It’s still a year off but seeing all these graduation ceremonies and commencement speeches on Twitter started me thinking of what I’ll tell our daughter when she graduates college next spring. Plus, I know she just can’t wait to get more advice from me, so why not start early?
Sometimes simple is best. Many of us tend to complicate our financial situation; overthinking our options while ignoring the basics. Here at Grady Financial Network, LLC we have a few tips to help you plan for for long-term financial health.
By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA
With a recent spike in volatility at the end of 2018 and again in mid-2019, investors may be asking what alternatives are available to complement the securities in their portfolios. Concerns may range from political uncertainty, to valuations, to volatility or a trade war, and it’s not uncommon for there to be many moments in history when investors decide to hit the pause button. Any advisor with a long-term investment philosophy will tell you to tune out the noise and let your money work for you in the market. Over the long term (10 years or more), history has shown us that you will likely be rewarded for the risk you took and hopefully your capital is worth (significantly) more than it was when you originally invested it. I’m a firm believer in this philosophy, but sometimes individual investors are hesitant to deploy capital at times of uncertainty and are looking to capitalize on other opportunities that will positively impact their overall financial plan that doesn’t involve a traditional investment.
While in Kansas City to visit family recently one of my cousins posed a question to the Byars boys at lunch, “I don’t want to retire – so what do I call that?” So, for context, here’s the backstory: My cousin is extremely bright with an MBA from Northwestern and is the CFO for a company headquartered in Omaha not called Berkshire-Hathaway. He already knows that accumulating enough money to support him and his family throughout their lives isn’t really his pertinent question but, what am I going to do with my life to challenge myself and make my mark, is. Essentially, he explained that he likes to work, doesn’t have hobbies that consume him and wanted to know what should he plan for if not retirement? My answer? Glance back at the title of this post for a hint – Financial Independence!
I first met Bob Bova, founder of Moneywatch Advisors, in 1986 right after I had graduated from college and Bob was hosting my Dad, his client, for their regular quarterly meeting. For perspective, this was the year the Mets broke the hearts of the Red Sox by winning the World Series after Bill Buckner, who just died this week, let an easy ground ball roll through his legs. Economically, the U.S. was doing well after a recession in the early ‘80’s and the Federal Reserve was lowering short-term interest rates that offered the economy a bit of a tailwind. To me, the ease with which Bob explained his strategy for helping my parents as they were just starting to really focus on some long-term financial goals seemed like he had been born to do this – although he had just founded the firm 6 years prior.
We traveled in March to Argentina to see our daughter who is there studying this semester. While in Cordoba, a city of 1 million boasting the country’s largest university with an enrollment of 100,000, we rented an apartment and tried to experience as much Argentina life as one can over a two-week span. One day, my son remarked how the lifestyles we saw seemed much less affluent than we’re used to seeing: fewer people own their own cars and houses and apartments are smaller and more modest, for instance. So, with an opportunity to teach a life lesson, I dove into the conversation that “all wealth is relative.”
You can use a variety of strategies to pay off debt, many of which can cut not only the amount of time it will take to pay off the debt but also the total interest paid. But like many people, you may be torn between paying off debt and the need to save for retirement. Both are important; both can help give you a more secure future.
I receive many questions over time asking me about what qualifies as an allowable 529 Plan educational expense, as well as the eligibility of certain educational institutions that may be vocational or outside the United States.
Qualified 529 Plan higher education expenses generally allow for?