Talk to any daily money manager, financial advisor or CPA, and we all agree that having a current estate plan is a must, especially if you own real estate. But there’s an underbelly to estate planning that many don’t like to discuss. Family squabbles. Hurt feelings. Broken relationships. You can help your survivors and beneficiaries now by managing emotions and expectations before it’s too late.
Back to School Spending
That Won’t Break Your Piggy Bank
It’s that time of year again. Summer vacations are winding down, and parents are busily preparing for the upcoming school year. Buying new clothes, school supplies, and extracurricular activity doo-dads can spike upon household spending in August and September. Here are a few strategies to stretch those dollars and diminish the budget pinch.
Advice When Managing a Parent’s Finances
If you’re part of the sandwich generation — where you’re caring for children and aging parents — life can get pretty hectic. Especially if you’re managing your parent’s finances. Over the years we’ve seen what methods work best and what spells disaster.
Student Debt Hinders Retirement
Impacting Many Seniors
Author Note: Lauren Davidson, a Millennial with student debt just trying to make a dent.
At $1.4 trillion, runaway student loan debt is now viewed as the next big bubble that could cripple the economy as the default rate continues to creep up. However, with all of the attention focused on the millions of young borrowers unable to pay their bills, buy a home, or start a family due to the heavy burden of student loan debt, the plight of older Americans has gone virtually unnoticed. As of 2016, more than 3 million people age 60 and older are struggling to meet their basic retirement needs as a result of carrying student debt. That is more than triple the number just a decade ago. Now with 10,000 Baby Boomers crossing the retirement threshold each day, it may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Is It Time to Retire or Start a Second Career?
For many of us over fifty, the idea of retirement is an enticing dream. Ditch the Silicon Valley commute. Eliminate the stress of a 40+ hour work week. Spend more time doing what we love. Yet only 60% of workers say they are confident about their financial outlook for retirement, based on the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Confidence Survey quoted in NextAvenue.org (a PBS site for people over 50).
Frugal Summer Vacations
With Memorial Day officially behind us, summer vacations are just around the corner. Is there a way to have a great vacation and be frugal at the same time? Yes! I’ll share some of my best tips learned over the years and new ideas shared by clients.
Credit Card Rate Hikes
The Fed increased interest rates for the second time in three months on March 15. It’s made headline news. There have been hints of additional hikes in 2017. So what does this mean for the 157 million Americans who hold credit card debt?
Bye Bye 2016 Tax Returns
Hello 2017 Tax Planning
The 2016 tax return season is officially behind us. Well, unless you filed an extension. For many of my clients (and my staff), we’re breathing a sigh of relief. We’ve spent hours sifting through paperwork, downloading transactions, categorizing expenses, and preparing reports. If this year’s tax prep was a major drain (and pain), let’s look at what you can do now to make next year easier.
Pet Medical Expenses
Studies have shown that companion animals improve our health — reducing our stress, lowering blood pressure, increasing physical activity and even boosting social interaction. For the elderly, this is doubly true. These are the many benefits of pet stewardship (many of us joke that we’re simply staff for our feline and canine family members). For all the love we give and receive from our pets, there is a related expense — the cost of food, treats/toys, grooming supplies, kitty litter, and routine veterinary care. If a pet becomes ill or injured, those costs can dramatically increase. When living on a fixed income, these unexpected expenses are stressful. And when is how much simply too much?
When the Parent-Child Relationship Changes
The following is a guest post from a friend who is living what many of my clients’ families undergo every day. Helping our aging loved ones can be challenging. I hope the advice offered from this real story is of comfort and assistance.