Have you tried this map?

Have you tried this map? I use Google Maps a lot and I know that there are many mapping systems that people like to use. I am going to suggest a “map” that most of you have not thought of – mapping your cash flow. This is an important component to budgeting and it is a very important component to your retirement. If you map your cash flow to your projected expenses, you can give yourself peace of mind when planning your retirement. At the very least, you should try to map out the first three to five years of cash flow. The funds that you will use every day before you actually retire. Look at all of your known sources of retirement income, then look at your current spending to see where you might have to make changes. By mapping your cash flow, you will travel your road to retirement with fewer bumps or surprises.


What is the SECURE act of 2019?

To start with, SECURE stands for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement”.
This is the first major change to standard retirement plans that we have seen in years. Here are a few of the highlights:
Increase Required Minimum Distribution Ages
Today, the law requires that most individuals take out required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement accounts once you reach age 70.5. The SECURE Act would delay this requirement to age 72. The RESA Act currently in front of the Senate seeks to push RMD requirements even further back to age 75. If the age for RMD’s is pushed out, that means your retirement dollars will have more years to grow.
Removal of Age Limitation on IRA Contributions
For years, there has been a rule that essentially discouraged retirement savings in IRAs for people who continued to work later in life. After age 70.5, you could no longer contribute to an IRA, but amazingly, you could still contribute to a Roth IRA. Sec. 114 of the SECURE Act would remove this savings limitation by repealing the age limitation for traditional IRA contributions.
Removal of “Stretch” Inherited IRA Provisions
The SECURE Act would make significant changes to inherited retirement plans like 401(k)s, traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs. In the past, beneficiaries of these accounts could typically spread the distributions over their own life expectancy.
However, the new bill includes what is viewed as a tax-generating provision that would require most beneficiaries to distribute the account over a 10-year period. This change would accelerate the depletion of inherited accounts for many large IRAs and retirement plans.

There are more provisions to the act, these are just some highlights. I feel the passage of this act would be good for everyone.


We love our Dads and especially the wisdom they share with us. Here are a few of my favorites!

“It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you save.”
“Can’t afford college now? Get a job, learn common sense.”
“Go get ‘em tiger.”
“I’ve been where you are, but you haven’t been where I am.”
“If you loan money to a friend, you’ll lose the money and the friend.”
“Integrity is the only thing that people can’t take away from you so don’t give yours away. “
“Do you want me to give you something to cry about?”
“Pull my finger!”
“If you’re unhappy with a situation you can either change the situation, or change how you feel about it. Remember you’re not stuck.”
“…that the most precious things a father can provide are time, attention, and love.” Tim Russert

Happy Father’s Day to our Dads wherever they are.


Hurricane season has just started, can you financially weather the storm?

Everyone should have either homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, but what do these insurance policies cover in case of a hurricane? Some of us have dealt with hurricane damage, others have not, and I want to make sure you are prepared as the 2019 hurricane season has just started.
If you live in a hurricane-prone coastal area, your basic homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the structure and contents of your house against fire, lightning, theft and tropical storms that aren’t specifically hurricanes. But once the weather guy speaks the hurricanes name, all bets are off with your basic policy, and that’s where flood insurance and windstorm coverage – or in some states and policies, a hurricane rider, comes into play.
Federal Flood Insurance is in-expensive, you should look into purchasing a policy. As we have seen over the past two years, 100 yr. flood plain maps don’t mean much anymore.
Windstorm insurance covers wind and hail damage from hurricanes, and works in tandem with flood insurance and additional provisions like sewer backup coverage and debris removal coverage to form your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Dwelling coverage covers the structure of your home, your roof and other structures on the property like a fence, deck or pool. Coverage should equal the total rebuild costs of your home or the amount that it would cost to build a brand new home.
Remember that hurricane deductibles are generally higher than with any other type of claim. Your hurricane insurance deductible can be easily located on your policy’s declaration page, which is the monthly or annual invoice for your policy.

Now is the time to review your coverages and make your hurricane plan – don’t wait until one is coming our way.


It’s summer travel time, be sure to follow these tips.

We take all types of summer vacations, camping, cruising, exotic locations. We travel by car, boat, and plane. No matter where you are going, or how you get there, please follow these tips so you don’t have to spend the rest of your summer trying to reclaim your identity.
When renting a car do not synch your phone to the rental car.
According to a report from Privacy International, most major rental-car companies have no policies to delete sensitive information that is collected during a rental once a user returns the car. You may have experienced this yourself if you’ve ever picked up a rental and find that the device information of the last 10 renters was still stored in the vehicle. That means, if you were to sync your own phone, the next renter would have your information at their fingertips.
Make sure you have a VPN on your phone or tablet.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.
Empty out your wallet.
Many people carry 3 or more  credit cards in their wallets, along with their bank card, and Social Security card. When traveling take just one credit card for use on the trip, that way you can track your specific charges and immediately see if anything wacky shows up. You do not want to use your bank debit card for purchases as the protection is much less than with a credit card. Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
If you follow these few tips, you will not have to spend your time after your vacation trying to reclaim your identity. Be smart, then you will have nothing more than great pictures and fond memories of your summer vacation.


Why do you have this in your wallet?

Wallets serve a great purpose and we have carried them since we got our driver’s licenses. There are many things that people keep in their wallets that they should not. A few items to always have in your wallet are: your driver’s license, your auto insurance card, a bit of cash, and a credit card, that’s it. Here are a few things that people carry in their wallets that I wish they would take out immediately:
Your Social Security card. Losing your Social Security number is a sure ticket to identity theft. Once stolen, rogue identity thieves could use that number to get loans in your name or obtain credit cards. For that reason, identity theft experts say, never carry your Social Security card — or even a piece of paper with your Social Security number on it.

Your passwords. If you have to keep passwords jotted down somewhere, keep them in a locked box in your house. You should also consider a digital password manager. One to consider is LastPass. The basic service is free, or you can upgrade to the premium version for $3 per month.

Multiple credit cards. That way, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you won’t have as many credit cards that you’ll have to cancel. My recommendation: Carry one rewards card for everyday purchases as well as a backup card for unplanned purchases or emergencies.

As someone who has had their identity stolen, I can tell you it is a lot of work trying to get everything straightened out. Be smart and protect yourself.


You must Save! Save! and Save!

I know I sound like a broken record as I am always telling you to live below your means and make sure you have cash. This idea of saving a cash lump sum is even more important as you reach retirement.
Putting off saving until retirement is not a good plan.
Many people put off saving for retirement because they want to pay down debt first. Paying off debt is important, but so is saving for retirement
Not saving enough is also a problem.
Many people assume that as long as they’re putting something away for retirement, they’ll be fine. But this fails to plan for inflation and may not end up being enough.
Have a savings goal in mind.
Most people imagine a comfortable retirement but never do the math to figure out how much they’ll actually need to make that happen. When planning for retirement, it’s important to consider things like living costs, medical costs, your desired lifestyle, health insurance and other unexpected expenses. Determine an exact goal for your retirement savings in order to achieve it.

I know, it is not fun, but cash gives you choice and a secure retirement can be fun if you save!


Today I am 60!

Today I am 60!

I have a lot to look forward to as I reach this milestone age (am I really 60?!)

I thought it might be fun to take a look back at what was going on in April 1959.