What Nobody Told You About Alimony Income and Saving For Retirement

  Are you recently or long divorced and receiving alimony? Is alimony your only income source? Are you worried that you won’t be able to contribute to an IRA and save for retirement because you don’t have any “qualifying income”? If you’ve looked into the rules for IRAs at all you’ve probably run into that line about “qualifying income”. In short, the IRS states that in order to contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA you must receive qualifying income. Most people stop there. They mistakenly believe that qualifying income is only income that you earn from working at a [...]

Divorce, Financial Planning|

FDIC Insurance – Maximize Free Insurance and Keep Your Money Safe

  If you’ve opened up just about any kind of bank or investment account, you’ve probably run into the words “FDIC Insured”. They’re posted in lobbies of local banks and at the desks of financial advisors. Most likely they make you feel a sense of security. After all, it’s good to know that the place you’re trusting with your money is insured by someone. But what does it really mean for a bank or firm to be FDIC insured? How can you make sure that you are taking full advantage of the FDIC insurance offered to you as an investor? [...]


Should I Own Rental Real Estate? What Do I Need to Know?

  One of the questions I’m often asked is if a client should buy rental real estate as an investment. As with most investments, the answer is “it depends”. There’s no question that buying and holding real estate can be a great way to accumulate and build wealth over time. Many fortunes have been built using this very method. People like real estate because unlike stocks, it’s tangible. They can go walk it, visit it, and they understand it. Real estate also allows the wise use of leverage or debt. While leverage cuts both ways, you can control an asset worth perhaps [...]

What is a QDRO? How Does it Work? Who Needs One?

  When people divorce, separating finances can get complicated. And if you’re getting divorced and your spouse has a company retirement plan, you will no doubt hear the term “quad dro” or QDRO. What exactly is a QDRO? It’s an acronym for Qualified Domestic Relations Order which is a document that you will need to divide up a retirement plan without incurring taxes and penalties. (1) Why is it necessary? In short, it allows divorcing spouses to receive their share of the other’s retirement plan assets. Once it’s determined how much money from the plan the soon to be ex-spouse [...]

Financial Planning|

If All You Have Is A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A Nail

Sunday Radio When I drive around on Sunday, I put on the radio and almost every AM station has some financial “show” on it. Some are real shows, but most are paid advertisements masquerading as advice. It’s the so-called “safe money” pitch.  And before we go further, let’s start with what qualifications are needed to recommend (sell) these complex strategies that will do all these amazing things.   Ready? A life insurance license. What? Yes.  A life insurance license that can be had with a small amount of study and paying a few state licensing fees in about a week. Wait, [...]


The Myth That “Everyone Needs a Financial Plan”

  Ever try to talk to an advisor and the first thing they want to do is a “comprehensive” written financial plan? The pitch sounds good, and it’s almost always the same. You need a “road map” to know where you’re going, you need to “set goals”, you need to pay a fee to get an “objective” plan without a sales pitch. We might all need to do some financial planning, but do you need a written financial plan? It Depends A typical request comes from a person in their 50s or 60s who comes to see me with [...]

Financial Planning|

Investing In Gold – Is Gold A Good Investment? What Aren’t They Telling You?

  Actors can be convincing! That’s why gold sellers use veteran actors to look like trusted advisors who pitch gold as a great way to protect your future from inflation, financial collapse, and as a good investment. The pitch sounds compelling. After all, with a cheap money policy and low-interest rates, and a government who seems to bring us to the brink of a shutdown every so often, one can make a an argument that inflation will be rampant and the world is falling apart. But how is gold as a long term investment? Investor and professor of Finance [...]


What Goes In My Living Trust?

  One of the questions I’m often asked by people who own trust is, “what belongs in my trust?” or “what assets should be registered in a trust?” What is a living trust? It is a written legal document that partially substitutes for a will. With a living trust, your assets are put into the trust, for your benefit during your lifetime, and then transferred to your beneficiaries when you die. (1) As you know, trusts can be a good thing to have because they can often eliminate the cost, expense, and lack of privacy of probate. They also clearly [...]

Financial Planning|

Investor Mistakes: Are You Making These 7 Common Mistakes

Investing for your current financial situation and your future can be complicated which can lead to many people making mistakes. Here's a list of some of the most common investment mistakes. 1. Lack of Proper Diversification As famed investor John Templeton once said, “The only investors who shouldn’t diversify are those who are right 100% of the time.” (1) Why?  A portfolio consisting of multiple investments with the similar return potential and low correlation to each other has historically offered better risk adjusted returns to a portfolio of highly correlated investments with similar return potential.(2) An important principle of [...]

Financial Planning, Investing|