The Business Owners Financial Checklist

business owners financial checklist

You may feel like April 15, 2015 is light-years away. It’s not. Start preparing for your tax bill and take stock of your business’s financial situation now. Small actions now could prevent the need for bigger, costlier actions later. Here are 10 simple steps business owners can use to improve a business’s tax and financial readiness.   1. Re-evaluate your business entity Many small businesses start out as sole proprietorships or partnerships, but eventually transition to another entity. For example, if your business is not incorporated, you may want to consider incorporating (either as a C Corp, S Corp, or LLC) to shelter you from […] Read more »

Women Retirement Shouldn’t Scare You

Women: Retirement Shouldn’t Scare You

If you read my free eWorkbook, 21 Critical Retirement Questions Answered, you know that retirement can be more challenging for women than for men. In that eWorkbook we talked about how women often earn lower wages than men, work fewer years and tend to live longer. And nearly half of women in the United States don’t have a retirement strategy. All those factors make planning for retirement even more crucial for women. One recent news report even said many women are terrified of retirement. On National Public Radio (NPR), Jennifer Ludden reported that retirement scares women. Many women, according to the report, lack confidence in their […] Read more »

Want to Retire? Make Your Money Work for You

Be honest. Don’t you think that most people spend way too much time and energy worrying about or trying to influence financial matters they can’t control? It’s true.  My advice is to not focus on financial matters you can’t control. Make Your Money Work for You. Focus on the things you can influence and that will make a big difference in your life. For example, you can’t control time, but you can control the time you spend preparing for retirement. You cannot control Social Security, but you can put money aside in a way that can provide a comfortable retirement whether or not Social Security is […] Read more »

Retirement Planning Starting Gate

retirement-planning-starting-gate

What’s the single most important thing you can do to start successful retirement planning? Just get started. As hard to believe as it might be, the single biggest factor in people not achieving a comfortable retirement is that they never make retirement planning a priority. There’s a great list of simple steps you can take to prepare for your retirement. The list is the free download, 21 Critical Retirement Questions Answered. But here’s something you can do first. Sit down with your spouse or significant other and see how many of these 20 statements you both can say “yes” to. Work on resolving any you […] Read more »

The Easiest Way to Create Retirement Wealth

Create Retirement Wealth

People who are far from retirement often widely misjudge the total savings they’ll need. A big reason for this is the pervasive impact of inflation over decades. We tend to assume a dollar is a dollar is a dollar. Not so. In 1970, the average cost of a new car was $3,900. By 1990 the average new car cost $16,000. Today the cost is well over $20,000. Let’s imagine that type of price inflation continues. It could drive the price of a car in 40 years to more than $100,000. What $1,000 Bought in 1970 Now Costs $6,000 Here’s another way to view inflation. According […] Read more »

A Quick Retirement Quiz

A Quick Retirement Quiz

      Can You Pass a Quick Retirement Quiz? Ready for retirement? You may not be if you can’t ace this quick retirement quiz. See how much you know about retirement and what you need to do to take care of your own retirement needs. Because people are retiring earlier and living longer, the average retiree will spend about ____ percent of adult life in retirement. Comprehensive retirement planning is multi-dimensional. It requires making choices about housing, health care, income and being sensitive to ______ planning issues. Today we tend to have _____ expectations about our retirement lifestyle. We expect to lead active lives […] Read more »

The Devil Wears Nada

by Jim Parker Vice President, DFA Australia, Limited The global fashion industry is fickle by nature, pushing and then pulling trends to keep hapless consumers forever turning over their wardrobes. Much of the financial services industry works the same way. Fashion designers, manufacturers, and media operate by telling consumers what’s in vogue this year, thus artificially creating demand where none previously existed. What turns up in the boutiques is hyped as hip by the glossy magazines to make you feel like you “have” to buy it. Likewise, much of the media and financial services industries depend on fleeting trends and built-in obsolescence to keep investors […] Read more »

Watch Out for “The Golden Ticket Trap”

by Jim Parker, Outside the Flags Vice President, Dimensional Fund Advisors In a popular children’s story, the young hero pins all his hopes on finding one of a handful of “golden tickets” hidden among millions of candy bars. It seems many people approach investing the same way. The notion that the path to long-term wealth lies in locating secret and previously undiscovered treasures in the global marketplace of securities is one regularly featured in media and market commentary. One magazine, for instance, runs a feature called “Fund Managers’ Secret Stocks,” referring to supposedly “bargain” stocks the pros keep hidden. (How the stocks can be secret […] Read more »

4 Surprising Insights about High Net Worth Retirees

wealthy retires can struggle in retirement

Wealthy Retires Can Struggle in Retirement Did you know that only 13 percent of workers are very confident of having enough money to live on when they stop working[1]? That percentage is low even for people who have a high net worth. So let’s reveal some truths about retirees and workers who will soon face retirement. Insight #1: Wealthy People Often Struggle In Retirement I’ve seen it many times. Some wealthy people fail to understand the serious financial challenges that even their high net worth can’t protect them from when they retire.  They don’t see the many factors that can destroy financial comfort for anyone: […] Read more »

Surprise! No Selloff in 2013

DImensional Fund Advisors

DFA VP Wes Wellington, whose prose I’ve provided from time to time in my Commentaries, has written an excellent piece reviewing the past year and, as he usually does, focuses on the absurdities provided to us by the media and the financial pundits, their predictions and how those predictions actually worked out. January 7, 2014 Weston Wellington Down to the Wire The unusually strong performance of US stocks in 2013 was a welcome surprise for investors who are following a simple buy-and-hold strategy and a source of exasperation for many professionals caught flatfooted by the steady rise in share prices. It was the best year […] Read more »