I am often asked, “Am I on track?” Every situation is different, but some objective measures can be used as a snapshot and tracked over time to measure progress. Finding the right balance between current lifestyle and saving for the future is tricky.
Year-end is my time for reflection and renewal. Business owners use it to set goals and develop a plan with benchmarks for the next year. I started applying this perspective to my personal life.
The end of last year was hectic, with my knee replacement in November and my mother-in-law’s death at Christmas.
There is no gift that says “I love you” like a lower tax bill in April. Between all the holiday parties and batches of eggnog, there are some financial tasks to check off your list before Dec. 31. In addition to a gift of time, it is probably one of the more important gifts to give.
◗ Contributions to Indiana 529 plans.
I grew up in the days when Halloween was fun and safe. The only downside was that I had older brothers who made a point of trying to scare me—and they often succeeded. As an adult, I don’t need my brothers to scare me. I just need to think about the future of retirement in America.
In my much younger days, I never planned to get married and certainly didn't plan to have children. The last thing I thought I would do was to stay home with them. Yet in my 30s, I found myself married, with children and no outside employment. It wasn't what I had planned, but it was the life I was living.
My brother was visiting from China, and we got into a discussion of the stock market and the impact of high-frequency trading, or HFT.
Oh, the things we discuss after a good dinner and copious amounts of wine. Does HFT help or hurt individual investors? Is the market "rigged" against small investors?
Electronic-trading systems were introduced in the 1990s.
I remember picking my oldest son up from school, when out of the blue he asked, “Mom, what’s the difference between a Roth and an IRA?” Pretty astute for a High School Freshman. One article I read described the difference as “paying taxes on the acorn or the oak tree”.
I am in this great financial-planning book club. We read and discuss one book a year. The downside is that we have a video conference to discuss the book, instead of getting together in person, and there is no wine involved.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to save money effortlessly?
I am not one of those people. I struggle to keep my spending impulses under control.
A recent Kiplinger article, “5 Big Problems to Solve Before You Retire,” lumped financial advisers into two camps.
“There are those who promise everything is going to be fine; you don’t have to fret about retirement, they say, because they’ll help you make more than enough money to get you through.