fbpx

Setting and Making Realistic Financial New Year’s Resolutions

It is almost that time of season when you will begin to ponder your new year’s resolution.  Will it be exercise?  Will it be a new diet? Or will it have something to do with improving your family finances.  Making resolutions (or goals) can be a very difficult process because it often makes you face some of your own realities like it or not.   When you decide to set goals that are realistic, I have been a big cheerleader over the years to use the S-M-A-R-T goal setting system.  Here is how it works. *S is for Specific– Be very specific about what you are trying to accomplish.  Don’t tell yourself you want to pay down debt.  Instead, give yourself a specific goal such as paying off $10,000 of debt. *M is for Measurable– Have a way to track your progress.   In the last example, make a chart for paying off $833 a month and cross it off each month ...

Read More →

Your 2013 Year End Smart Money Moves

Believe it or not, 2013 will be a footnote in the history books in just three weeks.   As you scurry around to shopping malls and local outlet stores to find presents and stocking stuffers; make sure you don’t forget important money items, that can be worth a lot more than a plate of cookies on the fireplace mantle.  We often overlook some of these items, because we simply run out of time or they just pass by us because we don’t know about them at all.  Here are some year end ideas from the Your Smart Money Moves Column. Do you have a will/living trust? If they don’t have a written one, then the state they live in will have one for them.  My guess is that you don’t want the state to decide how your parent’s assets should be distributed.    The will has many features to it, but most importantly it allows for your parents to essentially say which ...

Read More →

Which Term Insurance Is Right For Me?

If you are in the market to buy life insurance, you need to remember that not all term insurance is created alike. Here are some key items to remember so you can make a smart money move. 1) Renewable Term – Most often this comes in the form of yearly renewable term which your premium starts out incredibly low and increases every year you get older.  Sometimes you can get this renewable term in a 5 year increment, but most often it is sold one year at a time. Depending on the company, you may not have prove your medical status yearly as long as you pay the premium. 2) Level Term – This is the most popular option today.  You can essentially get a fixed premium with a fixed death benefit for a fixed period of time. The premiums on these policies are level for the length of time you have the insurance policy, and generally cannot be cancelled ...

Read More →

5 Important Financial Questions To Ask Your Parents

Talking about money is never an easy subject.  Let alone discussing it with your partner or your kids, it can be incredibly uncomfortable to talk about money and estate planning with your parents. As you watch your parents get into their 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s, there are some key questions that you will want to talk about with them to ensure your parents finances are in good shape.  Good or bad, you will have to deal with these issues down the road. 1. Do you have a will? If they don’t have a written one, then the state they live in will have one for them.  My guess is that you don’t want the state to decide how your parent’s assets should be distributed.  The will has many features to it, but most importantly it allows for your parent’s to essentially say which personal items go to which children along with an orderly administration of the estate.  Depending on the ...

Read More →

Why Refinance Back into a 30-Year Loan?

Refinance Your Mortgage for Rate and Payment Reductions Atlanta, GA – One of the biggest reasons homeowners refinance their mortgage is to obtain a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. By refinancing, the borrower pays off their existing mortgage and replaces it with a new one. This can often be accomplished with a no-points no-fees loan program, which essentially means at “no cost” to the borrower. In the no-points no-fees scenario, the mortgage consultant uses rebate monies paid by the lender to pay off non-recurring closing costs for the borrower. These are “one time” fees such as escrow or attorney fees, title insurance, document preparation, tax service, flood certification, processing and underwriting fees, etc. The borrower is still responsible for recurring fees such as interim insurance, property taxes or insurance policy payments. Refinancing typically occurs when mortgage interest rates drop significantly, but borrowers with recently improved credit scores (from paying off credit card debt, making mortgage payments on time, ...

Read More →

Top 5 Insurance Policies To Avoid

Doesn’t it seem like there is always an insurance decision to make? Whether it is from a new purchase you make, a decision at work, or someone calling you to buy something over the phone, insurance decisions are being made every other month in our financial plans. It is often confusing to figure out which insurance programs make sense, and which is just a waste of money. While hindsight is 20/20, here are five insurance policies you want to avoid in the future. Mortgage Insurance– When you buy a new home, you will typically get a mailer to buy an insurance policy that will completely pay off the mortgage upon your death. If you are reasonably healthy, buying a level term insurance policy through any of the major insurance companies will often be much cheaper than buying this type of insurance. Wedding Insurance- Isn’t there a big problem if you are buying insurance in the event your wedding doesn’t happen? ...

Read More →

Be wary of “hypotheticals” in insurance policies!

Many people consider buying into permanent insurance policies. Almost always, I see an illustration when people bring it to me with a hypothetical illustration. On some policies these projected illustrations carry a hypothetical rate of return of 10% to project where cash value accounts will be over the next 20 to 25 years. ...

Read More →

Long Term Care Insurance . . How Does It Work?

Understanding Long-Term Care Insurance- It's a fact: People today are living longer. Although that's good news, the odds of requiring some sort of long-term care increase as you get older. And as the costs of home care, nursing homes, and assisted living escalate, you probably wonder how you're ever going to be able to afford long-term care. One solution that is gaining in popularity is long-term care insurance (LTCI). ...

Read More →