6 Things to Think About When Creating a Will

This piece was written for legalzoom by Michelle Fabie Esq - a freelance writer and I found it had pretty valuable information in a simple format. No matter your age or economic status, creating a will is the single best estate planning action you can take right now. Why? Because having a valid last will and testament helps assure that your wishes regarding … [Read more...]

Impala behind the wall – why we avoid that

Growing up in Africa, I have been fortunate to have experienced being on safari many times. One of the most common and beautiful animals in Southern Africa is the Impala. Impala’s would be described in America as a type of gazelle that could reach about 3 feet tall and weigh anything from 88 – 168 pounds. In full flight, the impala is just a magnificent … [Read more...]

Really – That’s all I get for COLA?

The government has just released their numbers for Cost of Living Adjustments for 2017. “Monthly Social Security and SSI benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017” https://www.ssa.gov/news/cola/ There are a number of threats or possible “Holes in the bucket” for retirement that we take into account as we plan for both … [Read more...]

Giraffe, Finances and the Circle of Life

For many years I have taken teams of people to South Africa to do work among those less fortunate than most of us. This last month I was reminded once again that we often think we are going to faraway places to give of ourselves and our resources, but we end up receiving life altering insights and gifts as we connect with those in need and recognize our common … [Read more...]

Valuable Money lessons from a Raccoon

My mother and my grandmother were both amazing gardeners and were extremely knowledgeable about plants and horticulture. [My Mom still is] I just love to get home in the evening and walk around the garden or water the plants. It’s a time of peace for me. Well …….. most times! Having grown up in Africa, my frame of reference was dealing with Lions and … [Read more...]

4 Questions that every Financial Advisor should be able to answer

I have asked people many times what their experience has been with Financial Advisors. Do you know what to ask your advisor and what he should be doing for you? Probably the best thing that should come out of a relationship with an advisor is a PLAN. If you know where you are headed then you will have a sense of what you need to do to get there …it will give … [Read more...]

It’s on now! It’s off now! Which one am I?

It’s officially summertime now and already the pools and the beaches are filling up. Families often fall into one of two categories as far as any type of planning goes, whether it be Financial Planning or College Planning. Category 1: “Talk to me when the summer is over, we are going on vacation for 3 months” Category 2: “Let’s get something done while … [Read more...]

529 Plans – 6 Vital things I need to know

529 Plans are financial instruments for College that are neither good nor bad, but have benefits and drawbacks to consider. There might be other financial vehicles available that could have as good if not much better benefits. Here are some things to consider before placing your money into a 529 Plan.   The 529 [like a 401k, 403b etc] is an IRS approved … [Read more...]

Do I dare to look today or not?

We all love looking at our retirement account statements when the market is up, but some people are scared to look at them when the market is down. We are all different – Some folk will check their statements on a daily or weekly basis, and others only when they get their quarterly statements and some only once a year. Do I check my pulse each morning to see … [Read more...]

Our Legacy – It’s not what we leave to our kids

In my Financial practice I have the privilege of discussing what my clients would like to leave to their kids as a legacy. It's an important discussion for most parents to have and plan for. Growing up on a farm in Africa my mother (who I am not sure ever made it to 4 feet tall – she might one day) had six rambunctious kids who grew up without much money, … [Read more...]