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Goodbye Summer….

I absolutely love this peekaboo two piece set! This allows me to be reserved and at the same time a little extra flirty to enjoy the summer warmth in style. I have been able to wear this out to dinner as well as rolling around the streets of Miami.

~This set is from shein and only cost $27.90 with the new member discount of 10%. I typically wear a small in top and a size 4-6 in bottoms. I ordered a medium and it fit just right!

~The shoes are very comfortable and are from Amazon, pretty true to size (7.5)

~This cute purse came from DSW

Be sure to hurry and get these cute pieces while everything is on sale for the end of the season!

Choosing the RIGHT Professional…

We all have a variety of financial goals that we want to accomplish. Why not engage a financial professional in order to help you meet those goals? How would you know they are the right fit for you? Take a moment and think about the folks in your corner or professional contact list….they probably include medical professionals, accountants, professional and personal mentors, and the list goes on. These experts help you with a variety of aspects in your life. So why not think about selecting the right financial expert to help you with the financial matters in your life?

When you meet with a financial advisor for the first time, this is your chance to interview him or her. You are the employer and they are interviewing for an opportunity to work with you. Therefore, go into the interview with questions you can ask all candidates. If you already have a financial advisor, make sure you can answer these questions. If you can’t, it’s never too late to ask them so you have some reassurance about your choice.

Here are six questions you’ll want to know the answers to in order to make your decision on which financial advisor to work with:

  1. What licenses/certifications do you have? This is important to know what qualifications do they have in order to give you sound financial advice. Although you may not be familiar with the different licensure, you can always check the FINRA’s website to know what is required and what they all mean. Financial advisors must have a “core” Series 6 or 7 license, but they could also have a 63, 65, or 66 Series license. If the advisor is selling insurance products, then they need to have a state insurance license also. Some other designations in the industry include Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC). Note: You can also check the FINRA site to review an advisor’s disciplinary history, complaints, etc.
  2. What services do you and/or your firm offer? If you go with this individual and/or firm, what are you going to get out of it? Do they give advice only or can they give advice AND sell the financial products they’re recommending? What areas of financial goal planning do they cover? Also, request a sample financial plan and see if you are able to easily understand and interpret it.
  3. How do you charge for your services? There are a few different ways advisors are compensated so it is important for you to know which way your advisor will be and how much that will cost you. Some of the ways include a commission per product, a fee based account charged on a periodic basis, or an hourly fee. Advisors paid on commission must meet a suitability standard and those that are fee based are subject to a fiduciary standard and must put clients interests above their own. You’ll have to figure out what works best for you and your financial situation. An important note: an advisor should NEVER ask you to write a check to him or her. You should write checks ONLY to a brokerage, an insurance company, or another financial services firm.
  4. What is your investment approach? This question allows for you to see what type of “promises” or expectations the advisor can give you. If they are purely rate driven and/or speak mainly about beating the market performance, then you may want to look elsewhere. In order to make personal effective recommendations, the advisor has to consider your time horizon, risk tolerance, income, debts, and many other things to understand your financial picture and be able to help reach your financial goals.
  5. How often do you contact your clients? At minimum, you should meet with your advisor annually. Also, if you have a change in your life such as marriage, a child, inheritance, etc., then you should contact them for a meeting to see how the change effects your plan. Remember, you are the employer so you have the right to dictate how often you meet and what type of meeting (whether in person or phone). Additionally, you should be able to contact your advisor when needed and hopefully their response time falls within “a 24 hour” time frame. These contact methods can be from the advisor directly and/or a team member/someone from their firm, but be sure to clarify during your interview.
  6. Do you have a financial interest in the entity that houses my account? This question should be asked to advisors that are not associated with large brokerage or insurance companies. You will want to understand who they use as a clearing firm or independent third-party custodian. Using these entities prevents the advisor from having direct custody of your assets and adds another layer of security. In other words, this prevents another Bernie Madoff type situation.

Once you have the answers to the questions above, you have to ask yourself the most important question: Do I like this person? Mentioned previously, this person will be part of your corner and working with you, hopefully for the long haul, so a likeable relationship is important. If you have ANY reservations, then on to the next! The process will be well worth your time and money (of course)!

National Life Insurance Awareness Month

 Protection is Always Important 


There is protection for so many of your various possessions, including the extremely important one…YOU! September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) focusing on educating people on the importance of life insurance and helping get the coverage needed.

More than 40% of Americans have no life insurance*. Here are a few reasons why life insurance is important…

1) Do it for your family – In the event of your untimely departure, life insurance can do a number of things such as: serve as income replacement, payoff a mortgage, payoff debts, pay for a child’s education, cover burial expenses, transfer wealth to your loved ones, or serve as a charity donation.

2) Work insurance is inadequate – If you have life insurance through your employer it may only be 1 or 2 times your salary, which may not be enough to cover some or all of the expenses in #1. Additionally, you will only have that insurance as long as you are an employee. If you are self-employed or your employer doesn’t offer life insurance, then it is 100% up to you to get the protection you need.

3) Coverage isn’t as expensive as you think – Those with no life insurance think it’s 3X more expensive than it really is*. There is no cost nor obligation on your part to speak with a financial advisor to determine the right type of insurance for you and get a quote. Remember, the longer you wait the greater it can be.

Your home and car most likely are insured – Are YOU?

*Source: 2015 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA

Here Comes the Bride…..


“Here Comes the Bride…”

Congratulations on your engagement or recent or pending nuptials! There is always so much to think about when getting married, but the crucial financial conversation is a necessary component for your foundation to live happily ever after. Think of it as a “date night” that you should have during the engagement or very early on in your marriage. Both individuals should be open, honest, and thorough.

Here are 5 tips on what to discuss during this important conversation together:

1. Discuss your financial goals and habits – Talk about any savings goals and/or debt payoff goals. Your habits include how you spend money, how you save money, and how you decide on large purchases. Don’t forget to set some financial goals together such as emergency fund (short term), down payments (intermediate term), paying a child’s education (long term).

2. Show each other the numbers – Review all financial documents together this includes, bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, all debt, and sources of income. Also, decide how you want to set up your accounts (joint, all separate, or a combination of the two). Determine who will pay what bills and from what accounts if necessary.

3. Create a budget – Together, create a budget. Hopefully you both have your own individual budget that you can use as a starting point. If not, there are a variety of sources to provide budget templates/worksheets for free online or the library. At minimum, on a monthly basis review your budget together.

4. Discuss with professionals – Meet with a tax professional to determine what is the best method for filing taxes (jointly or separately). Meet with a financial professional to help with meeting the financial goals, updating beneficiaries, and reviewing all types of insurance policies or purchasing new ones. Designate power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and update or develop a will.

5. Health insurance – Most companies won’t make one wait until enrollment period at to update health insurance after a life changing event such as marriage. Review both plans and determine what will be the best course of action.

6. Remember to take time out to date each other during your planning stages.

                           Love is a powerful drug all by itself so don’t let financial       

                                 secrets and/or woes cause it to become ineffective!

Vacation…Just What the Doctor Ordered

Vacation….Just What the Doctor Ordered

Yay! Summer has finally arrived! For many, that may mean going on vacation for some fun in the sun! Whether it is a quick getaway or a weeklong extravaganza, you want to enjoy your vacation as much as possible right? Here are 5 ways to protect your finances while out of town so you can focus on the more important things, such as which swimwear to pack.

  1. Limit your cards – Take only the bank/credit cards you plan to use and leave the rest at home. Make sure at least 1 card is an ATM card to allow you to access cash if need be. Don’t take anything with your social security number printed on it. Make a copy of medical insurance cards and take the only the copy removing the last four digits of the social.
  2. Use the safe – If staying in a hotel, put passports, extra cash, backup bank/credit card, electronics, and valuables in the safe provided.
  3. Make copies – Make copies of the bank/credit cards you are taking, passports, and itinerary. Put the copies in the hotel safe in case information is stolen you have the data to cancel cards immediately and still have your identification.
  4. Tell the bank/credit card companies – Prior to leaving, contact your financial institution for the card(s) you are taking. Let them know where you will be and the corresponding dates. Also, review all your transactions when you return to make sure no unauthorized transactions or amounts posted to your account.
  5. Protect your cash – Only carry enough cash for theday and put the rest in the safe. Keep an eye on your belongings when in public places by not placing your handbag on the floor or hanging off the back of a chair.

So you may not be going on vacation this summer, but you are dreaming of the one you will take soon. Here are 3 tips to make that dream become a reality.

  1. Spending plan – Decide how much you expect to spend and be specific including items such as travel, lodging, food, excursions, tips, etc.
  2.  Budget – Add a line item in your monthly budget for your vacation spending plan in order to reach your goal in the necessary amount of time. This may require reducing other expenses to save or using other strategies for additional income.
  3.  Automation – Take the thought out of it and setup an automatic transfer to a separate account (your vacation account) to meet your goal. Try not to have access to the funds in the separate account until it is time for your dream vacation.

Now go ahead and follow the Doctor’s orders by taking a much needed vacation!

vacation beach