How to Create a Pet Estate Plan

Pets

As a pet parent, you know how important it is to plan for your four-legged family members in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away. Who will take care of them and where will they go?

Pet Orphans: What Will Happen to Your Pets When You Die?

About 65 percent of American households include one or more pets, and if yours is one of them, you know that your pets are family. And like the rest of your family, they deserve for you to make them part of your estate plan.

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The Best Options For Your Old 401k(s) – A Step-by-Step Guide

The Best Options For Your Old 401k

So, how many different companies have been at in your working career? If you’re like most people today, you’ve probably switched jobs at least a couple times. It seems like some people can switch every six months while others can stay for years.

Regardless, it’s extremely rare to see someone who stays with the same employer for life. Things have certainly changed from the baby boomer generation.

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The Best Personal Finance Tips When Changing Jobs

The Best Financial Tips When Changing Jobs

Congratulations, you landed a new job! Hopefully, it’s the job of your dreams or at least a lot better than your previous one.

Now that you’ve said “I do” to your new employer, it’s now time to tackle the financial things to do when changing jobs. Don’t worry, the list isn’t overwhelming (although we certainly understand the stress of moving and changing jobs), but many of these items are time sensitive and could have a major impact if not handled correctly.

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The Dirty Little Secrets to 401k Loans

Dirty Secrets of 401k Loans

Now that the holidays are over, it’s back to reality. For many – hopefully, not you – it means paying off all the debts you racked up from your extremely generous giving. Let’s just hope you had already budgeted for it and you were merely using your credit card to get the free rewards.

Regardless of whether you have debt or not, sometimes, unknowns pop up in our lives where we need to get access to money. If you don’t have it sitting in a savings account – which I’m sure you do if you’re an avid reader of this blog – you have to find it somewhere.

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Why I’ve Realized Giving is so much better than Receiving

Giving Better Than Receiving 1

Don’t you remember Christmas as a kid? It was awesome! For me, it was like the best day of the year – hey, I was a kid, and I was a fan of getting cool stuff.

I remember barely being able to sleep. I’d always sneak out to see if Santa had come yet, but he never did until I fell asleep and then awoke in the morning – like really early morning. I was always so amazed I missed him. I wasn’t even asleep that long, but somehow he still came, delivered presents and didn’t make a peep – or at least wasn’t loud enough to wake me up.

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The Right Way to Save for a Big Purchase

Saving for a Big Purchase

Let’s be honest, most of us all want something we don’t have at the moment. It could be a new house, a new car, a new job, a vacation, etc. And, while it’s been proven that “experiences” bring more memories than actual physical items, it doesn’t mean we still don’t want them.

Whether it’s wanting a new house, a second house, or a dream vacation, it takes money and time to get there. That means savings on your part. And, let’s face it, we’re not that good at saving money. Most of us specialize in spending money – and we’re quite good at it.

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The Right Way to Get out of Debt

The Right Way to Get out of Debt 1

With the record amount of debt in the U.S. today, you would think it’s a just part of being a citizen. As sad as that sounds, it’s true. And, it’s not like our government is setting a great example with the millions of dollars it adds to its books every single day.

But trust me when I say this; going into debt isn’t what the cool kids are doing. Debt sucks. It’s a burden and can do irrefutable damage to not only one’s credit but more importantly, to one’s overall lifestyle.

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Five Financial Apps That Will Make Your Life More Efficient

Financial Apps That Will Make Your Life Better

It’s that time of the year again where budgets get thrown out the door, and we start spending money like it’s our job. And, while you would think that an article like this would be better suited for January, I thought I’d take a different approach.

Instead of giving you useful financial tips and apps after you’ve done all of your Christmas spending, I want to give you some tips prior to seeing if any of them might stick. While it’s probably just a shot in the dark, I like to think of it as my gift to you this holiday season – sorry, it’s all I have in the budget.

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If Your City Lands Amazon HQ2, How Will it Affect You?

Amazon HQ2

In case you haven’t heard, Amazon is looking for a second headquarters. Now, why they need a second headquarters hasn’t exactly been explained, but they just do. Apparently, it’s kind of a big deal.

If the city you live in qualified to put in a bid, then it’s very likely they did just that. I haven’t actually come across any cities who met Amazon’s requirements, but didn’t actually put in a bid… although I would be very interested in learning why, since it would no doubt make them the outlier.So, what are these requirements that Amazon put out there?

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Why Your Credit Report Controls Your Financial Life

Your Credit Report Controls Your Financial Life

With the Equifax date breach being announced just over a month ago, credit reports and credit scores were actually an important topic of conversation for a change. However, a month in this day and age can seem like years ago.

Now that it is almost considered old news, we’re back to our normal everyday lives and, believe it or not, that’s not thinking about our credit reports or even our credit scores. That has become old news and we’ve now moved on to the next headline.

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Why Home Ownership Shouldn’t Be The American Dream

Home Ownership Shouldnt Be The American Dream

Once we graduate college and get our first job, it seems like our next unwritten goal in life is to buy a new home. Right or wrong, that seems to be how life goes. I’m by no means saying it’s the wrong choice to make – heck I did it and still own a home – but should it really still be called the “American Dream?”

In my humble and probably subjective opinion, the answer is no. While home ownership can be an incredible feeling and certainly a feeling of “growing up,” it’s definitely not for everyone. There are plenty of pros and cons to owning a home just as there are plenty of pros and cons to renting. It’s up to each individual to determine what’s right for them.

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These Four Things Could Surprisingly Kill Your Personal Finances

These could kill your finances

We all know the old saying, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” But what does that even mean and where the heck did it come from? I can tell you for certain it definitely doesn’t apply to the world of finance.

In my world, what you don’t know can definitely hurt you. And, as bad as this is going to sound, a lot of the biggest banks in the world were built from people “not knowing.” Whether it’s hidden fees, even if they are legal (no offense, Wells Fargo), or paying interest, these seemingly little things can add up to a lot of money over time.

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How Do I Invest My Money?

How I invest my money

If you had a chance to read my blog from last week, you were enlightened to my worst investment ever. Not exactly a story I like to talk about and, for some reason, I thought I’d just tell the whole world about it—like I mentioned, probably not the best way to attract potential clients as a financial advisor.

Today, however, we’re going to take a look at what I’ve learned over the years and find out exactly how I invest my money for the various goals my wife and I share. While I wish I could tell you I have some kind of crazy system that involves algorithms and lots of other cool sounding stuff, sadly, it’s really not that exciting.

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How to Become Your Own Financial Advisor

Become Your Own Financial Advisor

Like it seems for just about every service profession today if you want to go the DIY route and figure it out for yourself, just Google it and you’ll be on your way. I swear I think there is a YouTube video for just about every DIY project you’re attempting to do around the house, with some being easier than others.

While it’s not quite that easy when it comes to managing your finances or becoming your own financial advisor, it can still be done. As long as you have the time and willingness to learn, you certainly can go at it yourself. Many people handle their personal finances themselves and do a great job.

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The Worst Things About Working with a Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor Worst Things

As much as I try and paint the picture of how awesome it is to work with a financial advisor, there are a few unpleasant things that come with the territory—I know, I know, hard to believe.

We definitely try to make the experience as pleasurable as possible, but sometimes it just isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. We can be a little annoying at times asking for all the information we need. Difficult discussions come with the territory, and critical decisions have to be made about one's financial life—and that means sacrifices might have to be made in order to achieve one's goals.

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A Few Things I Don’t Really Like About Being a Financial Advisor

Dont Really Like About Being A Financial Advisor

In my last blog post, we took a look at a few of the reasons why I love my job as a financial advisor. Some of you may have been rolling your eyes about the joys I get to experience every day, but now we get real and look at a few things I’m not exactly a big fan of as a financial planner.

That’s right, it’s not always roses and unicorns every day. Sure, I do love what I do, but there definitely some things I could do without. These are only my views and don’t reflect the views of NextGen Wealth. This is me getting to the down and dirty you probably won’t hear from most advisors.

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What I Love About Being a Financial Advisor

Love Financial Advisor

Being in this type of industry can certainly have its ups and downs, but that really can be said for any industry. There are a number of things that are in my control, but then there’s also one big one that I can’t control—the stock market.

Once I learned to focus on the things that I could control with my clients, it certainly made for a more pleasant experience for everyone even though the stock market does like to test our patience every once in a while.

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What I’ve Learned about People from being a Financial Advisor

Financial advisor lessons 1

When I got into the world of financial services over 16 years ago—wow that seems odd saying—I really had no idea what I was getting into. It wasn’t like this was always my passion or I always dreamed of being a financial advisor when I grew up.

Like most people graduating from college, I was truly just looking for a job. Sure I was somewhat interested in the financial markets because of the tech boom of the late 90’s, but I didn’t know what it meant to be a financial advisor. I thought it was going to be more like what I was watching on CNBC, but that was far from the truth.

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How to Save for Retirement the Right Way

Save For Retirement The Right Way

Remember when saving for retirement used to be so easy? Yea, I don’t either because I wasn’t alive back then. However, if you were, all you had to do was work 40 years at your employer, get your pension and social security and then sail off into the retirement sunset.

Today, on the other hand, it's a totally different story. It now basically falls completely on your shoulders. There are so many questions. How much should I save in my 401k? What do I even invest in? What about a Roth IRA? The list can go on and on. Let's take it step-by-step to get you moving in the right direction so you can get to retirement – or what I like to call financial independence – sooner rather than later.

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Does Your Financial Advisor Have a Conflict of Interest?

Financial Advisor Conflict Of Interest

When I got into this industry over 16 years ago, I’ll be honest and admit I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I started the Monday after I graduated from college and was thrown into the “bullpen” and told to start studying for my exams that I was to take over the next 4 months—I won’t bore you with the details.

Once I passed those, I then went through some really terrible sales training. When I returned back to the office, I was basically told to start bringing in new clients and good luck. Seriously, that was it.

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