Review Category : Gen X & Y Financial Advice

Do We Have Data Breach Fatigue?

After another monumental data breach this past week from Marriott/Starwood, we were once again exposed to the real threats and realities that exist with our information held within the systems of large corporations where we spend money.  Marriott has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but it believes it contains information on approximately 500 million guests.  They believe for approximately 327 million of these guests, the information hacked included name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, and other pertinent information.  There is still no definitive information on whether or not credit card information could be decrypted by the hackers.  Class action lawsuits are already flying off the shelf. It almost seems as if once per month we are barraged with some new data breach from large companies seeing what has happened with Equifax, Yahoo!, and now Marriott recently.  Many Americans may already believe hackers have their information from ...

Read More →

Five Last Minute Tax Tips

Tax season is upon us and you might be asking what can you still do that can potentially reduce your overall tax liability.  Here are 5 big deductions that people often don’t ask about or overlook come tax time. Charitable Mileage- Most taxpayers are very good at keeping receipts of their cash donations that they make to the organizations they donate to during the course of the year. One of the deductions few taxpayers pay attention to is the charitable mileage deduction.  For 2018, you can deduct .14 cents per mile driven for rendering gratuitous services for charitable organizations.  Don’t forget fees and tolls as well (irs.gov). Consider the amount of time that you give gratuitously during the course of the year for your religious organizations, charitable causes you support, or possibly coaching a one of your kid’s teams. Non-Cash Charitable Contributions Most taxpayers literally get a blank receipt from the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or some other charitable organization and ...

Read More →

4 Lessons About Making Money and Giving Back

This post was sponsored by Regions Bank, member FDIC. All opinions are my own. I recently attended a tremendous event called “Making Moves While Giving Back”, a Regions Next Step – Real Talk event series at the Gathering Spot in Atlanta.   It had some of the brightest and best young leaders in the city, such as Gwen Cole, Joey Womack, Briana Holmes, and Labriah Lee talking about how they have taken control of their lives professionally while also being able to give back philanthropically in the community.  For anyone wanting to lead a “boss” life personally, professionally and philanthropically, this event filled the bill because it really got to the root of how to be a good decision maker in your financial life including great advice on how to reach the goals that you want to achieve. Here are four financial lessons I took away that you’ll want to keep by your nightstand: Learn How To Say No Sounds like a ...

Read More →

How To Avoid A Charity Donation Scam During The Holidays

After a New Jersey couple recently launched a fundraiser for a homeless man last year, 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 in the past few weeks and we learned about the money that completely disappeared. Everyone behind the GoFundMe campaign were 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. 1) 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 to be asking two very important questions. One, is the organization you are giving to a tax-exempt organization ...

Read More →

The Greatest Tax Strategy You Never Heard Of Before

It’s been a good decade for people.  Stocks have gone up.  Real estate has gone up.  You might have even benefited from a liquidity event where you owned stock in a private company that has now gone public.  What’s interesting is that most people left to their own device make a big mistake of letting the tax tail wag the dog.  If you have an appreciated piece of real estate or stock, you’ll be inclined not to sell it because you are worried about paying a massive capital gain tax.  What if I was to tell you that there is a way to really apply the age-old adage that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Enter the greatest tax strategy you never heard of before….The NIMCRUT. What does NIMCRUT actually stand for…. NI = Net Income:Only trust income is paid by the unitrust.* You control the level of income distributed. M = Makeup provision: Amounts not paid ...

Read More →

Should You Discuss Salaries With Your Co-Workers?

As technology is sweeping the way we live our lives, millennials are also potentially creating a new trend… openly discussing salaries in the workplace.  Once considered a taboo subject, millennials don’t turn a cheek to sharing how much money they make, yet they are incredibly shy about talking about sex in general. In a recent study done by www.bankrate.com, Americans between the ages of 18 to 37 are more likely than gen x’ers and baby boomers to share their salary information with others, especially co-workers, according to the study.  The study showed that 33% of all millennials share their salary information with others at the workplace, which is twice what baby boomers are willing to do with their salary information. In Pamplona, they have the running of the bulls.  In Helsinki, they observe something called “National Jealousy Day” where every single Finnish citizen’s taxable income is made public at 8 a.m. for all to view in plain sight.  A few ...

Read More →

Five Ways To Raise A Financially Successful Child

With student debt soaring past 1.5 trillion dollars, it isn’t getting any easier for Generation Y and Generation Z to get up and going financially in this world.  Unemployment is now sitting under four percent and wage growth is barely rising at the pace of overall inflation. This means that as parents, we need to do everything we can early on in our children’s lives or even as they get close to graduating college to set them up for long term financial success.  It is important we teach them the concepts and practices that can help them become more financially self-sufficient down the road.  Here are five ways you can help raise a financially successful child. 1. Start Saving for College Tax-Free The average student will amass more than $30,000 of student debt in college, so doing everything we can to help them avoid having that debt is important.  Remember, do not sacrifice your retirement for your children’s college education ...

Read More →

What To Do With Your 401(k) As The Market Gyrates

The markets are poised to cap off a rocky week on Wall Street with, yes, more volatility. So, should you turn everything in your 401(k) retirement plan into cash ? Financial advisors have one message for you: Don’t panic. That holds true even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has had three-digit swings throughout the week. The stock market index plummeted more than 500 points at one point on Friday. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index dropped as much as 2.2 percent and flirted with correction territory. show chaptersAIG Retirement CEO on how market turmoil can affect your retirement    5 Hours Ago | 04:02 Despite the scary headlines, these are signs of a healthy market, said certified financial planner Scott Hanson, founder and senior partner at Hanson McClain Advisors. “The market has to go through this sort of thing,” Hanson said. “The longer we go without volatility, the more nervous I become. I almost welcome a bit of this shaking out.” ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

What To Do If You Win The Lottery

This past Tuesday, the Mega Millions jackpot became the third largest jackpot in the history of the game with the winning prize at $548,000,000.  The Powerball and Mega Millions combined was almost $1,000,000,000!  That is a jackpot which will permanently change lives, and it is the largest Mega Millions prize since 2013 when $648,000,000 was split between two winners in California and Georgia. Yes, Georgia!  The record jackpot happened in 2012 and was split between three winners.  Whether you win the lottery, get an inheritance, or receive a windfall, there are important steps you need to know to make sure you plan your finances correctly.  With the jackpot being so high, here are my tips what to do if you win the lottery. Make sure to sign your ticket– The last thing in the world you want to do is to lose or misplace the winning ticket. You should sign the back of the ticket and then make a couple ...

Read More →