Suburban Farm Life Takes Work

That’s me in the picture, and those are most of the animals on what has become our backyard “farm.” Actually, there are more, but you get the point. This all started when my wife and I lived in married student housing at the University of Tennessee. One evening I was reading the paper (yes, people did that at some point) and…

Money is the Fuel, Not the Destination

It is not uncommon for guys to frame financial and retirement planning in quantitative terms only. How much money do I need to have saved? How many years do I plan on being retired? What will my monthly expenses be in retirement? While all of these are necessary and important considerations, they are only part of the overall equation.

Breaking Money Barriers

At the Women Adviser Summit I attended last fall, Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, a wealth psychology expert, spoke on the topic of her recent book Breaking Money Silence. She shared that “62 percent of women would rather talk about their own death than money.” Also, consider these stats from a recent Credit Karma survey. Of those surveyed, “almost 40 percent of women…

To Shred or Not to Shred?

Spring is the perfect time to purge your closet—and the financial documents you’ve filed away over the years. But knowing what’s OK to throw out can present a hurdle. To help, here’s a cheat sheet to consider, with a breakdown by time period: keep forever, keep for seven years, and “revolving” documents.

Reduce New Year Stress with Tax Prep

Given the tax law changes for 2018, many are wondering if they’ll come out ahead. Even for those in the industry, this quote from Albert Einstein on taxes rings true: “This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”

Avoid the Creep

One of the easiest ways to stay on a solid financial path is to intentionally avoid lifestyle creep, which happens when our spending increases with our income, but our savings stays stagnant. If we’re blessed to receive a raise at year-end, we can easily absorb those extra dollars into our spending. As this happens year over year, the impact compounds…

The Rules Changed. Should You?

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant changes to the way itemized deductions are treated on your tax return. Common deductions include mortgage interest, real estate taxes and charitable giving. The IRS gives all taxpayers a basic reduction of income called a standard deduction. The new tax bill roughly doubled the amount of the 2017 standard deduction, thereby making it harder to…

Express Espresso

Do you come out ahead by buying an upgraded machine and making your coffee at home, or is it more economical to keep visiting your favorite shop? Given all the variables and preferences when you start talking about coffee, this question was a little more difficult to answer than I anticipated.

You’re Teaching Your Kids about Money—Whether You Realize It or Not!

 Article Melissa Ballard, CFP | Photography Photo provided  In many areas of our lives, we model our behavior after our parents. Or perhaps we set out not to model our behavior after our parents. In either case, finances are no exception. Growing up—and even now, in my 30s—I observed my parents’ behavior with money. Thankfully the financial lessons I learned…

“The Dude Abides”

 Article Bill Waltman, CFP, CPA    Film buffs may recognize this line from the 1998 cult classic "The Big Lewbowski." In it, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is an unemployed slacker who loves bowling and becomes involved in a mix-up with a wealthy older man who shares his name. Played to perfection by Jeff Bridges, The Dude is plunged into a…