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Review Category : Financial Independence

Noise

R.E.L.A.X…..  Aaron Rodgers made this statement several years ago as the famed Green Bay Packers got off to a rough start in their season.  The fans, the local media were all over him, everyone doubting.  Sure enough, as if out of a Disney movie, Rodgers goes on to lead them into the playoffs.  RELAX…ha, that’s easier said than done, so how about adding-  “Stop, Drop and Roll”. There is certainly no shortage of NOISE today: a 24 hour news cycle, social media, expanded media, a dysfunctional political system, the list goes on.  My hope is to give you an easy way to keep your sanity and stay focused on your goals and dreams.   Whether it be fretting over the ongoing political environment, an ‘impending’ market correction, or the latest gripe on social media, Relax – take a deep breath and Stop, Drop and Roll – Early in my corporate life, I was taught the Bucket Philosophy: Bucket 1 are issues/actions ...

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Preparing for the Unexpected

Cristina Briboneria, CFP®, AWMA®, ADPA® Vice President, Private CFO® As I write this, I am nearly in tears. Full disclosure, I want you to know that I was a true Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan. For me, growing up in Los Angeles and being a basketball player, I looked up to Kobe as a hero for his entire career. Yes, he disappointed me and his other fans many times during his career, but it was his determination, fire to win, and strive to reach his goals, which made me and the rest of Los Angeles always love him. Kobe Bryant’s death is a shock to his fans, family, colleagues. Over the last several days I have had the chance to speak with my friends, family, colleagues, and clients about how Kobe’s death impacted them, the one phrase that keeps coming up is that “it puts everything into perspective”. As a Certified Financial Planner® my main priority is helping our clients ...

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Should You Delegate Everything?

For many years I have had the opportunity to coach and train numerous financial advisors and high net worth entrepreneurs. One of the biggest challenges is helping them calculate what an hour of their time is worth. Truly understanding this concept is incredibly valuable for executives.  Something all these successful folks have in common is the keen ability to delegate. Successful people are productive because they are able to spend their time on mission critical activities. In order to accomplish this, they need to pass off some of the more tedious, but necessary work. If you are an incredibly busy and productive individual but you spend two hours a day driving to the office, it may make sense to hire a driver. Maybe you’re realizing how long you spend maintaining your house each weekend, for a small expense you could consider hiring a maid, and free up that valuable time. My family has given me a hard time over the ...

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Five Financial New Year’s Resolutions For 2020

It’s 2020, and that means that most of you have made at least one New Year’s resolution for this year or even for the next decade. For most of you it will surround either diet or exercise, but for some of you, getting your financial plan in order may rise to the top of the list. With the average American now surpassing more than $7,000 of credit card debt, student loans at more than $1.6 trillion, and 50% of the people in America who are 55 years and older having no retirement savings at all, it may appear cash flow management will be THE term we all need to learn for the next decade. In Your Smart Money Moves fashion, here are my ideas for a sticky 2020 financial New Year’s resolution that can help you grow your bottom line. Get Your Financial House In Order Take The 21 Day Budget Cleanse – I just published a new book to ...

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Congress Just Passed the Biggest Bill in a Decade – The SECURE Act: 7 Things You Need to Know

On December 19th, the Senate passed the most sweeping retirement bill since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The SECURE Act, whose progress had stalled until lawmakers tacked it onto a spending bill to keep the country running, aims to make saving easier amongst a bevy of changing rules. The House already passed the legislation, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. So, how does that impact you, your money, and how you will be able to save money for the future?  Does it mean you will pay more taxes?  Here are seven things you need to know about the Secure Act. (some excerpts are from Yahoo Finance) SECURE Act #1:  RMD’s Are Changing Starting January 1, 2020, the new bill pushes the age at which you need to start withdrawing money from your traditional retirement accounts from age 70½ to age 72. These required minimum distributions, as they’re called, are Uncle Sam’s way of ...

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‘Tis The Season To Be Tipping!

Why is giving the right tip such a moral dilemma? Year after year, we are faced with the same problem, yet most of us have different solutions every year. Was this a good year for me? Was this a bad year for me? Do I like this person less? Do I like this person more? It’s enough internal dialogue to make you think you were front row for your own Woody Allen movie. My mother was a fifth-grade school teacher for her entire career. We had many laughs over the gifts Mom got from kids in her class (which is why I guess they stopped this tradition). Your Smart Money Moves has prepared a holiday tipping guide for you this holiday season. First things first, you need to assess a few things before you decide what to tip. Your relationship matters. You should consider how long you have known the person, the quality of the service, and the frequency of ...

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20% Of Millennials Will Die With Debt?

In a shocking recent study on www.cnbc.com, the average millennial (aged between 18 to 34) is currently carrying $36,000 in personal debt excluding any home mortgage they have.  While this debt is certainly crushing this generation, just over 60 percent of millennials with debt have absolutely no idea when they are going to pay this debt off that they owe. But the real sobering data that came out of the survey is that one out of five millennials expect that they will carry this debt to the grave with them.  Is that any way to live? How did we get here? The debt that has cursed the millennials generation has come in three large forms; the largest and the most widely bandied about is the student debt.  Now, north of 1.6 trillion dollars of total student debt, the average student is closing in on $30,000 of student debt when they graduate college and with wages rising at a very slow ...

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Do Men Feel Stress When Their Wives Earn More Than They Do?

Even though we haven’t solved the equation of equal pay for the same job that a man and woman do at work, there is a new phenomenon going on where husbands around America are literally becoming clinically depressed because their wives earn more than they do at work. Say what? Yes, as times are changing in America, more men are uncertain about their roles at home and how to handle new responsibilities in their families. According to Pew Research, in 1980 13% of women earned more than their husbands in income.  By 2013, 38% of women earned more than their husbands in income. Now, that number has crossed over 40% and is climbing.  The stereotype of ‘male breadwinners’ is changing for sure, and there is a new dynamic that families have to deal with as they handle responsibilities and money control at home. Interestingly enough, there is actually a magic number that once triggered at home can make men psychologically ...

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Should You Be Self-Gifting On Black Friday

As the holiday season approaches us, one of the trends that is growing is called self-gifting.  Have you been annoyed in holiday seasons past because you end up getting gifts that you’ll never use or a drawer full of gift cards from stores you don’t really like?  We get so cautious about telling people what kind of gifts we want because we still like the element of surprise, but more often than not you end up dissatisfied because your expectations are unmet by gifts that just don’t cut the mustard.  So, is self-gifting an indulgence or is it an investment that will help us flourish going into 2020? Is it time like they say on Parks and Recreation to treat yo’self? Probably the most famous investor is the Oracle of Omaha who said, “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”  Last year, I wrote a significant piece that made the front page of the Wall Street ...

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Know What You Own and What is a Bad Financial Product

As an advisor pre/post- the 2008 financial crisis and throughout subsequent periods of market volatility (such as 1994, wars, terrorist events, Brexit, you name it), when working with a new client I am regularly surprised by how often they do not have a handle on what is in their portfolio and/or purposes of an asset allocation or lack thereof. During periods like the one we are in now, we watch television pundits that depending on the channel/time of day, are either predicting total market chaos, or a continuation of an extended bull market. Inevitably, it can create a lot of stress and confusion for an investor (and some financial advisors). In the end, investing should have the intended goal of creating “peace of mind” that a person(s) is on track so that they can breathe easier® (shameless plug), feel okay when they turn on the news and can live their lives the way they want to. Knowing What You Own ...

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