Five “No Brainer” Moves to Strengthen Your Finances

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM)   Here are 5 “no-brainer” moves you can make before year-end to strengthen your finances: Taxes: NJ AND NY RESIDENTS ALERT: If Congress pushes through tax reform that eliminates state and local tax exemptions, many NJ and NY residents (along with MA and CA residents) will be hit […]

“It’s Greek to Me!” – Understanding Your Investment Statements

By Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner™ Note: I recently gave a seminar at the Bernards Township Library in Basking Ridge, NJ. Here are a few points that we touched on. When you look at your monthly investment statement, do you think “this looks like Greek to me”? Do you ignore all but the first page, […]

Are You a Near-Sighted or a Far-Sighted Investor?

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner(TM). Are you a Near-Sighted or a Far-Sighted investor? If you’re a near-sighted investor, you probably check your investment balances frequently (even several times a day) and you feel good when your investments are up. Your focus is short-term, even though you may live another 30-50 years. Conversely, you worry or feel regret when […]

Take a Quiz: Is Your Financial Advisor a “Broker” or a “Financial Planner”?

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM) Professional You have a financial advisor, but what kind is he/she? Take this brief quiz to see if you can tell the difference between a “Broker” and a “Financial Planner.” Receive 2 points for all “Yes” answers, and 1 point for all “No” answers: My financial advisor has […]

“Keep It Simple, Stupid” (KISS) Your Way to Financial Health

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Are you familiar with the KISS (“Keep it Simple, Stupid”) concept? KISS helps you refine your elevator speech, write concisely…and the KISS concept can boost your financial health. How? By helping you focus on essential ways to strengthen your financial well-being. After working with hundreds of financial planning and investment […]

Which is Best: Lump Sum or Pension Annuity?

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner(TM) Is a lump sum offer from an employer a better choice than a pension annuity for life? The former provides an immediate up-front amount (say $300,000), but the pension annuity gives you a stream of payments for life (example: $1,350 per month). A number of employers dangle a lump […]

Managing Your Financial Life Well: Things to Do and Things to Avoid (Part 2)

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Two months ago I wrote about key areas to help “Manage a Financial Life Well” in the face of the overwhelming volume of financial information and advice. Some examples I mentioned included having sufficient life/disability insurance, calculating how to best fund long-term care and how to make some smart investment decisions […]

Managing Your Financial Life Well: Things to Do and Things to Avoid

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do to manage your life well – be it exercise, meditation, diet or making smart financial decisions. When confusion reigns, you may end up focusing on the trees instead of the “big-picture” forest.  How can you manage your financial […]