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Review Category : Gen X & Y Financial Advice

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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Four Financial Moves For Government Workers During The Shutdown

Tesla came out with a big announcement the other week that they were laying off 7% of their workforce.  We never really know when our company is going to do that reorganization, deliver some pink slips, or dust off a set of severance packages to get some people out early from the company.  We can’t always predict when these things are going to happen, but we can certainly prepare by having a financial plan in place. Do you know how much you have in emergency reserves? How much monthly income would you need to survive if you didn’t have a paycheck for 3 months? What is saved up in all of your retirement plans? What are all of the benefits you have access to currently at work? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking now in the event that something happens to your job and it’s no longer there to pay the bills.  With the ...

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How To Crush Your Debt In 2019

With the Fed raising interest rates again before the end of the year, variable rate interest loans such as home equity lines of credit, variable rate student debt, and most importantly credit cards will be on the rise for 2019.  The mean credit card debt of U.S. households is approximately $5,700 according to the most recent data from the Survey of Consumer Finances by the U.S. Federal Reserve.  If you consider that credit cards can get into the 20% range for finance charges, this means that interest alone on credit cards could be more than $1,000 per household.  If you don’t have your hands around your debt situation, here are my five smart money moves to crush your debt here in 2019. Understand How You Got Into Debt- There are lots of reasons that we can into debt. You should be asking yourself how this situation happened in the first place. Was it because you had some unusual one-time expense ...

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Five Ways To Prepare For A Recession

Almost half of U.S. chief financial officers believe a recession will strike the U.S. economy by the end of 2019, with the tight labor market and growing trade tensions driving economic jitters among corporate America. Additionally, more than 80% of U.S. CFOs think a recession will strike by the end of 2020, according to the Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey released Wednesday. (source: wsj) While there has been a significant amount of good news about the economy, the heightened market volatility, rising interest rates, and companies now having trouble to find and keep qualified employees has many people nervous.  Not to mention the fact that it seems there isn’t a week that goes by where CNBC doesn’t have a scroll at the bottom saying, “Global Worries Send Markets Downward”. We can never predict exactly when a recession will hit us, but here are five tips to prepare for a downturn in the economy. Get your emergency reserve to 6 ...

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Why Your Saving Rate Is More Important Than Your Investment Return

Investors love to focus on their investment return. From 2009 to 2017, it was hard not to get excited about the double digit returns even the average investor could achieve. While it was nice to see those large returns, it really just made up for the 40% drop in the 2008 Market Crisis. And it is highly unlikely that we will repeat those returns over the next 10 years. So that brings us back to the expectation that over a long period of time we should hit the S&P 500 historical market average of 7% (1950 to 2009 adjusted for inflation and dividends). What about the savings rate. Well, Americans suck at saving. Personal savings in the United States averaged 8.82 percent from 1959 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 17.30 percent in May of 1975 and a record low of 2.20 percent in July of 2005. In 2018 we are saving only about 6%. (US Bureau of ...

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How to Choose the Best Credit Card in 2019

How you use your credit cards, and which ones you use, can have a long-term effect on your personal finances. Credit cards may not be at the top of the list for things to consider when it comes to wealth building, but their use can often reduce your available investment dollars by creating unnecessary expenditures through interest, fees, and more. Taking the time to learn how to choose the best credit card goes a long way toward managing your finances wisely. According to Statista, “The credit card debt in the United States amounted to approximately 0.83 trillion U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2018.” $830 billion of debt may be hard to get your head around, so let’s put it in perspective. A report from CNBC reported that the average household with revolving credit card debt carries a balance of $6,081. While that may not seem like enough to wreck someone’s finances, consider that if only the minimum required ...

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Should You Get Divorced Before The End Of 2018

Divorce is never an easy thing to go through no matter what time in life this may happen to you.  The trauma that it may create for you, your children, and other family members may make day to day financial decisions go to the bottom of the pile.   Many people wait to try to get their financial house in order after they complete the divorce proceedings.  With the new Trump Tax Rules here in 2018, divorce may become even more painful in the future. The new alimony rules, included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, apply to divorce or separation agreements executed after December 31st, 2018.  These changes will only intensify the divorce process because at least one of the spouses in the divorce will likely be taking a huge financial hit.  Effectively, January 1st of 2019 alimony payers will no longer be able to deduct alimony payments from their tax returns on new divorces.  Old alimony deals will ...

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