.  It ...

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