financial advice

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Are you ready to retire?

How would you know?

Retirement is certainly about financial readiness. But it is also about so much more than that. I think it is important that you address some very important issues:

First, Are you emotionally ready to retire? Work is a great source of identity for most of us. Just read the death announcements. “Joe Blow, 66, a plumber, died.” That’s it – how old he was when he died, and what he did for a living while he lived.

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Last week, I reviewed the identify crisis suffered by insurance companies, who forgot they are primarily security providers and not investment managers.

History shows that no matter how you package it, using the cash values of a life insurance policy as an investment accumulation vehicle is rarely a good idea.

What escapes many, however, is the corresponding truth that investments are usually very poor insurance.

Pictures of Money / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/ydcara3c

Life insurance. We need it. We hate it. We don’t really understand it. But we know we don’t want to be sold it.

If I had a message for life insurance companies, it would be this:

When you forget who you are, it’s easy to lose your focus.

The two decades spanning the 1980s and 1990s represent one of the most lucrative periods in history for investors. It was a time of declining interest rates, expanded borrowing, baby boomer buying and a growth in productivity made possible by the dawn of the personal computer.

Dogan Kokdemir / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Financial planning is very important at any phase in life.  It becomes even more important when older adults have to make crucial decisions relating to long-term care.  Pre-planning helps when the time comes to seek long-term care. 

Jordan Smith, a financial planner for senior citizens, explained that many times people may suddenly enter a long-term care facility without any financial pre-planning.  In those instances, financial advisors for senior citizens could provide crisis planning.

Your Example is More Important Than Your Words

Feb 21, 2018
Michael Lehet / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/y93e89ok

Adult children. Sometimes it seems they just don’t get it, right?

So what can you do to help your adult children not repeat the same financial mistakes you made at their age?

…not a thing.

There is no way to guarantee your kids won’t repeat your mistakes. In fact, most of the time, that’s exactly what happens.

Here’s the problem - your words don’t carry much weight when your way of life contradicts those words.

Grant Tarrant / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/y8z8exnx

When counseling someone with a debt problem, I usually have to explain to them that the easy way is often the worst way.

Consider the individual with several maxed out credits cards. Of course they want to get rid of them. So they look at their 401K account and notice there’s enough money in there to pay off all their credit cards.

They tell themselves they can then save all that money they were paying to the credit card company and pay back the 401K.

If they ask my opinion, my answer is usually – “No.”

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If you own a small business that involves family members, I’ve got a question for you:

Do you have a family-oriented business or a business-oriented family?

It doesn’t really matter what your answer is…

What if I just showed up one night for dinner at your house? Is it likely you would be there for dinner? And if I asked your kids the “family-oriented business or business-oriented family” question, what kind of answer do you think I’d get?

Why Save Money?

Nov 8, 2017
Images Money / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/y8rjh2s2

Why save money anyway?

I meet folks all the time who say “I’m never going to retire. My philosophy is to live for today and not save a bunch of money for a day I may never reach.”

When someone tells me that, I’m always tempted to respond - why stop there?

If you can simply will your way to work as long as you live, why not just will yourself to not get sick or die?

Not so simple, is it?

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For most of us, making decisions feels very difficult.

Making a decision means you are saying yes to one thing and no to a myriad of alternatives (sort of like getting married). Keeping the door open to the perception of unlimited choice usually ends up being unsatisfying … but it keeps the stress of making an actual decision at bay.

Making financial progress (or progress in any realm of life) is only going to happen if you grow in the skill of decision making. Here’s a process you can use to make a hard decision:

Hamza Butt / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/y8zjkqpr

Last week we identified four bases you need to cover in your planning for retirement income: you need contentment for emotional health, a baseline budget for financial health, and a budget for both expected big stuff and unexpected bad stuff to make sure neither causes your financial house to collapse on your head.

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