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Bill Kinder & Associates

Top Money Tips for the Ladies

May 30th, 2015

lady money tips

Top Money Tips for the Ladies

At one time, all financial decisions were left to the man of the house. Women are no longer relegated to the kitchen while the men talk finances with the banker or broker. In fact, most women are encouraged to join in the conversation and add to the conversation of any financial plans.  Women need to be actively involved in personal finance plans whether they’re in a relationship or not. Many of the tips for women and money are the same as they are for men and money.

 

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Tip number one:  Know the whole picture.

In most relationships, one partner is stronger when it comes to financial knowledge. That doesn’t mean the other person should make all the decisions or be the only person in charge of finance. Both parties need to know exactly where the money goes and how much is put away for savings.  If you’re single, keeping a tight rein on finances is a priority, whether it’s getting the best deal on credit cards or saving for retirement, women need to have a working knowledge of all aspects on money management. You may not balance the checkbook, but you should know the balance and where the money went.

 

Tip number two: Pay yourself first.

If you want to be financially successful, you need to pay yourself each payday.  People who have a substantial retirement plan and emergency savings pay themselves 10 percent first. The easiest way to do this is to have the money removed from your paycheck first, never counting it as part of your income. If you’re a self employed individual, saving is a bit more difficult since you don’t have a paycheck but secure money from profits. If you’re self-employed, calculate profits as frequently as possible and put away 10 percent of those funds.

 

Tip number three: Take good care of your credit score.

There’s plenty you can do to keep your credit score high or raise it. Paying your bills in a timely fashion is the most important, but also keeping credit card balances lower helps too. Make sure any credit cards you may have had, but don’t use any longer, are canceled. You can do this by pulling a credit report and checking to insure all the cards listed are in use. Contact the credit card company in writing to cancel any that are shown, but not in use and then contact the credit rating agency to report the card closed.

 

Tip number three: Have only two major credit cards.

The easiest way to keep your credit and personal finance under control is by limiting access to it. If you’re attracted to cash back or mileage cards, you should have two credit cards. The first card is the one you use for short term charges. You pay this one off at the end of the month. Since most mileage and cash back cards have a higher interest rate, this should be the short term card. The other card can be for emergencies or bills you can’t pay in just one month, such as major car repair. Before you charge, make sure you need it.

 

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Tip number four: You have as much value as your car or house, make sure you have insurance.

There are many different types of personal insurance women should have. If you’re in a relationship and depend on two incomes, women should have life insurance.  Women also need to protect their income, particularly if they work in a professional capacity. Disability insurance is an excellent way to do that. While single individuals with no dependants may only need enough life insurance to bury them, nursing home insurance is still extremely important, particularly as they age.

 


 

Bill Kinder  @BKAssocAdvisors

Bkinder

Bill Kinder is the President and Chartered Financial Consultant with Bill Kinder & Associates. A company that helps people from all walks of life and income levels to position & manage their money wisely, minimize their taxes owed, protect their assets and plan for a comfortable retirement. Bill has been in business for over 35 years, holds a BS degree, plus a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant certifications, as well as the Million Dollar Round Table’s “Top of the Table” honor.  Follow him @BKAssocAdvisors or if you would like to ask him a question, send it to billk@billkinder.com. If you’d like a FREE ‘WISE Money’ Consultation, call him at (304) 250-0250.

 

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10 Questions To Ask a Financial Advisor

May 30th, 2015

10 questions

Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors are trained to help people with personal finance and can be extremely helpful, particularly when you are dealing with suddenly managing larger sums of money or need to do tax planning to conserve as much money as possible for yourself or your heirs. Many people find that using a financial planner can help them when they don’t have the knowledge of personal finance to be comfortable investing and don’t have the time to research investments. Many people are experts in areas that made them money, but they don’t have the time to learn how to make wise investments or monitor them once they’ve made them.  For these reasons and several others, people seek the services of a financial advisor, but often don’t know how to choose one. Choosing a financial advisor is easier if you know the right questions to ask.

 

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What type of services do you provide?

Some people only need help with investing, while others need more than just investment management and want services that may include handling all financial affairs, including wills, insurance and income tax.  Before you start looking for your advisor, consider how much of your personal finance you want them to handle, and then ask this question to see if the advisor fits your needs.

 

What are your credentials and how long have you been an advisor?

Several certifications and degrees are important. Is the advisor a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), RIA (Registered Investment Advisor), CPS (Certified Public Accountant) with a PFS (Personal Financial Assistant) degree? The longer the advisor has been doing his or her job, the more he or she has experienced the varying markets and the better he or she is equipped to know the right way to invest in these periods.

 

What is the average and median size of your clients’ portfolio or net worth?

Some financial planners only work with high net worth individuals, if your personal finance isn’t large, you might be neglected. If you have a large portfolio or net worth, you want someone who is accustomed to working with larger portfolios.

 

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How do you charge for your services?

Some financial advisors don’t charge for their services, but make their money from commissions, either built into the financial products they use, such as loads on mutual fund or surrender charges on annuities. Some advisors get a percentage of your total assets on an annual basis, so their fee is based on the total assets they handle. Other financial advisors charge per hour and do not do any investing but simply offer advice and charge based on an hourly rate. The rate may be as high as $100 per hour.  While the fee only advisors may claim no conflict of interest, they may be too expensive for those with smaller portfolios and fewer assets and the investor still ends up paying the investment fees and commissions when following through with their advice.  You have to weigh the pros and cons of both, as well as be comfortable with the integrity of each advisor when choosing a financial advisor for your personal finance.

 


 

Bill Kinder  @BKAssocAdvisors

Bkinder

Bill Kinder is the President and Chartered Financial Consultant with Bill Kinder & Associates. A company that helps people from all walks of life and income levels to position & manage their money wisely, minimize their taxes owed, protect their assets and plan for a comfortable retirement. Bill has been in business for over 35 years, holds a BS degree, plus a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant certifications, as well as the Million Dollar Round Table’s “Top of the Table” honor.  Follow him @BKAssocAdvisors or if you would like to ask him a question, send it to billk@billkinder.com. If you’d like a FREE ‘WISE Money’ Consultation, call him at (304) 250-0250.

 

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Should You Save More For Retirement Or Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

April 2nd, 2015

house

Whether it’s better to pay off your mortgage ahead of schedule or invest and save towards retirement is a perennial – and perennially difficult question in the world of retirement planning. It really depends on your current financial situation as well as your age. More to the point, it largely comes down to whether you’re still working and expect to for at least the next several years or you’re close to retirement or already out of the workforce.

 

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Still Working

If you plan to pay off your mortgage early, you’ll want to make sure you already have some kind of cushion for emergencies. Paying down your mortgage is a great thing, but don’t break the bank to do it; it’s better to keep some savings to allow you to continue paying your regular mortgage payments if something unexpected happens.

 

Another consideration is whether the savings on mortgage interest are greater than the income you could reasonably expect to generate through investments. Obviously, you’ll want to take a close look at the interest rate on your mortgage and make a conservative estimate of what your investments should yield before you make this decision.

 

Mortgage interest is fairly straightforward, but remember to include the tax implications in your calculations. Depending on which tax bracket you’re in, you’ll be able to deduct most (and maybe all) of your mortgage interest, which can reduce your effective mortgage rate by as much as 1%.

 

Figuring out how much you’ll make investing is a more complicated question. The market can be unpredictable, so don’t overestimate your potential returns – somewhere in the neighborhood of 4% to 5% is probably a reasonable return for the average investor.

 

Retired Or Close To Retirement

If you’re out of the workforce, you’re generally better off going for a mortgage payoff than investing, given the inherent volatility of the stock market. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t invest at all, but keep in mind that the stock market can see periods of a decade or more of below average returns – which could give you a much lower ROI than just paying off your mortgage early. Also, the tax advantages of having a mortgage in retirement are much smaller than they are when you’re still working. You’ll probably be in a lower tax bracket and you’ll be paying more in principal and less in (deductible) interest.

 

See more about our Retirement Planning Solutions

 

There is no one size fits all answer to this or, for that matter, a lot of questions people have about retirement planning. A mortgage payoff could be the right answer for you, but depending on your circumstances, it might make more sense to keep investing. Keep the guidelines here in mind and you should be able to arrive at a solution that works for you. Finally, remember that whether you choose to pay off your mortgage or invest more towards your retirement, they’re both far better than doing nothing at all to plan for the future.

 


 

Bill Kinder @BKAssocAdvisors

Bkinder

Bill Kinder is the President and Chartered Financial Consultant with Bill Kinder & Associates. A company that helps people from all walks of life and income levels to position & manage their money wisely, minimize their taxes owed, protect their assets and plan for a comfortable retirement. Bill has been in business for over 35 years, holds a BS degree, plus a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant certifications, as well as the Million Dollar Round Table’s “Top of the Table” honor. Follow him @BKAssocAdvisors or if you would like to ask him a question, send it to billk@billkinder.com. If you’d like a FREE ‘WISE Money’ Consultation, call him at (304) 250-0250.

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