High unemployment rates over the past several years have made the job market very competitive. As a result, many people opted to stay in jobs that they did not like or were over qualified for. Employers,
unsure about the condition of the economy and the demand for their goods/services, have been operating at less than full capacity. Some have filled the demand for their work with overtime or part-time staff rather than hire full-time employees. If the environment has improved in your field, or a field that you considering switching to, and you are thinking about a change, you should start the process with both eyes open. continue reading »
Is your house like mine in that you feel like you have paperwork everywhere?
The end of tax season is a good time to get your financial house in order. Reducing your paperwork clutter can give you a feeling of organization and control and can help you get you pointed in the right direction to do some real financial planning. There are several things you can do that can have immediate impact in helping you de-clutter continue reading »
Spoiler alert: If you’re a Downton fan, beware that this column might give a few details away.
I spend a lot of time talking with people about financial planning issues, but in reading an article by Kelly Greene in the Wall Street Journal, I realized that lessons can be learned from hit TV shows. In the WSJ article, Greene pointed out that the hit TV show, “Downton Abbey,” offers some lessons for all of us. continue reading »
This is a re-run of one of Certified Financial Planner Jim Heisler’s most popular columns. He’ll return in two weeks with new content.
There have been a number of articles appearing in the mainstream press and higher education journals about the value of a college education and how unaffordable it now is. continue reading »
If you have been watching any TV news or been reading the paper, you know that we are facing another fiscal cliff on March 1.
Both sides are positioning themselves for some significant sparring this week. The truth is that the cuts will take some time to implement, and the reality is that they will not even bring the overall U.S. budget back to where it was for all of 2012. In short, the cuts will only reduce some of the growth in this year’s budget. continue reading »
The stock market has been running on adrenaline over the past several weeks. With the Dow hovering near 14,000, it is hard to gauge what the future holds.
The market has been escalating, while the economy has been sending mixed signals. The housing market has been improving for the past several months – in both the new and existing home markets. continue reading »
It is hard to believe it is tax time already. Most companies have sent out their W-2s. If you haven’t received yours yet, you should have it by the end of this week. Banks, investment firms, and state and local governments are also in the midst of sending out their information. There are a few things you can do to help get organized before you meet with your tax preparer (or get set to file your own return). continue reading »
Congress finally voted for a tax solution to the fiscal cliff crisis, but the battle is set for the spending side – the deadline is March 2013.
This is a perfect time to set some planning goals for 2013. Here a few things I encourage you think about as you kick the year off. continue reading »
There have been a number of articles appearing in the mainstream press and higher education journals about the value of a college education and how unaffordable it now is.
With costs escalating from 5 to 7 percent per year for the last 20 or so years, it is easy to see how higher education is on an unsustainable path. Incomes have risen at a much slower rate. The byproduct of all this has been the huge expansion of student loan debt. College graduates now carry more debt than in any previous generation. They also face significant challenges in finding employment in their chosen fields. A combination of older workers remaining in the workforce, companies cutting back on staff, and students with degrees in fields that are not in demand have made it that much harder. continue reading »
I attended a conference this week and while the topics covered the gamut of financial planning issues, two things really stuck out to me. First, we are headed down a terrible path for health care. Second, single and widowed women will face some significant issues as they age.
We all know that the Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land. Effective Jan. 1, 2013, some of the provisions of the law require hospitals and insurance companies to be compliant with a slew of additional regulations. continue reading »