Cars: Buy, Lease, Rent or Zip?

One topic that believe it or not comes up with nearly every client and prospective new client, no matter their age or level of wealth, is cars.
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For younger, city-dwellers, Uber may be an excellent (and cheaper) alternative to owning.
The conversation touches upon the following:
  • Buy or lease?
  • If buying, buy for cash or take out a car loan?
  • New or used?  (I nearly always suggest used, a.k.a. “certified pre-owned”.  Remember the book, The Millionaire Next Door?)
  • If buying, how often to replace?
  • If leasing* or taking out a car loan, what is a sensible payment amount?  With a lease, buy at the end of the lease?
  • For younger people perhaps living in or near a city, is it possible to not even own a car?  And take advantage of excellent (cheaper) alternatives as needed such as renting a car, Uber, or Zipcar?
Leasing is not often my recommendation for first cars, mostly because I prefer not to add another sizable monthly outflow of cash early on in life. Early on, own a car you can afford for cash or a small loan. The future will look brighter.

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Dick Wagner & Life

In tribute to a guy definitely worth knowing about — not a rock star or Hollywood actor — but a celebrity in his own right. Richard “Dick” Wagner died this week at age 66.

Dick Wagner (no relation to me) was a luminary in the world of financial planning, dedicating his life to getting people to focus and think about their lives and the human side of their wealth. Another way to say this is, “How are you going to spend your money today and someday…for the richest life possible?”.

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Don’t Dismiss Reverse Mortgages Outright

“No way.”  That is the #1 response I hear around the topic of reverse mortgages.

reverse_mortgageBut we are coming to the end of tax time — when the idea of having access to a little extra cash would come in real handy!  At some point in our lives sooner or more likely later — due to needing to pay for healthcare, caring for an aging parent, investing in a business or simply wanting a more secure “cushion” or “rainy day fund” — we will seek out ways to get our hands on more cash.

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