Ep. 183 Launch Financial- 2024 Outlook on the Spring Housing Market with Jody Eichenblatt

Overview: Tune into this week’s special episode of Launch Financial joined by special guest and senior mortgage consultant at PHM Loans, Jody Eichenblatt. On this episode, we will discuss the 2024 spring housing market, outlook on interest rates and the impact it’s having on homebuyers, and Jody’s thoughts and tips on navigating your home purchase in this economic environment. For questions or inquiries, email info@shermanwealth.com.

 

Show Notes: For more information about Jody and to reach him about questions from today’s episode, visit www.jodyeichenblatt.com.

Cell 973-951-8077, jody.eichenblatt@phmloans.com

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Do You And Your Partner Have The Same Money Values?

We all know that being a part of a couple takes work and that open, honest communications is key! We read an interesting article that spoke about how individuals choose their partners and that often times, we match with those who have similar interests and values as ourselves. However, while this may be true, Jenny Olson, an assistant professor of marketing at Indiana University who studies couples’ financial decision-making, found that “when it comes to money-management styles, opposites do attract.” As financial advisors, we have seen many cases where two partners have different backgrounds and relationships with money. It is very common for partners to have different approaches to their finances, but it’s important in how they to approach the merge them.

In order to have a relationship that is strong financially, as well as emotionally, remember to regularly discuss and review your finances and goals to help make sure that you and your partner are not only on the same track, but on the right one for you as a couple. When you become serious with your partner or even get married, many couples have to sit down to talk about both their relationship with money and how the merging of finances will work. While we know its not easy, its important in order to avoid financial lies. In fact, we read an interesting article that said financial lies between partners are way more common than you’d think. The study from Forbes Advisor found that the top three financial lies American’s tell each other are relating to debt, spending and large purchases, and spending patterns. While you and your partner may not have the same spending habits or relationship with money, but finding a happy medium or compromise to allow honesty is extremely crucial.

At Sherman Wealth, we work with many newly weds, young professionals and couples on the merging of their finances and how to find a medium that works for both parties. As we have said time and time again, communication, transparency, and honesty is key to a healthy relationship, especially as it relates to finances. We know money conversations can be awkward and uncomfortable, but they really are necessary for couples wanting to build a financial roadmap.

So, let’s take a look at some important topics couples should regularly review and discuss.

  1. Retirement Plans – If you’re a young couple, retirement may not be your top priority, but remember – through compounded interest –  a small amount invested now may go a long way in the future. Be sure to reexamine your goals and your portfolio to make sure that you’re both saving enough for retirement and your asset allocation is appropriate given market fluctuations and volatility.
  2. Life Insurance – While not a pleasant topic, it’s important to discuss with your partner what will happen in the event that one of you passes prematurely.
  3. Wills and Trusts – Like life insurance, wills and trusts also are important for protecting your loved ones. They’re especially critical if you have children, or a significant amount of assets.
  4. College Funds – If you have children, or are considering having children, you definitely want to discuss your thoughts on college and how much you as parents want to fund it, if any. Discuss a saving strategy to help pay for college tuition.
  5. Health Insurance – Make sure that you and your partner are both covered, and that you understand the differences – and overlaps – in  your plans. Is there any unnecessary overlap? Should you purchase more coverage to protect yourself?
  6. Major Purchases – If you are planning to make a major purchase such as a home, or a new car, you’ve probably already talked with your partner about it. You may not have talked about how you’ll pay for it though! Talk through these goals together and set realistic strategies to achieve them.
  7. Monthly Expenses – Review your expenses each month to see where you can make changes and cut back. Consider making a budget together to make sure that you are allocating your income in the best possible way for both of you.

While financial topics can be difficult to discuss, they’re an important part of a happy and successful relationship. As mentioned prior, here at Sherman Wealth we help couples facilitate these conversations, especially when it comes to merging finances and creating combined goals. Make sure that both you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to finances, and set short and long term goals together to help keep you both on track.

If you need help going over your finances or coming up with a plan, you may want to seek working with a financial advisor to help point you in the right direction, based on your own goals, and help facilitate difficult, but important, discussions. If you have any questions, email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary intro call here.

Master the Art of Saving: Smart Strategies for Building Your Wealth

In today’s ever-evolving economic environment, mastering the art of saving is essential for achieving financial stability and building your wealth. Whether you’re saving for a rainy day, a dream vacation, or retirement, implementing an effective savings strategy can make all the difference. As financial advisors, we work with clients on automating their savings to seamlessly grow their wealth and get one step closer towards their goals. In this blog post, we’ll share some valuable tips for savers on savings strategies and the prudence of creating an automated savings plan.

Before diving into savings strategies, let’s emphasize why automating savings is crucial. Automating the process of saving money towards your various goals each month or pay period makes the process more seamless and essentially “out of sight, out of mind”.

One of the most effective ways to save consistently is by automating your savings. Setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account each pay period or month ensures that you prioritize savings without the need for constant manual intervention. This “out of sight, out of mind” approach eliminates the temptation to spend money earmarked for savings, making it easier to stick to your financial goals.

Consistency is also the cornerstone of successful saving. By automating your savings, you establish a routine that becomes “automatic” in your financial habits. Whether you’re saving a fixed amount or a percentage of your income, committing to regular contributions reinforces responsible financial behavior and accelerates wealth accumulation over time.

In addition to automated savings, consider implementing dollar-cost averaging (DCA) as a strategy for investing in your taxable brokerage account. DCA involves investing a fixed amount of money at regular intervals, regardless of market fluctuations. This approach mitigates the risk of timing the market and allows you to benefit from market volatility by purchasing more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high.

So, given the savings strategies we just mentioned above, here are some practical tips to optimize your savings strategy:

Set Clear Goals: Define your short-term and long-term financial goals to guide your saving efforts. Whether it’s building an emergency fund, saving for a down payment on a house, or funding your retirement, having specific goals keeps you motivated and focused.

Track Your Expenses: Monitor your spending habits to identify areas where you can cut back and allocate more funds towards savings. Budgeting apps and expense tracking tools can help you gain insight into your financial behavior and make informed decisions.

Establish Emergency Fund: Prioritize building an emergency fund to cover unforeseen expenses that may arise in an emergency. Aim to save enough to cover a comfortable amount of months worth of living expenses to provide a financial cushion during challenging times.

Maximize Retirement and Tax Advantageous Accounts: Take advantage of retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as a way to complement cash savings and build your wealth.

Review and Adjust Regularly: Periodically review your savings goals, investment performance, and overall financial situation. Adjust your savings strategy as needed to stay on track and adapt to changes in your life circumstances or financial markets.

In all, your savings strategy will probably require discipline, consistency, and strategic planning. By automating your savings and following these tips, you can set yourself accountable in reaching your financial goals. If you have any questions on how to increase or enhance your savings strategy, email info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary meeting here.

Are You Being Smart with Your Debt?

Do you know the difference between good and bad debt? Are you able to maintain and afford the debt you take on? Many individuals are not. In fact, we’ve been reading tons of articles and studies that are finding that Americans, in particular millennials, are piling on debt during this time. Given the inflationary and high interest rate environment we are living in, talking about debt is more prudent than ever.

Are higher interest rates and prices changing your spending habits? If you are feeling the heat of inflation, re-evaluate your budget and cash flows, ensuring you are only purchasing what you can truly afford. Spending more than you make can slowly pile up your bills overtime, making it hard to pay your debt each month.

While taking on “good debt”, such as opening lines of credit to prove to creditors you are responsible with your money, is a great way to build your personal credit, taking on too much debt can eventually harm your credit score. So, obviously there is a happy medium when it comes to taking on debt and building your credit.

As we’ve discussed before, your credit score is oftentimes considered the lifeline of your financial life. Having a strong credit score allows you to not only take on more debt, but lets you do it a better price. For example, with a high credit score, lenders are more willing to approve your application and provide you with a lower interest rate. Given the high interest rate environment we are in with the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates to combat inflation, receiving a competitive and lower interest rate is huge to your financial situation.

Furthermore, with interest rates still going up, you want to make sure you are aware of the type of debt you have and are taking on, whether it’s tied to a variable interest rate or its fixed. Many individuals aren’t aware they have variable interest rate debt and understand their finaical obligation to it as rates rise. We know the difference between good and bad debt can be overwhelming to understand, which is why we recommend working with a financial professional to ensure you know everything you have, what your financial obligations actually are, and how to make the best decisions surrounding them. If you have any questions on your personal financial situation or debt, email us at info@shermanwealth.com.

Ep. 181 Launch Financial- National Financial Literacy Month

Overview: Happy April! Tune into this week’s episode of Launch Financial as we discuss National Financial Literacy Month and why financial literacy and empowerment is such a core value of Sherman Wealth. In this episode we also delve into a review of the stock and bond market in Q1, as we continue to watch for Fed rhetoric on the future of cutting interest rates. If you have any questions, email info@shermanwealth.com 

Show Notes:

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