Estate & Financial Planning

Financial Planner Pointing to a Graph

Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” This page is the home of articles about setting goals and making plans for the future.

Whether it relates to big picture money management or arranging for the orderly distribution of your estate, you’ll find it here.

Topics of interest include budgeting, income and expense forecasting, preparing a will and/or trust, powers of attorney, living wills, beneficiary designations, estate tax issues, and even selecting a financial planner (if you you need one).

I’ve talked in the past about why you should rebalance your portfolio. In short, you do so to maintain your desired risk profile. But how do you decide when to rebalance? While it’s good to keep things in check, there’s no sense in going overboard. While some rebalance at set […]

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When evaluating investments, you’ll often run across “average” return values. As useful as these numbers seem, they can be misleading. Why do I say this? Because they’re almost certainly arithmetic averages. Thus, they ignore the effects of volatility and overstate the returns that you can actually expect. Not sure what […]

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Over the past week or two, I’ve been playing around with a new (to me) online investment tracking service called Personal Capital. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s sort of like Mint, but with a focus on investing. Whereas Mint seems to target people who are just starting out, […]

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Over the past week, I’ve been giving myself a crash course in Medicaid planning. I guess that’s what happens when your parents advance in age and start having health problems. In case you weren’t aware, most states require the elderly to spend down their assets to a few thousand dollars […]

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Living Off Life Insurance

by Michael on Jul 8, 2013 · 3 comments

In response to my post about handling a windfall, a reader named Eliza asked: What do you do when the windfall is accompanied by tragedy? My darling husband of 27 years lost his battle with leukemia, leaving me a widow at 50. Yuck! Now I am not only dealing with […]

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How to Handle a Windfall

by Michael on Jun 3, 2013 · 12 comments

A couple of weeks ago, someone won a nearly $600M jackpot — though it was “only” $380M if they took the lump sum cash option. And then, a few days later, the news broke that Yahoo! was buying Tumblr for cool $1.1B, making their founder fantastically wealthy. Time and again, […]

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GPS Navigation and Financial Management

by Michael on Apr 8, 2013

I admit it. I’m a GPS-watcher. Whenever we go on long roadtrips, I track our progress closely on our GPS navigator. In doing so, the main thing that I watch is our ETA. Shaving minutes off our (projected) arrival time is like a game to me. If you’ve ever done […]

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Giving Your Money a Checkup

by Michael on Feb 18, 2013

This is just a quick note to point out a potentially useful tool from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling called MyMoneyCheckUp. Developed by the NFCC in conjunction with researchers at Ohio State, the Univ of Wisconsin, and the Univ of Chicago, it’s basically an online interview covering a variety […]

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