Slip The Hostess A $50 Bill

What’s your worst nightmare on a Saturday night?  We live near a massive outdoor shopping and eating complex called Avalon.   Filled with 20 or so restaurants, it’s generally buzzing on the weekends with couples and families walking around spending money in the stores and grabbing a bit at the cuisine of their choice.   My worst nightmare on a Saturday night is taking the family out or meeting some friends and stepping up to the hostess who tells me it is going to be an hour and a half wait to get a table and puts our name into the software so we can track how far back we are in the line to eat.   Nightmare, nightmare, nightmare!! A few weeks ago, a friend of mine flew into town and we went to grab dinner at a hot spot in Buckhead where they told us our wait was going to be one hour and fifteen minutes.   When I heard the hostess ...

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When You Realize The Best Things In Life Are Free

Sometimes, people will make fun of me for driving a car with 204,000 miles of wear and tear on it.    There isn’t a month that goes by that someone doesn’t ask me, “Ted, when are you going to get a new car?”  On top it, I’m not the kind of person who buys myself much anymore.  I don’t spend a lot money on clothes, I don’t have an expensive hobby, and I don’t even wear a watch anymore.   You’d think I was bunkering up for a financial Armageddon, but in reality a few years ago I realized that no matter how much money you make the best things in life are free. Growing up as a child, we would have NEVER even thought about going to a four star hotel.  Now, for most families it isn’t even about taking a vacation.  It’s about the style points associated with the vacation.   “Hey, have you gone to the Ritz Carlton in …..?” ...

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Is It Time To Consider I Bonds

I was reminiscing the other day about the gifts that my grandmother used to give me for my birthday and at holiday time.    She wasn’t a great gift giver, especially when I would get a sweater vest with the big letter “T” etched right in the middle of the sweater. Oh yeah, I also got socks a few years which is a swell gift if you want to end up on the loser list at middle or high school.   But, the one gift that didn’t mean much to me at the time and paid dividends later were the series EE savings bonds that I stuck in an envelope and let sit in my drawer until they matured.   Those very bonds helped me be able to put a down payment on my first car so I can thank my grandmother for that. With interest rates hovering at an all time low over the past seven or eight years, hardly anybody talks ...

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Make Money By Renting Your Car Out?

One of the planning items that most people have when they go on vacation is whether or not to rent a car.  With the evolution of services such as Uber and Lyft, some people are skipping the rent a car altogether and trying to manage the cost of having a car service take you around the city you are traveling through for vacation. However, we love showing people how to make money and one of the up and coming ideas is to rent your car out to others while it is just sitting there in the driveway.   Some people leave the country for an extended period of time and won’t be using their car and others have a weekend car that does nothing but sit and collect dust during the week.   Being smart about making money is getting your assets to work for you instead of you working for your money. The first service you need to learn about is ...

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They’re Dead. Now What?

My oldest client passed away this week and it’s been over 5 months since my oldest aunt, my Second Mom, passed away. It’s a sad time, yet a reminder to spend time with those we love and care about. It’s also a time to take care of ourselves. The world just changed, dramatically, for their families and for me. I came into this business through a life insurance company and I remember handling my first death claim for a policy that didn’t have a current agent assigned to it. The son told me that his father had cancelled a couple of other life insurance policies within the prior 2 years and used the cash value to take the entire family on a trip. The memories of that trip meant so much more to him and his mother than them receiving a bigger death benefit that day. So, 1. Tell the people you love that you do love them. Spend time ...

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Want To Get Wealthy? Try A Budget Cleanse!

There is so much discussion out there on the internet about picking stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, and mutual funds.   It’s dizzying to sort through the thousands of articles to really ascertain whether indexing is better than active or value is better than growth.  When you think about building wealth, the discussion centers primarily around ‘asset management’, and which assets categories to own to grow your overall net worth.   However, being an expert in the X and Y generation, the next 20 years of financial planning should be much more centered about your ‘cash flow management’ rather than your ‘asset management’. Since we have moved to a society where largely all transactions move through some sort of electronic currency.  For most of you that means debit or credit cards, although we know that many forms of mobile financial technology are developing to easily allow two entities or people to transfer cash to one another.   Rarely do people write checks today ...

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Why Are You Such A “Poor” Millionaire

As I continue to help more and more people approach the end zone of making work optional (a.k.a. – retirement) it continues to shed light on just how little one million dollars seems these days.    It was once believed that the ultimate pinnacle for wealth building was to have one million liquid dollars, but with the uncertainty in the bond markets, stock markets, and real estate markets, it has baby boomers about to retire shaking in their boots about being sacked before they score a touchdown. Many people hear this notion being thrown about called the 4% percent rule.   This rule was initially laid out by a financial planner William Bengen.   He had back tested a variety of withdrawal rates using various historical rates of return and found that 4% withdrawal with the absolute highest rate that held up over a period of 30 years. So, if you are a “millionaire” with $1,000,000 of starting capital at ‘work optional’, you ...

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Five Holiday Gifts To Help Your Friends And Family Build Wealth

There is no doubt that this entire month is going to be spent hanging out at holiday parties, shopping at the department stores, and thinking about how fast each goes by as you get older.   While we will see all sorts of gadgets, clothes, and toys that you can buy this holiday season, perhaps it might be a good idea to consider a gift that could help one of your friends or family members build some wealth.  Here are my five your smart money moves that can help the ones you love increase their bottom line. uniquestockgift.com – What better way to help someone build wealth than actually purchasing them ONE share of stock? With Unique Gift Stock, you literally have hundreds of companies to choose from to buy one share of stock in a company and then give it away as a gift.   You can present the stock in a beautiful frame with a personalized plaque note.   From that ...

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Six Smart Ways To Save Money On Thanksgiving Dinner

Forty-six million turkeys will be ready to go during Thanksgiving this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation says the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will average $49.04, a 44-cent decrease from last year’s average of $49.48. Supermarkets are charging $21.76 for a 16-pound turkey, which works out to $1.36 per pound (and three cents less than the per pound cost in 2012).   However, we are interested in saving money, so here are six ways to cut down on cost for Thanksgiving dinner if you are working on a budget. Go Generic – There may be a few brands that you cannot live without for Thanksgiving, consider items such as salt, spices, frozen vegetables, and other items that can save you money without giving up the taste.   Generic brands at many stores have come up in quality over the past five years and in some cases have the same exact ingredients as the big brands. Go pot luck with your ...

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Is FOMO Making You Poor?

Doesn’t it always seem that your friends or people you used to know are just flat out having a better life than you?  If you tune in to Instagram or Facebook on a daily basis, you’ll find someone who snapped a picture of themselves in a far away luxurious destination or in the front row of the latest concert in town.   With all of these images barraging us every day, does it have an effect on how we think about spending our money. One phenomenon to hit the scene in the past few years is a concept called (FOMO) which is the Fear Of Missing Out.  This is a far cry from (BOGO) Buy One Get One, so please don’t confuse the two of them.   With the power of social media today and the strong suggestions of images, we can often feel like we are missing out in the good times…the fun times…the best of times from what we see ...

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