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Random thoughts on a variety of personal financial issues. 

The following articles are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax, legal of financial advice.  Please consult your tax, legal or financial advisor regarding your specific situation.

 

 

Monday, May 23, 2022

 

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Thursday, May 5, 2022

 

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Monday, April 4, 2022

Understanding the 10 jobs that saw the largest increase in salaries last year What do you think is a “livable wage?” Suppose your answer might depend on where you live, but GoBankingRates estimates that a livable wage is...

 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

 

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Monday, January 31, 2022

 

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Friday, December 31, 2021

 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

 

Monday, December 27, 2021

 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Sadly, the number of business failures over the next year will be historic too Thinking of starting a business? Owning a business is a dream for many, but often business success comes down to timing (hard work and luck are givens). Did...

 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Communicating openly can help everyone prepare and plan for the future Many parents may find it uncomfortable, or even believe it is unnecessary, to inform their children about personal finance matters. Yet, communicating openly with...

 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Mutual fund investors could see a record year for capital gain distributions When an investor sells a stock for more than the purchase price, the investor experiences a capital gain (it is simpler to call it a profit, but let’s...

 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Tips for finding the best fit in caregivers to ensure quality care and comfort Are you thinking about home health care as a solution to providing help with daily activities such as bathing, meal preparation, and housekeeping? Many...

 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Simple steps to help you bounce back quickly from challenging situations Building and sustaining a business is not a task for the faint of heart. As anyone who has launched a business from the ground up knows, transforming an idea into...

 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Where were you in 1986? What were you doing? It was 31 years ago, but it seems like yesterday, right? Back then, the average price for a new car was $9,255. Today a new set of wheels is going to cost you, on average, about $33,000! The...

 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Not knowing what Congress will do should not stop you from planning One variable that is hard to plan for in retirement is taxes. There are steps you can take, though, despite the uncertain tax landscape. We don’t even know what...

 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Supply chains are stretched as unfilled job openings continue to increase There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration and small businesses comprise about 99% of all U...

 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The real estate trend might ease housing shortage, but there is a problem COVID-19 severely impacted the office commercial real estate market because more workers were simply performing their jobs remotely. In fact, as of September...

 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Bracket Creep accounts for a real tax increase in about half of the 50 states We’ve all heard the saying that inflation is a hidden tax. But depending on which state you live in, it should simply be called a tax – because...

 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Common sense tips to help children, teens and other vulnerable groups The Internal Revenue Service is helping families, teens and senior citizens learn about the continued importance of protecting personal information in helping fight...

 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Retirement is not what you retire from, but what you retire to When you plan for retirement, an exciting new phase of life, double-check your expectations. They may not match the reality. Baby boomers, currently in their 50s and 60s,...

 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Retirement brings a change in lifestyle and can be difficult if not planned Sunday night blues are not exclusive to workers. Retirees have them, too, because of the overwhelming free time during the weekdays. Finding things that keep...

 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Good health means you can both accumulate wealth and enjoy it Too many people don’t realize that taking care of themselves physically leads to better financial tomorrows. Planning for retirement should start in your early...

 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The ability to enjoy our golden years is the same as the ability to be happy People say things like, “When I retire, I am going to be happy,” or “When I don’t have to work anymore, I will be happy.” The...

 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Just as your health changes over time, markets change even faster Ever hear the phrase, “your financial health?” A good way to appreciate planning your financial future is to see it as akin to maintaining your physical...

 

Friday, November 12, 2021

When you first launched your business, you probably handled most of the tasks associated with daily operations yourself, or with the help of a small group of employees. But as your company has grown and your needs have become more...

 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Estate planning often involves a team consisting of an attorney, a financial professional, an insurance professional, and yourself. However, whether you are establishing a new estate plan or revising an existing one, only you can...

 

Monday, November 8, 2021

Remember, it is never too early to start planning for your future The time to begin planning for your financial future is now. So, when it comes to preparing for retirement, the earlier you start, the better. Here are some steps to...

 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Before you lock in that 15%, make sure you consider all the variables Are you thinking about bailing out of stocks before year-end while the capital gains rate is low? Before you hit the sell button, think it over carefully. For now,...

 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The pain of losing money is worse than the pain of missing out on gains Right now, stock markets are up smartly for the year, but this might not be the time to start buying. Remember that it is most dangerous to start investing at the...

 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Both can be thrilling, but both are also perilous unless you know the risks On the second-to-last Friday in October, Keystone Resort in Colorado opened for the 2021 ski season with 40 acres of terrain and 2 miles of trails. On the very...

 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Is there actually a difference in stock market performance depending on who wins the World Series? Should you really change your investment plans based on an American League or National League victory? Of course not. But let’s...

 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Make the necessary updates before you need them (when it’s too late) When Jill and John Smith purchased their life insurance policies ten years ago, they based their coverage on their anticipated obligations and needs. They made...

 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Planning tips in case Social Security’s engine runs out of gas before you do Americans expecting the government to fund their retirement may be sorely mistaken. Taking retirement savings into your own hands is the only smart move...

 

Friday, October 22, 2021

No matter how much money you make, the earlier and more completely you master money in your life, the more likely you are to achieve what everyone wants: a financially comfortable today and a financially secure tomorrow. Mastering...

 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A well-structured estate plan can be invaluable to you and your family It is common for people to put off planning their estates. After all, no one wants to anticipate his or her own death. In addition, many people may believe that...

 

Monday, October 18, 2021

The largest cost-of-living-adjustment since 1982 impacts 90% of seniors On October 13th, the Social Security Administration announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for tens of millions of Americans will...

 

Friday, October 15, 2021

If you can live anywhere, have you put together a plan of where and why? As more of us are becoming part of the WFH Movement (working from home) during the COVID pandemic, the real estate landscape is undergoing some fundamental...

 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Tips to help you find your financial planner and financial planning firm The financial planner and financial planning firm you pick to manage your assets and advise you on key financial decisions affects your retirement and other major...

 

Monday, October 11, 2021

No matter how confident you might be, develop a contingency plan today On September 28th, the Conference Board announced that its Consumer Confidence Index declined in September, after declining in both July and August. The Index now...

 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Most international and emerging markets were way down last month Over every single time period, market performance around the world will be driven largely by factors one would expect, including: The overall state of a country’s...

 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

When planning the division of your assets, you may believe in a policy of “share and share alike.” This is perhaps the easiest method to avoid conflicts or complaints of favoritism. But does equality necessarily equate with...

 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Tips to meet the needs of your loved ones, employer, and yourself Today, like so many other women, you may be facing a new challenge while you’re still working full time. Your children are growing up just as your parents are...

 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Remember, it’s about paying America’s bills, not borrowing more money The latest mess out of Washington is the fight to increase the federal debt ceiling. If this isn’t resolved, some fear catastrophe for the markets....

 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Unique health and caregiving worries and an industry that doesn’t listen well Women have special concerns about financial security that financial advisors need to address. For one thing, they tend to live longer than men, so they...

 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Two employee-benefit actions to take before you accept that new job offer Are you considering changing jobs this year? If not, you’re in the minority. A survey conducted by Harris Poll found that the majority (52%) of U.S....

 

Friday, September 24, 2021

But retirees need to remember that inflation is a symptom, not a cause Does increasing inflation boost economic growth? And do dropping prices hurt growth prospects? No and no. But to hear the Federal Reserve tell it when Janet Yellen...

 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Thinking of a future without ourselves in it, is not the most pleasant of thoughts. . .however, it is necessary to do so for the financial security of your family. Life insurance may provide you with the opportunity to bequeath money...

 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

History gives us some guide as to market direction, but is this time different? Heading into September, market historians are preach caution because September has statistically been the worst month for the stock market. In fact, going...

 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Terrorist attacks over the last 20 years are impacting markets less and less The August terrorist attack outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul during the evacuation from Afghanistan reminds us not only of the sadness...

 

Friday, September 10, 2021

A regular program of sound financial practices will help you in the long-run Many people realize that the best way to stay in shape is to develop an appropriate fitness regimen and then stick with it. If you start a fitness program and...

 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Emotions often drive investors to make poor decisions and underperform Successful investing and overall fitness both often come down to discipline (and planning). Why aren’t you reaping the investment returns you read about in...

 

Monday, September 6, 2021

A policy endorsement can broaden your existing homeowner’s insurance coverage Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Sunday, August 29th as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane packing winds of 150...

 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Asking a financial planner to rewrite ten of the movie’s most iconic scenes “Field of Dreams” is a 1989 baseball movie inspired by W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe.” Starring Kevin Costner,...

 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The debate about whether a college degree is worth the cost is heating up The disruptions from COVID-19 have completely changed the college experience for many, prompting prospective students to reexamine whether a college degree is...

 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Employees are quitting in droves this summer – and it will likely get worse It is said that starting a business is a big challenge, but maintaining one is an even bigger challenge. And it doesn’t matter if you have 3 or 300...

 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Learn from the great givers and let your advisor be your sounding board Giving away some of your money is a great way to support the people and organizations you love. But there are smart ways to do it, minimizing your taxes and...

 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Asking your financial planner to rewrite ten of the movie’s iconic scenes “Field of Dreams” is a 1989 baseball movie inspired by W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe.” Starring Kevin Costner,...

 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Your retirement portfolio might be up, but inflation is crushing your returns On August 11th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index increased 5.4% over the past 12 months. Shockingly, media outlets...

 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Insurance should be part of everyone’s financial planning Every day, thousands of Americans find themselves in a difficult financial situation after receiving a dire medical diagnosis. Even those with health insurance are at risk...

 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Your financial advisor can help guide you through the maze of IRS rules Contributing to charities comes with a load of tax rules. Here’s are a few things to think about.. Every April 16th (or July 16th in 2020 and May 17th in...

 

Monday, August 16, 2021

In response to a challenging economic climate, many businesses will trim their hiring budgets, even as large numbers of students, recent graduates, and other people with attractive qualifications are struggling to find work. For small...

 

Friday, August 13, 2021

But so is spring, winter and fall – know what to look for when searching You know you need to make a plan with your money – but when? The signs may well sit right in front of you, from your paycheck to your debt to your...

 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Inflation is clearly a headwind for investors, but it might be more of a breeze. Inflation has found its way into the broad economy, partly as a result of all the money that government stimulus created over the past 18 months since the...

 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Quantitative easing and short-term rates near zero could be ending soon Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell seems to have capitulated on plans to taper the Fed’s stimulus program as of mid-July, causing the bond market to rally...

 

Friday, August 6, 2021

A quick summary of the Olympics “net earnings” should tell you everything. The 2020 Summer Olympics kicked off on July 23rd and will end on August 8th. Tokyo will play host to over 200 countries at 42 venues across Japan...

 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Business insurance and risk management programs are designed to help reduce and control costs. In assessing the risk exposures particular to your business, consider what can go wrong and how such events might affect your business. Risk...

 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Tips for navigating the boat market and the risks (costs) of boat ownership Is owning a boat on your horizon? Do you see yourself paddling a canoe? Piloting a motorboat? Helming a sailboat? Of course, it will be easier and more...

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Your home is likely your biggest investment – don’t go it alone When should you sell your house? Are we at the top of a real estate bubble about to burst or will real estate prices continue rising? (The National Association...

 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Survey of thousands of employers summarizes top employee benefit trends Boston-based financial services behemoth Fidelity Investments surveyed thousands of employers and compiled a list of additional employee benefit trends for 2021....

 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Conducting a financial fire drill with your financial advisor is a great idea The pictures are heartbreaking as destructive wildfires continue to sweep across much of the western United States. In fact, as of mid-July, there were more...

 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Slow economic growth, high unemployment and rising inflation = misery On July 13, 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.9% in June after rising 0.6% in May....

 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Drawing parallels to when you should sell a long-term stock can help When should you sell your house? Are we at the top of a real estate bubble about to burst or will real estate prices continue rising (the National Association of...

 

Monday, July 19, 2021

The golden rule of financial planning: if you can plan it, you can achieve it Over the month of July, we celebrate our country’s history of declaring independence and guaranteeing basic human freedoms. But true freedom requires...

 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Do you have a will, investing in education or building a Freedom Fund? Amid the heat of mid-summer, do you remember your New Year’s resolutions regarding your personal financial planning? How are you coming with your to-do list?...

 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

To reach your financial goals, you don’t have to outperform every benchmark every year. For long-term investors, avoiding and mitigating losses is a key factor in achieving ultimate success in your portfolio. Held every July, the...

 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Your advisor can help ensure you leave your estate in the best possible way Families inherit money and sometimes make the right moves investing and spending. Inheritances can also ignite disruption, divorce and a host of bad behavior...

 

Friday, July 9, 2021

And with inflation and a looming debt ceiling fight, uncertainty is rampant The uncertainty that Washington policy makers foment is a big culprit in our economic stasis. What will happen next with the Federal Reserve’s decision...

 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

COVID changed minds about working from home, maybe this is next There is a storm raging between employers and employees that is unlikely to go away any time soon. On the one hand are employers, who hope to have their offices up and...

 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Stagnant wage growth, rising inflation and low interest rates are real issues The idea of retiring at age 65 with a gold watch and a fully-funded retirement account is a quaint notion for many Americans. Amid stagnating real wages,...

 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Be prepared as rates will inevitably go up – whether that’s 2022 or 2023 A few days before the official start of summer on June 21st, Wall Street’s eyes and ears were on the Federal Reserve, and as expected, the FOMC...

 

Monday, June 28, 2021

These simple steps might save you a great deal of money and heartache We all make mistakes, and through them, we learn. But when it comes to finances, it is best not to take the trial-and-error approach. Maybe you’re making some...

 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Housing is rarely the best use of your money from an investment viewpoint Despite continued low mortgage rates and tales of bidding wars, multiple offers and all-cash closings above asking-price, would-be-home-purchasers should be...

 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Used-car prices are up a staggering 29.7% over the past 12 months In the market for a used-car? Well, you might be in for some sticker shock based on the most recent Consumer Price Index report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics....

 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Consider a safety course and make sure you adequately insure your vessel On bright and sunny summer days, the allure of the water can be irresistible. If you live near a lake, river, or ocean, boating trips may be the perfect getaway...

 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Market swings often prompt investors to reassess their portfolios. As you evaluate the efficacy of your investments in light of your financial goals, it’s important to revisit two key principles—asset allocation and...

 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

It may be better to give than to receive, but it may be even better to give and see your generosity rewarded. Charitable giving can play a valuable role in your financial and tax strategies. A well-planned gift to charity could provide...

 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Annuities often get a bad rap as insurance products – and often rightly so Life insurance buys financial protection against your premature death. Here’s the how-to on another insurance that protects you from living too...

 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Remember that healthcare is like retirement planning – it’s very personal Will the proposed policies of the Biden Administration have a negative or positive impact on your healthcare? A prevailing view – by about half...

 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Fear-of-missing-out is a very real emotion – but it can derail your portfolio Every day we’re bombarded with reports of what’s hot and what’s not – fueling a fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) on some great...

 

Monday, June 7, 2021

8 of the 11 S&P 500 sectors end the month green, but the range is wide Over every single time period, sector performance will be driven largely by factors one would expect, such as the overall state of the economy, underlying corporate...

 

Friday, June 4, 2021

The American Families Plan and what it might mean for investors Will the policies of the Biden Administration have a negative or positive impact on the stock market? A prevailing view – by about half of the country – is...

 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

You’re young, have little in savings, and might not have anyone relying on you, financially. So, why do you need to think about estate management? Click here for four great reasons!

 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Tomorrow is 5/29 day - what parents need to know about saving for college. If you’re saving for your child’s higher education, you probably have a lot of questions besides “When did college get so incredibly...

 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

New changes thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act – but just for 2021 The Child Tax Credit was introduced through the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and it was a $500-per-child nonrefundable credit to provide tax relief to families...

 

Monday, May 24, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act and what it might mean for investors Will the policies of the Biden Administration have a negative or positive impact on the stock market? A prevailing view – by about half of the country – is...

 

Friday, May 21, 2021

While presidential policies matter, policies never move markets uniformly Will the policies of the Biden Administration have a negative or positive impact on the stock market? A prevailing view – by about half of the country...

 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Last year we ran out of hurricane names, so make an emergency plan The first hurricane of 2021 is forming in mid-May, two weeks prior to the “official” start of Hurricane Season (the “season” runs from June 1st...

 

Monday, May 17, 2021

The higher costs of gasoline and housing will color your view of investing A roof over your head and gas in your tank cost more than ever. But prices for these essentials color your view of investing. What do your nest egg, retirement...

 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Many families believe they have enough insurance coverage, but unfortunately, disability income protection is often left out of the planning strategy. Many people may give little thought to how they would handle financial...

 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Why employ an investing strategy that is based on a summer horse race? One of the oldest stock market strategies is to “Sell in May and Go Away.” But before you factor in this seasonal “strategy,” you might want...

 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Bill and Melinda Gates and Settling $140 Billion estate Attorneys say that if both you and your ex-spouse feel like you came out of your divorce thinking you gave up a lot, your settlement was probably fair. Maybe, but often your...

 

Friday, May 7, 2021

The areas might surprise you – and are likely to see prices continue to rise Housing has been on a tear for the past 10 years, with homes currently going under contract within 24 hours, often above asking-price, and bidding wars...

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

But that doesn’t mean that someone’s opinion will become your reality It’s a debate raging across the country that seemingly everyone has an opinion about. From Main Street to Wall Street, everyone wants to know: will...

 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Not all 401(k) plans offer loan options. Consult your plan document or plan sponsor for more information on your 401(k) plan. Sometimes a 401(k) loan makes sense, but there are a lot of considerations Tapping your tax-advantaged...

 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Your employees probably don’t make best use of your company’s retirement plan. Addressing this problem can boost their job performance and optimism – as well as your profits. What if you offer your current and future...

 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Saving for retirement is important for all ages, the key is to start early Land a great new job? Awesome. Now is the perfect time to think about your 401(k) and retirement plan, whether you had one before or not. Saving for retirement...

 

Monday, April 26, 2021

And the most important tip of all? Hire a financial advisor. Investing can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a portfolio that was built for you and use the help of a financial advisor, you shouldn’t be...

 

Friday, April 23, 2021

The grief one feels when a spouse, parent, or other loved one dies is almost always overwhelming. In addition to the emotional heartbreak, there is often a great deal of confusion concerning the deceased’s financial affairs and...

 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Is it about getting the money back or minimizing the risk of bad outcomes? Although Social Security did not come into existence until 1935, it can trace its roots back to the first national pension program for soldiers that was passed...

 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Too many people just don’t have it, but your financial advisor can help April is National Financial Literacy Month – an entire month dedicated to underscoring the importance of learning, establishing and maintaining healthy...

 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Remember, early planning puts time on your side Whether retirement is around the corner or decades away, there are more options than ever to help you plan for it. Let’s look at Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)...

 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Survey of thousands of employers summarizes top employee benefit trends Boston-based financial services behemoth Fidelity Investments surveyed thousands of employers and compiled a list of additional employee benefit trends for 2021....

 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Companies of all sizes are likely to see lots of permanent changes Job seekers and HR executives have known for decades that it’s not just about salaries – employee benefits programs are great recruiting and retention tools...

 

Friday, April 9, 2021

A list of must-dos for 40 and 50 year old captains that have run agroundOn March 23rd, the massive, skyscraper-sized container ship named the Ever Given ran aground and got stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal. It took about a week for more...

 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Did you know you could fund a 529 plan with UGMA/UTMA assets? Due to the shift to online classes over the past year, 2020 saw the lowest tuition increase in the last four decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the...

 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Reducing your emotions can give you a better chance for investing success Money is always an emotional subject, but often when our emotions get involved with our investments we will make wrong decisions. And that can be a costly...

 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Your financial advisor can help you navigate the ever-changing IRS rules Taxpayers of all ages may be able to claim a deduction on their 2020 tax return for contributions made to their Individual Retirement Account made through May 17,...