Three Numbers to Remember: 5 – 2 – 9. Every year we hear that private and public college education costs are rising. And now we hear that college graduates’ debt loads are climbing right along with tuition prices. (According to the 2019 student loan debt statistics the average undergraduate who borrows leaves school with about $30,000 in debt.) The economic downturn a decade ago added some discouraging footnotes to this fact, including a burgeoning list of students dependent on financial aid from higher education institutions and disturbing headlines now asking "Is it worth it to go to college?"
Money and You
How to know you need to talk with a different financial advisor
You leave your financial advisor’s office with a nagging doubt. They’re the one with the credentials, of course. But something’s not right. Should you get a second financial opinion?
Yes, say those who have done so, and don’t think twice. A fresh perspective can make all the difference for your financial health and confidence. Here are a few good reasons to schedule an appointment with a different advisor.
Back in second grade, it didn’t really matter much if you failed to make a decision. If one of your parents called out into the back yard to ask if you wanted a PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and you were intent on climbing the tree and didn’t answer, you suffered no lasting harm from being served your second choice lunch option that day. But things are different now that you’re a business owner.
Life is complicated these days. And if you’re part of the sandwich generation, with a parent 65 or older and either raising a child under 18 or supporting an adult child, then calling life complicated may feel like a ridiculous understatement. But while being squeezed in the middle will never be easy, there are a few steps you can take to manage your financial and emotional risks.
There are times when imagining the worst-case scenario helps you prepare most effectively for the best case. The transition of a family or closely-held business is one of those times.
Ask yourself, why is it that while Harvard Business School reports at least half of all companies in the US are family businesses - and just over half of all publicly listed companies in the US are family owned - that the most-cited family business statistic is from John Ward’s seminal study finding only 30% of firms survive through the second generation, 13% survive the third generation, and only 3% survive beyond that?
The Family Business Institute identifies a major cause as the failure to imagine and plan for worst-case situations that could dramatically affect not only ownership succession, but management succession planning and leadership development as well.
Your marriage isn’t working - you respect each other but have drifted apart over the years for whatever reason. Now you and your spouse have decided to divorce and close this chapter of your lives. You’ve heard the stories and perhaps witnessed a few horrors through friends or family who have divorced; that doesn’t mean you need to have the same experience.
If you have ever recycled at home, avoided products made overseas by sweatshop labor, grown your own vegetables, supported gender and racial diversity, or owned a fuel-efficient car, then you may be surprised to discover your investments can be working against your values. Do you know what’s in your portfolio? How can you find out what your money is supporting?
Financial headlines can be hazardous to your sleep health in retirement. It is easy to get the jitters and start worrying that you should do something, anything but stay on your current financial course. Yet it rarely makes sense to panic and sell your holdings. Over the years I have developed a list of five ways to help you avoid the sleepless nights in retirement that financial headlines can bring.