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 Newsroom
Rick Henderson Provides Expert Insight to the Media
Our own Rick Henderson, CPA, CFP®, AIF®, has provided his expert advice in a handful of publications recently. In an interview with NBC News BETTER, Rick shared tips to avoid tax fraud this season. His number one suggestion of filing early was picked up by a writer for Inc. in an article on beating scammers:
“Filing early lowers the chance that someone can get in front of you, which is essentially how fraudsters work,” Rick Henderson, principal at Atlanta Financial Associates, told NBC News. “Because what they do is file a fake tax return on the chance that they’re doing so before you. The faster you file, the less chance someone can try to get ahead of you.”
NBCNews.com came back to Rick for input on an article about how the new tax law may impact people’s paychecks. He was quoted alongside Jean Chatsky, NBC News financial editor:
“So many people get into debt because they have no cash reserves and can’t absorb the smallest emergency like their water heater going out,” says Rick Henderson, principal at Atlanta Financial Associates. “If you have any debt, pay it and then build up an emergency fund.”
The article went on to say that Rick also strongly recommends adding more to your 401(k) along with any other retirement plans, as he sees far too many taxpayers skimping in this area.
Great job, Rick!
“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…
What would you do if you received a major financial windfall? Would you buy a new house or vacation home, give some to your family members, donate to your favorite charity, or take the trip(s) that you have always dreamed about?While most people will not receive a major financial windfall during their lives, it is not uncommon. You might receive a financial windfall by:
When I first sit down with prospective new clients to learn about their finances, one of the most common issues we come across is how spread out investment accounts are. We may have a brokerage account here, an IRA there and, very often, an old 401(K) or two still sitting in a previous employer’s plan. There are plenty of reasons why a 401(K) may be left behind with a prior employer – it could have gotten lost in the shuffle of beginning a new job, it may have just seemed like too much of a hassle to move the plan, or perhaps you took the time to roll the plan into an IRA but your employer made subsequent contributions you didn’t know about. These accounts, affectionately referred to as “orphans,” are becoming more and more common given the increasing frequency of job-hopping, especially among Millennials. So, who do these orphan accounts belong to and more importantly, what can be done about them?