Why Kids Should Work

December 4, 2019

Most parents try to teach kids the life skills they’ll need to thrive as adults. Some of those skills relate to money and work ethic. Sadly, particularly in affluent communities, children are often sheltered from the responsibilities and realities faced by adults. The percentage of high school-aged kids who work is at an all-time low, declining to 20% in 2013 from 45% in 1998. Read more

A Financial Planner’s Perspective on the FIRE Movement

November 1, 2019

I’ve recently seen a couple members of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) community speak on the movement that has gained momentum in recent years. While I admire some of the characteristics of adherents of this movement (e.g., careful spending, aggressive saving), and I’ve learned a few new terms (e.g., geo arbitrage, mega Roth), I’m left with some serious questions and concerns about those who are on this path. As a financial planner, here are a few of my observations: Read more

Looming College Deadlines

October 2, 2019

I’m currently taking a class on college planning, so this topic is top of mind. Additionally, the fall is the time high school seniors apply for colleges and financial aid. As such, it seems a good time to remind people of the various types of deadlines to stay on top of this time of year. Read more

The Allowance Debate

September 6, 2019

It is our responsibility as parents to teach our kids the life skills they’ll need to thrive as adults. Some of the most important skills we can teach them relate to making smart money decisions. One topic that often provokes strong opinions relates to allowance: how much to give, whether to tie it to chores and what it should cover. Read more

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.

Read more

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. 

Read more

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. 

Read more