Where to Change Your Name After Marriage

Husband and Wife

The most common reason people change their names outside of being in Witness Protection is a bride after her wedding. Taking on your husband’s last name is traditional of a bride, and what many girls have been dreaming of possibly since their first date with the man of their dreams.  Changing your last name is much more than scribbling it on your notebook; there’s actually a lot of work that goes into it.  You have to make sure to change your name after marriage on important accounts and documents.
Continue Reading

8 Reasons Why You Should Sell Your Home Before Buying a New One

When it comes to buying a home, buyers try to engineer the ultimate balancing act of buying the new one first, THEN putting the current one up on the market before the ink is even dry on the purchase contract.

The object—and expectation—is to find that perfect home, then to put the old one on the market in the hope of selling it in the treasured but increasingly mythical simultaneous closing.

Just playing it out in your mind is exhausting, but making it actually happen is a truly massive undertaking.  What would make anyone think that such an effort is worth trying?

Fear! Fear that you might not be able to find the right home after selling your current home.  Fear of being homeless.  Fear of temporary housing.  Fear of the dreaded “double move” (moving from the old home to temporary housing, then again to the new home).

Those fears may be legitimate at some level, but there are even greater causes for concern if you plan to buy before selling.  Here are eight of them…Continue Reading

How Being Trusting In a Marriage Can Hurt You in a Divorce

Divorce: it’s a subject nobody feels comfortable talking about. Divorce is the true “D” word in the English language.  And yet divorce is something that may affect 50% or more of every American that enters into marriage.  Nobody wants to believe they might end up on the wrong side of that equation, but what if you did?  This post is not to give legal or financial planning advice, but rather to start a dialogue about how many of the practices of a healthy marriage might actually be detrimental were the marriage to end in a divorce.  This post certainly isn’t meant to give love advice either, nor financial advice.  Again, this post just wishes to raise some issues, even if the subject is taboo.  After all, divorces are one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy filings in the United States.

Here are some potential ways being trusting in a marriage could hurt you in divorce:

Continue Reading

How to Recession Proof Your Life

Harvard Business published an article a while ago that talked about job security and how the younger generation question if their job is secure. No matter how old you are, there is one thing that is certain – gone are the days that we leave school and work at the same career throughout our lifetime.  Well, there may be a handful of people such as doctors that may remain in the same career, but still, the vast majority of us will ultimately have two or three careers.  One thing to always keep in the back of the mind is what if you are in the midst of changing careers and a recession hits?  Or even if you are in a pretty good position but the company you work for takes a hit if another recession occurs?  Recession proofing your life should be just as much a priority as having life insurance to take care of your family.

There are some steps you can take to recession proof your life and depending on your financial situation, it may not be too difficult.
Continue Reading

Half of Americans are “Financially Fragile” – How Not to be One of Them

A disturbing article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Nearly Half of Americans Are ‘Financially Fragile’, which is defined in the article as households who “definitely or probably couldn’t come up with $2,000 in 30 days.”

The $2,000 figure was chosen because it’s roughly the cost of “an unanticipated major car repair, a large co-payment on a medical expense, legal expenses, or a home repair”—in other words, expenses that are hardly out of the question for a typical household.

According to the article 46.5% of all respondents are living very close to the financial edge—in other words, nearly half of America.  And it’s one of the worst rates in the world—in Italy for example, the rate is only 20%.  But it gets even worse; an additional 25.1% of U.S. respondents answered that they were “probably able” to come up with $2,000—meaning that they aren’t entirely sure.

That’s a sad state of affairs no matter how you interpret it.

How should we respond to this information? By making certain we don’t fall into the same category!Continue Reading

What Is a Probate Lawyer and When Would You Use One?

At one point or another throughout our lifetime we hear about probate lawyers.

If you’re like most people you don’t pay attention until one day you’re faced with the inevitable – you need a probate lawyer.

So what specifically is a probate lawyer?

A probate lawyer manages the filing of the last testament or will of a deceased individual.  Sometimes there are some wicked disputes that arise from the disposition of property.  Basically a probate lawyer is an estate or a trust lawyer.

Far too many people do not think about finding a probate lawyer until someone has passed away.  When this happens, then there is a sense of urgency to hire a probate lawyer therefore not allowing time to shop around for the lawyer who will best represent your interests.
Continue Reading

What Are You Doing with Your Payroll Tax Cut?

At the end of last year, Congress hurried through a tax package.

One of the credits that was allowed to expire was the Making Work Pay tax credit.  However, our representatives replaced the Making Work Pay tax credit with a reduction in the payroll tax paid by employees. This means that you should be seeing a paycheck that is a little bit bigger.

Our leaders, of course, want you to go out and spend that money, pumping it back into the economy.  The whole point of tax cuts is to encourage you to spend so that we can keep the economy, which relies a great deal on consumer spending, moving in a direction of positive growth.  However tempting it might be to spend that extra money, though, it is a good idea to consider how that money can help you down the road.
Continue Reading