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Finish Your Finances

In financial planning, there are basic practical matters to complete for every individual, couple or family. These include: tax returns, an estate plan, insurance protection, an investment plan, and a cash flow plan.

Tax returns: Are your tax returns current and complete?  If not, make it a priority to take action to complete them. Retain tax papers in a simple file system so that your documents are in order and accessible for tax preparation at the beginning of each year.  Organizing and preparing early supports easeful tax preparation. Continue Reading →

What Is A Healthy Financial Transition?

Divorce, death, disability, loss of job, sudden wealth and sudden loss are examples of typical life transitions that include monetary considerations. Earlier I described Bill Bridges’ transition process including the three phases: an ending, a neutral zone and a new beginning. Financial transitions incorporate these phases as well.

But, financial transitions can be more complex than “regular” transitions because not only are you facing change, you are also adding the energy of money. While money is neutral, your relationship to it is filled with beliefs and behavior and habits that may or may not serve you and the impending change. In over thirty years, I have not experienced anyone who has been fearless in a financial transition. How can you coexist with fear and manifest a healthy financial transition? Continue Reading →

Receiving Money … As A Genuine Gift Or A Tax Transfer

At a recent financial planning conference, I attended a session on the current rules of our estate tax system. Our current estate tax rules, the most simple ever, are “in place” for two years, at the end of which I strongly suspect our lawmakers will make more changes. My interest in this presentation was less about the great tax compromise and more about meaning behind gifting, one of the traditional estate planning strategies to decrease a taxable estate. Continue Reading →

Money Influence

You know and are reminded that your beliefs and behavior around money have been strongly influenced by others, particularly from your childhood. You see that this money influence can either support you in your evolution or undermine you by aligning with ego. Even if you have reflected and reviewed this fact before, there is value in repeating the exercise again, particularly when the past few years in our economic environment have tested our fortitude and shaken our confidence.

In periods of money stress, the ego likes to control, constrict and protect. Most often, the results from ego intervention are unfavorable and self-serving – coming from the less supportive money influence. You may be asking, “Gayle, what do you mean?” Continue Reading →