Review Category : Financial Independence

Mortgage Rates The Lowest In One Year: Is It Time For You To Consider A Refinance?

With the Fed recently raising interest rates, people have already started to write and call me about whether or not it is still a good time to refinance.  You will likely see more offers from your current mortgage company, broker, or bank looking to get you locked in before the Fed raises rates again in 2019.  Here are my smart money moves for three key points to know when you make a final decision about whether a refinance is good for your property. There Is NO Rule Of Thumb – I love these random articles out there that say your mortgage rates need to be down by a certain percentage for a refinance to make sense. In fact, Investopedia recently wrote, “The typical rule of thumb is that if you can reduce your current interest rate by 0.75-1%.” This makes very little sense to me as this is going to be a math equation, because all refinancing costs money.   What you are ultimately ...

Read More →

Why Do We Give Names To Our Cars?

Our oldest daughter recently graduated college from the University of Georgia.  When she turned 16, we were fortunate enough to buy a beat up 2009 Hyundai Tucson from my mother and that’s pretty much what my daughter has driven since she became a driver.  As we finally made a change for her to get a new car (we stuck with Hyundai), my daughter told me how sad she was to see Sage go.  I thought to myself, “What in the world is a Sage?” so I asked my daughter.  Unbeknownst to me, my daughter had a name for her car and already had a name ready to go for the new car.  I’ve heard people give their cars names before, but always wondered when did this start becoming a common practice? Apparently, naming cars isn’t a new tradition at all.  For centuries before us, human beings have been giving names to vehicles and boats for centuries.  Think about shows like ...

Read More →

How Will The Tariffs Affect Your Every Day Wallet?

The stock markets continue to see increased volatility as the tariff and trade war between the United States and China continues to heat up. We’ve quickly realized that one tweet, media story, or heightened news coverage can send the markets soaring or spiraling in a day.  Here’s a recent example of a tweet: The reality is that these negotiations are extremely difficult, and nobody really likes to see them be prolongated.  Think about the most difficult negotiations you have probably done in your lifetime which is the buying or selling of a home and how your emotions ran high over $10,000 or $20,000 of negotiations when someone asked you to repair a cracked window or a lock that didn’t work. We are in an unprecented $420 billion-dollar trade gap right now which really means we buy a lot more stuff from China than they buy from us.  The tariffs (which really are a tax) act as a way for us ...

Read More →

Opportunity Investing

There are many successful investing strategies.  Warren Buffett likes to buy-and-hold.  For Jimmy Buffett, it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.  Some people say diversify (don’t put all your eggs in one basket) to reduce risk.  Others look for opportunities that lead to tremendous growth. Let’s take a closer look at “opportunity investing”.  There are always Investment opportunities.  They come and go, some are good and some are bad.  If you’re old enough to be reading this while drinking your morning Starbucks Green Tea Crème Frappuccino®, then you probably remember the dotcom boom in the late 1990s, or the real estate boom in the mid-2000s.  Presently, there are several investing themes that have people excited, including:  cannabis, genomic revolution, blockchain (bitcoin), eSports, sports betting, and 5G. One opportunity we believe will have a tremendous and long-lasting impact is 5G.  PC Magazine says “5G is an investment for the next decade”.  So, “What is 5G” you may ask?  Let’s take a look. 1G ...

Read More →

Are Mothers Losing Income Equality When They Have Kids?

Request a FREE no obligation consultation: www.oxygenfinancial.net The pay gap between men and women is still not close to equal, but there are more signs when it comes to motherhood that the gap is widening even more. For example, one study showed that for women, incomes drop 30% after giving birth for the first time and never catch up. That’s according to a working paper by Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais and Jakob Egholt Sogaard published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in January 2018. The study used Danish administrative data from 1980-2013. (source: CNBC) Also called the “motherhood penalty,” women start falling behind men in terms of their rank and their probability of being promoted just after the birth of the first child, the researchers found. About a decade later, women’s earnings plateau around 20% below the level just before becoming a parent. (source: CNBC) So, is this motherhood penalty something that will continue, and just what can be done to ...

Read More →

Invest 2% Of Your Income In You

When we think about investments, we often direct our attention to categories such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.   What we don’t think about often is our most valuable asset, which is our ability to earn an income and how we can grow that income faster.  Almost 20 years ago, I met an extremely successful business owner who gave me a simple lesson: Invest 2% of everything you earn back into your ability to grow your income. So, what does this mean exactly? Investing in you is like diversifying your portfolio investments.  It means that you might take a chance and invest in that side hustle you think could be a business.  It means investing in a training course or advanced education that could further your current career.  It means investing in a personal coach who could improve your business performance.  It could also mean investing in an exercise or nutrition program that could give you more stamina every day ...

Read More →

The Three Most Important Letters In Retirement R M D

What is a required minimum distribution? (*) You’ll sometimes hear that you have important financial decisions to make when you turn the age of 70 ½.  The IRS has never seen a nickel of tax revenue on account you may have started in your early 20’s, so now they are wanting to get their due.  An RMD or required minimum distribution is the amount that the tax laws require you to take out of certain types of retirement accounts once you reach the age of 70 ½. If you have a traditional IRA, a 401(k) account, 403(b), or other types of retirement plans, then you’ll generally have to start taking RMDs once the provisions of the law kick in. The rules apply to certain inherited retirement accounts as well, so be very careful when you inherit an IRA. Required minimum distributions must be made in cash, and you’re generally required to complete the withdrawal by the end of the calendar ...

Read More →

How Much Should You Be Tipping?

There was an excellent story written a few years ago interviewing Michael Lynn, who had written more than 50 papers on tipping.  In his excerpts (source: PBS) he said there are five basic motives for tipping. Some people tip to show off. Some people tip to help the server, to supplement their income and make them happy. Some people tip to get future service. And then other people tip to avoid disapproval: You don’t want the server to think badly of you. And some people tip out of a sense of duty. There are people who tip to reward servers for service. If the server does a great job, I want to express my gratitude so that is another motivation for tipping. But how strong is that motivation? My research suggests it’s not terribly strong. I find the relationship is so weak that it would be wrong to use tipping as a measure of service quality. People often say that’s ...

Read More →

Four Ways Your Kids Can Ruin Your Retirement

Retirement generally only happens one time in our life.  It is that transition period where we hope our work, parental, and personal responsibilities dissipate to the point where we only have to worry about ourselves.  It is a time in our lives where we don’t have to be on a time clock, don’t have to worry about checking e-mail, and there are no meetings that we have to be at on the schedule of someone else. Nobody really tells you what kinds of responsibilities come with having children until you actually have a child.  You work hard to raise your child the right way, and you hope one day that they will be a fully self-sufficient individual.  Your greatest fear may be your own children’s failure to launch.  Here are four ways your children can ruin your retirement: Their Debt Becomes Your Guilt Many parents believe it is their responsibility to make sure their child graduates college with no debt.  ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →