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The Savings Rate – How You Take Care of “Future You”

I recently got a raise, but it still feels like I’m living paycheck to paycheck.  What should I do? Many clients I encounter wish they had more money.  Everyone has different reasons for wanting more money, but the drive for more is fairly universal.  “If I could just make some more money, I could invest…
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Stock Picking – A Losing Gamble

Even people not involved in the world of finance know the name Warren Buffett.  His name has become synonymous with wealth and success, particularly when it comes to stock picking. People less familiar with the man, the myth, the legend, may not know about his long running bet.  About nine years ago, Warren Buffett made…
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A SIMPLE Alternative to a 401k

There’s a retirement plan available to small business owners that few people are familiar with. It’s called a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, or “SIMPLE” IRA. What makes these plans so attractive usually boils down to one word: Cost [button text="Mention This Blog Post and Receive $50 off a Financial Review Session." link="/financial-reviews/" style="success"…
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Mutual Fund Classes – What Are They and Why Should I Care?

Do you ever look at your investment statements and have no idea what they mean? Investments should not be overcomplicated.  You use your money to invest in a company or a project or a business.  If it does well, you make money.  If it does badly, you lose money.  That is the Cliffs Notes version…
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Employer-Matching – The Best Way to Double Your Money

Does your employer offer retirement matching, but you just don’t have the breathing room to use it? If so, you need to look at your budget yesterday.  Retirement planning has changed a lot in the last few decades, with very few people having access to the defined benefit plans and the pensions of old.  Gone…
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Savings Solutions for Your Kid’s College

Are You Wondering How to Afford to Send Your Kids to College? If so, you’re not alone.  It’s a daunting proposition, and unfortunately, it’s getting harder every year.  If you feel like the costs of a college education are exponentially higher now than they were when you went to school, you are absolutely right: between…
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Traditional vs Roth IRAs – Which Should I Choose?

Does Thinking About Retirement Accounts Traditionally Fill You with Wroth? If so, you’re not alone. Between all the different rules and regulations, minimum distribution requirements and tax treatment, there are a lot of things that go into making the different kinds of retirement accounts distinct from one another. Let’s start off by saying that having…
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Thinking of Starting a Business?

Thinking of Starting a Business?  Here’s Four Reasons You Should Go for It! Schedule Setting your own schedule is amazing.  Networking events, client meetings, and the actual work that gets you paid can all be planned around your priorities.  It gives you more freedom to respond to important family events, like attending school functions with…
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Nickels, Dimes and the Subscription Economy

Do you look at your bank account and have no idea where your money went? If you answered yes, then don’t feel too bad, as you are not alone. Recent numbers from the Federal Reserve show that the average American household has over $16,000 in credit card debt.  Most people “know” that they should spend…
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The Value of an Advisor

Should I be paying someone to manage my money? I know you’re expecting me to say yes.  After all, I am a financial advisor, and I make a living managing other people’s money.  So logically, I should say yes.  But the correct answer is… maybe (any maybe not).  Some people desperately need an advisor.  Some,…
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Consider a Money Market Account at an Online Bank

Have You Been Thinking About MMA a Lot Recently? No, not the sport of mixed martial arts, but rather the “sport” of saving money in a money market account. It’s not nearly as exciting, but still an important concept for any saver to understand. Generally speaking, when you deposit money at the bank, it either…
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Planning – Annual Gift Limits

Do you have a family member that is impossible to shop for? If so, you are not alone. I happen to be that person in my family, and I am confident that every family has one. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s one gift that pleases everyone, and it can make…
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Planning: Three Steps to a Solid Financial Plan

Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail”? It applies to so many aspects of our lives, so why would investing be any different? Consider following this easy three-step process to help yourself set goals, and actually follow through with them. [button text="Mention This Blog Post and…
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Diversification – Three Legs Are Better Than One

Have you ever tried to sit on a two-legged stool? Of course you haven’t (hopefully). Why would you? It’s neither safe nor stable. Have you ever tried to build a retirement portfolio with only one or two “legs”? If you’re like most individuals, you’re probably doing it right now. [button text="Mention This Blog Post and…
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What Are People Doing With Their Tax Returns?

Tax season is here! That’s exciting news for many people who are expecting returns, but not everyone is. For better or worse, here’s the rundown of how many people are expecting returns, and what they are planning to do with them. The results will likely surprise you. [button text="Mention This Blog Post and Receive $50…
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Forget Retirement – Seek Financial Independence in 2016

Retirement: the act of leaving one's job and ceasing to work. Financial Independence: having sufficient wealth to live on without having to work There’s a very subtle, but very important difference. Most people achieve financial independence and retirement at the same time. As soon as they can afford to retire (i.e. - achieving financial independence),…
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This Strategy Saved Us Thousands on Healthcare

Do you have a child or other family member that requires significantly more medical care than the rest of the family?   I do.  My daughter Ruby has Down syndrome.  While her medical care isn’t very expensive now that she’s 5 years old, her therapy expenses still are.  If we paid out-of-pocket for all of…
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I’m 34 Years Old. Am I Falling Way Behind on Saving for Retirement?

I’m 34 years old and haven’t started saving for retirement.  Am I falling way behind? That’s a great question, and there are two vantage points that we’ll want to consider when answering it.  First off, let’s look at where you stand in relation to your peers.  And second, let’s look at where you stand in…
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Safe Harbor Deadline is Fast Approaching!

Small business owners still have the chance to create a Safe Harbor 401k plan in 2015 and make a full contribution for the year.  But don’t wait.  October 1st marks the deadline for taking advantage of this type of plan, and it’s fast approaching. [button text="Mention This Blog Post and Receive $50 off a Financial…
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Identifying the Difference Between a Traditional and ROTH IRA

Tax planning is an important part of any financial plan.  A common goal we all have is to keep as much of our hard-earned money in our pockets as possible and away from Uncle Sam.  However, the best way to do this varies from person to person based on their unique financial situation. [button text="Mention…
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Reducing Volatility through Diversification

Diversify, diversify, diversify.  That’s been the golden rule of investing for decades.  Conventional wisdom has argued for years that investors need to spread their investments across a variety of asset classes and investment types in order to reduce their risk.  I’m happy to go on record as saying that I wholeheartedly agree. [button text="Mention This…
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