Words of Candor

Gone are the days of compelling financial data, printing it out, organizing it in a three-ring binder, and sending you on your way. And that’s a good thing. You see, the moment the paperwork comes out of the printer, the documents are already outdated, because your financial investments are constantly moving.
What is your greatest fear of retirement? It may not surprise you to learn 51% of investors polled on this question said their greatest fear was outliving their money. As life expectancy increases, health care costs rise, and our concerns about the availability of Social Security grows, it’s easy to understand that kind of fear.
Let’s talk about the rule of 72. It’s a term some of you may never have heard of, but it can be a quick and useful way to estimate the number of years it will take to double your return given a fixed rate. The hardest part is assuming what a fixed rate return should be. Here’s an example: You invest $100,000 at 6% per year, so it will take roughly 12 years to double your money. You can figure that out by dividing 72 by 6% to get 12.
When Jackie and I sat down to talk about joining our bank accounts, we flipped a coin to decide whose bank we would stick with. I lost, so we merged all of our money into Jackie’s bank. Of course, in hindsight I can see how silly this is.
Who doesn’t love credit cards? They give you the opportunity to carry a balance while also rewarding you for your spending, providing cash back and points. Credit cards are meant to encourage you to extend yourself though. Carrying a balance from month to month will only increase the total amount you pay in interest. And even if you’re someone who pays your credit card off each month, studies show you’re still spending an average of 18 to 20 percent more than you would if you used cash or a debit card. Psychology shows us we feel differently about seeing a checking account going down versus watching the balance of your credit card increase.
Starting a new job is always exciting, but it can also be overwhelming, especially as you page through a hundred pages about employee benefits. There are so many choices to make, and we often focus most of our attention on things like retirement plans and health insurance. Truthfully, there are so many other benefits companies can provide, like matching contributions, a health savings account, life insurance, and prepaid legal.