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Has it really been that long?

October 23rd, 2012 at 09:12 pm

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I updated my blog...

I have to admit I was maintaining several blogs and running my financial planning business and got burned out on blogging for a while.

So I took a step back, thought about what topics are really important to me, and am now back in the saddle.

After some long contemplation and some much needed business planning, I realized that my typical client is a few years away from retirement and as a result their main questions are:

- Can I retire at (date/age)?
- Do I have the right investments to meet my goals?
- When should I start collecting Social Security
- Which accounts do I draw down from first (after I have retired)

Well of course I was blogging about all the wrong topics for this group of people (debt management, budgeting - this group is way past these topics, well most of them are).

To meet the needs of my audience I will be discussing retirement planning, Social Security and other baby boomer appropriate topics at my main financial planning site,

Text is Beacon Financial Advisors and Link is www.beacon-advisor.com
Beacon Financial Advisors. In addition I started a a Social Security blog that I use to educate people about Social Security benefits (have had a blast working on this one!).

I know the main topic on SavingAdvice.com is on saving money, but I also know there are some baby boomers here. I'd like to share my retirement posts here as well in hopes that some of you will find them helpful.

Looking forward to being a part of this community again Smile

It's Not ALL Bad News...

October 22nd, 2008 at 08:11 pm

Post from my

Text is Money Wise Coach and Link is http://www.themoneywisecoach.com/
Money Wise Coach blog earlier today...

You'd never guess there was any good news in the economy based on the gloomy headlines and the lack of consumer confidence. The economy is definitely in turmoil right now, but I've always felt that the media focused on the negative news and buried any good news.

So I was thrilled to see "10 Things That Are Going Right" on Kiplinger.com today.

According to the guys at Kiplinger, there are a few reasons to be optimistic about after all:

1. Oil prices have dropped 50% in the last three months. I have definitely noticed this at the gas pumps as gas prices have dropped from over $4 per gallon to $2.33 per gallon earlier this week. This will definitely help the old pocket book each time we fill up.

2. Deals on new cars are abundant as car makers have suffered a double digit decline in sales. This is good news for consumers in the market for a new car. In addition, car makers have finally started developing hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles which should have long-lasting benefits.

3. Interest rates are low and are expected to go lower. So again, consumers in the market for a new car or house should benefit.

4. Home prices are down significantly, which is good news for first time home buyers who were previously priced out of the market.

5. Bank deposits have never been safer. Thanks to the bailout plan FDIC insurance on checking and savings accounts and CDs held at FDIC insured banks has more than doubled.

6. Stocks are on sale. If you have time on your side (10 or more years to invest), you should definitely take advantage of the down market to buy low (remember buy low, sell high?).

7. Technology continues to advance, which means televisions, computers and other tech gadgets are super cheap.

8. U.S. harvests have had one of the best years ever (I didn't know this, did you?), which means U.S. exports are up, and profits are up, allowing farmers to pay down debt.

9. The November elections mean new leadership for the U.S. and optimism for positive change going forward. After the year we’ve had, who wouldn't be happy about a change in leadership?

10. Expect bargains and great deals this holiday season. Retail sales are expected to be slow this holiday shopping season, which means retailers are planning on giving deep discounts. If you're a bargain shopper, this is good news indeed Smile

So, it's not all bad news... Thanks to the folks at Kiplinger.com for giving us something to be happy about.

A Simple Exercise to Reduce Your Financial Anxiety

September 30th, 2008 at 07:10 am

I just blogged about an exercise that I use to reduce stress. While the exercise is really meant to help you de-clutter your mind when you have too much to do, it's also a great way to reduce stress.

Since the stock market and economy are causing a lot of stress for people lately, I thought I'd share.

If you'd like to read about my simple exercise to reduce financial stress, please

Text is click here and Link is http://www.themoneywisecoach.com/2008/09/reduce-financial-anxiety/
click here.

Have you changed your vacation plans due to rising gas prices?

May 13th, 2008 at 11:19 am

DH and I were planning on going to Colorado for vacation this year, but have changed our plans due to the rising gas prices.

Just wondering if others are changing their vacation plans due to gas prices?

Blogged about this on my

Text is regular blog and Link is http://www.themoneywisecoach.com/2008/05/have-rising-gas-prices-changed-your-vacation-plans/
regular blog earlier today...

Wow! It's been a while!

January 1st, 2008 at 10:56 am

I just realized that I haven't posted to this blog in almost a year! It's not that I haven't been posting, it's just that I've been busy posting to my

Text is Ebiz Tax Tips blog and Link is http://www.onlinebiztaxtips.com
Ebiz Tax Tips blog and my
Text is Financial Tips for WAHMs blog and Link is http://www.financialtipsforwahms.com
Financial Tips for WAHMs blog, that I haven't had time to post to this one!

Anyway, just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and I am looking forward to catching up on everyone's blogs!

Buried in tax returns...

February 18th, 2007 at 08:04 am

I've been too busy to blog for a while, because I am buried in tax returns.

Not that I'm complaining; over half of the returns that I've received so far are from new clients who were referred to me by current (happy) clients. Nothing makes me feel better than to get a referral from a client, because it tells me I'm doing a good job!

Anyway, the one theme I've noticed this year - everyone, and I mean everyone is asking about the telephone tax credit! Just cracks me up. It seems like such an insignificant tax break to me compared to other recent tax law changes, but everyone is so focused on the telephone tax credit. I guess I can blame the media for that one, since there are so many articles about it? I even blogged about it myself, but just to keep my clients from asking me about it! Lol...

Enough ranting, it's looking to be a beautiful day here after a lot of cold and snow, so I'm going to enjoy it!

Any eBayers here?

February 2nd, 2007 at 01:37 pm

I've been noticing that more and more of my friends, family and clients are selling items on eBay and making a profit.

I sold quite a bit of stuff a few years ago - just trying to clean out the closets, etc. - but have never tried to make a real profit doing it.

Anybody having any luck on eBay, and what are you selling?

Just curious...

Have a great day!

3 No Spend Days in a Row!

January 15th, 2007 at 07:47 pm

Well, thanks to the freezing rain, snow, and ice we've had over the last few days, I've had 3 No Spend days in a row!

But, I have to say it was probably due to the weather more than anything else. Since I work from home, I was able to stay inside for the worst of the bad weather, and that meant no spending.

DH is out of town for the rest of the week, and I've got plans with the girls at least 2 of those days. So... probably won't have any more No Spend days this week, but I'm content with the 3 I've had already.

Jump-Start Your Retirement Planning Days

January 12th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Twice a year Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) team up to provide consumers with free financial advice during Jump-Start Your Retirement Planning Days.

Jump-Start Your Retirement Planning Days is a chance for consumers to get free financial advice by telephone from some of the nation's top financial advisors.†

Consumers can call from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Janaury 16th and Friday, January 26th.†

Financial advisors will be standing by to answer people's most pressing retirement questions.

The toll-free number for the Kiplinger's Jump-Start Your Retirement Planning Days is 888-919-2345.†

More information can be found at Kiplinger.com or at NAPFA's website.

Two very creative finance blog carnivals

January 9th, 2007 at 07:18 am

I don't know if you guys read blog carnivals, but I've seen 2 this week that are very creative and interesting to read.

They are:

Text is The Carnival of Personal Finance: Financial Superheroes Edition and Link is http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/01/08/carnival-of-personal-finance-financial-superheroes-edition/
The Carnival of Personal Finance: Financial Superheroes Edit... by Get Rich Slowly, and

Text is The Ten Commandments of Frugality (Festival of Frugality #56) and Link is http://www.harvestsb.org/savvysteward/2007/01/festival-of-frugaltiy-56-the-ten-commandments-of-frugality/
The Ten Commandments of Frugality (Festival of Frugality #56)

I wish I was that creative! Alas, I'm just a numbers person...

My newspaper saved me $25!

January 7th, 2007 at 11:30 am

My dh frequently complains that the Sunday newspaper is a waste of money (probably because he just reads the sports and comic sections and throws the rest away!).

Our Sunday paper usually has a sticker on it that say's there are $35 in money-saving coupons inside (or whatever the amount is). I'm not much of a coupon cutter, but today's paper had a brown paper bag (grocery size bag) from Office Max inside, which allowed shoppers to save 15% off all items you could fit into the bag.

I was planning on stocking up for tax season today anyway, so I grabbed that bag and off to Office Max I went. Since I was stocking up on higher priced items like toner and ink cartridges, I saved over $25 on my total by using the shopping bag!

So is the Sunday paper a waste of money? No way! I saved enough to buy the Sunday paper for the next two years, so my dh can continue reading the funnies and sports section every Sunday without worrying about wasting money.

I think I'll add the savings to our vacation fund...

1st No Spend Day

January 5th, 2007 at 02:33 pm

Well, it looks like I'm going to finally have my first No Spend Day.

I mentioned in my previous post that the grocery store is usually what keeps me from having a no spend day.

I made it through today without going to the grocery store, but I'll definitely have to go tomorrow, cuz the Chiefs made the playoffs and we plan on grilling up some good chow for the game (even though I don't think anyone expects us to beat the Colts)!

Anyway... I'm excited about my first No Spend Day and am looking forward to many, many more No Spend Days in the future!

I Want a No Spend Day!

January 4th, 2007 at 02:51 pm

So far in 2007 I have not had a No Spend Day.

My biggest obstacle is that we go to the grocery store almost every day. As hard as I try (grocery lists, menu planning, etc.) I always seem to need something.

So... I'm on a mission to have my first No Spend Day (tomorrow - already went to the grocery store today). Wish me luck!

Win Free Financial Advice!

January 2nd, 2007 at 08:55 am

Text is Money Smart Life and Link is http://www.moneysmartlife.com/
Money Smart Life is running a blog contest starting today. It's
Text is The Small Idea, Big Change Challenge and Link is http://www.moneysmartlife.com/2007/01/02/win-free-financial-advice-the-small-idea-big-change-challenge/
The Small Idea, Big Change Challenge.

Here's the post on his blog...

"The blogosphere is full of financial wisdom and inspiration. Often, the smallest idea or article is all we need to help us make a much needed change in our finances. I challenge you to share what blogger inspired your financial success in 2006!

Enter the Small Idea, Big Change Challenge and let everyone know what idea led to a big financial change in your life! The winner of the challenge will receive a 1 hour consultation with a certified financial planner.

Kristine McKinley is a CFP and CPA from
Text is Beacon Financial Advisors and Link is http://www.beacon-advisor.com
Beacon Financial Advisors whom some of you may recognize from her
Text is blog and Link is http://beaconfinancialtips.typepad.com/blog/
blog contributions to various finance carnivals.

The winner of the challenge will get a mini-version of her
Text is Right Start Financial Checkup and Link is http://beacon-advisor.com/OurServices.asp
Right Start Financial Checkup. The prize is one hour of phone consultation with Kristine on your investment or tax issues.

So how do you win? Here are the rules:

1) Write about any small idea from a personal finance blogger in 2006 that inspired you to a big financial change.

It doesnít have to be a small idea but usually thatís all it takes. If you have a blog of your own, post your entry there. If not, send me the information via my Contact page and Iíll post it on this blog.

The submission should contain two things:

* A link to original post from the blogger that inspired you.
* A link back to this post.

2) Voting
The winner will be chosen for the people by the people! As the submissions link back to this post, youíll see them at the bottom of the page. Get out and vote for your favorite success stories by leaving a comment on their post. You can vote for more than one.

3) Winner
Whichever submission has the most comments by the end of the day January 15th wins! At the end of the contest, Iíll write a summary post linking back to all of the submissions and announce the winner.

Kristine will contact the winner to schedule the meeting and determine the personal finance questions to be covered in the consultation.

Contest Updates
Iíll be giving updates on the contest over the next two weeks so subscribe to my feed to stay in the loop.
Good luck!"

For more information and updates, check
Text is Money Smart Life's blog and Link is http://www.moneysmartlife.com/
Money Smart Life's blog often!

It's FAFSA time!

January 2nd, 2007 at 08:21 am

You can start completing and sending in your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as Jan 1.

Although the deadline for the FAFSA form isn't until July 2, 2007, you'll want to get yours in early. This is one case where the early bird really does get the worm.

Even if you don't think you will qualify for financial aid, you should complete this form. Many schools require the FAFSA for merit and other non-financial need based awards.

Text is Click here and Link is http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
Click here to get your FAFSA form or to complete it online.