Category Archives: Documents

If You Die, Do Your Heirs Know Where To Find Your Passwords?

I wrote a little about making sure you put your estate documents where someone could find them in the past.  But what about your digital life?  If you die, do your heirs know where to find your passwords?  There were … Continue reading

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The One Paper I Never, Ever Throw Away…

You’ve read the headlines.  Over and over again, debt collectors are calling people who don’t owe them a penny and harassing innocent people into paying debts that aren’t owed.  An excellent example of this is documented in American Banker’s exposé … Continue reading

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If You Die, Do Your Heirs Know Where To Find Your Estate Documents?

So, you go to all this trouble to make an estate plan.  You make sure your assets are titled properly, and there are the appropriate beneficiary designation forms are filed with your accounts.  You put together your will, trust (if … Continue reading

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How To Read Your Brokerage Statement

Your brokerage statement comes at least quarterly, and usually monthly, but do you read and understand it?  I’ll give you a quick run-down on how to read your statement. Here’s a copy of one of my statements – a tiny, … Continue reading

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Anatomy Of A 1040 – Part 2

“Where there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.” — Plato Our guided tour of the Form 1040 is going pretty well.  We looked at the first … Continue reading

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Anatomy Of A 1040 – Part 1

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” — Albert Einstein, physicist So, let’s make it a little easier. One of the (many) complaints I hear about taxes is that they are too complicated.  In fact, … Continue reading

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Tax Organizers Are On Their Way!

Yay, it’s tax season again!  And that means the good folks at the post office are now whisking organizers to our tax client’s doors.  So, here are three easy tips for folks getting their tax documents together: Make sure you … Continue reading

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To All Those Playing “The Mortgage Form” Game At Home…

You’ve been playing along in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s Know Before You Owe program, right?  Well, I’m on their email list, and I got an important message from the CFPB for all those who participated in choosing the forms: … Continue reading

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Can You Pick The Best Loan?

I’ve been participating in the “Know Before You Owe” program at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for quite some time.  It looks like they’ve gotten to nearly a final draft of mortgage disclosure forms, and they need our help to … Continue reading

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Know Before You Owe – Weigh In Now!

Alright, we’ve been following along as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been working on improving the mortgage disclosure forms.  They’ve received over 18,000 comments, and are in the final rounds of developing the forms.  This is your opportunity to … Continue reading

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Credit Score v. Credit Report

Alright, I sense some confusion between credit scores and credit reports, so let’s clear it up. Clarity matters, because not knowing the difference between you credit report and your credit score will only lead to massive confusion.  And confusion leads … Continue reading

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Good Citizenship Opportunity!

That’s right, there’s another excellent opportunity to have your voice heard in government!  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just released its next round of forms for your perusal and comment.  Take a moment to make your federal government regulation … Continue reading

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Smart and Sassy Guide to Budgeting: Part 6: Expense Problem and Troubleshooting

We’ve seen Trish A. Example tally her income and expenses, figure out her Savings to Spend requirements and see if she has an Income Problem.  Now we’re going to see if she has an Expense Problem, and what to do … Continue reading

Posted in Documents, Financial Planning, Income, Spending

Smart and Sassy Guide to Budgeting: Part 5: Income Problem

So far we’ve covered the basics of how to set up a budget, from income to expenses, categorizing expenses and dealing with intermittent expenses.  Now we put it all together, and figure out if Trish has an income problem or … Continue reading

Posted in Documents, Financial Planning, Income, Spending

Smart and Sassy Guide to Budgeting: Part 4: Savings to Spend

So far our intrepid heroine, Trish A. Example, has figured up her income, her expenses, and categorized her expenses into fixed, variable, and loan paydown/savings categories.  One category remains: intermittent expenses. Earlier we talked about Trish’s clothing expense.  Trish’s normal … Continue reading

Posted in Documents, Financial Planning, Income, Spending