financial habits

Top of Mind (Q3 2016)

Each quarter, we will share three things that we are keeping Top of Mind

Here's our latest list:

1.) A unique way to give back

We all seek to give back to our communities and various charitable organizations.  Many of us donate using current year cash flow.  However, there is another way that could be very advantageous for you - donation of appreciated stock.  When you donate stock (either directly to the non-profit or to a donor advised fund (we can help you with this)), you are not responsible for paying taxes on the unrealized capital gain and you are able to deduct the fair market value of the stock.  Tax savings for you, benefit to the charity.  Win win.

2.) Document a financial roadmap

None of us want to think of anything bad happening to us - or to our loved ones.  But life is uncertain and we can never be too prepared.  We recently read an article discussing the importance of compiling your financial facts (and other essential personal information) and storing them in a safe and secure place that only your family can access if necessary.  Items to consider including:  bank and investment accounts, credit card accounts, log-ins for online accounts, social media accounts and log-ins, listing of key providers (accountants, lawyers, financial advisors), insurance policies, estate planning documents, pension plan details, listing of any physical securities held, and details/payment schedules for outstanding obligations.  Is this something any of us want to think about?  Of course not.  Yet is it something that will make life easier on our loved ones at some point? For sure.  Take the time, get it done, and rest easy.  And if you need help or would like some template forms to help you create your roadmap, just let us know.

           3.) Check the facts

It's almost here - election day.  A very significant day for our country and the prospects for its next four years.  The next month will be filled with even more articles, interviews, and debates through which the candidates will attempt to communicate their platforms and value propositions.  We were among the millions of people watching the first presidential debate.  While watching these conversations in real-time, it's often very difficult to filter out the noise and determine if the statements being made are accurate.  We came across this website from NPR that may come in handy during the upcoming debates.  Filter the noise and pay attention.  We have an important job to do on November 8th.

Check back next quarter to find out what we're keeping Top of Mind


Creatures of Habit

Confession:  I have never been a big fan of New Year's Resolutions for the simple reason that if there are things I wish to change in my life, I see no need to wait until January 1st to do so.  However, as I entered 2016, I did some reflection and evaluation of my daily life and the routines and habits that were creating my reality.  After all, as this quote reminds us, our daily patterns hold great importance to the overall course of our lives

As part of my habit exploration, I read Better than Before from Gretchen Rubin.  This is a very good read and will really get you thinking about your habits and how you can change course.  One of the biggest takeaways for me was to determine my tendency.  Gretchen outlines Four Tendencies that help to explain how we react to expectations (both inward and outward) and then outlines how those innate tendencies play a role in our habits.  

Upon reading the book, I knew immediately what my tendency was but also took the online quiz to verify it.  Join me in uncovering your tendency.   I will tell you mine if you share yours!