No amount of money can buy back your past and no amount of emotion and regret can fix anything. Here we are. What now?Where am I? – Look around. Where are you on your money path? Do you argue about money with the person you love? Are you on track for a good future? Do you make a good living but have little to show for it? Are you generally on the path but slipping into the ditch? There is NO JUDGEMENT in evaluation. Be as factual and unemotional about this as you can be so you can get a truer sense of what’s really happening. Speak to yourself as you would someone you LIKE.Evaluate your past/present – In the same kind and non-judgemental way, evaluate past and present actions that may have helped, or hindered, your progress on the good path you have mapped out. Do you spend to feel better? Do you gamble or take a lot of risks? Can you financially sustain this direction? Are you contend with your actions and feeling confident, or at least at peace, with your behavior?X marks the future- Like a pirate seeking the treasure, aim with purpose towards your destination! Reality may compel you to adjust what future you had previously mapped. That’s how life works, kids. The future isn’t something ANYONE knows with certainty. It is always speculation. So realistically adjust as needed.Do the work- Now get a move on. If you were physically walking on a path you would get blisters, need new sneakers, get tired, hungry and thirsty. Proceeding on your money path will take work, too.Please remember, you will make the best progress if you are kindly realistic with yourself in your evaluation and planning. Citations:
I don’t love travel, so destination vacation planning is not an area of expertise. But I am frugal. Planning is a key to saving money. Plan your budget- If traveling is important to you, you’ve got to plan your budget. You won’t be able to travel frequently if you don’t save ahead, be diligent while away to track your spending and communicate with each other so you can creatively eat. Lodge and play.Prioritize- What’s the most important part of the vacation? Sun, food, touring the sites, or specific activities such as riding horses, archeology, hiking, shopping or golf? Make your budget with the priorities in mind.Who do you know? – If you are planning on visiting a city and you have friends in the area, perhaps they can give you some idea of good places to stay and eat that are a great buy.Six months ahead- One travel site suggested that for great rentals plan six-months ahead. Those of you who travel regularly know the importance of planning better than I. Deals- we all hear about folks who didn’t plan or who purposely waited till the last minute and were able to get GREAT deals because of last minute bargains.Web/Blogs- start early to read what others are doing, where they are staying and how they are saving money. If you have kids, find other parents who have traveled to your destination or who simply have great ideas for amusing kids of all ages.Citation:
One of you may be very committed to handling money and the other is less engaged, less connected. How do successful couples talk about money?Understand what’s going in the family finances. How much is being saved and how much has accumulated in the savings and investment accounts?Participate- Actively engage in the discussion. Pay attention, ask questions, give your opinion. IT COUNTS and IT MATTERS so please SHARE it!Objectives- If you are now participating make sure you agree with the goals that have been established. Communication is an imperfect medium. Even when you think you’ve been understood, we have biases that inadvertently influence our hearing. And on the topic of finance it’s an already complicated subject. So patiently make your thoughts and views part of the future plan.Learning- keep learning. New studies on how couples work even better together with their money, learn about interests that you have in finance of about money, get books or activities for your kids and learn as they learn.Paper- where’s the important paper kept? Where is account information, accountant, advisor, attorney contact information? Stay active and engaged in the process of your money!Citation:https://guidance.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement-questions-for-couplesMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Women. We are wonderful and clever, and beautiful, and we are balancer of many ‘plates.’ As women we face unique challenges in our money and retirement: we live long, we spend a bit of our aging single, we frequently have lower retirement incomes and we also have responsibilities of caring for others. MetLife conducted a study and they called it, “Women, Retirement and the Extra-Long Life.’ The study examined what 50-70 year-old women are thinking and doing about their finances for retirement. This study may not directly show exactly how YOU think, but it generally shows what women may think. And generally women don’t know where to start when it comes to calculating what we will need for retirement. Neither the income we will need , nor the expenses we might expect. Because of this confusion and lack of more concrete calculation, we tend not have enough saved and then to have to postpone retirement because we don’t have enough money. Another issues unique to women, we live longer IN retirement. It means our savings have to last longer.Women views need to get a good understanding of what they will need and even want for income in retirement and have concrete plans – as far as it lies with you- to achieve those goals.One way suggested in the study: Women do much better when we work as a team with either a partner or an advisor. If you are, like many women, concerned about your money, do something, COMMUNICATE- talk with someone, someone with whom you are COMPATIBLE, and develop a plan. The result will be CONFIDENCE in your future. You will feel SO much better!Citations: http://www.metlife.com/mmi/research/women-retirement-extra-long-life.html#findingsMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
I recently read about a SUBSCRIPTION service that uses ‘proprietary analytics and behavioral research’ to help folks grow their savings.There are services recently popping up that are using unique software to provide online assitence to you about your money. They are meant to help you learn about your money without being able to give YOU your own unique financial plan.Many of these programs rely on income for their own businesses from advertizers. Large banks and other institutions who cross sell their products, be it mortgages, credit cards, cd’s, etc., to the folks using the free site.HelloWallet is slightly different in that it charges an monthly subscription fee of $8.95 a month is a means to connect you and your money in the every day of spending and budgeting. HelloWallet focuses on cash flow For those in the audience who have this financial segment under control, you might consider this kind of tool for the college students and twenty-somethings in your life who won’t necessarily listen to your sage and learned advice. The system attempts to one professional magazine, ‘encourage savings’ and has an iPhone app with an Android version coming out soon.The things that make it a help to folks is that is creates a picture of what your savings will be in ten years, for instance, if you keep on this track. If you save $100 a month at age thirty and think you’ll retire a millionaire at 55, this gently taking you though method will make the reality graphic. The categories covered for subscribers are tools to help you be knowledgable about increasing savings, a get out debt tool and “individual advice’ on the state of your net worth. If you, or someone you love, wants to feel more engaged with their money this tool might help.HelloWallet.comMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
In this week’s “Finance is Fun” Marion Syversen joined Carolyn Callahan on TV5 News at Noon to talk about maximizing your retirement income.Start - start as early as possible. Compound interest works to our advantage the earlier we begin to save. So the earlier that retirement savings can begin, the better. Small amounts contributed early can really make a BIG impact on your futue. But if you didn’t start early, please START!Lumps of cash- When you have cash flow bonanzas, add the money to the retirement pot. Chunks of money help build up the retirement savings more quickly. So when you can squeeze money out of places, please DO.Choose the right account- The Motley Fool writes that there are eleven different types of IRA. Choose the account type that is right for your needs. If you need help, speak with a professional.Free money- If you have access to matching funds through a retirement plan at work or for your business, maximize your contributions to get those funds. You don’t usuallyqualify for the money unless you participate in the plan, so please participate.Think streams- Most people have several sources of eventual retirement income, from rental property to Social Security to pensions to annuities and IRAs. Develop a view that plans for those streams. Put your thinking cap on and plan your delicious future.Don’t give up- This is not a straight shot to done. There are many stumbling blocks along the way. Many. So, keep on keeping on and please don’t give up. Citations:Article- http://www.wthr.com/story/15588350/how-to-maximize-your-retirement-incomeIRAs- http://www.fool.com/money/allaboutiras/allaboutiras02.htmDisclosure: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. Information is for educational purposes only and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.
Performance- Performance is key to most investors. To men, it is the most important criteria in judging an advisor( 56% of men say this is what matters most and 84% of men with over $5million in assets rank performance most critical.). More than 60% of women surveyed ranked relationship and investment performance as equally important. The great wealth the greater the importance of performance to an investor. With 69% of investors saying they would consider switching to another advisor for poor performance.Relationship- having a ‘rewarding’ relationship is important to investors. Many advisors believe that relationship is key,’ but as we just mentioned, performance is actually more key. Obviously, a good relationship is important as there will be no transparency of your goals and concerns without a strong relationship in which you are accepted but challenged, in charge but educated and in which your family concerns are respected. Information- My clients are looking to me to sift through economic and business data and given them my perspective on what I think is happening in the world of finance, nationally and globally. Then use this information with their goals and and other financial concerns to make decisions for their families.When you are choosing an advisor keep these traits in mind. Citation:http://www.fa-mag.com/component/content/article/79.html?issue=35&magazineid=1&itemid=27
The last several years have been marked by volatility in the stock market and the value of your investments. One week up 700 point and the next week down 600. With all the movement, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Dow Jones ended up 5.5% and S & P was down .04% So what might you keep in mind if 2012 is similar? Your goals- investing, planning of any kind, all boils down to your goals, your dreams, your risk tolerance, your time horizon. There is no ONE rule for investing because it is an individual model made just for you. So, be clear on what you want to accomplish.The investments- Every investment has a risk, a purpose is a type of instrument. Does the investment match you and our needs? Is the investment a long-term retirement instrument when you are saving for a camp and will need the money in two years? Can the investment and it’s risk be quantified? Are there resources to learn more about it so you can feel a level of understanding about it? Allocation- In volatile markets diversification may be an option. Since there is no ONE answer for your needs this may be a good choice for you. You really need to know yourself to know the best choice for you. Discipline yourself- If your time horizon is long, once you are settled in the investment you think is best, try to stay your course for longer than the first sudden downturn. Keep your goals and vision in mind and stay disciplined. Everyone needs to follow these rules, even financial professionals, because we have feelings, too. Citations:Indicies: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120103-705666.html
New year brings resolutions to be better with our money. And here are some of the top resolutions Fidelity investments found in a recent survey.#1- Save more- 46% of respondents in a growing trend, according to Fidelity, are want to double their annual saving from last year’s goal of $1,200 to $2,400. Breaking that down that is $200 a month. Increasing how much they save is a top priority in the survey. Retirement saving is the savings priority of 62% of the respondents, whether through a work plan or their own IRA.#2 – Spend less. This remains a top resolution for those surveyed year after year.#3- Pay off debt jumped to third place on the priority list of resolution. Last year paying off debt was in the number 7 position but increased concerns of a unstable economy has folks ‘putting their financial houses in order,’ according to the survey. The previous #3 resolution was to make a budget.I want you to know what others are doing so you can see where you stand with peers. If you think that yours is the only family not as strong in financial savvy as your friends or neighbors, you could feel isolated and defeated. When what you need is the vision to make great changes for your financial health. Citations:
Here are 10 resolutions to make 2012 even better than 2011.Get Your Credit Reports- Check all three reports at once from- www.ANNUALCREDIT REPORT.com or call 1.877.322.8228 or contact the separate agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.Check Beneficiaries and Update records- is your ex still listed as your beneficiary? Show the family where you keep the important papers. Check passwords and all bank, legal papers & investment accounts to ensure proper title and timeliness.Check your investments + Up your contributions – If you haven’t had a review with your advisor, at least review your investments. And then consider getting another advisor. If possible make a larger annual contribution for 2012. Make sure you are on the path to your retirement goal, as far as it lies with you.Tweak your budget – you DO have a budgetâ€¦? Tell me you have a budget! Make sure things are as you planned and adjust accordingly for 2012 and expected goals and dreams. Learn from your mistakes- We are none of us perfect or doing all life as we hope to do. So where can you improve? What things need to be changed or adjusted. Take the time to MAKE the CHANGES.Talk about the family’s priorities with your peeps – Listen and discuss where you and the family hope to be as you plan 2012. You can’t control the future and these plans will change, but the New Year is an opportunity to refocus and fine-tune your financial life for an even more beautiful 2012.Happy New Year!Citations:
Philanthropy- is private contributions to humanity, vs. business or government contributions. It is according to Webster “an act or gift done for humanitarian purposes.Who?- Anyone can practice philanthropy. Frequently we use the word to mean giving by foundations or endowments. They give many thousands, even millions, of dollars to museums, schools, camperships, the hospital and other ‘non-profit’ organizations. But anytime you give. And according to one article, two-thirds of Americans gave in 2008. Why? – We give because we remember being in a tough spot ourselves and want to relieve the pain for others. We give to have a tax break. We give to feel a sense of satisfaction. These are some of the many reasons to give but there are still needs this Christmas and there is still time to give. Many organizations such as the Good Shephard Food pantry, Manna, and Penquis’ Christmas is for Kids need your help especially at this time of year. But there are other places that could also use your help.Make sure you do your research on the organization but make the season more lovely with your philanthropy. Citations:
Living on one income is sometimes a choice we make so we can make our family a priority. Sometimes it is an option thrust upon us. In any case the best thing to do is reframe the situation to focus on the blessings of this time and things we can do.Unlimited budget- Everyone has to prioritize their spending, they just may have more vacations than you. We all have to decide what expenditure is critical to our life. Just like a healthy lifestyle, we all have to be aware of how we are balancingYou may be saving simply by being home- Since you are home you may not be paying for childcare, gas, or as new a car. You may be shopping for work clothes less, eating out less or buying more expensive, prepared food because someone is home. Those costs may be offset to some extent by the cost of heating the house all day now that someone is home.Prioritize – You need to prioritize your spending. Your finances boil down to money coming in and money going out. You need to prioritize what’s going out. See what expenses can be cut from the budget. Simplify other costs by good planning. If there was only one horse and buggy the family made the trip to town less often. Save money by making lists and running errands in batches. Make lists for shopping. Plan ahead for meals. These little changes cut out some of the fat of spending. Barter- can you trade or share with other families? Can one person snowplow for you and you share something from your garden with them? Think creatively and see all the positive things you do enjoy!Forget the Jones’- you won’t have the same lifestyle of those families with two incomes. Keep your eyes out of their business and remember your blessings. Count them out loud with the family if it will help you keep your eyes on more beneficial things!Remember, life is what it is. You either chose this lifestyle because of various reasosn, or it was thro=ust upon you. In any case, life is beautiful and you have another day to celebrate it today!Citations:
What to do with money that came in beyond your paycheck? Let’s talk! It could be a bonus, or an overpayment returned to you. Whatever it is, and depending on how much, here are some tips for you.How much- If the amount was small, for instance, less than $50, your options are less than if the amount is $5,000. You may have suspected that this money was coming and you may already have a plan, but it may be a silly plan. So I want to suggest a few options for you. Do the right thing- You know what that means: pay down or off, credit cards first. Why? Because that will make everyday life less stressful. You could also make a little emergency pile for a rainy day. I know this sounds like your grandmother talking, but that’s because peace of mind last a really long time and being financially cozy is peace of mind. It sounds boring but it’s still good for you.If it’s enough to do the first two things, perhaps you could do some planning for a cozy future, when unexpected money is less likely and when your income has stopped. Just a thought to make your future brighter. Have fun- with a bit of the funds, have fun. Whether modest fun or a blow-out- depending on how much unexpected money you received, have a celebration. Citation:http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/unexpected-income-windfall/ Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
What’s a financial advisor(FA)? Anyone who helps folks with money is often mistakenly called a financial advisor. Actual financial advisors though are people who have passed a test to make them licensed professionals who can advice you on investments and aspects of money.What do FA do? FA can advise and manage an individual or business’ investments, brokerage accounts. They may make a written plan for you. Once licensed, each advisor has a business model that may differ from other advisors as they pursue their talents and interests in finance.Why should you work with an advisor? We’ve seen a lot of similar issues that you are managing and we focus on helping people with their plans, getting priorities squared away on retirement, college planning, paying off debt and other critical issues. Many of us are good at our job and offer real value. How much does it cost to work with a FA? It depends on the advisor. Some advisors charge to create a plan. Some advisors will speak with you generally about how you might proceed about a particular circumstance. Ultimately, there’s only so much pro bono work one can do because one needs to make a living. Money under management – which is when your investments are managed by the advisor has an annual fee. So, you might pay for a plan and an annual fee. It is different with each advisor so ask.How much do I need to work with an advisor? It depends on the advisor. Some have no minimum and others prefer to work with high-end clients only. Once again, you’ll need to ask.I’m frugal and I like to do things inexpensively. But I think experts are important and worth their fee. I work hard for my money and I need my money to work hard for me so I think having an expert is the frugal way to go as we are busy with life. Your money deserves to have someone whose focus in helping your money grow and working with you to get to your goal. Citation:http://www.financialadvisor.net/faq.htmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Major life events can be great of they can make you feel a little nervous. Job loss is a nervous event. Let’s see what I can do to come up with a strategy.Get the big picture- What’s your status? What do you have coming in from other sources of income such as savings or from unemployment? What do you owe and where can you cut spending right now? Eating out, movies, other ways you pay for entertainment need to be closely scrutinized.Prioritize the bills- You know what matters when the ground feels a bit shaky from the job loss? Shelter matters. Food matters. Figure out minimum payments and bills that can be deferred. Making calls to defer payment of change a payment plan is necessary so don’t put it off and communicate with the people you owe. Don’t add debt- if at all possible, don’t add more debt. If you must add debt do it for really good reasons and not that your depressed so let’s go buy something.Be creative- ask around and see if you can secure part-time or seasonal work if full-time work is not possible. Be creative with family fun. This I a tough time and fun can be really good medicine. So invite folks over for a potluck dinner and play games or watch old movies and laugh. Your character really shows in tough times. Make it beautiful.Citations:Ameriprise
The stock market has been volatile. It may continue in that pattern, or not. If we knew the future with certainty it wouldn’t involve risk. So what do you need to do, or what should you do with your advisor?Where are you? How are you doing? Are your investments up of down? With weekly swings of hundred points on the Dow Jones Industrial Average how your investments are doing today could be very different than how they were doing last week.Your Goals- How do your investments compare to your goals? If you are an aggressive investor and your portfolio is swinging up and down, that may be expected. If you are a moderate or conservative investor you may or may not see your investments moving a great deal. The Economy- Now consider the overall economy in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and around the world. Every economy has downward pressures and risks, such as political situations and credit risk, as well as areas of growth such as consumer spending and company profits. In every economy there are reasons to hope and to fear. Depending on how you see it will your investment strategy be determined.Your View- So how do you see things going forward? Do you see individual businesses pushing ahead in difficult times or will the economy come to a screeching halt with Will Smith walking down a dusty road and our food being eating from dumpsters? Your risk tolerance, goals and other financial questions are the essential elements in figuring out how to position your 401k. Your investments probably provide you with options that offer you a variety of investments for you. Take a look and answer these questions to make your decisions. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Some of you mat remember Consurmer Credit Counseling. This national non-profit agency helped thousands of people working with creditors when they faced job losses, illness or other reasons to be in financial trouble. They are now called Money Management International and they offer web-based information on practical financial issues.I thought I’d show you their site to help you figure out your net worth.
In my web travels I ran into this financial literacy test, which teaches you things as it quizzes you. Thought our viewers might like to see how they score.Whatâ€™s a credit report?Who insures your stocks Â in the stock market?Federal law gives you three days to cancel the purchase of a new or used car from the dealer?Negative financial information can stay of a credit report (including bankruptcy) for â€“ years?By using â€˜unit pricingâ€™ you can compare brands and packages in the store. (true or false)The â€˜rule of 72â€™ tells you how long it takes to double your money. (True or false) Whatâ€™s a credit report?Â Â Â A credit report is a payment and loan history kept by a credit bureau. Your history determines your credit score, which determines your interest rate for additional loans, and may be used when seeking employment or insurance. Who insures your stocks Â in the stock market? No on. Agencies such as the FDIC, the SEC or the U.S. Treasury fill roles, but investing involves risk. Federal law gives you three days to cancel the purchase of a new or used car from the dealer? (True or false) FALSE. This is a discretionary benefit given to you by certain dealers. Negative financial information can stay of a credit report (including bankruptcy) for â€“ years? Accurate negative information can stay on your report for seven years and bankruptcy can stay on a report for ten years.Â By using â€˜unit pricingâ€™ you can compare brands and packages in the store. (true or false) TRUE. Unit pricing is a tool for comparing various brands by the same UNIT, a pound, an ounce or a foot. The â€˜rule of 72â€™ tells you how long it takes to double your money. (True or false) TRUE. To use the â€œRule of 72,â€ divide 72 by the interest rate youâ€™re getting. For example, if you deposit $3,000 into an account with a 2% interest rate, divide 72 by two. The answer–36–tells you that you will double your money in 36 years: in 36 years, you will have $6,000.Citation:http://www.getthebearessentials.com/downloads/TCU-Financial-Literacy-Quiz.pdfMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952[ mailto:Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com ]Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videos[ http://www.norumbegafinancial.com/ ]WWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Vote Norumbega Financial for Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm at [ http://www.bestofsurveys.com/vote-poll.html ]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.
Income and expenses, inflows and outflows, it’s the basics of money talk. If you were a business figuring out on paper your income and expenses has an official name. it’s an Income Statement. Sometimes this may be also be called a profit and loss statement.Profit and Loss Statement- In its simplest form you total all revenues, or money you’ve earned and subtract expenses from the earnings. Money really boils down to this very simple income minus expense equation. If want to change the bottom line, or what remains by increasing it, you have two options:Increase earnings – besides working more hours, or getting a job that may pay better, your could sell things you no longer need. Do you have a hobby that you love like carpentry, baking, decorating? One or two jobs every few weeks could add to your household bottom line.Cut expenses -First figure out what you spend your money on and think of better options. Though rent and utilities are typical cost drivers, consider even perceived smaller costs such as snacks, coffee and those pesky other habits like drinks with pals or smoking. If you can socialize less expensively you could cut a few dollars that could add up on your bottom line.Citations:http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-ExpensesMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Finance may be fun, but sometimes life can be unexpected or just really hard. If you face a major illness your family could face some serious financial problems. Here are a few ideas that may help in this crisis.Plan- some financial institutions refer to it as Plan B. Plan A is that life will be great and no one will become injured or hurt. But what if things don’t go according to the plan? Thinking about what to do is something. But actually planning is better still. Have the conversation!Insurance- Major medical insurance coves part of the medical expenses of any hospital care you might need. Worker’s comp is income replacement insurance if you are injured while on the job. Disability insurance may be offered at your workplace and it would provide income replacement if you are hurt outside of work, in the course of working around the yard, playing in summer or winter, working on the car.Face the reality- Whatever problem has occurred, face it head-on and begin piece by piece to get control of your life and then your finances. Set priorities – LIFE is the most important gift, the bills need to be paid but get life under control. Make a budget for the additional expenses. Let folks know what you need. It will be okay. You will get through this. Many other people in this community have lived through tough setbacks and have got back up. You have people who love you, folks who are cheering you on and you are strong! Citations:Plan B