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When Your Budget Says Wait

A couple of years ago, my wonderfully talented sister-in-law published a book called ‘When God Says Wait’.  A great read that grapples with life challenges, faith and the patience that is needed with so many things in our own stories. It got me thinking about how needing patience permeates many parts of our financial life.  We have to give time for our retirement assets to grow.  We have to wait to collect social security.  And some times we have to wait for our Budget to say it will be ok to spend money. There are all kinds of ways to Budget.  Some like the ‘cash in the envelop’ method. (Do people still use cash?) Some like the ‘Pay Yourself First’ method (my favorite).  The reality is most Americans don’t create a formal budget.  And those that do, don’t stick with it for very long.  It’s a pain to keep track of all those transactions.  And while I’m a big fan ...

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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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AN EDUCATION ON COLLEGE SAVINGS

Saving for your child’s education can be a daunting task.  You need to calculate how much money must be saved to reach your goal, what type of plan you should contribute to, and what the different tax implications will be.  With college costs increasing an average of 5% each year, the price of a college education in the future seems staggering.  A child born today will pay more than $237,000 (see chart below) for the average public institution or $536,000 for the average private university by the time they begin college.  Determine your average cost from the table below to come up with a projected goal. Keep in mind that additional needs such as a car or plane tickets for trips home, will increase the savings required.  Once a target goal has been defined, you may choose among multiple investment options.  A common mistake parents make at this point is to place assets (i.e.: stocks, bonds or savings accounts) in ...

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Buying a House Might Not be a Great Investment

For most of us, owning a home will be the biggest investment you have.  But is it really a good investment, or is it just a place to lay our heads at night?   You have to live somewhere, and as I like to say, “you can’t take a brick out of your house to put food on the table.”  Many people hold the belief that a house is a good investment.  And I agree it is a worthy goal.  But the desire for owning bigger houses is widespread, especially among high income earners.  So, let’s explore the numbers by looking at the S&P Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index.  Over the last 10 years after the recession, the annual return of the index is 4.21%.  If you go further back to 2000 to include the Real Estate run up and bubble, the annual return is only 4.11%.  In comparison, the S&P500 over the last 10 years averaged 10.99%. You might ...

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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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‘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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