5 2018 Sticky Financial New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 2018, and that means that most of you have made at least one New Year’s resolution.  For most of you it will surround either diet or exercise, but for some of you getting your financial plan in order may rise to the top of the list. With the average American now surpassing more than $16,000 of household credit card debt, it may appear that feeling flush has left us spending out of control.  In your smart money moves fashion, here are my ideas for a sticky 2018 financial New Year’s resolution that can help you grow your bottom line. Get Your Financial House In Order Set Up An Online Account Aggregation System – At oXYGen Financial, we have been using a personal financial dashboard for almost 10 years in helping our clients get their financial house in order. You can learn more about this by going to oXYGen Financial, but there are also other systems online including Mint and ...

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Five Items To Buy After Christmas

When the Starbuck’s Christmas cups go away and your neighbors begin to take down their decorations, the last thing in the world you probably want to do is to be thinking about shopping considering you’ve been fretting about it for the past month.  While it may feel like we get deals galore thrown in front of our faces during the month of December, once Christmas season is over, you may be able to snag yourself a really good deal if you know what to buy.  I’ve put together a quick your smart money moves guide on five items you might want to consider buying after December 25th (mind you that it’s probably better about the second week of January). Electronics – While you can get a really good deal on video game consoles and cameras, the one electronic I would really keep my eye on are high definition televisions. Remember, each January the Consumer Electronics Show takes place in Las ...

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About The GOP Tax Bill

With the GOP Tax Bill on the verge of passing, President Trump has suggested that this 1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut will be a HUGE Christmas present for the entire United States of America.  As with any type of new tax reform, there will be items you hear in the media about the winners and losers.  You’ll also hear about the major bullet points including the income tax brackets, the corporate tax cut to 21%, the small business pass through tax cuts, and certainly the minimization of state, local, and property income tax deductions on your itemized deductions.  What really separates us from our competition is to work hard on digging several layers down to give you some insight into the small tax changes that you won’t hear about that could affect your bottom line. Here are five things you didn’t know about the GOP Tax Bill Say Goodbye To The Home Equity Loan Deduction – The part of this bill ...

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Would You Pay $450 Million For A Piece Of Art

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, “Saviour of the World,” sold for $450,312,500 Wednesday at auction, Christie’s said. The price, which includes a buyer’s premium, makes it “the most expensive painting ever sold at auction,” the auction house said in a recent statement. The previous record for the most expensive painting sold at auction was $179,364,992 for Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger” (“Women of Algiers”), according to Christie’s. The highest price previously paid at auction for a da Vinci was in 2001 for his “Horse and Rider,” a work on paper, which went for $11,481,865.  This begs the question about whether or not it is a good idea to add collectibles into your overall portfolio and which collectibles may make sense if you have no real interest in collecting anything at all. With all of the hoopla going on this year in California, one might stop and think that fine wine could be a good collectible as part of your overall holdings. In fact ...

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Is It Time To Just Rent A Car…FOREVER??

For the past twenty years, I have been buying my personal automobiles one way and one way only.  I would typically look for a used car that was two to three years old with a good chunk of depreciation worn off it and then buy the car for cash.   I would typically drive the car for another 4 to 6 years and then rinse and repeat the process.   In fact, as I gave advice to clients over the years I would continue to emphasize this philosophy as I have never been a big fan of buying new cars as an asset (unless you love cars) nor have I typically like leases with the exception of a few specific instances. Recently, I embarked on a test and for the first time in my own financial life I neither own a car nor do I lease car.   I actually RENT a car full time, and I’m beginning to think that this trend ...

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How To Save BIG Money On Your Teenagers Auto Insurance

It’s Official!  Effective November 1st of this year, I officially have three children that can drive an automobile.  On one hand, it’s a sigh of relief because now I have three drivers who can make a run to CVS or Chick-Fil-A to do those small errands I simply don’t want to do at all. On the other hand, you simply worry every time your children get out on the road and spend your nights waiting up to make sure that they get home safely.   Beyond the bad and good of having your children be able to drive, the one that really hits home is your auto insurance. In fact, when my 20 year old went on to our auto insurance for the first time, even a seasoned financial advisor like myself gulped a little bit with sticker shock as a good solid student cost more than $2,000 per year.  When my second daughter went on about two years later and ...

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What You Need To Know About Healthcare Open Enrollment For 2018 Obamacare

It may be open enrollment season for many of you at work, but for millions of Americans it will be the official open enrollment for Obamacare started Wednesday, November 1st. Amidst all the adjustment surrounding federal subsidies, there is a plethora of information to digest for those of you who are considering the federal marketplace for your health insurance. Sometimes, it may feel like you need an engineering degree to choose your health insurance. Here are my five-smart money moves Q & A to help you get an initial start to understanding the open enrollment period beginning this week. Question 1: When does open enrollment start/end and how many people are expected to sign up this year? Starts November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017 You must apply by December 15th if you want your coverage to begin January 1st. There are no other enrollment periods unless you qualify for a special enrollment for life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of ...

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Should You Lend Money To A Co – Worker?

Here’s a situation I heard the other day…what do you think you should you do. Ted, I’ve got a co-worker of mine and we’ve known each other for more than 10 years. I have always known them to be a pretty responsible person and one that never brings drama to work. We are both in our late 30’s. I have a pretty good idea what they make because we have reasonably similar jobs. It was strange, but the other day as we hit the breakroom, they asked me if I would consider loaning them $7,000 for just a few months some money so they could pay off some of her debts, and then they would pay me back after they get the upcoming bonus we should be receiving in a few months. Details: They specifically told me there were some unexpected family medical expenses that caused this 7k of debt and they didn’t get into too many more details beyond ...

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Five Ways To Save Money When You Plan Your Wedding

Since I have two daughters, it’s entirely possible that I will be shelling out some big bucks down the road if my daughter’s get married.  The cost of weddings continues to skyrocket across the United States and the national average cost of a wedding day in 2016 shot up to $35,329, according to a survey by The Knot. That’s a $2,688 jump from the 2015 average of $32,641. Increased focus on tailoring an unforgettable day for wedding guests is central to the rise in costs, says The Knot. While the number of people showing up may have decreased—from 149 in 2009 to 141 last year—amenities like photo booths, food trucks, and lawn games are driving up the average cost per guest to $245, compared to a meager $194 in 2009. So, the big question is how can you save some money when planning a special wedding day.  Here are my five tips on how to have a great day, but still stay within your budget. ...

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What You Should Know About The Current Trump Tax Plan

Almost a year after President Trump was elected to office, none of the main agenda bills have passed in Congress.  With Thanksgiving looming around the corner for a Congress shut down here in 2017, one of the big questions will be whether the major tax bill passes before the end of the year.  This single tax plan could have a big effect on how the market finishes here in 2017 and its potential impact into 2018.   Here are the key points you should know about the current Trump Tax Plan. Businesses Get The Biggest Cut The current proposal is to reduce the tax rate of “C” Corporations (currently mostly large corporation) to move from the current 35% down to 20%.   Consider this impact for a company that makes $20 billion dollars and currently pays $7 billion dollars in taxes.  Those companies would in theory get back another $3 billion dollars in freed up cash flow.   The current proposal still considers ...

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