The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself: A Fiscally Friendly Holiday Season

If you’ve sighed at the sight of Christmas decorations sitting cheek and jowl with Halloween décor, you’re not alone. The holiday “season” seems to begin in October and last a full three months.

The longer the season, the more time consumers have to spend on gifts. So it’s no surprise that holiday spending has been rising steadily since 2008. In 2017, Americans were expected to shell out $967.13 each for holiday gifts, according to the National Retail Federation. Nationwide, Americans were likely to spend between $678.75 billion and $682 billion, an increase of 3.6 to 4 percent over 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. (It hasn’t yet updated those estimates with actual numbers, but you get the idea: December is a big month for gifts and giving, regardless of your religion or your income.) (more…)

Daylight Savings Time … With an Emphasis on “Savings”

If you’re lamenting the loss of brighter evenings when Daylight Savings Time begins Nov. 4, you can at least take solace in an hour of sleep.

Or perhaps you’d like to use that extra hour to do some financial housekeeping. (And honestly, you can tackle a few of these high-yield tasks any time this fall. They don’t take long to do, but come 2019, you’ll be glad you got them out of the way now.) (more…)

5 Keys to Successful Investment Management

In real estate investment, as everyone knows, the key is location, location, location. When it comes to personal investment management though, the key is plan, plan, plan. In our view, investment management can only be done well within the context of the Comprehensive Financial Planning process.

Planning is the key to achieving your financial life goals – from short-term goals such as a longed-for vacation to critical long-term goals like living a life of dignity and comfort in retirement. Along with cash flow management, investment returns are one of the engines that will power you toward your goals.

By following the 5 Keys to Successful Investment Management, you will find a sense of freedom from the anxiety of watching the markets bounce around, and you will dramatically improve your chances of achieving a retirement of dignity and comfort. (more…)

Five Steps To Financial Freedom, Or How Any Mom Can Get Her Financial Act Together

If your “to-do” pile contains a bulging file of paperwork for your tax return, you have plenty of company. The months leading up to April 15 are when everyone gathers and reviews their W-2 forms, investment statements and donation receipts.

The first few months the year—when your finances are front and center—is the perfect opportunity to start (or continue) building financial security. There’s nothing more powerful and comforting than feeling confident about your financial future. (more…)

401k Fees Revealed

“Retirement plan providers have been overcharging investors for decades – creating a huge drag on returns. But new rules on fee disclosure should help drive down costs,” writes Scott Cendrowsku in a recent Fortune Magazine article, Is Your 401k Ripping You Off.

What the new 401k rules will mean to you

If you have ever wondered how much you are paying for your 401k Plan, now you will be able to find out. The new 401k rules, which will take effect on August 30, 2012, require your employer to disclose all 401k fees, including plan administration, investment management and mutual fund marketing fees. In some plans the total can top 3% of your account value annually! In the past these fees have been buried in small print documents. Now all 401k participants will receive a detailed statement disclosing all charges. (more…)

How Much Money is “Enough?”

When it comes to real estate, we are told it is all about location, location, location. When it comes to money, we are told we need more, more, more. However, this begs the question, “How much is enough?” Through the use of our personal investment management strategies and individual financial planning, we can help you answer this question; for yourself and your family.

The messages we receive every day, from radio, television, and all over the internet teaches us to focus on always striving for “More.” But, how much is enough? How much is enough to eliminate the fear of running out of money? How much is enough for us to relax and be happy? (more…)

Finances are a Major Cause of Stress in Relationships

A recent nationwide telephone survey from Harris Interactive, conducted for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), has found that finances have become the most common cause of strife among couples in the US. To the surprise of no one, over 25% of married or co-habiting couples stated that the reason for most arguments between partners is a disagreement about money.

The survey further showed that money matters cause more arguments between couples than disagreements over work, friends, household chores – even raising children. At Tamarind Financial Planning, we believe that a personal finance plan can alleviate much of the stress between couples which are caused by money matters. (more…)

Take 3: Three easy ways to save more money

No, you don’t have to give up your Starbucks. Honest. I’m not a big Starbucks fan, and even I really dislike that advice, which seems to be common in this belt-tightening economy. What could be less motivating than the idea that saving money requires denying yourself something you enjoy?

I approach saving from the other end of the spectrum: I’m much more motivated to grow my money when I know I’m working toward a meaningful goal. That’s true for my clients, too. Some are dreaming of a trip to Maui or a brilliant piece of jewelry. Others have their eye on a home remodel or a significant college fund for their children.

Whatever your objective, saving money, just like dieting, is bound to be counterproductive when it becomes all about deprivation. Here are three creative ideas to help you painlessly spend less so you have more for what matters most: (more…)

Take 3: The three pros even DIY’ers need on their team

I have a neighbor who is a big do-it-yourselfer. He cleans his gutters every spring, prunes his rose bushes and replaces his front porch light.

I’m always impressed by people who fearlessly tackle any task.  But even my neighbor knows when to summon the pros. He called in contractors to install a new garage door and to repave his driveway.

If you’re a DIYer for tax returns and investment decisions, that’s great. You’re taking charge of your future. Still, it’s always wise to have a stable of professionals you can call on for expert advice. Like my neighbor, knowing when a task is beyond your ability is, truly, the hallmark of a smart DIYer.

Here are three people you’ll want to have on your team to watch your back and protect your assets. Together, they’ll give you unparalleled peace of mind. (more…)

Five Steps To Financial Freedom, Or How Any Mom Can Get Her Financial Act Together

If your “to-do” pile contains a bulging file of paperwork for your tax return, you have plenty of company. The months leading up to April 15 are when everyone gathers and reviews their W-2 forms, investment statements and donation receipts.

These first few months the year—when your finances are front and center—is the perfect opportunity to start (or continue) building financial security. There’s nothing more powerful and comforting than feeling confident about your financial future.

If you’re stuck or don’t know where to begin, these five steps will get you moving: (more…)