fbpx

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 ...

Read More →

Steps to Take When You Lose a Loved One

The population is aging, and we find ourselves more and more having to deal with the loss of loved ones.  It can be a very emotional time.  While their estate documents might be all in place, the documents especially control what happens months after their passing. So, what happens after death until the will kicks in?  Having a checklist in place for family members to follow can reduce their stress, as they go through the grieving process.  Use these steps as a guide to set up your own checklist. Letter of Instruction.  This should be a document that tells family members important information like any prearranged funeral plans, organ donations, any desired service details. Make Funeral Arrangement.  If your loved one did not put together a Letter of Instruction, then making all the arrangements usually falls to the closest relative.  This can be difficult for grieving spouses, so a next of kin may need to step in to help. Notify ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

How To Avoid A Holiday Charity Scam?

Over the past few weeks I have covered elderly scams and romance scams, but this one could hit one of your family members over the holidays… Last year, a New Jersey couple launched a fundraiser for a homeless man.  Donations poured in as hearts were ripped out about this tear-jerking story.  We see charitable causes all the time that pull the purse strings of our wallet, especially during the holidays. The story of the homeless man and the $400,000 GoFundMe money unraveled and we learned about the money that completely disappeared.  Everyone behind the GoFundMe campaign was playing America, but inevitably, they were outed. As we approach the season to be jolly, here are some tips on how not to get scammed when giving to charity. Start with the IRS – Yes, the IRS.  The IRS website has a Tax Exempt Organization Search you can use to see if the charity is in fact a legitimate organization.  Remember, you want ...

Read More →

Is Your Sister Or Brother Laughing All The Way To The Bank?

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I say it makes it grow absent.  One of the most challenge items facing families today is the fragmentation of brothers and sisters spread out across the country and the challenge of who will ultimately become Mom or Dad’s caregiver.  What does this mean to the family inheritance?  Should your brother or sister get paid?  Is the total decisions a proxy by proximity or something that should be more fully discussed?  It’s challenging to get siblings on the same page when it comes to money and it’s why so many squabble about the family inheritances even before Mom and Dad pass away.  Here are some tips to make sure your brother or sister aren’t laughing all the way to the bank as you discuss this delicate situation with your parents. Have An Estate Plan This means that your parents should have something more in many cases than just a will.  It ...

Read More →

Are Your Elderly Parents Being Financially Exploited?

Picture this scenario at the bank: A woman walks into her branch with her 25-year-old grandson and they’re ready to transfer $4,000 or so out of Grandma’s account into his. Is the grandson running a scam? And, if so, can the bank do anything to stop it?  Maybe, yes, on both counts.  “People are literally being robbed every day through scams or financial exploitation from members of their own family,” said Debra Whitman, executive vice president and chief public policy officer at AARP.   The average victim can lose $120,000 to financial exploitation, according to AARP research. Repeated, out-of-the-ordinary cash withdrawals are a big clue to exploitation and scams.  (source: Detroit Free Press) In fact, every year it is estimated that 2.6 billion dollars are lost by elder financial abuse and the problem only seems to be getting worse and worse.  The initial threat for most of our elderly parents were the dreaded robocallers.  The imposters that would pose as the Social Security department or the ...

Read More →