Increasing Long-Term Happiness

For many years, the prevailing theory was that individuals have a genetically determined happiness set point.

In other words, scientists believed that each person could temporarily experience more happiness (depending on circumstances, relationships, and life events), but would then slide back to his or her “pre-programmed” set point.  In fact, less than two decades ago, one researcher was quoted as saying, “It may be that trying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller.” (more…)

3 Boosts for Your 2019 Goals

Financial planning starts with goal setting.  Here are 3 “power boosts” that I have found useful personally and in my financial planning practice.

1. SET THE RIGHT GOALS

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” – Earl Nightingale

The primary reason that we fail to achieve our goals is that we choose the wrong goals, according to author and coach Martha Beck.  We imagine situations (wealth, fame) rather than experiences and direct ourselves toward unintended consequences.  We may set a goal to make more money, thinking that wealth will offer security, but end up so focused on work that we destroy the security of our closest relationships and find that it’s not money that makes us feel secure. (more…)

Buying Ourselves the Gift of Time

Most adults are increasingly experiencing a time crunch.  The result is mounting stress and compromised health and vitality.  And yet, despite their best efforts, many individuals express frustration about not being able to bring tasks to completion or having enough time to focus on what or who is most important to them.

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Creating The Life Of Your Dreams: Crafting Powerful Goals for 2019

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help that story by setting goals.” Melody Beatty

For some of us goal-setting feels like a chore or even pointless, especially if we have failed to achieve our goals in the past. Or we might want to avoid the pressure of living up to our dreams.

Once we admit (even to ourselves) what we really want, we can’t go back to our prior state of denial. We will feel compelled to take action or suffer with our feelings of powerlessness. (more…)

Conscious Spending: How do You Manage Your Cash Flow?

Huh? Yep, it turns out, simply depositing a paycheck and paying bills has nothing to do with cash flow. That is just making and spending money. Anyone can do that. Managing your cash flow though is another matter – an important one.

A certified finance planner can coach you in effective cash flow management, helping you to discover where you are spending your money, and how to better control the flow of cash through your fingers. This is known as “conscious spending.” (more…)

Gift Cards That Make A Difference

Traditionally, we recognize, commemorate, and celebrate special occasions, milestones, and holidays with gifts.  However, many individuals are looking for meaningful alternatives to giving and receiving more “stuff.”

If you are one of those looking for a different kind of gift, consider making a donation in the name of the individual, couple, or organization that you want to honor.  In addition, in lieu of receiving gifts, you can request a donation to a cause that is near and dear to your heart.  The concept of alternative gifts is growing in popularity, and a number of online resources are available to assist you in making this type of charitable donation. (more…)

Feeling Down About a Down Payment in the Bay Area?

By guest: Brian Lee

Is anyone surprised that Atherton is the country’s most expensive housing market? A recent Forbes article reported the town has a median home value of more than $6.7 million. Atherton also topped that list a decade ago, but back in 1998, the median home value was more than $1.4 million. These days, $1.4 million for a Peninsula home seems like a bargain.

Navigating the local housing market requires some expert help, so I’ve asked Coldwell Banker’s Brian Lee for advice. Brian is a real estate agent who serves the Half Moon Bay area and the Peninsula. (more…)

Fresh Perspective & New Resources to Guide Your Giving Decisions

Regardless of how or where we choose to give, most of us would like to feel confident that our financial donations are being used wisely.  Thanks to technology and some out-of-the-box thinkers in the social sector, we now have a bevy of new tools at our fingertips and excellent educational resources that will guide our giving in a smart and purposeful ways.

Picking a Charity

Until recently, most guidelines for charitable giving recommended that we spend time researching charities and then select from those that limit overhead to less than 20 percent of their total budgets.  However, many experts now question these criteria because expense ratios alone provide a limited perspective of a charity’s value and effectiveness. (more…)

Moms and Employment: What Works?

Would you be more likely to hire a woman who’d taken a year-long maternity leave or one who was absent for just a month? Managers faced with that decision preferred the candidate who’d taken less time off, a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found. And that was true for female as well as male managers.

I suspect that this isn’t news to any mom who has tried to make her way back into the workforce after spending months or years ushering a newborn into babyhood. Finding some semblance of balance between paid work and motherhood is a long-running challenge for nearly everyone. (more…)

Preparing Mentally—And Financially—For Retirement

Search online for images of “retirees” and you’ll get a screen full of smiling, lightly wrinkled, gray-haired folks. Some pictures show couples strolling on the beach. Another shows women drinking tea and playing cards.

Illustrating retirement isn’t easy. Nor is envisioning how we’ll spend decades of post-work life. Without routine paid employment to structure our days and bolster our identity, who are we? For some of us—me included!—the idea of a retirement that includes bus trips to casinos and travel by RV just doesn’t resonate. (more…)