Planting Seeds of Prosperity

As I was asking a new client to describe her earliest memory around money, she started recalling how her parents dealt with money. She remembered how often they disagreed about managing their money, how often she remembers hearing her Dad say how “you kids are going to drive us into the poor house”. She grew up in Long Island and was raised in a Irish Catholic family with 9 kids. There was a constant sense of scarcity in her life and that feeling of never having enough stayed with her as adult and permeated her relationship with money in many ways that were unconscious. At the current age of 58, and by all intents and purposes, very well off financially, she still feels, after all these years, that if she’s not careful, she’ll wind up in the “poorhouse”. Continue reading

Planning for the Prime Years of Life

With the stock market sinking daily, it’s hard for many investors to stomach the thought of putting money back into the market. That’s totally understandable. As a short-term strategy, many people are keeping their cash in money market accounts or short term savings accounts. If that helps you sleep at night, then that’s what you need to do. But eventually, things will stabilize, markets will go back up, and you’ll need to start planning for your prime years. With average life expectancy at 90, earning less than 2% on your investments over the long term is a riskier strategy than you might imagine. Continue reading

The Power of Being FI

When I first read Your Money or Your Life in 1992, the concept of transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence seemed like a worthy goal. I remember thinking and hoping I could skip the transformation work and move quickly to the financial independence part. As usual, I wanted my dessert first. As I learned soon enough, no shortcuts allowed. Now, 17 years later, and living through the worst financial crisis in a generation, I’m glad I didn’t skip dinner. Continue reading

Crunching the Numbers

For savers brave enough to review their recent investment statements, it has been a lost decade. With the booms and busts we have all lived through, money you invested in the stock market has earned you nothing, or less, in the past ten years. If it were not for the tax benefit you receive when investing in your 401k or 403b, many would have been better off keeping their money under their mattresses. Continue reading