Personal Financial Planning

How To: Evaluate Your Spending!

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My husband, Pierre, and I are expecting our first child in mid-February. In addition to nesting, I decided to dig with a fine-tooth comb into all our past purchases and expected future purchases. I wanted to start off 2018 right – so now we have our budget! A budget is only successful when you really think about your spending and where you can make changes. As such, I’ve decided to use the Rochard’s budget and thoughts about our spending as a tool to help you think about yours. The above sums up how I’m thinking about our discretionary spending. Then, […]

Personal Financial Planning

Creating a Healthy Relationship with Your Finances

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Shop (verb): to visit places (or websites) where goods (or services) are sold to look at and buy things. Overshop (verb): to visit places (or websites) where goods (or services) are sold to look at and buy things in the face of adverse consequences (long term detriment of finances, relationships and self-esteem). We all overshop. Reflect on what you have purchased over the past month. I guarantee you can find something that you didn’t need and will rarely use. Classically, we think of the overshopper as a woman who frequently arrives home from the mall with 10-15 bags of frivolous items. Contrary […]

Personal Financial Planning

How to Create Your Own Whole Life Insurance Policy

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You probably need life insurance if you: Are the primary breadwinner and need protection for your family against the loss of your income Have family members who would be responsible for your debts Have expenses that you need or would like for your estate to cover (examples: estate taxes, funeral costs, unique costs like children’s or grandchildren’s schooling, etc…) Have debts that would eat up assets you would like to pass on to family or loved ones The type of life insurance you buy is contingent on your particular circumstances and needs. That being said, most people only need a […]

Personal Financial Planning

Retirement Planning: A First Look at Accumulation and Distribution of Wealth

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Preface: Retirement planning is not something that can be feasibly fleshed out in one 2,500-word memo, therefore consider this part one of a multi-part series on retirement (the number of parts to be determined at a later date). In Book X of the Odyssey, the wind god Aiolos gave Odysseus a bag of wind, to use sparingly as he and his crew sailed home to Ithaca. With Odysseus dispensing small breaths of wind from the bag, ten days passed and the crew neared home. Ithaca was clearly in sight, but the job was not quite finished. Quoting Homer: “now on […]

Personal Financial Planning

An Ounce of Prevention

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“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” – Albert Einstein Retirees are questioning the sustainability of Social Security, rising healthcare costs, and freezing of private pension plans. Despite a heightened sense of urgency, savings rates have only mildly improved and most Americans remain unprepared for retirement. The chart below shows the decline in personal savings rates since 1947. From 1947 until 1975 personal savings increased, peaking at 15% in June of 1975. Thereafter the rate declined, reaching a low of 2.5% in 2005. The rate has since increased back to 5.2%. Moreover, savings rates seem to be […]