Review Category : Estate Planning

When Mom Never Asked Dad About the Finances

This post was sponsored by Regions Bank.  All opinions are my own. Making financial decisions can be tough with or without the right tools. As young professionals juggle many financial priorities, it’s important to realize the gravity of our decisions and the influence those around us have on us, whether that be found in a role-model or through a family member. There is no doubt that your childhood and upbringing have a massive influence on how you manage your finances in adulthood.  These range from small items to how you handle traditions during the holidays to whether or not you decide to take grand scale type vacations.  My “boss” behavior was dramatically impacted with an event that changed my life forever and what got me into the business of becoming a financial advisor. While attending Boston College, I had always planned to do a double major in finance and accounting.  My real goal was to become an investment banker in ...

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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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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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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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