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…)

6 Major Sources of Financial Aid

By Guest Blogger: Jodi Okun, Founder of College of Financial Aid Advisors

The cost of financing a child’s college education can be daunting to many families. Generally the family is the source of the primary support; however, financial assistance does exist.

The federal government administers six major financial assistance programs. Three of these programs are direct assistance programs, with the assistance going directly to the student. The other three programs are administered through the college that the student attends and funds are sent directly to the college, which in turn dispenses the money to the student in accordance with federal guidelines. (more…)

Envisioning Retirement – OMG, What if You Live to Age 100 (or Older!)?

Average life expectancy in the US has increased by 1 ½ years in the first decade of the 21st Century (2000-2010), with fully 2% of the population living to 100 years old or longer (US Census Bureau 2008). With average life expectancy nearing 80 years and climbing, planning for retirement has become more critical than ever, as you may live a third of your life after working (more…)

College Financial Planning for Middle School Parents

Refining the vision

With kids in middle school and becoming increasingly independent, the family’s financial priorities have likely shifted from the early parenting years. You or your spouse may have reentered the workforce, changed jobs or maybe started a business. Perhaps you bought a larger house, went through a divorce or saw your retirement savings shrink in the market downturn. Meanwhile, your child’s college years are growing ever closer.

Now is the time to review priorities and refine your college savings goals. So, let’s put a price tag on that vision.

Yes, college costs will change by the time your children are ready to enroll. But working toward a poorly defined goal is one of the best ways to produce well-defined stress. (more…)

Personal Retirement Planning Should Include Wellness Planning

Healthy living is not just a fad; is not just something to do to feel better now. Unexpected health care costs can have devastating effects on your retirement, regardless of how diligently you’ve prepared yourself. When you ask yourself the question, “What is retirement planning?” health and wellness must be included in the answer.

A qualified finance planner can help you with every aspect of personal retirement planning; including investments for retirement, as well as helping you understand the value of health and wellness in retirement. (more…)

Defining “True Wealth”

By “how much is enough?,” I mean the amount that will allow you to stop driving so hard professionally should you choose to do so.  I mean the amount that will allow you to feel safe, the amount that will compensate for risking hard-won relationships, the amount that will affirm your feeling good, smart, successful, accomplished, in control.

Pamela York Klainer
How Much is Enough?

How much is enough?  What does this mean to you?  As author Pamela York Klainer explains, “The question is deceptively simple, but the answer is critical to integrating money with other aspects of your life and finding happiness.” (more…)

College Financial Planning for Young Parents

A Six-Figure Investment: First, Figure Out Your Values and Needs.

Then You Can Help Your Kids.

As every parent knows, college isn’t cheap. Tuition plus room and board can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $35,000 a year. Multiply that by four, and add in an average 7% annual tuition increase and it’s easy to see why saving enough for college is one of the biggest concerns of my financial-planning clients.

This task is made doubly challenging by the simultaneous need to save for our own retirements. But it can be done! (more…)

The Purpose of “Work” in the Second Half of Life

Individuals in mid-life and beyond are increasingly viewing retirement not as a time to relax, but as a time to explore their potential.  It was Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, who gave us the term, “self actualization.”  He called it man’s desire for fulfillment, “to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

For many, the path to self-actualization is through their “work”—which should be defined as the productive activities, paid or unpaid, that gives their lives meaning and a sense of purpose.  Helen Harkness wrote that linking work to the need for meaning has been a natural evolution: (more…)

The Power of Purpose

In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, bestselling author Daniel Pink presents some of the most compelling and useful research in the field of in human motivation.  One section, “The Good Life,” is particularly enlightening in regard to how we as individuals establish and pursue our life goals. Pink makes the point, and science confirms, “Satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals.”

One of the studies that Pink cites asked a sample of soon-to-graduate college students about their life goals and then followed them early in their careers to assess their progress and well-being. The students’ goals were categorized as either “extrinsic aspirations” or “intrinsic aspirations.”  Becoming wealthy or achieving fame are examples of extrinsic motivators and labeled “profit goals.”  In contrast, learning, growing, and helping others are examples of intrinsic motivators and labeled “purpose goals.” (more…)

Wealth is a State of Mind

As more research into the reasons some grow wealthy while others do not is proving, a person’s mental attitude or state of mind is critical to financial freedom – however you define it. Like so many things in life, human beings are able to talk themselves into just about anything. So, why not talk yourself into becoming financially successful – or – rich?

In Napoleon Hill’s classic book “Think and Grow Rich,” written in 1937 during the Great Depression, he shared the principles that he used to pull himself out of poverty and to help others do the same. None of these principles deal with specific earning or investing skills, but with creating the mental attitude that creates the fertile soil of wealth building.

In an article for CNNMoney, for Money Magazine titled Trick Yourself into Getting Richer, the five authors rely heavily on the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahnemann, in which he “explains that human brains are of two minds: the fast, intuitive decision-maker and the slower, more analytical ponderer.” The idea is to try to “trick” oneself into thinking like a rich person. A few of the more effective tricks would be… (more…)