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Financial Planning

Plan affordable vacations or avoid Facebook

By Joel Dresang
Vacations seem a bigger deal now, with bigger bills. They can upset the spending plans of retirees. They can divert workers’ earnings from retirement savings. They can contribute to family debts. […]



Social Security and my future

By Joel Dresang
Only about 1 in 15 Americans has an online Social Security account and checks their benefits estimates once a year. I happen to be one of those few. Not only do I plan on Social Security being there for my wife and me when we retire, but I’m getting an idea of how much to expect and how that fits in with the rest of our plans. […]



Measured steps toward education, retirement

By Joel Dresang
My wife and I have provided our daughters with limited financial assistance in college. That’s because a) We want our children to have some skin in the game, and b) We’ve needed to save for our retirement. College has presented a serious lesson in what we have hoped to instill in our children about personal finances: You have more opportunities than you have resources, so you must sort out your priorities and plan accordingly. […]



Providing for your digital survivors

By Joel Dresang
I don’t want to leave a lot of connections dangling after I’m gone. My legacy shouldn’t include loose ends. […]



Retirement gifts: A matter of timing

By Joel Dresang
A former co-worker informed me of a gathering at a bar for our old boss, who’s taking a company buyout. That got me thinking about retirement gifts.
As more of my cohort reach retirement age, I wonder how to send them off. How will our retirements be different from those of our parents or older siblings? […]



Counting steps vs. watching portfolio

By Joel Dresang
As investors, we’re always hearing about buying low and selling high, not putting all our eggs in one basket, making a plan and sticking to it. Apparently, there’s something to be said too for the warning, “Don’t look down,” which individuals are advised when they find themselves atop a lofty perch and an unfamiliar perspective could panic them into a costly misstep. […]



Considering the value of Forever

By Joel Dresang
I’m waiting my turn to purchase Forever stamps. First-Class postage for a 1-ounce letter rises to 55 cents per stamp beginning Jan. 27, a price increase of a nickel apiece or 10%. Then I consider the value of the stamps and how value often is an overlooked part of investing. […]



Wishes for sharing, safekeeping

By Joel Dresang
One of the lessons I learned from my brother who died unexpectedly in March was to do what we can to ease the hassles of our survivors. […]



A testament to update before you’re late

By Joel Dresang
Common wisdom and my family’s experiences suggest you want an estate plan to ease survival much for loved ones. […]



Year-end peek ahead at taxes

With widespread changes in federal income taxes in 2018, investors should consider what to expect when they file their tax returns. Dave Sandstrom explains in a MONEY TALK VIDEO. […]



Where I’ve been since the financial crisis

By Joel Dresang
Ten years later, I don’t remember feeling desperate. But in a recent survey, 79% of Americans said they suffered setbacks from the financial crisis: 55% said that 10 years later, their finances still have not recovered. Looking back, I notice several factors that cushioned my family and me from the crisis. […]



ABLE to save more for special needs

In a MONEY TALK VIDEO, Lisa Lewitzke explains updates to a savings plan for individuals with special needs. […]




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