Financial Considerations For The First Marriage After 40

You almost gave up hope that you would meet Mr. Right.  Or maybe it is Ms. Right.  However fate struck lightning and you finally met the person that you are convinced you were meant to spend the rest of your life.    At some point, reality sets in as the wedding date gets closer and it starts to dawn on your that there may be real discussions that need to be had around money and financial goals.   Not something you typically discuss when you are enjoying fine dining, front row concerts, and swanky hotels on the beach. Remember, everybody has a financial story.  Especially the person that you are about to wed.   It is important to peel back the artichoke to better understand your partner’s attitudes and feelings around money and planning for overall financial goals.   Here are my five smart money move financial considerations for those that are getting married for the first time after 40. Should you get a ...

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Is It Worth Going To Conferences?

When you work for a large corporation, you don’t have much of a choice about whether or not you go to the company conference.  They are often filled with workshops, PowerPoints, happy hours, and every once in a while a late night story that you really don’t care to share by the time you get back home.  However, there are industry conferences that are being put on all the time.  In the financial services industry alone, I counted well over 100 conferences I could attend ranging from technical competency training to practice management.   So, is it a smart money move to attend a conference over the next year? Here are seven tips to consider to determine if it will be worth going to an upcoming conference: Determine Where Your Biggest Personal Or Business Bottleneck Is At This Time- If you are going to spend the money to go to a conference, make sure the agenda matches what skill sets you ...

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Five Celebrities That Know How To Save Money

Most of the media generated stories about celebrities consist of shock and awe showing situations resembling the Titanic sinking into the ocean.   When it comes to personal finances, we read about those who didn’t pay their income taxes, stars that spent themselves into bankruptcy, and estate plans that went decidedly south after their death.    However, there are celebrities who understand a thing or two about money and here are five famous people who know how to improve their bottom line. Teri Hatcher Understands Used Cars– Teri Hatcher became famous through the Superman shows she did with Dean Cain and then hit a home run with the Desperate Housewives television show.   She’s reported to have a net worth of over $50 million dollars.  “I don’t spend my money on sports cars or new million-dollar houses. I drive my cars for 10 years until they have 100,000 miles on them.” (source www.msn.com)    Used car buying is a smart money move that can ...

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You Are A Sole Proprietor: How About A Solo 401(k)

I am seeing more and more people quit the corporate America lifestyle and venture into becoming their own business owner.  This shape of a business owner can be a freelancer, consultant, or someone who actually starts up a ‘brick and mortar’ operation.    Many of these folks will ask questions about whether they should incorporate their business, which I have discussed in other articles.    Once they become profitable, they often ask which kind of retirement plan would suit them the best.   For someone who is a sole business owner, the Solo 401(k) has been around for about a decade and provides a great alternative to helping maximize your retirement contributions.   Here’s a little history on the Solo 401(k) and how it can be a smart money move for your business. The Solo 401k came about in 2002 after Congress passed Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA). EGTRRA added some small paragraphs to the tax code that put ...

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There is no stress when the check is in the mail

Written By: Van Pappas, CFP These days there are fewer and fewer companies offering pension plans.  If you are fortunate to have one, you might find a letter in the mail one day from your pension manger with what looks like an attractive lump sum buyout.  Most times the amount of the lump sum payout could be the biggest check you will ever see.   They offer these buyouts as a way to reduce the impact on the company’s financials, by shrinking the size of their pension obligations. One of the issues is that if you take the lump sum personally, rather than rolling it into an IRA, you will have to pay income tax on the entire amount and this could push you into a higher tax bracket.  Once you elect to take the offer, you cannot undo it. Look at the monthly payment options available and calculate the performance you may need to make to potentially get a similar ...

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How To Save Money On Groceries

Sometimes it can feel like your family is an equal opportunity shopper when it comes to your grocery bill.  When you look back at the debit card or credit card at the end of the month, you can see charges from Publix, Kroger, Trader’s Joes, and Whole Foods.   You begin to ask yourself between the groceries you purchased during the month and the charges you had for eating out, it is possible that you really ate that much food and yet there is still nothing in the pantry?   If your family grocery bill is exceeding your monthly expectations and hitting that $1,000 a month mark, here are four smart money move tips on how to cut down on your grocery bill. Look For A Local Produce Program– Recently, my wife found a local program where we live in Milton that allows you to get a box of ‘produce’ every week based upon the number of people in your family.  What’s ...

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The Devil Went Down To Georgia

Charlie Daniels won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979 for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia“, which reached No. 3 on the Hot 100 in September 1979. Almost everybody can name that tune the moment they hear it on the radio. Even if the Devil does come down to Georgia, here is one thing they won’t want to do in this state if they are making a smart money move . . . drink beer. But does it pay to be a ‘sin tax’ consumer in Georgia? ‘Sin Taxes’ as we often hear them called are a form of sumptuary taxes. Sumptuary taxes are ostensibly used for reducing transactions involving something that society considers undesirable, and is thus a kind of sumptuary law. Sin tax is used for taxes on activities that are considered socially undesirable. Common targets of sumptuary taxes are alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and vehicles emitting excessive pollutants. Sumptuary tax on sugar and soft drinks ...

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How To Save Money On Shoes

Many women (and now men) have a decent shoe collection in their closet. As parents, we know that after spending lots of money on clothes for our kids, shoes can come in a close second for the family budget. Between growth spurts, general wear and tear, and special events, kids can change shoes faster than Vin Diesel drives in Fast 6! One of the smart money move habits we can all get into this year is thinking about using different strategies to reduce our shoe costs. Here are five of my tips on how to keep light on your feet while keeping your cash in the wallet. 1)   Buy Out Of Season– With most items we buy in life, buying during the peak season is primarily when you will pay the highest dollar amount for anything especially shoes. Most parents will begin the process of stocking up on school supplies and running their children over to the shoe store to ...

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Preventive Medicine For Your Home

We all know that one the largest assets we will own in our lifetime is our home.   I’ve never really seen a ton of good articles on the cost of home ownership, but having personally owned over a half dozen homes, I can tell you that all homes required their fair share of upkeep.    Even though we may not be in the market to sell our homes, we are constantly watching the sale of our neighbors homes or checking out the prices on websites like Zillow to see where the value of our home stands.     We can convince ourselves that our home is in tip top shape until the time we get an offer on the home contingent on the dreaded home inspection.    A good home inspector gets paid in part to look within every nook and cranny in the house to find out what may be wrong with the property.    After the inspection, we can almost become incensed that ...

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