Achieve your financial goals this year

Greetings for the New Year! There’s something lovely about a new beginning. Even after a difficult year, it gives us a chance to sit down, wipe the slate clean and start again.

And, of course, it’s the perfect chance to consider our goals. Where would you like to be financially? Are there niggly bits that you have been meaning to get to but haven’t quite yet? Have you been stymied to get started at all, or worried about whether you are on track? This is the perfect time to take these on.

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Medicare in pictures

As some in the U.S. Congress propose cuts to Medicare, it is important that we, as citizens, get clear on what we believe the right direction is and communicate that to Congress.

So the questions are – can they even do that? Isn’t Medicare funded entirely by our payroll taxes? And how much does the program cost? To answer these questions, I have pulled together “Medicare in Pictures”  Continue reading

How clear are you?

This has been a tumultuous year for the U.S. on many fronts, not the least of them financial. I’m not thrilled about including politics in personal finance, but this year, politics IS personal finance. In the U.S., at least, the effects of the proposed tax bill and other changes this year will extend for years to come.

One thing that keeps striking me throughout the turmoil of this year’s financial changes, Continue reading

Living in uncertain times

This is the third in what is turning out to be a “living in uncertain times” series (find the previous two below.) The first two were about changing government policies, but of course all times are actually uncertain. Which is why this time I want to talk about a way to plan ahead, so that if our situation changes unexpectedly, we are ready for that, and can reduce the stress associated with it. Continue reading

Taking care of our finances in changing times

Last time I talked about the importance of taking even better care of our finances, as the U.S. government prepares to reduce financial protections for individuals and for the economy as a whole (article below).  And while the individual protections are specific to Americans, the risk of removing stock market protections affects the whole world. The legislation has now been passed by the U.S. House and is slated to go the Senate.

So the question is, exactly how do we take more personal responsibility for our personal finances?  How do we take care of ourselves by taking care of our finances?  This is obviously a very broad topic, but let’s hit three of the highlights.

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What matters now

The changes being made in Washington D.C. make it more important than ever that we take personal responsibility for our personal finances (and unfortunately the impact of the changes may not be confined to the U.S.).

In January, an organization called the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau sued Navient, the U.S.’s largest servicer of student loans, alleging that the company had deceived and misled borrowers to the tune of $4 billion. Click here to continue reading…

The Annual Check-Up

Redwood pathWishing you blessings for the New Year. As we head into the new year – and one that could be tumultuous – now is the time to make our new plans. Last month, if you remember, I encouraged you to end the year by reviewing how your finances went in 2016. And in January, with that done, we prepare for the year ahead.

To that end, I’m offering what I call the “Annual Check-Up”. Click here to continue reading…

The trouble with inheritances

Recently a client of mine came into an inheritance, and I’m happy to say that he contacted me right away.

And in February, the Wall Street Journal ran an article [ http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2016/02/05/the-sad-financial-future-that-awaits-many-nfl-players/ ] describing how many NFL players lose all their money within 12 years of ending their football careers, despite their high earnings.
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How are these two apparently random facts connected? Well, both are about someone receiving a large sum of money over a relatively short period of time. In principle, this sounds as if it should be a great thing, wouldn’t you think?   Click here to continue reading…