China's Chaotic Market
Sales of new homes declined in April 2019 according to the Census Bureau. Falling to an annualized 673,000 units from the upwardly revised count of 723,000 (originally 692,000), this monthly decline is the first of 2019. April’s setback hurt the year-over-year trend which fell to 7.0 percent from 10.6 percent in March.
We’re making some exciting upgrades and enhancements at Sterling Wealth Partners.
This might be one of your least favorite subjects – the crossover between financial planning and taxes. At a time when many people are giving attention to their taxes, we are often giving clients information about tax implications.
In This Issue:
- Key Retirement and Tax Numbers
- Hybrid Funds, Lifestyle or Target?
- What Happened to Your Money?
When you think about estate planning you probably think about legacy-style families like the Kennedy’s or people who are “wealthy”. However, each of us have an estate according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and each state we live in. No matter your worth, we recommend having an estate strategy to align with your future wishes after you pass away.
Not all purchases are created equal. No matter your tax bracket there is often the feeling that there isn't enough to do what you want, pay off what you need to, and sock enough away for down the line.
There's always some excuse for not getting on top of our finances, we are busy after all, and between work and families, there's little brainpower left to devote to balancing the books and making more mindful spending choices. But what if, with just a few tweaks, you could? In this article, we will walk you through a few techniques that can help you feel happier about your spending habits and your money management skills.
Technique One: Make Spending a Treat
Are you the type to grab coffee out every day? How about lunch? If so you may be spending thousands of dollars a year. By bringing a lunch and making your own coffee you could pay off a credit card bill, go on a great vacation, or have a nice chunk of change tucked into your savings. We nickel and dime ourselves all the time and retailers know this. Supermarkets and department stores are designed to make the things you need harder to find and encourage impulse buying along the way. Online retailers create urgency with sales, email campaigns, and coupon codes. On top of that, keeping a credit card on file makes it all the easier to make last-minute instantaneous purchases. The less we use cash, the less we feel these fast, impulsive purchases. A great place to start tweaking our relationship with money is making the little purchases more of a treat than a given. Paying in cash is a good way to see where your money goes, allotting yourself a certain amount of spending money a day, when your wallet is empty, then you've reached your max. By practicing mindful buying you can also fight the urge to just speed-spend. Pick up items, try on clothes, price comparison shop. Retailers are very savvy about the psychology of the shopper's brain and design your experiences to upsell you. So, step one is to talk a pause and really think before you buy. Do you need a $5 coffee (and the extra calories?) is it better to grab a $10 wilted salad or to brown bag it? The average family wastes over $2,000 a year throwing out leftovers alone.[i] You may find that by making your purchases more of a special treat and not just a blah exercise in consumerism, that the things you own start to mean more. That cappuccino becomes a treat and not a daily caloric indulgence.
A congratulations goes out to Julie Woods, MSc, MD of Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.
Dr. Woods has recently become one of the few doctors to accomplish creating a Lynch Syndrome clinic, which is 1 of 4 full service multidisciplinary clinics in the country.