Welcome to my blog page. Here, you can find ideas from the investment services world and concepts from the financial services industry.
Do You Know Someone Who Needs My Help?
Life is full of change. Some of that change is the result of the natural progression of time, like having a baby, sending your kids off to college, or your parents getting older and needing some help. Then there’s change...Read More
Long-Term Care Month: What’s Your LTC Plan?
If someone told you that you had a glaring gap in your retirement plan, would you make an effort to remedy the problem as soon as possible? Unfortunately, many Americans have just such a blind spot in the form of long-term care, with...Read More
The Top 4 Regrets In Retirement
Most of us have things in our past that we regret, whether it’s wishing you had worked harder in college or regretting how much you spent on your newest car. The problem with regret is that we can’t change the past—we...Read More
If I Could Teach One Financial Lesson
There’s a lot of sound financial advice out there that you’d be wise to follow, like the importance of living within your means, managing risk, and creating an emergency fund. But if I could pick only one piece of financial...Read More
The Pros And Cons Of Deferred Compensation
If you’re a successful professional, you may have been notified by your human resources department that you are eligible to participate in your company’s deferred compensation plan. Before signing on the dotted line, it is...Read More
Gifting Money To Your Children: Expectation vs. Reality (Podcast)
In this episode of The Jeff Motske Show, I'll be talking about parents gifting money to their adult children and grandchildren, challenges faced by the giftors and giftees, and solutions for all involved. If you are short on time, my...Read More
Should You Participate In Your Employee Stock Purchase Plan?
Chances are, if you work for a large company, you have access to a comprehensive benefits package. There’s a reason for this! Your employer is always looking for ways to both reward and effectively motivate you, and he or she...Read More
Should You Consider A Roth Conversion?
Most of us know there are two types of IRAs: Traditional and Roth. You may even know that there are tax differences between the two, and it’s possible you have both of these savings vehicles in your retirement arsenal. But what...Read More
The Biggest Financial Mistakes I See
When it comes to finances, there are a whole host of mistakes you can make, some minor and some that have long-term consequences. The same can be said of parenting. When you combine money and parenting, then there’s no lack of...Read More
What Should You Do When You Turn 59½?
There are many natural milestones we reach as we go through life, everything from graduating high school and college to making major career decisions, getting married, and having kids. But as you draw closer to retirement, the...Read More
What To Do When Your Stock Options Vest
Do you have employee stock options? Here’s a better question: If your compensation package includes stock options, do you know how they benefit you and fit into your financial plan? Stock options are complicated, to say the least...Read More
5 Unexpected Threats To Your Retirement Plan
For many Americans, their number-one retirement fear is that they won’t have enough money to actually retire. Only 27% of pre-retirees believe they’ll be financially ready for a retirement lasting just 10 years.1 And while...Read More
What To Do If You Get Laid Off
In 2018, a total of 538,659 people were laid off from their jobs. 1 You might think that with unemployment sitting at a low rate of 4%,2 job cuts wouldn’t be rising, but the 2018 total was up 29% from 2017.3 Regardless of the...Read More
Know Your Why For Investing (Podcast)
In this episode of The Jeff Motske Show, Jeff asked me what my “Why” is as a financial advisor and within my own family as well. Also, learn my 3 part mission statement as to what I aim to do for my clients. If you are...Read More
5 Steps To An A+ College Plan (5-29 Day)
Regardless of whether your child is 2 or 12, the thought of college has probably crossed your mind. In the busyness of life and never-ending financial pressures, it is all too easy to put saving for college on the back burner. But...Read More
Ten Things To Do Within Ten Years Of Retirement
You’ve almost made it! You are in the final stretch of your marathon race to your much-anticipated retirement years. But no matter how much you have saved and planned up until this point, this is not the time to turn on cruise...Read More
Report: What To Do When Your Parents Gift Money To You Or Your Children
A recent survey found that among Millennial parents, nearly half have received financial support from their Baby Boomer parents in the past year, and 69% received financial support specifically for their own young children. (1) Another...Read More
$1 Million Isn’t What It Used To Be
If you had to take a wild guess, how much money do you think you would need to experience a comfortable retirement? If you guessed $1 million, you are on the same page as more than half of Americans who responded to a survey conducted...Read More
Leaving A Financial Legacy (Podcast)
In this episode of The Jeff Motske Show, we have a group discussion about what it means to leave a legacy and the important next steps you should take to work toward it. Listen now here or Download this episode from iTunes to enjoy on...Read More
Navigating Through Long-Term Care And The Different Types Of Policies
In 2015, Americans spent $225 billion on long-term care. That’s 7 ½ times what was spent 15 years prior, in 2000. With the great advances we have made in medicine and medical technology, people are living longer. The...Read More
Beyond Medicare, The Truth About AMC (Podcast)
In this episode of The Jeff Motske Show, we discuss "Finishing Well" and the different types of Long Term Care plans. Statistics show that a lot of Americans will need to utilize a Long Term Care plan, so we need to start talking about...Read More
Dealing With An Unexpected Death
How much time have you spent thinking about your future death? If you’re like most people, probably not much. Thinking about your death or that of a loved one can bring up plenty of unpleasant emotions, but having a plan to take...Read More
Financial Planning Actions To Take Before 2019
Before the year’s end, in the midst of the holiday events, travel, and overall busyness, the last thing you want to think about is tackling your finances. But considering how finance-related resolutions are the third most popular...Read More
Medicare Open Enrollment Starts On October 15th. What Do You Need To Know?
Did you know that the average couple at age 65 will need approximately $280,000 to cover healthcare costs in retirement?(1) Not only is healthcare one of the top five expenses in retirement, but healthcare spending only increases with...Read More
Should I Charge My Adult Children Rent If They Move Back Home?
Whether we attribute it to a decline in marriage rates, poor job prospects, student loan debt, technological improvements, or generational shifts, times have certainly changed for young adults. One major topic which my clients bring up...Read More
The Best Investments I Ever Made
As someone who works directly with clients on helping them with their financial plans and investment decisions, it wouldn’t be too far off to think that I might not do too bad on my own personal investments. Well, truth be told,...Read More
How An MBA Prepared Me For My Career As A Financial Advisor
Over the course of hundreds of conversations with clients, I’ve found that quite a few them have wrestled with the idea of whether they should go back to school for an advanced degree. As their advisor, I am commonly asked if...Read More
3 Lies We Believe When It Comes To Financial Planning
There may be plenty of factors outside of your control that impact your financial situation, such as the markets, the economy as a whole, or an unexpected illness. But those circumstances may not play as critical of a role in your...Read More
Raises, Refunds, And Windfalls: How To Make The Most Of Positive Financial Changes
Regardless of where it comes from, getting an unexpected chunk of change usually makes for a pretty good day, week, or even year. But if you aren’t intentional about what you do with your extra cash, you could follow in the...Read More
How To Determine Your Risk Tolerance
You frequently hear the word “risk” thrown around when it comes to the stock market, but have you truly grappled with the thought that you could lose everything? It’s easy to say that you are willing to take risks...Read More
Decision Center: Will Your Money Last? (Podcast)
On this episode of The Jeff Motske Show, we discuss the changing trends in planning for your financial future. Are your financial stumbles teachable moments for your children? Find out in the Love And Money segment. Also, our favorite...Read More
How Much Could You Lose During The Next Market Decline?
There’s a lot of buzz and anxiety about what the market will do next. We’ve been riding highs1 and flirting with market corrections,2 but haven’t reached the predicted bear market yet. If you know anything about the...Read More
The Way You're Taking Your Social Security Payments May Be Hurting You
Created during the Great Depression as a retirement safety net, Social Security now covers an estimated 96% of Americans. These days, a record high of around 167 million people are working and paying into the system that provides...Read More
How Can I Talk About Retirement with My Spouse?
Multiple studies show that many couples aren’t on the same page with their retirement vision. A Fidelity Investments study found that 47% of couples disagree about how much money they need to maintain their current lifestyle in...Read More
What is a Fiduciary and Why is it Important?
In the news, the word “fiduciary” has been thrown around a lot in regards to financial advisors and their duties. The concept can seem confusing to people, as many assume that all advisors, whether they’re...Read More
Nearing The Finish Line: What To Do In The Last Ten Years Of Your Career
Approaching retirement can sometimes be as overwhelming and nerve-wracking as the transition into your Golden Years. You may start reflecting on what you’ve accomplished thus far in life and what you envision still achieving. As...Read More
The 4 Questions Every Person Must Answer To Be Ready To Plan For Retirement
Retirement is one of life’s most significant milestones. Not surprisingly, it’s both an exciting and worrisome prospect for many Americans nearing those Golden Years. According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 64% of Americans are...Read More
Investment Literacy And Risk (Podcast)
I am honored to have been recently featured on the popular podcast, "Declare Your Financial Independence, with Jeff Motske". My portion can be heard at the 36 minute mark in a brief Q & A session with Jeff. In that portion, I discussed...Read More
3 Qualities of a Meaningful Goal
Not all goals are equal in their achievability. In fact, 92% of people don’t reach the goals they set.1 While goals can be difficult to achieve, they’re not impossible. However, the best way to set yourself up for success...Read More
What Information Do You Really Need to Stay Financially Savvy?
Have you ever noticed when you turn on the news, the media is either panicked because the markets are down or celebratory because the markets are up? This may make for fun entertainment, but it can also impact people’s emotions,...Read More
Aren’t All Target Date Retirement Funds the Same? Spoiler Alert: No
When it comes to choosing your 401(k) lineup, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by your options. It’s likely why more than 70% of 401(k) plans include at least one target-date fund. Also known as lifecycle or age-based funds,...Read More
The Tortoise and the Hare: How Fast Investments Can Slow Down Your Goals
Over the course of working with so many individuals and families, I’ve found that many people think financial planning, investing, and retirement planning are a sprint to the finish line. While on paper, maxing out your 401(k)...Read More
What Should You Do About the Recent Stock Market Decline?
If you’ve been watching the news, you’re likely concerned with the recent stock market decline. The downturn comes after months of the stock market climbing to new highs and after years of expansion after the most recent...Read More
5 Things To Know about Me as Your Financial Advisor
When it comes to something as personal as your finances, I believe it’s important to have a close relationship and a connection with your financial advisor. After all, the more you know about a person, the more you can feel...Read More
The 4 Important Financial Concerns People in Their 50’s Should Address
Your 50’s are an exciting decade. You may have enjoyed several successful decades in your career and are now looking forward to your future retirement, which you can now see in the horizon. During this decade, there are four...Read More
4 Financial Needs to Tackle When You’re in Your 40’s
During your 30’s, you may have established good spending and savings habits. Your 40’s then becomes an important decade for solidifying your financial goals and working towards them, from your future retirement to family...Read More
The 5 Financial Conversations People in Their 30s Should Have with Their Advisor
Throughout life, people experience unique milestones, including financial needs and goals. Individuals in their 30’s have different priorities than they will in their 40’s and 50’s. This is an important decade for...Read More
Should You Establish a Vacation Fund?
As my kids get older, I’m finding myself wanting more and more to create lasting, meaningful memories that they’ll always cherish. Part of that entails going to the nearby family fun amusement parks such as Disneyland and...Read More
Identity Theft Insurance: Do You Need It And What Are Your Options?
By Mike Loo, Independent Financial Advisor With the recent Equifax data breach, a lot of my Decision Coach clients have been inquiring about identity theft insurance. Many are frustrated that they will have to pay to protect their...Read More
How is Financial Planning Like Buying a Computer?
Four years ago, I bought a laptop with high-end features at the time. I figured it would last me about 4 ½ to 5 years since that’s how long previous laptops have lasted me. I thought I had a good 5-year plan. I was wrong....Read More
“We’re Not Here to Be The Richest, We’re Here To Be The Most Prepared” (Forecasting Potential Pitfal
When it comes to retirement, most people think the goal is to save up as much as possible and retire with the biggest nest egg. It’s like the young couples who pour thousands of dollars and countless hours into planning the...Read More
The Sandwich Generation: How to Not Let Your Parents and Your Kids Squeeze Your Financial Future
If you’re a member of the Sandwich Generation, those caring for both their parents and children simultaneously, you are in good company. In 2012, the Pew Research Group found that 47% of adults age 40-59 had a parent over 65 and...Read More
The Relationship Between Fitness and Personal Finance
In a previous post, I talked about why it’s important to have a financial advisor who serves as a personal trainer for your financial fitness. Personally, when I needed the structure as well as the motivation to go to the gym, I...Read More
The Most Important Factor In Your Finances? You! (Podcast)
I am honored to have been recently featured on the popular podcast, "Declare Your Financial Independence, with Jeff Motske". Together we discussed, Love and Money: Addressing financing with defensive people as well as Estate Planning:...Read More
3 Reasons Why You Need a Personal Trainer For Your Finances
You know how it is. You have the best of intentions to get in shape and may even go as far as buying a gym membership and mapping out a workout schedule. But a few weeks in, you lose motivation, life gets busy, or you get hit with a...Read More
Three Unexpected Reasons Your Retirement Plan Could Fall Apart
We all look forward to a comfortable retirement after decades of hard work. But as the retirement landscape has vastly changed over the last few decades, from diminishing pensions to Social Security concerns to longer life expectancies...Read More
How Much Do You Know About Social Security? (Quiz)
Social Security can be complicated to navigate at times, but since it’s so vital to your retirement income plan, it’s important to make wise decisions and create strategies to optimize your benefits. If you’re...Read More
Five Steps to Stop Fighting with Your Spouse About Money
If you are in a relationship, I bet you’ve had your fair share of arguments about money. Money is the primary reason for arguments between couples, with many couples averaging three fights per month over financial issues....Read More
Why Do Investors Underperform Investments?
The last thing you want to do is lose money, but that is exactly what many investors do when they underperform their investments. When it comes to our finances, we are often our own worst enemy. We overreact, make emotional decisions,...Read More
25 Years Until Retirement Means 600 Paychecks Left To Pay For It
Depending on where you are in life, retirement may feel far off. But have you stopped to consider how quickly life is going these days? The busier we get, the easier it is to put off the things that don’t seem pressing, such as...Read More
3 Questions To Ask Yourself if You’re Considering Investment Property
There’s plenty of buzz about the income possibilities of owning rental property and the opportunity to supplement your income with the extra cash, but is owning a rental property a good fit for you in this stage of your life?...Read More
What is a Financial Decision Coach and Would I Benefit from Having One?
Did you know that 62% of Americans do not have a financial advisor of any kind? Why is that? Perhaps they have preconceived ideas about what an advisor does, or it’s possible they have had a negative experience with a financial...Read More
Three Unique Places to Dine in Irvine After Our Meeting
Once upon a time when I lived in a two-bedroom condo and had no children, I considered myself to be a foodie. My wife and I would try out new restaurants with little concern about the wait time to be seated and no worries about how...Read More
Am I Saving Enough For Retirement?
As a financial advisor, one of the most common questions I hear is, “Am I saving enough for retirement?” This seems to be at the top of people’s minds, especially as they get older. Because every person’s dreams...Read More
Three Steps Toward Confidence in Retirement
You’ve spent decades planning for retirement, putting all of your ducks in a row, saving to ensure a steady income, and looking forward to this new season of life. But once you reach this pivotal milestone, the planning...Read More
Financial Needs vs. Financial Wants
My daughter recently gave a presentation to her kindergarten class about the differences between needs and wants. As a dad, and a financial advisor, I’m glad my daughter and her classmates are thinking about these things so early...Read More
What Are My Options For Tax-Free Income For Retirement?
With the tax filing deadline rapidly approaching and the possibility of owing additional money for last year’s taxes, many people may find themselves wondering, “Is there a way for me to pay less in taxes?” While your...Read More
What Are My Savings Options If I Don’t Qualify for a Roth IRA?
Saving for retirement is an important step in securing your future, and there are many different savings vehicles to choose from, including a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). But, in order to contribute to a Roth IRA, you have...Read More
4 Critical Habits for Financial Success
It’s not surprising that saving money and getting on track financially are some of the most popular resolutions people make each year. Regardless of your current situation in life, most people want to work towards greater...Read More
The Roth 401(k): What Is It and Should I Invest In It?
When it comes to retirement accounts, the options can be overwhelming. Each has its pros and cons, unique opportunities, and various fees. Today, I will cover the elusive Roth 401(k), with which many employees, professionals, and...Read More
Is Your Financial Strategy Parent-Proof?
Picture this: at age 60, you have a net worth of $3 million, and you’re feeling confident about your upcoming retirement. However, after 10 years of market growth, you somehow end up with a $2 million net worth when you turn 70....Read More
Four Things You Should Do After You Get Married
Planning a wedding and getting married can be overwhelming. But once the rings are on, vows shared, and marriage license signed, there are still a few necessary steps to take. Change Your Last Name While some couples choose to each...Read More
Smart Steps for Charitable Giving
‘Tis the season for giving. Beyond exchanging presents with your loved ones, now is the time of year when many people choose to give back. Whether it’s your first or your thirtieth year donating to charity, it’s a...Read More
Four Things to Do When You Are Expecting a Baby
If your family is expecting, congratulations! A baby on the way is one of the most exciting, life-changing, and overwhelming times of one’s life. The arrival of a baby also means changes in your finances. From the hospital bills...Read More
Three Moves to Get Your Kids on the Right Foot Financially
As parents, we want to be able to provide the world for our kids. In the beginning, we just want them to succeed in the little things, like walking, which you can see my wife attempting here with our daughter. But as our kids get older...Read More
How To Teach Your Kids About Money
The day you become a parent is a day of overwhelming emotions. You may experience joy at the sight of your precious child, relief that he or she made it out of the womb, and for many of you, fear and anxiety because you somehow have to...Read More
Three Pieces of Advice I Would Give My Younger Self
Hindsight is 20/20 and whether or not we have regrets, there are plenty of things we wish we knew when we were younger. Not only have I personally learned from my choices and mistakes, but as a financial advisor, I’ve also had...Read More
I Already Work with an Advisor, Why Should I Work with You?
If you currently work with a financial advisor, congratulations! You’ve taken a positive step towards your financial future. First and foremost, it’s important to work with someone you trust and with whom you feel...Read More
How Much Money Do I Need to Work With an Advisor?
If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, I’ve talked about how a financial advisor can help you and why many people, regardless of their job or income, can benefit from working with an advisor. For one, an advisor helps...Read More
The Three Most Common Investor Pitfalls
One of the most common reasons why people avoid investing and strategic financial planning is because it can seem overwhelmingly complicated, dense, and challenging. And because many of us like to think we still have plenty of time to...Read More
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
In 2015, more than 4 in 10 people didn’t own a life insurance policy in any amount and only 3 in 10 Americans felt they had sufficient coverage1. When it comes to life insurance, most people have a vague idea that they should...Read More
Do You Need a Financial Advisor?
When’s the last time you felt unprepared for something, whether it was a meeting at work or an event at your kid’s school? Now when’s the last time you ever regretted preparing ahead for an event or presentation?...Read More
How Will the Brexit Affect Your Portfolio?
As you’ve likely heard in the news, voters in the United Kingdom (U.K.) have chosen to leave the European Union (E.U.) after 43 years of membership. The resulting “Brexit” will likely affect the U.K. markets as well...Read More
4 Things To Do Before You Get Married
Congratulations! You’re now engaged, and the months ahead will surely be busy with wedding planning, family gatherings, and celebrations. During this exciting time of your lives, what should the two of you be doing before you get...Read More
How Can a Financial Advisor Help You?
There are a lot of preconceived notions out there about what a financial advisor is and what they do. Often, people assume a financial advisor is a stockbroker, making daily trades and helping wealthy individuals strategically play the...Read More
5 Things To Do Before You Retire
Retirement. Some view it as a destination. Others view it as a journey. Regardless of how you perceive that day when work becomes an option, there are things you can do before you retire to make your golden years less stressful and...Read More
Your Client Bill of Rights
I believe that providing investment advice and building financial plans are just two small responsibilities of your financial advisor. The other equally as important areas revolve around a client’s experience working with their...Read More
Why I Became a Financial Advisor
I have always been fascinated with money, especially learning how to manage assets and be more efficient with investments. But growing up, money was often a source of stress for my family. With a father in law enforcement and a...Read More
Are you prepared for a financial setback?
A financial setback can have different meanings among different people. Some may define it as a stock market crash. Others may define it as depleting their non-retirement accounts because their emergency fund wasn’t enough to cover...Read More
Should I Save for College or Retirement?
As parents, we want the best for our children. We work hard to provide opportunities for them so that they can start their lives a step ahead of our own as they grow up, and we believe these opportunities begin with providing a good...Read More
Should I pay down my mortgage or invest the money?
With interest rates being at historic lows for the past several years, clients have been wondering, “should I pay down my mortgage or would it make more sense to invest the money?” While both options have their own unique...Read More
What Should You Do With Your Tax Refund This Year?
This year, many Americans will get a tax refund. Some will use it to pay their property taxes. Some will use it to pay for a vacation. Others will use it as a means to invest for their future. Who’s doing the right thing? The...Read More
3 Ways People Inadvertently Disinherit Their Loved Ones
Over the years I’ve been a financial advisor, I’ve told clients that there are some things that I can’t control (i.e. stock market performance), and there are others that I can control. One of the most basic things...Read More
Where will you be five years from today?
Towards the end of a first meeting with a new client, I always ask the question, “If we were to fast forward 3 to 5 years into the future and you were to look back on the work that I had done for you, what did I do over those 3...Read More
Are the Cheaper Gas Prices at Costco Really Worth the Wait?
On the day before Thanksgiving (a day before Costco is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday), I noticed that my gas tank was half full, so I came up with the brilliant idea to stop by Costco for gas while I was running errands. It was 8...Read More
3 Things to do Before the End of the Year
For many, the end of the year is a time of reflection. The optimists among us look back on their experiences and think about how much they’ve accomplished over the previous year. The pessimists among us look back on their experiences...Read More
How to Create a Budget in 3 Easy Steps
Over the course of my career as an advisor, I’ve found that clients who have a budget have greater financial success because a good budget enables them to make great planning decisions. For example, I met a couple a few...Read More
Should my wife work or stay home?
For many families, the expense of adding an additional member oftentimes brings up the question of whether or not it makes financial sense for one of the spouses to continue working or to stay at home to care for the children. When...Read More
How Life Insurance Can Help Protect Your Financial Portfolio
Life insurance is a critical piece in one’s financial portfolio, yet at the same time, tends to be the piece that's frequently neglected. Aside from the obvious benefit of replacing your income and covering your major debts such as a...Read More
What Should You Do With an Old 401(k)?
One of the largest assets owned by Americans, a 401(k) or similar pension plan will be one factor that dictates the kind of lifestyle you will live in retirement. Many people nowadays have been familiarized with the messages of saving...Read More
How much money will you need in retirement?
Retirement. It’s a stage in life that we’ve all dreamed about at one time or another, but how many of us are actually saving the right amount of money and know exactly how much we need to make this dream become a reality? Many people...Read More