Category: Our Commentary

$125 for 5 Minutes of Your Time?

In 2017 hackers stole personal data for more than 147 million people from Equifax.  Nearly ½ of all Americans were affected by the breach. As part of the settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, everyone whose data was stolen can get ten years of credit monitoring or up to $125.The payout could be as much […]

Best Strategy for Claiming Social Security Retirement Income

A recent study indicates that the typical family loses an average of $111,000 due to poor choices of when to begin taking Social Security retirement benefits.  With Social Security retirement payments making up an average of one-third the average retirees’ income, making the right decision is vital to your financial well-being. Let’s start with the […]

New Strategies for Your IRA

Last week I discussed how Congress is potentially stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from your IRA by enacting the SECURE Act which eliminates the long-held ‘Stretch IRA’ by forcing non-spousal IRA beneficiaries to withdraw all funds within 10 years. In my example, a 10-year-old inheritor of a grandparent’s IRA, under current ‘Stretch’ rules, could […]

Is Congress Stealing a Chunk of Your IRA?

The backbone of every family’s retirement planning is, well, their qualified retirement plan, whether it be a 401k, IRA, Roth, or similar plan.  We’ve been told we need to invest in a qualified plan because: Often you receive a matching employer contribution. You put in $200 per pay period, and they match it with $100 […]

To Move or Remodel

At its foundation, my job as a wealth manager is to help clients effectively allocate their hard-earned capital.  While there are many important decisions along those lines, the decision to remodel an existing home, or move to a new home, is one of the biggest as it can prove costly if not well thought-out.  When […]

Secrets to A Perfect Credit Score

My long-time assistant, Roxie, is the master of managing her credit score.  This began as a game to her and she wondered if she could ‘manage’ her way to a perfect ‘850’ score.  Her Discover card provides (for free) her score each month so she began experimenting with changes to how she handled her finances […]

Financial Protection for Your Elderly Parent

This story opens with a 103-year-old parent who was sold two new HVAC units for his home costing $24,000.  These were top-of-the-line units where competitive units would have cost $14,000.  When his 70-year-old son found out, he was furious and felt the company had taken advantage of him.  The son had tried to protect his […]

Mortgage Interest Rates Plunge

According to BankRate.com, home mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level in 17 months.  The 30-year mortgage is at 4.04% and a 15-year mortgage is at 3.41%.  Rates on 30-year jumbo loans also fell to 4.10%.  This is great news if you’re considering buying a home and should serve as a reminder to check your […]

What If I Live to Age 100?

Just for fun, let’s begin with a bit of history.  Five thousand years ago, life expectancy was 18 years.  By the 1900s, life expectancy had risen to age 47.  Today, it’s age 79 and continues to rise.  What’s more shocking is that demographers predict children born in 2000 will, on average, live to age 100 […]

My Child Just Graduated from College…Now What?

It is certainly a proud moment in a parent’s life when their child graduates from college.  And proud you should be.  Research indicates that college graduates earn in excess of $1 million more over their careers than non-graduates.  And while we tend to think of this as the ‘next phase’ of a child’s life…getting a […]