A question I frequently receive is “What estate planning documents do I need?” While my recommendation depends on your unique situation, in this post I will outline some basic documents to consider. Before I get to that, let’s first take a look at why estate planning is important, regardless of your stage of life. Many people think of estate planning as a discussion only Baby Boomers and/or the super wealthy need to have. In simpleRead More
You probably agree it’s easy to save to an employer provided retirement plan (e.g. 401k or 403b) account, right? Contributions are typically deducted from your paycheck and sent directly to the plan provider. They never make it to your bank account so you hardly notice they’re made in the first place. That’s the beauty of an automated savings plan! I want to share a practical way my family implements an automated savings plan beyond ourRead More
Nearly two-thirds of Americans currently own a smartphone, according to a study by Pew Research Center. That number is up from 35% in 2011…an astounding increase! Interestingly enough, I acquired my first cell phone in 2011 and, at the time, thought I was “late to the party.” Smartphone usage is clearly on the rise and the purpose of this post is to call your attention to some apps that may save you money and time,Read More
With the holiday season upon us, I can’t help but think about the countless family gatherings that will occur between now and year-end. Time will be spent sharing a meal, reminiscing about childhood memories, watching football, playing games, and catching up on how the year has gone. I wonder though, how many families will take these gatherings as an opportunity to discuss their finances? Why are finances such an uncomfortable topic of conversation for families?Read More
According to a study by Accenture, $30 trillion of financial and non-financial assets is expected to pass from Baby Boomers to Generation X and Generation Y (Millennials) in North America over the next 30 to 40 years. If you’re like me, you have a difficult time trying to understand the magnitude of that number! However, I think we will agree there are significant opportunities and challenges associated with this level of assets being passed fromRead More
On the surface, it seems too good to be true. You have a married couple, where (let’s say) the husband has earned higher yearly income than his wife. That means he has contributed more to Social Security over his working life. The husband files for Social Security benefits at full retirement age (currently age 66) and then immediately files to suspend those benefits. As a result of this simple maneuver, the wife is now entitled to immediately receive Social SecurityRead More
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post outlining the changes we could expect for Social Security and Medicare in 2016. Since that time, Congress passed a government budget deal that includes a provision to lessen the impact of rising Medicare Part B premiums on current Medicare recipients. As a reminder, Medicare Part B covers most health care services outside of hospitals, and thus represents one of the biggest expense items in the government-run health system. The program isRead More
You’ve probably heard by now that the 2016 cost of living (COLA) adjustment for Social Security benefits is zero—the third time this has happened in the last seven years.  (2010 and 2011 were the other recent years.)  In fact, Social Security benefit increases have stalled since the Great Recession; only once since 2008 have they risen by more than 2%. For many retirees, this was surprising news.  Anybody who has visited the grocery store latelyRead More
To some, goal-setting may seem like an unnecessary task. Rather than investing time and energy towards setting goals, many people go about life without a well-defined path. What’s wrong with that? After all, if we’re too focused on attaining set goals, we may miss out on an opportunity, right? I believe in remaining open to a new calling, opportunity, or challenge in life. However, I also believe in the importance of goal-setting, related to finances,Read More
JGR XY Planning Network
I spent last week in Charlotte for the inaugural XY Planning Network conference (XYPN15). XYPN15 was the first ever financial planning conference geared towards advisors working with Gen X and Gen Y clients. For those not familiar, most people consider anyone born from the early 1960s to early 1980s as Generation X and early 1980s to early 2000s as Generation Y (aka Millennials). The clients I serve are at various stages of their lives, soRead More
JGR XY Planning Network