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...]

Even if you are a Prince, you still need a will!

There is so much speculation going around about the death of pop star Prince last week. Yesterday in the supermarket I saw tabloid headlines that he was murdered, he was killed by drugs ………and the speculation goes on and on. Initial estimates are that Prince’s estate is worth over $300 million and that does not even start to count in the value of unreleased … [Read more...]

Forgiveness or Refinancing – a blessing or a mistake?

OK so I have graduated from college, now what is the most efficient way of paying off my student loans? I have received a few questions about the best way to repay my student loan. PS – DON’T MISS THE WARNING AT THE END OF THIS! Please note that there are pro’s and con’s to each option of paying off your loan and will affect each family’s unique … [Read more...]

10 Mistakes families make when appealing Financial Aid

The Parent calling the financial aid office Your student is now being treated as an adult (in many cases for the first time) and the college does not want to communicate with the parent. Who asks for more help and how they do it is vital to your student’s success in appealing their financial aid. We have experienced a number of times where schools will … [Read more...]

Market Volatility – what should I be thinking?

Obviously we are all watching what is happening in the market and how it affects our finances and retirement. Many are concerned as to what to do in this environment of volatility. As I mentioned to a client last week – “This is your money and obviously we will do whatever you want” Most people however have engaged SageView Advisory for advice, and although … [Read more...]