Here’s what I’ve been reading this past week or so.
People don’t normally wake up and say “hey, I need a financial planner today”. They reach out because something in their lives triggers the need to find a resource to help them with a life transition like a job change, marriage/divorce, inheritance, and the most common, pending retirement. After years of accumulating assets, it is daunting to think about spending for 30+ years in retirement without running out of money.
The questions then become:
Do you want to figure this out alone?
Are you okay with the risk of missing a detail that may cost you in dollars or emotional energy and frustration?
Will you put in the time and effort required to ensure you are on the best path?
If the answers are yes, then this article is a good place to start. If the answers are no, then seek out a fee-only fiduciary financial planner.
Many of my clients have stock compensation as part of their overall comp. Stock compensation includes stock options, restricted stock, Employee Stock Purchase Plans (“ESPP”), and Stock Appreciation Rights (“SAR”). The tricky part of stock compensation is its effect on your taxes. To make things more complicated, each type of stock compensation effects your taxes differently. There are also additional nuances if you work for a private versus public company. Yay. Bruce Brumberg is THE resource for financial planners when it comes to stock compensation. If you have stock compensation, you should give his Forbes’s article a read.
As parents, we have been intimately involved in all of our children’s medical details and decisions. We have experienced the can’t-believe-this-is-my-life-now medical moments to the truly awful ones. I’m thinking of one particular can’t-believe-this-is-my-life-now moment when my son at age 4 said “Mommy, my nose feels funny, I don’t know why.” Hmmm… There was a red lego lodged so far up his nose that I swear I could see his brain next to it. It had to be removed by a doctor on my birthday. The point is that we have been privy to every single medical detail and decision since the second the little boogers (pun intended ?) entered our lives.
Imagine my shock when I was told to wait in the waiting area for my oldest son’s well visit at age 13. Excuse me, what?? Then I was “invited” to come at the end of the visit to talk with the doctor and my son for 5 minutes. Well, once kids turn 18, we as parents don’t have the legal right to our children’s medical information at all. This is thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPPA”) aka the annoying form you have to sign every year at every doctor’s office.
Not a problem under most circumstances, but what if Joey is away at college, hits his head, and is unconscious in a hospital? Legally without written permission, the hospital and doctors can not share any information when you frantically call to see if he is ok. Worse, you don’t have the legal right to chime in on any medical decisions like surgery.
Most people don’t want to be helicopter parents and/or think having your 18 year old sign a Medical Power of Attorney document is overkill. BUT do you want a stranger in another state making medical decisions for your little Joey?
Money = Emotions
I see this every day at work. This article is food for thought. The author states “Your relationship with money is determined by a number of factors ranging from your upbringing, your parents, money habits you were taught or observed growing up, your personality, how much or how little money you’ve had at various points of your life, your ability to delay gratification and your emotional make-up.
This stuff doesn’t change simply because you hit some income, net worth or debt level. Money may amplify certain aspects of your personality but the money itself doesn’t change you.”
It’s been established that I obsessively love TV. I have many TV shows that I have enjoyed and think are amazing. I have shows that if nothing else is on, I will leave on the background like Friends or any shows from NBC’s late 80’s/early 90’s Thursday night line up (RIP Markie Post!). But I don’t really have a show that I watch when I need some comfort. I have teen rom com flicks that I will watch because there is always some sort of makeover, dance number, and happy ending. Does that count? I’m going to work on this. In the running so far: Arrested Development, Schitt$ Creek, Ted Lasso
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