• Planning,  Savings

    Set Yourself Up For Success In 2017

    New Year’s Resolutions can seem futile - who hasn’t taken up some form of exercise only to completely drop it by Presidents Day? There tend to be a couple of things missing when we set goals that lead to failure: a lack of specificity and a reliance on willpower. Let’s take advantage of this time of year to reflect and plan. Whether you like to call it “life planning” or “goal setting” or something else, this exercise can prove to be an invaluable way of focusing your energy on what you want to get out of life. Separate The Noise From What Actually Matters Family life is busy and it’s…

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    College,  Savings

    Should You Save For Retirement Or College?

    The struggle is real. I talk to parents all the time who ask me flat out - should I save for retirement or save for college? Many parents who had some or all of their college education paid for feel intense pressure to provide the same opportunity to their children. However, the incredible rise in college costs makes that goal feel impossible. The case for saving for college I see new medical professionals with enormous debt loads starting their careers and their families at the same time. To them, saving for their kid’s college is vitally important because they don’t want their children to experience the same stress they feel…

  • Kids and Money

    3 Fun Ways Help Your Preschooler Understand Money

    Is preschool too young to start talking to your kid about money? It depends on how you do it and what you cover. You can make learning about money fun by keeping it simple. Build your preschooler's money smarts with these 3 fun and easy ideas! Your preschooler is ready to start learning simple vocabulary and basic economic lessons- e.g., if you want to buy something you have to pay for it with money. Or, if you work, then you can earn money. Preschoolers are very literal, so the examples and experiences need to be very concrete.  First, if you haven’t read the article on talking to kids about money,…

  • Savings

    Yes Virginia, You Do Need An Emergency Fund

    What is the financial advice that people need to hear from their advisers but aren’t? Here it is: you need an emergency savings fund. And that emergency fund probably needs to be bigger than you think. I admit, it’s not as exciting as the latest IPO stock tip but way more impactful to your goal of building wealth or creating financial independence. In this post we will talk about the what, why and how of emergency funds complete with a simple 3 step plan to get started on your own emergency fund. Now you may be thinking, I’m great at my job and my boss loves me. Or, I have…

  • Budgeting

    A Simple Plan To Avoid A Holiday Spending Hangover

    Are you ready to spend almost $1,000 on Christmas this year? According to some pollsters Americans will be spending (on average) $900 this holiday season. That’s just what they PLAN to spend- there’s no way to predict how much they might overspend. Although, Kate Ashford’s recent article for Forbes “8 Ways To Keep A Leash On Holiday Spending” references a TD Bank survey that suggests 78% of people will go over their budgets. Not only that but they estimate they will run over budget by $200 on average! I contributed some ideas to Kate’s article (see "Don't be afraid of the Returns Desk"). Which got me thinking about what actions…

  • Employee Benefits

    Is your 401(k) plan good or even decent?

    Is your 401(k) plan a good deal or a rip-off? How do you know if you have a good 401(k) plan at work? What should you do if you don’t have a good plan? These are important questions. Not everyone has access to a great retirement plan with low costs, diversified investment options and a generous employer match. We will go through some questions you should ask when reviewing your retirement plan at work, and give you some ideas on what to do if you don’t like your options. Does your 401(k) offer matching employer contributions? One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not your employer…