Do I have enough money to retire?

Retirement is a big decision. Actually, it’s a series of decisions that travels the timeline of your adult life, from your first job to your last breath! It’s a big question: CanRead More…

What can a Money Coach do for me?

Clients hire money coaches for a number of reasons, and, surprisingly, its not just about their coach’s skill with money!

Most people in the US need help with money, because or educational system failed to realize that “money skills” are something every student from K to 12, and in four years (or more) of higher education, should have a firm grasp on.

And while a professional money coach will bring hands-on experience and broad skills to the table, it is the less tangible skills that people often need to harness in order to make real headway with their personal finances.

Your reason to seek out a coach is unique to you, so to get you thinking beyond the dollars and cents of it all, here is an incomplete list of reasons that people hire a coach (listed alphabetically so as not to imply the relative importance of one reason over another).

  1. Accountability. The one thing that separates coaching from any other financial relationship is the two way street of accountability. In order for any coaching engagement to be a success, coaches must follow through. And so must clients.
  2. Biases. We all have inherent biases that can manifest in potentially damaging behaviors. Many clients have been been unable to overcome the biases and behaviors that have held them back from financial success. An experienced coach can plug that drain so their client can make smarter, informed decisions about their overall financial wellness. Money Coaching is on the cutting edge of changing investor behavior and establishing life-long money skills.
  3. Celebration. A win for the client is a win for the coach, and you will celebrate your victories as a team!
  4. Challenge. Changing any habit is hard, and a good coach will challenge their client to face their hardest problems, and partner with them until the correct solution reveals itself.
  5. Change. An experienced and informed coach’s support will help clients initiate critical change.
  6. Confidentiality. Unless you are attending a group coaching experience, your business is your business. Nobody has the right to know what you discuss with your coach. Private clients are just that! 
  7. Discovery. Coaches help clients discover intelligent alternatives and approaches that they had not considered or didn’t even know were available.
  8. Effectiveness. Clients can’t be effective as an investor or money steward if they don’t have a personal paradigm or a detailed plan built around their personal goals.
  9. Focus. The money coach will help clients tune into the problems that must be solved, and tune out the rest of the noise. A laser focus on only the issues that matter means turning away the million and one bits of financial pornography that assault our senses daily. 
  10. Goals will never be realized unless and until they are visualized. One of the most important roles a coach plays is helping their clients visualize and define realistic goals and then craft a plan to attain them.
  11. Honesty. Your friends and family may be reluctant to help you because they don’t know how. Also, they don’t want to put in their two cents and put the relationship on the line. An honest assessment from an unaffiliated, unrelated and trusted third party is what clients demand from a coach.Truth without baggage!
  12. Logic. A coach can help clients replace emotion with logic, the secret to effective long-term wealth creation.                 
  13. Mistakes. You want a coach to help you avoid costly mistakes, and most experienced financial coaches have made those same mistakes. It’s called “earning your stripes the hard way,” and hard knocks are the best teachers of all. If you work with an adviser, coach or planner that hasn’t made mistakes, fire them!
  14. Objectivity. You will benefit from unvarnished, non-judgmental and objective discussions with an outside observer. 
  15. Observation. Through close observation, active listening, and asking powerful questions, financial coaches can help clients craft an intelligent plan, complete with detailed action steps.
  16. Obstacles. All goals face obstacles. Spotting potential obstacles and barriers before they appear, and crafting a plan to overcome them by anticipating changes or shifts in your life and the world in which we live.
  17. Partnership. Coaches are not dictators. Rather, they are collaborators, partnering with clients to find answers and create positive change. 
  18. Potential. An experienced coach will know how to help their clients uncover their hidden potential, which will lead to fulfilling their dreams. 
  19. Perspective. Coaches learn to look at everything from a broader perspective and in longer time frames.
  20. Resources. Clients are able to benefit from the network of allied resources that their coach has developed over decades in the field. 
  21. Simplicity. One of the goals that seems to surface often is the client’s desire to take complexity out of the financial picture. Complexity causes stress; simplicity invites peace.
  22. Success. Success comes in many forms. Making more money, feeling peace of mind regarding your future, finding more time to do the things you want to do because you have the resources. You defines your own success; the engaged money coach helps you achieve it. 
  23. Strategy. Without a strategic foundation, it’s unlikely anyone will build the wealth or the life they want.  
  24. Tactics. Experienced coaches carry a full “bag of tricks” with them to share with clients. You will learn proven techniques for solving problems as varied as fixing a broken portfolio to creating meaningful lifetime financial wellness.

The reasons clients hire a money coach may be virtually unlimited, and may often can be quite surprising. For instance, a self-sufficient, hard-driving executive may actually need someone else to steer the personal finance ship, based on his or her own inherent biases or behaviors. Sounds odd, but it happens every day.

Most money coaches like helping people and they like solving problems. That’s a really winning combo of motivations, and the varied nature of the engagements and the diversity of the problems to be solved are two of the main drivers that lure many coaches into the field. 

Money coaching. A new and unusual concept to many people, but don’t you owe it to yourself to take the next step?

Advanced Wealth Protection.


Location, location, location! The Secret of Hidden Investment Returns

If you’re interested in earning dependable positive returns that you can actually manufacture yourself, there is something you need to write at the top of your to-do list. Alpha is the excessRead More…

My Clients Crave Principal Protection

Meaningful conversations with good clients are the highlight of any money coach’s day. These conversations are like snowflakes, no two are alike, and are as different as the clients themselves, each with their unique goals, relationship and family situations, level of knowledge, level of wealth, specific goals, and the list goes on.

We work with a more elderly clientele, and have noticed a common theme, regardless of their differences: virtually all of them want protection.

Older clients want to protect their lives, their health, their family and their money.

The days of risk and growth are long gone, having surrendered to the days of safety and income. Cryptocurrency is for the young, risk has become a four letter word, and the paychecks are over, so when it comes to money, you cannot afford to lose it.

Wealth preservation and the need for a solid, tax-friendly income generation plan are the most relevant solutions, and many times a protected growth strategy that eliminates risk of loss while maintaining growth of assets are required solutions. Creating lasting legacies through a formalized insurance and estate plan are necessary to complete the picture.

In working with any financial professional, they must be conversant on the strategies and instruments that will satisfy their elder client’s need to have safe income and capital preservation. 

A money coach’s role, on part, is to help their clients identify and eliminate their destructive money behaviors, elevate their financial literacy and hold them accountable to achieving their greatest goals in life.

Never. Lose. Money.


What is a Money Coach?

Money coaches are not investment brokers, but they could be!

Money coaches are not financial planners, but they could be!

Money coaches are not necessarily already in the financial services business, but they could be!

So what the heck is a money coach?

Before we seek a definition, let’s first contemplate the human condition for a moment, and consider what people really want in terms of a happy life.  

We know that money doesn’t equal happiness, but when we think about money, we generally want to know a few things: how can I make more, how can I keep from losing it, how can I be a better investor, and how can I best manage my life, financial and otherwise, so that my family and I can live a healthy, worry-free life.

Face it, living life means learning how to deal with risk. Catastrophes and mistakes have a price tag. Everybody’s price tag is different. Most of us don’t sit around worrying about things like stock picking and market volatility. We think about what hazards might come our way that could make our lives more volatile. The health and safety of our spouses and children, losing our jobs, getting a serious illness, dying too soon, and yes, even living too long, all of it, costs money.

On top of all those things, add in the need to plan for a secure retirement, a plan to send the kids to college, a plan to insure the risks of getting sick, dying too soon and living too long, bulging credit card debt, not having enough cash to deal with an emergency, living within a budget…whew! Now that’s a pretty full plate.

And if that were not enough to make us cry uncle, we’re often fighting a war. With ourselves. That’s right, we all have the potential to be our own worst enemy. Low financial literacy, bad habits and wonky behavior will kill even the best laid plans. 

So, most people aren’t looking for a better stockbroker; they’re looking for help and guidance to better deal with both the risks and opportunities ahead, which means getting a better handle on their emotions, their behaviors, their money biases, their knowledge and their skill.

A money coach is less a teacher and mentor, and more a guide, helping his or her client find the answers within, and helping them move toward reaching their most significant goals in life, and then holding them accountable to achieving them.

That’s what a money coach is.

Never. Lose. Money.

Even a dummy can make money. Timeless words from Warren Buffett..

“I want to be in businesses so good even a dummy can make money.” – Warren Buffet, 1988

Mr. B followed four basic tenets when deciding to buy a company:

  1. Business Tenets-Basic characteristics of the business itself,
  2. Management Tenets-Important qualities that senior management must display,
  3. Financial Tenets-The financial decisions the company must maintain, and
  4. Value Tenets-Interrelated guidelines about purchase price.

Want to know more? Then don’t be a dummy…buy this book.



Money Skills: Tax the Harvest or the Seed? Traditional IRA vs. ROTH

Deciding between a ROTH or a Traditional IRA is one of the most important money decisions you must make.

A key question you have to answer is: “Do you want to be taxed on the harvest or the seed? (Hint: If you want more bread, you’ll want to pay on the seed!)

Traditional IRA

Most investors use traditional IRAs for two key reasons: their contributions are currently tax deductible and the IRA “shelter” offers tax-deferred growth of your investments.

Since you will delay paying taxes until you take distributions sometime in the future, a tax maneuver called tax deferral, a traditional IRA is a good choice if you believe that you will be in a lower tax bracket after you retire. Your tax deductible pre-tax contribution will result in a meaningful reduction to your 2018 tax bill now, and possibly a lower tax bill later, provided you actually will be in a lower tax bracket later.

But the thing you must remember is that while you get a relatively small benefit up front (the deduction), you will pay an exponentially larger tax bill 0n the harvest (future withdrawals).

You are eligible for the contribution if you are under 70 ½ by the end of 2018 and had earnings upon which to base your contribution.

In 2020, the maximum yearly contribution is $6,000, but if you are age 50 or older at year-end your maximum contribution is $7,000, because of the catch-up provisions in the tax code. Also note that these are your combined limits for both Roth and Traditional IRAs.

When deciding between a traditional IRA or a ROTH, keep in mind that traditional IRA accounts require that you take annual Required Minimum Distributions starting by April 1 of the year after you turn age 70½. If you don’t take these mandatory distributions, each missed distribution carries a whopping 50% penalty on top of the regular tax.

Roth IRA

If you expect to be in the same or higher tax bracket when you retire a Roth IRA may be your ticket.

While you will forfeit the tax deduction for your contribution for the current tax year, you will enjoy something far more powerful: tax-free growth. Your annual ROTH contributions are made with after-tax earnings, and because you will not get the current tax break, the tax deduction, you will forever be able to withdraw from your ROTH without owing any income tax on the growth. This means that you may be able to convert what may have been a taxable asset into a tax free asset. This is what makes the ROTH a powerful choice, and most often the right one.

In 2020, as with a traditional IRA, your maximum yearly contribution is $6,000, but if you are age 50 or older at year-end your maximum contribution is $7,000. And remember, these are your combined limits for both Roth and Traditional IRAs.

There is no age eligibility requirement with a ROTH, a super benefit for those who decide to enjoy a working retirement. Regardless of your age, as long as you are earning income you can make a ROTH contribution, but there are earnings restrictions. In 2019, contributions begin phasing out at certain levels of Modified Adjusted Gross Income: $123,000 for single and head of household, or $193,000 if married, filing jointly.

Another thumbs up for the ROTH is there are no RMDs to worry about. Traditional IRA accounts require that you take annual Required Minimum Distributions starting by April 1 of the year after you turn age 70½, but not so with a ROTH, thus completely eliminating the chance of triggering the 50% penalty.

So, which is your best choice?

Hands down, for most investors, never paying taxes on the harvest (future taxable distributions) is the logical choice over paying taxes on the seed, since ROTH accounts grow tax-free.

Converting taxable assets into a tax free income machine for life is a powerful argument, making the ROTH almost irresistible, however, everyone’s situation is different. Goals and circumstances differ from individual to individual, or couple to couple.

Never. Lose. Money.