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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
The word “appreciation” has at least two important meanings and applications. In the world of finance, it refers to the increasing value of an asset. In the inner realm of thoughts and emotions, appreciation involves recognizing the value of and feeling gratitude for specific people, experiences, and circumstances.
In her book, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life, Lynne Twist teaches that appreciative thinking is the opposite of scarcity thinking: “When your attention is on what’s lacking and scarce—in your life, in your work, in your family, in your town—then that becomes what you are about.” (more…)
The first step to investing in your quality of life is to think about and clarify what is most important to you. This is a time to listen to your own heart and to focus on what you value most in life. Whatever you identify will become the foundation of your life goals.
As you think about your life in the future, it is also important to view your financial plan within a framework of your closest relationships. If you have a spouse or life partner, you will want to factor in his or her dreams and expectations as well as your own. In addition, you will want to take into consideration your responsibilities and your hopes for your children, parents, siblings and whoever you consider to be “family.” (more…)