Simple Truths

September 8, 2009

As a financial advising firm, one of the simple truths we have learned is that relationships are the single greatest influence on how people use their money and plan for the future. When people talk about their hopes and dreams, they talk about the people they love. Their future, the life they wish to live, is always full of the people most important to them. They don’t talk first about dollars and cents, Dow averages, or bond yields. They talk about a spouse, a parent, a child. When imagining their financial futures, even those without family often focus on others, such as employees, friends, faith communities, and charities.

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Keeping Your Emotions in Check…

September 3, 2009

In times like these, with the economy in a tailspin, and the stock market in the tank, investing requires an extra dose of patience, perseverance and perspective.
It takes patience to ride out the bear market, perseverance to continue to invest even through a difficult economy, and perspective to see the long-term picture and realize that recessions and bear markets are just part of the natural economic cycle. Slumping economies and bear markets of the past have always turned around — and there is no reason to believe that this time will be any different.


Saving for College

August 31, 2009

Saving for College
Another school year is around the corner and your children or grandchildren are that much closer to college. If you haven’t already started to save for their college costs, this may be a good time to talk to your adviser about setting up a tax-sheltered college savings plan.
By planning ahead, you can use a 529 college savings plan to give your children a head start on their college costs. There are two types of 529 plans: college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans.
College savings plans are state sponsored investment accounts that allow participants to contribute regularly. A 529 plan account grows tax-deferred and withdrawals from the plan for qualified educational expenses are exempt from federal income tax. There are no income limits.


Seeds Planted Early Bear Fruit Later

June 8, 2009

Financial Tips

It’s important to work on your child’s financial awareness early on, for once they’re teenagers, they are less likely to heed your advice. Besides, they’re busy doing other things – like spending money. When your kids are young, giving them small amounts of money helps them prepare for the day when the numbers will get bigger. Teenagers and college-age kids have bigger responsibilities. Checking accounts, credit cards and debt are as elemental to the college experience as books and parties. Teaching high-schoolers about banking and credit will make them more savvy when they leave the nest.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, a registered investment advisor.


Money and Children

May 26, 2009

Our financial relationship with our children will go through many stages as they, and we, age. The four key stages of your financial relationship with children are:

Protector and provider: What you provide for your children
Teacher: What you teach your children. I have definite ideas about what and how to teach children about money and life. I have seen many clients and colleagues impart their ideas about the role of money to their children, intentionally or not. Whether you are an eager or reluctant teacher, you will certainly teach your children about money as their role model
Financier: What expenses you pay for your children. College – and more
Benefactor: What you leave your children

In almost all cases, these stages will overlap. As your children grow up you simply play more roles. Your roles as a provider and teacher certainly will overlap for some time. When you are no longer the provider for your children, you will remain, at least in your view, their protector – even if not financially. And you will always be a teacher. The only change is that as they mature into adulthood, your children will probably become more willing to listen to you; you will gradually grow wiser in their eyes. Even the financier stage of the relationship may extend well beyond paying for some or all of their education if you help them buy a car or a home.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, a registered investment advisor.


5 Financial Things You Don’t Want To Do – 5 part series

May 12, 2009

# 2 Having no clue about how much to save

According to 2007 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute, only 43% of workers have actually calculated how much they’ll need to retire on. We’ve always said you can’t hit the bull’s-eye if you don’t know what the bull’s-eye is – you need a plan and a goal. The goal is not a number, but rather the lifestyle you desire. Part of my job is to assess a client’s needs to attain that goal.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, a registered investment advisor.


Why a Health Care Proxy? Part 2

March 30, 2009

The two most common forms of advance directives are a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care (commonly referred to as a health care proxy). A living will can explain — in writing — the care you wish to receive (or avoid) in the event you are incapacitated by a terminal illness or serious accident. For instance, it can express your wishes for controlling pain, receiving nutrition, or making life-support decisions.
But unlike a living will, a health care proxy allows you to legally designate someone — a proxy — to make medical decisions for you. Keep in mind that in some states you may even be able to combine a health care proxy and living will into a single document.

Hospitals and nursing homes are required to ask about the existence of any advance directive when you are admitted. In most states, a health care proxy does not take effect until you can no longer make medical decisions for yourself; until then, only you can legally consent to any treatment. In addition, you can always change or cancel the document as long as you are mentally alert. If you decide to make changes to any of these documents, be sure to do so in writing.

A comprehensive health care advance directive combines both a health care proxy and living will into one document. Organizations such as AARP, American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Medical Association (AMA) have joined forces to create a simple, yet comprehensive, form.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, a registered investment advisor.