Blog Posts

Financial envy is even more of a thing now than it was back in 1913 when cartoonist Arthur R. “Pop” Momand debuted the comic strip “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” which centered on the misadventures of Aloysius P. McGinnis and his family, who were always trying to keep up with their never-seen neighbors, the Joneses.

Today, we not only have television shows displaying lifestyles of the rich and famous, we’re punched with images and status updates in social media, too. We not only see the “Joneses” on television, but we are likely connected on social media to colleagues and friends who post frequent photos and statuses about their new luxury car, boat, or 3-carat diamond ring.

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Every year around tax time, reports of email phishing scams increase, though no season is immune to its own set of scams. Phishing is the act of using computers to fraudulently acquire sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and user names & passwords. To accomplish this, thieves will send electronic communications designed to look like they are coming from a trustworthy entity. One example of a recent phishing scam appears to come from the IRS:

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At times, we can be so focused on our financial health – maintaining a healthy cash flow, monitoring a budget, building a retirement plan – that we can forget about the importance of our physical health and how it may impact our financial future. It’s much easier to talk the talk about staying young than it is to walk the walk. Starting in our 20s and 30s, we commence a long, seemingly inevitable physical deterioration. Our maximum heart rate declines, and with it the amount of oxygen-bearing blood the heart can pump. Muscle is gradually replaced with fat and weight edges upward. And decade by decade, as oxygen intake drops, it becomes a little harder to just get around. Eventually, in our 70s, 80s or 90s, most of us lose our “functional independence,” the ability to live on our own. We move to assisted-living or nursing homes because, literally, our living needs to be assisted.

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Few tasks in life can be as rewarding and challenging as being a primary caregiver for your loved ones. And caregiving comes in a variety of forms, from looking after ailing relatives to raising children as a stay-at-home parent. Whether you purposefully chose the role or life’s circumstances required you to fill it, you face myriad responsibilities that can distract you from managing your own financial life. To feel secure in your future and the future of those you care for, you need to make sure you safeguard your finances.

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By Michael J. Searcy

Nope, we’re not talking about crashing markets or the end of the economic world here. We are talking about the name of a letter one of our clients has written to be given to his survivors. He has instructed them to only open it in the case of his death or incapacity. The purpose? To make things easier for his survivors and point them in the right direction of what needs to happen next. We talk about these things with clients on a regular basis but seldom do they actually implement this type of communication. Far too often it lands on the “good idea when I get around to it” list. This is understandable because who really wants to face their own mortality? We applaud this client for being proactive.

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