Five Smart Money Moves To Make When You Are Offered A Severance Package

When the consulting companies are done offering advice to your corporation on how to make it more effective, the one word you don’t want to hear from upper management is “reorg”.    Reorg, short for reorganization, if often a labor intensive process where a large organization systematically eliminates a section of the workforce to streamline their overall processes, people, and systems.   When these reductions in workforce happen, one of the possibilities that may occur is to offer you a severance package.    The problem for most families is that decisions have to be made so quickly that people often make poor choices on how to best maximize this package. Here are five smart money moves to make when you are offered a severance package. Double Dip On Pay If your company offers you six months or one year as a severance package, this is not the time to take an extended vacation.   Every month that you can work for a new employer ...

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You Lost $24 Billion In 16 Days Mr. Government?

According to the USA Today (10/18/2013), the 16 day Government shutdown cost the economy jobs, delayed mortgages, and lost retail sales.  The numbers aren’t fully in yet, but it is purported to be at least 12 billion dollars and possibly as much as 24 billion dollars for the stalemate that took place in Washington, D.C. over the past several weeks. As a 22 year veteran financial advisor, you don’t advise someone to take out a Target store card right after they have maxed out their Sears and Nordstrom store cards.   We all know that piling up lots and lots of credit card debt is simply an unsustainable way to manage a financial budget.  What we all don’t know today is when the balloon will burst. It’s not a smart money move to lose 12 billion, let alone 24 billion, but I’ve come up with my list of things that we could have done with 24 billion. We could have handed ...

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Five Insurance Policies Every Small Business Owner Needs

This is the weekend you finally decided it’s time to start your own business.    You’ve had enough of the corporate rat race and now you want to take matters into your own hands.   After you determine whether you want to set up as a sole proprietor, LLC, S-Corporation, or C-Corporation, there will be a litany of items to strike off the checklist to make sure the business is up and running.   One of the key areas that most small business owners ignore is getting the right type of insurance policies set up as they initiate their new businesses.   Even as the business gets established, business owners often ignore getting the right type of protection in place to insulate their business in case of unforeseen circumstances.   Here are five insurance policies every small business owner needs. Disability Insurance– The challenge that most new business owners don’t understand is that if you show no verifiable income, you’ll have no chance of getting ...

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Six Financial Moves To Make When You Lose A Spouse

Almost 25 years ago, my father passed away.   My mother was a 5th grade school teacher and we had one of those households where dad predominantly took care of the finances even though both of my parent’s held down full time jobs.   When my father died, it not only left my mother in a complete state of shock, but she also had no roadmap provided to her on what steps to take to get the financial house in order.   In many households, one spouse usually controls and manages 80% or more of the family finances.   Should you have a spouse pass away, here are six financial moves to make that can help you during this difficult transition. Handle Funeral Expenses– Funerals can end up becoming a very expensive proposition. Did you make arrangements and prepay burial expenses?  Were their specific instructions around burial in the will?  It’s important that those who are helping you with final and funeral expenses understand ...

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Think Before You Click The Button

My Your Smart Money Moves Column has an underlying theme of always trying to get you to think.  While often it’s about money saving opportunities or financial planning strategies, I’ll throw in a different article here and there to make you consider what is going on in life.   One of the bigger worries I have for most of you, with the increasing amount of purchases you make through the internet, is catching the dreaded disease ‘clickyitis’. (Wouldn’t it be cool if I made the slang dictionary in a few years with this one?   Clickyitis is the trap that retailers get you into by clicking in a Pavlovian type response to the very buttons they want you to click without even knowing you are spending more money.   How does this happen? Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com) –  Now, when you register a domain with Go Daddy, they first automatically fill the extra $7.99 box (in the middle by the way) instead of the ...

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Should I Pay Off The Mortgage?

One of the more difficult questions that I get from both younger and older people alike is whether or not it is a good idea to pay off their mortgage. If you have locked in a low interest rate recently when they were hovering around all time lows, you are probably happy about not having to shop for a new mortgage. If your rate is in the 3% to 4% range, you may be wondering if you should take your excess monthly discretionary income to pay down your home note faster. Or, would it be a better idea to take that cash and invest it for the long term. This decision has both financial and emotional ramifications, so let’s review the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage. The first part of this analysis is the black and white calculations on whether your money can work harder for you than the interest rate you are paying on your debt. ...

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He who hestitates…SAVES! Why it’s always worth the wait.

By: Genna Jenkin The Your Smart Money Moves Mom Hello, my name is Genna and I am a sales-a-holic.  I am in recovery, but everyday is a struggle.  I believe my addiction is congenital as I come from a long line of bargain boasters and I am hoping it doesn’t present itself in any of my children.  You know the types, they share legendary tales of high-end purchases made for next to nothing, often on items they didn’t really need. Our current culture totally feeds into this type of mentality.  We are constantly bombarded by flash sales, daily deals and reality television showing us all of the ways we can beat the system and get what we want (and more) for a rock-bottom price.  This, combined with wanting to provide our kids with all the things we didn’t have can make for a financial nightmare. The operative word  here is “want”.   We have all heard the much debated argument of ...

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Should Your Child Wear A ‘LEAF’ To School

After your child gets their driver’s license, one of the next financial considerations is whether or not you should purchase another car for your household.   Some parents will buy their children a brand new Hummer while others will find clunkers that weren’t intended to be two-tone cars even though the hood is black the rest of the car is grey.   With advancements in technology, is it possible that getting a brand new electric car is a good idea? If you’ve read Your Smart Money Moves over the past five years, you know that I’m not a humongous fan of leasing cars.   However, in the case of electric cars, it can be quite advantageous, at least within the state of Georgia.   Consider what a lease would look like on the electric vehicle Nissan Leaf. An income tax credit is available for up to 20% of the cost to purchase or lease an electric vehicle, or $5,000, whichever is less. The credit ...

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