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Review Category : Investments

Here’s How Much it Costs to Raise a Child

Couples consider many things when deciding to start a family, but the financial burden of raising a child is not always first on the list. I often hear from clients who are soon to be parents, “We’ll figure it out!” This could be a good strategy in deciding which spouse will handle the 2am feedings, but not the smartest approach to being financially prepared. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture it costs a whopping $233,610 to raise a child in the United States (birth to 17 years old), and this doesn’t include college education! On average we see the cost of a child around $15,000 per year. Here are a few important questions to ask as you and your spouse plan for the arrival of your little one: How much are healthcare costs for having a baby? How much will childcare cost? How much should we be saving for future college costs? How much are healthcare costs for having ...

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What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Steven B. Goldstein, CFP®, CRPC®, RICP® Vice President, Private CFO® What do you want to be when you grow up? You were probably asked that question many times when you were a kid.  I always dreaded that question because I wasn’t one of those kids who had a special talent or somehow knew they wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or whatever.  Sure, I dreamed about being a baseball player when I was little but, as I grew up, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  Later I dreamed about becoming a rock star (what teenage boy didn’t?) but it was obvious a musical career was never going to be in my future.  So, I was like many kids and went through school racking my brain to choose a career I would enjoy, be proud of, and most importantly, would enable me to support myself as an adult.  I ultimately chose business, economics, and finance, and here I am many ...

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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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When is the Right Time to Upsize?

Eric Pucciarelli, MBA, CRPC®    Vice President and Private CFO oXYGen Financial, Inc. Request a FREE no obligation consultation: www.oxygenfinancial.net So maybe you own a starter home or even the next level up and you are watching HGTV thinking how nice it would be to own a bigger home. Maybe it has the huge kitchen you always wanted, or an open floor plan that your current house is lacking, or even more bedrooms for your growing family. Whatever it may be, you are now faced with the question of when is the right time to upsize my house? Here are 5 things to consider when trying to answer whether it is the right time for you to upsize your house 1. What is the reason or the goal for upsizing?  Are you running out of bedrooms because your family is growing or perhaps you have family visiting more regularly? Maybe you are running out of storage space and might want to consider ...

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Are You Getting Hacked? Your Password Could Be to Blame

Want to save a lot of money and a lot of trouble? Get very serious about your passwords. The easiest way for a criminal to gain access to your banking or brokerage account, or even your credit cards, is by guessing your password. A strong password provides essential protection against financial fraud and identity theft. Simple or commonly used passwords enable a hacker to easily gain access and control of an account, and many of us are making it easy. The 10 most common passwords are… 12345 123456 123456789 qwerty password 111111 12345678 abc123 1234567 password1. (“Qwerty” comes from the first six letters on a keyboard in the upper left-hand corner.) Really?! That’s the best we can do to protect our assets? The average desktop PC has become so powerful that a hacker can crack most passwords in as little as a few hours. And the costs associated with weak passwords are astronomical. The average person has 25 online accounts, ...

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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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Should More Companies Offer a Holiday Bonus?

We know that the holiday season is coming down the home stretch, but there have been some amazing stories of companies whose generosity has gone above and beyond the call of duty.  Two out of three companies say they will give some sort of holiday bonus, but St. John Properties in Maryland surprised their employees beyond belief with handing out $10,000,000 in holiday bonuses https://bit.ly/36B7pfL. The bonuses were handed out based upon your length of service with the company. So, even though the average employee bonus was $50,000, the lowest bonus was $100 and one employee who worked for the company for 44 years received a $270,000 bonus?  anta, do you hear us calling you? The news continued over the past week with a giant insurance company called the Integrity Marketing Group who paid out a $50,000,000 bonus to its some 7,500 employees, but their bonuses were skewed to the overall performance of the individuals rather than tenure or the ...

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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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