Resource Center

Financial wisdom produced by award winning and experienced financial professionals.

Transforming the Wealth in Your Home into a Blessing for Your Children

By |June 12th, 2024|

It's a common misconception that your children want to inherit your home. In reality, the home that holds so many memories for you can often become a burden for them. Handling the logistics of selling or maintaining a property after you pass can be overwhelming and stressful, turning what should be a cherished inheritance into a significant headache. As we wrote about HERE A House Isn't a Good Inheritance. Turning Your Home into a Blessing So, how can you ensure that your home becomes a blessing rather than a burden? The answer lies in gifting the wealth in your home [...]

Are 529 Plans Worth It?

By |May 29th, 2024|

When saving for your kids’ future college expenses, there’s nothing better than a 529 Plan. These accounts allow you to save and invest while receiving tax-free withdrawals if used to pay for certain education expenses. But parents can be hesitant to commit to an account with a narrow restriction on how the funds can be used. After all, the future is uncertain. What if my kids don’t go to college? What if they get a full ride scholarship? What if I have an emergency and need that money? First, we’ll cover the basics of how 529 Plans are designed. Then, [...]

Helping Your Kids Buy a House: A Guide for Parents

By |May 8th, 2024|

As parents, one of our greatest desires is to see our children thrive and succeed. In today's real estate landscape, many parents are eager to assist their kids in purchasing their own home but are unsure of the best approach. In this guide, we'll explore two primary options for parental assistance: co-signing and gifting funds. Along the way, we'll address frequently asked questions to provide clarity and guidance on this important decision. Option 1: Co-signing Co-signing for your child's mortgage is a significant commitment that can provide invaluable support in their homebuying journey. By becoming a co-borrower, you share ownership [...]

Living Next Door to In-Laws: Blessing or Curse?

By |April 19th, 2024|

Introduction: A Light Bulb Joke and a Different Perspective “How many mothers-in-law does it take to change a light bulb? None. They prefer to criticize your lighting choices instead.” Ah, the classic in-law joke! We’ve all heard them—the punchlines that playfully poke fun at the complexities of family dynamics. But what if I told you that living next door to my in-laws has been one of the biggest blessings in my life? Buckle up, because this isn’t your typical tale of woe. It’s a story of community, convenience, and joy. The Common Perception: Curse or Convenience? For many, the [...]

What Will Mortgage Rates Do In 2024? A Wise Approach to Home Buying

By |April 3rd, 2024|

In the unpredictable realm of mortgage interest rates, one thing remains certain: no one can predict their future trajectory with absolute certainty. It's essential to approach discussions about interest rates with a healthy dose of skepticism and humility. Anyone who claims to possess a crystal-clear vision of what rates will do in the coming months is, frankly, someone you should approach with caution. That said, people often ask me what I think rates will do. Rather than claim to know exactly what will happen I will draw insights from historical trends, recent data, and my expert opinion to offer [...]

Can You Take your Current Mortgage Rate with You When You Buy a New Home?

By |March 13th, 2024|

Can I buy a new home and keep the mortgage rate I have on my current home? No, unfortunately. But don't worry, there's a smarter way to get a lower rate and make your next home purchase more affordable. Keep reading to find out how. You see, waiting around for mortgage rates to drop back to the ultra-low levels we saw in 2020 and 2021 isn't the wisest move. Those rates were a product of unique circumstances—government intervention in response to a global crisis. Hoping for a repeat of that scenario isn't realistic. As of February 2024, the average [...]

Navigating the Rising Tide: Why Insurance Rates Are Climbing in Arizona

By |February 28th, 2024|

Simply put, insurance rate increases in Arizona are not about you. The increases are coming and will continue because of: Population growth and increased accidents Inflation Insurance companies losing money In the hustle and bustle of daily life, one question consistently echoes among Arizonians: "Why is my insurance going up?" It's a query that often breeds frustration and confusion, leading many to question their own actions. However, the truth is more straightforward yet deeply intertwined with various factors beyond individual control. As providers of protection, we understand the inclination to seek answers and vent frustrations about escalating premiums. Yet, [...]

The Glass Claim Conundrum: A New Challenge

By |February 6th, 2024|

Arizona's landscape is evolving rapidly, with constant construction projects reshaping its highways and byways. While the state's growth brings excitement, it also presents challenges for drivers, particularly concerning windshield damage from debris on roadways. Glass coverage might seem like a safety net against such incidents, but given the current insurance landscape in Arizona, it might not be the most prudent choice to have on your auto insurance policy. This blog explains why. In recent years, Arizona has experienced a surge in glass claims due to its construction-heavy environment. This sudden increase in claims has caught insurance carriers off guard, [...]

An Early Christmas Gift from Jerome Powell: Hopeful Signs for 2024 Economy

By |December 18th, 2023|

The halls are decked, the lights are twinkling, and just when we thought the holiday season couldn't get any merrier, Jerome Powell and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have gifted us with news that has the potential to bring cheer not just for the festive season, but well into the new year. On December 13, 2023, the Fed made a crucial announcement at the conclusion of their two-day meeting, leaving many investors and economic enthusiasts optimistic about what lies ahead. A Pause on Rate Hikes The FOMC decided to keep interest rates unchanged. This announcement alone was enough [...]

IRS Announces New Tax Brackets for 2024

By |November 15th, 2023|

Each year, the IRS adjusts the dollar amounts of more than 60 tax provisions, including income tax brackets, the standard deduction, and the long-term capital gains tax brackets.  The adjustments for the 2024 tax year were announced last week. What are income tax brackets? As we explained in this video, our income tax system is a progressive tax.  That is, a higher tax is imposed on people with higher income, and a lower tax is imposed on people with lower income. Contrary to popular belief, being in a certain income tax bracket does not mean that all your income [...]

Three Ways to Steward your Credit Score

By |November 8th, 2023|

In a previous blog post, we discussed the importance of understanding that your credit score, while significant, is not the sole determinant when it comes to securing loans. Nevertheless, if you're aiming to enhance your credit score and position yourself favorably for borrowing opportunities, consider following these three key steps: Timely Payments: While it may sound like common sense, it's worth emphasizing that 35% of your credit score hinges on the punctuality of your payments. Furthermore, recent payment history within the last 12 to 24 months holds substantial weight. Therefore, to elevate your credit score, prioritizing on-time payments is [...]

What Do You Value Most?

By |November 1st, 2023|

Have you ever made a money decision that wasn’t going to maximize your net worth? I know I have.  So, why did we make that decision?  Shouldn’t increasing our wealth be our top priority? As a financial planner, I’ve come to realize two things: We all express our values with our money. The goal of money is to maximize our values, not net worth. First, a story. I had two clients (husband and wife) that were fun to work with.  They were younger, had kids, and were doing well financially.  In fact, the business that they started and worked [...]

What to Do with Your Current Home and Mortgage if You Buy Another Home?

By |October 25th, 2023|

If you are thinking of buying a new home, you might be wondering what to do with your current home and mortgage. This is a common dilemma for many homeowners who have built up equity in their homes and have low interest rates on their current mortgage. Should you sell your home and cash out your equity, or keep it and rent it out? What are the pros and cons of each option? Let’s explore this issue with a hypothetical scenario. Suppose you currently own a home that is worth $600,000. You owe $450,000 on it, so you have [...]

I Don’t Have Faith in the Stock Market: Tips to Help You Invest When It Feels Like the World is Ending

By |October 18th, 2023|

Today might be the best time to invest. Why is that so hard to believe? The threat of a recession, two wars in the headlines, rising interest rates, inflation, an upcoming presidential election… I get it—it doesn’t seem like the “all-clear” signal has flashed. But we know that we need to invest.  Investing in assets is the only way to make our money grow consistently above inflation.  And if there’s one sentiment that’s universally shared by all investors, it’s that they wished they invested earlier. So, what do we do when it seems like a bad time to invest?  [...]

Understanding How New Home Builders Sometimes Offer Lower Interest Rates than Banks and Mortgage Brokers

By |October 11th, 2023|

Buying a new home is an exciting endeavor, and one of the decisions you'll need to make is choosing the right mortgage lender. While banks and mortgage brokers are often the first options that come to mind, you may be surprised to learn that some new home builders can sometimes offer interest rates lower than those of traditional lenders. In this blog, we'll explore the two primary reasons behind this phenomenon, and we'll also provide guidance on how to make the best choice for your home financing. Temporary Buy-Downs: One reason why new home builders can offer lower interest rates [...]

Maximizing Returns: Diversify Beyond the Familiar Tools

By |October 4th, 2023|

I believe we live in the golden age of investing.  Not only is it easier to invest, but the costs have decreased and strategies that used to be available only to high net worth clients are accessible to any investor. But the myriad of choices and strategies can be overwhelming, especially when the markets seem to be more global and more complex. To thrive in this new age of investing, it's crucial for investors to adopt an open-minded approach to capital allocation. While the future remains uncertain, diversifying beyond the familiar could prove beneficial in the long run. Embracing [...]