Financial Wellness @ Work

Author Archives: Michael Smith

About Michael Smith

MBA, CFP®

Michael Smith is a Resident Financial Planner at Financial Finesse with over 15 years experience in financial planning and service. His primary role is in service delivery of Ask-a-Planner Days, and the Financial Helpline.

He writes weekly on the ins and outs of daily life as a financial educator.

He has an extensive background in the full service financial services, banking, accounting, and financial planning industries. He achieved the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 1999 and joined Financial Finesse in April 2010.

Favorite Blogs: Darwin's Finance, Zero Hedge.

Fun Fact: Played rugby for a long time & still has all his original teeth, but has had four knee reconstructions.

Favorite Quote: "Never drink a beer you can see through." -Self

Worst Thing Ever

Occasionally, I’ll be in a conversation with a group of people and will throw out a random phrase and everyone has to give a quick response to it.  Recently, the phrase I threw out to the group at happy hour was “Worst Thing Ever.” One of my friends, without hesitation, blurted out “New York Yankees fans!” As the group was made up of lifelong Baltimore Orioles fans, we all agreed that Yankees fans can be obnoxious but they aren’t the worst thing ever…close, but not quite.  Read more

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Student Loan Debt a Major Threat

I read this article about student loan debt resulting in a portion of a man’s Social Security income being garnished. In the article, not only is the garnishment discussed but also discussed is the growing trend of older Americans still having outstanding student loan debt. If that debt is not repaid prior to retirement, Social Security payments may be impacted and the retirement lifestyle that you’re expecting may come up short. It reminded me of a couple of situations I’ve encountered in coaching sessions recently where student loan debt became a central part of the conversation. Read more

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Regrets…I’ve had a few…

As a dad, I often try to impart life lessons to my kids just like people did for me when I was growing up.  And, just like I did when I was their age, there is some eye rolling and a less than full understanding of the message being delivered.  Some of the lessons I try to impart on my kids deal with more optimistic, forward looking items.  Others are lessons I learned while making mistakes in my life.   Read more

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What Old School Insurance Sales Reps Won’t Tell You

I will admit that I own life insurance…lots of it. If a meteor were to fall from the sky and incinerate me today, my kids would benefit tremendously from a financial standpoint. They’d miss the wisdom (yeah, that’s what we’ll call it…) that I could pass down to them over the next 50+ years but they’d be OK financially.   Read more

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Tipping Point – Could Restaurants Be Your Budget Solution?

One of the “hot button” issues in my personal budget is dining out.  If there’s one area where I overspend occasionally, it’s this area.  I live a pretty nice lifestyle and am fairly frugal but I do like the experience of going out to eat periodically.  I know I’m not alone because in my consultations with people, this is quite often brought up as an area where they can shave expenses and get a bit more fiscally responsible with their funds.  Read more

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How Making Mac-n-Cheese is Like Investing

I was talking with my friend Diane recently and she told me a story about a visit she made to her daughter’s house.  Here is her email recap of a portion of that visit:  Read more

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Are You in a Cash Flow Drought?

Living on the East Coast but working for a California based company, I get to hear about things that are newsworthy on both coasts. One of the more recent news items that I talked about with my CA coworkers was the drought that they are currently experiencing.  This article talks about the drought and what it has done to the price of water in California. Read more

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Happy 4th of July!

On this Independence Day, I and all of the employees of Financial Finesse would like to wish you and those you love a very Happy 4th of July! Go out, have some fun, eat some burgers or dogs or tofurkey, watch some fireworks and come back ready to finish the second half of the year on a positive note financially!

 

 

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Why Your Social Security Projection is Probably Wrong

When doing retirement planning sessions with people, we often talk about their retirement resources in order to help them plan for the future.  We look at any pension incomes that will come their way.  We look at their savings and investment accounts, their contribution levels and the potential growth of those accounts.   Read more

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When is Borrowing From Your 401(k) a Good Idea?

If you ask most financial planners when is the best time to borrow money from your 401(k), the overwhelming answer will be “NEVER”! And, for the most part, I agree with that. But, like almost every rule, there are exceptions.   Read more

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