The Stock Market Scares Me

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This week we start things off with Rose from Seattle who was wondering what she should do with her student loan debt. Should she set her sights on paying it down, or just make the minimum payments?

Next up was Cindy from Texas, who admittedly is freaked out by the stock market and wants nothing to do with it. What options does she have?

We live in an era in which successful organizations can fail in a flash. But they can cope with change and thrive by creating a culture that supports positive pushback: questioning everything without disrespecting anyone.

Nigel Travis, executive chairman and former CEO of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins, and author of The Challenge Culture: Why the Most Successful Organizations Run on Pushback, joins us on the latest episode of Jill on Money to explain how.

Nigel Travis has forty years of experience as a leader in large and successful organizations, as well as those facing existential crisis, such as Blockbuster as it dawdled in the face of the Netflix challenge.

In his ten years as CEO and chairman of Dunkin' Brands, Travis fine-tuned his ideas about the challenge culture and perfected the practices required to build it. He argues that the best way for organizations to succeed in today's environment is to embrace challenge and encourage pushback.

Everyone, from the new recruit to the senior leader, must be given the freedom to speak up and question the status quo, must learn how to talk in a civil way about difficult issues, and should be encouraged to debate strategies and tactics, although always in the spirit of shared purpose.

How else will new ideas emerge? How else can organizations steadily improve?

Have a money question? Email me here.

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Leveraging Your Diversity at Work

What if one book was able to serve as the guide to getting hired, being promoted, and thriving professionally for the 40 million people of color in the workplace?

Today’s guest, Porter Braswell, tried to accomplish as much with his latest book, Let Them See You: The Guide for Leveraging Your Diversity at Work.

Braswell, the CEO and cofounder of Jopwell, the leading career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals, delivers Let Them See You as a collection of his straight-talking advice and mentorship for diverse careerists, from college students to mid-level professionals.

It’s also an invitation for diversity champions to listen in on the guidance and perspective Braswell provides, particularly for young diverse workers, the population that will make up the majority of the U.S. workforce by 2030.

In Let Them See You, Braswell chronicles how the majority-culture workplace evolved and why it’s imperative to have a more diverse workforce, while also explaining how it can be accomplished.

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Inherited Variable Annuity

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Buying a variable annuity is always tricky. But what happens when you inherit one? That's what we're discussing on the latest call with Linda from the Bay Area.

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Finding an Advisor and the Zero Tax Bracket

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We’re kicking things off this weekend with David from Kentucky who is trying to evaluate the services he has been receiving from a major investment firm. Is he better off meeting with a fee only planner?

Next was Dianne from Connecticut who is trying to narrow down some options regarding her pension from the State of New York.

Let’s be honest...nobody likes paying Uncle Sam. I mean come on, who really wants to pay a big, fat tax bill?

That’s why you always hear me preaching about the power of Roth accounts. In a perfect world, we’d all be able to find a way into the 0% tax bracket.

While that’s unlikely, there are people out there trying to make it possible.

Today’s guest in hour two, David McKnight, has long warned that taxes in the future are likely to be dramatically higher than they are today. Given that, we need to dramatically change the way we approach retirement.

In his latest book, The Power of Zero: How to Get to the 0% Tax Bracket and Transform Your Retirement, McKnight aims to provides you with a road map of how to get to the 0% tax bracket, virtually eliminating the tax risk, which, if not addressed, will easily consume a solid portion of your retirement savings.

Unfortunately, if you’re like most Americans, you’ve saved the majority of your retirement assets in tax-deferred vehicles like 401(k)s and IRAs. If tax rates go up, how much of your hard-earned money will you really get to keep?

In The Power of Zero, David McKnight provides you with a step by step roadmap on how you can get to the 0% tax bracket, effectively eliminating tax rate risk from your retirement picture.

Why is the 0% tax bracket so powerful? Because if tax rates double, two times zero is still zero! The day of reckoning could be fast approaching. Are you ready to do what it takes to experience the power of zero?

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

The Power of Pushback with Nigel Travis

We live in an era in which successful organizations can fail in a flash. But they can cope with change and thrive by creating a culture that supports positive pushback: questioning everything without disrespecting anyone.

Nigel Travis, executive chairman and former CEO of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins, and author of The Challenge Culture: Why the Most Successful Organizations Run on Pushback, joins us on the latest episode of Jill on Money to explain how.

Nigel Travis has forty years of experience as a leader in large and successful organizations, as well as those facing existential crisis, such as Blockbuster as it dawdled in the face of the Netflix challenge.

In his ten years as CEO and chairman of Dunkin' Brands, Travis fine-tuned his ideas about the challenge culture and perfected the practices required to build it. He argues that the best way for organizations to succeed in today's environment is to embrace challenge and encourage pushback.

Everyone, from the new recruit to the senior leader, must be given the freedom to speak up and question the status quo, must learn how to talk in a civil way about difficult issues, and should be encouraged to debate strategies and tactics, although always in the spirit of shared purpose.

How else will new ideas emerge? How else can organizations steadily improve?

Have a money question? Email us here.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

https://twitter.com/jillonmoney

https://www.facebook.com/JillonMoney

https://www.instagram.com/jillonmoney/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillonmoney/ 

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/jill-... 

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Rent vs Buy

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Even though I'm a proud real estate owner, I'm also a big believer that it often makes sense to rent instead of buy. That's the discussion on the latest call with David from Maryland.

Have a money question? Email us here.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

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Retirement Planning and Mastering the Market Cycle

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Hello 2019! This is year number eight of Jill on Money. Boy oh boy does time fly when you’re having fun.

We begin this week just like we do every other week…by answering your questions. We’re kicking off the first episode of the year with two very different retirement planning questions from Lee in Germany and Mitch in California.

It’s always a treat when we have a real Wall Street legend in the studio, and that’s the case in hour two as we chat with Howard Marks, author of Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side.

As co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, Howard Marks oversees a leading investment firm responsible for over $120 billion in assets.

We all know markets rise and fall, but when should you pull out, and when should you stay in? The answer is never black or white, but is best reached through a keen understanding of the reasons behind the rhythm of cycles.

Confidence about where we are in a cycle comes when you learn the patterns of ups and downs that influence not just economics, markets and companies, but also human psychology and the investing behaviors that result.

If you study past cycles, understand their origins and remain alert for the next one, you will become keenly attuned to the investment environment as it changes.

By following Marks’s insights, which are drawn from his memorable memos to clients, you might find yourself recognizing these recurring patterns to help with your own financial gain and psychological benefit.

Have a money question? Email me here.

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CBS This Morning: Apple Anxiety

Apple stunned investors with a rare warning that revenue from its first quarter will not meet expectations. In part the company blames slower iPhone sales in China. CEO Tim Cook says a weaker Chinese economy and trade tensions with the U.S. are hurting Apple. What it means for the global economy. I discussed on CBS This Morning.

Have a money question? Email me here.

Financial Resolutions for 2019

Okay, 2019 is here, which means it’s time to jump into those financial resolutions.

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Sadly, the majority of budgets or New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside within months of making them, as life interrupts our best-laid intentions. Part of the reason is that we sometimes make the whole process more onerous than necessary.

Budgeting should not be an end, but the means by which we can accomplish our financial goals. Of course that fact means that you need to start by establishing those goals. If you can’t come up with your own, try these (in order):

  1. Pay down consumer (credit card balances or auto loans) and student debt

  2. Establish an emergency reserve fund of six to twelve months of living expenses

  3. Maximize retirement savings (the 2019 limit for 401k, 403b and 457 plans is $19,000 or $25,000 if you’re over 50; the limit for Traditional or Roth IRAs is $6,000; $7,000 for those over age 50.)

  4. Fund a 529-education fund

  5. Establish a general investment account to fund anything from a second home to an accelerated path to retirement

You will notice that goal number two specifically requires an important piece of information: knowing how much you spend each month. This is where the dreaded budget enters the conversation. That said, most financial goals require that you start with how much you spend today and what portion of that spending can be redirected towards saving and investing to fund the goals.

Instead of making yourself crazy populating a bunch of categories, it’s far easier to start with what you are currently spending. With the advent of easy to use technology, this once-horrible and time-consuming activity is a snap. Apps like MintYou Need a BudgetClarity Money or even your bank’s own technology can help you with the process. Keep track for ninety days, that’s it, just three months to pour the financial foundation necessary to construct our dream house.

Once you know how much you spend on a monthly basis for ongoing needs, you will have to add some of the one-time expenses that arise throughout the year, including vacations; money for kids’ extra-curricular activities or camps; or the annual “homeowner’s surprise,” like the unanticipated appliance melt-down.

Congratulations, you have completed most of the hard work! The next step is to review where the money is going and determine how much you can redirect towards your goals. Again, technology will be your friend. Use it to create automatic drafts to avoid late payments and accelerate the pay down of loans; to establish similar drafts with your bank or brokerage firm to beef up your emergency reserve fund; and to slowly increase your contribution levels to your retirement plan with auto-escalation features available at many financial institutions.

Psychologists note that change requires new thinking. Instead of hyper-focusing on the budget itself, remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing...these goals are YOUR goals, what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins and if you fall off the wagon, re-focus your efforts, be mindful and get back on track.

Have a money question? Email me here.