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What’s Next . . . Step On The Scale Please!

Making smart money moves are important within all facets of our lives. Although we often think about money when it comes to bills, purchases, and investments, our overall health and wellness can be one of the largest costs included in our overall budgets. Relative to this, our diets and the way we eat can have a major impact on our personal finances day in and day out. If we end up having diabetes, high blood pressure, or extremely high cholesterol, these health issues can cost us thousands of dollars each and every single year to treat. Several years ago, the USDA (www.usda.org) released a report that stated medical costs that come as a result of obesity related problems are about $10,000 higher than they are for those with a healthy normal weight. What would it mean to put $10,000 back in your cash reserve, your children’s 529 college education fund, or your retirement savings? Back in the early 1990’s, the ...

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How much should I keep in a cash reserve?

Building a solid financial plan is relatable to building a strong house.    If you create a secure foundation and structure for the house, it is likely to stand up against all of the elements over the course of the years to come.   Many financial plans fail because the two key areas of the foundation which include having an appropriate cash reserve and having adequate risk management protection are not put into place before people begin investing.   There are often various numbers thrown around in the media about what is an adequate cash reserve to have in your financial plan, but here are some thoughts for consideration on how much money to have in checking, savings, and other short-term investment instruments. The first question you should be asking is whether you are employed (and where your job stability is at work) or whether you are self-employed.    My opinion is that people who own a business should have about double the normal ...

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Does Your 401(k) Offer An “In Service” Distribution?

For Generation X clients, the majority of their retirement savings are in the company 401(k).   While you do have a multitude of options of what you can do with your 401(k) if you leave your employer, often people feel like they are stuck if they stay with the same employer for a long period of time.  This is especially true with larger companies as most of those plans offer a limited number of investment choices and several target retirement funds.     I’m amazed that many people I sit down have never heard of whether their company offers an in service withdrawal or an in service distribution which can give them greater investment control of their 401(k) assets.    Since we have had two major market meltdowns over the past 12 years, 401(k)’s offer limited power to help you risk mitigate against a market crash.   This is why you need ask your employer today, do we offer an in service distribution? So, just ...

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Pay Off Credit Cards Or Save For Retirement?

You just turned 30 years old, and are still have credit card debt hanging over your head.   While you were out partying and paying off student loans during your 20’s, you realize that you haven’t saved a nickel for retirement.   The debate begins in your head.   Do I pay off the $10,000 of credit card debt or do I save the maximum I can in my 401(k)? The Dave Ramsey’s of the world would always say to pay off debt first before saving in a 401(k).  These are the personal finance situations where I don’t agree with a Dave Ramsey because it really does depend on your personal situation. The first thing I would look at is whether your company offers a 401(k) plan that has a match.  For example, if you put away 6% of your salary and your company matches 3% it would be an instant 50% return on your money if you stay with your company long ...

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