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Financial Symmetry: Balancing Today with Retirement

When considering retirement, do you wonder what financial opportunities you may be missing? Busy lives take over and years pass without taking advantage. In this retirement podcast, Chad Smith and Mike Eklund unveil financial opportunities, to help you balance enjoying today so you are ready to retire later. By day, they are fiduciary fee-only financial advisors who answer questions about tax savings, investment decisions, and how to save more. If you’ve been putting off your financial to-do list or are just not sure what you’ve been missing, subscribe to the show and learn more at www.financialsymmetry.com. Financial Symmetry is a Raleigh Financial Advisor. Proudly serving clients in the Triangle of North Carolina for over 20 years.
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Apr 9, 2018

Allison Berger and Grace Kvantas are stepping in for Mike on this episode. They join us to talk about how to navigate through a life crisis, specifically financial considerations after the death of a spouse. It’s hard to think financially after such a terrible emotional blow, but proper financial planning can help ensure that you will have less to worry about in the years to come. Listen to this episode to hear our top 5 financial planning opportunities to think about after the death of a spouse.

How to prepare your taxes after the death of a spouse

There are so many financial questions after the death of a spouse. This is an overwhelming time and it can be scary to move forward on your own. Having a checklist of things that need to be done is a fantastic idea. One area of confusion for widows and widowers is how to file your taxes. In the year of the death of a spouse, it is important to continue to file married filing jointly to take advantage of the lower taxable income rate. If you are interested in hearing about how to save money on your taxes for two more years after the death of a spouse then listen to this episode of Financial Symmetry.

This exemption often goes overlooked

Many people don’t even realize that they should file for portability of the deceased spousal exemption, but even if you’re not a millionaire you should still file. This exemption doubles the rate that your heirs will be taxed so that when you pass they have a larger amount of tax-free inheritance. You may not have this kind of money now, but you never know what the future may bring. It’s always a good idea to be on the safe side and file this exemption while you have the opportunity. Listen to this episode to hear all the details why and how you should file for this exemption.

What should you do with life insurance proceeds?

It can be tempting to pay off all your bills and even the house with the proceeds of life insurance. But before you do this, you should look at some alternatives. What kind of savings do you have set up for your future? Would the proceeds be more beneficial to you by maxing out your 401k contributions or even a put into a 403b? This is a good time to build your net worth as tax-free as possible. If you have surviving minor children ensure that there is a trust provision in place for them so that they don’t receive a large sum at the still so young age of 18. If you are wondering what you should do with life insurance proceeds, then listen to this episode of Financial Symmetry to get some ideas.

How much are you eligible to receive through social security?

You can never assume that the social security administration is giving you the right amount of money so it is important that you ensure that you are receiving the correct amount of spousal social security benefits. If you have surviving children many widows and widowers feel the need to save this money for when they are older. But the social security administration would actually prefer that you use the money to care for your children’s needs right now. If you have any questions about social security, this episode of Financial Symmetry may provide the answer. Make sure you listen in to hear all about social security as well as 4 other important financial concerns to consider after the death of a spouse.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:27] What are the top 5 planning opportunities for widows
  • [3:40] How to file your taxes
  • [5:48] File for portability
  • [9:48] Life insurance proceeds
  • [14:29] Survivor benefits for social security
  • [18:49] To pay off the house or not?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Mar 26, 2018

On this episode of Financial Symmetry, we’re getting you ready for tax time! We've been helping clients check their taxes for many years and we know that there are two types of people that file their tax returns. The optimists try and get their taxes done as quickly as possible and probably have already filed their taxes. Those of you that are pessimists are waiting until the last minute and probably haven’t filed yet. If you fall into the latter category then you will definitely want to listen to this episode before you file your taxes. On this episode, we cover the top ten tax return filing mistakes. Remember, the IRS will never send you money that you missed on your tax return. Make sure you listen to this episode to avoid these common tax return mistakes.

What can you do to become more organized in your tax returns?

Many times people make tax return mistakes simply because they are disorganized. They misplace paperwork and often do not have all the data at hand to complete their 1040 correctly. One thing you can do to avoid making costly mistakes on your tax return is to keep a file handy where you can put all of your tax documents for the coming year. That way as you receive documents throughout the year you can just place them into the file and have them ready when it is time to prepare your taxes. Getting your tax documents organized is one way to avoid tax return mistakes. Listen to this episode to hear other ways to avoid making mistakes on your taxes this year.

Do you have a checklist to keep track of new tax rules and help to avoid tax return mistakes?

Having a checklist can help you become organized and avoid costly tax return mistakes. This can help you not to overlook anything. Without a checklist, you may forget to enter correct data or follow up on new tax rules. Some capital gains rules have changed and the custodian of your accounts does not have to keep track of all of the costs. These new changes could lead to costly mistakes. Listen to this episode to hear how these changes could affect you and your tax return. If you are looking to avoid costly tax return mistakes you will want to hear the best ways to avoid them!

What should small business owners be doing to avoid tax return mistakes?

Are you a small business owner? Do you do any side work that involves a 1099? If so, that means you are! When you begin your small business or even if you simply have a couple of side gigs to bring in extra income then you need to pay attention to all the rules for filing your 1099 so that you can complete your tax return correctly and save money. Knowing what is taxable income and what isn’t is important and can save you thousands of dollars on your tax return. Listen to this episode of Financial Symmetry to hear about all the ways you can save money by avoiding these tax return mistakes.

Did you know that credits are more important than deductions?

Many people think that finding deductions is the best way to save money on their tax returns, but that is not the case. Finding relevant tax credits is actually more important than finding deductions. You need to understand all the credits that apply to you and your family to make the most out of your tax return. If you have a college student you may be making a big mistake when filing your tax return. On this episode of Financial Symmetry, we discuss the top ten most common tax return mistakes that we see on our clients’ taxes. If you want to get the most out of your tax return, you’ll want to listen in.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:11] What are the two types of people that file tax returns?
  • [3:44] What can you do to become more organized?
  • [5:00] Do you have new dependents this tax year?
  • [6:58] Capital gains rules have changed!
  • [9:31] Your 1099R may not be taxable, here’s why
  • [11:32] Why is it so important to keep good records?
  • [14:55] What should small business owners be doing?
  • [16:30] What can you be doing for your non-working spouse?
  • [19:05] So many people miss this credit!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Mar 12, 2018

We’re jumping into the March Madness spirit by seeding our top 8 big financial life decisions. We have weeded through all the challenging financial decisions that you will come across in your life and ranked the top 8. By carefully choosing how you decide these 8 factors you could change the trajectory of your potential to build wealth over your lifetime. These decisions can make differences in the millions of dollars! Problem is, you don’t get a lot of practice at many of these decisions, making most of them only a few times over your life. So listen in, to hear a few ideas on many of these decisions that you’ve already, are currently or plan to make.

These 2 big financial decisions may surprise you!

Number eight on the list affects everyone differently since the type of car you drive can say a lot about the type of person you are. With the average cost of a car at $31,400, this is often the second largest purchase that most people make. What does the type of car you drive say about you? Spend some time carefully deciding what to drive, how often to replace your vehicle and whether to lease or buy. Number 7 is a costly choice, but it is a gamble that can bring the ultimate return on investment. You’ll want to listen in to hear how to bring about the best return on this important family investment.

How and why you borrow money is always an important financial decision

How much and how you borrow money over your lifetime will have a lasting effect on your ability to create wealth. How you get a loan, how much can you afford, and what the overall cost of the loan are all critical factors when borrowing money. You’ll also want to be able to decipher between what is good and bad debt? How much debt to take on is an important factor when trying to build wealth over a lifetime. Everyone has a different opinion about debt, listen to this episode to hear ours and to learn how debt can affect your financial stability.

Have you considered all the factors when thinking of purchasing a home?

Buying a home is laden with emotional influences that can hijack your rational decision making. When you buy a home, you’re not just purchasing a house so what are all the factors you should consider? What part of the country you live in can drastically affect how much you may spend on a home. Even further, choosing a neighborhood will have a larger impact than you may initially think. Choosing some neighborhoods could leave you feeling he pressure to keep up with the Jones. This is where it’s important to remember that the less house you buy, the more disposable income you will have to spend on your hobbies, your family, and your savings. Listen to this episode to hear all the considerations that you need to think about when purchasing a home.

How do you save your money?

The fourth item in our top eight ranking is how you choose to save your money. Many of today’s headlines are ripe with reasons to not invest in stocks, nine years in to a bull market. But investing in stocks is an important way to build wealth over a lifetime. Having a diversified portfolio increases the cumulative returns that you will see over time.  So why do so many struggle to maintain an appropriate allocation to stocks? Many understand that investing early in your life can more than double your investment returns over a lifetime.  But our emotions often have different plans when tough times surface. Listen to this episode to hear how important stock returns are to your wealth accumulation. I’m sure you’re wondering what our top 3 picks are, but you’ll have to listen in to find out!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:27] It’s March Madness! Here are our top 8 financial life decisions
  • [3:39] What kind of car you drive
  • [6:26] How many children will you have?
  • [8:38] How much and how you borrow money over your lifetime
  • [12:07] The home purchase
  • [15:26] The average allocation to stocks that you have
  • [20:48] Having a compatible spouse
  • [24:00] Your savings rate
  • [27:47] Your human capital

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Feb 26, 2018

On this episode, we’re jumping into the March Madness spirit by seeding some of your biggest financial life decisions. We have weeded through all the challenging financial decisions that you will come across in life and ranked the top 8. By carefully choosing how you decide these 8 factors you could change the trajectory of your potential to build wealth over your lifetime. These decisions can make differences in the millions of dollars! Problem is, you don’t get a lot of practice at many of these decisions, making most of them only a few times over your life. So listen in, to hear a few ideas on many of these decisions that you’ve already, are currently or plan to make.

These 2 big financial decisions may surprise you!

Number eight on the list affects everyone differently since the type of car you drive says a lot about the type of person you are. With the average cost of a car at $31,000, this is the second largest purchase that most people make. What does the type of car you drive say about you? Spend some time carefully deciding what to drive, how often to replace your vehicle and whether to lease or buy. Number 7 is a costly choice, but it is a gamble that can bring the ultimate return on investment. You’ll want to listen in to hear how to bring about the best return on this important family investment.

How and why you borrow money is always an important financial decision

How much and how you borrow money over your lifetime will have a lasting effect on your ability to create wealth. How you get a loan, how much can you afford, and what the overall cost of the loan are all critical factors when borrowing money. You’ll also want to be able to decipher between what is good and bad debt? How much debt to take on is an important factor when trying to build wealth over a lifetime. Everyone has a different opinion about debt, listen to this episode to hear ours and to learn how debt can affect your financial stability.

Have you considered all the factors when thinking of purchasing a home?

Buying a home is laden with emotional influences that can hijack your rational decision making. When you buy a home, you’re not just purchasing a house so what are all the factors you should consider? What part of the country you live in can drastically affect how much you may spend on a home. Even further, choosing a neighborhood will have a larger impact than you may initially think. Choosing some neighborhoods could leave you feeling he pressure to keep up with the Joneses. This is where it’s important to remember that the less house you buy, the more disposable income you will have to spend on your hobbies, your family, and your savings. Listen to this episode to hear all the considerations that you need to think about when purchasing a home.

How do you save your money?

The fourth item in our top eight ranking is how you choose to save your money. Many of today’s headlines are ripe with reasons to not invest in stocks, nine years in to a bull market. But investing in stocks is an important way to build wealth over a lifetime. Having a diversified portfolio increases the cumulative returns that you will see over time.  So why do so many struggle to maintain an appropriate allocation to stocks? Many understand that investing early in your life can more than double your investment returns over a lifetime.  But our emotions often have different plans when tough times surface. Listen to this episode to hear how important stock returns are to your wealth accumulation. I’m sure you’re wondering what our top 3 picks are, but you’ll have to listen in to find out!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:27] It’s March Madness! Here are our top 8 financial life decisions
  • [3:39] What kind of car you drive
  • [6:26] How many children will you have?
  • [8:38] How much and how you borrow money over your lifetime
  • [12:07] The home purchase
  • [15:26] The average allocation to stocks that you have
  • [20:48] Having a compatible spouse
  • [24:00] Your savings rate
  • [27:47] Your human capital

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Feb 12, 2018

When it comes to investments, too many people take a haphazard approach when what they need is an investment decision process that makes the most of a number of different available resources. This episode of the podcast is aimed at helping you understand what goes into a good investment decision process and how the team at Financial Symmetry approaches investments for its clients. Chad and Mike discuss market indicators and how they impact a good investing strategy, how consumer sentiment figures in, and why it's important to make use of the technical data available. You're going to get an inside look into the way the Financial Symmetry team helps their clients make the best investment decisions possible.

A good investment decision process helps you avoid big mistakes that destroy long-term benefits

Too often, individuals make their financial planning decisions based only on what looks attractive in the moment. The fear of missing out is real. But there are many resources and data points available that take historical trends and other factors into consideration in a way that could enable your investment decision process to be much more helpful. One of the points that Chad and Mike make in this episode is that a good investment decision process can help you avoid the big mistakes that will sink your long-term strategy. It's those spontaneous decisions based on what looks hot at the moment that we're talking about, so make sure you listen and learn what you can do to avoid those kinds of pitfalls.

What IS a short-term market indicator and why does it matter?

One of the things that should be a part of every investment decision process in consideration of short-term market indicators. What are they? They are the things we can see at the present moment that give us clues as to where the economy might be headed. For example: Are we coming out of or going into a recession? What is the current consumer sentiment about the economy? Are there technical trends and stats that inform us of what may be coming? These are things the average person doesn't take time to look into or consider but are vital components of the investment strategy that the Financial Symmetry team brings to bear on its client's investment decisions. You can hear the unique approach that the team takes, on this episode.

It’s easy to sell fear - but it's not a sound way to make investment decisions

On many of the talk news programs and in some of the high-profile financial publications you hear talk about warning signs that the economy may be about to go down the tubes. Of course, they could be right with their predictions but making decisions based on fear is one of the weakest options for the smart investor. It's easy to sell fear, but it's not always the best way to determine how to invest your hard-earned money. In this episode of the podcast, Mike and Chad discuss why fear is not the best motivator for good financial decisions and how you can take a different approach that enables you to create a long-term strategy that actually works.

The best investment strategy won’t help if the rest of your financial life is a mess

Even though this episode is focused on making the best investment decisions possible through a good investment decision process, that process and strategy won't do you much good if the rest of your financial life is a mess. What are those areas? - Do you have enough life insurance? How are you spending compared to the spending plan you've made? Do you have an adequate estate plan in place? Are you being tax-efficient? These are only some of the fundamental questions you need to address before you get too involved in making a long-term investment strategy. If you don't, you can wind up wasting a lot of time with no benefit to show for it.

CHART TO GO INTO SHOW NOTES?

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:27] Investments, forecasting, and good investments strategy
  • [2:50] Summary of 2017: Extremely strong markets worldwide
  • [6:01] The process the Financial Symmetry team uses - it’s a bit unique
  • [9:08] Where are the different market indicators today (2/1/2018)
  • [12:05] How is consumer sentiment these days?
  • [17:14] How do we use the technical data to make better investment decisions
  • [21:11] Valuations: what are they and how do they work?
  • [31:07] What you really need to do is to focus on things you can control

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Jan 29, 2018

Studies show that most women don't think of themselves as having financial savvy. Honestly, it's a very sad situation but one that is improving as years go by. In this conversation, you will hear some of the latest statistics about the improving state of women's finances, the causes behind these improvements, and what any woman can do to grow to be savvier when it comes to financial planning.  But the Financial Symmetry team isn't going to stop there. Allison Berger and Grace Kvantas present their Top 10 Financial Tips For Women and explain why each one is important.

If there are women listening who have a goal to increase their financial savvy, this is the episode they should listen to.

Women Face Financial Challenges Men Don't

It's not an exaggeration at all to say that women face unique challenges when it comes to building wealth and managing their finances in a way that leads toward a secure retirement. In this conversation, Allison and Grace highlight 3 challenges women face that men do not. First, nationwide, women tend to be paid less than men. Second, women tend to live longer which means the finances needed over their lifetime and retirement is greater than that of men.  Third, women have the opportunity to become mothers, which means time out of the workforce that men don't experience. Don't miss this insightful episode that highlights how women can address the challenges effectively and increase their financial savvy.

Analysis Paralysis: Road Block to Wealth Building for Women

We are coming out of a cultural period when women were not typically encouraged or expected to be very savvy when it comes to finances. That leftover mindset has caused many women to feel overwhelmed at the thought of understanding or managing finances which in turn, causes analysis paralysis to set in. But the good news is that women don't have to be paralyzed with overwhelming fear when it comes to building wealth and planning for a secure future. This episode highlights 10 of the first steps women can take to grow their financial knowledge, so be sure you take the time to listen.

Struggling With Guilt

Many women struggle with guilt regarding finances: “If I have less, someone else will have more.” The reality is that the opposite is almost always true. In general, women tend to be empathetic and helpful toward the people in their lives. That wonderful trait can take a bad turn though when it causes them to believe that making a meager living will enable someone else to have more. That is an entirely false belief in light of the facts. Building wealth for yourself and your family enables you to have the resources to be a benefit to the people who truly have needs. Being wealthy doesn't take from others, it enables you to be a blessing. Find out more about this backward mindset and how to reverse it, on this episode.

Tracking Cash Flow is Vital

Knowing what your earning and spending allows for more control. It's one of the basic principles of budgeting and money-management but many women are not diligent about doing it: Track your cash flow. You can't grow to be savvy when managing your finances if you don't know what is coming in and what is going out. In this conversation, Allison and Grace provide a number of financial tips for women in hopes that the things that keep them from being confident about building wealth and a secure future can be overcome through practical steps that anyone can accomplish. You will enjoy the practical and common sense approach they take on this episode.

What You’ll Learn In This Episode

  • [2:13] The alarming stats surrounding women and wealth
  • [3:33] 3 particular challenges for women when it comes to building wealth
  • [7:06] Underconfidence bias: how it impacts women building wealth
  • [8:52] Characteristics of women investors and societal trends that impact wealth building
  • [17:21] Stats that demonstrate the problem women face when attempting to build wealth
  • [18:57] Things are changing in culture, education, and earnings
  • [21:58] The benefits of having a 3rd party in a couple’s financial conversations
  • [25:33] 10 Tips for women when it comes to finances

Links Mentioned In The Show

The Top 10 Financial Tips for Women

  1. Get started today - don’t wait for a crisis to force you into it
  2. Have a way to view all of your accounts and account statements
  3. Know your benefits: it’s not only up to your spouse, become informed
  4. Make sure you have your name on at least one account (checking and credit cards)
  5. Think long term: investing your money, investing in yourself, planning for success
  6. Track your cash flow: know what’s coming in and what’s going out
  7. Drop the ball: let go of the expectation that you have to do everything
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help
  9. Maintain your network. You’ll need it throughout your life
  10. Know your estate scenarios: What will happen if someone passes away?

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Connect With The Financial Symmetry Team

Jan 15, 2018

Checklists make life easier. Research has demonstrated the value of checklists in all industries from medicine to construction. Often our financial to-do lists are scattered tasks we think about often but struggle to complete due to the multiple steps involved. Most of us start the year with hope that this year will be different from this perspective. How much easier could tackling these tasks be if we had a checklist to follow?

In this episode, we’ve compiled 12 steps to make sure you are starting the year on the right foot. We also discuss how powerful these things can be longer-term due to the value of compounding. Albert Einstein knew this, calling compound interest the eigth wonder of the world.  But how much does compounding matter in other financial areas outside of strictly math. Tune in to assure you have worked through this checklist, and if not, find ways to get help.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The connection between compounding and habits.
  • Your habits produce more compounding
  • Quote: “People often overestimate what they can accomplish in one year, but they greatly underestimate what can be accomplished in five years.” Peter Drucker.
  • Quote: “The one thing we can always control in this unpredictable life is our effort. Effort creates action, action creates momentum, and momentum creates success.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
  • 12 Useful Steps for your New Year financial checklist.

Check out the detailed show notes here: https://wp.me/p6NrVS-2UR

 

Jan 4, 2018

As we approach year end, we now have the first major tax overhaul in over 30 years, which became effective January 1, 2018. As financial planners, we are focusing a great deal of our attention on the changes that are coming and how they are going to affect each of our clients in the coming years. The reform creates new opportunities for some, and closes the door on others. So, what are the major changes that are coming and how do they affect you? Join us in this episode as we discuss the biggest likely impacts that will influence your personal situation.

Some of the biggest changes are in these areas:

  • Tax Cuts for Most
  • Increased Standard Deduction
  • Key Itemized Deductions Changes and Limitations
  • IRA Recharacterizations
  • Child Tax Credit Expansion
  • 529 Plan Usage Expanded
  • Home Office Deduction Elimination
  • AMT Changes

Read more detail in the show notes here: https://wp.me/p6NrVS-2UU

 

Dec 18, 2017

We read, write and talk a lot about better ways to build wealth, and after reading Dr. Daniel Crosby's latest book, The Laws of Wealth, we wanted to dive deeper on his 10 rules of wealth building. Daniel does a great job of weaving relevant stories in to topics that often can be overly complicated. 

In this episode, we walk through our favorite rules along with steps you can take to put these rules in to practice in your own life. Daniel's examples of why so many of us are overconfident will provide a laugh along with some head-nodding. This discussion will help you take a step back and evaluate potential flaws in your current wealth building journey. Understanding why we have trouble doing this on our own could be the best Christmas gift you receive this year.

Dec 4, 2017

One of the most asked questions we receive centers around the HSA. It's also one of the largest missed opportunities for tax savings we see people are missing, if they are eligible. Health Savings Accounts, known also as HSA, are gaining more and more popularity. But there is still a lot of confusion on how this account is different.

Join us this week, as we break down the ins and outs of all you need to know about how an HSA can benefit you and your family. We address why so many are still not using these accounts to their full capacity. Also, we break down how the HSA provides triple tax savings, or the hat trick as Mike likes to call it.

What You'll Learn in This Episode

  • What is an HSA and why do I need one?
  • How do you know if you are eligible for one?
  • Why people confuse the HSA and the FSA?
  • The incredible benefit within an HSA that only 4% of people are taking advantage of.
  • Why the beneficiary matters on your Health Savings Account.
  • 4 out of 5 HSA accounts have been opened since 2011.
  • 7.3 million people who are enrolled in HSA-eligible plans haven't opened an HSA.
  • Only 48% of those with an HSA contributed to it.

For more, check out show notes here.

Nov 20, 2017

Near tax time each year, do you find yourself wondering what other tax strategies you may be missing? Many people have a goal of paying less in taxes but are missing opportunities to be as tax efficient as possible with their entire financial picture. Fact is, there are things you can do between now and the end of the year that could be a nice benefit when filing your tax return this year.

Join us this week, as we are interviewing a seasoned CPA expert on tax strategies people miss. Will Holt has spent 25 years preparing, reviewing and revising tax returns for clients. It was fun picking his brain to tease out seven tips for people to better position their tax situation next year.

What You'll Learn In This Episode

  • How important decisions during open enrollment could be for next year.
  • The impact of missing out of employer contributions in your 401(k) or HSA.
  • Why contributing to an account for your non-working spouse can be a better move.
  • The ins and outs of gifting the right type of asset
  • Understand the difference between taxable income and AGI as it relates to tax brackets
  • Don't let the tax tail wag the investment dog.
  • Education credits are powerful if used correctly
Nov 6, 2017

What if you knew the secret to building wealth? For many, asking that question alone is part of the problem. That's because it's less of a secret, and more of a discipline of small habits and behaviors we are programmed to ignore. Whether it's how easy we get distracted or our propensity to keep up with the Joneses, understanding our thought patterns around these topics is informative and can lead to trans-formative long-term behavior change. Join us for this episode, as we discuss the specific researched backed factors it takes for each of us to build wealth. The mindsets, habits and predispositions we all experience that set us up to build (or not build) our wealth. You'll also hear Chad and Mike's surprise, as they reveal each others results to a Building Wealth assessment they took.

Find out more and discover links mentioned in the show here: http://bit.ly/2lWyxn5

Oct 23, 2017

Did you realize that we are hardwired to make irrational financial choices? The incentives to spend now vs. save are difficult to overcome on our own. 

On this episode, we break down six key behavioral biases we all share at some point around our finances. The good news is that human accountability and automated savings programs can go a long way to fight against these instinctual biases.

So join us as we celebrate the recognition of Dr. Richard Thaler winning the Nobel Prize in Economics for his Behavioral Economics research and what it means to your financial situation.

Find out more and discover links mentioned in the show here: http://bit.ly/2zvzyVe

Oct 9, 2017

Interest remains high of how to protect yourself after the Equifax Credit scandal. The good news is there are steps to take to mitigate your risks to guard your credit reputation. The bad news is that similar breaches have happened before and will happen again.

Listen this week as Chad and Mike discuss ways thieves will try and take advantage and the details on steps you can take to decrease your risk of having your credit compromised.

Sep 26, 2017

For many, the open enrollment period is just another email you quickly delete thinking nothing has really changed since last year. But this passive approach can be extremely costly if new benefits are being offered or life changes you forget about throughout the year may have happened. On this episode we share some of our unique perspectives given how many different employee benefit packages we see regularly. We also reveal some of the more unique benefits companies are now offering that could be a nice benefit for you this fall. Find out how to assure you are picking the best options for your employee benefits this year.

You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2xqX7kR

Sep 11, 2017

Picking out a small business retirement plan can be daunting. This is why we see many small business owners, or those with side hustles, not taking advantage of a retirement plan for them or their employees. This is often because they are overwhelmed by the number of plan options, plan administration requirements, fiduciary responsibilities or they think they are too expensive. On this episode we share some insights to potential options that are not as complicated or as expensive as you might think. Making this decision could put you on the fast track to significant tax savings while also saving more for your retirement goals.

You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2xqX7kR

Aug 27, 2017

Once you hit your 40s, it becomes more important than ever to evaluate your financial plan and fill in any gaps in your future. Many of the planning tasks can be tedious or seem unimportant now, but you will thank yourself later when you look back on your conscious and careful financial decisions. Life throws a lot of curveballs and it’s easy to get busy and forget to keep your plan up to date. But taking time to get your ducks in a row will save you a lot of stress later on.

You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2vdPDBd 

Aug 13, 2017

It doesn’t get much more stressful than preparing your child for college. From the testing and forms to the outrageous tuition prices, the process can truly be a nightmare without the right strategy. Cozy Whittman from College Inside Track joins us on the show today to share some really valuable information that could save your family tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the college process.

You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2wMLyAp 

Jul 30, 2017

You know those things you know you should do - eat healthy, work out every day, sleep eight hours - but struggle to get done? We all do it, and skipping over financially healthy habits is another common way to cut corners.

Overlooking seemingly small aspects of your financial life now is just like skipping floss or skimping on sleep - they don't have a huge impact immediately, but can really affect you down the road. Tuning up your financial habits is a good way to keep yourself in good shape for the long run.

On another note, we'd love to see and hear how you're listening to the podcast. Walking the dog? On your commute? Let us know!

You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2vekwVO 

Jul 16, 2017

There’s always more to learn when it comes to the world of finance. A great way to squeeze in some extra know-how this summer is through reading. So on this episode, we have a list of 13 great titles that you may want to add to your reading list, no matter where you are financially or what interests you have.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2ukGIgu 

Jul 2, 2017

When was the last time you asked yourself: what purchases have I made in the last month that really made me happy? It might sound like a silly question, but as we'll reveal in this episode, the answer is key to making sure you spend money in a way that supports short- and long-term happiness.

In this episode, we're switching it up a bit and giving you a rundown of one of our favorite books: Happy Money: The Science of Happier SpendingHappy Money gives you the tools to spend in ways that can help you build and sustain happiness over a lifetime. And to make it even more fun, we're talking about popular movies that align with each of the book's five principles. 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2tOcm2r 

Jun 18, 2017

How you take your retirement pension can be a more consequential decision than many people realize. The debate over whether to take your pension as a lump sum or as monthly payments can be tricky. 

On this episode, Chad and Michael share 5 things you should keep in mind when making decisions about your retirement pension. They cover some of the key terms you should know, and point out the importance of finding what age is the breakeven point in your calculations. Inflation is also key to factor into your decision, as well as how your pension will affect your spouse.  

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2sBJw8f 

Jun 4, 2017

We are so excited to welcome back Cameron Hendricks to the Financial Symmetry Podcast! He is back to discuss the journey of writing a book about financial decisions and how they affect your family dynamics. We chart his growth in thinking about financial planning and helping people achieve their financial goals.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2rfNp0z

 

May 21, 2017

As with any financial decision, investing in real estate requires a lot of thought and planning. We've pulled together five of the most important things you should consider before you buy any time of investment property, be it residential or commercial.

You should also consider whether you're passionate enough about maintaining property to dedicate significant time and money to the endeavor. Real estate is no small undertaking, but can be fulfilling if you enjoy the process.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2q5NC5T 

May 4, 2017

Everyone has a unique road to financial literacy. One common trait we all share is that we hope to pass our wisdom on to the next generation, and that they will learn valuable lessons while they are young. In today’s episode, Chad and Mike share their best tips and tricks for educating your children about money.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2oTSL1K

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