Can You Retire On 1 Million Dollars?

One million dollars used to be the gold standard when it came to figuring out how much money you would need to never have to work the rest of your life.   Now, we all know if you really put your mind to it that you could probably retire on a million dollars, but the real question is whether or not you could maintain the standard of living you have been accustomed to off of your current income.  With our society having become more of an outsourced society than a do it yourself society, here’s why 1 million dollars isn’t what it used to be. The Slient Killer – Inflation may be the number one item underestimated when it comes to overall retirement planning. Inflation is on the rise, and if it rears its ugly head at the 4% level you better seek shelter to figure out how to make your money last.  At a 4% inflation level, 1 million dollars ...

Read More →

Are You Breathing Easier?

Have you ever heard of “Breathwork” or “Rebirthing”? I’ve been doing various forms of breathwork for years. The concept behind it is that when you breathe deeply and rhythmically you oxygenate the body and emotions, feelings and even beliefs that you no longer choose to keep are brought to the surface and released from your body and energy field.  It’s always best to do this with a coach that you trust because some of those emotions and feelings are ones that we’ve labeled bad and we don’t want to feel them. They are the ones that have been stuck for years in our sub-conscious mind.  When they come out, we have to be in a non-judgmental space so we can feel them fully, release them and let them go. We release them so we can Breathe Easier!! It’s kind of like looking at your financial situation. Sometimes we’ve avoided looking at our finances. We may have hundreds of thousands or ...

Read More →

Does Your Business Need A Buy-Sell Agreement?

Entrepreneurs are generally good at one thing when they start their business and that’s generating top line revenue.  Once they create enough top line revenue then they begin to think about how to drive bottom line profitability in their business.  As the equity value of the company grows, most owners never consider some very important planning items because they believe they are invincible.  What happens if my business partner(s) get divorced? What if they die?  What if they become disabled?  Do I want to be working with my partners kids or spouse?   One of the key considerations for most business owners is whether or not to get a buy-sell agreement and get key person insurance. A buy-sell agreement is a legal contract that provides for the sale of an owner’s stake in a business at a ‘trigger’ event.  The sale of an owner’s interest could actually trigger for many reasons including retirement, death, disability, divorce, bankruptcy, or even a conflict ...

Read More →

Five Ways To Save Money On Spring Break

With Spring Break right around the corner, families across America are thinking about vacations to staycations wondering how to fit this into their family budget.  If you aren’t careful, Spring Break could cost you upwards of $5,000 or more depending on how far of a getaway you plan for your family.  There are a number of ways to save money along the way, and if you plan appropriately you can even save money on your trip. What’s In Your Wallet – We walk around all year with our Contanza size wallet full of cards we don’t use at all. Before you spend a nickel on Spring Break, see if you have a AAA card, an AARP card, a Student ID (if a student is with you), or some other discount card that can offer you savings at local venues, rent-a-cars, or restaurants.  In addition, double check what your credit card may offer from lower cost Uber rides to savings at ...

Read More →

Four Moves To Make Before Interest Rates Go Up

It’s been roughly a decade since the housing collapse in the United States, and if you haven’t checked as of late the homes and buildings are going up in your neighborhood like a 2007 party.  Part of the main reason for the boom over the past decade was the loosening of the monetary policy keeping long term borrowing rates next to nothing. Those of you who locked in 30-year mortgages between 3% and 4% should thank your lucky stars because we may not see those rates again for another 20 years or more.  Now that the United States has hit record low unemployment and corporations across America are making record profits, the Fed is now beginning to tighten the monetary policy.   Mortgage rates were between 4.5% and 4.6% for a 30 year mortgage during the week of February 25th, 2018 (source: bankrate.com) So, what four smart money moves can you make as the Fed tightens up the money supply? Cut ...

Read More →

What’s Best? Buy, Lease, or Rent A Car

One of the day to day family financial decisions we have to make as adults is whether or not we should buy a car or lease a car.  Over the past twelve months, there have also been options popping up across America around the concept of joining a subscription service and renting a car.  Making the right decision for your family can potentially not only improve your budget, but it could also improve your lifestyle.  Here are my side by side on whether you should buy, lease, or rent a car. Buying A Car – There are lots of considerations when you buy a car, but traditionally I have only been a fan of buying used cars that are two to three years old and the large initial depreciation wears off.  You can cover yourself by buying a bumper to bumper 100,000 mile extended warranty if you have concerns about something major happening to the car, but I like the ...

Read More →

Why Investors Can’t Measure Their Own Risk Tolerance

When people start investing money, one of the exercises they engage in is determining their own risk tolerance.  Usually, this process is handled by filling out some sort of questionnaire that has multiple choice questions like the one below. ‘If you had $10,000 to invest, would you….’ Be willing to chance earning 30% growth knowing you could lose 30% Be willing to chance earning 10% growth knowing you could lose only 5% Be willing to lose nothing knowing you could earn no more than 5% We often whisk through these quizzes at a blazing pace because in a simulation exercise we know exactly who we are.  However, there are two types of behaviors that we have within our personality.  How we act in a natural state when we are relaxed and have no pressure.  Then, there is the adaptive state when we are under heavy pressure.  Unfortunately, these quizzes don’t really put us under any pressure so they don’t really ...

Read More →

Five Steps To Build Up An Emergency Cash Reserve

One of the most important financial planning questions we often hear from clients is around how much money to have in a cash reserve.  People struggle with this question because the reality is that there isn’t an exact answer.  For many years, the general rule of thumb was to build up three to six months in an emergency reserve in case of emergencies or opportunities.  However, some people feel with the availability of credit and other assets that can be readily liquid that they don’t need to keep much money in an account that doesn’t bear much interest.  Here are five steps to build up an Emergency Cash Reserve. Determine Your Need This is really the first step in figuring out how much money you need for a cash reserve.  Since most transactions are done electronically today, many families really don’t know how much their family ‘burn rate’ each month.  What we are talking about is how much your fixed ...

Read More →

The Best Five Places To Invest In 2018

We are a few weeks into 2018, and you might be wondering where are the best five places to invest for the rest of 2018.   With the stock markets hitting all time highs, cloudiness over the rise in interest rates, and the bitcoin practically on the news every day, this can make sorting out the best place to invest difficult for the average investor.  As we sort through all of the mazes of information and news, here are five places you should consider investing for the rest of 2018. Artificial Intelligence – AI’s growing market potential, which is estimated to be worth $46 billion dollars in just three years from has several paths to consider when investing. AI can seem confusing to people, but consider something just as Amazon’s just walk out technology http://bit.ly/2rnY8YJ or the new bill shopping chatbot Ask Trim which can automatically shop bills such as your cable bill or mobile phone bill.  AI can be used ...

Read More →

The Best 2018 Tax Moves To Make Now

As the new tax law goes into effect, many people are starting to wonder how this will affect their overall paychecks.  You should see some bump in your paychecks when the new tax tables go into effect somewhere in Mid-February or early March, but there are a host of financial decisions that you need to start considering now in order to maximize your own tax situation. Adjust your withholdings – It’s ironic that most people give themselves a high five when they get a refund come tax time. Not only do you allow the Government the use of your money for a year, you also get taxed on your own state refund federally the following year.  Since we have new tax brackets and tax tables, you should really look at your withholdings here in the spring to maximize your cash flow here in 2018. Remember, if you are getting your taxes done, Turbo Tax and Tax Slayer are two low ...

Read More →