In the News

Relationships and Finances: Avoid These Mistakes

Don’t Let Money Come Between You and the Person You Love

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Monday, 27 July 2020

Relationships and Finances: Avoid These Mistakes

Relationships, by nature, are fraught with challenges. Busy schedules often mean not spending enough time together, silly arguments about who should do the dishes can build to resentment over time, and jealousy or control issues permeate many relationships. When you add in difficulties related to in-laws or infidelity, things become even more complex.

Despite all these potential troubles, the biggest relationship roadblocks tend to be related to money. Financial disagreements can sink a relationship quickly, so it’s important to go be proactive and work together with your partner to avoid the most common money-related relationship mistakes.

Lose Your ‘Right or Wrong’ Mindset

Perhaps the biggest mistake you and your partner can make is to approach your financial disagreements from a “right or wrong” mindset. You know the one that tells you one of you must be right and the other must be wrong? This type of framework is common since more than 70 percent of individuals have money management styles that are different from their partner’s, but it’s also incredibly destructive.

A World in Transition

During a time of such uncertainty, focusing on the things you can control can lead to better decisions for the long-term

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Thursday, 16 July 2020

A World in Transition

If someone had told you at this time last year that you’d be spending your summer reeling from a global health pandemic that forced you to be inside for 12 weeks with every member of your family, an unprecedented economic downturn that will likely result in a recession in the months to come, a civil rights debate that would bring the world into a conversation that needed to be had a long time ago, you likely wouldn’t have believed it. Last year at this time, while things were assuredly not perfect, none of this could have been predicted. 

And that’s the thing about predictions: they are uncertain. Just as we cannot time the markets, we cannot really predict what outside forces will impact our lives, livelihood, and social existence. For all these things we cannot control, though, we can find strength and resilience in knowing that there are things we can control, too. 

Taking Back the Reins

We can control what information we take in as truth. We can control what we eat and drink, along with how we sleep, exercise, meditate, and practice self-care. We can control how we treat others and how our emotions affect the way that we react to the things happening around us. Of course, we have to be intentional about all of these things. Otherwise, we risk falling into patterns that leave us susceptible to poor decision-making. For example, a pitfall we all fall victim to at times: confirmation bias.

Relationships, the Coronavirus, and Big Conversations

No matter what stage of life you are in, now is the time for strong communication and mutual respect in your relationship

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Monday, 29 June 2020

Relationships, the Coronavirus, and Big Conversations

Disasters often strike with little notice. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria surprised us with their ferocity in 2017, the Equifax security breach caught us by surprise that same year, and so it has been with the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some public health experts had coronavirus on their radar for some time, the general public was caught largely unaware as this worldwide health crisis forced us to abandon our usual way of life. While these three forms of disaster may seem to have little in common, they have all left financial devastation in their wakes, and they all represent periods of great transition for many people.

Right now, people around the globe are facing anxiety about the future, uncertain job situations, loss of income, health concerns, illness and loss, and lives put on hold. The news media reminds us of the major impacts of the coronavirus – nearly ten million confirmed cases worldwide, more than 20 million jobs lost in the United States alone – but there are a great many other consequences of this pandemic that aren’t making the headlines. Our relationships with one another are changing inside homes and within communities. Times of transition are often marked by confusion and feelings of uncertainty, but these difficulties are compounded when our loved ones are experiencing life transitions at the same time. This is particularly true with regard to our spouse or partner. When left untended, these relationships can become strained even in the best of times, let alone during a global health and financial crisis. Below, I will discuss several strategies for successfully moving through a period of transition while supporting and strengthening your relationship at the same time.

Are You Prepared for Unexpected Retirement Costs?

Financial Surprises Can Have Serious Consequences

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Monday, 15 June 2020

Are You Prepared for Unexpected Retirement Costs?

Thoughtful retirement planning should always include contingencies for unexpected life events that impact your nest egg. However, even if you’ve planned ahead to weather financial surprises, the following events tend to catch retirees off-guard and cause increased levels of financial disruption.

Death of a Spouse

This health event is difficult for many reasons and will often involve extraordinary expenses that are much greater than what you may have planned for. The death of a spouse can lead to a significant decrease in net worth, especially for women, over a short period of time.

Serious Health Conditions

Most older Americans expect an inevitable decline in health that comes with aging, but there are two health conditions that are most dangerous to a retiree’s finances. According to this study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, strokes and lung disease are of a particular concern financially. One in five older Americans will experience one of these conditions, and Medicare will only provide so much assistance. A stroke reduces the average wealth of a household by $25,000 and lung disease has an even greater average impact of $29,000.

The Pressures and Benefits of Being a Female Breadwinner

Tips for Making this Household Dynamic Work for You

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The Pressures and Benefits of Being a Female Breadwinner

Recent economic changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the financial balance of power in many households. Even before that, though, a new trend was emerging. Today, more than half of American households are dual income, with the majority featuring the man as the primary breadwinner. However, the number of women outearning their male partners continues to grow. In fact, over the past five years, the number of female breadwinners has grown to four out of ten households.

This is an exciting statistic because it means women are harnessing their financial power in the workplace and taking the lead in their families in a way that hasn’t happened historically. However, it also means women are facing more pressure than ever before to perform at a high level both at work and at home. This can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, especially if both partners fail to support one another.

Let’s take a look at the pressures and the benefits associated with being a breadwinning woman:

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