Financial Wellness @ Work

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

Do You Need Life Insurance After You Retire?

As part of the financial education we provide on retirement decisions, we suggest a review of your insurance policies as a means of protecting your accumulated wealth.  This includes a review of your homeowners coverage, medical benefits, and long-term care insurance, but we also suggest a review of your need for life insurance. I’ve always taken the stance that life insurance protects against at least three types of risk: loss of income, insufficient liquidity, and high income taxes.  Let’s examine all three to see whether or not you need life insurance after retirement. Read more

Can You Really Save More Tomorrow?

We hear a lot in the news about concerns that Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement. It’s not surprising for news to lead to an increased concentration on saving for the future. On average, retirement planning may be the top financial planning priority but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone shares this sense of urgency.  Read more

What to Do for 2015

I usually view “what to do at year end” and “what to do to start the new year” financial articles with great disdain (the same way I typically avoid writing “theme” blog posts for Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ & Fathers’ Day, Independence Day [is there any bigger cliché?], and any other over-played theme). However, I have spent most of my work hours early in 2015 talking to people who want to look at things they can do in the next 12 months in order to make progress toward becoming financially secure.  It’s only because I have been asked so often that I’ll cave in, become part of the crowd and write a “What To Do for 2015” suggestion list. Read more

Before the Ball Drops

New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the past and ponder your future, but many of us spend more time planning how we will be celebrating on the last night of the year instead of planning ahead on how to achieve our New Year’s resolutions.One of the most common resolutions is to improve financial well-being, either by saving more or paying down debt.  So before you head out tomorrow night, reflect on your financial past by taking the time to calculate your net worth so you know where you stand as we head into 2015.  Read more

Last Minute Moves to Save on Taxes for 2014

I have never been a big fan of shopping during the busy holiday season, where we are all encouraged to buy, buy, buy no matter where we turn. In fact, I personally prefer to do my shopping in the convenience of my home office and avoid the consumer-driven hustle and bustle as well as the traffic. Click, click, done! Read more

3 Hidden Pitfalls Coming to a 401(k) Statement Near You

When you see your 401(k) balance or even a projection of your future balance when you retire, do you really know what that number means for your retirement? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t. A $200k balance may look like the most amount of money you’ve ever had so you can easily think it will be more than sufficient even if it turns out to be nowhere near enough to generate the income you’ll need to retire comfortably. Read more

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

How the IRS Can Help You Save More For Retirement in 2015

It has often been said that the only constant in life is change. As a parent, I find that change is both exciting and scary as heck because you never know what lies around the corner. This statement about anticipating change definitely remains true when the IRS is concerned.  Read more

Be Long Term Careful

One of the questions I get asked frequently by people who are on track to retire is if they should buy long term care insurance (if they don’t already own it) or if they should cancel it (if they already own it).Lately, that has been a very difficult question to answer.  Companies that offer long term care insurance are raising premiums, sometimes very substantially, and there are no guarantees that they won’t go even higher in the future.  So if you are considering purchasing a LTC policy or cancelling your existing LTC policy, what are some things that you should factor into your decision? Read more

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