You are a knowledgeable business owner and an expert in your field. But what about your retirement future? What will you tap for the income streams that all together comprise your nest egg?Big picture- I own a business. So I understand the day-to-day intensity of being so involved with the details that it can be easy to lose the vision of the big picture. What is your goal with the business? Where are you based on your 5 year plan? How close are you to selling or are you expanding, adding workers or additional locations? And what about your personal goals? Have they gotten sidelined as you advance the business or are you staying focused?Biz and personal – Take a step back and get more detailed in your personal and business planning. Take a day or a weekend and go away and really relax and think about the things you hope to achieve. As a small business owner I know that the Syversens and Norumbega Financial are hard to separate. But pull the two entities apart and examine where you are and where you want to be. And set up your goals and plans to achieve them.Investment plan – Besides a savings cushion what are you investing in for your future? Work with an advisor who can guide you in finding the right investments with the amount of diversification that is right for you and your risk and goals. Consider investing in a personalized mix of stocks, bonds, and alternatives to avoid the all eggs in one basket scenario..Taxes- Involve your tax expert in pre-tax benefits like SIMPLE IRAs for the firm or other tax-advantaged options for you as an individual. And work with advisors who keep you current on changes in regulations.\Succession- What happens with the business when you want to retire or you can’t work? Do you have a written succession plan? Do you have insurance products to fund the transition if necessary? Have you updated this information regularly? Does it need updating? Your sudden loss could rip their lives of your loved ones apart. And though in retirement you may have more time to transition, having a clear and well-considered plan is the best policy.Take time to get your personal and business under control and then you will be more ready for every situation with all your bases covered.Citations:http://www.fpanet.org/docs/assets/2-15-07smallbusiness.pdf Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com 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.
What do kids need to know and when should they know it? Here are some tips for you and this summer of fun and learning. Money comes from…? – By the age of five kids should know that grownups go to work to get money, where the money is ‘stored’ and that is limited. They should know the names of coins and cash and around this time get an allowance. Things to know – as they get older they should understand the problem of peer pressure on spending and be given enough control of their cash for their use that you begin to see their inner saver come out. They won’t always spend if they can get YOU to spend instead. They seldom want something THAT desperately. Around age 8 they should know how much things cost around the house and using math to balance the checkbook. Get them in the details so they are smarter than many of us were about real life and finance. Older kids – Kids over age 10 should understand credit cards, advertising, the stock market, working for money and have a checking account. Teens need to know about credit reports and the things that impact your report and understand loans.You have to do the best you can. But you know you need to do something.Citation:http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson12/index.htmhttp://www.parents.com/kids/responsibility/money-management/money-milestones-for-kids/Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com 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.
I recently reviewed an industry report about investors and their financial literacy. Let’s talk about it.Not well-informed – What the survey found was that small investors have a ‘weak grasp of elementary financial concepts’ and that this lack of knowledge makes us much more vulnerable to fraud. Not only that we may be open to be hurt, but that this lack of knowledge makes us less strong to advocate and understand great investments and make a sound financial future for ourselves.What we learned in school – Though there are some programs to teach financial literacy in schools most 17 year-olds are not listening when to discussions of life insurance and home mortgage. Learning general financial information helps me better investors and smarter consumers. Concepts to know – So what should we know? 1.) Interest rate and the wonder of compounding – How can my $10 a week turn into $100,000? It can grow more quickly when interest is earned. Compounding is the concept of additional interest added to the original principal and each period’s interest. Then more interest added to the principal and old interest. And so on and so on.2.) Inflation- How much did candy cost when you were a kid compared to that same candy’s cost today? That is the change in price of items because of inflation. Inflation effects prices. The goal is that retirement savings earn more than inflation so that you can buy candy in your golden years, and everything else you need to buy.3.) Diversification and risk- You shouldn’t be guessing what provides better diversification. You should understand what diversification means and how much risk you are willing to take. Unfortunately less than a third of those questioned for one survey knew the answers for the three concepts above.It’s your money. You work hard and owe it to yourself to know basic financial information so you can take your place as a responsible investor.Citations:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204707104578090822080920906.htmlMarion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com 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.
By- Marion SyversenJune is a big month for birthdays. It’s my birthday month. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau June and July are the 3rd and 4th most ‘popular’ birthday months. Let’s look at some birthdays that are important for you when planning your finances. Age50 – The age at which you may contribute higher amounts into retirement plans. The provisions, called ‘catch-up’ provisions, allow you to save more than younger workers in qualified retirement plans. So for Traditional 401(k ), 403 (b)’s younger workers can save $17,500 per year but those over 50 can save $23,000 before taxes per current IRS contribution limits. If you have a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (a Traditional IRA) under 50’s can save $5,500 and over 50 you can sock an additional $1,000 away per year per current IRS contribution limits. Age 59.5 – this is the age you become eligible to withdraw money from retirement accounts without a penalty. Taxes may be due on annual distributions but there will no longer be the deterent of an additional 10% penalty for ‘early withdrawal.’ Age 62 – This is the earliest age at which you can receive Social Security retirement benefits. Age 65 – this is the earliest age you may begin collecting Medicare. Age 65-67 -At this age (DEPENDING ON YOUR DATE OF BIRTH) you may be eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits. Age 70.5 – Now you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs from your qualified retirement plans. The RMD varies depending on certain circumstances. And you can find details on the tables used to calculate the percentage on the IRS’ web site. Citations: http://www.babycenter.com/0_surprising-facts-about-birth-in-the-united-states_1372273.bc http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/important-tax-birthdays http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/survivorchartred.htm http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/12/~/earliest-age-to-get-social-security-retirement-and-medicare http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Required-Minimum-Distributions#4 The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc.
I learned while preparing for the article that there is an International Frugal Fun Day. Don’t think people don’t take their fun seriously. Even while being frugal! No stress – Even though you may not be in the land of Financial Nirvana as a person on the journey you have a glorious and bright financially-stress-free future. Bbecause you are frugal, you have less financial stress than others who are still lost and confused as they spend more than they make. It doesn’t make us better,. It just helps our lives have less stress. Already having fun! Free fun – It’s summer and free fun abounds. Movies outdoors, concerts in Downtown, craft shows, so many great things to entertain you and your family that it’s almost hard to spend money! Look around. Check out social media posts, web sites, posters for a weekly listing of the great free activities available in your area. Make it social – Social activities involving walking, hiking, volleyball, Frisbee are free and as close as your filed or neighborhood park . Your fun is only limited by your imagination. Exercise relives stress, keeps you healthy and lets you eat more! Sounds like a winning plan to me. Vacationland!- How can you forget your vacation? You live in Vacationland and have, all in a few hours’ drive, the most beautiful natural areas in the world. From lakes and mountains, to trails and wildlife, oceans and forests are all here for you. You could set a tent in your own backyard and be in a paradise. Make exploring like a tourist this summer’s best vacation ever until you have seen every region and explored the most beautiful state in America. Have a beautiful and frugal summer. Citations:
Retirement is something that you are really looking forward to. But it will not be fun if all you do is feel lonely, have no purpose in life and run out of money. SO, let’s talk about making your retirement terrific! What are your dreams – For thirty, or more, years you have been dreaming of retirement. Most people, in my experience, haven’t really thought exactly what they want to do for the thirty or so years once they have finally finished their job. What are your dreams, my friend? What are you hoping to do in these years? If you are a person who enjoys completing a task, but in retirement you have no tasks, what will that mean for you? It can’t all be napping- Being well-rested in retirement is part of a person’s usual retirement dream. Not having to wake up at a particular time and HAVE to be somewhere. When you’ve been on vacation sitting around all day, every day, makes one more and more sleepy. After a few months of that, then what? It probably won’t result in joy. Where do you belong – And if most of your friends are from the workplace, where do you now belong? The friends at work can’t always take a day and go out with you. They have responsibilities and time commitments. They may see you once and in a while. But soon life will go on, without you. Purpose and passion- I recently read this sentence, ‘When you work at something you love, everything else flow from it. Your social life, your friends.’ Finding your passion not only gives life purpose and makes time fly and be filled to overflowing. You will find others who can’t wait to share in your life as they share theirs with you. Whether you work part-time for money at what you enjoy. Or you go back to school to get new skills and certifications you have YEARS left in life yet to be lived! Follow your passion and retirement will be just even better than you dreamed. Citations:
You are able – You CAN do this. You have to do this, so you obviously will. You’ll get the knowledge you need. You already have the wisdom you need. And you have the courage to make this life beautiful. We believe in you, bud. Make a budget that works- You have to look at all the bills. Hiding from them does not help, as you tell the kids. So, open everything and track what you’ve spent the last few weeks on everything. Budget’s are available online from many sources, or from your local library. Get an idea of how you might allocate resources and then make a PLAN. This might work best if you can make bills automatically payable so that you have one less thing to do. But whatever works for you, do. You aren’t alone- If managing the money hasn’t been what you’ve had to do, or you feel totally out of your element, talk with your local financial institution, your church or friends who can sit down with you and work out a plan. You are not alone. You may not want folks to see you feeling confused. BUT there are people who would LOVE to help you, as you have helped others with their hardships and transitions. It is only if you isolate yourself that you will be alone, buddy. Say no about spending- Do not feel guilty when the kids can’t have things they want to have. Life is not about guilt. This present single life was more than about stuff and money. And you need to NOT get under emotions at this time. The kids will be fine. They will always want more stuff. Even if you had lots more money they would continue to be unsatisfied because it is the job of retailers and product manufactures to help them desire the newest thing. So be strong and calm and clear in your financial direction. The more they can be included in the process by handling their own money or as they mature helping to be a part of the ‘family finances’ the less they will grumble. Keep on keeping on- Now keep going. Keep improving. Keep checking your plan and adjusting as needed. Things are going to awesome. This is going to work out and you will have raised some wonderful people. Citations:
So your baby has completed college! Congratulations to you both. But now what? How can you guide your dear one in a smart money path? Here are a few tips for your clever baby. You just spent approximately four years working like crazy to advance your options and vocation in life. That was an investment in yourself that you and perhaps others made in you. Continue to have that vision for your life that how you spend your money and time adds to that investment in your best self. And start your money decisions with that mindset. Live on less than you earn – If instead of thinking you have finally MADE IT, you will continue to think in terms of being a starving student on a tight budget, life will go very well for you! Many of us made a big mistake beginning with our first job and began an entitlement attitude and spending habits that made life gradually become scary and a bit out of control as we spent far in excess of what we earned. Learn from us, little grasshopper, and be wise. Be organized – If you were the student who procrastinated and couldn’t find your books or your assignments, managing your money will need to be automated. But getting oragnazed now is your very important job. Whether you use a notebook or your smart phone and apps to keep track of your money, make a budget and have a plan for what the heck your money will be doing now that you have a first job. You don’t have the kind of loose cash that letting it fritter through your fingers spilling money here and there that a disorganized life will allow. Unless you get organized you will quickly find yourself getting behind and feeling overwhelmed, my friend. Loans are due – as part of your frugal living remember that 6 months after graduation any student loans are now due. You may have an option that allows a reduced payment based on income and that may be a better fit with your budget. But investigate your options and make the payments. You may want to consolidate loans. I am an investment advisor and not a debt counselor, so this is not my area of expertise. If you will speak to the entity holding your loans you can get more information on your options. Please save- Keep investing in yourself and begin saving for your retirement and emergencies. I KNOW it feels like you don’t have ANY money. But try to do everything you can, including continuing to have roommates, to keep living costs down so you have a bit put aside. It will pay off! You are being encouraged to have a glorious life and future and I’m telling you that though this sounds boring, all this discipline, it leaves a happy and light heart and money worries will not be your lot if you can get on track happy graduate! We are proud of your accomplishments. Good job. A free publication – 14 page Investing in Yourself, from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is available through this link:
A financial plan covers your entire financial picture: your assets and liabilities, your risk management, your financial goals and whether or not they are realistic. Financial advisors offer plans and because they are so extensive, there is a cost to have one developed for you. In Part 1 presented last week we discussed Net-worth, debt-to-income ratio, cashflow and budget. This week we wrap up the financial plan components. Risk analysis – Depending on the results of your net-worth statement and your budget and the existing and various insurances you have, you are now able to determine if where you or your loved ones are lacking. Managing risk is what life insurance, professional liability insurance and personal property insurance is about. If there is a gap in what you have compared to what you need you may want to fix that gap or face self-insurance. Self-insurance is when you use your cash to cover the loss entirely. If the cost of insurance is cheaper, I vote for additional insurance. Debt repayment – When will your debts be paid off? Do you want to press forward with a more aggressive repayment plan? Where will you start and how much will you allocate to that priority? This is a personal preference. Just don’t short-change your savings. Savings plan – speaking of savings, please remember that the same compound interest that occurs with your debt and interest rate, occurs with any savings. Money saved and earning compound interest adds up more quickly as each period’s principle and interest earns even more additional interest. That works like a lovely compost pile, cooking and growing as year after year passes. Compound interest is a very good thing. For more information check the internet or your local library for more details on creating a financial plan. Citations:
A financial plan covers your entire financial picture: your assets and liabilities, your risk management, your financial goals and whether or not they are realistic. Financial advisors offer plans and because they are so extensive, there is a cost to have one developed for you. Net-worth- a net-worth statement is the difference between your assets and liabilities. Listing your assets means compiling the estimated – but accurate- value of house, camp, cars, business. And then adding in your ‘liquid assets’ CD’s, investment accounts whether retirement or individual/joint accounts held , savings and jewelry, coins and other hard assets. From that total amount subtract your total liabilities: loans on real estate and other property, all consumer debt such as credit cards, student loans The NET result, hopefully positive, is your net-worth. Debt-to-Income ratio- This is a simple calculation. Add up all your monthly debt payments: mortgage, consumer debt, child support, everything you need to pay each month. THEN add up your monthly income. Divide your income by your debt. Here’s an example: You pay $500 a month and you earn $2000 per month your debt to income ratio is 25% Cashflow/Budget – Cash comes in and then it is allocated for various purposes: housing, debt repayment, savings, life. Tracking the saving and spending of money is a cashflow statement or a budget. You need one to create a financial plan. You need one if you ever hope to have a positive net-worth. Next week we will talk about the other aspects of a good plan. Citations:
Spending is one of the biggest problems people have. And whether it’s saving out of fear or spending to fill needs that you haven’t identified, understanding your self and addressing real needs in smarter ways is the point of my first book. And in an insightful book by author and friend Sarah Morehead, these needs unmet or met unwisely with crazy spending are detailed. Why are you spending? – We spend because we are each, individually, motivated by different needs. Morehead uses common sense to help make this point more clear. She points out that siblings raised in the same household, who may hold very similar values about money, will still spend differently because of their unique motivators. If you are motivated by control, you might save every bit of money you have so that you can in some way, prevent bad things from happening to you. She goes on with examples: Is being with friends and relationships so important, you will buy a round of drinks on a credit card so you can show your affection? Is status so important you must live in a certain area or drive a particular car to show you are special? What is a need? – Morehead uses her study of psychology to break this money mystery apart for us. She explains that a car is not a need. TRANSPORTATION is the need. A car is your strategy to fill the need. It may also be a liability from a purely financial perspective as it may be money you now owe to the bank. This doesn’t make it bad. It simply is factually understanding your life and your money and pulling the emotions apart from the money. A yoga or exercise class may fulfill your need to be healthy and to have relationships. Needs cannot be ignored because you will find a way to meet them and may sabotage your budget to do it. She urges then that you really understand your needs and work through- and she helps you to do that in the book- better, cheaper, smarter strategies, to fulfill the needs. A better strategy?- Your need for health may be achieved less expensively by walking, buying used equipment to work out at home, etc. Relationships would then be unmet. What about a volunteer organization, attending church, helping at your kids’ school, working with animals? What about being the house to party and inviting folks over for a potluck game night? The needs are real. You have to address them with logic and reason. You don’t have to spend to meet them, friend. Link to book through Amazon:
This finance basic is some of the most important aspects of your financial life and benefits from monitoring, even if you have already pretty set on your answers. How to you determine risk? – There are several approaches. One is to ask yourself how would you feel if the value of your portfolio went down by 20%? By 40%? Are you a risk-taker by nature? In some financial respects are you conservative and then in others more aggressive? Do you prefer less volatility but are you willing to endure some for better gains than little volatility and little gain? To use multi-questioned risk test to try to be scientific in your planning do a general search online and type in ‘determine investment risk.’ Many links will be available that will help you guage with some objectivity your risk profile. Goals- One of the most difficult things about finance is balancing the needs of the future with the concerns and dreams of today and limited cash. If all your money goes towards paying down debt and you aren’t using the awesomeness of compounding to save for your future, I think that is not a great choice. But what about a new car, or buying a camp and saving for the kids and college? One way to figure out your goals is to break them down to short-term, intermediate-term and long-term goals. With compounding, a relatively small amount of money saved early can help you reach your long-term goals, so beginning very early is a big help. While you are doing that you can set aside money for the short-term goals and as you achieve them you can move into saving or working toward the intermediate goals. Budgets are limited. Pick the most important goals in the various time categories and address them first. Add more if you can. Revisit these basics, your risk tolerance and goals. Time moves. Life changes. As will your life situation. Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Take care of you- As parents it is easy, it is your heart, to give all you have for your child. It hurts your heart when they struggle physically, in every way. So the temptation is to take away all pain by sacrificing your own welfare, your strength, everything you have for your child.That philosophy of total self-sacrifice is terrible in developing strength for your growing child. It creates a weak and needy person when what you want is to bring up a resilient, caring, strong individual. Â Â Â So, first, take care of your future. As an example of your worth and to make sure that in your retirement you can live independently. Saving for education- There are at least three tools that can be used for your childâ€™s education. These vary in how they are taxed, in who has control of the assets. They all have pros and cons and to get a better understanding of what might be the best choice for you, speak with an advisor or do your homework.529- Tax-deferred savings in which the participant has control and used for almost all post-secondary education from pursuing a medical degree to a trade school. In the State of Maine the accounts are called NextGen. Available either on your own â€“ the paperwork is given to you at the hospital or birthing center or available with more investment options though an advisor these accounts limit a childâ€™s control. And with some teenagers, you know that can be a benefit.Joint savings accounts- Held at a brokerage or through your local financial institution, a joint account allows a child to access the money sometimes before youâ€™d like them to have it and for purposes unplanned. Taxes are paid each year on the growth in these accounts. You have lots of flexibility in its management. Roth accounts- IRAs can be used for â€˜qualified higher education expenses.â€™ I am not a tax expert but these withdraws are free of penalty in the event they do not exceed the expenses, they are used for the account owner or the account owners spouse, child, or grandchild, even your spouseâ€™s grandchild.There are many more details that these few minutes cannot probe, As I said before, speak to an expert or do your homework before deciding on what strategy works best for you.Citation:http://www.money-zine.com/Financial-Planning/College-Loan/Saving-for-College-via-Roth-IRA/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. (CR9047)
There are philosophies and then strategies that people use in the investing. Each of them have pros and cons and since there is no certain method to make money all the time, as investing involves risk, you and your advisor may use several of these strategies or may even have your won less well-known method. Any strategy needs to be a good choice for you, for your risk tolerance and your goals and objectives. Market timing – can be anything from day trading, trading on today’s news or news over a short time horizon to trend trading seeking to move with economic conditions. Market timing seeks to predict the future direction of a single stock or the market or economic conditions world-wide or domestically.Asset allocation- is method of spreading investments over different ‘classes’ of investments, such as bonds, stocks and cash. As with all investing any asset allocation should be done based on your risk. The mix may depend on your time in life, your need for income or safety, etc. Buy and hold – This strategy can be used with asset allocation or any of the other strategies. It is a passive investment strategy, meaning it is hands-off. You make a purchase and you hold it for a long time.Dollar-cost averaging – this is a strategy in which you buy systematically or without real concern for the lows and highs of an investments price. Sometimes the cost may be higher, and at other times in economic dips, the price may be a bargain. But it is the regular contribution that helps balance the cost out in the end. This is one of the strategies used if you invest regularly in your work’s retirement plan.Value investing- is another investing strategy in which you look for underperforming sectors or stocks that you believe, because of various equations or ratios, may eventually produce a good return. This strategy seeks to find a bargain others may not see to capture short-term or long-term eventual rise from the bargain price paid for the stock to the hopefully higher sale price some time later.These are just some of the strategies used by professional investors and advisors. Citations:
Set a budget- Know what you want to spend before you start making arrangements. Don’t pay later because you weren’t disciplined at the start. You can have a beautiful vacation with a great attitude and your creativity. But everything with me always starts with a financial plan.Ask for suggestions- Talk to friends, post on a social media site and investigate web sites that feature reviews to get interesting and cost-savings ideas that will make this vacation the best ever.Check deals on travel often- Staying flexible on dates usually according to experts, allows you best chance for less expensive bookings. And airline booking sites often allow you to ‘check the ‘flexible dates’ box’ that will search for the cheapest flights. Though many experts say that leaving on one weekend day or another is no longer a cost-saving option mid-week flights can be cheaper. Choose a theme- One travel site suggested that planning a trip may be easier and less expensive if you plan your trip around a theme. Theme such as walking trip, focusing on history or foodLodging – We live in Vacationland. Surely you can put a friend’s family up for a bit of time this summer? If so, maybe you can visit their region, too. For other inexpensive lodging ideas try smaller hotels, housing swaps through agencies that manage the arrangements, or camping.All-inclusive fixed-price options such as cruises, resorts offer you a one price for all meals and some fun. Citations:
Traditional Investments – are vehicles such as stocks, bonds or cash.Why do people use Alternative Investments? – are popular because they have a ‘low correlation’ to traditional investments. Meaning that each investment type react differently in various economic conditions. In a time of inflation stocks and bonds differently than one another and alternative investment behave differently than both vehicles. Meaning alternative investments behave uniquely to conditions such as supply and demand, growth with or without inflation and recessionary periods.What are alternative investments?- Commodities, such as gold, managed futures, commercial or foreclosed real estate, equipment leasing, foreign currencies, oil and gas. Typically alternative investments have been available to only ‘qualified investors’ or high net worth individuals.But because of the growing popularity of alternative investments and the correlation with other asset classes some mutual funds are including alternatives in their funds. Ask your advisor if alternative investments are suitable for you. But ultimately you need to have some familiarity about these terms even when you work with a professional because it’s YOUR money.Citations:
Caution goes far in keeping your good name.Shred – you may know this, but anything with personal information should be shredded. That includes bank statement, credit card statements, driver’s license renewal forms. Some experts recommend that you be aware of when your mail is delivered, or get a post office box, so that you can be assured that your mail is delivered safely. Monitor – when your mail comes Credit reports Statements Financial institution activity Credit vs. debit- Generally for stolen credit card information you are only liable for $50. Debit cards are another matter and you need to notify your financial institution quickly. CHECK with your institution to find out if they have services to alert you to ATM withdraws, if a charge over a particular value- that you stipulate- is made, and if there is a change of phone number or address. Learn more about identity theft from Federal Trade Commission site:
With yourself- You’ve got to get things straight in your own mind about your money. Whether it’s because you wrestle with emotions and spend out of guilt or entitlement, or you allow fear to be your money guide, you have to be clear and, hopefully, balanced in your practices with money before you have any tough conversation. So take yourself out for dinner and adult beverages and have a long chat with yourself.With your partner- Don’t forget you love one another when you have this talk about money with your honey. Talk about your personal financial ‘personality’, what your money tendencies are, and what makes you feel safe. Share your goals and dreams – and remember you love each other. Meet out at a restaurant if it will help keep the mood less intense. And remember that you can always have a chat like this at the office of your financial advisor who can talk about basic budgets and the general percentages used for various expense categories. With your children – If the kids are little, regular conversations about money can be part of learning arithmetic, consumer math or important life lessons such as budgeting. The conversations with adult children may be to help them understand your willingness or ability to help them with certain financial goals, or to help them transition from a time of some parental support to being on their own. It could also occur as you age and you set up more detailed estate planning.With your parents- Emotions can infringe on all these conversations, but balancing your concern with respect is critical when speaking with your parents. This conversation may more often be had with women as they live longer than men and often spend years alone. They may be financially savvy or not. It may be helpful to speak with a third-party to help the conversations be directed on finances. Life is full of surprises, and some them stink. So your parents may have been sidetracked- as may you be – by unexpected trials of life. Their present situation may be rolled up with emotions as they sort through their future. Be respectful and do not be patronizing and remember love, kids. Citations:
Who do you love, my friend? Valentine’s Day is this week and sometimes we are looking to someone else to love us. Since this is a finance segment I want you to treat yourself with respect and make your finances one of your missions. Our challenges-1.) We are very cognizant of the day-to-day details of our finances and can’t always ‘get the vision’ for future planning. We scrimp and save and don’t always see that relatively small amounts of money can make a difference over the years with compounding interest.2.) We tend to think of others first and give our money to the kids, both when they are little and even when they are big. In doing so we are most definitely short-changing our selves and teaching our daughters and granddaughters some out-of-balance lessons on self care.3.) We live longer than men but overwhelmingly save less for our retirement. Overwhelmingly.4.) We are in and out of the workplace for family needs.What are you going to DO?You have to KNOW that you are important enough to get care and you may only have yourself to provide it.You’ve GOT TO save for the future. You’ve got to stop giving everything to the kids and set an example of wisdom and worth to your daughters and granddaughters. If THEY were giving everything away and not taking care of their futures, you would be on them like I don’t know what!GET help and work with someone who has the ‘heart of a teacher,’ so you can grow in knowledge and be part of your future planning.A man’s not a financial plan, chickie poo. Step up and be your own hero.Marion Syversen, MBANorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Time to get cozy with your money and have a great, but simple plan for its overall control.Save automatically- ‘Save more’ is a typical New Year’s resolution. And it’s a great one. But it has to made specific with some kind of plan. Right now, after you’re done watching me, and if you don’t already have one, set up an account for saving money and define your weekly, bi-monthly or monthly contributions. You’ll save $100 by actually doing things to make it happen. So, do it, right?Track it – all – Impulse buying is the scourge of many well-intentioned folks. It’s hard to take control of your money if you don’t realize how much you are spending on ice-fishing equipment, or how much the care and feeding of your other hobbies add up to. If you track ALL spending, you will see what the real numbers are for the horses, or the boat or the kids sports activities or, whatever you are doing.Use a system – Numbers are great but I prefer graphs and charts so I can SEE the relationship to various types of expenses or savings compared to the whole. A pie chart for me is terrific as I can see what’s budgeted for various categories and see if things are weighted too heavily with a glance. If your financial institution offers something, plug into that. But there are many free online options, such as Mint.com and others to help you see what’s going on with your money.Retirement – SAVE – Saving more’ also means saving for retirement. And if you sign up to either begin a savings program, or to increase your current savings, you will be in better shape for 2013 than 2012. Go, team!Savings made cozy – One really great suggestion I read was to remember how well sometimes seemingly silly things motivate us. The writer of one article said that if you have a savings goal use crayons to fill in a bar graph that helps you see the progress and make a chart for the fridge so you can be impressed and happy with your progress. Whatever works for you, smelly stickers, a latte, lunch out for your great job, that helps you be rewarded besides the reward we get from the intrinsic value of the progress. It’s okay to be cozy and to have fun.So, be cozy and take control. Citation: