Protecting Yourself in the Era of Cyber Fraud

July 31, 2019

In light of yet another data breach this week (of CapitalOne in case you missed it), it seems a good time to review cyber safety. A client recently brought to my attention a type of identity theft that I had not heard of before. It involves a thief stealing your cell phone number and porting it over to a new phone. They then use the dual authentication via text code to hack into your financial accounts to steal money. Given how pervasive dual authentication is for everything these days, I decided to learn a bit more about this particular type of scam. Read more

Making Good Financial Habits Stick

July 1, 2019

I recently saw James Clear, the best-selling author of Atomic Habits, speak at a conference. The premise of his talk and book is that by making small incremental improvements, we can make big changes in our lives. He offers a well-structured system for getting 1% better every day by improving our daily habits. It occurred to me that his system would work well for creating better financial habits as well. There are four steps to building a successful habit (or ending a bad one): Read more

Making Summer Count

June 2, 2019

As the mother of two middle schoolers, at this time of year my thoughts turn to how to keep them busy over the summer. While we have a family vacation planned and they’ll go to a few camps, I also like them to learn something new over the summer. Given my job as a financial planner, that typically involves learning a life skill or two related to money. Here are a few ideas I am considering for this summer. Read more

Financially Savvy Travel Tips

May 2, 2019

With summer just around the corner, many people are in the midst of booking their summer travel plans. If your plans will take you overseas this summer, consider these tips to reduce the financial cost of the trip.

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Are College Admissions Stacked Against Us?

April 2, 2019

Going to college is a rite of passage for many Americans. For many young adults, it’s the first time they live away from their families and take responsibility for their lives. Due to years of above-average price inflation, college has gotten to the point of being unaffordable for many or at least a significant financial commitment. And now we’ve learned that the admissions process at many elite universities has been gamed by wealthy families, further exacerbating the inequality involved in getting a college education. 

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Money and Mindfulness

March 14, 2019

Mindfulness is all the rage in corporate America these days. It is estimated that almost 30% of Fortune 500 companies have a mindfulness program at work. The practice of mindfulness also has implications for your financial life. 

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What Death Can Teach Us About Living

February 8, 2019

I’ve recently attended a couple of events and read Being Mortal by Atul Gawande on the topic of death and dying. Morbid, I know. Interestingly the biggest take away from these events was that death can actually teach us a fair amount about living. However, before I share what death can teach you about living, here are some of the interesting things I learned about the end-of-life phase. Read more

Set Better Goals for YOU

January 5, 2019

If you are like the 44% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions in January, you might want to rethink how you develop your goals so that you are more likely to achieve them. I use a structured goal-setting process (licensed from Money Quotient) with my financial planning clients to help them live a more meaningful life. Some of the tenets might be useful to you as you set New Year’s resolutions. Read more

What to Do When the Going Gets Rough

November 1, 2018

October has been a tough month for stocks, with many indices down almost 10% in the past month and some of the high-flying tech stocks down 20%. With the recent activity in the stock market, it seems a prudent time to review some evidence-based tenets of wise investing. Read more

Tax Planning Under the New Tax Bill

October 4, 2018

One aspect of the new tax bill passed in late 2017, is a much higher standard deduction of $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for couples filing jointly. As a result of the higher standard deduction, it may no longer make sense for some people to itemize their deductions. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, it is estimated that the number of taxpayers who itemize will decline to 10% from 30% of all taxpayers. Read more