Today is New Year’s Day and I’d like to wish everyone happiness, health, and prosperity for 2016. And how do we get to happiness, health, and prosperity?
Resolutions: every new year we make a list of them and then by February they just seem to disappear in the cold north wind. I know you know what I’m talking about. You’ve pledged to lose some weight or to give up your nasty smoking habit, but it’s so much easier to say it than to do it. You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
Well, when it comes to your financial resolutions, it’s much the same. Making resolutions that can make real changes in your life is something that most of us think, talk about and plan every year. But what becomes of that plan?
About a year ago, I wrote about how to make a better plan, by setting measurable goals, dealing with setbacks, engaging others, and more. This year I’d like to talk about what some of those financial goals might include. Continue reading
In most cases being older isn’t a whole lot of fun. I can’t run as fast as I used to and I certainly can’t get down on those ground balls like an all-star does, but what I can do is get super saving senior discounts at a bunch of places that I frequent often and some that I will go to because of the savings.
But here’s the kicker, no 20-year-old behind the counter or at the register is ever going to say to me, “hey…you look old, did you know we have discounts for old guys like you?” It’s a secret, sort of like speaking in a code and you have to know the magic words and ask for those special prices. Those words are “Do you offer a senior discount?” Continue reading
I’m taking today off from my regular posting to spend a few minutes with you all and capture this as the chance to wish you all the best of the holiday season! This includes everyone out there, whether you celebrate Chanukah, Yule, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, even those who aren’t celebrating any winter holiday at all. It’s my fervent wish that everyone find love, peace, and happiness, and the big holiday season is as good a time as any or better for that to happen.
One of the things about writing here each week is the great therapeutic benefit that it provides for me. It’s the chance for me to feel like I’m doing something positive and helping someone else (hopefully that’s not too delusional). It really starts to mean something even more special to me of course when people are actually reading, subscribing, tweeting, and commenting in increasing numbers about what I’m writing. I can’t explain how much I appreciate all of that to you except with a sincere thank you! Continue reading
Ah, the holidays are really here. Yup, it’s holiday crunch time and let’s hope that the crunch isn’t the sound of your head banging against a wall! I know you can tell what time of year it is. The stores are more crowded, your “to do” list is a mile long, your calendar is full of events and errands. Perhaps the littlest things are starting to annoy you. Then there’s drama with family, friends, work, money…ok, so you know all about those things that can create holiday stress. So how are you going to get through this time? Do you have a plan to relieve the stress and really honest-to-goodnessly (ok, I made that word up!) enjoy the holidays?
Look, I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, but I have a list of ways I like to relax each year when it comes to holiday time. Here are a few suggestions that I hope will ease the stress for you like it does for me! Continue reading
As we are rounding third and heading for home (excuse the baseball reference please, but I’m so deprived at this time of the year!), I thought what’s more of a holiday treat than to get a DVD of a classic movie that you love and other family members may not have seen? Classic DVD’s are usually a bargain and can even be purchased used online to save even more. (If you order from Amazon today, there’s still time to get it by Christmas with standard shipping.) Then I thought why not tie it all in and pick money movies that can entertain and teach you some great financial lessons!
While I haven’t gotten to see The Big Short yet (it’s not playing near me until next week), here’s my list of some of the best money movies of the past 40 years. So why not take a stroll down memory lane and give one of these to a loved one or friend? It’s a great evening at home with popcorn and an entertaining money lesson without any of the pain. Continue reading
There are some subjects that we just don’t like to talk about and can make us feel really uncomfortable. One of these subjects is our own death and how our assets and property will be distributed when that event ultimately occurs. Having said that, it is imperative that everyone think about their estate plan and what they need or want to do with their assets when they’re gone. You have the final say as long as you do something about it while you are alive and well. While many people choose a Last Will and Testament, another option is a Revocable Living Trust (RLT). So you may be wondering, what is a Revocable Living Trust?
An RLT is becoming increasingly more popular as an estate planning tool since changes have been made to make them friendlier to establish and use. An RLT lets you determine who receives your property and assets, and divides them while you are still alive and helps you avoid probate court. Continue reading
It’s getting close to the end of the year, and that usually means it’s party time again! Whether it’s a Christmas, Chanukah, Yule, or Kwanzaa celebration, or the big New Year’s bash, we’ll all probably be attending or planning some kind of special activity at work or at home with family, friends, and colleagues during the next few weeks. If hosting a party is in your plans, you may be concerned about your budget. But you can save money hosting a holiday party! Here are some really great ideas to use that will make your party a hit, without breaking the bank!
There are lots of mistakes we might make throughout our lifetimes that can cost us and our family some serious money. That’s why financial advisors and other experts are always talking about what you should do to make sure you are positioned to maximize your earnings and avoid the mistakes that will derail your retirement. The Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in 2015 points out that only 22% of all American workers feel very confident that they are properly prepared for retirement. It’s important to understand how our financial planning strategies are helping or harming our ability to maximize our retirement savings.
Today, we’ll look at the 8 most common retirement planning mistakes we need to understand and attend to. Have you looked at all of these and put yourself on solid ground towards your goals and successful retirement? Continue reading
It’s that time again to examine the moves you need to make to increase your net income and save on your tax bill for 2015 and beyond. It’s really important to start now and review all the opportunities that can save you money, since in most cases (for personal taxes, not business), December 31st is the deadline for adjustments. Doing your year end tax planning now means you can claim these benefits when you file your return by April 15th. If you itemize your deductions, many of these actions should look familiar, so let’s begin!
Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, it’s easy to get caught up in the rampant consumerism of the holidays and forget about the real meaning behind it all. That’s just one of the reasons that today has been dubbed Giving Tuesday, to remind us to help others in need and to act for real change in our communities.
Obviously giving is important for altruistic reasons, but it also makes you feel good, gives you a potential tax deduction, and makes a difference in the world. With a number of different ways to give and over 1.5 million non-profit organizations to give to, there’s something for everyone. I recommend finding a charity that means something to you and reflects your interests. Continue reading