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.

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 […]

Why I Prepaid My Funeral Expenses

Most people don’t think about their own funeral expenses…ever!  It’s only after they die that another family member steps up and handles the details, often under emotional duress. Personally, I’ve had two experiences that shaped my decision to prepay my funeral expenses: Story #1 Years ago the wife of a friend of mine, who is […]

Retirement Healthcare Expenses: Are You Ready?

Insurance Companies Exiting the LTC business Genworth, a major writer of long-term care insurance (LTC), recently announced they’d no longer offer LTC insurance through brokers and, instead, would only offer coverage ‘direct-to-consumer’.  This is an effort to cut the enormous expenses of commissions paid to brokers and reflects declining demand for LTC products.  Demand has […]

Money

5 Tips for Getting Your Dream Summer Job

The weather is mixed…some cool days, some hot days, but make no mistake, Summer is just around the corner.  Unless you have the luxury of taking the summer off, now is the time to line up a great summer job.  Here are my best tips for landing your dream summer job: Decide what type of […]

2 Million Reasons to Quit Smoking

We recently were working with a client who, we determined, needed a large amount of life insurance to cover a business buy-out.  He uses smokeless tobacco but is otherwise in good health.  When we checked rates for him, we were astounded at the additional costs because he used tobacco.  This got me thinking about the […]

taxes

Good Places to Spend Your Tax Refund

As Financial Advisers, we often speak of ‘what not to do’ with your money.  Don’t get a car loan; save and pay cash.  Don’t use credit cards to buy stuff if you can’t pay them off in full every month.  Pay attention to your spending and don’t buy stuff you don’t need.  Well, you’re about […]

5 Reasons Not to Retire

Much of my professional time is spent either strategizing with clients about their retirement or writing about this topic.  It seems engrained in our brains to ‘work towards’ our retirement.  Most people target retiring around age sixty-five with a few thinking earlier and some later.  Some, but very few, have no intention of retiring.  These […]

Are You an Empty Nester? Do this!

I get it.  Raising kids is not only hard, it’s very expensive!  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child for a middle-income family is $233,610…not including college!  This comes out to about $14,000 per year per child.  It’s no wonder that the average savings account balance across American […]