Hope for your financial life and beyond

Should I Leave An Inheritance To My Children?

inheritanceIt’s time to start thinking to whom I will leave my inheritance. If statistics are any indication, I’ve reached the halfway point of my life. Unless the genes of my grandfather on my mother’s side get passed to me, I’ve only got about another 40 years to go. It’s a sobering thought but not one that keeps me awake at night.

These two realities of life I know to be true:

1. Our death will occur at a fixed moment in time.

2. Nobody knows exactly when that moment will be.

So death displays aspects of certainty (we will die) and uncertainty (when?). I find that dualistic nature fascinating. Perhaps that’s why issues surrounding death and what will happen after we are gone remain difficult to discuss. We simply don’t like thinking about anything that relates to the end of us.

But we have to think about it for there is so much at stake. Mess up our death and it could impact those left behind for generations to come.

Where Does My Inheritance Go When I Die?

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4 Guiding Money Principles that Every Child (and Adult) Must Learn

Please welcome my good friend and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Shannon Ryan from The Heavy Purse as she guest posts today.

word learn engraved in stoneWhen I was 13 years old, my father began giving me “money lessons” while we ate dinner, and I had no idea how these simple lessons would change my life. He didn’t focus on how money worked, but instead he showed me how my emotions affected my spending habits and money beliefs. With his guidance, I changed how I viewed money – from lack and fear – to one of abundance. Most importantly, I learned how to make financially confident decisions that aligned how I used my money with my goals and values. It felt great.

It wasn’t until college that I realized what a special gift my father gave me. Many of my friends and classmates had not been taught how to handle money wisely. Money wasn’t discussed in their homes, so they learned by trial and mostly error. I wanted to help them and became a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). For the past 22 years, it’s been my honor to help families and individuals reclaim their money happiness.

How Money Habits and Beliefs Are Formed

One trend I noticed repeatedly was that many of our money habits and beliefs formed when we were children, not adults. We observed how our parents handled money and mimicked them, inheriting their money hang-ups along the way. We then grew up to pass these same hang-ups to our children, continuing the vicious cycle.

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5 Life Changing Moments That Lead to Lifestyle Inflation

In simplest terms the concept of lifestyle inflation refers to a person’s spending going up as their income goes up.

lifestyle inflationSome lifestyle inflation may be unavoidable but it’s a good thing to keep it in check as much as possible. Otherwise you end up living paycheck to paycheck and having little or no money let over to pay down debt, save for retirement and use for other investments.

When a person is at that point, with no money left to create a cushion, life gets really stressful.

Moments of Lifestyle Inflation

We can be drawn to increase our lifestyle at any point in life. As I see it though, there are five instances when we are most susceptible to increasing our spending. Here’s how it often works.

1. After college graduation at the first real job

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The Lemonade Stand Book Review Plus An iPad Mini Giveaway

The lemonade stand book reviewToday I have the pleasure of assisting my friend Shannon Ryan from TheHeavyPurse.com as she kicks off the release of her new book The Lemonade Stand. In addition, you can sign up below for the chance to receive a free iPad Mini. How cool is that!

Before you get to the giveaway, I’d like to briefly share my review of The Lemonade Stand, a book geared toward children ages 4-9.

The book follows the adventures of sisters Lauren and Taylor and their friends Ryan and Christopher.

The Storyline

As they shop in preparation for a beach trip the following day, Christopher discovers a toy he wants really bad. Guess what? His brother Ryan also finds something in the toy aisle. Both beg their mother for their desired toy that they must have “right now!”

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Why I’m Quitting My Job To Be A Stay At Home Dad

stay at home dadYou read that right. It’s not a misprint or a trick to get attention. As of Friday, May 23rd 2014, I will no longer be formally employed. I’m becoming a stay at home dad.

After 17 years in education serving as a principal, teacher, coach and mentor, I’m quitting my job to be a stay at home dad.

Those are the most exciting words I’ve ever typed on this blog! I’m starting a new journey.

They are also the scariest words I’ve ever typed on this blog because I’m starting a new journey.

I’ve waited a long time to share this news and start talking about what has brought our family here. It hardly seems real even after formally declaring my intentions. Maybe my new life as a stay at home dad will me next week as I start to clear out my classroom. My guess is I won’t feel it’s full impact until sometime next fall, probably on the first day of the new school year.

The decision to be a stay at home dad appears to have come out of nowhere to those in my circle of influence. Obviously the students were surprised last week when I shared the news with them. I hadn’t hinted at this at all, even though I’ve known for some time this was going to be my final year. What appears to those outside to be a surprise, is actually the culmination of a multi-year prayer journey.

That’s right…I don’t make decisions quickly. Especially when it comes to leaving a place to which I’ve committed my entire adult working life.

I can’t unpack all there is to share about this move in one single post. So if you came here looking for a step-by-step tutorial on how to become a stay at home dad or the financial challenges associated with it, that’s coming later.

For now, I’d simply like to focus on “the why.”

Following Through On the Stay at Home Dad Desire

Life is a series of choices. Sometimes those choices collide and cause friction no matter which option is chosen. Regardless of the situation, we can never say we don’t have a choice. There are always options.

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The Real Secret to Developing a Work Ethic in Kids

Hidden Nuggets Series #41 – “Therefore, I urge you to imitate me.” I Corinthians 4:16

developing a positive work ethic

Like father, like son

The messages this week at Luke1428 have all centered around the benefits, both financial and emotional, that children can receive from doing work. My wife and I have been teaching our children that labor leads to profit and that if they don’t work they won’t get paid. Those are big messages and the sooner they learn them the better.

Have you ever wondered how a solid work ethic gets ingrained in a child? Is it something they are born with? Does it come through the hearing of verbal instructions given by adults? Or maybe it results as a reaction to punishment received for laziness or disobedience.

Those ideas have merit. However, I don’t believe any of them in and of themselves will ultimately produce a child with a strong work ethic. What will ultimately do it? The answer is simpler than you think:

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Why We Don’t Give Our Kids Allowance

My wife and I are not giving our kids allowance simply for existing. We’ve chosen a different path to reward them with money.

kids allowanceDoesn’t it seem our culture has lost the passion for hard work? I look around and see adults taking risky, unnecessary shortcuts in an attempt to get ahead in their career. I see people playing the lottery to get rich quick instead of choosing to build wealth over time.

Then there are those people in tough financial situations that won’t take certain jobs because they consider the position beneath their standards. Really? Must not be that desperate.

Our mindset has changed to thinking we should be given things simply because we deserve it. Someone else (like the government) will provide for me, right?  So why work?

Sad thing is, these attitudes are being scooped up by our young people. We have a generation of kids who bristle at the idea of doing a 30-minute homework assignment on a Tuesday night. Cuts into their Snapchat time. If they do muster the desire to attempt the work, they only put in half the effort. They shut down if the answer to a problem causes them to think for more than two consecutive minutes.

More and more kids are refusing to push themselves to work. They are opting out of excellence. And when they fail, someone or something else is to blame.

If we are going to succeed in life and with money, we have to clearly embrace a concept found in the Bible – “In all labor there is profit but idle chatter leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)

That’s why we are not giving our kids allowance.

Giving Kids Allowance Doesn’t Teach the Value of Work

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Teaching Kids About Money: 4 Age Appropriate Lessons

teaching kids about moneyA major role of parenting should be teaching kids about money. For many reasons, parents drop the ball in this area and raise children who carry an improper understanding of money into college and adulthood. This leads to challenges as the grown children seek employment, earn an income and determine how to manage their financial lives.

What children should learn about money varies depending on their age. A five year old needs to hear different messages from the parents than does a teenager. However, there are three fundamental money lessons that every child needs to learn no matter what the age:

1) to save money for future needs,

2) to spend money wisely and

3) to give generously.

These three principles serve as the foundation upon which other money lessons build.

There are differing opinions about when to start teaching kids about money. Many say kids as young as three can start to learn the basics. In our home, we waited to get serious with money lessons until the age of five. We found that our children understood the concept of giving at an early age but struggled with saving and spending. By the age of five they were better able to grasp those last two concepts and understand their importance.

Teaching Kids About Money at Various Ages

Aside from saving, spending and giving, what should children learn about money and at what ages? Here are the four big lessons we are hoping to impart as we are teaching our kids about money:

Money Lesson #1: Enjoy It (Ages 5-7)

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Cheer Up: Your Worst Day Wasn’t As Bad As This Kid’s…

 

Some days are just simply brutal. You know the kind.

You wake up late because your alarm didn’t go off…and the car won’t start.

Hurried on the way to work, fighting crazy traffic…your mug leaks coffee onto your dress.

At work, you get chewed out by an angry client…even though you did nothing wrong. (They were just mad at the world and you were in the way.)

Because you were late to work, you have to stay late to make up the time…and are therefore late picking the kids up at daycare (thus paying an extra fee).

Tired and not wanting to cook dinner, you blow through the drive-thru…thus breaking your goal of not eating out (because you have really been working on that monthly food budget).

Finally, after all that and the kids are in bed the networks preempt your favorite TV show for the State of the Union address.

You go to bed praying that tomorrow will be better.

As bad and stressful and frustrating as that day may see, it pales in comparison to what happened with this kid…

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How to Save Money and Cut Taxes by Hiring Your Kids

The following post is by Kim Fourman. Please note that this article is intended to discuss general tax topics. Consult your own tax advisor regarding your specific circumstances.

hiring your kids

Boy at a weaving station – circa 1908

One of the most overlooked ways for small business owners to save on taxes is by hiring your kids in the business.  Here’s how it works:

Consider What Work Can be Done

The first thing to consider when hiring your kids is the work that your child can do. Their work must be age appropriate and must be legitimate work for your business.

For example, having your child do household chores would not count as working for your business, but picking up trash and cleaning up the yard at your rental property would. The IRS has accepted employment by a child as young as seven. You do not run afoul of any federal child labor laws when you employ your own children, but make sure to check with your state department of labor.

You Must Do the Paperwork

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The Value of Repetition – As Witnessed Through My Daughter

Hidden Nuggets Series #22 – “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-7

ID-10057677Repetition is the key to learning.

Repeat things consistently, day in and day out, and patterns will develop that are extremely difficult to break. These patterns could be positive or negative depending on what has been repeated. Either way, they get hard wired into the brain and influence our behavior.

As a parent, I serve as the default pattern developer for my children. They will pick up on what I routinely say and do and begin to express those things in their life (both consciously and subconsciously). Nothing serves to be more encouraging and/or terrifying as seeing your children turn into you.

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