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…)

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: 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…)

The Secret to Realizing Your Dreams

In his book Getting Things Done, author David Allen wrote, “We know that the focus we hold in our minds affects what we perceive and how we perform.”

Therefore, as you visualize the lifestyle and quality of life that you would like to have in the future, always remember that the secret to realizing your dreams is to maintain that image in your mind.

In fact, the greater your understanding of what is important to you, the easier it will be to “paint a picture” in your mind of what you are working toward.  Whatever you identify and claim for yourself will become the basis for your life goals. (more…)

Saving for Private Kindergarten? Yes, It’s a Thing. And You Should Consider It.

You have no idea where your toddler or preschooler will attend college—though you might be hoping they choose your alma mater—but you might already be thinking about your options for their kindergarten, primary and secondary education.

If non-public school is on your radar, you can fund a good chunk of their tuition with a 529 plan similar to the one you’ve set up for them for college. Thanks to changes in the federal tax code that took effect Jan. 1, 2018, you can make tax-free withdraws of up to $10,000 a year for pre-college tuition at private schools. Parochial school tuition is eligible as well. (more…)

Reflect On Your Money Memories

Our attitudes and beliefs about money have their roots in value-laden messages we have picked up along life’s journey. These money messages are not only clothed in the words of others, but in their actions as well.

The following paragraphs include a series of questions designed to jog your money memories. To gain insight into your financial beliefs and behaviors, look first to your childhood experiences.

In your home growing up, was there an atmosphere of plenty or scarcity? How did your parents and grandparents demonstrate their money beliefs? Did the adults in your life demonstrate responsible or irresponsible money management behavior? (more…)