When Is The Right Time To Refinance?

With the Fed recently raising interest rates, many people have started to wonder if they should act on the refinance now or wait to see what happens with interest rates.  If you are buying a new home, thinking about refinancing your mortgage, or just wondering where this is all headed, it is a good time to start crunching the numbers and examining the current mortgage you have in place.  So, when is the right time to refinance? Side note: There is “Rule Of Thumb” – the rule of thumb really boils down to a math equation which I will lay out for you here in the article. Question 1: What Is This Going To Cost You? There is always a cost to refinance. Sometimes you will hear on television these deals that say no closing costs or no cost to refinance.  What some companies do is simply roll those closing costs into the newly refinanced loan so instead of refinancing ...

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How Much are Your Family Jewels Worth?

interviewed Kathryn Kinev who is the owner of www.jewelcreations.com. Kathryn is a Goldsmith, Platinumsmith, Gemologist, Custom Designer, AND an appraiser. I’ve had clients inherit jewelry, including myself, and the value is some unknown number. I think some of the things I have came from my grandfather but now that both of my parents are gone, we have no way of knowing who owned it. Kathryn has so many years of experience she can look at the pieces and determine the date it was made within an approximate 10 year window. When she showed us an appraisal for just one ring, the appraisal included 4 sheets of paper to detail her research and findings. I was also impressed when she told the story about one of her award winning pieces that she designed. The 6 gems sat on her desk for 2 years as she would look at them and be with them. Then, in the middle of the night, the ...

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Who’s in control of your ILIT?

I recently wrote about the importance of reviewing your estate plan and life insurance values every 3 years. Well, also look at who is in control of the ILIT, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, that you setup many years ago. I have a friend who wanted to review the values of his life insurance policies that are owned by an ILIT and then realized the insurance company wasn’t notified of the death of the trustee of the ILIT nor were they notified who was appointed as the new trustee. He then found out the new trustee wasn’t paying attention to mail from the insurance company and most likely threw away annual statements. Kind of awkward conversations to have. ILIT’s are great planning tools. Not as much now since estate tax laws have changed and the amount of money that can pass from one generation to the next has increased. But as they say, what goes up must come down, as in ...

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Is It Time To Do The Holidays In July

It’s July.  Why in the world would we want to start thinking about holiday time in December right now.  One of the biggest financial hangovers people have in their budgets is when they overspend during the holiday season.  Now that we have hit July, I have some smart money moves tips that can put a few of those dollars back in your and maybe even take some of the stress out of your life.  Here are five money ideas for doing Christmas, Chanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate with your families in December to save you some money. What’s On Sale Now – When you are out and about at the stores, you should always take a peek at the clearance racks. You might find some cool piece of clothing, shoes on sale, or some piece of technology that is being upgraded to a new version.  For sure, all summer clothes will start to go on sale, so this can be ...

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What’s Your Biggest Financial Fear?

We’re now hallway through the year. What’s your biggest financial fear? I’ve noticed a lot of people who resist talking to an advisor because they’re afraid of being judged or afraid they aren’t where they feel they should be at this point in their life, regardless of age. There may also be family history regarding the topic of money. Throw away the judgment and book an appointment. Get clear where you are today so you can take action. Fear leads to no action being taken. This initial meeting is really a job interview, from both the client perspective and the advisor perspective. If we have a fit, great. Then let’s get moving and take action. The decisions today will be adjusted over time but at least you’re taking action. What’s that saying about only a moving bike balances. Take that action and move in the direction of breathing easier about your life. If there isn’t a fit with that particular ...

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Review Your Existing Life Insurance Policies Every 3 years

You’ve heard me remind you to review your estate planning documents every 3 years. Add a review of your life insurance as well. Have beneficiaries changed? Do they need to be updated?  Have people come and gone in your life and you’d like someone else to receive the funds? Also run in force illustrations for all of your life insurance policies. Life Insurance policies have different names today so they could have variations of the following words; Annual Renewable Term up to 30 Year Term, Universal Life (UL), Indexed Universal Life (IUL), Variable Universal Life (VUL), Whole Life (WL), Flexible Whole Life, Flexible Premium Whole Life, Variable Whole Life. And there are many other titles, descriptions, and acronyms to describe various life insurance policies. The main reason to review this is changing interest rates being credited to policies in the last 10 to 15 years. This impacts the dividends being paid as well, if the policy pays dividends. I met ...

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Five Wedding Gift Ideas For The Modern Day Bride And Groom

Several years ago, I wrote a your smart money moves blog https://bit.ly/2JZfUK4 about what is the right amount to give for a wedding gift.  According to CNBC, the average cash gift for a wedding across the United States is $160 with the state of Vermont the highest at $240 and the state of Arkansas the lowest at $73. Trends are changing this year in how couples plan for their wedding.  Rather than starting with palette, couples are planning out wedding vision boards that capture their vibe and celebration instead.  With the cost of flowers rising through the roof, balloons are being used as a replacement that is colorful, fun, festive, and most importantly less expensive.  Let’s not forget that in the world of social media today, couples are looking for some of those Instagrammable moments including seating card displays and interesting drinks as their guests enter the reception. Here are five wedding gift trends that you need to know for ...

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