SURF, RIP TIDES AND PERSONAL FINANCE – WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON?

It was a beautiful sunny day at Stinson Beach. The temperature was perfect, and the water was inviting. Unfortunately, you ignored the rip tide warning signs. It was not until you were being swiftly pulled away from shore that you realized that you were in danger. Lucky for you there was a lifeguard on duty.

That beach experience reminds me of what my budget clients’ experiences before they find me, their financial lifeguard. It has all the same components: denial, fear, a sense of a loss of control, and helplessness. READ MORE

Talk is cheap…or may be not if it’s a cell phone.

I know, I know….you’re locked into a contract. Well, that won’t last forever; and then you have some choices. Of course, you can pick out the latest phone and start another two-year contract. Or you may also want to consider how much you’re paying for that “free” phone. You might want to take a look at your cell phone and consider how you’re using it. READ MORE

Saving money on Rx – my wallet is feeling better already

What’s better than saving money on a $1,000 purchase? Saving on a $1,000 purchase you make year after year. For me, and most likely, a good portion of our aging population, prescription drugs is just such an expense, so I was especially excited to hear that there are websites that will tell me what local pharmacy has the lowest price for a prescription. READ MORE

When’s the right time to refinance your mortgage?

That seems like a question with an obvious answer, right?  You refinance when the interest rate on the new loan is lower than your rate on the current loan.  But  how much lower?  And is it really as simple as subtracting one rate from another and signing on the dotted line? READ MORE

Monitoring the “speedometer” of your financial plan

You receive a late night call from your son or daughter. They’ve taken a short cut on the way to visiting you, but they’ve run out of gas and they’re lost.  You want to help them, but first, you’ve got to figure out where they are.
It’s a situation that reminds me of how a lot of my financial planning engagements begin. Simply by seeing a financial planner, my clients have started on the right road to meet their financial goals. READ MORE

‘Tis the season to shop and be merry

This is the time of year when I say that it’s not always better to give than receive. Don’t call me Scrooge.  I want you to give only as much as you decided you would when you made your budget. (Don’t have a budget?  That’s a different subject for a different day.)  In other words, I am asking you to keep the promises you made to yourself.   READ MORE

Refi’s – more than just money in your pocket

  • Do today’s low mortgage rates have you considering a refi?
  • Are you thinking about moving when the real estate market picks up or gets back to “normal”?
  • Do you find yourself checking mortgage interest rates every Sunday?  
Many of my clients are asking if they should pay off their mortgages. There’s no one right answer, but I would suggest that there are a number of options available beyond paying it off in full, or maintaining the status quo. READ MORE