“Get real planning, not too much, mostly fee-only” Michael Pollan, in his terrific book “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” — came up with the motto “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants”. A basic guide to good eating in only 6 words. I’m not sure I can get it quite that tight, but […]

Periodically — typically at least in the fall — some local organizations get together along with a bunch of financial planning professionals who volunteer their time — to provide FREE FINANCIAL PLANNING! The event is called Financial Planning Days and they happen all over the country including places like San Francisco (10/22/2016), Indianapolis (10/15/2016), Baltimore […]

The new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms for the 2017-2018 year bring on a few major changes:   (a) They are available NOW – as of Oct 1 – three months earlier than they used to be.   Note that the FAFSA deadline is not until June 2017. But the sooner you […]

[Note – this was written with the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless in mind.  The general principles of getting tax breaks for donating to charities – and doubling them by donating appreciated assets — applies just the same to any 501c3 charitable organizations.] What is the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless (LICH)? [The following […]

[Note – this was written with Palo Alto CA public schools in mind, and specifically a pair of charitable organizations which help support those schools.  It applies just the same to any 501c3 charitable organizations, including similar organizations associated with other school systems as well as other types of charities altogether.] It’s annual appeal time […]

A recent survey showed that a surprisingly high 72% of Americans do not have an up-to-date will. Via an ABNewsWire article which summarized the results:  “A Google Consumer survey by USLegalWills.com suggests that previous surveys may have under-reported the number of Americans without a Will, by not including those who have a Will that is […]

Music legend Prince died recently and the news has talked a bit about how he apparently died without a will. KQED Forum, a great discussion show on public radio here in the SF Bay area, hosted a discussion in the wake of this event, to talk about wills, who needs them, and related issues. The […]

All those tax-related forms which come with having an IRA, what they mean, and what to do with them. IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account (or, possibly, the collection of all such accounts), and each IRA account you have generates a small torrent of paperwork, both throughout the year and after the end of the […]

January 20, 2016 – Stock Market Volatility “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” ― Benjamin Graham In other words, there’s always a disconnect between prices and values.  In the short run, markets move, sometimes hard and fast — and often very […]

Many types of retirement accounts offer enormous tax advantages.  For example, if you make contributions to an IRA or 401k, you may be able to deduct those contributions (i.e., not pay income taxes on the income you use to fund those accounts) now — and, instead, let the money grow — with no taxes due […]