Financial Goals

10 Posts Back Home

9 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor to Start the Year Off Right

The new year is a perfect time to review your finances. From your investments to your loans, it is important to check in, make sure everything is as you expect. January is a perfect time give your finances a good audit. While you are at it, the start of the year is a great time to check in with your financial advisor, if you have one. Schedule a quick call to get an update on your investments. Ask about your outlook for the next year and get answers to any questions about your investments. While you’re at it, you can ask your advisor these nine questions to ensure your money is on track to meet your financial goals. Are You a Fiduciary? A fiduciary is a financial advisor that is required to put your best interests ahead of their own. If you have a financial advisor, it should always be…

Money Can’t Buy Happiness … Right?

Money can’t buy you happiness. It’s an adage reminding us the important things in life aren’t things. And it’s often repeated in times of financial stress or upheaval. But it’s only true to a point. A 2010 Princeton study by Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman found money can buy life satisfaction, for a while. They found emotional well-being increased along with salary until about $75,000 annually. At that point – after necessities like food, clothing, shelter and transportation were no longer everyday stressors – emotional well-being didn’t continue to climb. The upper middle class have as many problems as the uber-rich, stemming from relationships, time management, health and other universal factors. For people looking back on their lives in retirement, those who earned more money reported being more satisfied with their lives, without limit. “We conclude that high income buys life satisfaction but not happiness, and that low income is…

Banks Versus Credit Unions?

Banks vs credit unions? You probably put more thought into choosing where to have dinner than deciding which financial institution to use. If you’re like most people, you made the choice a long time ago, and it’s working out for you. You may use the big bank near your home with ATMs across the country. Or maybe it’s the friendly community bank with a few convenient branches. Or, if you have access, possibly through where you work, perhaps it’s a credit union.   Well, there may be greener pastures for your greenbacks, or greater conveniences and better offerings someplace else. Banks and credit unions offer basically the same products and services—checking and savings accounts, personal loans, credit and debit cards. The differences between the two (or three, if you throw in online banks) lie in the interest rates, fee structures, and both the volume and variety of products offered. Interest…

6 Ways Giving Back to Your Community Boosts Your Career

The happy glow you get from volunteering in your community can do more than make you feel good – it can also help advance your career. Here are six of the many ways it pays to be a great volunteer: Expand Your Professional Network When you volunteer you meet new people. As you get to know them better, you may chat about your job and your goals. You never know if the person raking leaves next to you is looking to hire someone with your skills and ambitions, or can lead you to a new opportunity. Bond With Your Co-Workers If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that engages in community service as a team, getting away from the office and volunteering together is a great way to bond and builds a high-producing team. In fact, a survey by AmericanCharities.org reveals that 87 percent of employees expect their…

7 Bad Money Habits That Can Ruin Your Finances

Habits can make or break our personal finance success. While good habits can help you build savings and live without financial stress, bad money habits can turn into a downward spiral of debt, fees and struggles. Making some small adjustments to your financial habits is easier than you may realize. Break these seven bad money habits to put yourself on track to a happy financial life. Making Only the Minimum Payment When you get a loan statement in the mail, whether it is from a credit card, mortgage or student loan, you can quickly find your minimum payment for the next month. The key word here is “minimum.” Paying only the minimum payment means you pay the maximum possible interest over the life of the loan. Every dollar you pay early saves you on interest every single month for the remainder of the loan’s life. The more you pay sooner…

Family CFO Monthly Money Management To-Do List

Managing your family’s finances is a bigger job than many people realize. A family’s finances work similar to a small business. You have cash flowing in and out, savings and investments, credit cards and debt, bills to pay, and people relying on you for their basics needs. Whether you run your finances like a Fortune 500 company or a mom and pop system, follow these steps to ensure you are fulfilling your family Chief Financial Officer duties each month. Review Your Family Income Statement In personal finance, there is a simple saying to help you manage your income and expenses each month: spend less than you earn. At the end of each month, do you know where you stand? Thanks to modern apps, you can get this important information automatically. Connect your bank and other financial accounts to money management apps such as Mint, Personal Capital or Penny and the…

The Starter Guide: Truths About Financial Advisors Everyone Should Know

As your finances become more complicated over time, it is common to need a little extra help managing your monthly cash flow, tending to various investments, and preparing for retirement. Schools do not teach about money, so there is no surprise that people just like you need regular help managing their money. If you think finding a financial advisor might be right for you, follow this guide to understand the many aspects of this important decision. Interview Several Financial Advisors At the start, you should plan to speak with multiple advisors before you pick the right one. You shouldn’t blindly trust the first person you meet with your money. Instead, take the time to meet with several financial advisors so you can understand their unique investment style and financial philosophies. Go into each interview with a list of questions and have a friendly discussion to learn more about their experience…

Financial Freedom: 4 Strategies to Be Debt Free in 2017

Will this be the year you experience debt freedom?  If you have debt, you probably made a New Year’s Resolution this year to work hard to get your debt under control. Think how wonderful it will be.  No more calls from creditors. Debt comes in many shapes and sizes so whether your debt is from credit cards, student loans, or anything else, these 4 strategies will help you tackle your debt and get it controlled once and for all. The Debt Avalanche The best way to get out of debt, according to math, is a strategy known as the “debt avalanche.” With a debt avalanche, you prioritize your debt by an interest rate. Each month, pay the minimum payment of every debt, but the one with the highest interest rate gets more. Put every extra dollar you have into that debt until it is paid off, then move on to…

Life Insurance: Living on the Edge Can Cost You

When it comes to your life insurance, living on the edge can cost you. In 2004, “Along Came Polly” starring Ben Stiller, was in theaters. Ben played  Reuben, a high-strung, by-the-book risk management analyst? One of Rueben’s  biggest clients constantly participated in high-risk hobbies.  Because Reuben assessed risk for a living, these hobbies made him sweat bullets. He understood, the higher the risk, the less likely there was going to be a policy that would protect his client. High-Risk Hobbies What you may deem as regular recreational activities or bucket list agendas may signal a red flag to life insurance companies and people like Reuben. What might be some red flags? For example, if you’re partaking in activities like rock climbing, skydiving or kayaking, you’re a riskier case than someone whose idea of a “rocking” weekend night is a game or two of Mexican Train at home. Also, because you’re riskier…

Should You Transfer Life Insurance to Your Children?

Financial protection translates to security for many parents and knowing their children will be taken care of financially can help provide peace of mind. From the minute your child enters the world, they become your first priority and concern above all else. This won’t change as you consider how to best provide for them, should the unthinkable happen. Did you know you can transfer your life insurance policy to your children?  While this option is not for everyone, you may be in one of the unique situations where this can better help you and your children. For example, if your estate is worth more than $5.59 million, you may consider transferring ownership of your life insurance policy as a means of lowering estate taxes.  You can avoid federal taxation on the life insurance proceeds by transferring ownership to your adult children, or another, trusted beneficiary. Other reasons people transfer ownership of…

Navigate