One of the benefits to the flood of information available on the web, and the self-publishing industry that the web makes possible, is that in two seconds or less, you can learn the ultimate best way to pick stocks (so they say), paint your porch, or manage your office work flow. Not a day goes by that I don’t get calls or a dozen emails from people pitching me to optimize my insurance recommendations, my archival backup, or my time management. Have a senior in high school? If they don’t know how to write a college admissions essay, hundreds of …Read More
How much should you pay for something that is purely a “want”, not a need? There are formulas for what house you can afford, how much of your budget should go to utilities, etc. but what if it’s something you just plain want?
Recently my sewing machine went kaput. Seventeen years ago it was top of the line, and since I’ve been sewing since I was 10, I figured I’d replace it with whatever was currently tops—I’ve earned it, no? When I was in my chocolate-chip-cookies-Mommy phase, I made all of dear daughter’s clothing for about her first five years …Read More
It’s summer, which means weddings for a lot of people and of course I have some advice. Er, my record on marital success is not too good, so I’m going to stick to financial pronouncements here. While planning for wedded bliss, you should also have Plan B: that you may find yourself suddenly single again. Not necessarily divorce, but also losing a spouse to death, long periods apart for work or military service, disability or illness. Okay, maybe that’s too gloomy for summer, but not as bad as having no plan and trying to cope with life’s surprises. So I …Read More
Yup, that’s what we all believed for so many years. But the gyrations in the housing market, and the huge amount of “wealth” lost by so many of us, are making a lot of people question just exactly what home-buying is worth, as well as their own homes. I’d like to propose that we re-consider just what kind of investment a home actually is: IMHO, it’s actually more like a collectible—closer to a coin or doll or maybe even a wine collection. And a lot of people would be happier with their “investment” if they re-cast their thinking along those …Read More
I never thought it would happen. I finally sold my dad’s house. Dad passed away in November of 2010, but the house was vacant for several months while he moved in and out of hospitalizations and I was just too busy even to think about it. I had to put it on hold until March since I was studying for my CFP® exam. Shortly thereafter I broke my foot, which took me all of last summer to recover from–no stairs and no carrying. Dear daughter and I spent September through December (while in the throes of college applications) clearing out …Read More