• Planning

    4 Simple Estate Planning Ideas Parents Need to Consider

    Have you put off creating an estate plan because it seems depressing? Or perhaps you don’t agree with your parenting partner over who should get custody of the kids should something happen to you? Mariah Daniel, Estate Planning Attorney with the Daniel Law Office, has some motivation for you, “Think about how your kids would feel knowing you did nothing, or knowing that you did your best.” Don’t let perfectionism prevent you from taking action. If you don’t have a guardianship plan for your children, the state does. And you may not like it. The good news is it’s really easy to get this taken care of, and you will…

  • Kids and Money

    Stocks and Bonds for Kids

    Parents want the best for their kids. You want to teach them how to be successful and a large part of their success involves financial literacy. You know by now that I am a huge fan of talking about money. Talk to your partner. Talk to your kids. Talk to your parents. This article I wrote for Richmond Family Magazine is a primer on stocks and bonds. It's useful for parents and kids. Let me know what you think. What money topics do you want me to tackle in a kid-friendly way? How did the conversation go at your house?  

  • Cash flow,  Taxes

    How Will The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Affect Families?

    Wondering how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) will affect your taxes next year? The tax law will affect families in a myriad of ways. While there were a variety of changes made that affect everyone, this post will focus on the ones that are most impactful to families with kids. Keep in mind that many of these provisions are set to expire in 2025, but this will at least give you something think about as you move through 2018. Tax Rates Were Reduced Tax rates were reduced for all brackets except for the lowest bracket, which remains at 10% of taxable income. There was some shifting…

  • College,  Savings,  Taxes

    Using Your VA529 Plan to Pay for Private K-12 Education

    Are you paying for private school for a kid in grades K-12? It's a little painful, isn't it? Well, now there's a way to reduce the sting (a little bit). With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 parents can use their VA 529 plan to pay for K-12 private school tuition. Each state is different but the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan has adopted their policies to allow Virginia residents to take advantage of this new strategy. Virginia residents can use the VA 529 plan to get a little extra tax deduction on your VA state income taxes (plus some tax-free growth for the super…

  • Investing,  Planning,  Retirement,  Savings

    Building Long-Term Financial Freedom for Solopreneurs

    As a solopreneur you want to build long-term financial freedom, but there are so many options it's hard to know where to start. Solopreneurs have a lot of choices when it comes to their long-term financial freedom savings (formerly known as "retirement"). Small business owners can use IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, SEP IRAs, and Solo-401(k)s (among other options) for their own savings.In this post I wrote for AthleteBiz I go over three of the most common account types and when you should consider choosing them. I also share some critical questions to ask before you set up a 401(k) plan with a custodian. The cheapest 401(k) plan provider is not always…

  • Investing

    What is ESG Investing?

    Are you concerned about the environment or human rights? Do you want companies to be good corporate citizens? Then ESG investing might be a good fit for you. ESG stands for Environmental Social Governance and it refers to investments that screen their stocks and bonds with ESG issues in mind. 86% of Millennials are interested in Sustainable Investing according to a recent poll by Morgan Stanley. However, it’s not just young people; 87% of women of all ages are interested in sustainable investing as well as 67% of men according to that same study. Yet, while there may be a lot of interest in sustainable investing, investor’s knowledge about the subject…

  • Kids and Money

    How to Talk About Money with your Kids

    Many people would rather talk about sex, death or politics instead of money. We all know how often we talk about those topics, so how many conversations are we having around money with our kids? In the words of Jay-Z "zip zero, stingy with dinero." OK, that may be a slight exaggeration but the power of societal taboos around money are strong. I wrote this article for Richmond Family Magazine to help parents navigate these potentially tricky and sometimes awkward conversations.

  • Cash flow,  Savings

    6 Things To Do With Extra Cash

    Got a little extra cash burning a hole in your pocket? I don’t know about you, but when I find myself in the fortunate position of receiving some extra money from a bonus or tax refund, my first instinct is to get Chinese take-out and spend at least some of it on something for me. While I’m probably not alone there, our instincts aren’t always our best guide. It definitely helps to pause and be more intentional with unexpected cash. For example, last year we got a small state tax refund - nothing too exciting. At the time, we were planning a trip to Disney and we were really trying…

  • Budgeting,  Cash flow

    Eating Healthy on a Budget: Pro-tips from a Pro-Athlete

    Guest Post! I'm very excited to bring you a guest post on eating healthy, real food while on a budget from Brandon Hudgins an elite middle distance runner with Sketchers Performance. Brandon is also connected with AthleteBiz a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that connects world-class track and field athletes with fans. Check out the bottom of the post for more information on Brandon and AthleteBiz!Are you trying to eat healthier food? Are you worried that eating healthy food might stretch your budget? If you are just now making the switch to healthy eating, you might be scared of spending more money, or scared that you can never eat things you enjoy…

  • Investing

    Seriously, what is Bitcoin?

    Have you purchased bitcoin on a credit card? No? (Well done!) That was a question a journalist recently emailed me. Fortunately, I don’t know anyone who has purchased bitcoin on credit (or at least anyone who felt compelled to tell me) but there appears to be a “bit” of a craze going on now around cryptocurrencies. To buy or not to buy? With Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) that is a popular question. As is typical of the internet-age, there is a cacophony of noise on bitcoin available. There are even new marketing schemes with self-styled bitcoin gurus offering their knowledge to a select group of individuals for $80/month. Please make…