Are you wondering about the benefits of starting a revocable living trust vs just a will? For years, my wife and I put off what we know we have to do as responsible adults and parents, and create a will. Without a will, the courts decide what happens to everything you leave behind: Your kids, your money, the house, the family dog, … everything! Ask yourself this simple question: If my spouse and I were to get hit by a car tonight, is there anything in place to protect all of those things I just mentioned? If the answer is “no”, then you absolutely need to sit down and do a little estate planning. I know … it’s hard. It’s not fun to think about times when you’re not here anymore. It took me battling cancer and a … [Read more...] about Why We Started a Living Trust Instead of Just a Will
Insurance & Estate Planning
As if the decision in estate planning over whether to create a will or open a trust isn’t confusing enough, I’ve come to understand (on a personal level) that even this may not be sufficient for ensuring your lifelong savings get passed on to your loved ones. In short: With the way things work now with elder care, there may not be anything left to give! Here’s my story. Recently, my wife’s grandparents both developed a very bad case of Alzheimer’s, and somewhat rapidly. This has caused the family to make a quick decision to move them from their residence and into the care of a nursing home instead. Do you have any idea how much a nursing home costs these days? While interviewing a number of various ones, we … [Read more...] about Could an Irrevocable Trust be the Key to Leaving a Financial Legacy?
Have you ever wondered when to drop collision and comprehensive coverage from your auto insurance policy? Without a doubt, auto insurance is a must-have when your vehicle is relatively new, higher in value, and you need the financial protection. But what happens as time goes on and our vehicles begin to decrease in value? What about when you've racked up hundreds of thousands of miles, and you know the trade-in value of your car will be next to nothing? Is there a point where full coverage simply doesn't make good financial sense any longer? This is a question I struggle with every time I have to renew my auto insurance policy. I commute every day over 60 miles each way to and from work. Traditionally, to get the most bang for … [Read more...] about How Do You Know When to Drop Collision and Comprehensive Coverage?
Recently I wanted to find out: How can I start making contributions to an HSA? HSA's (Health Savings Accounts) have been gaining a lot of buzz in the personal finance community. In case you've never heard of them, HSA's are a type of special investment account in the U.S. you can setup to help bank money that can be used for medical expenses - tax free! This means that similar to your retirement accounts, you get a tax-break on the front-end ... just for saving your money. For years, we've been using an FSA (flexible spending account) to help stash tax-advantaged funds that we can use for medical expenses. But the problem there has been their "use it or lose it" policy - if you contribute too much to the plan and don't redeem … [Read more...] about Can I Make Contributions To An HSA?
What do you say to the car insurance company you’ve had for the past 10 years when they won’t budge on their rates? Don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out! That’s exactly what I forced to say recently to my insurance provider, AAA, when they refused to negotiate down on the cost of car insurance for our household. Even though we gave them the chance to hold our business, we ultimately had to come to the decision to shop around only to discover that there were far better rates for basically the same amount of coverage. Here’s what happened. Reducing the Cost of Car Insurance: Frequently in the MMD household, we like to choose one bill from our expenses and pick on it. When the mortgage bill seemed too high, … [Read more...] about So Long AAA! Lowering the Cost of Car Insurance in My House
When I first became an adult with a family and mortgage, I knew that I would have both a responsibility and obligation to make sure that our household was always protected. That meant not only just working hard and earning a decent wage, but also making sure I at least understood basic financial planning enough that I would be able to engage in some of the many ways to grow your income. My ambitions started out with reading lots of the best money books. I would go through page after page trying to find the magic equation for getting rich. By purposely picking books that were written by millionaires themselves, I thought I would be able to learn from their methods and reproduce their success. … [Read more...] about Using Blogs to Learn Great Basic Financial Planning Skills
Why do we put off buying life insurance? Is it because it’s complicated, we’ve heard bad experiences about it, we don’t know which type to buy, or how much we need? Believe it or not, for some people it is simply because they don’t want to go to the doctor or have their blood drawn. Even though that may sound silly, but it only takes one excuse to keep you from doing what you should. Fortunately the industry offers a product known as no physical life insurance. By not requiring a physical, you can just buy the life insurance online or over the phone without any medical intervention at all. How No Physical Life Insurance May Benefit Your Situation: If you haven’t been told you enough already, by simply being an adult with a … [Read more...] about Why No Physical Life Insurance Might Be Right for You
Have you ever heard of someone being awarded a large amount of money (from a lawsuit, lottery, etc) and wondered if they receive it all at once? Chances are … they usually don’t. Most of the time, the payment is broken up into smaller payments over a fixed duration of time. So for example, instead of receiving $500,000 all at once from a lawsuit, the plaintiff may receive $2,000 each month for the next 30 years. Putting it all together, this type of payment is called a structured settlement. Investopedia defines a structured settlement as: While we often focus on building wealth for the long-term, it’s important to look at things from both sides of the fence. Therefore, I recognize that there may be some situations where … [Read more...] about Should I Sell My Structured Settlement? Some Reasons Why You May Want To