Four whopping lies about being your own boss

4-whopping-lies-truthI’ve been self-employed for four years now, and my husband recently took the plunge too. Since 2012, he has been working for himself as well. When entrepreneurs launch new businesses, they’re warned to expect some initial lean years as they ramp up their venture and build contacts. I wondered if that would be true for me and for him, but that hasn’t been the case. I’ve discovered at least four big myths about being self-employed:

You’ll make less money. In the four years we’ve been our own bosses, our income has risen about 20 percent year over year—and we’ve worked less, commuted less and been more available to our kids, families and friends.

This wouldn’t be the case if we were 20somethings launching a startup. Instead, we’ve started strong financially because we were able to tap decades of experience, skills and contacts we developed in our professions of finance and law. Remaining in the same career and leveraging that expertise has been a key to our financial security and business growth. (more…)

How Much Health Insurance Do I Need?

health-insurance-stethoscopeThe answer is simple: enough to ensure that if you (or a covered family member) get sick or injured, you’re not footing the entire medical bill on your own.

If you receive health insurance through your employer, your choices are limited. Some employers will offer plans from multiple health insurance providers, but most limit their offerings to one provider. Additionally, most employers offer one or more of the following: an HMO, a PPO or a traditional plan.

Why I (yes, I!) hired a financial planner

financial-advisor-familyI wouldn’t dare try to replace the timing belt on my car. And I’d never cut my own hair—unless I was willing to wear a hat until my lopsided trim grew out. But financial planning … that’s another story. I am a financial planner. Helping people make smart money decisions is my passion and my career.

So why couldn’t I capably handle my family’s financial planning needs?

I’d pulled all our numbers together, but I hit a roadblock when I tried to find the right time and the right way to launch a discussion about money with my husband. I realized we needed to do what every one of my clients has been brave enough to do: Bring in a neutral, expert third party to lead the conversation and help us take action to reach our goals. (I admit I had a bit of a selfish motive, too: I hoped that working with a planner would help me better understand my clients’ experiences.) (more…)

Investor Know Thyself

investment-brain-piggy-bankIn an ideal world, emotions would play a very small role in the way people invest and manage their money. Everyone would thoroughly research their options, maintain realistic expectations, and keep counterproductive habits under control.

But in the real world, even well-informed investors sometimes make emotionally charged decisions that may threaten their ability to stay focused on important financial goals, such as accumulating enough money for retirement. In fact, such missteps are so common that many academics have done extensive research on “investor psychology” or “behavioral finance” to explain why some people tend to keep encountering the same obstacles in their financial lives. (more…)

Mental Models Are Powerful

positive-attitude-200Have you ever experienced frustration because you fail to make progress in reaching a financial or life goal that is really important to you?

Author S.J. Scott writes, “The root cause of the ‘procrastination habit’ comes from our self-limiting beliefs” (www.developgoodhabits.com). He further explains that self-limiting beliefs are generated by the mental models we hold: (more…)