Financial Wellness @ Work

Author Archives: Erik Carter

About Erik Carter

JD, CFP®

Erik Carter is a Senior Resident Financial Planner at Financial Finesse and leads our social media team. He also contributes to our curriculum and is a member of our Think Tank, specializing in research and content regarding generational issues.

Erik’s experience in financial planning and wealth management ranges from running a branch office for one of the largest brokerage firms in the country, to advising members of Congress as a financial adviser on Capitol Hill, to serving as a vice president in the private client division of a major brokerage firm in Manhattan. He earned a B.A. in Economics with honors from NYU and a law degree on a full academic scholarship from the University of San Diego, where he focused on tax and estate planning.

Favorite financial blog: EarlyRetirementExtreme.com

Fun fact: He hasn’t owned a tv for the past several years (and never missed it).

Favorite Quote: "I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful." – Warren Buffett

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the New Student Loan Forgiveness Program

I recently received a panicked call from a friend of mine who had just graduated from graduate school with $120k of student loan debt. Since she had trouble making the payments, she signed up with the new “Pay As You Earn” student loan forgiveness program. Then she got an ugly surprise… Read more

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How to Maximize Your Satisfaction

How do you make decisions? According to this article, there are two basic approaches. Some people are “satisfiers,” which means that when they see a choice that satisfies them, they take it. Other people are “maximizers,” meaning they want to see and study all the choices to pick the best possible option. Maximizers do tend to make “better” choices (for example, they make more money on average) but they also aren’t as happy with those choices (including with those higher-paying jobs). That’s because maximizers are always wondering if there’s a better choice they could have made. Read more

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Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Worth Losing The Tax Deduction?

I recently received a question after one of my workshops from a woman who was wondering if she made a mistake paying her mortgage off early because she no longer has the mortgage interest deduction. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten different versions of that same question (including after a later workshop session that same day). Here are several reasons why this is a classic case of letting the tax tail wag the dog: Read more

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In Defense of “Personal Finance Scolds”

I used to think that the need for Americans to save more was pretty uncontroversial. That was before I read this article called “The pernicious ideology of personal finance scolds.” The author lambasts financial advisors for “scolding people for not saving enough money” and calls the “ideology of savings scolds…ideologically pernicious.” Read more

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3 Investment Myths Busted

Think you know everything you need to know about investing? I recently read three articles that dispel some conventional wisdom when it comes to your investments. Here are the busted myths along with the implications of what they could mean for you: Read more

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Want to Live a Happier Financial Life?

Very rarely do I find a personal finance article that resonates me as much as one I recently read called “How to Live a Happier Financial Life.” First, I love the title. When it comes to finances, sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers that we forgot the whole point is is about maximizing happiness not money. Sometimes that means spending more money on certain things but often it actually means spending less. The article’s following points do a good job of differentiating which is which: Read more

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The Gym Rat’s Guide to Investment Terms

Investing and the financial world in general can be pretty confusing. There are a lot of terms you may not know and concepts you may not be familiar with. It can even start sounding like another language! Read more

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My $280 Mistake

I admit it. I goofed. Despite being a financial planner who often helps people with their benefits, I made a mistake with my own. As I was looking at my expenses and taxes for last year, I realized that I could have reduced my taxes by $230. That’s the amount I would have saved if I contributed the $817 I spent on eligible vision and dental expenses last year to my company’s limited-purpose FSA (flexible spending account). Read more

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How Should You Do Your Taxes?

I recently opened my mail and found my first tax documents for 2015. You know what that means…it’s the start of tax season! If you’re wondering if there’s an easier and/or cheaper way of accurately doing your taxes, here are some options: Read more

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3 Ways to Save Money Without Depriving Yourself

Did you make a resolution to save more money this year? According to a recent Fidelity study, that was the most common financial resolution, cited by 55% of respondents. It sounds a lot like the financial equivalent of dieting but here are three ways to save money without depriving yourself:   Read more

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