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As spring approaches, it’s a natural time to dig out of hibernation mode and start organizing things…including information for filing your taxes. The article below about important tax breaks for the newly retired may help you (or friends who are newly retired) get the most out of reaching this milestone. While many of us are making an effort to watch what we eat, what we think is a healthy choice may not be so good for us after all. Misleading marketing and misconceptions are to blame for our overindulgence in so-called “health foods.” See if any of your favorites are on the list. Would you like to be an even smarter investor? One surprising way is to get in touch with your feelings. This article by Dr. Meir Statman, an expert in behavioral finance (who we have the pleasure of working with), can give insight into different investing personalities, helping you understand why you make certain decisions and how you can curb unproductive investing habits. Lastly, if you’re dreading the idea of spring cleaning, try these easy and practical tips to refresh your house and restore it to its former, cleaner glory. ..
Some of the news headlines in recent days remind me a little of Chicken Little: “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” No doubt, all the headlines and reports about the downturn in the stock market can make us uncomfortable. But we’re in this for the long term, and if history is any guide, this current situation is short term. I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to watch two brief videos. The first illustrates some right (and not so right) ways to deal with market downturns. The second shows how $1 invested in the total U.S. market grew from 1927-2014 along with the headlines in Time Magazine. Both of these videos remind us that we should remain calm even when the markets aren’t. Also, here’s an idea for something we can control: When is the last time you checked your account beneficiary forms? With certain accounts (especially retirement accounts) the beneficiary form supersedes a will or trust. The article below will explain why it’s so important to make sure your forms are up to date (feel free to share the PDF with others). Lastly, in honor of Presidents’ Day this month, test your presidential knowledge with this enlightening — and challenging — quiz. ..
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful time relaxing with loved ones and enjoying the holiday season. Now it’s time to focus on the year ahead, right? If organizing all your things — both great and small — is a goal for this year, here is a smart guide that will show you how to better maximize your living space. Meeting your financial goals can be easier if you are specific, so check out this article that suggests taking a sharp look at your expenses and income opportunities in order to turn those goals into reality. And while most of us find it easy to write down our resolutions, it’s a lot harder to keep them. This article illustrates surprising and shrewd ways to stay on your newfound track. And for some added inspiration, here is a video for anyone who has ever tried to do something and thought, “It’s just too difficult.” After meningitis left 19-year-old Amy Purdy a paraplegic, she went on to become the top ranked adaptive snowboarder in the U.S. and 2014 Paralympic bronze medal winner. Learn how a determined Ms. Purdy wouldn’t allow personal tragedy to hold her back from her dreams and bright future. You’ll never say, “I can’t do it” again!
May the new year bring you a renewed sense of optimism and inspiration! ..
‘Tis the season to enjoy the company of family and friends, reconnect with your community, guiltlessly eat delicious goodies and reflect on the past year. This article from a new father wanting to give sound financial advice to his newborn son is both poignant and wise — the perfect sentiment to kick off the holidays. Having trouble finding that perfect gift for the creative thinker in your life? This unique gift guide will be sure to help you with the shopping doldrums. Don’t let all the shopping and parties wear you out — take some time to relax by curling up with a hot drink and something interesting to read. Here are some great books to enjoy this winter. And in the spirit of holiday fun, enjoy this light-hearted essay about the famous cake everyone loves to hate (with a corresponding decadent recipe). May the holiday spirit shine brightly on you and your loved ones. Happy holidays! ..
It’s the time of year when football season is in full swing, kids (or grandkids) are home from college for a few days and we all tend to think about what we’re thankful for. There’s a lot to contemplate — I’m thankful for the family and friends who make an extra effort to come together at Thanksgiving…and of course, the great food. I’m also very thankful for all my wonderful clients who make my job so enjoyable and rewarding. Since we’re on the subject of being thankful, I’ve included a fascinating article about gratitude from columnist David Brooks. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to start thinking about any charitable giving you might want to do for 2015. This article helps make choosing a deserving charity easier. Discipline has long been a key (but often elusive) ingredient for a successful financial plan. One of my roles as your Advisor is to help you keep on the right track and stay focused (and calm) during up and down markets. And November wouldn’t be complete without reference to some great food. Here are some nontraditional recipe ideas to modernize typical Thanksgiving side dishes. Bon appetit! ..
October may make you think of cool weather, football games and pumpkins — or maybe ghosts and goblins and bumps in the night (and we’re not talking about bumps in the markets — those aren’t too scary, at least over the long term). With so many important areas of our lives now online, internet security can be a scary issue. But the tips below will help you safe guard your money — and personal information. Many of us are afraid of cleaning out our garages or closets. It’s not easy to decide what to keep and what to give away. This article illuminates the behavioral biases that chain us to stuff we no longer need or use. (Some of these biases may also affect our financial decisions.) Don’t let old man winter scare you when it comes to heating bills. Read about how to prep your home for the winter months. Finally, enjoy this list of top movies from master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. But I don’t recommend you watch them alone! ..Read More
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but building on the new.” ~ Socrates
The leaves are starting to change their hue and over much of our country the temperatures are just barely hinting at crisp. Change is the only constant, as they say. One change you or a loved one may be experiencing is the process of signing up for Medicare. This article on 11 common mistakes can help you get the most from Medicare. Ever wish you could change the way your kids or grandkids think about money? Here are some great tips and practices to make sure kids and teens learn to be responsible about money and learn from their mistakes when they aren’t. One of the biggest threats to our financial security is living beyond our means. The lesson: Don't use money to attempt to keep up with the Joneses. Finally, as a final farewell to summer, I hope you enjoy getting your feet wet with a fresh look at the way some adventurous people vacation, 20,000 leagues under the sea. ..
During these dog days of summer, many kids will prepare to go back to school or off to college. This time of year makes a lot of us reflect on our own school experiences. In the spirit of education, here’s a quick quiz well worth taking. Test your knowledge about Social Security Benefits to find out the surprising things you may not know. Parents, professors and often our peers teach us so much about how we should behave in various life situations. But what about our behavior when it comes to money and investing? This article about measured spending despite temptations to upgrade your lifestyle will help you focus on what’s truly important: achieving your financial goals. Do you sometimes experience “Lizard Brain?” We all do! Evolution might help us outrun a lion or find food when it’s scarce, but it doesn't do us any favors when it comes to investing. Sometimes it can be hard to trust our core instincts. For example, the disciplined decision to stay invested during down markets — when all you want to do is sell — can yield more successful results by keeping you committed to your long-term wealth plans. Finally, we include a humorous look at how our behavior (and instincts) can affect our lives — sometimes in very unexpected ways. ..Read More