For most of our lives many of us have heard the old adage “Money can’t buy happiness.” And we can all think of numerous examples of individuals where this certainly seems to be true – whether among the powerful and famous, or within our own family or group of friends. But is that really true? Research over the last few decades suggests “NO!” In fact, many studies show that in one sense money can buy happiness. But it’s not the amount of money we have, but rather how we SPEND our money that can indeed increase our happiness – although perhaps not in the way Madison Avenue or Amazon Prime would like us to think. First, let’s address the skeptics among you who feel sure that if you simply had MORE money you would indeed be happier. Statistics show that certainly isn’t true, since 70% of all lottery winners or those with a sudden financial windfall end up bankrupt within a few years.1 Carl Jung, famous psychologist, said in fact that the keys to happiness were five things.
Atlanta Financial Blog
Financial Planning Helps Travel Dreams Come True – Even For Financial Planners
If you are having a serious case of wanderlust but feel chained to the office, let’s shift your thinking – and your timing. Start considering travel as a good investment, not something you put off until it’s “bucket list” time. That’s the advice of a non-retired financial planner who recently returned from Antarctica – me. Not only did I come home with memories of penguins and glaciers that I will never forget, I picked up a serious need to start planning my next adventure right now.
Travel dreams to exotic locales shouldn’t be reserved for the retired. Instead of putting off travel until retirement, splurge on some exciting travel now – while you have the interest, energy and stamina to enjoy every single moment. Come up with a list of places you would like to visit but when prioritizing them, consider putting the more strenuous ones higher on the list when you know you will be able to enjoy them.
One travel consultancy specializing in small group trips for the over 55 set reported that more than 15,000 Americans had already booked trips for 2018 travel. Based on these early bookings, the consultancy expects to arrange trips for as many as 57,012 travelers in 2018 – up from 46,247 in 2016 and 40,266 in 2013. Today, Americans over “a certain age” are traveling to faraway lands in record numbers to immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences.
Apparently, the travel bug is not contained to the United States. British citizens over 55 also report a serious need to travel. In fact, individuals over 55 now account for the majority (58%) of travel spending in Britain alone.
Where are all these 55+ individuals headed? As you can image, today’s top destinations include far-flung destinations that match up to travelers’ interests. This list of top overseas destinations ranks 2018’s top travel spots by popularity:
- Machu Picchu and the Galapagos
- Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Southeast Asia
If you still aren’t convinced that travel is a good investment, consider the health benefits associated with checking another destination off your list. Travelers between the ages of 65 and 74 who had just returned from a trip longer than two weeks reported increased invigoration for more than a month after they returned home. That’s empirical proof that the great feelings you experience when you change latitudes really does last.
Maybe the 55+ crowd has decided to pull a page from the Millennial Handbook. Recent reports show that 47% of young adults between 18 and 34 said they would rather spend their money on travel than buy a house.
All of this begs the question: Where are you headed next?
“How did the new tax bill affect me?” was the question on everyone’s minds this tax season, and for good reason. Even though this was touted as the greatest simplification of the tax code in my lifetime, I didn’t notice any reduction in time spent preparing returns. Those of you who reviewed your returns in detail noticed that the schedules look drastically different although contain all the same information. The short answer for many is that it didn’t materially change your overall tax liability. The outliers fell into one of a few buckets…
No one enjoys thinking about what will happen after they’re gone, but we all want our families to be well cared for. Many people set up trusts to provide for their loved ones, but the trust is only as good as its trustee.Choosing a trustee is one of the more difficult decisions in creating your estate plan. Some attorneys suggest choosing several trustees to promote checks and balances, but sometimes choosing just one trustee can be difficult in light of family relationships and other factors. Choosing a trustee is a very personal and complex decision, but there are some basic guidelines one should consider.
It is that time of year again where school years are coming to a close and many parents are gearing up for a bitter-sweet high school graduation or are celebrating their child being one year closer to a hard-earned college diploma. Whatever the case may be, it is hard to deny the heavy lift education costs can be. You may not be able to shrink the bottom-line cost of attendance any further, and you surely can’t impact how fast many costs are going up, but, you can reduce the weight this line-item carries within your financial plan by remembering these 5 things: