Consider the “Small Stuff” in your Financial Planning…

I’m watching with pride and mixed emotions as my daughter, Brandi, gets ready to head off to college. The house is littered with stacks of clothing, bedding, towels, shelf organizers and backpacking gear Brandi thinks she’ll need. My wife has informed Brandi that NO PACKING or STACKING can take place in the living room as…

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Add Good Health to Your Retirement Plan

People who plan for their retirement, emotionally as well financially, are often less likely to feel depressed or have difficulty adjusting to this new stage of life. Three steps to consider when mapping out your healthy second act: 1. Recreate Your Social Network It’s likely that when you retire, you’ll miss the easy camaraderie of…

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Sneaky Expenses that can Wreck Your Budget

You may be surprised to learn that it’s not the big-ticket items that are likely to blow your budget. The real culprit is the gradual increase in your spending habits on the little, almost unnoticeable, things in life. Here are four common causes of “expense creep,” which can easily add up to more than $5,000…

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The Four Habits of Happy Retirees

The most successful retirees are the ones with the biggest bank accounts, right? Not necessarily. Though being comfortable and happy in your post-career years has a lot to do with the financial planning you do before leaving work, it’s also about attitude. Retirement, after all, isn’t just that red-circled date on your calendar; it’s also…

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Balance Your Finances!

I hear a lot about “life balance.” But what about your financial balance? Take a look at the image of two tanks. Think about where you have the majority of your money situated.  Is it at risk for loss?  Or is it in a financial vehicle where it is protected from loss? If you can prevent…

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Four Threats to Your Retirement

Even if you’ve been saving and planning carefully for retirement, these unforeseen issues can disrupt and delay your retirement: 1. A Medical Crisis Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United states. An injury or chronic illness can drain your financial reserves. You can protect your income with disability insurance which replaces a portion…

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Two Important Keys to Retirement

Ever find yourself bogged down or intimidated by all the things you’re supposed to have done to prepare for retirement? It’s true that’s there’s a lot to consider as you plan for retirement. But sometimes, as my mother used to say, “It’s hard to see the forest for the trees.” In other words, it’s easy…

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Losing the Race by Chasing Returns

  Throughout the last 30 or so years we have been exhorted and encouraged to place a great deal of reliance on qualified plans, such as our 401(k), to fund our retirement. Qualified plans are supposed to provide us with the income we need in retirement. It’s the approach that is embodied by the financial…

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Don’t Panic! 3 Mistakes to Avoid When the Stock Market Drops

You might have seen Wednesday’s front page headlines from The Wall Street Journal and The USA Today: “Markets Reel in Global Selloff” “1,000 Point Sell-Off Rocks Stock Market.” Here we are again. Volatility, worry and advice: Sell! Buy! Don’t sell! Don’t buy! It’s easy to feel like you need to react and “do something” when…

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Social Security Strategy – Don’t miss out on your benefits

Over 56 million people, or one in six Americans, receive monthly benefits from Social Security. In many instances, Social Security payments are most beneficiaries’ major source of income (National Academy of Social Insurance, 2012) Social Security is an incredibly important program because it offers you two valuable benefits: 1.  Income you cannot outlive, and 2. …

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