(Part 2) Set up Automatic Savings – Your Future Self with Thank You

Why is this important?

  • Feel CONFIDENT about your financial future.
  • Decision fatigue on two levels:
  1. Consistently remembering to save.
  2. Deciding what to purchase or what to do.
  • Make the decision once!
  • Future flexibility!

What should you do?

  • Decide how much to start with.
  • Set up automatic transfers.
  • Invest: You can do this every 3 or 6 months, or even once a year!

(Part 1) Set up Automatic Savings – Your Future Self will Thank You

Why is this important?

  • Feel CONFIDENT about your financial future.
  • Decision fatigue on two levels:
  1. Consistently remembering to save.
  2. Deciding what to purchase or what to do.
  • Make the decision once!
  • Future flexibility!

What should you do?

  • Decide how much to start with.
  • Set up automatic transfers.
  • Invest: You can do this every 3 or 6 months, or even once a year!

What is Your Plan for a Bear Market?

The stock market is off to a shaky start in 2022. Many are asking: What should I do with my portfolio? It’s important to have a plan for when the market goes up or goes down.

A client recently asked, “What should we do with my portfolio and when will we do it?” Remember that market declines are normal: it goes down 10% every 2 years, on average. So it’s important to plan ahead and understand what to do and when to do it.

Options for your plan include:

  1. Do Nothing. You can let your portfolio decline and ride the return on the other side. That’s a viable plan, as long as it’s an actual plan (not sticking your head in the sand!)
  2. Rebalance. You can purchase more stocks while they are on sale.
  3. Tax Loss Harvest. You can sell stocks or funds that have lost value to make lemonade out of lemons.

The important thing is to have a plan, write it down and stick to it.

Find out more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

Are you ready to create your ideal lifestyle? Let’s Connect.

Teaching Kids About Money

It’s best to learn how to use money while in a safe environment: when you’re a kid. This is a lot better than trying later on when it really matters! Kids are natural learners, but we need to give them the space to explore their own desires and their environment; to try things out and fail and succeed.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Allowing freedom for kids to spend their own money
  • Don’t couple chores with allowance: allow children to be a part of the family duties
  • When and how to talk to teenagers about college expenses

Find out more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

Healthy Spending: Avoid Advertising

The average American is bombarded with advertisements throughout the day. Companies spend money on these ads because they work! To align your spending with what truly brings you happiness: make sure to avoid and understand advertising so that you don’t end up with too many things cluttering your home.

First, avoid as much advertising as possible. Use ad blockers, skip commercials, call your credit card company to stop mailings, and unsubscribe from newsletters. This will help reduce the number of ads you see each day.

Second, understand when you are being advertised and build awareness at the moment. The more you recognize an ad and interact with it, the more likely you are to avoid its traps. Advertisers know that you aren’t paying much attention – and so they prey on your subconscious and feelings. Be alert and interact with the ad in front of you and its power will quickly fade.

Is that great a product if you have to advertise it?

Megan Rusell of Marotta on Money joins me once again!

Find out more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

What is Human Capital and Why Does it Matter?

Most people choose a career fairly randomly. I mean, maybe you had a high school counselor that helped you. Or you spent some time thinking about your major at college. But a job comes along and it’s like “Money? Let’s go!”

Your human capital, or the amount of money that you make over your lifetime is one of the biggest factors in your financial success. (Hint: the other is your expenses). No matter where you are in your life journey, it’s worth thinking about that trajectory. How steep is the income potential in your current career? Can you pivot to another career that has a steeper path? What is the job that you really want after your next job?

And how much did you think about your current work team and boss? Finding people that you enjoy working with and will invest in you makes a tremendous difference. Ask anyone who works with the best team: it’s a joy going to the office every day (or the zoom room 😉

Matt and I discuss all these topics and more!

Find out more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

How To Spend: Focus on Healthy Spending

Today’s topic is how to spend money. More specifically: How to spend money so that you maximize your happiness in life.  

Of course, we all want to live with more joy. In the companion article (Core Values Budgeting) and today’s episode, Megan and Mike discuss how to actually do that.  

Remember that there is only ever spending: either now (expenses) or in the future (savings). These are the core of financial planning. Expenses are required to live with joy now and savings are required to meet your long-term goals. Every dollar you spend, you don’t save.

In this episode, we discuss an exercise that helps you understand what spending brings you the most joy. Cliff notes version:

  • Write down every type of thing you or your family spends money on.
  • Imagine that in one category you won’t be allowed to spend money ever again.
  • Cross it off and number it with a 1. This is the first item to go.
  • Repeat the process again and again with 2, 3, 4, etc. until you just can’t cut anything.
  • What is left is at the core of what supports your specific life and joy?
  • Protect your core spending and be ruthless at cutting the rest.

“You can afford anything, just not everything.”

Resources:

  • Crazy Rich Asians Series: What We Can Learn From The Millionaire Lifestyle of Astrid Leong – One of the wealthiest women in Singapore shopping for groceries at the supermarket with super-saver coupons while trying to purchase art for over a hundred million dollars.
  • How To Spend: Learn To Do Without – You can either live rich or you can be rich. Almost no matter how much money you make each year, there is someone spending every penny of a salary five times as great and someone saving more than you on a salary half as much. It takes diligence to keep spending low and saving high. I heard it suggested once, that if you want to develop a rich mindset, put a $100 bill in your wallet, take out your credit cards, and then practice not spending it.

“I want you to spend like you are the richest person in the world, a person who has so much happiness and balance in your life that you can’t imagine anything you could buy that would make you any happier.”

Megan Russell has worked in finance most of her life and is the Chief Operating Officer for Marotta Wealth Management. She has written over 700 financial articles and can be found at MarottaOnMoney.com.

Find more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

How to Handle Having Many 401k, IRA, and Other Bank Accounts

You can easily find yourself swimming in accounts between old jobs (401k, 403b and 457), individual accounts (IRAs and bank accounts) and then double that from your partner as well. It’s enough to throw up your hands, put your head in the sand and just forget about it. That’s not really all bad (honestly), but also consider the following.

  1. Feeling more Organized: By transferring your old 401k accounts into a Rollover IRA, you might feel better about your financial organization. Feeling better is great!
  2. Portfolio: You may not be invested in a way that makes the most sense for your current life. It can be hard to coordinate across so many accounts.
  3. Check on Fees: Some old 401k accounts have pretty “bad” choices inside of them. Definitely check on the fees of funds inside your account. If there are no great choices, you might want to transfer the balance to an IRA.
  4. Careful of “Clean” Back Door Roth: If you end up with a larger balance in your Rollover IRA, that could have an impact on Roth conversions, so be aware of the larger plan before implementing.

You can consolidate accounts by transferring 401k accounts to a Rollover IRA to help simplify. I recommend doing a trustee-to-trustee (direct) transfer where you never actually hold the money yourself.

Find out more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

What Apps Do You Use? (Part 2)

Summary:

A listener asks ”What apps or tech do you use to help manage your finances?”

In part 1 of this two-part show we spoke about budgeting and expenses. In part 2, II talk about:

  • How I use a spreadsheet to track my Investments
  • What is important to track when it comes to investments
  • PersonalCapital: A tool to aggregate investment accounts.
  • Fidelity / Schwab / Vanguard / Other: How free tools from these companies can help but also their limitations.
  • What to do with Credit Cards
  • Why a password manager is important

Find out more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/

What Apps Do You Use? (Part 1)

Summary:

A listener asks ”What apps or tech do you use to help manage your finances?”

In part 1 of this two-part show I talk about:

  • Why it’s important to build awareness about your expenses
  • Banktivity: I use this app for tracking my expenses
  • Mint.com: A classic app for budgeting and expenses
  • YNAB: An envelope system for tracking your budget – which really appeals to some people
  • Simplifi and Trubill: Another couple of budgeting apps that clients have recommended to me.

Don’t forget to tune into Part 2 where I talk more about investments, credit cards and financial planning.

Find out more about Mike at https://www.mortonfinancialadvice.com and connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mwsmorton/