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Friday, October 20, 2017

Is it really even possible to know? Most of us don’t even know what our taxes will look like for this year, let alone next year, or in 5, 10, or 20 years! We have a theory behind it all—the less we know, the more we need to...

 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Before we even start listing the top five mistakes, let’s just assume that everyone concerned has a passion to make their business succeed. And without a passion for your business, it probably won't succeed. But assuming you do...

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

What does that mean? That was the opening comment made by well-known CFA Jeff Kleintop at a recent advisor conference – and his outlook on the markets may surprise you: Did you know that every major economy – which, by the...

 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Just recently, we were asked if we could compile a list of the things that need to be addressed on every level when you find it necessary to assume physical, emotional, and financial responsibility for your parents. Based on our...

 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

There are a number of reasons: It won’t happen to me—I’m not going to die anytime soon. I have more important financial priorities. I don’t want to think about dying! I’m healthy. I can get it later. Did...

 

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Monday, September 18, 2017

There is one sentence that sums up all insurance: The big print giveth and the little print taketh away. If you work for a large company, there is a good chance you have group life insurance. The question is, do you really understand...

 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Today I got married and I made a vow to always take care of my wife. If something were to happen to me, she would lose over half of our current income, owe approximately $200,000 between our mortgage and our auto loans and of...

 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Since health savings accounts (HSAs) became available in 2004, we have found that very few people really understand their power. Most of the families we have met with assume that HSAs are the same as a flexible spending account (FSA)...

 

Monday, August 28, 2017

I just finished an extraordinary book, The One Thing by Gary Keller. There was an entire chapter dedicated to living Life on purpose. Maybe this is the reason it could be my favorite book to date. No matter, it gave lot of food for...

 

Monday, August 21, 2017

If you were to have a conversation with your children or grandchildren about planning for education expenses, what stands out as the most important thing? Would it be about acquiring prepaid tuition credits, because they are certain...

 

Monday, August 14, 2017

As you may already be aware, our RIA, Smart Money Group, which we co-founded last year has taken our story at Kennedy Financial Services to new places. We are blessed and humbled that other long-time advisors in our industry are...

 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Suppose you were born in 1952 and your grandparents had scrimped and saved $10 a month for you during the first 18 years of your life. Had this investment averaged 8% every year until your retirement at age 65, this relatively small...

 

Monday, July 31, 2017

It is summer and paying your taxes is probably the furthest thing from your mind. Perhaps we all have a little inner Scarlett O’Hara—I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think...

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

A fellow advisor once told me a story about trying to help his grandmother with her life planning. “She refused,” he said. “She insisted that John, who had been her advisor and friend for years, was doing just fine...

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

According to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, identity fraud hit record highs in 2016 with 15.4 million victims. That’s an astonishing 16% more victims than 2015! The amount fraudsters took...

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Dow hit another all-time high last week! Should you be celebrating… or worried? Every year the list of “Reasons Not to Invest in the Stock Market,” originating in 1934, is updated. Market highs are a reoccurring...

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Would you like a financial windfall? We all would! The good news is you can create one. Pick a habit…any habit… eating out, binge shopping, junk food, coffee shop coffee, smoking, soft drinks, alcohol….What does it...

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

It is not an easy feat to understand all the aspects of Medicare, much less choosing the plan that is right for you. And unfortunately, we cannot sum up in one article - or even two - how to choose the right plan for you. This is a...

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ever thought about leaving a significant gift to a charity at the end of your life – but most of your assets aren’t in cash and you don’t know how? Or maybe you’re afraid that you don’t have enough assets...

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Recently one of the coaching groups I take part in sent an email encouraging me too take the time to write out a bucket list. To put my thoughts on the right track, they provided a sample of “101 Things to Do before You Die...

 

Friday, June 2, 2017

As a business owner, you spend a lot of time working to make your business succeed. But have you spent the time to protect it or the “golden egg” your business has laid? Essentially, planning for what could or will happen...

 

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Sandwich Generation is a term Merriam-Webster officially added to its dictionary in July of 2006. But 43.5 million Americans in 2015 didn’t need to go to Webster’s to find out what they already knew. 1 And by the...

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Imagine this, a student walking across the stage at graduation with a freshly printed Bachelor's Degree in hand. Feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction. Seeing their Dad waiving and Mom standing with a tear of joy in her eye, both...

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Money Magazine interviewed several successful individuals, asking them about the smartest financial advice they have ever received. Billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson shared a story about his lack of knowledge...

 

Monday, May 8, 2017

If two retirees both average 6.6% return over 30 years and take the same income in retirement, shouldn’t they both end up with the same amount of money? You may find the answer very surprising. In fact wouldn’t it be sad if...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Today’s 70 is yesterday’s 50. Today’s 70 year-olds are performing mentally and even physically the way 50 year-olds did in the past. Most of us will live 20-30 years longer than our grandparents and parents; thus,...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Most people do!Have you considered your marital status during retirement – and its financial and social impact on you? According to the US Census Bureau, 42.4% of people over age 65 were single in 2015 and 1 in 4 of those was a...

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

If I never use it, I don’t get anything backYes, that is absolutely true of basic long-term care insurance. I say basic because hybrid plans exist that co-mingles LTC insurance with life insurance or annuities—but...

 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Maybe you have drawn up a will or even went to the extent to attend a seminar about something such as The 6 Things That Could Be Missing In Your Estate Plan and subsequently met with the firm who gave the presentation for a first and...

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

According to an article by Peak Advisor Alliance, the word “Uncertainty” is often abused. We hear it and see it over and over again. Yet this same word is perhaps the single most appropriate word to convey the emotional...

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

The infamous Kiplinger Tax Letter stated in their March 24th edition that the odds of tax reform this year have “ebbed.” We expect to see a draft of a legislative bill sometime this summer. But that’s only the...

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

My personal coach and good friend, Dr. John Rhodes, once said that the greatest legacy you leave behind is the journal you keep with your thoughts and dreams; the pictures of family, friends and community, and the love letters you have...

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Just this week I read a story about a widow who was taken to court by her step-son over the probate of her late husband’s estate. Because the IRA custodian couldn’t find the beneficiary form, the IRA went through probate by...

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Did you know over 1 billion websites exist today? In 1996, a mere 20 years ago, this number was 100,000. Reading this, I had many “aha’s,” but one was prevalent: Do we have too much information at our fingertips? Have...

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Recently we have met with several families that have a stockpile of cash earning, well, nothing. This interest rate environment is frustrating especially when you know the cost of living is increasing at a faster rate than what a...

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Around 4,500 years ago, the massive and intriguing structures known as The Pyramids of Giza were built. These pyramids still stand today due to the strength of their geometrical shape. However, if there was a crack in the base of one...

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

“Debt” The word alone makes most people cringe. After all, at some point in our life most of us have felt overwhelmed by debt. But let’s not forget the good it has brought us. With very few exceptions, where would we...

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

A few weeks ago we focused on “longevity risk.” We had a Twitter poll asking our radio listeners if they were afraid of running out of money and received an alarming response—100% of the respondents said yes. And...

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Does the Trump Presidency have you giddy about your family legacy being passed without an estate tax? If it does, you may need to consider a plan to ensure your death occurs in the next four years… though even that may not be...

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

With the beginning of each new year, we set resolutions to set ourselves on a better, more productive path… but oftentimes after we set them, we become discouraged by them, forget about them and before you know it - it’s...

 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Is “Longevity” a Risk You Need to be Thinking About? Perhaps a question we need to start with is… What are the risks of “longevity?” The first, and most obvious, thing that comes to mind is the risk of...

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

We at Kennedy Financial Services care not only about your financial health, but your physical health as well. We had the privilege of having Dr. John Duncan, owner of ViaScan, speak at one of our luncheons and we were amazed by all the...

 

Monday, January 9, 2017

We are human, which means we have emotions. Despite the fact we all strive to make good, rational decisions all of the time, the fact that we are human makes this virtually impossible. When it comes to investing, you have one of two...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

How much will you need to retire? Here are some tips that could possibly help with your planning.

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The old adage says that the only sure things in life are death and taxes…but there’s one other thing that’s pretty much a certainty. That certainty is change. Everything changes and successful people embrace change...

 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Here are 17 simple things to do sometime in 2017.

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

For most, the holidays represent a season of giving. Although giving to family and friends occupies most of our attention, charitable giving also plays a significant role at this time of year. From a tax and financial planning...

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

What should you get done before the end of the year? Here are the only 5 things you need on that list. Taxes - There is a good chance taxes will be higher this year than in 2017 since President-Elect Donald Trump has stated over and...

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

God tells us not to worry. And we shouldn’t—much of what is to come is out of our control. However, there is a major difference between worry and prudent concern. We shouldn’t worry about the day we will die, but we...

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

If you ‘Google’ this question, it results in all sorts of mathematical tools that tell you how you should add up your assets that you have acquired over your lifetime. However, if you read about half way down the first...

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Each day we wake up not knowing what the day might bring.Each day we are faced with lots of little things, some bigger things and sometimes… huge things. Some days are good. Some days are not so good. And some days are downright...

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

CPA Blake Briscoe is our special guest this week on our Life Planning 101 podcast. Blake discusses the changes in Fair Labor Exempt Wage threshold as well as some last minute tax savings ideas to watch out for. If you would like more...

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Click here for the article discussed this week on our Life Planning 101 podcast

 

Monday, October 31, 2016

One of the most inclusive and simplified definitions of democracy: A system of the people run by the people for the people. By this definition, voting is a privilege as well as the right and duty of each and every component of a...

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

When was the last time you checked your credit report for errors? According to 60 Minutes, 40 million Americans have an error on their credit report. Your credit score is your financial reputation. It's a three-digit number that has a...

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Remember when buying a coke was a treat and eating out for dinner was a true luxury? When you’d get a hole in your pants and your Mom would fix them - not throw the pants away? When you walked down the street and truly overweight...

 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Did you know that tax revenue for the federal government has increased by over $1.2 TRILLION since 2009? Tax revenue means your pocket book has been pinched. In fact, 77% of Americans saw their taxes increase in 2013 alone! Itemized...

 

Monday, October 3, 2016

I recently read an article offering a few statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and one in particular caught my eye: Did you know that the median age of a farm operator in the U.S. is 57?!1 At age 57, every farmer or...

 

Monday, September 26, 2016

While some of us may be reluctant to purchase life insurance, the reality is, 1 in 3 household would have immediate trouble paying living expenses if the primary wage earner died*. Also reported that, 40% of people haven’t bought...

 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Would it be okay if your investment portfolio went down $400,000? Absolutely NOT! This was a conversation we recently had with a couple we have just come to know. The reason? We stress tested their current investments against the...

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

This morning I read an article in the Financial Planning magazine that shed new light on life expectancy. Not only is there a 50% chance that at least one member of a couple aged 65 will live to age 92, there is a 25% chance that one...

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Yes. There is something psychologically satisfying about this, but that is one of the only few advantages. Don’t get me wrong. There are situations where paying down a mortgage makes perfect money sense. However, there is a good...

 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Naming the beneficiaries of your IRA, life insurance policy, annuity or any other contract property may not be as simple as choosing the ones you love to inherit the assets and writing those names down. Let me offer you a scenario:...

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Have you ever built a house? Some of us dream and visualize for months or years before even beginning. We sure did – but even so, we weren’t prepared for all of the minute details and decisions. It was stressful addressing...

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Recently we hosted an interview with a successful business owner. His words reminded me of Zig Ziglar when he said, “If you just help enough other people get everything they want in life, you will get everything you want in life...

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Most of the people we talk with believe that “retirement planning” deals exclusively with money and this is true… to a certain point. Experience has taught me that effective retirement planning is about much more...

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

[kuhl-cher] – noun: behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group. We believe the Golden Rule is Key to survival. We believe anything worth doing is worth doing well. We believe in doing what is right, even when no...

 

Monday, August 22, 2016

For many of us we only get the chance to retire one time. This means we definitely don’t want to mess it up. In today’s economy, this can be downright scary and sometimes feel impossible. See if any of this sounds...

 

Monday, August 15, 2016

The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when you begin to discuss saving for your child’s future is…college savings. But what if your child does not go to college? What if they need a down payment to purchase...

 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Most of the people we talk with believe that “retirement planning” deals exclusively with money and this is true… to a certain point. Experience has taught me that effective retirement planning is about much more...

 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Don’t worry…you’re not the only one. Whether you’re planning for college in the very near future or in the not so near future, you probably have concerns…and why shouldn’t you? Today I would like...

 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Will you stand to lose some of your hard-earned money, income or assets? Or will it be protected? Do you know for sure? One evening while driving home, you glance down to adjust the radio. When you look back up, you are inches away...

 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Recently, I spent two days at a conference focused on income during retirement. I want to tell you a story I heard that you will probably think sounds familiar, but the tone I will set today may shed new light on it. One of the...

 

Monday, July 11, 2016

One of my fellow advisors related one of the most horrific stories I have heard in my professional life. I would like to share that story with you in order to help you understand the importance of business succession planning: A young...

 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Too often we forget the things we ought to remember and the lessons we’ve learned through experience. It has been over 8 years ago that we entered the Great Recession and though even Wikipedia states it only lasted nineteen...

 

Monday, June 6, 2016

There is usually one of each in every family. So what makes some people stock away every dime they make and others oblivious to the concept of saving and always in debt? Interestingly enough, there has been extensive psychological...

 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Adults entering a remarriage are likely to bring assets, debts, obligations and established spending habits into the relationship. Since credit reports aren’t required for a marriage license – and you generally only see...

 

Monday, May 23, 2016

This week or in-house insurance guru, Bret Robinson, gives us some helpful tips regarding healthcare and retirement.

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

The image of retirement has always been one of relaxation and leisure. However, the retirees who fully embrace this idea often find that they are missing something. If you’re in this boat, you may feel you lack a sense of...

 

Monday, May 9, 2016

According to Rocket Lawyer, 64% of Americans don’t have a will. There is a common misconception that if you don’t have an estate tax problem you don’t need an estate plan – or a will. The truth is that this...

 

Monday, May 2, 2016

The world is changing rapidly. There is growing uncertainty, fear and disbelief in our future. Ironically, this is not the biggest threat to your investments. Believe it or not, the annualized return for U.S. Stocks from 1985 to 2014...

 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Most of us know the story: It was 11:40 P.M. on April 14, 1912. Lookout Frederick Fleet spotted an iceberg immediately ahead of the Titanic and alerted the bridge. First Officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to be steered around...

 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Let’s paint a picture of the first day of your future retirement: What an exciting time! It’s a time where we can enjoy the spoils of our labor. It is a time we have budgeted for – for living expenses, maybe even a...

 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Tax season is in full swing and for once, there is some good news. The good news is that, due to the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day paid holiday, you have until April 18th this year to file unless you file an extension. The bad news...

 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Municipal bonds have been a wonderful investment for over 30 years. They have been perceived as a safe haven for investors since they are used to lend money to local governments and municipalities, and offer an excellent tax...

 

Monday, March 28, 2016

It is Leap Year: the year we add February 29th to our calendar —a full extra 24 hours this year. How are you going to spend it? If you have ever watched the movie City Slickers, you may recall Curly telling Mitch (Billy...

 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Imagine spending your entire life building a business only to wake up at 63 and find it isn’t worth anything. Most of us think, “how sad, but that won't happen to my business…I have worked too hard or my industry is...

 

Monday, March 14, 2016

This week we sat down and conducted a special interview with Jim Kennedy. Find out what the 8 Life Planning Issues are and how they pertain to you. Find out a little about our company and how we believe doing business "the cowboy way".

 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Are you confident you have enough money for retirement? Rate your confidence – and remember…progress only starts when you tell yourself the truth. On a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being “without a doubt confident,”...

 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Taxes! Uncle Sam comes knocking every year. And for some of us, Uncle Sam will even come knocking on our grave. I have met people in my life that don’t mind Uncle Sam. They feel it is their American duty to pay their full share...

 

Monday, February 22, 2016

By now you are probably aware that if you are taking your Social Security benefits, you won’t be getting a raise in 2016. You may even be aware that in addition to not having a Cost of Living Adjustment next year, the maximum...

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Can you remember the last time you bought a new mattress? The difference between shopping for most things and shopping for a mattress is that we’re not sure how to price one - for most of us; it has been ages since we bought our...

 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Over the years we’ve written several articles about estate planning. This week I would like to address a specific aspect: trusts. A trust is simply an agreement under which property and/or assets are held and managed by one...

 

Monday, February 1, 2016

1936 Economy Still Struggling 1937 Recession 1938 War Clouds Gather 1939 War in Europe 1940 France Falls 1941 Pearl Harbor 1942 Wartime Price Controls 1943 Industry Mobilizes 1944 Consumer Goods Shortage 1945 Post-War Recession...

 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Did you know…52 million caregivers (one out of every five households) are involved in caregiving to persons aged 18 and over, and that number continues to grow? 1 You might be thinking: ”Wow, but that will never pertain...

 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ted was savvy with numbers and kept all his personal finances extremely organized. He was a successful middle class American and had several accounts set up, each with a purpose. There was an account dedicated to saving money to buy...

 

Monday, January 11, 2016

The August 2008 Money Magazine offered up an article of several successful individuals talking about the smartest financial advice they have ever received. Billionaire and CEO of Virgin records, Richard Branson shared a story about...

 

Monday, January 4, 2016

There is a lot of controversy around annuities. Some advisors use them as if they were a cookie cutter for every client and some advisors despise all of them. Then, there are the majority of advisors that either fall somewhere between...

 

Monday, December 28, 2015

We live our lives and are encouraged to live life fully and to not have regrets. Though in fact, that word itself establishes a negative frame of mind. However, we have found that this same word can produce a positive outcome with the...

 

Monday, December 21, 2015

If you Google the top financial concerns of Americans, you will see zillions of polls taken. The interesting thing is that the top three, though interchangeable, are fairly consistent: retirement and/or maintaining their current...

 

Monday, December 14, 2015

By now you are probably aware that if you are taking your Social Security benefits, you won’t be getting a raise in 2016. You may even be aware that in addition to not having a Cost of Living Adjustment next year, the maximum...

 

Monday, December 7, 2015

It is probably safe to assume that all of us have at one time or another been touched by, and wanted to contribute to, a good cause. And it is probably safe to assume that all of us have wished we could do more for that something that...

 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Just recently I was speaking with one of my more affluent clients who wanted to lease a new vehicle and could not! Why? Her credit score was not high enough. Whether you are wealthy or not, having a bad credit score can cost you...

 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Recently I was speaking with a client about how important it is to take preventative measures in regard to health - eating right, exercising and taking the right supplements. People are living longer than ever before, but that...

 

Monday, November 2, 2015

#1… $1 million is enough…This might sound like it is, but most of the time it really isn’t enough. Life insurance needs are calculated in various ways, but experience has taught us that most individuals want their...

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Don’t feel alone. You don’t have to be a search engine whiz to discover that 77% of Americans saw their taxes increase in 2013 (the most recent tax data available). To add insult to injury, it hasn’t stopped there...

 

Monday, October 19, 2015

This was a recent headline in a newsletter we read frequently called “Trust Advisor.” The article opened with the statement, “Imagine that you’re a self-made person with $100 million in assets. Do you leave it...

 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Warren Buffet said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Isn’t it interesting that the same could be said about “Fear?” Everyone has a slightly different relationship with risk. We are...

 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Our experiences over the last 26 years working with individuals who are in their last years of working, retiring, and reaching retirement have taught us more than you can imagine. But if you were to ask what the number one piece of...

 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Have you ever thought about the information stored on your computer or other devices that someone would need to know about if you were suddenly incapacitated or no longer with us? I recently heard about a CPA in Wyoming that didn't....

 

Monday, September 21, 2015

This is a major question facing our generation. It is expensive - and is becoming even more expensive. Just the thought of needing it is unpleasant and can evoke strong emotions. And at best it appears imperfect: Buying a plan that...

 

Monday, September 14, 2015

You’re not alone-whatever your excuse may be. It’s too time consuming, complicated, not sure how… Unfortunately, a budget is the very foundation for your entire life plan. Without one, you can’t build any kind...

 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Everyone has a slightly different definition when it comes to success. Recently we attended a forum that is made up of some of the most “successful” people in our industry. Interestingly enough, this was the focus the...

 

Monday, August 31, 2015

If you thought the market was going to keep climbing steadily without any hiccups, I am sad to say that’s what we call a pipe dream. We all wish this dream could be a reality, but the reality is market volatility is normal and...

 

Monday, August 24, 2015

The threat of identity theft was already bad enough, yet now we even have to worry about it when filing our taxes: The latest news from the IRS, released on August 17th, reported that thieves used personal information acquired...

 

Monday, August 17, 2015

You may have heard that a confused mind says “No.” So today my goal is to simplify investing so that you can perhaps say “Yes.” There is no doubt that investing in today’s world is complicated. It is no...

 

Monday, August 10, 2015

I am on a little bit of a soap box about this lately, but for very good reason. We have encountered a few situations that one could hardly imagine. They have been stressful, cumbersome and worst of all--absolutely gut-wrenching. I...

 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Coach John Wooden stated, “It is what we learn after we know it all that counts.” As human beings we like to feel respected and knowledgeable... and we sure don’t like to be wrong. A feeling that usually grows...