Financial Wellness @ Work

Should You Lease Or Buy Your Cell Phone?

Usually when someone is talking about leasing versus buying, they are talking about a car or real estate. However, have you ever stopped to consider that when it comes to choosing a cell phone provider, you might be making the exact same decision? You probably never thought of it this way, but when you sign a contract with any one of the major carriers, you are in essence leasing the phone.  Read more

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Always Read the Fine Print

Last month was my son David’s 15th birthday. For years, he has been asking for a cell phone, and now that he is a freshman in high school, has maintained good grades, and has shown at least some level of responsibility, his mother and I decided he was ready. I agreed to add David to our cell phone plan on one condition: that he buys his own phone. (Susan and I have found that the kids are more likely to take care of their devices when the cost to purchase it comes out of their own pocket.)  Read more

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Financial Planning For Any Weather

In some parts of the country, May means beautiful flowers and beautiful weather but for most of us, it also means checking the weather app on your phone constantly to have a clue of what’s going to happen. Will it be a mild spring day, rainy, or shorts and flip-flop weather? At least you can get a good guess from the weather app, but what about the unexpected events in your financial life? How do you prepare for life’s unexpected changes? Read more

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How to Give the RIGHT Way

December is associated with giving gifts to loved ones, but often May and June are months where significant milestones like graduations and weddings occur. If you are making a gift of cash, there are a few questions you might want to ask yourself. How much is enough, how much is too much, and what’s the best way to give?  Read more

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Three Investment Terms You Should Know

Have you ever noticed how different words mean different things to different people? The other day I was talking with a helpline caller who was looking for a way to invest their retirement funds such that they couldn’t lose money and could draw an income from it in the future. When I mentioned the word “annuity,” they immediately had a negative reaction as they were lead to believe all annuities were bad, which seemed ironic considering that’s exactly what they just described they were looking for. When it comes to investment terminology, not understanding the meaning of a word can be a financial mistake. Here are three investment terms that are frequently used but often misunderstood: Read more

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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