Personal Finance

When Should You Start Taking Social Security? – by Marc Smith – Many people are trying to figure out when they should start taking Social Security payments. I’m hoping to simplify the process with some math and a few key thoughts to remember as you analyze your specific situation. Read More

Why You Should Never Buy a Front-End Loaded Mutual Fund – by Marc Smith – Mutual funds that contain front-end loads are one of the worst investments for individual investors. In a typical front-end load fund, the investor pays a 5.75% commission just for the privilege of buying into the mutual fund. What most people don’t realize, however, is that commission is largely paid to your investment advisor. Read More

The Importance of Non-Retirement Savings – by Marc Smith – Saving is a critical part of any financial plan. Spending less than you make and putting away the difference for the future is the first step to financial freedom. Since we know saving is necessary, the question becomes what is the best way to save? Read More

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need? – by Marc Smith – Life insurance is a critical aspect of any sound financial plan. Yesterday we discussed how Term Life Insurance is the most appropriate and cost effective option for 99% of the people out there. Today, we are going to address the next key questions. How much life insurance do you need and how much does your spouse need? Read More

Why Term Life Insurance is All You Need – by Marc Smith – As you evaluate your life insurance needs, you’re undoubtedly going to hear about a variety of different plans. Whole life, cash balance, level term, etc. The only life insurance 99% of people need is a basic term insurance policy. Read More

How Much House Can You Afford? – by Marc Smith – As you begin to think about buying a house, it’s critical to determine how much house you can afford. Even with new rules and more stringent lending requirements, banks will often lend you more money to buy a house than you should consider borrowing. My approach to determining how much house you can afford is different and more conservative than many. I believe this approach will serve you well and keep from becoming ‘house poor.’ Read More