Business & Finance

Couples and Money Arguments

Updated 1 year ago

I talk to a lot of people and you should know that arguments, special about money, happen at many peoples’ houses.Kids – Oh, the little darlings. We love them to pieces, but maybe I love them more than you because I will buy them things you and insist on them earning money. I have heard folks say that they grew up with nothing and they just have to take care of their kids’ needs to the highest possible level. Even, and often, not taking care of their own future needs. I have frequently been able to help folks think in a different way by aksing if this lifestyle:e is what they would advise their children- as adults- to emulate. Do they want their, daughters, for instance, to neglect themselves in the future and give over all their money to the kids? The answer is usually no…Who earns more- You love each other and need to find a balance with that fact as your focus. If you have separate accounts or divide the bills, in this case you may divide them proportionately, and not simply 50/50, cause that division would not be equitable. I have seen folks with more income be a real bully to the less well-earning partner. That’s not love, kids. Look yourself in the eye and imagine how your activity or behavior would look if you saw it in another couple, your best friends. How would you see that behavior?Family / Ex-family- You may argue because family intervenes in your money lives. Are their grandparents who insist on gifts that make one or both of your uncomfortable? Do you have an ex who makes more than the new family, from whom you still have financial ties of debt ? Speak to a counselor to help you sort out a better approach since this can be all wrapped up in emotions that have nothing to do with the present situation. Be efficient, make things better now!Spending / Saving- It’s not uncommon to have one partner be a spender and the other be more or a saver. These descriptions are neither bad nor good. They are just different and you love that about your baby! But under certain circumstances these differences can be more difficult. Have a talk about how to balance these characteristics and make a lovely and harmonious outcome that uses the best in both of you for your family.Citations:Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Vote Norumbega Financial for Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm at Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Wedding Budgets

Updated 1 year ago

The wedding is a ceremony at which you and your future spouse make a lifetime commitment of love. Those who witness the ceremony pledge to support you both during the struggles and victories of your many wonderful years together. The average wedding costs more than $20,000 with some articles I researched saying as high as nearly $30,000. Poppycock, that’s what I say about that! That’s a lot of money for most families and I think it would be wiser to spend less and make progress towards your future together… A wedding isn’t the day you are crowned king or queen. Try to balance the importance of the ceremony with the party to which you are looking forward.Who’s paying?- Some families can pay for all of your dreams, and it might be the bride or groom’s family. In some cases certain special elements of the wedding, such as the wedding dress or the honeymoon, are paid by grandparents or aunts or uncles. It is important to be clear about their budget and grateful for their kindness. Of course, if you are paying for everything, you can do what you’d like. Budget even less – On one site, Brilliant Wedding Pages, I read a very practical and helpful budget tip: cut your budget back so that unanticipated expenses will not crush you and cause your happy day to be stress-filled. Hidden expenses- what are some of the expenses you may not think of? Dress alterations, gift for your future spouse, stamps, favors, marriage licenses, and more add up. Recognize they exist and prepare. Suggested amount to save for that ‘rainy day’ is 5% of the budget, some suggested as high as 20%. Cheaper alternatives?- Put on your thinking cap and see if you can figure out creative ways to save, without losing your mind. You will be busier and busier as the wedding approaches. You need to balance out saving and additional tasks organized – or done – by you, with being relaxed enough and awake enough to enjoy the ceremony and the reception. Some tips: used gowns, unusual favors, picking a time of day or day of the week out of the norm, rings from estates, online or on lay-away. Use your very clever noggin and be realistic. Sometimes you realize that certain aspects of the wedding are crucial to you. Try to figure out where you can cut back but what is really important to you. Keep the REAL focus- Ultimately, this is a ceremony of your commitment and love with the people whom you most love. It’s not about the dress. If you faced a terrible tragedy you might be better able to put this day in perspective. It’s not about money or outdoing others. Keep the focus. Citations:Suggested percentages- Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Vote Norumbega Financial for Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm at Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Jobs for Kids

Updated 1 year ago

Kids and summer can be a great time for jobs. But what can they do and how much supervision do they need? Here are some ideas that may work at your house.Passion- What do they like? Though we know as grown-up we sometimes have to do jobs we don’t like, that’s not what out goal is for our lifetime work. So, why not try to plug your cutie into something they might really DO because they not only like the extra money but they also like the work?Working for others- Ideas- Pet care (while neighbors are on vacation or for the summer.) babysitting. Red cross offers babysitting training courses through the Bangor Y that would make your little pumpkin well equipped. The kids could do direct sales with a firm you like. Computer skills put to work and tutoring other kids.Working for the family- Are there jobs where your baby could do work above and beyond the usual? Might there be extensive gardening or building projects for which you could hire a kid? Maybe cousins could work a few hours and then send them off for fun? I always found a little work mixed in a summer day gave just enough ‘shape’ to the day, just enough needed focus, that the rest of the day proceeded with very few squabbles. Always an answer to every parent’s prayer… Citations:Red Cross- Bangor Y – http://www.bangory.org/content/4016/Enrichment/Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Vote Norumbega Financial for Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm at Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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A Look at Social Security

Updated 1 year ago

Social security and the ins and outs of benefits is a tough nut for most of us to crack. Here are some points that may help you.Meant as foundation- The intent of Social Security was to provide some income for retirees. With the absence of pensions it has become the sole source of funds for some retirees.Set at initial withdraw- Benefit amount won’t increase, once you take your Social Security benefit the amount will not increase, except for ‘COLA’ or Cost of Living Adjustments meant to help keep up with inflation. The decision regarding at what age to take the benefit then becomes even more critical.Age dependant- retirement Benefits are available as early age 62, but the longer you wait to take- what will become set amount- Social Security, the higher the benefit will be. At ‘Full Retirement’ the benefit amount is higher and if you wait till age 70 the benefit is higher still.Taking Social Security at age 62 permanently reduces your ‘full retirement’ benefit amount by 20%.Your benefit will increase every year you hold off retiring until age 70. At and after age 70 there is not increase to your benefit amount.You can call the Social Security Administration 800.772.1213It’s such an important, but confusing, topic that I am hosting a Social Security administrator June 21st to help people get a better handle of this really important topic. Citations:The Complete idiot’s Guide to Social Security and Medicare, Lita Epstein, MBAPgs. 36, 43, 73,78 Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Vote Norumbega Financial for Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm at Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Business Groups that Help your Business

Updated 1 year ago

When you are a business owner you are absorbed in finding new customers and doing the technical aspects of providing your service or product. Finding groups that offer support or information is time consuming. Let me help!Networking groups – I’m speaking more to formal tip club groups at which a variety of businesses meet weekly and commit to give leads and to promote each other’s business. Realtors, bankers, attorneys, plumbers and the like learn about each other’s business and the services offered and look for opportunities to share what they learn about you and your services with their own customers. Advocacy groups – These groups may be specific to your town, or region, or may be statewide or national merchant groups such as your local Chamber of Commerce, or the NFIB provide advocacy for business. The groups are comprised of retailers, manufacturers, service providers, non-profits and large and small businesses so they don’t always take perfect care of you. But when there are 80,000 members of a group such as NAWBO – the National Association of Women Business Owners- that’s more clout than you have with you 20 employees have on your own.Training groups- SBA and other resources provide free or low-cost training and help for procurement of government contracts, or marketing help, and also help with writing a business plan or securing financing for your business.Trade Associations- May also provide advocacy and training for the specific needs of your business.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Vote Norumbega Financial for Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm at Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Online Budget Tools

Updated 1 year ago

I’ve found some online budget tools, worksheets and the like, that may be a help to viewers.There are plenty of budget tools but in most cases the user has to sign in. This sites allow easy access and no sign-in.You can fill this form online or print it as a blank, (it only prints with ads) and then fill it in. Or, fill it in and then print it : ) But it’s a simple way to total your income and spending including savings. The functions are simple and by hitting the ‘subtotal’ button it automatically adds everything for you.Budgets are the story of your money. It is the plan of how your money will be used.And however you manage that, you just need to manage it and to be able to share the information with your partner. A budget is the way to analyze where your money ‘goes.’Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Vote Norumbega Financial for Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm at Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Got Debt? Let’s Talk About How to Beat it!

Updated 1 year ago

Get organized- Sit down with your past month’s expenses. Review what the heck you have purchased. You may find that you waste more money than you realize. Many tips to the supermarket, lunch, coffee, snacks out many times a week. For most of us with that kind of careless spending using way more money than we can really afford to spend in that way. So, you need to see what you have done that was out of balance, see what you must pay in mortgage, utilities, etc, and make those payments as automatic as possible.Stop spending- Alter the spending that was out of balance. Cut is back. Don’t put anything else on credit. Take a breather for a year, or two, so you can tackle the debt you have already accumulated. If you pay double what your present credit card payment is you will cut that debt down in short order! Be wise- Don’t buy something simply because it was cheap or on sale. LOVE IT before you buy it. Be the picky princess I know you can be and don’t settle for okay even if the item is on sale. Only buy what is wonderful – and on sale.Save- Even when you are paying down debt, save! Even if it’s $5 a week, or $25 a week, the habit is really a great one and will start making you see the savings as the luscious delight that a savings account can be. Learn to love your savings account.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. \Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Finance is Fun May 10, 2011

Updated 1 year ago

Money weaves through all of our lives and is woven in to our relationships, too. So when a couple divorce, there are financial consequences. Here are the things to keep in mind before, or during, a divorce.Your credit- The credit rating for both of you could be badly affected during a divorce. There is confusion, disruption and intense emotions and all the bills may not get paid on time during these months. Do what you can, but don’t be surprised, if this occurs. Make sure you communicate with the lenders during this time. And if you have a god relationship with a particular lender, have a talk about what else you might do to come out with flying colors on the single side of the road.Your income- Depending on what your role has been before the divorce, your income could be a problem. Some women make more than their husbands. But some have made the home and caring for the family a full-time job and in that case, there will be some income concerns. Marital assets divided ‘equitably’- I am not an attorney, but the State of Maine is an ‘equitable asset’ state. Meaning that assets (including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, boats, houses, land, outstanding loans, artwork, collectibles, etc.) accumulated together are divided fairly, according to the law. One of the most important questions is do you know anything about your finances? You need to know all you can about how to manage your finances in your new single life. Take control. Don’t be a victim!Citation:Marital assetshttp://www.divorcesource.com/info/divorcelaws/maine.shtmlhttp://financialplan.about.com/cs/divorceandmoney/a/DealWithDivorce.htmMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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“I Hate Money”

Updated 1 year ago

New book I Hate Money by doctoral student Sarah Morehead will be available for sale May 27th. It has some terrific insight.Sarah theorizes that if you know the key things that help make up the real you can better appreciate what you can do about your money. Because, she says, you can add and this money math isn’t really that hard. Money messages- Do you think money is bad or good? What messages float in your head about money? Is it a tool to create jobs and develop business? Is it evil? Does it corrupt? Is it to be avoided and abhorred? You might want to examine your money messages.Internal or external control- Do you think your life is controlled by an outside force and you just sit on a treadmill? Do you have any power over your life and your future? Are you energized by power, achievement or relationships? Here’s an example to help you see the three elements at work. You are in a competition and part of a team. Your team wins but you won because the other team was really bad.. If you are driven by power you think, “We won! ‘ If you are driven by achievement you think,’ That doesn’t count. I didn’t really win. The other team stunk.’If you are driven by relationships you think,’ I met the best people during that competition. ‘Maslow’s need- Morehead Developed by Abraham Maslow in 1943, this pyramid theorizes that human needs are met in a certain order and that ‘higher’ needs, such as beauty and one’s spiritual life are not sought before the more primary needs, such as food and shelter, are met. And why she delves into this area is to say that we need to use money where we HAVE to use money, like at the grocery store and with our rent payment, and that we need to use non-monetary solutions to fulfill the other needs that can be addressed more creatively. So that you pay your rent and buy your food and wait for a great sale, use Marden’s or Goodwill, or clothing trades with friends, to solve beauty needs creatively.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Life Insurance and Your Family

Updated 1 year ago

This is a thrilling topic except when you need because a tragedy befalls your family. When that occurs, you are forever grateful or saddened by your planning. Dying ‘too soon’ is the concern of planner sna d the purpose of life insurance is to fill the gaps you want to fill.Purpose- The purpose of life insurance is to protect the way of life for the people who depend on you, relatives you support financially or emotionally who lives will be altered when you pass. Life insurance can be used to leave a legacy and to pay expenses left behind.How much for these situations? If you provide care for parents of other relatives, add up approximately how many years you’d want that funding to continue if something happened now. College for the kids if something happened to you? Mortgage and expenses. Your partner will miss a lot of work if something happens to you. The family is not going to all go to school and work on Monday as if everything is fine. It could take a while a year or two for things to get back to normal. Will your partner work less hours to fill in for the parenting no longer shared? Who will go to all the soccer games and school plays? How much full-time work will get done with single parenting and emotional loss in the lives of these wonderful folks? Will you send the kids to the least expensive childcare provider you can find? Types – Permanent insurance , which includes whole life and variable insurance, and term insurance. Term has a steady premium but is usually less than permanent insurance and covers a specific period in your life, such as 20-years or 30 years. It is often used to of kids being smaller and the possible higher expenses of college and child care. It tends to be significantly cheaper than permanent insurance. But permanent insurance is with you – so long as you pay premiums, all of your life. When the term is done when using term insurance, so is your coverage. Nationwide’s 4 reasons:Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated. Non-variable insurance is not offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc.

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Finance is Fun: Saving for College

Updated 1 year ago

Retirement savings-  According to a 2010 poll 24% of parents plan on taking money from their retirement to pay for their children’s college education. Advisor’s were’ troubled’ according to the article with one advisor saying, “You can borrow for college. You can’t borrow for retirement.” 529 plans- these are the Tax deferred plans for college savings. Money in the plans provide assets for ANY post-secondary educational entity be it trades such a welding or cooking school, two-year certificates of a four-year degree. They can aklso be used for graduate programs in any state. Each state offers their own plans and the benefits of using your state’s plan are costs for residents and / or tax benefits for contributions. But money from any 529 can be used at any school.Strategies- Don’t wait if you plan on helping your kids. Start saving right away. If that opportunity has passed look at less expensive options for schools. Does the baby really need an Ivy league school? You may want them to dream big but who’s going to pay? Will you live with them in retirement? Choose less expensive schools for the first 2 years and then go on to another college.The thing with Ivy League schools – and some others- is that they will not accept any transfer credits. They want your money. Have kids work towards their costs at and set aside some money as far ahead as possible to have some nest egg ready.I would urge you to do what you feel you have to do but please limit removing your retirement.  Try to be practical and not too emotionally torn…Braintrack and the Gallop poll:Your text to link…College board:Your text to link…Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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A Look at Retirement Plans

Updated 1 year ago

Tax time often makes one think, how can I save some cottin’ pickin’ taxes? Well, retirement plans may save you some tax while saving and investing for your future. And that’s awesome!Plans for businesses can benefit the business entity and the individuals who contribute. Here’s how the most common plans work Because retirement plans are primarily overseen my the IRS because of the tax benefits it can be a confusing maze of information. So you need to speak with your financial advisor or tax preparer to determine what vehicle is best for you. SEP IRA – if you are self-employed, or a corporation with strong profits this might be a great vehicle for you. The money contributed is from the business and not from the individual, unlike a 401k you may have had at another job. When you work my yourself, that distinction may be complicated and confusing but SEP IRA allows up to potentially $49,000 to be contributed pre-tax. Definitely determine your particular situation, but with low administrative costs this is a viable retirement in the right situation.SIMPLE IRA- this plan is set up with the owners and an advisor usually using a single mutual fund company (or a family of funds) for all who wish to invest. SIMPLE plans allow employee contributions and mandate a corporate contribution. They are several options in setting these up but in my experience they are usually set up so that only participating employees get the match. But SIMPLE can be set up so that EVERYONE who is eligible gets a flat 2% corporate contribution regardless of employee participation. At the beginning of each year, the employer determines if they will contribute 2 % of each eligible employee’s earnings or if they will match participating employees’ contributions to 3% of the gross earnings of participating employees will be matched each year. There are details that you should check on before choosing this plan. But it, too, is an inexpensive plan to administer as each employee generally is responsible for their account costs and investment options. I work with my businesses and their employees to help them choose investments that work for their goals and objectives.401(k) + Solo 401(k)- 401k’s allow contributions for employers AND employees but have higher administrative costs. However, SOLO 401ks are not expensive and work better for the self-emploed or single-owner highly compensated business owner. Relatively cheap like SEP’s but may be a better fit depending on your needs.It doesn’t cost anything to ask your advisor about if one of these vehicles would work for you so you can save money on taxes and save for your retirement for a happier 2011 tax time!Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Fun with Taxes!

Updated 1 year ago

Since I am not a tax advisor but it is tax time and out segment is called Finance is FUN! let’s have some fun with taxes!There is a web site called Fun with Taxes. It surprised me, too.Weird tax facts: (from an article entitled 50 Fun facts about Taxes)There are states that charge taxes for the sale of illegal drugs.Czar Peter the Great taxed beards.In the UK everyone under 75 pays a TV license fee- more for a color TV and less for b + wThe Civil War was the beginning of an income tax in the USThe easiest tax form- according to author Jim Ward, 1040EZ has 33 pages of instructions…The first electronic filing of tax form was Jan. 24th 1986 All Royal Navy ships must pay a ‘barrel of rum’ tax to the Constable of the Tower of London…Citations:http://www.funwithtaxes.com/50 factshttp://www.bargaineering.com/articles/50-fun-facts-about-taxes.htmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated. Please speak with your tax preparer or attorney.

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Some Smart Shopping Advice

Updated 1 year ago

Financial success is easy to understand, though perhaps not so easy to achieve: spend LESS than you earn. Here are some ways to a help.Stop shopping – If you shop for groceries every other day you are spending too much money. Studies show that each time you stop at the grocery store to pick up a ‘few things’ most people ending up spending way more money than they planned. One blog I checked for this report said they do ‘big’ grocery shopping once every 6 weeks and then stop at the store once or twice a week for the milk or sale items on their list ONLY. And for our kids, the same ‘stop shopping’ mantra. Books like “Born to Shop’ study the time children spend shopping compared to reading or going to church and the trends are alarming. Time spent shopping is far exceeding children’s reading, religious education and other activities. Maybe dropping the kids off at the mall for their all-day hobby isn’t such a great activity. Don’t be a brand snob- use discount outlets like Maine’s own Marden’s and resale shops for many items like clothes. But what about food? Can you trade down in brand at the grocery store and get quality? Certain items of food, or clothing, may be important to you to have as a certain brand. But on less critical items I bet you have some wiggle room for non-brand merchandise. You may save a lot of dough. Look around- In grocery stores eye level is where higher priced items are kept. One blog reminded us to ‘look high and low’ for value. Have you also noticed that beans or cheese are sold in several sections of the store? Find the place where the particular item you want is featured at the best price. With clothing, the sales racks are less difficult to spot, it’s usually in the back of the store.Citations:Shop lesshttp://www.americanconsumernews.com/2008/06/reduce-household-expenses-chop-the-grocery-bill.htmlGrocery bills:off brandMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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More Considerations When Selecting a Financial Advisor

Updated 1 year ago

I am an investment advisor I help people make decisions. I have a degree in finance so I understand complex investment information but if I can’t help investors make their own decisions about this information I’m not really doing my job. So, I read books about how people make decisions. When you are making complex decisions may I suggest that based on what I’ve learned so far, you try these steps?Less choice is better – Don’t think the very best way is to examine all 165 options of a thing. In tests of customers at supermarkets when 16 choices were offered in various jams barely 3% of customers purchased anything. But when only offered 5 samples 30% of customers made a decision and bought a jam. When overwhelmed with options people, according to psychologists, ‘decide NOT to decide.’ So if your goal is to MAKE a choice, to decide on something, don’t trip yourself up, don’t make that impossible, by feeling you need to investigate every possible option. Remember your goal.Go with your gut -researchers have found is that you kind of already know what you want to do. If you are a reasonable person learning more information, so long as it’s not too overwhelming, backs up what your gut tells you. Many of the time, maybe most of the time, that initial ‘gut feeling’ is good. Don’t dismiss your instincts. Keep putting wise ideas into your mind so those instincts can be relied on.Be content to not be 100% certain- You will not know the future. So the decisions that you’re making affecting something and your future, is going to be missing 100% certainty because an element of the equation is missing, and that is knowing what will happen exactly in the future. Since you can’t know all, you will need to be content.Don’t second (or third) – guess yourself- Well, you don’t NEED to be content. But if you second, third, fifteenth – guess yourself and your decisions you will never have peace. According to research the happiest people are the ones who choose to believe their decision, once made, was a good one, and then they let the worry and anxiety go. In extreme examples, second- guessers spend years hobbled by doubt about decisions that are many years behind them. I don’t want to be that person, though sometimes I find myself wondering…If you follow these steps it may help you feel better and be better able to make good decisions.Citations:Jam choices- The Paradox of Choice, pg. 20Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Looking for a Financial Advisor? Some Questions to Consider

Updated 1 year ago

How do they treat investors like me?- In the last six months, how have comparable clients been treated? How often is communication? What type of communication? Is that satisfactory to you?How do they help you choose investments? – I use a 12 question questionnaire to try to ascertain an investor’s risk tolerance. Then I use an independent third-party rating to rate the risk of an investment. Time horizon and other factors then are complied to narrow the options to what might work best for you. What procedure does this advisor use? Is there an annual review?- This is the time to talk, whether in person or by phone, about changes in your risk or tax situation and make possible alterations to your investments as you life changes. Many of my clients have had advisors who are really nice folks but they never have a review or hear from that person. Work has to happen with friendship separate.Thinking beyond investments?- Is your advisor making sure you have legal documents, or at least nagging – as I do- for you to get yourself to an attorney? Are they asking you to considering other estate planning needs such as land transfers or continuity planning for your family business? They probably not accountants and/ or attorneys but they could be helping you consider life insurance and asset transfers.No citations Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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A Look at Financial Graphs

Updated 1 year ago

I like graphs because they provide an image of numerical values and for me help to make things more clear. However in finance, graphs are tell what has ALREADY occurred and not anything about the future. Let’s talk about the graph that we have for the screen. It is the S & P average annual 10-year performance. Viewed in this way we can see how the economy and businesses were doing since 1936 to the end of February 2011. We can see the times when things were rocky and the times of prosperity but we can’t tell the future. We might hazard a GUESS about the future, and isn’t that what we do every day when we enter into a contract, change jobs, marry someone and invest?The very far right of the graph shows the lowest point in 2007 and the improvements since. This information is like looking in the rear-view mirror of your car. It shows the past. But this kind of info, along with other information, helps me as an advisor, help clients. And I thought it would be helpful for our viewers, too.So, graphs, pie-charts and other information like this provides a way to see figures as they relate to a set value, in this case 0% growth. It helps me and may be a good way for you to evaluate your investments.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. We believe the sources of this information to be reliable, however, the accuracy and the completeness of the information is not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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What if you have ten years till retirement and nothing saved?

Updated 1 year ago

You’re certainly not alone. According to one internet site, 39% of those age 55 have only $25,000 saved for retirement.Rethink expectations – Stuff happens and sometimes priorities change. Right now as you look down the tunnel of your life I hope you are able to get the vision for a modest retirement. Not one of poverty, but one of modest means. Postpone retirement- you can significantly increase your social security payout by waiting until age 70 instead of taking money out at age 62. Over your expected lifetime you will still receive the same – and possibly more- by waiting on social security. Postponing also gives you more time to WORK, paying off debt and Save! – Instead of saving 5% for retirement get deadly serious and start saving 15%, 20% or an even larger amount of your income towards your future. (If you plan on increasing your savings in a retirement account, you may have contribution limits. You may want to talk to your trusted tax or financial professional regarding increasing those percentages.) You ‘can’t afford’ to save? What are you going to do when you have to live on a possibly much smaller monthly income? Get serious.Invest wisely- take advantage of any match if a 401k is available at work that provides ‘free money’ if you contribute. Free money is an amount of money and employer is willing to add to your plan if you put in a certain percentage. In addition watch closely your investment options. Make good decisions for your risk and keep careful track of the market. Don’t be lazy with old accounts from former employers. Roll those monies to an account with a financial advisor or into your own care and track that money.It’s not ideal but it’s not too late to have a pretty good retirement if you act now.Citations:My retirement blog – savings figureshttp://www.myretirementblog.com/average-retirement-savings-by-age.htmlHow much to save now- Pullman Motly foolhttp://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2009/10/06/oops-i-forgot-to-save-for-retirement.aspxMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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A Look at Junior Achievement

Updated 1 year ago

Junior Achievement Provides financial education using volunteers from the community in lessons for kids. I have taught middle school students with lessons that have explain credit. Wow, is this a necessary program! Lesson book cost money and fundraisers are ongoing to expand the offering of these classes in more schools. I am most familiar with the middle school programs and have taught after some modification, the Savvy Shopper lesson. Focusing on cash and credit I would bring my old bag phone (here it is) and explain cash, debit cards, credit cards and the implication of spending decisions.Your twelve year-old doesn’t understand what you mean when she sees cash in your hand but you say “I don’t have money.’ Junior Achievement and in my modified Savvy Shopper lesson , I explain checking accounts, what you can expect to earn at various jobs, expenses, very basic budgets, and the cost of credit and the consequences of ‘buying on time, ‘as it used to be called. I use the bag phone as an example of buying something with credit, owing more than the simply the purchase price, paying well past the item is in fashion or technologically advanced as newer phones- as an example- become more sleek. You continue to pay for a very uncool item. Your budget is smaller as a result and when your friends are having fun you are paying for things you bought years ago.Other middle school lessons include learning about your credit score, choosing a career, and insurance.More classrooms each year want these programs in their schools so volunteers and donations are always needed. Your family or business can help. Contact JA today at:JA of Maine, Inc. 82 Elm StreetPortland, ME 04101Phone: (207) 347-4333Email: athomas@jamaine.org Web address: www.jamaine.org Citations:http://www.ja.org/programs/programs_mid_econ_success_obj.shtmlhttp://www.ja.org/programs/programs_mid_overview_obj.shtmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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“A Man is Not a Financial Plan”

Updated 1 year ago

When I say ‘A man’s not a financial plan,” besides quoting the great free bumper sticker available from WIFE.org, I am not saying I dislike men. I have been happily married for more than thirty-five years and have two great sons. I AM saying that your financial plan is your individual responsibility and that you may not wait for a prince or your daddy to lift this job from your shoulders. and I have been married for more than thirty-five years but unless we ‘go through the Stargate together’ ( which is our silly way of saying we hope to die together), one of us may predecease the other and other marriages may end in divorce.Talk about money- You need to know what’s going on and bring your views to the joint money table. Different attitudes about money are important to share and help provide better security for both of you. You see things differently, and those views are each helpful.Map out your money plan- Make a budget for how the money is spent today and a plan for where you’ll live in retirement, how much your income will be at the phase of your life, and get your legal documents in place so that when trouble comes, you will be more able to manage the pain.Set priorities- Speak your mind about what’s important to you about money. Communication is not a perfect medium so use various approaches to make your point heard. Be willing to compromise on issues on which you feel more flexible. Examine your attitude to check for fear and try to operate in good sense and not too much emotion.Credit in your name – make sure you know how the family credit is used and have credit in your name. I have told you stories of rich and famous who have been ignorant about their money suffered badly because of that error. Please learn from their mistakes! And for a free bumper sticker or an electronic newsletter sign up at www.wife.org. Citation:My book, Real Deal: Making Big Changes with Small Changehttp://www.wife.org/man-is-not-a-plan.htm Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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