Category Archives: Financial Education

3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Life

In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women ®, A Little Book about Money for Women,  I teach the basics of financial management.  Most of us never learn basic concepts and then become frustrated when we aren’t reaching our goals, assuming we even set goals.

Life has become more complicated with each consumer expected to be an expert on all things financial.  In talking to women over the years, a common concern is about wanting to change and do better, but not knowing where to start.  Haven’t we all had (or still have) that conversation with ourselves?

It isn’t magic to create a new lifestyle, but it does take some introspection and then action.  A good place to start is with what I call 3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Life.  They are things we think about, but often haven’t written them down and then figured out which ones will benefit us the best.  So, you can start in the beginning by thinking about any or all which apply to you.

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 Do Better with What You Have

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Simply write these titles on a piece of paper and make notes over the next couple of weeks about how you can focus on the one which will have the most impact on your life.  Start small, but start.  Talk it over with your spouse, partner, friends or anyone else you feel can give you positive feedback or be a support system.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

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To order my book, please click here

Military Members Find Help from Some Special Financial Advisors

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Today my on-line version of Financial Planning magazine showed up in my email in-box.

As a former broker and financial advisor, I used to read everything in he magazine.  Now I read mainly articles about women and money.  However, the one today is titled “Financial Planners Help Stem the Rate of Military Suicides”. Having spent my first career working for three of the military services and then the Department of Defense, and being aware through news stories that suicide rates in the military are rising, I was curious and clicked through to the article.

Personally, I understand that some financial advisors and planners can do more than just hand out wisdom and match clients up with products.  What they can do better than most anyone else is listen to a client and then use their brains like a search engine to scan all the considerable knowledge they have about the entire financial management process, not just the lucrative and more glamorous investing component.  With their talents, a lot of patience, and a willingness to take the lead in filling out paperwork with the client, they can help make things happen.  People in trouble are too exhausted to do it all by themselves.

The article is worth reading whether you are a military member, a health care professional, a financial services professional, clergy, or just a caring person.  I am excited to learn this story of how a few risk-taking financial professionals have stepped up to the challenge and changed people’s lives.  I’m hoping they have also started a movement to expand how financial professionals are allowed to give clients what they really need.

Please click here to read this story.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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To order my book, please click here

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

LBJ, The Hill Country, Civil Rights, and My Full Circle Moment

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Having a full circle moment!

Local TV is pre-empted for President Obama and other dignitaries at the LBJ Presidential Library for the 50th year celebration of the passing of the Civil Rights Act. The Johnson ranch is just down the road from Fredericksburg where we live, although the library is in Austin.

As a child my family lived outside D.C. because my dad’s government job took us there. I am the oldest child and one day my dad took me to the Capitol to see how Congress worked. It was after JFK and LBJ had been elected.

The day we were there I noticed two things. First it seemed like a crazy disorganized place with people coming and going and not always paying attention. It certainly wasn’t like school, didn’t live up to my expectations, and I was wondering what my dad was thinking by taking me there.

The second was that my dad pointed out that Vice President Johnson was there that day, presiding as the President of the Senate. Now that was impressive and a memory I still treasure. I certainly didn’t know anything about LBJ or Texas.  On that day I  couldn’t even imagine that one day Vice President Johnson would become President Johnson, that there was even such a thing as civil rights, or that  I be  living in his beloved hill country and blogging and writing as part of a movement to share financial management basics to women to improve their lives.

Until next time!

 Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

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To order my book, please click here.

A Refresher about Taking Money from Your Roth IRA

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The Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) became available in 1998.  It was named after its legislative sponsor,  William V. Roth Jr., a Republican senator from Delaware.  The Roth IRA was part of the Tax Relief Act of 1997.  Sometimes we let the words for investment terms roll off our tongues without really knowing what they mean.  This one is easy, it was named after someone who saw a need for an investment which had the potential of remaining tax-free during both the accumulation (adding to it) or distribution (taking money from it) phases.  Of course there are rules to make that happen.  As the saying goes, there is no free ride.

First, the money contributed to a Roth IRA is called after tax money, meaning the investor already paid taxes on it.  Second the money needs to conform to a few rules to avoid paying taxes.    I like the simple way an investment firm, Invesco, has explained it.  Please just click here to learn more.

Whether we like it or not, investors often start with the long-range plan of investing money and leaving it there until age 59 1/2 and later and then life catches up with them.  A recession hits, a job is lost, a major medical expense is incurred, a business fails, or some other major financial need comes along.   Sometimes the investor is looking over all of her or his investment accounts to figure out how to best manage a short-term situation by accessing retirement accounts.  Yes it could and has happened to investors, maybe even to you.

The information in the link is very useful as you work with your financial professional to sort things out.  It is best to make an informed decision and be aware of the consequences so you can plan on them.

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

Please remember, this is a short overview and questions relevant to personal finances and specific to the individual should be addressed to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately.

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To order my book, please click here.

myRA Accounts-Much Needed Baby Steps

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Not certain what baby steps have to do with the newly announced myRA plans?  In my opinion, lots!  We all have to start somewhere and grow from there!  So many people get so intimidated with the top, they don’t take the first small step.

As someone who was a financial advisor and registered representative working with both experienced and  first-time investors, I am excited about this interim step.   Very encouraging!  More next time about how I came to this conclusion.

Until then, I encourage you to click here to learn more!

Debra Hadsall

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www.ffptalk.com

To purchase my workbook, Financial Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, please click here.

Empty Mansions– Living the Good Life?

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I just finished reading the book “Empty Mansions” by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Junior.  The title says it is about “The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune”.

Any book with the words fortune and spending just calls to my financial education mind.  It would seem that a book about wealth would be all about what we call “living the good life”.  I learned that the title refers to the empty properties Huguette continued to maintain even though she didn’t live in them.  Interesting.

This book is about a woman and her story which revolves around extreme wealth, business, family owned businesses, decision-making, relationships, trust and distrust, and how money can be both a blessing and a curse.

Personally, it took me a long time to learn to deal with money in an unemotional manner.  The main character, struggled with that for a really long time as she was born in 1906 and died in 2011. She dealt with a lot of emotions and they often guided her decisions.  For Huguette, these decisions usually involved  large sums of money. The world changed radically during her lifetime and she also outlived her close relatives.  Some of the change was more than Huguette wished to deal with, so she created a lifestyle which was strange and unconventional to most ordinary (and even wealthy) people.  Her needs for security and safety as a wealthy person played a big part in how she spent money.  As an elderly woman  it appeared that those who were caring for her may have taken advantage of  her financially, even though the medical professionals found her competent.

It is hard to imagine the majestic homes her father created with his wealth  and the mind-set of  Huguette who was born into such a lifestyle and never knew anything different.  Still, I was struck by the similarity between the decisions she had to make about  businesses, advisors, and income management, and those made by the rest of as we manage our personal finances or make lifestyle and financial decisions about the senior citizens our lives.

Was Huguette happy living what most would see as “the good life”?  It is hard to tell.  That is the mystery which remains in her interesting life story.

Until next time.

Debra J. Hadsall

New Year, New Chance to Increase Retirement Contribution$$$

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When I was a financial advisor, I learned that the time between Thanksgiving and January 1st was going to be a slow time for me in terms of working with new clients.  Yes, existing clients were often on vacation and using that time to catch up with me and to check in about their accounts and plans.  The rest of the world seemed to be waiting until the first of the new year to really think about their goals, dreams, and how their finances could be changed or improved to meet them.

Every year about this time I would print out a new list which showed the maximum contributions allowed in various types of retirement accounts.  In reality, most people don’t contribute the maximum and often they just look at the list and give up.  So, just  remember, these are the maximums.  You can contribute less and work towards your goals.

To see the list for  2014, please click here.  Good information to know and to discuss with your advisor or with the person who is knowledgeable about your company or organizational retirement plans.

Please share with others.  As I often say, don’t always assume everyone knows what you know or takes the time to access

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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DiminishedCapactity, What’s That?

Diminished capacity includes a variety of symptoms or conditions.  Often we relate them to aging, but it can be in people of all ages due to physical or mental health conditions.  Whatever the cause, when things change in a person’s life as a result of diminished capacity the lives of those around her or him change also.  Not all issues are simply medical ones, many have to do with how a family member or friend can assist.  To learn more, please just click here

Until next time.

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Debra Hadsall

Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition is now available at amazon.com.  Just click here.

Reposting of FFP Mini-Newsletter, Shopping

shopping2It seems like a good time to share my FFP Mini-Newsletter which was one of the early posts about a very common subject, shopping.

Please click here and enjoy.  Share with your women friends, your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters, and anyone else who likes to shop!

Debra J. Hadsall

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Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition is now available on Amazon.com. Just click here.