We at Financial Finesse would like to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!
We all know that education is a key element in achieving the financial hopes and dreams that we all have, but is it possible that college education is getting too expensive? One of my colleagues calculated that when he started college at a public university in 1988, a student would have to work 34 hours a week at minimum wage to pay for a year of college. At that same school today, a student would have to work 53 hours a week to pay their way. Read more
As a parent, I am constantly trying to instill an “attitude of gratitude” in our children and the best approach is to model this attitude as much as possible along life’s journey. I always try to devote time for regular prayer and meditation but I am also adding a simple but formal gratitude journal to the weekly routine. As a financial planner, I know that I could do much more to encourage others to do the same. Read more
During one of my recent conversations with an employee, he was very disturbed by how much a bad credit score has impacted his life.He said that his credit score has caused his car insurance premiums to increase, he thinks it is hindering his job search (he may have a point because it is something that employers consider) and his girlfriend does not want to become his fiancée or wife until he shows significant progress in this area. So, he was very happy to have some ideas on how to make progress on repairing what was a very broken part of his financial life. Read more
No, I’m not talking about Roth contributions. If your employer’s retirement plan offers this option, you may be able to contribute more than the annual limit of $17,500 (or $23,000 if you’re 50 or older) to your plan in the form of “after-tax” contributions. As the name implies, the contributions are taxed before you put them into the plan. And unlike Roth contributions (which are also “after-tax”), the earnings are taxed when you withdraw them. Read more
My oldest child, Rachel, is a junior in high school, and while we enjoy having her around the house, we know that soon she’ll be looking into college. In case you haven’t looked lately, the average cost for a four-year in-state public institution is $9,139—and that’s just for tuition and fees! Over four years, that’s going to cost upwards of around $40,000. By itself that might not seem so bad, but when you consider that Rachel has three younger brothers, that price tag starts to look awfully daunting. Read more
A co-worker recently had a scare when her husband was admitted to the hospital for a possible heart attack. His family has a history of heart problems so she was terrified at the thought of her life without her best friend, having to explain to her children they’d lost their dad, and not spending the rest of her life with him. She shared with me all sorts of thoughts that started creeping into her head…all of the “what ifs.” (Luckily for her, his health problem was not severe, just early symptoms of diabetes, and his problems are treatable with lifestyle changes.) Read more
One of the questions I get asked frequently by people who are on track to retire is if they should buy long term care insurance (if they don’t already own it) or if they should cancel it (if they already own it).Lately, that has been a very difficult question to answer. Companies that offer long term care insurance are raising premiums, sometimes very substantially, and there are no guarantees that they won’t go even higher in the future. So if you are considering purchasing a LTC policy or cancelling your existing LTC policy, what are some things that you should factor into your decision? Read more