The Cost of College

College is expensive.  As with all expensive things, planning and talking through plans – even hopes and dreams – can make the situation more affordable in the long run.

Case in point: paying for college. Back in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s when a lot of the people reading this note went to college, college was mostly affordable depending on the choice of schools. The most expensive colleges and universities cost less than $15,000 or $20,000 per year (definitely, in the 1960’s and 1970’s). Although families still struggled to pay the cost for college in lots of cases.

person writing debt on paper
Talk with your kids about debt and its implications well before they start college.

Continue reading “The Cost of College”

Waiting Out the Storm (Not Dorian)

As pockets of US East Coasters sit working and waiting out the nearly inevitable temporary loss of power due to Hurricane Dorian, I cannot help but partially relate this “wait” to a comment made recently by one of the Federal Reserve Bank Presidents. Back in August Robert Kaplan said the following about US trade policy and the markets,

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“When you have this amount of uncertainty and this frequency of changes, my reaction as a businessperson is not to speed up – it’s actually a little bit to slow down the cadence of it and maybe take a little bit more time.”* Continue reading “Waiting Out the Storm (Not Dorian)”

The Cable Bill

Here is a “fun fact” in the form of a question to ponder over the Labor Day holiday weekend: How much do you think you will need to have saved to pay your cable bill over the course of your retirement?  (Answer is below*)

First, some context. I do get questions like this one often from my smarter clients who are truly goal-oriented and who realize how breaking down various retirement (or other) goals into bite-sized pieces makes the whole “affording retirement thing” much easier. Questions like:

  • How much should we be saving monthly in order to retire or slow down someday?
  • What kind of annual income can we expect from our portfolio someday?
  • How much will we need to have saved to afford future healthcare costs? (You can substitute other costs such as cable, vacations, kids’ costs, etc.)
photo of cup near flat screen television
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Continue reading “The Cable Bill”

Urbanization…and Investing

“A new generation [both in the U.S. and globally] is flocking to cities, driving major economic and social shifts.”

According to research*, urbanization trends are impacting everything from agriculture to real estate to infrastructure. Here are a few trends cited:

  1. The next generation is creating a new generation of farms.
  2. As urbanization reduces the availability of arable land, boosting farmland efficiency is critical.
  3. Urbanites lean toward higher-nutrition, higher-value foods.
assorted vegetable lot
Remember when kale was used only as a garnish?

Continue reading “Urbanization…and Investing”

Is a Recession Coming?

Make no mistake: The media wants a recession.

How many of these items have you been bombarded about lately?

  • Inverted yield curve
  • Negative bond yields
  • Trade and Currency wars
  • “Fed Chairman Powell lacks clarity in his Q&A sessions” (talk about the ultimate throw under the bus)

A recession may or may not be coming soon. Recessions have been part of the US and global economies since the dawn of recording market data which dates to the 1920’s (with recessions dating back to the 1800’s).  Please see the accompanying chart that summarizes various scary events since 1970, several of which led to nasty recessions. Remember the Arab oil embargo?? The Dotcom bust?? Please also note the way the US stock market – which is based on a free market economy and the consumer – has recovered over time. Continue reading “Is a Recession Coming?”

Gut Check (Again) In Rocky Markets

From the archives of TGIF 2 Minutes comes a very handy message – one that still holds true 5 years later:

blue and yellow graph on stock market monitor
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

August 2014:

Have you asked yourself lately…

  • “Is this the ‘Big Dip’ in the markets they have warned about?”
  • “Should I be selling my stocks?”
  • “Should I be selling my bonds?”

Although I stress to clients and friends NOT to listen to the Talking Heads on TV, radio & internet amidst dramatic market moves —and then make rash investment decisions – we are human! It is nearly impossible to ignore completely what is going on daily in the news and markets. And the stock markets have crept down a bit over the past few weeks. (Note, in 2019 the downturns and recoveries have been often.) Continue reading “Gut Check (Again) In Rocky Markets”

Minimizing Danger to Your IRA

Last week’s topic was potential danger to IRAs contained in new legislation lingering in the Senate. Those affected would be most IRA beneficiaries including you or your kids or grand kids. The scenario would affect the lives of more than just the wealthy. Therefore, it makes sense to present a handful of ways to minimize the possible negative consequences.  Although, if the SECURE Act legislation is passed in its current form, these strategies will be even harder to come by.

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Several current solutions have been discussed in prior editions of TGIF 2 Minutes, namely using the Roth IRA, Roth 401k or 403b, or Roth IRA conversions (see the link below for quick details of various Roth strategies). Most important is to have this issue on your radar – to create a balance by using both traditional and Roth strategies TODAY side by side for diversification. Continue reading “Minimizing Danger to Your IRA”