Barrett's 2 Cents

No-filter financial advice for alpha boomers

Author: Barrett Porter (page 1 of 9)

Talking to Your Elderly Family Members About Fixing Their Portfolios

son and motherA client of mine (let’s call him Mike) recently showed me his 86-year-old mom’s portfolio. Mike’s father had handled the investment decisions, so his mother has let the portfolio run on autopilot since he died. Mike and his siblings are concerned about the contents of her nest egg, since 80% of it is in just a handful of blue chip stocks (gulp). So how do we help our elderly moms fix their broken portfolios when they ask for help?

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Mind the (Age) Gap

Mind-the-GapI could hear the pain in her voice when she shared her biggest concern: not being able to spend more time with her retired, much older spouse because she has to work in order to support their lifestyle. Since they didn’t do any advance planning and weren’t good at saving in their 40s and 50s, early retirement is not an option for her. Having just begun my own relationship with someone older, it got me thinking about the challenges that might lie ahead for us.

My guess is that he will be winding down with work or outright retiring when I’m still going strong with my career. So does that mean he will be eager to travel his pants off while I’m still in full-time work mode?  What will my role be if he has health issues? Intergenerational couples (age gap of 10 years or more) with dual incomes should discuss some of these potential issues early on in their relationship.

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Turbo Charge Your 401(k)

401kIf you’re earning a six-figure salary and enrolled in a company 401(k) plan, here’s a “hot investment tip” that could result in significant annual tax savings and a larger future nest egg—and you may not need to save a penny more than you’re saving now.

Warning! This article is going to get into the specific math and legal details of how to execute a tax strategy. It will probably apply only to high-earning baby boomers who contribute to a 401(k). If you want it explained in plain English, call your CFP or CPA.

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The “B” Word

monkey budgetSometimes I wonder if I’m the only financial planner who hates Budgeting.  I’m a good saver, but I can’t imagine a life where I get an alert three weeks into March telling me that I spent too much on groceries. Don’t get me wrong – many people’s lives have been greatly improved through strict budgeting. But if you’re already a good saver, and the idea of a budget makes you go deer-in-headlights, here’s your workaround.

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The Great Vacation Home Debate

campHyrule07_cabin
There’s exactly one situation where I love vacation homes – when good friends own them. Vacation homes are a lot like kids – you will spend lots of time with them, you won’t regret having them (on most days), and you will drastically underestimate the costs and energy that will be involved.  We all know how much we typically spend per night for a luxury vacation rental or hotel room.  So before you buy that 2nd home, perhaps you’d like to know what your equivalent “nightly rate” might be.

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