The Biggest Financial Mistake People Make During Divorce

Divorce can often bring about tumultuous times for a family. Sometimes they can go very smooth and others can literally be the ‘War Of The Roses’. In the midst of being between the lawyers, couples often make financial mistakes that can lead to problems down the road. The number one mistake that I have seen amongst divorcing couples is their lack of consideration around liquidity of assets. It’s pretty common after a separation that one spouse will end up with the primary residence and in turn the other spouse may wind up with a commensurate amount of assets between brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and savings accounts. While the math may show a true 50/50 split of the overall net worth of the couple, the reality is that one of the spouses will be stuck with a paper asset that could be tough to dispose of if cash flow becomes an issue. This can also occur when one spouse is the ...

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The Biggest Investment Mistake You Make Every Year

We all know that investments can be for short term, medium term, or long term.   Investments are often thought of in terms of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc.    Some people invest their money in private ventures and some in public companies.   Business owners will almost always tell you the best investment is their business.   In my opinion, the biggest investment mistake each and every person makes on a yearly basis is not setting aside enough of their personal income to invest in themselves.   Investing in yourself can be personally, professionally, and financially rewarding.   Here are my top five ways to invest in YOU! Advance Your Education- There are so many outlets today to gain extra knowledge and education.  It doesn’t have to be done necessarily by going back to school full time.   You could do a three day executive course or just sign up for one night class.  You could take an online course on a site like ...

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Ten Common Mistakes Tax Filers Make

Don’t you hate that thought of getting your taxes done only to realize later that you make a common mistake that could cost you time or money? The tax code seems to be getting more and more complicated every year (500 changes alone in 2008), and we all seem to be strapped for time these days. Here are 10 mistakes we see taxpayers make all the time which could put a few dollars in your pocket this tax season. 1) If you are single and are caring for an elderly parent, you should investigate seeing if you qualify for ‘head of household’ for your filing status. As a general rule of thumb, you should be paying for 50% or more of the elderly parent’s expenses. 2) You should make sure you have kept track of your charitable mileage that you drove during the year. Eligible miles will have a .14 cents on the mile write off on your tax return ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – 5 Big Mistakes Gen X’ers Make With Their Money

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude.   Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I’ve noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money.    Over the next five weeks, I’m going to pull one subject at a time to help those of you within Generation X get your personal finances on track so you can achieve financial independence, purpose, and freedom. MISTAKE #1– Not paying off your mortgage (and getting it done quicker) For many homeowners today it feels like Christmas time with thirty year mortgages available for under ...

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Personal Finance 101 – Retirement Planning What Are Your Retirement Assumptions

You often see the commercials on television today asking the question, “What’s Your Number”?   What they are really referring to is the notion of how much money do you need in order to be able to retire.  It’s funny that most people I talk to today don’t really call it retirement.  They really think about the term of making work optional.  This means having the ability to do what they want when they want irrespective of money.   Over the next four weeks on Your Smart Money Moves, I am going to share with you how to really think about the personal financial area of retirement planning. I have always thought about my ‘work optional’ number being the amount of money I actually need on a debit card when I retire to maintain my standard of living the way I want it when I go ‘work optional’.   The mistake that I see in many financial plans is that the assumptions made ...

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