A Long, Prosperous Road: Building Long-Term Wealth

Contrary to what the majority of people think, accumulating wealth can be simple—if approached in a structured and systematic manner. We’re not relying on luck or placing our hard earned savings into get-rich-quick schemes that could leave both us and our loved ones broke. There are no seminars, no quick tips, or fast, easy tricks that can guarantee massive returns. Building wealth simply involves keeping an eye on our long-term goals

In my career as an independent Certified Financial Planner, I have worked with many different people, all with different backgrounds, goals and dreams. However, every one of my clients has come to me with the desire to build and preserve financial stability for themselves and their families. Through the many individualized investment approaches that I have worked with my clients to create, I have come to realize that achieving financial success hinges on 3 principles: patience, consistency and trust.

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Rogues & Renegades: How Maverick Independent Financial Advisors are Taking Over the Industry

If you've ever sought out a financial advisor, you know how difficult it can be to find someone you can trust with your hard-earned wealth. Promises are made in every direction. Advice is doled out without caution. It's difficult to figure out who is in it for their own benefit and who is actually willing to help you invest in your future. 

I've met with a great number of promising professionals who are surprised to learn the advice they receive from traditional wirehouses is anything but unbiased. It often turns out that commissions, kickbacks, or quotas from specific financial brokers can drive advisors to offer advice that benefits themselves, not their clients. 

Choosing the right financial advisor is an important decision and requires careful research and consideration. It's our belief, however, that choosing an independent financial advisor might be one of the most crucial decisions you can make. 

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What To Do When You Get There: 4 Ways to Manage a Successful Retirement

There are tons of articles on the Internet providing various strategies and tips about saving for retirement, and a great many “How-To” headlines: how to save, how to invest, how to plan. While these pieces of advice are very valuable, there's often a big piece missing: how to have a happy and successful retirement once you do get there. Too often we treat retirement as the finish line of a long race, but if we're lucky, retirement is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of our lives.

Managing your money once you reach retirement can be challenging at times. Though you may have retired, I'm sure your ambitions have not, and it can be difficult balancing those aspirations while managing what is essentially a finite amount of money. Enjoying your newfound free time and ability to pursue diverse interests while also sustaining long-term financial stability can certainly be a challenge. 

You've worked hard all your life to achieve a stable retirement and provide for your family. Let's look at a few ways you can make sure that all your hard work pays off. 

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Keep Calm and Consider the Future: How Investors Can Get Through a Rainy Day

Some weeks ago, the market took a big dip. Some analysts claimed it was the beginning of another huge crash, while others predicted that it was a road bump and nothing more. With so many competing opinions from experts, many investors were scared about their financial standing and sought answers to alleviate their fears.

Here's the truth: no one has a crystal ball. No one has ability to see into the future. As a result, the stock market can surprise experts and amateurs alike. The market can be a highly volatile place, but that doesn't mean that there's cause for alarm every time the market takes a hit. 

Weathering the Storm

The market gets a bad rap sometimes. Investors hear phrases such as “1000-point drop” or “Dow plummets to one-month low,” and all we picture is the doom and gloom of days like Black Friday. On a psychological level, we tend to have more emotional reactions to losses than gains, so even the slightest drop drives our minds to the extremes. 

The market will always be unpredictable. However, there are several solid approaches we can use to address market volatility and still give ourselves and our families the best chance at a secure economic future. Sometimes, getting through a big storm just involves hunkering down and waiting it out. 

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What Your Budget Should Expect When You’re Expecting: How to Prepare for an Exciting Addition to Your Family

Welcoming a new child into your family is one of the most joyous occasions any couple can celebrate together. Bringing a baby into the world to love and care for is unlike any other experience. I'm overjoyed to announce that my daughter (and Lindsey & Lindsey VP), Christina, is expecting a child in February. My wife and I are excited to welcome our second grandchild into our family in 2016!

While this was one of the most exciting pieces of news she's shared with our family, it's also true that having a child is one of (if not the most) significant financial decisions a young couple makes. For the next 18 years (sometimes longer), a family is responsible for feeding, clothing, educating, and sheltering a young life. Couple this with the uncertainty of our economy and rising healthcare costs, and it is easy to understand why proper financial planning is a key aspect of raising a child.

An article written by Deborah Gaines, Huffington Post and Baby Magazine contributor, for Parents.com notes,

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture speculates that a middle-income family will spend more than $165,000 (in today's dollars) raising one child to the age of 18. That's not counting fertility treatments if needed, adoption costs, private schools, after-school lessons, or college, which can add $100,000-300,000 to the bill.”

Seeing dollar figures that size is a shock to most of us. But don’t fear! Christina and I have some thoughts to share about how to prepare for your new bundle of joy.

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Debunking Bad Advice: 4 Terrible Money Mistakes You Might Be Making


It's an unfortunate reality that there's a lot of bad money advice floating around on the Internet. With the expansion of the blogosphere, pretty much anyone can claim to be a money expert. Coupled with the fact that there are over 600,000 licensed financial advisors, it’s easy to see why there's a huge amount of conflicting and confusing information out there.

When it comes to our hard-earned money and life savings, poor advice can mean losing the ability to support our families in the manner that we want to — an excellent reminder of how important it is to work with people who we can trust to serve our best interests, not their own.

But don't fear — We're here to help.

Let’s examine four of the most common pieces of bad financial advice found online and analyze why that advice tends to be wrong.

1. Save 10% a Year for Retirement

Though it’s highly dependent on when we begin saving for retirement, earmarking just 10% annually is usually not enough. Researchers from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimated that in order to ensure a comparable lifestyle after retirement, households would need roughly 70 percent of their pre-retirement income on average. While social security can replace part of the difference —roughly 35 percent — we need to look to our savings for the remainder. Sharon Epperson, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent at CNBC, writes about how much you really need to set aside for retirement in an NBC News article:

“To make up the difference, it estimates savers need to set aside about 15 percent of their pay over the course of 30 years to retire comfortably. Those with a longer time horizon—such as those who start saving in their 20s—can begin by saving 10 percent of their pay annually and gradually increase the percentage over time.”

Although it can feel difficult to set aside this much, over-planning for retirement is always safer than the alternative. Thirty years of saving (at least) 15 percent should allow you to support and provide for yourself and your loved ones through your retirement years. For those of you beginning to save earlier, your 10 percent should gradually increase as you advance in your career.

2. Work Hard to Retire Early

Though we might love our jobs, I’m certain that there are some days where many of us would retire on the spot if we could. Even though we fantasize about early retirement, leaving our jobs for the beach early might not be the wisest idea, even if we are financially prepared. In fact, retiring early can actually create more problems than we originally anticipate for the following reasons:

  • Decreased Social Security 

Most program benefits are made available at the age of 62, but accessing your monthly check early (before 65) will mean that the amount will be smaller — in some cases up to 25 percent.

  • Increased Health Care Costs 

Health care costs can be a big burden for those who retire early. Medicare isn’t accessible until the age of 65, so people who retire early are left to foot the bill for their own health care costs.

  • Leaving Behind Potential Income and Savings 

It is likely that the years before we retire are the prime years of our career. In retiring early, we could be leaving thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of dollars of income on the table.

3. Avoid Credit Cards At All Costs

Though it’s important to avoid going into debt, establishing good credit through the smart use of credit cards is a very important and wise practice. Good credit pays dividends when making large purchases such as houses and cars, and even prospective employers may examine your credit score before making hiring decisions. Credit plays a major role in many of the financial decisions we make, and establishing a positive credit history makes those decisions that much easier.

4. Always Save Money… Wherever Possible

The saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned” doesn’t always hold true. In fact, in certain situations, one penny saved in the wrong place can turn into many pennies spent a few years later. When making purchases that we expect to last us for a while, spending extra money on quality up front can make a big difference. Being especially frugal may help us when buying a new pair of jeans, but it’s an unwise practice when buying a house or picking a doctor. Alan Henry, deputy editor and tech writer at LifeHack, explains when it makes sense to invest in quality:

“Buying a house isn't the time to skimp on the little things—especially if those little things make a big difference in how much you'd spend to maintain or repair your home in the future, or again, the total cost of ownership of your home.”

Even investing in quality items like wallets, suits, and shoes can end up saving us from the cost of needing to frequently replace these items in the future.

The scariest thing about many of these pieces of poor financial advice is that they benefit the people doling out the advice and harm those who are truly in need of guidance. With thousands of internet voices all shouting contradictory advice, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is why we at Lindsey & Lindsey always strive to provide a level of service that allows our clients to support their families without having to worry about the trustworthiness of the advice they receive. If you ever have questions, we’re always here to answer them with your best interests in mind.

What money questions do you have that you would like answers to? Let us know by tweeting @Lindsey2Wealth!

A Life Well-Led: Why Honesty is so Valuable for Leadership


Unfortunately, in today's business world, words like honesty and integrity are largely seen as buzzwords — lacking meaning or significance when they are ascribed to a company or corporation. While these words may sound intriguing coming from an executive's mouth, they are often regarded as empty promises meant to placate employees and investors. 

The truth is that honesty and transparency are essential, both in the success of our businesses and in our personal success as leaders. Recent research has found that the more honest and transparent a company's culture is, the more successful that business will become. Haley Bock, the CEO of Fierce Inc., explains in an article about transparency in leadership,

“In a 2011 Corporate Executive Board survey, organizations that successfully broke down barriers and eliminated the fear of retaliation for honest feedback substantially outperformed their peers, delivering 7.9 percent total shareholder return compared with 2.1 percent at other companies.”

So why is this honest and transparent approach so pivotal for our success? Let's explore.

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Saving a Little Saves a Latte: Supercharge Your Savings A Few Dollars At A Time


For many of us, the word “millionaire” conjures up visions of rich moguls throwing dollars around on Wall Street — just like in the movies. These popular images make us think that being a millionaire must involve investing tens of thousands of dollars all at once in the stock market, and that just isn't possible for most of us.

But here's the trick — becoming a millionaire isn't out of reach, if we are willing to take on the small, everyday action of regular saving.

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How To Avoid the Worst Wedding Crasher: 3 Financial Tips for True Love


Wedding season is upon us once more, and I love watching many couples take the exciting plunge into married life. Weddings are a wonderful time to celebrate community and connection, and the wedding cake and champagne aren't a bad bonus either! 

While we often envision our marriages filled with love and laughter — and these will most certainly be present— the truth is that marriage is sometimes stressful and difficult as well. Financial disagreements are one of the most common causes of marital stress, and for good reason. Money issues tend to affect our lives in big ways, and if we aren't prepared they can result in a lot of stress and discord. As Jennifer Ryan Woods, acclaimed author and financial expert, explains in Forbes,

“Money issues are so troublesome that people who say they’re experiencing stress in their relationship cite finances as the number one reason… [and] money issues are also responsible for 22% of all divorces, making it the third leading cause.”

Sound foreboding for those tying the knot? It doesn’t have to be. As my wedding gift to all the newlyweds this year, I'd like to share a few finance tips that will reduce stress for new and established couples alike.

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Saving for Retirement: Where Should You Be Now?


The golden years: After tens of thousands of working hours, it’s now your time to do what you want. Travel the world. See Paris. Go fishing. Or maybe even something as simple as quietly reading a book or actually enjoying the morning paper. However, these picturesque visions of our retirement are often clouded by questions such as, “Am I saving enough?” Or, “Where should I be in my savings at this point?”.

While these questions might seem fairly simple, they rarely have straightforward answers. The fact is, we all have different visions of what our retirement will look like and, as importantly, when it will actually occur. A recent study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies quoted in an article on CNBC found that 58 percent of workers say they plan to work past age 65 — if they retire at all.

Regardless of when you started saving or where you’re at now, there are ways to understand where you should be and strategies to ensure you end up where you want to be.

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