Stay-At-Home Parent is a Valuable Job – Where are the Benefits?

dad-laundry-kidsDo you remember the 1983 movie “Mr. Mom,” in which Michael Keaton struggled with the role reversal of being a stay-at-home dad? Do you remember all the things he had to learn to run the household? It was hilariously funny to watch Keaton struggle to do all of the tasks that Teri Garr handled so effortlessly. Moms of the day could relate! The movie shone a spotlight on the value provided by the stay-at-home spouse and difficulty in replacing that person’s skills.

The role of the stay-at-home parent is an incredibly valuable job. Just imagine the cost of hiring someone, an outsider, to perform all the tasks required to efficiently run your household on a daily basis. One estimate of the value of the tasks performed by the stay-at-home parent, in 2009 dollars, was over $122,000. (more…)

Emotions and Investing – Don’t Just Feel It – Think It Through

Did you ever bet on a “Sure Thing” – and lose? Have you recently jumped on a market trend, only to miss the big return that “everyone else” seemed to enjoy? Do you sometimes “go with your gut,” only to realize you were not really making a smart choice – you simply had indigestion? How’s that tummy feeling now?

A personal finance planner is exactly what you need to help you avoid emotional responses to an irrational market.

“Yes, we live in trying times, and investors should be concerned about a feeble economy and volatile, often irrational markets. But now more than ever, we need to shunt aside emotions and approach our investments with logic and detachment, and take a long-term view,” writes Bob Frick, Senior Editor, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance in a timeless Kiplinger’s personal finance article “How to Be a Better Investor.” (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…)

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.

(more…)

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…)