The Welch Group
Stewart Welch, CFP

Welch Group founder and managing partner Stewart Welch III, AEP, CFP® and other firm partners provide a weekly financial column for AL.com via The Birmingham News. All of the AL.com columns are archived here for your reading pleasure. Mr. Welch has co-authored numerous books and regularly appears on various TV and radio shows including FOX 6 (Birmingham, AL), CNN (NY), Fox News Network (NY), CNBC (NJ), and is often quoted in national press including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Money and TheStreet.com.

If you have a financial question to be answered in the weekly column, fill out this form. Consult your own professional legal, tax or financial advisor before acting upon this advice.

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 […]

Is Your Mindset Right for Stock Market Volatility?

The are many ways I measure my success as a wealth manager, but one of the most important ways is how many nervous calls I receive from clients when financial market volatility increases.  If I’m doing my job well my clients achieve a certain mindset and comfort level, allowing them to navigate extreme periods of […]

3 Steps to Getting a Higher Interest Rate

In late 2007, right before the banking meltdown that ushered in the Great Recession of 2008, we were easily earning north of 4% on money market accounts.  As the recession unfolded, and with much help from the Federal Reserve, interest rates plummeted to near zero percent…actually zero percent in many cases.  Some ten years later […]

Retirement Age Workers Are Not Retiring

A new research report indicates that, for the first time, 20% of retirement-age workers are continuing to work.  Compare this to 10% back in 1985. What are the demographics of the workers filling these positions? Fifty-three percent have at least an undergraduate degree as compared to 25% in 1985.  This is creating a disconnect between […]

401k In-Service Withdrawal: Good Idea or Bad?

I recently ran into a situation where an employee withdrew money from their 401k in order to buy a home that he had been renting.  Certainly, owning a home is part of the American dream, but is it a good idea to use your retirement savings?  In this case, he took an ‘in-service withdrawal’ instead […]

New Rule: Pay Off Your Home Mortgage!

For as long as I can remember, having a home mortgage was considered ‘good’ debt.  The reason was that you were borrowing money to buy something that’s expected to increase in value…AND you received a tax deduction for your interest payments! What’s changed?  In 2017, 32 million taxpayers were eligible for the mortgage interest deduction.  […]

Setting Priorities as a Young Couple

For young couples, it is often hard for them to make sense of the various financial challenges they face and to set priorities.  While each person is different, below are my Top 5 Priorities for Young Couples! Improve Emergency Cash Situation A typical rule of thumb is to take your monthly income and multiply that […]

Money

Need a Simple Money Management System? Consider the 50-30-20 Strategy

For most of us, money management was not taught in school…or at home.  In fact, for most of us we learn about managing money through the school of hard knocks…trial and error.  And boy, those errors can be difficult to overcome. There are many different money management strategies to choose from, some of which can […]