Review Category : Gen X & Y Financial Advice

What Is A Financial Bubble?

A lot of clients ask me: When is the bubble going to pop? What is the next bubble on the horizon? How do we prepare for the next bubble? My question back to them is always: Do you know what a bubble is and how it works? A bubble, in the financial and economic sense, is a fast rise in an asset’s price followed by a contraction. Bubbles typically happen when the price of an asset is not justified by the asset itself but rather by the over-exuberant behavior of investors. When there are no more investors willing to pay the overinflated price, people panic and sell and the bubble bursts. We have seen countless examples of this over decades of economic events in the United States. Heck, even in the last 15 years we’ve seen multiple bubbles. 2005: An asset bubble occurred in real estate. Hedge fund managers created a huge demand for credit default swaps that insured mortgage-backed ...

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Financial Moves To Make When You Become A Freelancer

Imagine this: You recently lost your job or your job lost you, and now you have decided to take some freelance consulting job to pick up some spare cash. Or, you are finally starting that side hustle you’ve always dreamed of and your Etsy store is about to be up and running. Sound familiar? You fill out a W-9 in order to get paid, and a few weeks later a check comes in the mail made out to you.  You are overwhelmed with excitement because this is the first time no taxes have been taken out of your paycheck and you are feeling flush with cash.  At some point in 2020, you’ll be getting your first 1099’s in the mail, but what should you be doing here in 2019 to make sure your ducks are in a row come tax filing time? The reality is that most of you who earned your first 1099 will likely file Schedule C (sole ...

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How NOT To Cheat When Getting Your Kid Into A Great School

Over this past week, one of the largest cheating scandals in history got cracked wide open uncovering bribery and other illegal acts committed by celebrity stars such as Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.  This may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and opens up the real investigations into how much parents ‘donate’ in order to help their children get the edge to get into the school of their choice. It does beg the question about whether it’s our children that are feeling the peer pressure about getting into college or is it us the parents who are feeling the peer pressure to compete with our neighbors, our co-workers, and our college friends.  Do you as the parent feel less self-worth when that banner in the front of the neighborhood gets put up for everyone to see or when your friends post where their kid is going to school on Facebook? I’m actually amazed by how people are surprised ...

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Five Things You Need To Know Before You Buy Your Next Airline Ticket

There are certain purchases in our lives that always seem to be nerve-racking.  Buying a home, buying a car, and how about pressing that button to officially purchase an airline ticket.  While you are truly excited about that skiing trip in Vail or your next worldwide adventure starting in Amsterdam, you might just be concerned about whether or not you got ripped off on the airfare.  Sometimes, it may feel like the airfare websites are tracking your IP address just jacking up the prices until they squeeze you in or out of buying that ticket. So, here’s the insider’s guide to five things you should know before you purchase that next ticket. Non-Stop Is Cheaper Than A Connector Flight – Actually, here’s an interesting tip. Sometimes, booking two one-way flights might be cheaper than booking the round trip, and that is where I recommend you start the search. What airlines care about most is that their flights are full. Look ...

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Five Most Common Tax Questions People Are Asking This Year

It’s that time of year.  Unless you needed your refund quickly and your documents were in complete order, you are now beginning to organize your stack of documents to get your taxes filed for 2018.  With all of the news about people getting smaller refunds, lots of taxpayers are worried about actually having to stroke a check when they complete their taxes.  The new Trump tax plan that took effect last year had many changes that people were unaware of or didn’t pay attention to during the course of 2018.  This has triggered a handful of questions which I will answer here in the Your Smart Money Moves column. Why are refunds smaller this year? – This is actually a pretty easy one to answer.  When the new tax laws took effect in 2018, most people quickly realized they had received a bump in their paycheck.  However, what most people didn’t do was make a new calculation on the new ...

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10 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

All too often, new clients come in, and we discover that they have been complacent about the need for proper estate planning.  They think they are either too young or too old, they are of modest means, or an estate plan is unnecessary.  Plus, no matter how much you think your family loves one another, people are greedy when it comes to money. When assets come into play, no estate plan, or a poor one, can cause issues or allow property to fall into the wrong hands. Here are 10 mistakes that, if avoided, will smoothly transfer your estate. Not having a Will or, in the alternative, a living trust – Without a main vehicle to drive the estate, the probate court has to get more involved. Focusing solely on taxes – Under current tax law, most people will not hit the estate tax limits, so taxes do not have to be the driving decision maker. Naming the wrong executor/agent/trustee ...

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Five Signs Your Spouse May Be Financially Cheating

According to the CreditCards.com latest financial infidelity poll, 19 percent of U.S. adults who are in live-in relationships – which equates to 29 million people – are hiding a checking, savings or credit card account from their partner. And 20 percent of all survey respondents feel that a partner hiding a secret bank account from them would be worse than physically cheating. Forty-five percent disagree that it is worse, and 35 percent say it’s about the same. But only 2 percent of the adults in relationships we surveyed would break up with their significant others if they discovered their lovers had $5,000 in secret credit card debt. Withholding financial information from a partner can be extremely damaging to your relationship, so how can you find the red flags to determine whether or not your spouse or partner is financially cheating on you?  Here are five tips that can help you begin your forensic work on this matter: 1. Swap Credit Reports ...

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5 Valentine’s Day Gifts Under $50

Valentine’s Day is in the air and what will this mean to your wallet?  According to the National Retail Federation, 10 years ago more than 60% of adults planned to celebrate, but today that number has dropped to more than half.  Have we lost that loving feeling??  Despite the number of people who plan to participate, it is expected that sales top 20 billion this year for Valentine’s Day, and the average spend is targeting $161.96 per person by the time you throw in cards, candy, gifts, and entertainment.   So, if you are trying to continue your New Year’s Resolution and stick to a budget, what are some good ideas to have a great gift while not breaking the bank? Date Crate– Some of us have the hardest time coming up with an idea for a date night beyond eating out, the movies, or just grabbing a drink.  What Date Crate will do for you through a subscription service is ...

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Three Things Punxsutawney Phil Can Teach Us

No this is not a Bill Murry sighting or story about how Bill showed up at a party and started washing dishes. But we can learn something from his 90’s movie Groundhog Day. With Groundhog Day upon us, we await Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog) to come out of his hole and let us know if we will have 6 more weeks of winter. In the movie Bill found himself reliving the same day over and over. Just as in the movie, we often find ourselves repeating our financial mistakes over and over. Here are three tips you can use to stop reliving the same financial spell. Plan for Tomorrow While we want to live for today, too often we find ourselves blowing our paychecks each month and not saving for tomorrow. Use the concept of Pay Yourself First. Save for those future goals first and then go have a good time. If you are saving for your goals and find ...

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What To Do When You Inherit An IRA

The other evening as I was checking client e-mails, a client sent me a short note inquiring about something her sister did with an inherited IRA and quickly after hearing the story I knew it was even too late to give advice.  The sister had told the IRA custodian to make a check out to her Father’s estate and this would cause tax consequences that are irreversible. Inherited IRA’s can be just like a dozen eggs…once you crack the shell it is impossible to put it back together.   When a loved one passes away, there is a wide array of emotions, and this could affect how you make short term financial decisions.  Especially when you don’t know all of rules or have various siblings chirping in your ear.  It is one of the most important times to seek out financial help from a professional. The overall rules for inherited IRAs are extremely complicated.  It really depends if you inherit the ...

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