Dollars & Sense Column - Orange Town News (Reprints)

Dollars & Sense: Putting Your Finances First in the New Year

(January 14, 2021) In years past, New Year’s resolutions have primarily revolved around our health.  Whether that means increasing your fitness, weight loss or adding more meditation – resolutions to be healthier are number one.  After a year like 2020, health has become even more important, but what about your financial health?  According to “Fidelity’s 2021 Annual Resolutions” study, the top three financial resolutions were to save more money, pay down debt, and to spend less.  Financial resolutions are gaining popularity and becoming a necessity.

Dollars & Sense: A True Gift

(December 10, 2020) Gifting in its traditional sense rarely has strings attached.  When you purchase something for someone, and they don’t like the gift because it is the wrong size, color or brand, they can return the gift and or exchange it for something else they do like.  Once you give the gift, it is a completed transaction.  Gifting money is somewhat similar.  You can give someone the gift of cash, but you can’t tell them what they can or cannot do with the cash.  There are many myths surrounding “cash gifts” and what you can and can’t do.

Dollars & Sense: Saluting Our Caregivers During National Caregivers Month

(November 19, 2020) For 8 of the last 10 years, I have written the praises for our caregivers in recognition of National Caregivers Month.  This year, I am at a loss for words that could possibly express the thanks and gratitude that go out to our nation’s caregivers.  It is hard to imagine the strain that the pandemic has caused for these selfless individuals and their families.

Dollars & Sense: Don't Fall Behind in 2020

(October 1, 2020) “Disruption” seems to be another new phrase for 2020.  Did any of us plan for our lives to be this disrupted for such a long period of time?  We understand that each of us are all in the same boat these days and that as families, we are experiencing extreme circumstances.  As the world keeps turning, many of us have stood still.  We are waking up and realizing the many things we haven’t tended to in 2020 and how easy it is to neglect important things.

Dollars & Sense: Investing: Back to Basics – Version 2.0

(September 3, 2020) While it may appear that everything is different and the entire world has changed, some things will always remain the same, especially when it comes to basic savings and investments.

Dollars & Sense: Different Summer Reads 

(July 30, 2020) With summertime comes summer reading, but this year, summer reading does not have to be about reading books.  In 2019, there were 600 million blogs worldwide in a world of 1.7 billion websites. WordPress, a very user-friendly blog site, boosts 70 million posts each month.  Great blogs are current and without too much digging can be extremely relevant to your day to day lives, especially for retirees.  If reading a large book seems daunting or enjoying daily bite-size reading is more your style, then try one of these five interesting blogs:

Dollars & Sense: Independence Throughout Retirement

(June 25, 2020) Maybe it will take only a few questions to have a glimpse of how dependent or independent you will be throughout your retirement.  Joseph Coughlin, the director of MIT AgeLab created three basic questions to identify quality of life issues for retirement:  Who will change my light bulbs?  How will I get an ice cream cone?  Who will I have lunch with?

Dollars & Sense: The New Financial Norm

(May 21, 2020) Everything looks a little different these days.  And, while we are adjusting to the new normal in our everyday life, we might find ourselves adjusting to a new way to consider investing in the future—investing that will allow you to align your personal values and beliefs with highly ethical corporations.  Today more than ever, investors are taking notice of how large corporations operate, how they treat their employees, and how they treat the environment.  Investors are not likely to invest in companies that took advantage of the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) or large companies who have not supported their employees in providing safe and healthy work environments.  Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are starting to play an important role for investors....

Dollars & Sense: Falling Out of Love with Your Financial Advisor

(February 6, 2020) It happens! Most people have had several financial advisor relationships over their investment lifetime. It makes sense. As investors we have different stages and financial needs during our lifetime. Your need for financial advice is quite different at age 30 than it is at age 60. Individuals change financial advisors for several reasons, but poor market performance or high fees are not always the primary reason. Communication, or lack of, is a big issue. In the new world of technology, there are several ways your advisor can communicate; however, if you have not had any communication from your advisor for long periods of time, it might be time to look elsewhere...

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