Putting a Value on Your Social Security Benefits

Key Takeaways: As a child, getting to check the mailbox each day was likely an experience filled with joy. You were likely hopeful that just one piece of mail would have your name on it.  Fast forward a few years, and that excitement has been replaced by reluctance.  We all know what lies waiting.  With […]

The Importance of Asset Allocation and Diversification

Not only has recent market volatility resulted in renewed anxiety for many investors, it has also been a stern reminder of the value of having a proper mix of assets in your portfolio.  The concepts of asset allocation and diversification can be traced all the way back to a 4th century text, the Babylonian Talmud, which […]

Educating Heirs on Student Debt

One of my favorite television shows is Shark Tank, which shows aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their business plans to seasoned investors, the “sharks,” in hopes of an investment.  The sharks use their own money to invest, so they ask tough questions to help evaluate the business’s potential.  Have they demonstrated sales?  How much does it cost […]

How Much to Save for College

Will your child wow you with a 4.0 GPA in high school or do they believe C’s get degrees?   Are their sights set on private colleges in expensive cities or the public university up the road?  Do they know their path, or will they meander through three majors over six years?  If you know the […]

College Savings Vehicles

So often in life and in financial planning, perfect can be the enemy of good.  This is certainly the case when it comes to saving for college.  There are many ways to go about it, but the most important choice is the choice to begin saving.  Nonetheless, we often meet parents of five- and ten-year-old […]

The Complicated Calculations of College Costs

Parents of college-bound students are dealing with a chicken-or-egg dilemma.  When it comes to student aid calculations, it just about requires a Ph.D. to understand how to fund a Ph.D.  Different schools use different methods to evaluate different families, and when they get the results, they interpret them differently!  Let’s wade into the wishy-washy world […]

Getting Creative with College Funding

In our previous discussions about college planning, we’ve discussed where and how much to save while acknowledging that these questions require several assumptions.  Is it sensible to make saving for college a major financial goal when there’s no guarantee the child will attend?  That’s a tough question for families and for this reason, we favor educating […]

Determining a Retirement Savings Rate

As we meet with new families, we continually hear the same two questions: 1) are we making good decisions with the money we earn, and 2) are we saving enough for retirement?  These questions are typical whether a person is 35 years old or 55 years old.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. […]

Finding the Best Order for Funding Retirement

With a task as important as funding your retirement, determining which accounts to fund and in what order should not be taken lightly.  Whether it’s a company plan, individual retirement account or taxable account, there are a lot of ways to save for retirement.  So how do you decide where to put each dollar you […]

Balancing Saving and Giving

Most of our clients aspire to be financially self-sufficient.  As those clients age, we notice some amount of transition into wanting to benefit others with accumulated resources.  This giving can range from donations to charities of interest to paying for a grandchild’s education to helping a friend in need.   We have been fortunate since the […]

Retirement Saving Myths and Misconceptions

We are fortunate to have a very educated and knowledgeable client base, but we are consistently surprised by the myths and misconceptions clients and prospects bring to the conversation. Below I have listed my Top 7 Myths and Misconceptions About Retirement Savings; it is by no means a complete list but highlights the most common […]