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Single and Loving it: Part III

Monday, 18 May 2020

Have You Ever Felt More Single?

Single and Loving it: Part III

The onset of COVID-19 bought with it - stay in place, social distancing, face masks, and the closure of parks, restaurants, gyms, yoga studios, coffee shops, theaters, places of worship, concert venues, and no HUGs allowed! Where can singles go to meet, hang out and catch up with friends and family?  Socializing has now been reduced to group chats, zoom, and facetime, this is how we celebrate birthdays, weddings, and even date!  It’s a whole new world out there.  Fortunately, everything will gradually change to the new normal, and then we’ll be asking ourselves whenever we venture out - “Will I have a chance of catching the virus, and if I do will I be able to get the best medical treatment?” 

Last year I wrote two articles for singles and their finances - Single and Loving It: Parts I and II.  I covered many financial topics from a single person’s point of view.  What should the financial focus be for singles now in the Covid-19 world?

Investment Topics #3: Investing and Emotions

Monday, 04 May 2020

Investment Topics #3: Investing and Emotions

forward BH

Many people try to predict the future and claim to have a proven system of picking winning stocks, or they claim to know which market sector will advance through the next year, or they know when the market will retreat.  This can, and often result in investors acting on impulse - “The market is tanking, I’m getting out”, or conversely “Everyone’s making money, I want a piece of the action”, the latter is often referred to as - Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).  This impulsive behavior can result in people betting their savings on tips and hunches - “I heard it on the news. I better sell”, “I got a hot tip from a neighbor. It’s a slam dunk”, or “My friend works in the industry, he’s got the inside scoop.”  Similarly, we cannot forget the impact of the media in their desire to have an attention-grabbing headline to sell magazines -

“Will Coronavirus Cause a Recession?....” New York Times, 3/3/2020

“The Death of Equities” - Business Week, 8/13/1979

“The Crash of ’98 Can the US Economy Hold Up?” - FORTUNE, 9/28/1998

“Retire Rich - A Simple Plan to Have it All” - FORTUNE, 8/16/1999

“How to Reach $1 Million” - Money, 8/2012

“The Great Pause” - An Opportunity to Spring Clean your Financial Life

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

It’s times like these when we awaken a little of our inner life, the noise and distractions of life is silenced and we have time to think about who we are, and how do we want to live, in sum, we’re thinking about our future

“The Great Pause” - An Opportunity to Spring Clean your Financial Life

“Well, the treadmill you’ve been on for decades just stopped. Bam! And that feeling you have right now is the same as if you’d been thrown off your Peloton bike and onto the ground: What in the......just happened? I hope you might consider this: What happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but The Great Pause [emphasis added] ....... And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has… never… happened… before[1]

I can only speak for myself, but this Great Pause has been a struggle for me.  I feel a little broken open, I have been forced to pause and take a look inside, in a city that doesn’t normally encourage rest and reflection.  It’s times like these when we awaken a little of our inner life, the noise and distractions of life are silenced and we have time to think about who we are, and how do we want to live, in sum, we’re thinking about our future.  As life evolves into a new normal, I am taking the opportunity to consider what should I choose to do, what should I take with me and what can I leave behind.  In this time of reflection we can ask, do we need all the things we had before COVID-19, and do we see more clearly what our priorities should be?  We are not just turning over a new leaf, our treadmill has stopped, now we have time to look around, really look around.

[1] https://forge.medium.com/prepare-for-the-ultimate-gaslighting-6a8ce3f0a0e0

Covid 19 Warning and Resources for Older Adults

Thursday, 02 April 2020

These helpful resources can protect you from scammers and provide you with information on healthcare, meal delivery, social security and more...

Covid 19 Warning and Resources for Older Adults

Scams Abound Amid Pandemic Panic

Sadly, as is the case in any crisis, there are those among us who are looking to capitalize on cruelty and take advantage of heightened vulnerabilities. Hackers are trying to lure victims to click on COVID-19 related hyperlinks that contain malicious software and other computer viruses. In some cases, these scams look like official messages from the government and they send people to fake websites where their sensitive information can be stolen. 

The following guidelines can help you protect yourself from these digital scams and stay clear of suspicious links you may come across in your internet travels.

CARES Act Signed into Law –Brings Relief to Millions of Americans

Saturday, 28 March 2020

On March 27 the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to address the unprecedented public health and economic crisis related to COVID-19.

CARES Act Signed into Law –Brings Relief to Millions of Americans

This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.

Impact on Individuals

Stimulus Checks

Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.

Provisions are such that payments will be based on 2018 tax returns, though, like the Affordable Care Act’s tax premium credit, there is a true-up related to the amount for which you are eligible on the 2020 tax return. Nonresident aliens, dependents and estates and trusts are not eligible for a stimulus check.

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Passes Senate Hurdle – House expected to pass it today

Friday, 27 March 2020

The CARES Act is One Step Closer to Becoming Law

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Passes Senate Hurdle – House expected to pass it today

Late in the day on March 25, the U.S. Senate passed a massive economic stimulus package called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.

While passing the Senate represents a major step forward, the CARES Act must still be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and then be signed into law by President Trump, both of which are expected to happen on Friday, March 27.

Impact on Individuals

Stimulus Checks

Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.

Small Business - COVID-19: Twelve Ideas on What to Do

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Small business owners are no strangers to tough times and are hard-wired to meet a challenge head-on.

Small Business - COVID-19: Twelve Ideas on What to Do

Today, unlike before, it is proving difficult to give ourselves a health break from all the doom and gloom.  In other difficult times, we were able to grab a drink with a friend after work, hit the gym for an intense workout session, get away for the weekend, or have some fellowship at our places of worship. Guidelines recommending social distancing and state-mandated lockdowns have made it difficult for many of us to manage our stress in typical ways. Accordingly, it is important to stay connected with your friends and family and check-in on each other on a regular basis.


“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
—Mahatma Gandhi


Small business owners are no strangers to tough times and are hard-wired to meet a challenge head-on.  I have been speaking with clients, business owners and friends about what they are doing to get by and survive during this time.  Last week I published - “COVID-19 Ten Ideas on What to do” and received a positive response from people so I have written this article for small business owners.  I hope is a useful tool and helps you to navigate through this unfamiliar storm where everything seems to be all over the map.

COVID-19: Ten Ideas on What to do

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The most important thing to remember is that we will get through this.

COVID-19: Ten Ideas on What to do

What we do in response to the spread of COVID-19 is largely driven by how we choose to impact others. As a society, we want to ensure that everyone who gets sick from COVID-19 has access to the care they need, which includes health professionals who are healthy and well.  Like many people, I’m hunkered down in my apartment, which is also my home office, keeping my social distance.  What can I do to help in this situation?  I believe a good stress reduction technique--and we all could use a little less stress right now--is to think about how we can safely help others.  Below I have listed ten helpful ideas to consider at this time that can help you and others.

This too shall pass...

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Yesterday – March 9 – was the tenth anniversary of the crescendo of global panic that marked the bottom of the bear market of 2007-09.

It is, to me, ironic that the world has elected to celebrate this anniversary with – you guessed it – another epic global panic attack.

At this morning’s opening level of 2,764, the S&P 500 is down over 18% from its all-time high, recorded on February 19. Declines of that magnitude are fairly common occurrences – indeed the average annual drawdown from a peak to a trough since 1980 is close to 14%.* But such a decline in barely a month is noteworthy, not for its depth but for its suddenness.

As we all know by now, the precipitants of this decline appears to have been (a) the outbreak of a new strain of virus, the extent of which can’t be predicted, (b) the economic impact of that outbreak, which is equally unknown, and (c) most recently, the onset of a price war in oil. (That last one is surely a problem for everyone involved in the production of oil, but it’s a boon to those of us who consume it.)

Self-employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement

Monday, 24 February 2020

When asked “What does retirement mean to you?” the self-employed, see it as meaning retiring on their own terms, focusing on themselves, and even continuing to work.

Self-employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement

After surveying nearly six thousand American workers, in July 2019 the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS)[1] published a report - Self-Employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement (Select Findings from the 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers.)[2] I have many clients that are self-employed who have a different view of retirement compared to the traditional retirement strategy - stop work at 65. The TCRS report describes the self-employed view of retirement as follows:

“Self-employment brings both unique opportunities and challenges for saving, planning, and preparing for retirement. The self-employed often lack a steady paycheck with a regular stream of income. Without retirement benefits offered by an employer, the self-employed typically must take a do-it-yourself approach to retirement savings. At the same time, self-employment also brings greater freedom, the freedom to work -- and retire -- on one’s own terms.[3]

In this article, I highlight three key topics of the report - What is retirement? Some of the key findings of the report, and the report’s 10 recommendations for the self-employed to help them navigate and take advantage of opportunities available to them.

Investment Topics #2: Investing, It's A Journey

Monday, 17 February 2020

Saving, Investing, Betting

Investment Topics #2: Investing, It's A Journey

Saving is simply setting money aside in a safe place for a later date when you will need it, sometime in the distant future. Before we invest, we usually need to save money first. Investing is a means to building wealth over the long term--not a one or two-year period, but five, ten years or longer. If you want to build real wealth (returns significantly greater than inflation) in the short-term, or very short-term, your “investing” is high risk and more akin to making a bet. Even though one can make very educated bets, investing is best when it is done with the long view in mind. In order to save or invest, you need some patience; not so with betting.

Investment Topics #1: Why Invest?

Monday, 03 February 2020

Investment Topics #1: Why Invest?

People often come to me with concerns about investing in the financial markets, such as, “How can I invest and not be stressed out?” “How can I trust that I won’t be ripped off?” “All these investment jargons make everything so confusing,” and “I don’t want to risk losing everything.” Maybe you grapple with the same investment questions. So why do people invest? Is it really a good idea? In the next few articles, I want to help you understand how to invest your hard-earned money with confidence and have it work for you, even when the investment road gets bumpy (because it will).

Women's Retirement Outlook...and 10 Steps to Improve it

Friday, 24 January 2020

Women's Retirement Outlook...and 10 Steps to Improve it

This report provides a good overview of the risks being faced by women as they plan and approach retirement. We will all be taking the retirement route someday, remember, it’s never too late to make a plan for your retirement. At Boerum Hill Financial Advisors we want you to be able to retire with the confidence that you will have enough income to maintain your dignity and independence in retirement.

A New Year ...“Sow What”?

Thursday, 02 January 2020

A New Year ...“Sow What”?

Ah, January 1st -- a time when gym memberships skyrocket, people start a new diet or a cleanse, and we can even “cleanse” our budget with the help of books such as “The 21-Day Budget Cleanse[1]” (full disclosure: I’ve not read this book).  A new year brings new hope, and this time it’s more than just a new year--it’s a new decade, the 2020’s!  However, even in the midst of the anticipation and excitement, some of you may be overwhelmed with challenges such as getting rid of credit card debts and the feeling that you should do something different about your finances in the new year.  While I do not have a “2020 quick fix” for finances, a good way to start is taking a look back on 2019.

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