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May
25
Politics – YUK!
As an American citizen…and proud of it…why do I hate the political rhetoric?  Is it the politicians?  Is it the media?  Or is it us that cause the problem? I admit that up to this point, I have read very little about the political battles our country is experiencing.  The different points of view are polarizing.  Yet, my attitude is “say nothing”.  I prefer to ignore the noise and the media’s written word.  Does this sound familiar?! As a trained financial advisor, success comes when we learn to listen to our clients and prospects as they express to us their dreams, fears and goals in life.  Together we develop a plan to achieve the client’s goals.  You learn early in your career that people are different and they have unique goals and...
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May
18
Where there’s a Will…
Have you heard of the Great Wealth Transfer?  This is the transfer of approximately $30 trillion dollars from Baby Boomers to their heirs that will be happening over the next several decades.  It will create challenges for Boomers, heirs and the financial industry alike. A recent report from BMO Wealth Management says failure to prepare families for the financial transition could lead to family discord.  Divorce, remarriages and couples unmarried but living together introduce multiple dynamics into the family mix and can make asset distribution a contentious matter. Some startling statistics include: Only 28% of all adults knew the details of their parent’s wills or estate distribution plans 40% of parents surveyed have never...
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Apr
04
WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE $1 MILLION OR $5000 MONTHLY IN RETIREMENT?
Recently Yahoo Finance posted an article asking if readers would rather have a $1 million dollar lump sum or receive $5000 monthly in their retirement.  As the article goes on to say, investors today have all the tools at their disposal to determine their net worth at any point in time.  One would think that with this capability, investors would be more financially savvy.  However, new research suggests that for many of us, the opposite may be true.  There is a phenomenon called the illusion of wealth and the illusion of poverty that comes into play.  Before the article discusses these two illusions, however, it must be noted that the two amounts of retirement income are roughly equal based on current annuity pricing. Some people...
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Mar
06
Protect Yourself
One of the main philosophies that I built my company on is that NO ONE is going to take advantage of the people that we work with!  Having said that, it is super important that I share with you something that happened to one of our team member's parents just this week.  It might sound like something straight out of a Dateline NBC, that happens far away, but it actually happened right here in our own back yard.  It was a PHONE SCAM! While there are various phone scams going on out there, here's how this particular one went down. My team member's mom received a frantic call from her grandson Billy.  Billy sounded frantic and upset as he explained that he had been involved in a car accident.  He was banged up, but he was going to be...
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Jan
11
THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO PLANNING - MIGHT NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK!
Most people think that the number one obstacle to retirement planning and estate planning is that they just don't have enough time. I can't help but laugh every time I hear that. Think about it, if you had a toothache, do you make time to go to the dentist? If you have a heart condition, do you make time to go see the cardiologist? The fact of the matter is, if it is important enough to you, you will make the time to take care of it. No matter what it is. The true #1 obstacle to planning is MINDSET! Have you ever wanted something for your child or grandchild more than they wanted it for themselves? How did that work out for you? I'm guessing that it did not work out at all. The same holds true for building a retirement and estate...
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Sep
21
Invest to Your Handicap
I played my weekly eighteen holes of golf on Sunday with my buddies.  We agreed and debated about strokes to make our friendly wager more interesting.  We discussed the shots our opponents hit (once in a lifetime) like it was part of every round they played.  Everybody remembers the great shots and forget the bad or normal shots.  With this part of our weekly ritual completed, we compared handicaps (the average of a player's weekly score) and set about enjoying our game and fellowship. Did you ever notice when talking with friends, you do the same thing when discussing your investments?  You always mention the great ones and forget about the losers.  The average investments are just average and boring…nothing to brag about with your...
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Sep
09
The Costco Phenomenon
I have a love-hate relationship with Costco!  I love the bargains that can be found and the low pricing available on staples my husband and I get there weekly but I hate when they move said items to different parts of the store!  Now, instead of getting in and getting out, I have to traverse the entire store (and as a result, find other items I can't do without!) to find where they moved the item I am currently looking for…talk about marketing geniuses. So, I found an interesting article recently that discusses how to maximize your Costco membership because, let's face it, whether you love or hate Costco, they definitely are doing something right! Great discounts on movies and gift cards in the gift card aisle Did you know that you...
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May
17
Out of the Nest
Out of the Nest My daughter graduates from college in two weeks.  My how time has flown!  To think she was this little toddler with big, brown eyes and now, here she is, about to embark on her adult life.  Her graduation from college makes me think about the debt she has incurred to attend.  Fortunately for her it's not as bad as others but still; debt is debt and she will have to pay it off.  So, I found it interesting on Yahoo Finance, a young lady about to graduate from high school has cleverly accumulated over $500,000 in college scholarships, grant and award money from all the colleges she applied to.  Her mother, who is an expert in the field, has put together some tips for parents of high school graduates to use in their...
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May
17
OGO
OGO This morning as I was watching Squawk Box on CNBC, the featured guest was David Novak, former YUM! CEO.  He has launched an initiative called OGO (O GREAT One) Enterprises, a mission to turn the world onto the power of recognition. OGO is a fun and heartfelt way to recognize and inspire the amazing people in your life. This made me start to think about the amazing and awesome people in my life. Have I done enough to recognize their awesomeness? I have two wonderful parents that I owe my existence to and while I tell them "I Love You" on a regular basis, is that enough or should I be doing more? My husband is another person I need to better recognize and appreciate his awesomeness. He inspires me to be a better person on a daily...
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Apr
13
With Age Comes Wisdom
With Age Comes Wisdom  Did you watch the Master's Golf Tournament this weekend?  More specifically, did you see Jordan Spieth have a Tin Cup meltdown on #12? It was painful to watch but I am pretty comfortable in saying that it was much more painful for Jordan as he was the one experiencing it firsthand.  The great thing for Jordan is that he is young, has a strong family environment and a good head on his shoulders so he should be able to recover from this unfortunate moment.  However, there is no doubt it will take some time and will require some serious mental positivity on his part. Jack Nicklaus once said; "A kid grows up a lot faster on the golf course.  Golf teaches you how to behave". How would you have acted if that had...
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Apr
13
The $1000 Latte
The $1000 Latte Did you know that a $5 Latte bought when you are 40 years old can compound to over $1000 by the time you're 80?  This is according to Financial Mentor.  Now just think how much frivolous spending can add up over time! We all do it…have our vices I mean.  Whether it is a Latte every morning, daily pack of cigarettes, a gym membership that we no longer use but still pay each month, we all spend money that we could be putting toward our retirement.  Here are 5 ways to begin saving for retirement whether you are in your 20's, 30's or 40's: 1.      Start incrementally increasing your savings.  Did you receive a promotion? Take that extra money and put it in a savings account and continue to live on your previous income....
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Mar
07
Bless Your Heart - week of March 7
BLESS YOUR HEART Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, recently called out South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, for endorsing Marco Rubio as her choice for the Republican nomination.  Nikki Haley responded with what sounded like a very genteel response…”Bless your Heart”.  But what exactly does Bless Your Heart mean?   All southerners understand that Bless Your Heart is really a veiled insult.  “Bless His Heart, He is as dumb as a box of rocks” or “Bless Her Heart, she doesn’t have a clue”. In any part of the country, there are colloquialisms native to that region.  And those of us not familiar with the area can easily misunderstand the real meaning behind the word or phrase. This miscommunication or lack of understanding can be...
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Mar
07
The DIY Debate - week of March 1
Tags: Debate; DYI
The DYI Debate With tax time around the corner we see ourselves asking is it smarter to use a tax advisor or to try and do it ourselves? When we look at the overall picture, taxes are in our top three expenses every year.  It’s natural to assume we want to maximize our deductions and save money but how do we know if it’s the right time to leave it in the hands of a professional?    The advantage of having a professional tax advisor in your corner is it is their job to go over your taxes and find all the deductions available to you.   An advisor will be able to walk you through all the forms you need, fill them out, and tell you the most tax efficient ways to deal with a bigger than anticipated capital tax gain.  If you want to gift...
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Feb
18
Did Anybody Watch?
Did Anybody Watch? Tuesday morning and its back to work after a three day weekend for many employees.  Since the weather around the country was not conducive for outdoor activities, did the couch potato come out in you?  I must admit it did in our household…blah!  I even watched a few minutes of the NBA All Star game on television.  Great athletes on display – great basketball – not so much. They scored 369 points in this game.  Yes, you heard right…369 points!!  “So what“you say, it was an All Star game.  True, but come on…play the whole game as it was meant to be played. Just think if we invested our own money for long range three pointers and monstrous slam dunks.  It’s exciting to watch but not prudent for our every day job as an...
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Jan
15
GROWING OLD OR GROWING UP
Tags: GROWING OLD
How often do you think about living in your 20’s, 30’s, or even 40’s again? How would you change certain things in your life? Would you do things completely different and chart a new course for your own history? Then you pause and realize life has been very good. Family, friends and experiences that make you smile and appreciate who you have become as an “adult” or a “senior citizen”. It’s true – some friends are gone and some experiences are forgotten. However, dare we think they are all part of us…part of our journey of “growing up” not “growing old”? The challenge for the Plus Fifty crowd is realizing we still can live and enjoy the life we have in front of us. We should not look back but look forward and plan how to enjoy the rest...
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Jan
15
ARE YOU A SHUTTERBUG?
Tags: ShutterBug
I love to take pictures. Years ago, as my kids were growing up; we didn’t have digital cameras so all the photos I took of the kids were done with a 35mm camera. As a result, I now have 3+ huge plastic storage containers filled with photographs. I have told myself every year that I will sit down and go through the photos and catalog them into albums…however, that hasn’t happened and the huge plastic tubs take up space in my closet.  I now have a digital camera so while I don’t have any more photos filling up plastic tubs; I have thousands of photos cataloged on my computer and up in the cloud. Ironically, my 21 year old daughter loves to take pictures too but she prefers the old vintage cameras. Go figure! Photography provides us with a...
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