Saving For College with 529 Plans

We’ve all heard the seemingly exaggerated expectations for the cost of a college education in 20 years. “A four year college is going to cost you $500,000 (if our currency still exists then) and one hovercraft!”  Seriously...hovercrafts? It seems ridiculous, and I’m certainly hoping that something is done to stem the dramatic increase in tuition costs and our future dependence upon hovercrafts as currency.  But given that both of these things seem out of my hands, I wanted to be as prepared as possible to help facilitate my kids’ college education.

Credit Card Debt and Your Retirement

I read an article recently which provided an extremely alarming statistic. Apparently the average retirement savings held in 401Ks for individuals between the ages of 55 and 65 in the United States is only $100,000.

The World's Best Financial Gurus

Every industry has its own "Sultan of Swat." Finance is no exception. In fact, the world of finance is home to some of the most widely recognized names in the world. Here they are, in descending order: "The World's Best Financial Gurus."

Warren Buffett

The Tax Man Cometh! How to File an Extension

Tax Day 2011If you haven't heard yet, your fellow Americans in the District of Columbia celebrated a holiday on April 15th.  Emancipation Day, which marks the day President Lincoln signed a law in 1862 that freed over 3,000 slaves in D.C., is usually observed on April 16th but was moved to the 15th this year so it wouldn't fall on a weekend.

By law, local holidays in D.C. affect tax deadlines the same way federal holidays do.  So this means that your federal income taxes aren't due until today, April 18th.  You got an entire extra weekend to pay the tax man! I hope you took advantage of it.

But what if you still haven't gotten your act together in time to file your income tax return?  No need to worry, because you always have the option to file an extension and get a reprieve until October.

How to Budget and Save Money

"Save more money" is a very normal goal for a New Year’s resolution. But if you aren’t rolling in disposable income, it can be tricky to figure out where to pinch the pennies that will pay off in the long run. Setting a budget – even a loose one – is the easiest way to have a few extra dollars to tuck away each month.

Making Saving Sexy

As I was driving back from my recent vacation to North Carolina, I did something I’ve never done before—I bought a lottery ticket. The jackpot was $137 million and as I talked to the woman behind the register, I could tell she was amused by my clear naïveté in this venture. I chose my numbers, paid a dollar and got back on the road. I viewed the dollar I’d just handed over as, at worst, a donation to the state of North Carolina or, at best, the luckiest dollar I’d ever spent. My wife and I passed the next hour of driving discussing what we would do with the money if we won. Would I keep my job? How much would we give away? Would my friends and family judge me if I insisted on riding a gold Segway everywhere I went?

Control What You Can - Don't Worry About The Rest


As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to live in this wonderful country. This is a great time to reflect on all of the good things in our life and to stop obsessing over the challenges that lie ahead.

Arbitrage Strategy for HELOCs

arbitrage Real estate values continue to do a big cannonball in the deep end, and some lenders are trimming their exposure to home equity by shutting down idle lines of credit on their books.

Economic Crisis: Perspective Is Everything

Having worked at the World Trade Center, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, and one of the country’s largest insurance firms, I feel very connected to many of the institutions and events that are in the news every day. I never could have imagined the changes the financial industry has experienced over the last seven years, and, with this most recent economic crisis, I know that many are wondering, “What in the world is going on” and “How does it affect me?” Let me first say that despite what the media would have you believe, we have seen this before and we will get through it.

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