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Time for a Review

Welcome to 2020! We have officially made it into a new Decade. But before we move on, let’s look at 5 things that have happened in the past decade.

  • April 2010. The First iPad comes outDecember 2012.

  • Nothing happened when the Mayan Calendar endedFebruary 2016.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar.2018.

  • Major Tax Law changesApril 2019.

  • NASA captured the first ever photo of a black hole.

I hope your 2019 was everything you hoped it would be. A new decade brings new reminders though. When was the last time you reviewed your situation?

We all understand the importance of regular screenings and check-ups for our health. Do you agree that your financial health is extremely important to keep track of as well? Just like many physical illnesses, financial illnesses do not go away without treatment, and the earlier you catch them the better off you will be!

I encourage everyone to visit with an expert and double check your financial plan at least once a year. Even if there weren’t any changes, it is still wise to meet so you can make sure you are still on track to meet your goals. However, you should also keep an eye out for events like these, where you should definitely revisit your plan.

  • Change of jobs

  • Birth of a child

  • Significant raiseDeath in the family

  • Disability Loss of a job

  • Changing goalsPreparing for RMD’s

  • Tax law changesBuying/selling your home

As we get older things change. With the changing of the decade don’t forget to keep your financial plans up to date. Remember if you ever want help or advice, I am always here. There is never any cost, obligation or judgement for my recommendations.

New Year's Resolutions That Work

It's the new year again, and with that comes the struggles of New Year Resolutions. Resolutions are often stressful, unreachable things. But they don’t have to be. They should be encouraging and lead you down the path you want to follow. Making realistic, simple resolutions can lead to a greater chance of success in the upcoming year. Here are 6 steps to help you set ones that work.

1. Be realistic in your goals.

Choose one goal, then break it down into smaller, more manageable bits. For example, if you want to save $1,000, think about it in terms of saving $20 per paycheck. That makes your goal less intimidating. Every time you save some money, praise yourself. Rewarding yourself for every positive step will help you have the confidence you need to hang in there.

2. Start with a plan and stick to it

Studies show that people who make impulsive resolutions are less likely to stick to them. Think about what is most important to you and create strategies to deal with the problems and setbacks that will come up as you move towards your goal. Tracking your progress will help as well; the more you monitor and praise yourself, the more likely you are to succeed.

3. Team up with a friend or loved one

Make a list of your goals and share them with a friend or loved one. You are now accountable to two people: yourself and the other person. You will also get a sense of satisfaction from helping your friend accomplish his or her goals, too. Such an informal pact can help hold your feet to the fire when you feel discouraged or want to give up — they can offer you some encouragement and support (and you can do likewise).

4. Look at the bright side and allow yourself mistakes

Focusing on the positive side of things will give you more energy and enthusiasm to pursue your goals. People who believe that they can succeed are more likely to do so. For example, praise yourself for losing five pounds, but don’t punish yourself for gaining one back. Remind yourself that every day is a new day and an opportunity to try again.

5. Think of resolutions as opportunities to try new things

Resolutions are a time of the year not only to try and “fix” the problems in your life, but also to try out a new way of being, a new activity or hobby, or a new attitude. Resolutions should not seem like punishments; if you try to make them fun, you will be more likely to stick with them.

Excerpt from PsychCentral.com

Don’t Go It Alone!

Have you ever shied away from asking for help? Most, if not all, of us have at one time or another. There are endless excuses we give ourselves why we shouldn’t. It could be we don’t know who to ask, we don’t think anyone is available, or the biggest one...fear. Fear of over-stepping a friendship. Fear of appearing too needy. Fear of imposing. Fear of revealing our struggle and having people realize we don’t have it all together after all.

This is all a matter of pride. We do not want to seem weak, it may be embarrassing, or maybe we want to maintain an image of strength and independence. This only leads to the detriment of yourself and society! The truth of the matter is, we are not masters at everything, we need each other’s help. There is nothing wrong with this! It is how it was always intended to be! It does not show weakness, it is by design. While yes, you may be able to make it on your own, the beauty is that you don’t have to! Thousands of years ago, one of the oldest historical texts, says this…

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

You should never let an excuse get in the way of asking for help. It is how society was built. People working together to reach a common goal. If you don’t ask for help when you need it, you are not just taking the burden on yourself, but you are also depriving those who care and want to assist you! Everyone is worse off! Everyone has gifts to share… time, talent, connections, insights, experience, skills, resources, hospitality the list goes on and on…and we love to share them! One of the best joys in life is helping others! Don’t deprive people of this!

Remember, we are not designed to make it alone. If you are struggling, I want to help. Especially if it pertains to financial matters, one of the biggest stressors and causes of family discord. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I guarantee there is no charge, no obligation, and no judgment. I am not offering schemes, I am offering to get in the trench with you and push through together.

What is Living Debt-Free & Truly Wealthy?

Many people have asked me, "What do you mean when you say 'Living debt-free and truly wealthy'." The answer is both simple and complex. The goal I have set for myself is to help all my friends, family, and people in my community become debt-free and truly wealthy. There are two parts of this, (Debt-free and Truly Wealthy respectively.) Debt-free is pretty clear in its meaning, but what does truly wealthy mean?

Becoming truly wealthy is a relative term with an important meaning. It is founded on the core that everyone has a different definition of 'wealth'. To some it is as simple as having a roof over their head and food on the table for their family, others it is being able to help send their children to college, and still others are dreaming about diamond-studded swimming pools. For me, living truly wealthy is being able to spend, save, invest and plan wisely for the future, and be financially independent while still having enough to give to the needy.

When I think of people who I consider wealthy, it is not about buying everything on the shelf and going on vacations each month. It is about being in control of your checkbook. It is wisely managing your purchases, so all of your needs are taken care of without seeing that dreaded 0 or red number. It is knowing how and when to say, 'no' and not worrying how you are going to pay all of your bills.

The next part of being truly wealthy is being able to save and invest for the future. It is about knowing how to put money aside for the important things to come. It is realizing that a rainy day will come and being prepared for it. Furthermore, it is about planning wisely, to make sure to be able to retire one day.

The next step in being truly wealthy is being able to help others. Throughout life, there will be people who are going through a rough time and need help. This may be a friend, family member, or total stranger. I don't want to have to say, 'no' to them if they truly need it. There are many causes in this world that are worth supporting. Being truly wealthy is being able to help them.

The final step in living truly wealthy is to be financially independent. It is being able to manage all of the above things (whether by yourself or with help from an advisor) wisely, and to stay ahead. It is reaching that true balance. It is not relying on loans or credit cards.

All in all, it doesn't matter how much you make each month. Living truly wealthy, is about managing what you do have wisely, to keep yourself in a prosperous situation. It is about planning and discipline, and making your money work for you in the best way possible.

4 Key’s To Saving Money!

Pay yourself first. Rather than the way we all do it, pay all the bills and then whatever is left we save, and there’s always nothing left. Before you pay any bills or anything cut yourself a check to put into savings. Although you may find it difficult at first, the key is to pay yourself first. It is a great way to get in the habit of saving. Before long, you will be very happy that you are saving and paying yourself first, not last.

Do it automatically. Pay yourself first automatically. It's easy to do electronically. Simply have a certain amount from your paycheck deposited into a financial account. You'll complete a form authorizing your bank (or whatever institution) to receive a portion of every paycheck and deposit it into your savings account. This is a great way to build up your savings—if you don't see the money, you won't miss it.

Save 10% of your paycheck. A good rule of thumb is to save 10% of your paycheck. If this feels too high, try 5% for a while. Then, try to work up to saving 10% of your earnings. You'll thank yourself over and over for doing it, once you've retired. Remember something is better than nothing.

The power of compound interest. Not all investing strategies are complicated. Perhaps the simplest strategy of all is to just leave it alone and let it accumulate over time, or "compound."

Thanks to the power of compounding, the more money you save, the faster it grows.

That's because you earn interest not only on what you save, but also on the interest generated. The earlier you start to save, the more dramatically your money can grow.

Example: Let's say you start out with $100 and it earns 5% compound interest. When your interest is compounded, the bank takes the interest that your account has earned during the previous day, week, month, or year. It adds that interest to your principal and then calculates your new interest payment. If you receive 5-percent compounded interest on a principal of $100, your investment would grow like this:

Year 1: $105.00

Year 2: $110.25

Year 3: $115.76

Year 4: $121.55

Year 5: $127.63

Those 4 ideas are the keys to having a successful retirement, for more information on how to implement or see if they fit it your budget, please contact our office today!

The Retirement Savings Myth

Most people think the most important thing when saving for retirement is how much money can they save. There is no doubt why, as logic implies that the more money you have the larger income you can take from it. However, this is not always true. Which is why the most important question is actually, “How much of my money can I spend?”! When diving into this question there are three main factors that affect how much money you can spend in retirement. They are taxes, leveraging growth, and unforeseen expenses.

The first factor that affects how much of your money you can spend is taxes. We are all familiar with taxes. Between being taxed on our incomes, capital gains, and property taxes, it seems there is never an end. The ugly truth is, without proper planning, these do not stop in retirement, and all of these taxes can significantly eat away at your income. However, if you could get your retirement income tax-free, legally and ethically, how much better off would you be? Would that be a direct increase in your spendable money?

The next factor is leveraging growth. How much income can your nest-egg generate? Will you only take an income from the interest? What happens if it doesn’t generate any interest that year or interest rates drop. Can you afford to take out the principle? Is your money at risk? If something happens and the market declines, could you survive on 20-50% (or more) less income? Are you willing to take that gamble? Additionally, are you being charged a fee to have your money managed? Fees and poor returns can cause you to lose a significant amount of funds. Will you be able to recoup these losses? Will your account last as long as you do? If you could eliminate the fees and guarantee your income would that give you peace of mind?

The last factor is unforeseen expenses. If an emergency comes up, how much money can you access to take care of the emergency. If you do, how will it affect your income? Will you have to keep dipping into your principle more and more?

Retirement is no simple matter. There are a lot of different things to consider when choosing how you save, and how to generate an income. The bottom line is that you need to have a well-formed plan. Give me a call today, so we can formulate your plan to have a “Worry Free Retirement”. Remember there is never any cost or obligation to meet with me.

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