InSight

Engagement Rings and Wedding Costs

Financial Planning Dentist

You can always upgrade…I know it’s not what you wanted to hear but it’s the right answer. Generally, spend what you can afford should be the mantra for Wedding Costs. De Beers a long time ago said two times your monthly income. Well we believe a company that sells rings shouldn’t tell you how much you should pay for your ring. It depends on your financial situation.

If you already have a lot of erosive debt (ex: credit card debt), then you should spend closer to one month of your monthly income. Focus on paying off bad debt first (student loan debt is not bad debt), saving, and earning a stable income. Eventually once you’re in a better financial situation later on in life then you can upgrade if that’s still important to you and your significant other.  

wedding planningYou don’t want to be pilling up bad debt early as that will have the largest negative impact on your long term wealth. If you cannot afford to pay for the ring outright then don’t buy it. Financial problems are one of leading causes of divorce. So it’s probably best to not start your marriage off by accumulating high interest credit card debt before you get married. 

Take your time. Ask your family and your future in-laws family if they have old jewelry that you can have to reduce the cost of the ring. Maybe there’s an heirloom ring, rich with family history, that could be used again to carry on tradition. A ring like that can mean more to your spouse than a shiny expensive ring that puts stress on your financial situation.

At the end of the day it’s not the ring that makes your marriage, it’s what you put into your marriage on a day to day basis that will make you live a more fulfilling and happier life. Think about whether or not the ring represents your values and if you find something you really like, wait a couple of weeks before making the purchase. You’re about to spend the rest of your life with this person so be patient with big financial decisions. 

For your wedding costs, be creative. 

It’s about the experience. No one will remember the food, plates, silverware, flowers, table cloths, and decorations. Everyone will remember how it made them feel. So what do you want the most important people in your life to feel? 

wedding planningFor most it’s about the ceremony and festivities after. My favorite wedding was in the middle of the mountains.  We stayed in little cabins, ate a big bbq buffet and celebrated with fireworks and a big bonfire. Now obviously that isn’t everyone’s idea of a great wedding but it can mean that you don’t need to go to a fancy venue, serve fancy food, and serve the best alcohol. 

If you cannot afford to pay for your outright you should find some ways to save money or do things differently. For some, that may be having just family come to the wedding and then you celebrate a different way at your own home or parents home. This is how some control Wedding Costs. 

Do your own hair and makeup, Instead of flowers use pinwheels, make your own playlist and have a friend help, make it local, serve low/middle of the road alcohol for a couple hours and then turn it into a cash bar. Whatever it is, find ways to be creative instead of buying everything. 

Remember, while this is an extremely important day, it’s just a day. Spending everything you’ve saved or taking on debt might stress the beginning part of your marriage and that’s no way to start a life long partnership. 

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Meditation, Mindfulness and Money: 4 ways to channel mindfulness into your money

If you’re looking for some broader answers to the ‘universal question’ I’m not your guy and this is not that article. But I will say that after years of thinking the transcendental was not for me, I’ve changed. If it was real, here and now, I would investigate it for legitimacy. If it was ethereal and spiritual it was for guru’s, theologians, monks and priests. But that has changed for me. I now see mindfulness as a tool that has a very real way of actualizing my intentions, and meditation is the gateway to getting in touch with that.  The deliberate focusing of your mind is no more than coaching it to react in a particular way. Drawing from techniques that are metaphysical (more controllable) and shaping the physical (less controllable). So, to cut through the chaos of daily life, and getting your mind thinking about money, or more broadly wealth is no more difficult than coaching it to think more deeply about your family, career, or your other passions.  Visualize your financial goals Players and coaches have for decades now taught visualization as a method for success. Mindfulness allows the player to be mentally prepared for a situation, before they are called on to act in that moment. To see their options and take advantage of opportunity by running through a situation and potential variables. This speeds up decision making ability and allows people to react faster and with a better sense of how a decision reflects the hope of a game plan. They do this to focus the mind on their desired outcome, before the situation arises. Visualization can similarly help you premeditate the outcome you’re seeking for you and your family’s financial future. It is rarely a lack of opportunity that hinders success, but a failure of recognizing that opportunity in the moment it exposes itself. Having coached your mind to see and react to risk and opportunity is something that you mind can be coached into understanding before the opportunity presents itself. Get real about your finances By taking time to reflect and gain comfortability with your financial situation you can become more intimate and realistic with your expectations. By carving out time to reflect on your situation, the calmness of the moment can help you define more achievable outcomes. This is not to say you shouldn’t expect an extravagant life, but to help you control the resources at your disposal and become capable of mastering the decision making process in front of you.  Through meditation you can calm down otherwise erratic parts of life and focus your mind with greater intention. You can isolate the parts about your financial life that bring you joy and contentment and ready your mind to make decisions that have often been the result of emotion or reaction. Deliberately bringing your mind into focus brings clarity to the more important aspects of your life. Mindfulness about your past Meditation can be used to deliberately shape the way you react to a situation. Using mindfulness it can also be used to relive and relearn from events in your past. Taking time to re-feel how a situation in your past affected your present is a way of coaching your mind to learn from those events. By using the emotions which drive so much of our decision making and combining that with the more deliberative parts of the brain, you can combine the events of your past into the reactions you hope are part of your present.  Imagine if you isolate a single event from your past that shaped your current relationship with money. Reflecting through meditation the events that have caused your current understanding of your financial situation and the history you associate with the subject. You can then reimagine the events and outcome from your past. Learn from that very visceral event, and reshape how you would have rather reacted. The goal is not to relive financial missteps that you cannot get back, but to coach your emotional reptilian brain to cede the lead to your primate and more deliberative brain. By reflecting on the emotional drivers in a meditative process you can recognize the leading indicators events and avoid them in your current situation. Discover your money beliefs though mindfulness By channeling meditation time towards your money habits you can have a more complete and intimate relationship with money. Meditation helps you uncover the person you want to be in life, to shape and imagine how that person thinks and reacts to help define what that person’s intentions about money are. We all hold certain money beliefs, usually as a reaction to our emotions with money and lifestyle. One you begin spending even small amounts of time focusing your mind on money and your relationship with it, you’ll find the beliefs you have about money change. Channeling a deliberate intention into your beliefs will develop more positive money reactions, and those reactions will evolve in habits. This process enshrines the positive money outcomes you desire, into tactical decisions you can control. For many this transformation can happen in the way they save which is one of the leading indicators to financial success. They can transform the way they think and transform the way cash flows through their household flow from “income – spend = save” to “income – save = spend.” This shift in the belief that saving is more pressing then spending is not the natural state for most people, until they gain that more intimate and purposeful mindset around the value of saving. Conclusion Becoming more purposeful with your actions and ultimately your money begins with mindfulness. This mindfulness can be the result of focused meditation on the subject. Reshaping to the way you feel about and react to investment situations, market performance, and risk. Finding time to be deliberative about money allows you to cultivate your reaction to your money and better develop the fiscal life you want.  

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Real Estate Investing and More in your Retirement Accounts

Yes, you read that correctly, you can own real estate, land, private businesses, notes, precious metals, livestock, crypto currencies, equipment and more in your retirement accounts. We love telling clients of InSight that there is an investing world beyond what CNBC & Jim Cramer. Your retirement nest egg can be invested in more than stocks and bonds and you don’t have to be uber rich to do it. Anyone and everyone can. Our clients at InSight want to Invest in what they know, are passionate about, and understand, not just what the news or latest article or podcast tells them they should invest in. For many, yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s stock market can be intimidating, frustrating, and quite frankly annoying. By Peter Locke CFP® and Kevin T. Taylor AIF® Now, while doing this on your own is possible, there are a lot of ways to screw up and disqualify an investment opportunity by not knowing the rules so we recommend you use a third party professional before you do this. Let’s shed some light on what the clients at InSight are talking about and investing in. Over the past decade, I worked for a large brokerage firm. I wasn’t given the tools to help clients with self-directed IRAs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even refer them to a third party that could. Advisors at these large firms like the one I used to work at aren’t given the opportunity or even allowed to refer clients to do something they want to do because it wasn’t in the best interest of the firm. What I mean by this is that if your expertise is in residential real estate and your financial advisor is only pitching you to sell your properties and invest in their diversified stock and bond portfolio then are they acting in your best interest? Sure, maybe all your net worth is in real estate and diversifying into non-correlated assets is a good idea. In that case, yes. However, this is not the case I am referring to. I am referring to the case where you know real estate and you want to use the funds you’ve saved in your retirement accounts to buy an investment property or a business that you heard about (key word here is investment not personal). Your advisor will most likely sell you on why you shouldn’t and that you should invest in stocks and bonds instead. Or they will tell you that you can’t depreciate an asset that’s in an IRA and therefore not great for tax incentives, or that it’s too expensive. And they’re right about depreciation but wrong about the tax incentives. If you buy a property in an IRA and the rent pays for your mortgage, the income just like a dividend isn’t taxable when it’s inside the IRA, and neither is the sale when you want to get into something else. When you turn 59.5 you can take that rental income which would be ordinary income inside an IRA or 401(k) but if you bought it in a Roth, then it’s tax free. That advisor doesn’t want you to invest in a property because that means no compensation for them. At InSight, a core part of our business is enabling our clients to use the tools at their disposal to get to where they want to go. We help our clients make these types of investments a reality. We’re only fiduciaries when we’re using everything that is available to us and is in the best interest of the client. If a client has a high required rate of return, but hates the day to day fluctuations in the stock market, then riskier investing isn’t appropriate. This would be a case where we’d look at alternative investments and find another way to capture that rate of return required to get them to that goal. A client’s home and 401k are typically their two largest investments. But if your 401k is 4x your home value, then spreading your investments out into things you feel more comfortable with and gives you capital appreciation and income then real estate may be an option for you. If interest rates are low, then real estate is probably an even better option. As I stated before, you can easily mess this up and therefore you need to make sure you surround yourself like we always do with the right People, Processes, and Policies to hold you accountable. Be sure to read the Rules of Self-Directed IRAs and make sure it fits in your InSight-Full® plan.

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