How Financial Planning Changes When There’s an Age Difference

Planning your finances is never really simple. But when one spouse is many years younger than the other, there is often even more to consider. For example, instead of planning a typical retirement income stream of 30 years, it’s going to be more like 40, maybe even 50 years. Financial planning when there’s an age difference can be a bit more complicated.

If there's an age difference between you and your sweetheart...10 years, 15 years, 20 years or more...it can affect your finances. Financial planning when there's an age difference has some important distinctions of which you should be aware.

For me and my wife Suzanne, this is that situation. I am currently 68 and she is just 47. To be honest, it didn’t really dawn on me as to what might make it very different when we are 20+ years apart in planning retirement life until just a few years ago. Having met her when I was working and just in my mid 50’s, I thought retirement was far off in the distance and never dreamed that I would “have” to retire early because of my health and that she would become disabled for health reasons too. That’s made me ask the question: “What do we do differently to deal with our finances when one spouse is so much younger than the other?” Continue reading

Protect Your Parents From Frauds and Scams

Being an older person (I’m 68), I know what the real world situation is when it comes to frauds and scams. Scammers tend to prey upon the elderly. Protecting yourself from fraud and scams would be a big enough job by itself, but you also need to protect your older parents from becoming victims of con artists.

While we all can be duped, your elderly parents are at greater risk of becoming victim to frauds and scams. Here's how you can help protect them from these financial dangers.
These days, many of us no longer live near our parents, making this effort even more difficult. You may not be aware of what phone calls, emails, and letters they receive which may be luring them into financial ruin. It’s a growing problem for a number of reasons and the biggest one is that the older generation is a soft target, many with assets that are fairly accessible for everyday use from a checking or savings account. Continue reading

18 Money Saving Ideas for St. Frugaltine’s Day

I definitely love being in love! I am so fortunate that I have found true love on my second time around when I met and fell for Suzanne, my beautiful wife, back in 2005! Not only is she all that and a bag of chips (am I dating myself with that phrase?), but we share a mindset about personal finances and that crosses off the list any arguments we might have about money. That is a problem that many couples endure and it can really damage a relationship.

You know it's coming on February 14th, and now you need some Valentine's Day ideas that won't break the bank. We've got you covered with some money saving ways to show your love.

Having said that, we both enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day each year but we do it on our own terms. So it’s kind of a challenge to come up with some new ways to have fun, share our love, and still remain fiscally solvent. Here’s a not so short list of money saving ideas that can make your Valentine’s a “St. Frugaltine’s Day” of fun and frolic! Continue reading

Where is the Line on Paying Your Adult Child’s Expenses?

The old adage used to be that parents were financially responsible for their children up to the age of 18. After that, they became legal adults and financially responsible for themselves. Years ago, many teens couldn’t wait for their independence so they could move out and strike out on their own. I know that was how I thought back then but things have changed significantly for parents when it comes to their adult child.

As parents, we tend to do everything in our power to help our adult child. But where do you draw the line about paying for their expenses? Here's why it's important to limit your payments and what to tell your child.

Fast forward to today and now many parents continue to provide their children with financial assistance in some form throughout their college education, and often beyond. There have been several reasons for that happening. Continue reading

What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day

Last year I wrote a post about my thoughts on Father’s Day and it came from my heart. I think the message in it says what every Dad (and Mom too) thinks and feels about a day like this, even though the environment we live in makes us feel like honoring our Dads and Moms is only about buying gifts and making a big deal out of just one single day a year in our lives. I can tell you from personal experience, that’s not what Dads (and Moms) really want from their kids.

So today, in anticipation of Father’s Day 2017, I am republishing last year’s post. If you didn’t see it last time, I hope it says what you are feeling like it does for me. Here’s hoping all the “kids” of any age out there read and get the message I am conveying. Have a great Father’s Day all year long!

It’s just around the corner: another Father’s Day arrives on Sunday, June 18th.  If you’re like most people, you’ve already begun thinking about what you’re looking to give Dad this year—checking the Sunday papers, looking online, and talking to Mom and your siblings about what Dad really wants this year.

Father's Day is coming on June 18th. I'll share with you the secret of what Dad really wants for his special day and you won't need to spend the big bucks.

I’m a Dad of two (they’re grown now and out on their own) and I’m sure they are thinking those same thoughts and hoping to surprise me with something I’m just dying for but would never go out and buy for myself. That’s probably how they think. Continue reading

Financial Literacy Month: Teaching Your Kids About Money

April is Financial Literacy Month and it’s the perfect time to think about this subject and ways to help make you and your family more financially savvy! During this month, I have been asked several times by others in the financial world a simple yet personal question: “What do I wish I had learned as a kid about money that I wasn’t taught?” That got me to really thinking about the subject of personal finance in a little bit different way.

April is Financial Literacy Month and there's no better time to teach financial literacy for kids and adults. Here's how kids can learn more about money.

Almost everything I ever learned about money and personal finance as a child I learned from my parents. Schools just didn’t spend very much time teaching about that and surprisingly even today, some 60 years after I went to elementary school, they still don’t! Continue reading

3 Shameful Financial Problems You Fear To Talk About

Americans are well known around the world for certain things. One prime thing is our tendency to talk and even brag about our lives and our abundances. We are pretty proud of living in what we refer to as the “greatest country” in the world and we have good reasons to feel that way. If you are a bigtime world traveler, you are probably sending a clear message to everyone you meet: you have lots of money and you enjoy spending it freely. You probably stay at a fine hotel, eat at a fancy restaurant, travel at the height of the season, etc. and that is the message you’re sending.

Sometimes financial problems are embarrassing and we're afraid to share them with loved ones. But getting help is better than trying to work it out alone.

The Art of Braggadocio

Speaking of bragging, we also have great fervor when spreading good news to others, especially our family and neighbors. We make it obvious so they will notice when we drive into our garage with that big new $85,000 2017 Land Rover that’s so perfect for those cross country trips and exploring the Gobi Desert, but will more likely spend its time parked at little Debbie’s soccer practices every Tuesday and Thursday! Continue reading

Frugal or Cheapskate… Am I Just Too Damned Cheap?

So I’m out having dinner with my daughter and the bill comes to the table. It’s my treat (of course, since she rarely has the money to pick up any tab) and I pull out my rewards card for the loyalty points and of course the coupon: “Save $10.00 off any 2 dinners with the purchase of 2 drinks”. And then it happens.

“Dad, do you always have to use a coupon? It’s so embarrassing, like can’t you just enjoy this without having that? Are you that cheap?”

There's a difference between being frugal and being a cheapskate. It takes some self-reflection to determine which you are, and how you got that way.

It never fails to amaze me when that conversation begins, and it often does. I have tried most of my life to teach both my children about being thrifty, or frugal if you prefer! For some unexplainable reason they just don’t seem to get it. Is it being cheap to want to conserve my money? Is it being cheap to take my daughter out to dinner? A free dinner for her? Exactly what is it that embarrasses her? Continue reading

How Will You Handle The Final Affairs Of A Loved One?

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences you will ever have, which is only compounded by having to handle their final affairs and their estate. There’s no doubt that dealing with a subject like the loss of a friend or family member is emotional, stressful, and a cause of great despair. When you get to be around my age, you have probably dealt with this kind of event far too often, and frankly no matter how many times you have, it is never a comfortable feeling.

Losing a loved one is tragic, but are you prepared to handle their final affairs and their estate? Here's a short primer on what you need to know.

There are many details that must be taken care of to make this kind of event orderly and to take care of all of the important details that the decedent wanted. This only adds an element of anxiety and pressure to an already stressful situation. Knowing what needs to be done can help to ease your mind. Continue reading

Couple Money Management: When a Saver Loves a Spender

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Managing money together as a couple can be one of the most stressful parts of a relationship. Everyone has their own ideas of how much to save and how much to spend, not to mention different priorities and different habits. So imagine how much more difficult it becomes when one partner is a classic “saver” and the other is a classic “spender”. How do you cope and manage your money together as a couple?

To excel at couple money management, you need to compromise, even if one of you is a saver and the other is a spender. Here's how to do it without fighting.I consider myself fortunate to have found a partner who generally feels the same way I do about money, saving, and spending. And yet, my wife likes to spend a bit more money than I do, sometimes putting her in the spender role and me in the saver role. We always manage to work out any monetary disagreements with a quick conversation and a bit of time to think. One of the key things we’ve realized though is that it isn’t so much that she’s the spender and I’m the saver, but that we spend on different things. Continue reading