Your Journey to Financial Freedom

Your journey to financial freedom can seem daunting.  But remember, you don’t need to be a financial expert.  All you need is a solid foundation of basic financial education in order to make wise financial decisions and work effectively with your financial advisors.  To steady your course, here are eight basic principles of investing that you should know: (more…)

The Art and Science of “Smarter” Spending

Although a number of studies have focused on the effect of income on happiness, Elizabeth Dunn, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia, also wanted to understand the effect of spending choices on happiness.

For example, previous research clearly demonstrated that income has a predictably positive effect on level of happiness, but these levels remain flat over time even as income increases. This finding puzzled Dunn and she wanted to find out why happiness did not increase along with income. (more…)

Why I (yes, I!) hired a financial planner

I wouldn’t dare try to replace the timing belt on my car. And I’d never cut my own hair—unless I was willing to wear a hat until my lopsided trim grew out. But financial planning … that’s another story. I am a financial planner. Helping people make smart money decisions is my passion and my career.

So why couldn’t I capably handle my family’s financial planning needs?

I’d pulled all our numbers together, but I hit a roadblock when I tried to find the right time and the right way to launch a discussion about money with my husband. I realized we needed to do what every one of my clients has been brave enough to do: Bring in a neutral, expert third party to lead the conversation and help us take action to reach our goals. (I admit I had a bit of a selfish motive, too: I hoped that working with a planner would help me better understand my clients’ experiences.) (more…)

Five Steps To Financial Freedom, Or How Any Mom Can Get Her Financial Act Together

If your “to-do” pile contains a bulging file of paperwork for your tax return, you have plenty of company. The months leading up to April 15 are when everyone gathers and reviews their W-2 forms, investment statements and donation receipts.

The first few months the year—when your finances are front and center—is the perfect opportunity to start (or continue) building financial security. There’s nothing more powerful and comforting than feeling confident about your financial future. (more…)

College Saving: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Next to housing costs, paying for college may be the most significant financial commitment Bay Area families face. The average cost of attendance at public schools this year is $20,000 and for private, closer to $40,000 – for four years that is $80,000 to $160,000 per child! With this level of commitment, it is critical that parents have a college saving strategy that avoids these costly college saving mistakes. (more…)

Values Define the “Rich” Life

Financial Life Planning is a holistic process that will first help you to clarify your values and then guide you in defining and designing your unique version of the “rich” life.

When thinking about values, we often think in terms of principles or standards we consider important such as honesty, loyalty, or altruism. We also tend to think of values in terms of what we hold most dear such as family and good health.