Results for category: Money Matters

Money Matters: Financial experts explain long growth of modest homes
3/22/2011

Some time ago, Dan lunched with a friend who related how he had been mesmerized by the gripping movie, “Superman,” and how much he loved that series as a kid—and, in fact, he still does. He explained,...


Reverse mortgage basics
3/1/2011

Normally, religion is a good thing. However, one’s faith can be misplaced. We’ve found that people “get religious” about the strangest things.  Readers have said, “I don’t believe in mutual funds...


Life Insurance: The most misunderstood financial tool
12/23/2010

Life insurance is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood portions of a financial plan. Some folks swear by it. Some swear at it. Some folks get religious over it. In other words, reason goes out...


Don’t follow the herd
11/23/2010

Most folks tend to follow a herd mentality. Like sheep, they run together, hoping, we guess, that staying in a group will help them avoid the wolves. In the financial world this rings particularly tru...


Why Long-Term Care insurance is so important to the spouse
10/22/2010

Last month we considered the need for Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance, acknowledging that it’s not for everyone.  Obviously, there are folks who die without needing a nursing home and those who need it...


Do you need long-term care insurance?
9/30/2010

Modern medicine has allowed more and more people to live longer lives. And yet this blessing has created a problem. Many older people need another person’s assistance with physical or emotional needs ...


Money Matters
9/6/2010

    One of the best gifts you can give a young person is an education in the basics of financial responsibility. So, when a friend emailed us the other day and asked us to write down some “basic tips ...


Long term economic effects of the Gulf oil disaster
8/3/2010

“Dear Dan and John: What do you feel the long-term effects of the gulf oil spill will have on our nation’s economy? Signed, Concerned”   While no one knows the depth of the economic damage, the mos...


In defense of domestic car company bailouts
6/20/2010

As every American knows, Presidents Obama and Bush took the highly controversial step of bailing out two of our iconic car companies, GM and Chrysler. This move has been widely criticized as...


Immediate annuities provide extra income
5/31/2010

There is only one thing worse than a pouting child and that is a pouting adult. Yes, we know the economy is in the tank. Our debt load is at historic levels and growing and the country is strongly div...


Bonds vs. annuities
5/3/2010

Several years ago, Dan saw an interview with TV great Andy Griffith. Griffith said something like, “After year five of the Andy Griffith Show, Don Knotts quit to make movies. Three years later I quit ...


Fees versus commissions
4/13/2010

One of the most important lessons in life is learning in whom you should place your trust. A few years ago, Dan’s youngest daughter was upset when she learned that a celebrity she looked up ...


Money Matters
2/22/2010

Many readers have written us regarding financial papers and their current worth. The questions have included what to do with old bank certificates of deposits, old stock certificates and ancient paper...


Immediate annuities (living at the next level)
1/25/2010

Author John Maxwell, in his authoritative book, “Living at the Next Level: Insight for Reaching Your Dreams,” wrote, “Every time you discover something new, ask yourself three questions: Where can I u...


Life Begins at 65!
12/29/2009

How old is old? It used to be age 65.  After all, that is when you could get your full Social Security check. Most people retired at 65 and were considered done with life. In the late 1970’s, a major ...


Tightening the belt
11/20/2009

As of this writing (it’s early October), the nation’s economic stimulus package seems to have helped revive the stock market. The S&P 500 Index* is up 17.19 percent year-to-date.** Yet according t...


Be prepared for your divorce
10/26/2009

Over the years, I have found that divorce affects everyone – family, friends and even acquaintances of the divorcing couple. I view it as a ripple in a pond. When a stone is dropped in a pond, it does...


Leading questions:
9/4/2009

Many of us are not very good at meet-and-greet style events. Our discomfort mainly comes from long pauses in conversations, which end up being boring and trite. Unfortunately, meet-and-greets are nece...


Can he bake a cherry pie?
7/27/2009

If you’ll allow me, Dan, the grace of an analogy we’ll have some fun and I’ll answer our most-asked question, “What does a financial planner do?” I confess I’ve never baked anything in my life. Howeve...


Knowing whom to trust
6/26/2009

We all know times when we have tried to warn someone we love about a person who we didn’t trust, or maybe we were the one who wouldn’t listen to someone trying to help us. In the financial world, know...


Early IRA Distributions Can Be OK
5/22/2009

We are often asked, “When is the best time to withdraw money from tax-deferred accounts?” And the answer is, the longer you leave the money alone, the more you can benefit from what Albert Einstein ca...


Buying Domestic: Is it Worth It?
5/15/2009

One of Dan’s favorite stories is the one about the boy on the beach. It’s after a big storm and he is picking up starfish and throwing them back in the ocean. By and by, an old man walking the beach s...


The best of times?
3/31/2009

As Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  Economically speaking, many today would suggest that these are the worst of times. Dare we ask, are times rea...


New Opportunities
2/23/2009

As we write this column, our nation has just sworn in a new President. Many are hopeful that he will bring changes that will help our economy. Others are concerned that the economic change he brin...


Will you have enough cash for home care?
1/23/2009

Getting old is not for sissies. Especially if one’s health begins to fail. Yet most of us will agree that getting old beats the alternative. To make sure we enjoy life, many of us exercise, try to...


Hang on to your home to avoid taxes
12/29/2008

Dan recently lunched with a friend, Sean McCarron, a highly skilled financial planner. Sean related how he had been mesmerized by the gripping movie “Superman” and how much he had loved that serie...


Don’t procrastinate in estate planning
12/1/2008

Dan often preaches the gospel of anti-procrastination. For more than three years now, we have reasoned with our readers to get their financial house in order sooner rather than later. No one, includin...


In investing, one size does not fit all
12/1/2008

We love those magazine ads selling shoes or leather jackets that say “one size fits all.” However, we are always very suspicious of them. Dan’s a pretty big guy, with 50-inch shoulders, who still ...


Is the sky falling?
10/31/2008

During our 27-year career in the financial services business, we have seen many market ups and downs. We entered our career in a market when mortgage rates were 18 percent. Yet, we did survive...


Money Matters
9/18/2008

Retirement can be your longest vacation. If you retire at age 60 and live to 95, you may very well be retired longer than you worked. Yet many people enter their retirement years with little more than...


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