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Blog Posts (117)

  • 6 Ways to Manage Your Estate & Avoid Family Fighting

    What happens if you don't make your wishes known when you pass away? It could lead to your estate going into probate and your family members having to deal with the disbursement of your assets. This could lead to family infighting on what they think your wishes would have been. From hiring a professional to ensuring there is a digital copy of the will, here are six answers to the question, "What are some helpful tips for managing your estate to avoid inheritance nightmares?" An Estate Planning Checklist Consult an Estate Planning Attorney Clarify Your Wishes Keep All Documents Up to Date Consider Tax Implications Organize All Estate Documents Be Sure to Have a Digital Will 1. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney Consider consulting with an estate planning attorney to ensure everything is in order and provide peace of mind for the future. An attorney can help you create a comprehensive plan tailored to your needs, allowing you to decide exactly who will receive your assets and in what form. Additionally, they can review documents like wills and trusts to ensure everything is up-to-date and legally valid. Proper planning prevents future inheritance nightmares and ensures your legacy is passed on the way you want. Michael Fischer, Founder, Elite HRT 2. Clarify Your Wishes The best way to avoid inheritance nightmares is to make your wishes clear. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or other relatives likely to be beneficiaries of your estate, make sure they know what you expect from them. Talk to them about what you expect from them to support you in your old age, help you with your finances, drive you to appointments, etc. Ensure they know any specific conditions or things you need that you would like them to be mindful of before you pass away. If you have property that you want them to inherit, make sure they know about it. Tell them if you have specific items you want them to have. If you have property you do not want them to inherit or want them to donate your assets to a charity, be sure to let them know. Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely 3. Keep All Documents Up to Date One tip for managing your estate to avoid inheritance nightmares is to stay organized. Keeping all of your documents up to date and easily accessible for family members and other executors can help reduce the stress involved in settling an estate after a person's death. Make sure that you have a coherent plan, including who will be responsible for what tasks, and keep copies of important documents in a secure location. It is important to note that estate planning can be complex and requires careful consideration, so it is best to seek the advice of a qualified financial planner or attorney. Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO A few key estate planning documents are: Personal identification documents: Birth certificate, driver's license, passport, and marriage certificate Tax returns Copies of statements for all bank accounts and investment accounts Insurance policies Real estate deeds and vehicle titles Last will and testament Health Care Directive Social media account passwords Debt summaries from loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc. 4. Consider Tax Implications One tip for managing your estate to avoid inheritance nightmares is to consider the tax implications of your estate plan. Depending on the size of your estate and the specific assets involved, there may be significant tax consequences for your beneficiaries. It's important to work with an experienced tax professional who can help you understand these implications and structure your estate plan in a way that minimizes the tax burden on your heirs. This can help to ensure that your assets are passed down to your loved ones in the most efficient and effective way possible. Will Gill, Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill 5. Organize All Estate Documents It's important to keep your estate documents organized and stored in a safe place so your heirs can easily access them when needed. Additionally, it's wise to review them periodically and make any necessary updates to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected. Yusuf Shurbaji, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Prismfly 6. Be Sure to Have a Digital Will Much of what we do these days is digital. From banking to entertainment, almost everyone has digital assets that need to be managed after they die. A digital will, such as those offered by, applies smart technology to give your loved ones access to these vital records and accounts when you're gone. This way, they aren't scrambling to find passwords and login information while grieving a loss. Joe Karasin, CMO, Karasin PPC What's one thing you've done to begin your estate planning process? Leave a comment below.

  • 12 Ways to Stop Letting Money Control Your Life

    You need money to meet the essentials of your life, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Money also helps you to enjoy life if you spend it wisely and have enough of it to achieve your goals. If you spend every waking moment trying to determine how you can have more money, then it may take control of your life and become a source of constant stress. So, how do you stop letting money control your life? From removing shopping apps from your devices to getting comfortable with your numbers, here are a few helpful tips. How to Take Control of Your Money Remove Shopping Apps from Your Phone Pay Yourself First by Saving Avoid Comparing Your Situation to Others Reduce Lines of Credit Try Service-based Travel to Have Unique Experiences Minimize Consumption Prioritize Your Values Try Out a Hobby Spend Smart and Let It Occupy You Make Finance as Boring as Possible Make a List of Free Things that Bring You Joy Get Comfortable With Your Numbers Remove Shopping Apps from Your Phone Try removing apps from your phone that offer online shopping. Nowadays, it's incredibly easy to spend money by just pressing a button on your phone. However, when you delete these shopping apps, you will notice that they are gone every time you try to open them, and you will be reminded of why you deleted them. Miles Beckett, Co-founder and CEO, Flossy Pay Yourself First by Saving One often-overlooked tip I have found beneficial in my financial planning is paying yourself first. Paying yourself first means taking a portion of each paycheck and saving it away before spending it. It's not only responsible, but it can keep money from controlling your life. When you commit to putting back a portion of each check, no matter how small, the money adds up over time, leaving you less reliant on your salary or income to cover necessary expenses and emergencies. Setting aside money for savings will help stop the cycle of frequent borrowing and debt that so many find themselves in today. Paying yourself first is an effective way to control your finances and become more secure with your investments without having to avoid every affordable luxury or purchase. Lorien Strydom, Executive Country Manager, Avoid Comparing Your Situation to Others One way to stop money from running your life is to focus on yourself rather than worrying about others. So often, people compare themselves to others and their success, which makes them insecure and willing to spend a lot of money on material things to compensate for their perceived failures. One great way to avoid comparison is to restrict your time on social media. Then you can live your life, concentrate on yourself, and keep your finances in order. Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Carvaygo Reduce Lines of Credit Managing your lines of credit can become a daunting task after a while. If you have several credit cards along with car and mortgage payments and all of the other monthly expenses, you will have to devote significant amounts of time navigating through all of it to make sure your payments are made in a timely manner. You need to reduce those monthly payments as much as you can. If you need to start small, pause a couple of streaming services, and pay off a Macy's card, then do that. Pay off those smaller lines of credit quickly so you can manage your remaining debt better. Pay off and eliminate the smaller debt so you will have more money to take on the bigger debt. Sean Doherty, GM, Box Genie Try Service-based Travel to Have Unique Experiences One tip to prevent money from controlling our lives is to prioritize experiences over possessions. Instead of buying that shiny new car or opting for the high-end vacation package, try something like service-based travel. Not only will it make more of an impact on the world, but it can provide unique experiences and help us develop empathy and knowledge regarding those around us who do not have many possessions. Service-based travel encourages travelers to volunteer with local organizations, providing an opportunity to interact with and learn from different cultures while making a meaningful contribution. Kate Duske, Editor in Chief, Escape Room Data Minimize Consumption Minimizing consumption is likely the best tip to stop letting money control your life. By doing so, you take away the significance of money and turn it into the means of achieving a much higher purpose, that is, positively impacting our environment and other human beings. You become more aware of the harmful effects consumption can have, which range from increased pollution to unfair labor wages, and it makes you a better person in turn as you prioritize helping others, forming meaningful relationships, practicing kindness, and caring for our world instead of being distracted by mindless consumption. Remember that when it comes down to it, more consumption does not give us greater joy, and it comes with the price of harming the planet and the creatures that live on it; instead, find value by focusing on what truly matters. Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People and Culture Officer, HiJunior Prioritize Your Values Understanding your values is important in stopping money from controlling your life. Your values are the beliefs and principles that guide your decisions and actions, shaping how you prioritize different aspects of your life. By being aware of what you value most, you can ensure that your money is being spent in a way that aligns with your priorities and supports the life you want to lead. To understand your values, consider what is most important to you. What do you believe in, and what do you stand for? What brings you joy, fulfillment, and purpose? Maybe it's family, faith, or freedom. Once you have a clear understanding of your values, you can start to decide how to allocate your money to support them. By prioritizing your values, you can make sure that your money is being spent in a way that reflects what truly matters to you, reducing money's power over your life. Diana Royanto, Content Writer, Milkwhale Try Out a Hobby It might seem strange, but picking up a hobby can be a great way to get out from under the credit card. Some hobbies do come with a starter cost, but overall, these activities are more about enjoyment and less about their cost. You can invest in a hobby knowing that the return is something that brings you happiness, contentment, and stress relief rather than simple material gain. Not only will this help you relax, but it can help you solidify the idea that money isn't the only thing that can bring you happiness. Try finding the small, low-cost things that bring you joy and expand on them. They don't need to be costly or flashy to bring you satisfaction. They really can help you stay grounded. Finding joy in a simple hobby you love can give you an easier time avoiding using money to fill the void. Max Ade, CEO, Pickleheads Spend Smart and Let It Occupy You If you can make your spending last longer and go for long periods of time without having to spend, the better chance you have of forgetting about it and not letting it control your life. For example, a subscription to the T.V. streaming service of your choosing could save you money. Instead of going out and spending money, a T.V. streaming service can keep you entertained at home and won't lead to more spending. This can allow you to save money and get ahead of things. Then, with less money being spent and more money in your bank account and occupying your mind with good entertainment, you can worry less. For others, a good video game could take up this time. It varies from person to person, but it is important to find what interests you and spend your time with it rather than going out there and searching for something to occupy your time (which could lead to more spending). Aaron Winston, Strategy Director, Express Legal Funding Make Finance as Boring as Possible The human mind craves novelty and excitement, and we are bombarded with marketing-led financial products daily. Every day, some new, exciting fintech product, investment vehicle, or innovative challenger bank tries to gain your business. However, these all rely on the same principle, making finance exciting when it should be boring. Research shows that a set-and-forget approach to finance almost always yields better results than meticulous active management, especially with investments. Instead, automate your savings, investments, and expenses, so they require as little attentional resources as possible. Although you cannot alter your innate need for novelty and excitement by making finance boring, you can seek it elsewhere, improving your financial outcomes and quality of life. Ben Schwencke, Business Psychologist, Test Partnership Make a List of Free Things that Bring You Joy Make a list of things that don't cost you anything that brings you joy. You'll be surprised to see how many things you can do daily that make you happy. It can be as simple as standing in the sun and relishing the warm rays on your face, taking a stretch every 30 minutes when working, sending a short message to a friend on your lunch break, reading a good book, or playing with your cat. When you start incorporating so much joy into your life, you begin to feel rich - regardless of how much money you have. Laurel Robbins, Founder, Monkeys and Mountains Get Comfortable With Your Numbers When we don't know enough about a subject, that's when it usually feels like it's taking over our lives, especially when it's a subject that is integrated with our daily routines like money. Familiarizing yourself with your expenses, income, and savings and creating/following a financial plan will help you control your finances instead of letting finances control you. Inbar Madar, Founder and Business Consultant, M.I. Business Consulting

  • 10 Things You Should Do if You Didn't Save for Retirement

    If you're nearing retirement, you might be looking for ways to maximize your reduced income to cover your future expenses. The reality of retirement is that as you age and costs rise, your retirement benefit or social security may not sustain your future standard of living. So, how do you survive financially if you didn't plan for retirement, and what remedies are there? From putting your unique skills to use to investing in low-cost index funds, here are a few things you can do with a fixed income and limited savings in retirement. What to do if you skipped saving for retirement. Consider a Reverse Mortgage Put Your Unique Skills to Use Look for Costs to Cut Research and Use Available Resources Sell Some of Your Assets Invest in Real Estate Generate Passive Income Keep Your Income Coming as Long as Possible Prioritize Your Health and Fitness Invest in a Diversified Portfolio of Low-cost Index Funds Consider a Reverse Mortgage Retiring with a mortgage payment is a fixed cost that will not go away until you pay off your mortgage. If your retirement income doesn't pay your mortgage, you can consider a reverse mortgage to make ends meet. With a reverse mortgage, you will be responsible for paying your property taxes and homeowners insurance only. A reverse mortgage can help you bridge the income gap until you no longer live in the home or in the event your heirs inherit your home. Your heirs will then be responsible for paying off the remaining balance of the borrowed money, interest, and fees associated with your reverse mortgage. Annette Harris, Founder, Harris Financial Coaching Put Your Unique Skills to Use I know many people who had careers that weren't as fulfilling as they had hoped because they weren't doing what they loved or were best at. Eventually, after their careers were over, they had more time to hone their skills and figured out how to make money from them. I knew someone whose diversion from a stressful job was playing guitar - and he got pretty good at it after a while. He lived in Florida, and a buddy of his who played drums suggested that he jam with his three-person band at a local beachside bar. He knew the songs and sat in. He loved it so much that he started tagging along for other gigs. He connected with other local musicians and played live music at various places in and around town every week - and managed to make a good income doing it. He didn't have the portfolio he wanted upon retirement, but it turned out that he didn't need one. He made more money playing Jimmy Buffet and Eagles songs than he ever imagined, and it still supports him. Brittany Dolin, Co-founder, Pocketbook Agency Look for Costs to Cut If you haven't planned for retirement and are worried about how you'll support yourself financially, the first step is to look at your expenses and see if there are any areas you can cut back on. If you're living paycheck to paycheck, it's important to make sure you're not spending more than you can afford and leaving yourself with little room to save. Make sure you're not spending more than you can afford on things like cable, cell phone plans, and dining out. By looking at your expenses and making some cuts where you can, you may be able to save enough to put aside money for retirement. Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely Research and Use Available Resources Having experience in financial planning, one piece of advice I would give someone looking to survive financially in retirement without having planned for it is to use the resources available to them. Many people are pleasantly surprised at how many options exist that offer assistance with rent/mortgage payments, bill payments, and so on. This could be anything from government-funded grants and loans to charities or lenders specializing in this area. Understanding and accessing these resources can be difficult. Still, it is worth putting the time into researching them, as they could go a long way in helping you get through a difficult financial situation. Lorien Strydom, Executive Country Manager, Sell Some of Your Assets If you have a home, you may need to sell it. If you've had your home for a while, its value has probably increased. The same goes for any valuable assets, such as furniture or a vehicle, you may not need anymore. Then you may have enough money to afford to rent a modest apartment. Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Carvaygo Invest in Real Estate One uncommon thing someone could do to survive financially if they didn't plan for retirement is to invest in real estate. By utilizing the current home's equity or purchasing a single or multi-family investment property and renting it out, they can generate income that helps fund their retirement instead of Social Security and other benefits. With this strategy, they would also build wealth that can ultimately be tapped into later when needed, either as immediate cash flow from rental income or from selling the property later. Carly Hill, Operations Manager, Generate Passive Income There are plenty of ways to generate passive income- money you make while devoting yourself to the business. Maybe you can rent your spare room on Airbnb and collect the fees, or maybe you invest in dividend-paying stocks. Perhaps you could even start a blog and use Google AdSense to make money from the ads on your site. Whatever passive income ideas you have in mind, it's worth looking into them to see if they're right for you. As long as you have income coming in, you can cover your expenses and have plenty left over for savings. Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, PitchGrade Keep Your Income Coming as Long as Possible Working until retirement (or even past it) isn't necessarily ideal, but it has one significant benefit that no retirement plan can replace: saving. Of course, retirement can be comfortable if you've diligently saved money and carefully managed your finances - but if you haven't had a retirement account or couldn't save for retirement properly, extending your work life as much as possible may be your best bet. Building up a cushion of savings over many years of hard work is probably still the most reliable way to ensure financial stability in retirement age; after all, there's nothing quite like having an emergency fund made of cold, hard cash to get through difficult times. Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People and Culture Officer, HiJunior Prioritize Your Health and Fitness Although often ignored, the gym can be the single most important tool to help you survive financially in lieu of retirement savings. A 2022 European Journal of Aging study reported that working life expectancy is strongly underpinned by general, physical, and cognitive health, regardless of occupation. Consequently, staying in great physical shape is essential to career longevity, even in white-collar work. Resistance training and moderate-vigorous physical activity both show significant anti-aging properties and are essential to preventing muscle wasting and cognitive decline. By prioritizing your health and getting sufficient exercise, you will likely significantly extend your working life expectancy, giving you more time to save for retirement. Ben Schwencke, Business Psychologist, Test Partnership Invest in a Diversified Portfolio of Low-cost Index Funds If someone didn't plan for retirement, I'd advise them to invest in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds. This type of investment strategy provides a low-cost way to achieve broad market exposure, which can help an individual achieve better returns over the long term. In addition, index funds are typically composed of thousands of different securities, providing greater diversification than an individual stock picker could achieve. Also, index funds are passively managed, so they generally have much lower fees than actively managed funds, which can help individuals maximize their investment returns. Investing in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds is one of the best things someone can do to survive financially if they didn't plan for retirement. Shaun Connell, CEO, and Founder, Learn Financial Strategy What's Next? If you haven't planned for retirement, it's not too late. If you work for an employer, find out what retirement benefits are available to you and if you're eligible for increasing your retirement contributions. You may also be eligible for catch-up contributions to your retirement plan if you're over 50. Plan for your retirement now so you don't have to scramble later. Contact trusted resources like a financial coach, counselor, or advisor for assistance in planning and understanding your retirement benefits.

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  • Contact | Informed Finance

    Contact Do you have questions about any of the articles on this site? Are you interested in learning more about wealth management, achieving financial goals, or personalized career advice? ​ Reach out to get to know more. 💗 We can have a virtual coffee meet-up! Featured In:

  • About Annette | Informed Finance Blog

    About Annette Annette Harris is a certified Financial Fitness Coach . She has been a noteworthy leader in the financial and human resources industries for over 14 years. She is a U.S. Army veteran and the Founder of Harris Financial Coaching . Annette also achieved debt freedom and financial independence in her 30s. ​ Annette has helped military and civilian clients break through the obstacles that seem to be holding them back. Life's too short to be unhappy, unsure, or unfulfilled. Let Annette help you learn and develop better ways to handle the issues standing in the way of your goals. Get in touch today to see what goals you can accomplish. Annette's Story Annette has touched many lives while serving in the military and the human resources field. One day, she decided to expand her passion for service to others by striking out on her own journey. At a young age, Annette watched her mother manage the family's finances and, throughout her career, has worked with employees to explain compensation and benefits options. In this process of service to others, she developed a deep-seated passion for financial literacy education. Annette is a trusted financial coach that can help you achieve your goals. ​ Annette was honored with the 2021 Jacksonville Business Journal HR Impact Award for her contributions to the human resources field. She holds a Juris Master Degree from Florida State University and resides in Florida with her spouse and children. ​ What Else? Annette loves to travel and has a list of places she would love to visit, like Spain, Hawaii, Egypt, and France. So far, she's visited Antigua, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos, Jamaica, and Mexico . Living in Florida and Georgia, she's visited all the hotspots like Savannah, Atlanta, Orlando, Tallahassee, and more. ​ Press Kit 👈🏾 ​ Harris Financial Coaching holds the following business certifications: Certified Military Spouse Owned; Florida Woman, Minority, & Veteran-Owned; and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business .

  • Informed Finance Blog - Personal Finance

    Your Path to Financial Freedom and Success Annette Harris 2 days ago 10 Things You Should Do if You Didn't Save for Retirement If you're nearing retirement, you might be looking for ways to maximize your reduced income to cover your future expenses. Here's how. Popular Posts Annette Harris 7 Ways to Develop Financial Trust in Your Relationship 229 Annette Harris 7 Ways You Can Make Money in the Metaverse 242 Annette Harris 9 Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor 77 Annette Harris Free Financial Education Kindle Books About Money 209 Adve rtiser Disclosure Career Tips Annette Harris 10 Things You Should Do if You Didn't Save for Retirement Annette Harris Benefits Working Parents Should Look For Annette Harris 8 Tips To Help You Prepare for a Virtual Job Interview Annette Harris How Do Taxes Affect Your Paycheck? Looking for something else? Start here. Advertiser Disclosure Retirement Entrepreneurship Homeownership College Taxes Military 10 Things You Should Do if You Didn't Save for Retirement 5 Budget-Friendly Spring Break Ideas for Families 7 Strategies for Merging Finances in a Blended Family Benefits Working Parents Should Look For 6 Tips for Splitting Finances in a Blended Family 8 Tips To Help You Prepare for a Virtual Job Interview VIEW ALL Featured In:

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