What’s a Legacy Drawer? Simply put, it is where your legacy is stored…more specifically where documents pertaining to your legacy are stored. In the event of your inevitable death, it’s important to leave clear instructions for your loved ones to carry out your wishes. Grief is a heavy burden to bear, you don’t want to add confusion to that grief.
It’s your responsibility to lighten this load, and ease the burden before that time comes.
What type of things should you keep in a legacy drawer? Any pertinent information, instructions, or documents that your loved ones need to carry out final arrangements and fulfill your legacy.
Items to keep in a “Legacy Drawer”:
Power of Attorney Documents and other Legal Documents
A Will, Estate Plan, Funeral Instructions
Letters, videos, memoirs
All Financial Assets/Accounts
Bank Accounts and Bank Locations
Safe Deposit Box Keys
Tax Returns & Monthly Budget
All of these documents should be kept in a “Legacy Folder” or “Legacy Binder” which, should be located in a safe and secure drawer that your loved ones are aware of and will be able to gain access to at the time of your death. Don’t send your grieving loved ones on a scavenger hunt at one of the most difficult times in their lives. Be a good steward of what you have been blessed with by easing their burden. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you believe you have. It’s imperative that you create a “Legacy Drawer”. Not only for you, but for your loved ones.
Have you had trouble saving money or are having trouble saving money currently? If so, this blog post may be for you.
Here are 5 tips to begin a great savings pattern:
1. Start small.
Whether you are able to save $5 or $500 per week or pay period, just start. Do not cheat yourself out of a healthy savings plan.
2. Be consistent.
Whatever Whichever frequency you chose choose, remember to be consistent. Do it every single week, pay period, or month,. whatever you Decide what works best for you.
3. Pay yourself first.
Paying yourself first is one of the most important tips, and it will help with consistency. To avoid the temptation of spending, pay into your savings just like a bill. Deposit into your savings immediately after receiving your paycheck. That way you can avoid the temptation of spending.
Automatic deduction is my favorite tool for saving. This tool also helps with paying yourself first. Set up an automatic deduction from your paycheck to be deposited directly into your savings account. If your savings and checking accounts are held at the same bank, you can have an amount deducted from your checking into your savings at an appointed time of the month.
5. Out of sight, out of mind.
If you have trouble saving money or find yourself withdrawing from your savings account often, having your checking and savings accounts at different financial institutions is recommended. Open a savings account at a bank located in another area of town. Additionally, do not link your debit card to your savings account and do not set up online banking. The goal is to automate your savings and forget you have it. Over time, you will be surprised how much you accumulated (if you do not touch it).
Simplicity is recommended. To remove withdrawal temptations, put saving on autopilot. Put it away, make it inaccessible, and forget about it.
If you think you may need additional assistance with saving, please feel free to contact us. One of our coaches will be more than happy to walk through this process with you. Call us for a free consultation.
What exactly is a financial coach and what exactly do they do? Think of them as a personal trainer for your finances. I also like to paint this picture for my clients. Think of us as architects for your financial house. We may have to start from scratch if you have no knowledge of finances. Build a foundation, which means setting up a savings and budgeting plan. Sometimes, we even have to renovate. By this, we aim to tear down old harmful thoughts, habits, and relationships with money. Shore up the foundation and rebuild it into a better and bigger financial home.
We motivate others to make smart financial changes.
Help you set financial goals, such as setting up an emergency fund or getting out of debt.
We hold you accountable while walking along side of you during your financial journey.
You may be in need of a financial coach if you fit into any of these scenarios:
You are not happy in your current financial situation and don’t know where to start.
You feel like you are financially stuck in the mud and are having a hard time pulling yourself out.
You are planning on making a large purchase, such as a home or vehicle, soon.
Would like for someone to hold your accountable along the way.
In need of someone to teach you techniques and best practices when it comes to personal finance.
I do have to mention that a financial coach is not the same as a financial advisor.
A financial advisor typically assists you with managing your assets, retirement planning, and directing and growing your investment portfolio.
A financial coach cannot legally give investment advice, stock tips or picks, but they can teach you about the stock market.
A few years ago, the singer, Robin Thicke came out with a song called “Blurred Lines.” This song comes to mind when I think about the adjustment to working from home full time. I have spoken with a few people who have had challenges in this area and I was no exception. Here are 5 tips to make that transition a lot easier.
Dedicated Office Time– I have found myself logging on before my normal work start time and logging off later than when my normal work day ends. I had to institute a “hard” start and stop time. I began to notice that I was making and receiving calls and emails later and later in the evening. Now when my end time arrives, I shut the computer down completely. Otherwise, I will feel compelled to complete “one more task.”
Take a shower and change your clothes– After my morning workout, a shower energizes me and a fresh set of clothes helps me get into work mode. Get out of your PJ’s! Even if you don’t have a Zoom meeting scheduled that day.
Dedicated Office Space– Have a spot in your home designated for work. Don’t work all over the house. That will only contribute to the “Blurred Line” feeling. This space should have plenty of light. I am partial to areas with a lot of natural light, preferably near a window. When you hit your “hard stop” and days end, leave this area completely. If you aren’t able to leave the area, pack up all your work materials and put them away.
Build in Breaks– I tend to move around a bit more when I am in the office. When I am home, I almost feel like I am glued to my seat and in some sort of time warp. The next thing I know, I have forgotten to get up for lunch. Remember to incorporate breaks. They will help you reset, break up the monotony, and be more productive.
Create a Routine-Incorporating some of tips listed previously will assist with this task. I am a creature of habit and function more efficiently with a routine. Create a routine to begin your workday. For me it includes working out, shower, breakfast and first cup of coffee, roughly. At the end of the day, I shut things down and re-engage with my wife and children. This usually includes getting outside and getting a little sun. I encourage you to incorporate something in the place of a daily commute. Perhaps take a walk to begin (ramp up) and end the day(wind down).
We would love to hear what best practices you have regarding working from home. Feel free to contact us and share!
Leases are very attractive….You get a new car every few years with a payment that is lower than what you would have to pay if you purchased the vehicle. So leasing is the way to go….right?
If you are like me and you like to drive a lot, then leasing my not be for you. Leases have mileage limitations and if you exceed the limit alotted, there can be hefty penalties when your lease ends. Penalties can range from 5 to 20 cents per mile over your limit. There is an option to pay an extra cost upfront for a higher mileage cap.
With buying a new vehicle you are essentially purchasing a depreciating asset. The value of your vehicle will decrease substantially in the first two years. This could possibly put you in an upside down situation with your auto loan.
As stated earlier, with leasing, your payments will be lower vs. buying, at the end of the lease period, but you have nothing to show for it. You will have the option to purchase the vehicle or lease another one.
Ownership is an advantage to purchasing. At the end of the loan period, the vehicle if yours for as long as you choose to keep it.
Here is a quick breakdown that may help you decide which purchasing option is best for you.
Leasing may be for you if:
You like driving a new car every 2-4 years.
You don’t drive a lot or have a second vehicle to keep mileage down
You take good care of your vehicles
Buying may be for you if:
You keep you vehicles for long periods of time
You log a lot of mileage on your vehicles
You like to customize your vehicles
I hope this helps you decide which option is best for you. If you are in need of guidance with buying or leasing a vehicle, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!
At the time of the post we are in the midst of a global pandemic known as Covid-19. With that being said, it has had a significant impact on the global economy. What does that mean for the car industry? Will there be killer deals available? Will I be able to buy a car at the fraction of the original price?
The pandemic has had an impact on the car industry already and the total impact has yet to be determined. There are deals available now, and they may or may not get better within the coming weeks. Will you be able do get a car at the fraction of the original price…probably not.
With auto manufacturers shutting down production over the last few weeks is preventing the market from having a huge surplus of new cars therefore limiting the extent of how deeply vehicles will be discounted.
However, there are some attractive offers from a few auto brands at the moment. One of the most popular seems to be the 0% for 84 months.
First of all, I wouldn’t advise anyone to drag an auto loan out for 7 years. 7 years! Also, if you have followed me for a little while you know that I am a proponent of purchasing preowned vehicles vs. new.
Is there a catch? Well here are some things to consider.
Most dealers only offer 0% financing or a rebate. Not both.
A small interest rate such as 1.9% with a rebate could actually be a better deal. The monthly payment may be slightly higher but the total amount paid over the term of the loan could be lower.
Check out the video below by David B sells Chevy on YouTube where he breaks down the math on an example.
When most people purchase a car, they are generally most concerned about the monthly payment and whether or not, they can manage it.
What should be considered most is the total amount of the loan including finance charges and interest over the total amount of the loan. Just becase the payment is lower doesn’t mean it less expensive.
Moral of the story, pay close attention to total amount being financed, interest rate, and monthly payment. That way you can determine the total amount you will have paid at the end of the loan period.(This will also be in your finance paperwork as well when you are signing the final documents.)
Depends. The answer is based upon your personal financial situation.
I’m expecting there to be very attractive deals in the upcoming weeks and months.
With the uncertainty of the economy and job market, this current time could be a risky move. However, I would recommend that you have at least six months to a year (leaning more towards a year) of expenses saved if you are wanting to purchase a car.
More importantly, assess if this purchase is a want or a need. If you have extra funds available at the moment, perhaps those funds could be best used in some type of investment at this current time. The stock market is down at the moment; therefore, could those funds be better served there?
Those who are satisfied with their investments and who have adequate savings, this could be an opportune time to buy a car.
Although, I am typically not a proponent of purchasing a new vehicle, I expect this is where you will find the larger discounts.
GM is already offering extended terms (be careful with this) and lower interest rates on select vehicles.
For instance, I have read that the company is beginning to discount the brand new previous generation Corvettes. Since the 2020 Corvette is all the rave at the moment, the new 2019 Corvettes should be significantly discounted. I understand that GM has a fairly large amount of them in inventory. If you are not the type of person that has to have the latest and greatest, this could present a good deal for you.
To answer the initial question, yes, this could be a good time to buy a car if you are in a financial situation that allows for it.
Deals are beginning to appear, and I expect them to be even better in the upcoming weeks.
In a previous post, we spoke about ways to get out of an “underwater” car loan.
In this post, we will discuss a few ways to avoid getting into an “underwater” situation in the first place.
When you become interested in purchasing a vehicle, the first step you should make is to check your credit. This will help you determine what interest rate you may qualify for. You want to shoot for an optimal rate. If you have a credit score over 720, this will put you in a better tier and you could expect to pay a rate of 3.724% or less. Consumers whose credit scores are sub 720 can expect to pay an average of 5.098% or higher according to creditdonkey.com. A high interest rate is almost a sure fire way to end up underwater in your auto loan. Check with your local credit union or bank, as they will often have rates and terms that will match or beat the terms of a dealership.
Do your research! Shop around. Check out what the average selling price is of the car(s) that you are interested in to ensure you get a decent deal. KelleyBlueBook, TrueCar, and Cargurus can help with this. This will help you know what to expect when you walk on a dealer’s lot.
Factor In Depreciation. Cars are depreciating assets, but some cars depreciate faster than others. You want to purchase a car that doesn’t depreciate at a fast rate to ensure that as you pay the balance down on the loan, the value will be in line with it.
(*There will be a future post on vehicles that you may want to avoid purchasing due to rapid depreciation.)
Make a down payment. This will immediately cut down the loan balance and help you get ahead of the depreciation curve.
You don’t need the “add-ons”. When you are finalizing your auto purchase and signing the paperwork, you will be offered myriad of upgrades, warranties, protections, and insurances. Most of these you will not need. I am not totally opposed to some of these items, but keep in mind that they will increase the cost of your vehicle and loan balance. It will be enticing because stretched out over the term of the loan will minimally increase your monthly payment.
The shorter the loan term, the better. Don’t be tempted to extend the term of your loan over a longer period of time in order the get a lower payment. This is very enticing, but it is accompanied by a higher interest rate. This will prohibit the loan principal from being paid down as fast; therefore, leaving you with a higher risk of ending up underwater.
Buy used vs. new- Cars depreciate the most in the first two years. Consider purchasing a 1-2 year preowned certified vehicle. It will be less expensive than purchasing a new one, and it will have absorbed the largest depreciation hits already.
Avoid taking on the balance of your trade-in on your “new” car. If you are already underwater in a car and decide to trade it in on another vehicle, that balance has to go somewhere. It gets added into the cost of the vehicle you are purchasing. When you bring negative equity into a new loan, you are burying yourself in the loan from the start. Make sure to start off on the right foot.
Good luck on your next vehicle purchase!