Planning to Give

August is not a time we typically hear a lot about charitable giving.  Most donations occur at the very beginning or end of the year, which on top of making mid-year cash flow a challenge for nonprofits, also means that their causes are often out of sight and mind. In a race to stay front of mind with donors, giving can feel a little chaotic.  I know in my house, it’s rare to go a day without receiving a charitable request in the mail.  Community organizations, causes we’ve supported in the past, schools we attended… [read more]
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The Impact of Money Mistakes

Isn’t it the best feeling when you get a good deal?  When I get a coupon code, rebate, sale combo going or I find an amazing item on the clearance rack, the first thing I want to do is tell the next person I see about my shrewd purchase.  Nothing tops the time I found the right amount of engineered hardwood floor in the exact oak color I needed for $.90 per square foot when the big box stores wanted over $4.00.  I still brag about that and it was over five years ago. Whether… [read more]
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Beware of a New Scam Involving “Relatives” & Gift Cards

(This post was originally published on CBS’ Money Watch Blog and was written by Aimee Picchi.   The article was published on April 20, 2017.  Find the original blog here. Follow CBS MoneyWatch  & Aimee Picchi on Twitter.) In a new twist on an old phone scam, criminals are preying on family ties by asking people to buy gift cards to help relatives they falsely claim are in trouble. Criminals call victims and pose as relatives who urgently need money, according to an alert from New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Instead of asking… [read more]
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Transparency

Our American system of capitalism isn’t perfect, but the competition it creates encourages innovation, inventions and drives solutions to economic and social problems. The dark side of capitalism creates Bernie Madoff, Enron and others who use the system to their advantage.  Capitalism requires a level of skepticism on the part of consumers to keep from being taken, and at the very least, an understanding that not everyone or everything is operating on the level you think they are. Flash Boys, Michael Lewis’s book about high frequency traders, provides a great illustration.  The conduct of… [read more]
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When I’m 65

Last week I attended “Building the Bridge to Ohio Investor Education,” a community event hosted by the PBS affiliate in Dayton, OH.  The program included an opportunity to screen the documentary, When I’m 65 and discuss issues around financial planning, financial education and just how far behind so many Americans are in planning for their futures. The program was put on by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), the Investor Protection Trust, the Investor Protection Institute and the Ohio Department of Commerce, among others.  The documentary is being… [read more]
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What is Your Stress Response?

What do you do when you are worried about money? My guess is that most of us haven’t given this question a lot of thought or ever paid attention to how our behavior changes, if at all.  I happen to think about it a lot.  Between a career spent on finance, down time spent on mindfulness and yoga and many years spent on introspection in the name or personal growth, this question sits at the epicenter of my interests.  In other words, I’ve gotten pretty good (neurotic) at noticing how I feel about money and… [read more]
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Rolling with the Changes

Every year our Jones family tree comes together over the 4th of July holiday week to share hugs and conversation, and erase the physical and emotional distance that comes from living hundreds of miles apart from one another.  We look forward to this trip each year, and as we ‘kids’ have reached our late 40’s to early 60’s, and our children and grandchildren have grown up too, we’ve been great examples of the truism that life is what happens to you while you’re making plans. One sister and her husband are close to retirement age,… [read more]
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Make July 4th Your Financial Independence Day

(from CNBC’s July 1, 2016 Savings Column by Jessica Dinkler. See original post here.  Jessica is a award-winning financial journalist, contributing writer and editor covering personal finance for CNBC.com.  She is also a regular contributor and columnist for HGTV Magazine.)
There is a reason we celebrate the Fourth of July: Becoming independent more than 200 years ago was no small feat — and the same goes for millennials today who are just starting out. One in 4 young people between the ages of 21 and 34 still receive support from their parents,
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How Should I Pay?

In financial planning, a common question goes something like this. . .
  • I’m thinking of remodeling my bathroom
  • We need to have the driveway replaced
  • She’ll need a new car by the end of the year
. . . how should I pay for that? Of course, in its simplest form, the answer is always the same. With money. From there, things get slightly more complex.  Is it better to use cash on hand, pull from the investment portfolio or borrow at low interest rates?  Are there tax considerations?  Maybe it’s a blended approach of… [read more]
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Time to Make a Difference

“How you spend your money is how you vote on what exists in the world.” – Vicki Robin If I asked you what you can do to make things better at a global level, what would you say?  A few obvious things come to mind: vote, protest, donate, serve, volunteer.  I would venture to say most of us do some of these things but are still left with a desire to do more.  As we watch our leaders struggle to get things done, we wonder how we can make a difference.  It was this feeling… [read more]
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