Weathering the stock market during all times

A Taoist story tells of an old man who accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a high and dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed downstream at the bottom of the falls. People asked him how he managed to survive.
“I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I survived.”(1)

Special Needs Trust

The San Francisco Chronicle recently featured an excerpt of an article called “Onslaught of Autism: A Mom’s Crusade Could Help Unravel Scientific Mystery.” The full article by Jane Kay was published in the Environmental Health News and follows the fascinating journey of Jill Escher, a mother of two autistic children, as she tries to understand autism within her own family. (more…)

Common-Sense Cash-Flow Management Helps You Meet Your Financial Goals

Go With The Flow: Give Up Budgeting Forever And Embrace Cash-Flow Management

The traditional wisdom about smart money management is simple: You must create a budget and spend and save within its confines. It sounds so straightforward, right?

Yet budgeting remains a challenge for most people. Many of us, even those who pay their bills on time and have money in the bank, prefer to do it informally. If you’re one of them, please don’t berate yourself for a lack of discipline. (more…)

Changing Retirement Expectations

Over the past several years, many Americans have begun to question their ability to prepare for a financially secure retirement.  This awareness now begs the question, how will pre-retirees adjust their retirement expectations to match their economic realities?

The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the United States.  It gauges the views, experiences, and attitudes of Americans regarding retirement preparation and related issues.  Results of a recent survey shed some light on how workers expect to adjust their retirement plans and expectations. (more…)

Reframing the Social Security Claiming Decision for Married Couples

By Jeffrey Levine, CPA/PFS, CFP®️, AIF®️, CWS®️

For many, correctly answering the question, “When should I begin to take my Social Security benefits?” is a critical step toward making sure their retirement income and savings last at least as long as they do. For others, who perhaps are lucky enough to have accumulated a more substantial nest-egg, the decision may have less of an impact on their ultimate chances of a “successful” retirement (as they may have enough income and/or other assets to overcome a poor choice). But let’s face it … nobody wants to leave Social Security dollars on the table because of a less-than-ideal claiming decision. (more…)

Code Name: Monte Carlo

By Sheldon P. McFarland

What do you get when you assemble a dozen or so of nuclear science’s greatest minds, give them access to the world’s first electronic general-purpose digital computer, and spend $2 billion during the height of World War II? An atomic bomb of course, and a sophisticated simulation technique code-named Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo simulation was developed by scientists working on the Manhattan Project to predict the explosive behavior of the various atomic weapons they were constructing. Since then, researchers have successfully applied it to a vast number of scientific problems. Today, and many evolutions later, we use it to model the validity of your financial life plan.

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A Successful Small Business Start-Up

Small businesses are the backbone of this country. People with great talent and ideas form businesses they believe in to provide others with products and services and to make a living for themselves and their families. As any small business owner knows, there is a lot to running a company, and you end up wearing many hats.

While you may be wonderful at flower arranging, you may know much less about how to form a business entity, keep proper books and records, or go about finding the best location for a shopfront. Some key elements are necessary for any business to be successful. You want to learn what you need to know before you open your doors. Read the full article here.

Get Out of the Waiting Room

The most difficult changes to navigate are the ones that we do not choose—the surprises that interrupt our lives and best laid plans.   The pandemic certainly fits into this “unwelcome” category.  It not only threatens our lives, it has fundamentally changed how we operate in our homes, work environments, schools, and places of worship.  It has also changed how we interact, recreate, and socialize. (more…)

Investing in Your Quality of Life

The first step to investing in your quality of life is to think about and clarify what is truly most important to you.  This is a time to listen to your own heart and to focus on what you value the very most in life.  Whatever you identify will become the foundation for establishing meaningful life and financial goals.

In addition, as you think about your life in the future, it will be important to view your financial and life plan within a framework of your closest relationships.  If you have a spouse or life partner, you will want to factor in their dreams and expectations as well as your own.  You will also want to take into consideration your responsibilities and your hopes for your children, parents, siblings and those you consider to be “family.” (more…)