5 Amazing Technology Gifts For Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is less than a week away and word on the street is that spending is up this year.    The National Retail Federation estimated that consumers will spend 19.9 billion dollars on Mom this year in 2018 which is actually down from last year.  If you are counting that is an average of $162.94 per consumer which is $6 decrease from a year ago.  Men will spend more than Mom than women by more than $70!  Being a Mom is a tough job, and we need to all appreciate what Mom’s do throughout the year. Most consumers will acknowledge that appreciation with a greeting card (81.3%), though it appears her loved ones will also look for special gifts. Two-thirds (66.6%) of those celebrating will buy mom her favorite flowers, spending a total of $2.3 billion, and 33.5 percent will look for spring sweaters and blouses, spending a total of $1.7 billion on apparel and accessory items. Mom’s loved ones ...

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Five Money Moves To Make If Your Company Files Bankruptcy

As we get deeper into the calendar year of 2018, bankruptcies are at an all-time high for the retail sector.  In fact, in 2018 store closing are expected to be up 30% and cross over 10,000 retail stores that will close this year.  There isn’t a person you run across today who won’t admit that online companies are killing brick and mortar.  Even if your company says they will reorganize their debt and not officially lay everyone off, it’s probably time you make some smart financial moves now to get your personal financial plan in place.   Make sure you take care of all of your health items- Health insurance is one of the biggest things to be thinking about if your company is filing bankruptcy. What you want to understand is what will be happening with your company benefits. If you do lose your job, do you understand the COBRA rules and the costs? Do you understand what the ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Five Ways To Save Money On Pet Costs

As the millennial generation grows up (people born 1981-1996), many couples are actually substituting the idea of having children with have pets as the cental focus of their family.   According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the 2012 Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook showed that almost 40% of households in American had a pet dog.  Cats were at 31% falling in seconds place and a litany of other animals were further down on the list.   It turns out that if you ask most people what they think the cost to own a dog will be during its lifetime they gave an answer of $6,000.  However, the range actually falls between $27,000 and $42,000 in actuality over the course of ten years.  Of course children are more expensive, but here are five ways you could save money if you have a pet. Schedule Regular Checkups – We know that it is always better to be proactive versus reactive when it ...

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How To Use LinkedIn To Make More Money

Most of our articles strictly talk about personal finance, but I thought it would be cool to teach you about how to use the Social Media platform LinkedIn to help you make more money either with your career or your business. Many business owners and individuals that I help at Hyperchat Social (Try Hyperchat Today) often ask about how to generate leads or get a pay raise at work. We know that lead generation is the end all be all problem for most business owners or individuals trying to grow their income.  What’s surprising is how many business owners don’t take advantage of free leads that may be right under your nose because you just didn’t realize how to get those leads. Since the beginning of 2017, LinkedIn decided to completely overhaul their platform and interface with LinkedIn users.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that LinkedIn is feverishly trying to figure out how to create more recurring ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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