Should You Use Your Home as an ATM?

Here we go again.  According to Black Knight Financial Services, cash-out residential refinances jumped 68% in the second quarter from a year ago, the highest volume of this type of refinancing in five years. As home values increase, homeowners are seeing paper increases in equity, which, when combined with unusually low mortgage rates, creates an … Continued

Higher Education as an Investment

By now we are all generally aware that the cost of a four year college degree continues to increase and student loans are a growing problem.  There may also be some greater recognition that an undergraduate college degree is not an automatic ticket to an above average income. College represents a significant investment of time … Continued

The Sticky Spending Theory

The Sticky Wage Theory is an economic hypothesis that describes how the pay of employed workers tends to respond slowly to changes in the economic environment.  Employers are slow to increase wages during an economic expansion, so as to not get caught off guard by a subsequent downturn.   On the flip side, wages tend to … Continued

Is Your House Part of Your Financial Plan?

If it isn’t, it probably should be.  Properly managed, a home can be a shelter and part of a long term financial plan.  For many people, the purchase of a house is their largest and earliest significant foray into the world of finance. Finding the right home, obtaining a mortgage and then managing the monthly … Continued

Financial Tips for New Parents

Starting a family is a huge time and financial commitment.  The greatest gifts you can give your children are love, a happy and safe home, and security.  We all strive for financial security and to achieve that goal requires diligence, planning, and common sense.   Obviously, the earlier you start planning the greater chance for success … Continued

Retirement Planning Through the Decades

Steps to take during each decade of your life: In your 20s Your 20s are a time for figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life.  Most people enter the workforce for the first time in their 20s.  They move out of their parents houses and are on their … Continued

Advice to the Twenty-Something’s

I have three twenty-something daughters – all college graduates in the past few years. The choices they make now can greatly change their future prosperity. Both their friends, and my daughters, periodically ask for my guidance to help with their early financial decisions. So, here is my advice: Debt is your greatest enemy! Taking on … Continued

Increasing Longevity Threatens Retirement Funding

The Society of Actuaries has revised its mortality assumptions for the first time since 2000.  The new data estimates that the average 65-year old man today will live 86.6 years, up from the 2000 estimate of 84.6 years.  The same data for women has increased to 88.8 years from 86.4 years. These changes have significant … Continued

Retirement Road Trip

Imagine yourself planning a road trip across the country.  The route has been mapped out with projected stops based your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.  The amount of time, as well as the cost, has been estimated based on the price of gasoline and your expected speed.  Unexpected events like traffic, weather, or vehicle maintenance will be … Continued