Is It the Chicken or the Egg?

The Consulate Journal

Is It the Chicken or the Egg?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This age-old question can be adapted to many questions on origin, including financial planning. Financial planning’s “chicken and egg” question is: Is it about saving or spending less that brings forth financial accumulation? The answer is spending. You cannot save unless you choose to spend less. A…

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Home Equity Credit Line: An Invaluable Tool

For many years now, I have been promoting one of the greatest and most invaluable (but underappreciated) financial planning tools—the home equity credit line (HECL). An HECL is an agreed-upon balance that you can borrow from at your own choosing on a portion of your home’s equity. If you borrow against the credit line, then you…

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Understanding Stocks

At the time this article was written, the U.S. stock market had just lost 12 percent in the preceding 2.5 months. This type of market decline causes a serious amount of angst and worry among stock investors. Watching their account balances deteriorate and the subsequent sense of losing a significant amount of money is quite…

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Financial Planning for the Unexpected Accident

A broken sternum. It turns out that there is a significant amount of financial planning that results from breaking your sternum. One week after my wedding (and the day before I was to leave for my honeymoon), my mother called to tell me that my grandmother (“Nanaw”) was at the hospital. Nanaw had tripped and…

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The Higher Purpose of Money

The bee seems like a simple insect, but without its ability to pollinate plants, we would most likely starve. Water seems simple enough, but it is the source of life to all living organisms. Air is nothing more than a mixture of gases, but without it, we would all die. Money also has a higher…

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 IRS Notices: Potential Waste of Time

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses algorithms (i.e., computer program applications) to examine the data that it receives and then fires off notices to taxpayers to explain distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and other forms of retirement accounts. When an individual withdraws money from his or her retirement account, this action is considered a…

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A Legacy of Burden

My grandmother loved history, especially our family history. As a genealogist in the time before computers, she painstakingly researched our family tree, taking trips to the birthplaces of our ancestors, collecting history, and compiling it in her library. She was well-known not only for her research on our family, but also on the first families…

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Opening an Online Savings Account: Is It for You?

This article discusses a matter that we at the Financial Consulate recommend for nearly all of our clients. The subject matter will differ from what we have discussed in previous articles, in that as the author, I am going to describe my own recent experiences with transitioning from doing business with a brick-and-mortar bank to…

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Retirement Options: Lump Sum Versus Pension

When preparing for retirement, you may be faced with a decision that will launch you into the next chapter of your life: your company retirement plan may offer a lump sum or pension option upon retirement. Choosing the right option can seem like a daunting decision with no perfect answer, but it serves as a…

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