Attention Married Couples: How to Get in Sync with These Nine Essential Money Practices

Put You and Your Partner on the Path Towards Financial Success

09 February 2022

Attention Married Couples: How to Get in Sync with These Nine Essential Money Practices

Oh, the dichotomy of money talks with your spouse. They’re so vital to have, yet they are often uncomfortable. So, not surprisingly, most married couples aren’t properly communicating about financial habits and money values.

When a couple marries, they bring their individual money values into the union, which can be as unique as their fingerprints. These values have been created over a lifetime, often through observing parents, and most people are deeply entrenched in them. The trouble is that most couples don’t discuss these values.

The money discussion is an important one to have, though. To make the topics easier to broach, think of your spouse as a business partner. Viewing your household as an operating business may help set emotion and discomfort to the side and allow you to engage in meaningful conversations.

If you’re ready to get on the same financial page as your spouse, check out these nine ways couples can get in sync and avoid money conflicts.

Weighing the Benefits of Stocks or Bonds to Save for Retirement

How to Determine What Investment Strategy is Right for You

24 January 2022

Weighing the Benefits of Stocks or Bonds to Save for Retirement

If you are planning for your future then, hopefully, you have put some thought into saving for retirement. When planning for retirement, there are many important factors to consider, such as how much investment risk is appropriate for your financial goals – and your comfort level. If what I have mentioned so far resonates with you, then the next question is, should you invest in stocks or bonds for your retirement savings?

There is a lot to unpack here because every investment has risks. When the stock market goes up, the usual pattern is that the bond market goes down (usually due to the Federal Reserve Bank increasing interest rates), but market cycles can be very strange indeed. In 2018, both the stock and bond markets lost money. In 2019, both the stock and bond markets had great returns. In 2020, the stock market had a sharp decline in the Spring and recovered, while the bond market had a steady, positive return as we dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is precisely why everyone needs a solid education in investment planning, whether working alone or with an advisor, to determine risk tolerance and, on that basis, the right asset allocation to maximize after-tax risk-adjusted returns.

Outsourcing in the New Year So You Can Do What Matters

Delegating Certain Responsibilities and Tasks Can Allow You the Freedom to Do What You Love

10 January 2022

Outsourcing in the New Year So You Can Do What Matters

We all know the classic saying, “time is money,” right? We also know that time and money are the two things we often wish we had more of. The key to time management and overall life quality will always be finding that balance between what you have to do, what you want to do, and figuring out how to afford it all.

I know that I usually share about financial planning topics here. However, today, I wanted to share about something that’s equally important and still related: The idea of outsourcing specific tasks and responsibilities in your life to free up time to do the more valuable – and profitable – things.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranked the United States 29th out of 34 countries in work-life balance. Outsourcing some of your daily tasks may be a more efficient use of resources than taking the valuable time to do it all yourself. Sure, we could all learn to change our oil or fix a leaky faucet, but by paying a professional to handle these tasks, we free ourselves up to focus on other things, like our work, which, in the long run, will make us more money rather than losing it.

For example, if you make $100 an hour at your job, and it takes you 3 hours to do a deep clean of your house, it essentially costs you $300 to clean your house. If you can have a service clean it for $150 in 3 hours, you’re saving money and outsourcing the labor. This is called “Opportunity Cost” – the next highest valued alternative use of a resource.

Is It Better to Give Than to Receive? Answer: BOTH!

Smart Charitable Giving Benefits Both the Receiver and the Giver

20 December 2021

Is It Better to Give Than to Receive? Answer: BOTH!

When you’ve reached a point where your wealth management strategies have paid off and you are comfortable in life, giving back is something you can do that will bring a great sense of fulfillment to your life and allow you to leave a legacy to the community, people, and causes you care about.

However, there is still a lot of confusion about giving and ways to give. Most people write a check and fail to benefit from the tax reduction opportunities to maximize the good they are going to do for themselves and for their charity of choice.

Charitable giving can give you a sense of satisfaction that can enrich your life. Charitable giving is a win-win experience. Let’s now explore a few best practices in charitable giving.

Are You Paying Attention to Your Financial Dashboard?

Owning Your Future Requires Deliberate Planning and Careful Attention

06 December 2021

Are You Paying Attention to Your Financial Dashboard?

Driving requires a glance at the dashboard on a regular basis to monitor all of the various gauges that let us know when things are on track and when we don’t have enough gas to get to our destination. The same is true for your finances.

In our time together previously, we have driven through financial planning topics at a relatively high rate of speed. From investment planning, tax strategies, estate planning, and more, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

Throughout this road trip, I’ve mentioned that every good financial team needs a tool to help consolidate all your information to help in planning for your wealth management. At Echo Wealth Management, I have used a tool called the Echo Dashboard for over 15 years, developed and supported by eMoney Advisor. Today, I want to show you the value of utilizing a tool like this.

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