Families and Finances: Communication is Key

Face Money Topics Head-On to Accomplish Your Family Financial Goals

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Monday, 21 September 2020

Families and Finances: Communication is Key

Do families and finances strike you as two words that don’t belong together? If so, you’re not alone. Money is a topic people often avoid discussing with family members – and even with their spouse or partner. It could be because they find it confusing or overwhelming, or because it often leads to disagreements and bad feelings. The fact that personal finance isn’t taught in most schools can also lead people to believe it’s not important.

All of these things are true: money is a charged topic that can leave us feeling confused, overwhelmed, or even angry, and most of us aren’t educated enough about money topics. Yet, these are the exact same reasons it is crucial to maintain open communication about financial issues within your family. Avoiding or ignoring this very real element of family life only sets you up for failure, whereas talking openly with your spouse and children is the best way to accomplish your financial and life goals together.

Below, we’ll discuss why you should consider finances a family affair, and why communication is the foundation of any family’s financial success.

Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a College

It's Important to Consider Financial Matters Before Making this Big Decision

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Monday, 24 August 2020

Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a College

If you’ve got a teen thinking about college, chances are they’re more focused on details like dorm room size and meal plan options than the cost of tuition and fees. Of course, you want your kids to choose a college experience that they’re excited about, but it’s important to remember the financial impact, too. If you’ll be helping with college costs, you certainly have a stake in the discussion. If your child will be relying on student loans, start a conversation about the realities of debt so that they truly understand how much college costs could affect them many years after graduation. While cost certainly isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a college, it’s not one that can be ignored either.

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.

Due to COVID-19, we have begun taking client meetings via Zoom. Please see our instructions below on how to use Zoom and what you can do to protect your privacy while using this technology.

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