Focus on What You Save – Not on What You Spend

Focus on saving money, not on what you spend.

The financial planning process can be a wake-up call for many, mostly because people tend to have multiple revelations as the process unfolds. Recently, a client emailed to tell me she was surprised at just how much money she spends. As I told her, this is a normal reaction for someone who is getting acquainted with their financial picture for the first time. If most people took a look at where their money goes, they would also be surprised. Unfortunately, most people never bother. Still, I…
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Why You Should Skip Fake News and Choose Boring Investments Instead

Financial Fake News? Real financial advice is boring!

When it comes to investing, most who are successful use a simple formula to achieve results. For starters, successful investors actually research different investment strategies before moving ahead – and this is after they study their strategy’s fees and historical data. Lastly, successful investors typically pick a single strategy and stick with it for the long haul – that is, they don’t flip and flop as the markets go up and down. Unfortunately, far too many investors fail to master each of these steps. While most…
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What Everyone Ought to Know about Early Retirement (and Staying Retired)

what do I need to know about the challenges early retirement

The internet and its many financial independence bloggers have made the idea of “early retirement” all the rage. If you earn plenty of money and invest it wisely, early retirement enthusiasts say, you can quit work earlier than your peers and enjoy decades of freedom before you reach old age. The good news is, these people are absolutely right. Early retirement is possible if you start planning early and make smart financial moves along the way. The downside is, early retirement comes with a host of challenges you have to overcome…
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Annuity vs. Annuitization

Annuity vs Annuitization

What Is an Annuity? An annuity is a financial product. It’s one possible way people can invest money. Technically, an annuity represents a contract made between the insurance company and the person who bought the annuity. When you purchase an annuity, you can make a one-time payment for it. In exchange, the insurance company promises to provide some sort of benefit. Usually, that’s some type of income, long-term care, or growth of assets. Annuities Are (Usually) a Ripoff The definition of an annuity can make…
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The Salesman IS NOT Your Friend

At the risk of throwing salespeople everywhere under the bus, I’m going to share a few stories that might change the way you think about how these professionals are compensated. Let’s start at the beginning. Recently, I asked my life insurance agent for an increase in my disability insurance policy. (You can learn more about a disability policy here.) His response? It will be a lot of work for a small benefit. At first, this response baffled me. Obviously, applying for more disability insurance wouldn’t…
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Define Disability Insurance: Protect Your Income

define disability insurance

Before I define disability insurance, let me set the scene for you: Joe Danger, CPA earns $100,000 a year working at a Big Four accounting firm. In his free time, Joe likes to practice juggling chainsaws. During a recent chainsaw-juggling performance at the Del Mar Fair, Joe injures his hands. Without any working digits, Joe is no longer able to use the number pad on his keyboard. He can’t work – and he’s not entitled to his salary! Pretty unfortunate for Mr. Danger, right? But he’s…
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Should I Cosign My Spouse’s Refinanced Student Loan?

Should I co-sign on a loan?

The following is a post by attorney Adam S. Minsky, who focuses his practice in student loan law. Please be advised that this post is not legal advice and does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Attorney Minsky is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New York. Cosigning may, at first glance, seem like a fairly straightforward, no-risk way of helping a loved one secure a student loan or a refinancing. Having a solid cosigner may result in better loan terms or a…
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The Smart Way to Save Money On Auto Insurance

How to Save Money on Auto Insurance

Do you wish you could save money on your regular bills? Are you tired of overpaying for important components of your financial plan, but not sure what to do? If so, I’ve got some simple advice that can help you save hundreds of dollars in one budget category: your auto insurance policy. Every year, thousands of people make a specific mistake with their coverage that costs them big time. These people are literally taking hundreds of dollars every year and lighting it on fire. Want…
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