Financial Wellness @ Work

Author Archives: Greg Ward

About Greg Ward

CFP®, AFC®

Greg Ward is a Senior Resident Financial Planner at Financial Finesse and is our chief financial research analyst. Greg is responsible for all of the data, statistics, and fact checking at Financial Finesse as well as providing service delivery of the company's Financial Helpline, Workshops and Webcasts.

Greg contributes weekly with tips on personal finance and best practices for taking control of your money.

His background includes over 19 years in the financial services industry with positions ranging from Pension Service Representative to Investment Specialist to Financial Advisor. He achieved the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2004. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from The University of California, Davis.

Favorite Financial Guru: Dave Ramsey

Fun Fact: "I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane – twice. Otherwise, I’m a pretty boring guy"

Favorite Quote: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." – Jim Elliot

Be Careful Before You Use Groupon

My boss is a big fan of Groupon.For those of you not familiar with Groupon, it falls into a category of online commerce sometimes called “deal-of-the-day” websites. There are several of these out there, including LivingSocial and Woot, and they all pretty much offer deep discounts on a variety of goods and services.  My brother was the first person I actually knew who used Groupon to buy $25 worth of food at a local restaurant for $15.  Knowing how careful my brother is before he tries things, if he’s used it and it worked, then it must be legitimate. Read more

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College is NOT a Right

Today I met a man who is taking a rather practical approach to teaching his kids about college planning. This gentleman has three kids, the oldest of which will be going to college in a few years. He said something rather profound that made me reconsider how I’ve been talking to my own kids about college. He said, “College is not a right.” Read more

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Lessons From a Five-Hour Flight

On a recent flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles, I sat next to a gentleman who has had quite a rough year.  Without going into a lot of detail, he spoke with me about the recent passing of his father.  For many, the thought of losing a parent would be rather hard, but for my traveling companion, he spoke of his father’s passing as somewhat of a relief.  You see, his father began to suffer from cognitive impairment earlier in the year so much that he was eventually confined to a nursing home. His health deteriorated quite rapidly, and he was only in the nursing home for about three months when he passed. Read more

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All I Wanted For Christmas Was… a Flu Shot?

For years my friends and colleagues have been telling me to get a flu shot at the onset of flu season and for years I’ve been ignoring them, reluctant to do so for fear of somehow reducing my immunity to the virus or worse yet contracting the flu from the shot itself.  Now before you start sending me nasty emails telling me I’m wrong, let me just say that the Center for Disease Control has beat you to it. The truth is our family has been relatively healthy throughout the years, and my wife and I figured that all the hubbub over the flu shot was to create demand for something I really didn’t think most people needed.  In fact, the only reason I received my first flu shot last year was to appease my loving neighbor who insisted I get one prior to flying out for business. Read more

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My “NO” Year’s Resolutions!

This New Year’s Eve, millions of people across the country will make New Year’s resolutions about things they’d like to do in 2015.  I’m all in favor of this annual tradition but to mix things up a bit, I’m going to suggest a few things that you DON’T want to do in 2015—something I’m calling “No” Year’s resolutions: Read more

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An Unusual Place to Shop This Time of Year

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except my wife who found herself making an unexpected, last-minute shopping trip because someone forgot to tell her that they needed formal wear for a Christmas concert the next day. While this may cause the average person to recoil in frustration, read on to see how my wife responded under these less-than-ideal circumstances. What she has to say may just be the little Christmas miracle you’ve been looking for this year. Read more

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How to Pass the Retirement Income Literacy Test

Americans flunk retirement quiz.” That was a headline in the December 3, 2014 edition of USA Today. In a recent survey conducted by the American College of Financial Services, 80% of surveyed Americans age 60 to 75 with at least $100,000 in household assets received a failing grade when given a basic retirement-income literacy test. Read more

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Retirement Planning, Dougie Style!

One thing I love about my colleague and friend, Doug Spencer, is his ability to make the complicated simple. Take retirement planning for example. Some people approach retirement planning as though it involves complicated math, an ability to predict the future, and an ounce of luck.  Read more

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10 End-of-Year Tax Tips

Are you worried about paying too much in taxes this year? If you wait until you file next year, it will be too late to do much about it. As the 2014 year winds down, you’ll want to note some simple things you can do to reduce the amount of income tax you owe Uncle Sam this year, while planning for the year to come.  Read more

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How to Make College More Affordable

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

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Financial Finesse’s unbiased financial planning blog wins Gold for "Blog of the Year" in the 2014 Best in Biz Awards!

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