What would you like to have known at 18, 25, or 35?
When you were 20 or 25, what was your level of financial literacy? What did you think of when the nightly news mentioned Wall Street or the Federal Reserve? Did you even care about those things at that time?
Few young adults fully understand how wealth can be built. That’s a shame. Decades from now, many will wish they had started planning to amass wealth earlier in life. How can you encourage your children to start that process? Read More »
The Questions of Life
Why do so many people struggle with money? Why is it so difficult to get ahead in a time of such prosperity? Why do the rich keep getting richer while the poor and middle class seem to continually struggle? I’ll tell you the answer: Most people follow bad advice and mimic strategies of the financially unsuccessful rather than imitating those who are already wealthy.
You see, every day you make money choices that affect all areas of your life. Try going a full 24 hours without doing something that involves spending, receiving, giving, or investing money. The truth remains so many people today, even with the 2008-9 economic collapse, spend more than they make. They live paycheck to paycheck and could be one missed payment from financial disaster. This could be you. Whether your finances are in dire straight or you just want a little fine tune up, I want to help fatten your wallet so you can improve the quality of your life and have the time and money to help others. In order to do this, you need to win the battle. What do I mean by battle? This is the battle for your money. Read More »
How do you avoid the Bernie Madoffs and the Allen Stanfords? Recently, we’ve seen two supposed financial wizards revealed as charlatans. Given recent headlines about Ponzi schemes and fraud, you may be wondering – how can you avoid getting duped by an unscrupulous financial advisor?
1. Do a little legwork online
If you want to check out an investment advisory firm, visit AdviserInfo. That is the website at which the Securities and Exchange Commission keeps Form ADVs – the forms which reveal disciplinary actions taken against that advisory firm and/or its key employees. You can also make sure a firm is properly registered there.
If you want to check up on a specific investment advisor, go to the FINRA BrokerCheck website tool. Here you can learn about the professional backgrounds of advisors and firms through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Now that we’ve mentioned that, let’s accentuate the positive. Visit the websites of the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Search functions on both sites will allow you to find a respected independent financial advisor near you. Read More »
In today’s economy, how do you honor God with your finances?
The term stewardship is tossed around like a buzzword. Because it is used so often, the word’s true meaning has lost a lot of its relevance. Let’s look at Merriam Webster’s definition of stewardship: 1. The office, duties, and obligations of a steward 2. The conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
Stewardship is one of the most common themes in the Bible. I refer to stewardship as being a faithful manager of the time, skills, and financial resources that God has provided you. How you manage these three elements of your life affects every other area. When you apply God’s principles regarding stewardship, you will begin to enjoy freedom and fulfillment that can be found nowhere other than in Christ. Read More »
These four rules work no matter where the economy is heading, what the stock market is doing and where interest rates stand. Time-tested, biblical principles work regardless of worldly circumstances. You can get your finances under control and live your ideal life if you diligently follow these rules.
Rule #1: Spend less than you make
Whether you make $30,000 or $300,000, make it a habit to spend less than you make. It is easy to reduce expenses if you analyze your spending habits and keep a log for 90 days or more. The trends may surprise you. You may see some areas where spending is excessive and you can reduce. It’s estimated that the average person has at least 15 to 20 percent wiggle room – meaning they could cut back 15 to 20 percent of what they’re spending and see few negatives change in their life. A little can go a long way. The key here is to live within your means. I know our government gives us a bad example, but you can’t keep spending money you don’t have hoping someday you’ll be able to repay. Read More »
September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month
When was the last time you looked at your life insurance coverage?
Why not do it now? September is as good a time as any – in fact, this is National Life Insurance Awareness Month. The non-profit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) wants to awaken Americans to the need for life insurance, and its remarkable utility as an estate planning and tax-saving tool. Read More »
Do you own a small business with a few employees? Are you self-employed? In either case, the SEP IRA may be the ideal low-cost, easily administered retirement savings plan for you.
This is a simple pension plan using a traditional IRA. (SEP stands for Simplified Employee Pension.) It lets you put aside money into individual IRAs for you and your employees, with lower administrative fees and less paperwork than other types of retirement plans.
Tax-deferred compounding of pre-tax dollars
You contribute pre-tax dollars to a SEP IRA, and that has the effect of lowering your tax bill. The money in the IRA grows tax-deferred, and your business doesn’t pay any taxes on the IRA earnings.1 The assets can be invested in many ways.
The traditional IRA rules apply. When you take the money out of a SEP IRA for retirement, you pay ordinary income taxes on it. (Should you withdraw SEP IRA assets before age 59½, you’ll likely be assessed a penalty, with some exceptions.) Read More »