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

Why Your Advisor May Want You to Take Social Security Early

Earlier this year, I took a call from Carl who is getting ready to retire within the next few years. His advisor was suggesting that upon retirement, Carl rollover his 401(k) to an IRA and start collecting his Social Security benefit at age 62. Carl wasn’t so sure so he wanted a second opinion. Carl and I talked for a while and determined that it might make more sense for him to draw down his retirement account and allow his Social Security benefit to collect delayed creditsRead more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Will You Be A “Boomerang Buyer”?

Since 2008, over 14 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. It may have been caused by a job loss, illness, or other heavy financial burden, but whatever the cause, losing a home can feel like a financial defeat….NOT SO! In 2014, roughly 10% of home purchases will be made by homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure or short sale between 2007 and 2013. These new homeowners, affectionately called “boomerang buyers,” did not give up on their desire to own a home and you shouldn’t either. Here are some steps you can take following a home loss to get back in a home of your own: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Lessons From the 405

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I was the passenger in a van that was traveling down the 405 late at night. Now if you are at all familiar with LA traffic then you probably can understand that most of the road construction the California DOT does in the LA area is done well…late at night.  On this particular occasion, they were doing work on the left shoulder, which is coincidentally next to the car pool lane—the lane in which we were traveling (at a pretty good pace, I might add).   Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

How a Journal Gave Me a New Perspective on Money

A few months ago, I started to keep a journal so that I could capture my thoughts about life and record them for the benefit of my children. I figure I work all day long and don’t really have much time to teach them some of the important lessons that I’ve learned along the way. My hope is that one day they will pick up my journal and hear my voice as I speak to them about what is really important. In the same way, there are some things that are just more important than others when it comes to our finances. Here’s how journaling has helped me deal with this concern: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

We’re Not Talking About What’s Right. We’re Talking About The Law

One of my favorite TV shows of the 80’s was “WKRP in Cincinnati.” If you’re my age, you probably remember Johnny Fever, Venus Flytrap and of course Jennifer and the infamous Turkey Drop: http://youtu.be/lf3mgmEdfwg. As much as I loved that episode, my favorite quote came from another episode where Mr. Carlson is talking to the station’s attorney about a legal issue. When Mr. Carlson is talking about a situation that is morally wrong, he says, “That’s not right,” and the attorney responds, “Arthur, we’re not talking about what’s right. We’re talking about the law.” Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

How Costco Is Like An R-rated Movie

My colleague, Doug Spencer, and I have a lot in common. We’re married, we both have wonderful children, and we both love being reminded just how much our kids are like us or in some cases, how much we are like our kids. Take for instance this recent conversation Doug had with his family, written from Doug’s perspective: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

J. Money Socked Away $400,000 in 7 Years – Who Cares?

A friend of mine recently sent me a Forbes article with the following headline: “How Blogger J. Money Socked Away $400,000 In 7 Years.” My original reaction? WHO CARES? Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

What A Lost Cell Phone Can Teach Us About Investing

Earlier this year, my boss shared with us her story of how she dropped her phone behind her bed. Her first thought since the bed was basically against the wall was to move the bed…in her words “bad idea.” After some time (and a little pain medicine), she took a second approach: use a hanger from the side to pull it out….again, “No dice.” (She thinks she actually made it worse by pushing it further out of reach.) Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Problem With Tax Preparation Software

A couple of weeks ago, I received a desperate email from Alex who was using tax preparation software to help him prepare his tax return. It seems he thought he could avoid taxation on his 401(k) from his prior employer by rolling it directly into a Roth IRA.  While it’s true he could directly roll funds from his 401(k) to a Roth IRA, it is NOT true that this will avoid taxation. Only after-tax money may be deposited into a Roth IRA, therefore the amount rolled over—a sum of nearly $20,000—would be treated as taxable income for the year. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

When To Hire a Tax Preparer

It’s February, and that usually means that you are ready for winter to be over, you are thinking about what to get that special someone for Valentine’s Day, and you can’t decide whether to do your own taxes or to let someone do your taxes for you. For years, taxpayers have been baffled by the federal income tax system and for good reason. The number of pages in the Wolters Kluher CCH Standard Tax Reporter reached 73,954 in 2013!  However, there’s probably only a handful of those pages that actually apply to the average taxpayer, while the rest of those pages are technical jargon, legalese, and other stuff that’s most irrelevant to you and me.   Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

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

css.php