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

What you see is not necessarily what you get

These days, many people are distrustful of Wall Street– and with good reason. But since most of us need stock market returns to reach our goals, we find it necessary to be equity investors.
The question is — where should you invest? If you answer that question by saying that you choose the best performing mutual funds, it may be that you think you have achieved a level playing field, because you can easily check past fund results. READ MORE

Before the days of Quicken and – when the envelope method reigned

Back in the day, when people actually “cashed’ their paychecks, and people paid for their life insurance by giving a weekly quarter to the agent, families budgeted by using the envelope method. They would place the cash available for each spending category in separate envelopes. As our culture became more comfortable with checking accounts, this strategy was mostly used to teach young people about budgeting. I imagine parent conversations went something like this: “Put 50% of your allowance into the envelope marked ‘treats,’ 25% into the envelope marked ‘savings,’ and the last 25% into the envelope marked ‘charity’.” READ MORE

Choices for when your investment portfolio really needs to replace a paycheck

Many of my clients don’t know what they are REALLY spending. As result, they question how  they will be able to maintain their life style in retirement or, for that matter, they worry if they will be EVER be able to retire at all.

Once we do a retirement plan and answer those questions, the next step is to re-position their portfolios to generate the income they will need. Even people who are comfortable managing their own portfolios for growth, and they realize that managing a portfolio to generate income is more of a challenge. READ MORE

This holiday season’s magic of making your investments work harder

What’s magic about this holiday season? As much as I wish that Santa with his naughty or nice list could blackmail major corporations to pay larger dividends, the power to boost your after-tax return on investments is up to you or your investment advisor.One way to maximize returns is with tax-loss harvesting. The idea is to harvest in Winter to create tax savings for the next Spring. READ MORE

Guaranteed rates of return of 3.5-4% – don’t drink the kool-aid

Given the volatility in the markets, and the low returns on savings, it is understandable that claims of a “guaranteed return” would be attractive.  Even if it comes from a life insurance salesperson!

Twice last week I was talking with insurance agents who boasted about policies that offer “guaranteed interest rates of 3.5 – 4%.” My reaction?  Concern. READ MORE

Just when you thought the college planning was over

The good news:  the kids are off to college & they’re fiscal adults for the first time

– The bad news:  the kids are off to college…

You’ve spent years preparing for this moment.  Maybe you’re saying good-bye at the curb, maybe it’s in front of the dorm, 1,000 miles away.  You saved to fund the tuition; you did the college visit trip(s), assisted with endless college and financial aid applications and essays.  Now they’re beginning the transition into adulthood.  Most likely, this is their first opportunity to manage their own expenses.  READ MORE

Telephone service – too many charges, bills for too little convenience

I maintain two telephone lines because I don’t want to give up my business telephone number. I also had maintained two phone cards for long distance.  You know, just in case one is full.  And I was getting (4) ongoing bills for just telephone.  I was paying extra for a voice mail box, insurance, in case, the telephone wires in my 50 year old house failed and I did not have call forwarding. READ MORE

Keeping your financial act together in difficult times

I am all about helping my clients move forward financially.  It’s my way to touch people’s lives in a significant way.  I feel that I have found my work.  Unfortunately, individuals are often referred to me for work that I am not the best resource.

can help people in a number of ways:

  • Get control of their spending.
  • Create a map of how they are going to reach that next financial goal whether it’s funding retirement, college educations or getting out of debt.
  • Stop the nagging feeling that their assets are positioned wrong or that they are missing out on how to save on taxes.  READ MORE