What a Stupid Question!

So, how many times have you asked someone in the financial world a question and they make you feel stupid? Not only stupid for asking the question, but just plain stupid? That’s what often happens when working with people. There used to be stocks, bonds and cash. There used to be whole life insurance and term life insurance. There used to be disability insurance. There used to be health insurance. Now we have BDC’s and REIT’s and PPL’s and variable life insurance and variable universal life insurance and indexed life insurance and indexed universal life insurance and ETF’s and UIT’s and PPO’s and HMO’s and 401k’s and Roth 401k’s and IRA’s and Roth IRA’s and long term care insurance and then long term care riders and hybrids and properly structured life insurance and improperly structured life insurance . . . You get the point. The financial world of our parents and grandparents doesn’t exist today. It’s become much more complicated ...

Read More →

How To Save BIG Money On Your Teenagers Auto Insurance

It’s Official!  Effective November 1st of this year, I officially have three children that can drive an automobile.  On one hand, it’s a sigh of relief because now I have three drivers who can make a run to CVS or Chick-Fil-A to do those small errands I simply don’t want to do at all. On the other hand, you simply worry every time your children get out on the road and spend your nights waiting up to make sure that they get home safely.   Beyond the bad and good of having your children be able to drive, the one that really hits home is your auto insurance. In fact, when my 20 year old went on to our auto insurance for the first time, even a seasoned financial advisor like myself gulped a little bit with sticker shock as a good solid student cost more than $2,000 per year.  When my second daughter went on about two years later and ...

Read More →

What You Need To Know About Healthcare Open Enrollment For 2018 Obamacare

It may be open enrollment season for many of you at work, but for millions of Americans it will be the official open enrollment for Obamacare started Wednesday, November 1st. Amidst all the adjustment surrounding federal subsidies, there is a plethora of information to digest for those of you who are considering the federal marketplace for your health insurance. Sometimes, it may feel like you need an engineering degree to choose your health insurance. Here are my five-smart money moves Q & A to help you get an initial start to understanding the open enrollment period beginning this week. Question 1: When does open enrollment start/end and how many people are expected to sign up this year? Starts November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017 You must apply by December 15th if you want your coverage to begin January 1st. There are no other enrollment periods unless you qualify for a special enrollment for life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of ...

Read More →

Should You Lend Money To A Co – Worker?

Here’s a situation I heard the other day…what do you think you should you do. Ted, I’ve got a co-worker of mine and we’ve known each other for more than 10 years. I have always known them to be a pretty responsible person and one that never brings drama to work. We are both in our late 30’s. I have a pretty good idea what they make because we have reasonably similar jobs. It was strange, but the other day as we hit the breakroom, they asked me if I would consider loaning them $7,000 for just a few months some money so they could pay off some of her debts, and then they would pay me back after they get the upcoming bonus we should be receiving in a few months. Details: They specifically told me there were some unexpected family medical expenses that caused this 7k of debt and they didn’t get into too many more details beyond ...

Read More →

What You Should Know About The Current Trump Tax Plan

Almost a year after President Trump was elected to office, none of the main agenda bills have passed in Congress.  With Thanksgiving looming around the corner for a Congress shut down here in 2017, one of the big questions will be whether the major tax bill passes before the end of the year.  This single tax plan could have a big effect on how the market finishes here in 2017 and its potential impact into 2018.   Here are the key points you should know about the current Trump Tax Plan. Businesses Get The Biggest Cut The current proposal is to reduce the tax rate of “C” Corporations (currently mostly large corporation) to move from the current 35% down to 20%.   Consider this impact for a company that makes $20 billion dollars and currently pays $7 billion dollars in taxes.  Those companies would in theory get back another $3 billion dollars in freed up cash flow.   The current proposal still considers ...

Read More →

What Women Need To Rethink About Their Money After Divorce

  Have you ever heard that term ‘they traded in for a new model’ when it comes to discussion around a divorce?   While divorce is never emotionally easy, the more challenging part especially for women is thinking about how to get their finances set after the divorce is finalized.  Many women don’t build a financial plan to recalculate their own goals and objectives, nor do they always fully understand the implications of child support, alimony, or how to best get the assets set up that they took over after the divorce.  Here are five important consideration every woman should rethink after the divorce. Your Home – The last thing in the world you want to do is to sell the house that your kids are used to or move to a new school district. Just the thought of making new friends, new neighbors, and navigating a new school traffic pattern in the morning can be daunting.  However, many women take ...

Read More →

What Fantasy Football Can Teach You About Diversification (or Your Financial Plan)

The football season is upon us again here as the fall rolls around and neighborhoods and workplaces are buzzing with Fantasy Football fever.  The Fantasy Trade Sports Association commented that the Fantasy Football market is more than a 70 billion dollar industry today and growing.   With so many people joining multiple leagues, what can this popular game teach us about how we manage our portfolios and diversify our assets. Do Your Homework? It’s shocking how many people don’t know what they own in their 401(k), IRA, or their brokerage accounts.  You may have purchased a target fund or some growth and income fund, but you don’t actually know what you own.   Moreover, you may not understand the risks on how much you could gain in one year or how much you could potentially lose in one year.  It’s important to read the prospectus before you invest, look at the track record of the investment you will be making, and learn ...

Read More →

7 FAFSA Mistakes That Could Crush Getting FREE Money

In many parts of the country kids are already back at school and the rest of the children will be starting right after Labor Day.  While the college football season is kicking off, most families don’t realize that applying for free financial aid is literally right around the corner for 2018.   The problem is that most people don’t understand how the process actually works and often sell themselves short of getting free money that could help offset the growing cost of college.  Here are seven mistakes that could crush your ability to get free money for 2018. Fill out the FAFSA form on October 1st – If you are interested in getting the most possible money from the Free Application For Student Aid, then you must fill out the forms by October 1st.   Some of the financial awards are issued on a first come first serve basis, so when you fill out the form matters.  Some states and some colleges ...

Read More →

Do Millennials Face “Money Bullying”?

Have you experienced the same thing at home that I have been experiencing over the past few years.  As you plan out great family vacations, wonderful dinners, and cool birthday activities, you often find conversations about how one of your kid’s friends always seem to be doing something better?  I guess part of this has never really changed.  No matter how cool of a shin dig you end up putting together, there is always someone else who has Johnny one upped you already.  The difference with our kids today is that the vacations, the new clothes purchases, the new cars, and the special events are so much more in your face with Snapchat and Instagram with pictures meaning more than just a few words. In a recent study done by TD Ameritrade, some extremely interesting data came out about Millennials and their comfort level about discussing money.  While 56% of young millennials feel comfortable talking to their parents about money, ...

Read More →

5 Ways You Are Wasting Money Without Even Realizing It

The truth is that more people are struggling with cash flow issues in their finances than they do with their investment assets.  The challenge is that we often blow our money in places where we don’t even realize it is going out the back door.  $20 here…$100 there…it can seem at times that we are nothing more than our own ATM machine.    It’s hard to define the difference between spending money and wasting money, but making quality decisions as the CEO of your family finances is paramount to having a successful personal financial picture.  Here are five ways I see that people waste money. Buying Too Large A House – We can convince ourselves that buying a large home is a great idea because we expect long term growth of the value of our home. Remember that primary residence should never be considered an investment, but rather your home.  The place you will raise your family or use a source ...

Read More →