Financial Planning

You May Still Be Able to Contribute to an IRA for 2014

Have you contributed to an IRA yet for 2014?  If not, did you know that you still may be able to contribute to one of these accounts up until April 15th

This blog post is by far my most technical writing to-date and will help you to determine if you are eligible to contribute to a tax advantaged IRA for 2014.  Although this is not an exhaustive list of the characteristics of IRAs, I hope that it will also help you to understand the differences between Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

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10 New Year's Resolutions to Improve Your Financial Situation: Part 2 of 2

Last week I shared five New Year’s resolutions to improve your financial situation.  Today I share five more.  My hope is that one or two of these resolutions will aid you in stewarding your resources in a more meaningful way.  

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10 New Year's Resolutions to Improve Your Financial Situation: Part 1 of 2

I’m a fan of New Year’s resolutions - and setting goals in general - because I find that they help me to focus on the things that are most important and they help me to live more intentionally.  

In order to help others steward their resources in a more meaningful way, I’ve put together a list of 10 potential New Year’s resolutions that will help you to improve your financial situation.  I’ll share five today and then five more next week.  

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Protecting Your Largest Asset

For a person in their 20s or 30s, their ability to earn an income is likely to be their largest asset.  While those in this demographic may not have much saved for retirement, they are likely to earn a significant amount of money during their remaining working years.  For example, a 30 year old earning $50,000 per year will make more than $3 million between ages 30 and 65 if their income increases by 3% per year.

One of the greatest problems that I see with my young financial planning clients is their failure to properly protect against a potential loss of these earnings. 

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Questions to Ask When Making a Purchase

What are the questions that you ask before making a purchase?  Based on my own experience and from talking with others, there are generally two questions that most people ask:

  1. Do I want it?
  2. Can I afford it?

For most of us, if the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then we make the purchase.  But are these really the best questions to consider?  They certainly should be part of the decision making process, but are they the only questions to consider?

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4 Questions to Ask When Deciding if You Should Pay Off Student Loans Early

My clients with student loans often want to know whether they should just pay the minimum on these loans or pay them down more aggressively.  Like most financial planning questions, the answer depends on the situation.  Below is a list of what I believe are the four most important questions to consider, if this is a question that you are asking.

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Should Rental Property Be Part of Your Investment Portfolio?

Clients often ask me about whether it would be wise for them to own a rental property (or properties) as a part of their long term investment portfolio.  Although, in general, I think that saving into a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds is the best tool to build wealth over time, I think that there are many instances when owning a rental property can be a wise financial decision.  When helping my clients determine whether purchasing a rental property is right for them, we usually begin by considering the advantages and disadvantages of this type of investment.  

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Cash Flow: The Foundation of a Financial Plan

The financial world is complex and trying to predict where the stock market is headed, what the average inflation rate will be, or what the Social Security program may look like in twenty years is challenging, if not impossible.  But these are all things over which you as an individual don’t have control.  Rather than worry about the items that you can’t control, my recommendation is to focus your attention and energy on the things that you can control.

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