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Making Margin

The Greenway Wealth Advisors team talk about avoiding common mistakes that people make with their money.For legal mumbo jumbo, visit: https://greenwaywealth.com/home/social-media-policy

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Planning to Die

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickSpecial Guest: Allen StarrettToday’s topic is all about estate planning and why it is so important.Discussion topics:How Allen decided to get into estate lawWhat are the important components of a complete estate plan?Why is it important for people to have those items?What can happen if they don’t?We find that convincing our clients that they need estate documents is one of the most difficult boxes to check. Why is that?Take away: Make sure you have an estate plan and it is up to date!

20mins

1 Apr 2020

Rank #1

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Kids Are Expensive

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffDrewToday’s topic is all about the cost of having and raising kids:The estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610 -- or as much as almost $14,000 annually, the Department of Agriculture says. That’s the average for a middle-income couple with two children. It’s a bit more expensive in urban parts of the country, and less so in rural areas. Up to a third of the total cost is housing, accounting for 26 to 33 percent of the total expense of raising a child. USDA comes up with those numbers by calculating the average cost of an additional bedroom - an approach the department says is probably conservative, because it doesn’t account for those families who pay more to live in communities that have better schools or other amenities for children.According to the University of New Hampshire: Child care expenses can be a large portion of family income. The average share of income spent on child care among families with young children who pay for child care is 8.8 percent. Nationwide, 26.8 percent of these families, or 1.4 million, spend more than 10 percent of their income on child careDiscussion topics:Do these stats deter people from having kids?Our own childcare story, as a kid and as a parentWhy is it discussed so much less frequently than college expense? How do we help people plan for it?Take Away: Kids are expensive. Planning for those expenses can dramatically help.Resources:https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cost-of-raising-a-child-parents-save-up/https://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1287&context=carsey

22mins

20 Mar 2020

Rank #2

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Buying vs. Renting

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffDrewToday’s topic is all about buying a home vs. renting a home.Last week the updated S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index came out showing the change in home values for 20 major urban areas. Charlotte is one of the 20 cities listed, and over the last year had the third biggest home-price gains behind only Phoenix and Tampa. The weakest markets were SF, Chicago, and NY.Over the past year, home prices in charlotte rose 4.76% as of October (data delayed by three months) and over the past 5 years, Charlotte home prices have average annual returns of 5.3%Nationally home prices have risen an average of 4.75% per year over the past 5 yearsZillow and other sites have made accessing an estimated home value much easier, but it made us re-visit the question: when does it actually make sense to buy a home, if ever? Discussion topics:First home purchase. What made you decide to buy? What was the process like?Our favorite unexpected maintenance stories.When does it make sense to buy vs. continuing to rent?10-year returns of residental real estate: 4.08%. 10-year returns for global commercial REIT index: 9.31% (as of 12/31). Global stocks (MSCI World Index) averaged 9.47%. Is a home actually an investment? Should we view it that way?If it’s a terrible investment, what is it?Take Away:  Buying a home can be wonderful, but renting can be as well. What makes the most sense for your specific situation?Home repair budgeting resources:https://www.upnest.com/1/post/what-is-the-annual-cost-of-maintaining-a-home/https://www.thebalance.com/home-maintenance-budget-453820https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/the-real-cost-of-your-house/

31mins

4 Mar 2020

Rank #3

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Investing is Boring

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffDrewToday’s topic is why investing should be boring. We take a broad look at what we believe investing should look like and why.Discussion Topics:How we design a portfolio for our clientsHow we use decades of historical data to guide our investment processA 2016 study by S&P Dow Jones Indices showed that about 90 percent of active stock managers failed to beat their index targets over the previous one-year, five-year and 10-year periods; fees explain a significant part of that under performance.What exactly is an ETF, stock, bond, mutual fund, etc.?What’s the most important predictor of a relative investment return? Morningstar: https://www.morningstar.com/articles/347327/articleWhat other types of fees should people be looking for?A lot of people now have target dated funds in their 401k. Positives and negatives?Investing is like amateur tennis Take Away: If investing seems boring to you, you’re probably doing something right. 

30mins

13 Feb 2020

Rank #4

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Pre-Marital Financial Planning - Part 2

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffDrewSpecial Guest: Blake EdwardsToday’s topic is all about premarital financial planning. Our special guest, Blake Edwards, is recently engaged and came to the table with questions that span from combining bank accounts to when to buy a house.Discussion topics:Possible tax benefits of being marriedRenting vs. buying a house Take away: Make sure the financial decisions that you make are what’s best for your specific situation. Don’t do something (like buy a house) just because you feel like “it’s time.”Resources:Greenway’s Spending PlanGreenway’s Goal Setting WorkbookMarriage365

33mins

24 Jan 2020

Rank #5

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Pre-Marital Financial Planning - Part 1

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffDrewSpecial Guest: Blake EdwardsToday’s topic is all about premarital financial planning. Our special guest, Blake Edwards, is recently engaged and came to the table with questions that span from combining bank accounts to when to buy a house.Discussion topics:How to handle two inconsistent incomes?How much cash and where should it be held?Do you share debt or keep it separate?  Take Away: Open communication before and during marriage is key. Discuss the past and the future. Resources:Greenway’s Spending PlanGreenway’s Goal Setting WorkbookBankrateMagnifyMoneyMaxMyInterest

25mins

10 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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Cash Money

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffDrewToday’s topic is all about cash:What’s the right amount to hold?Where should it be held?What should I do if I have too much?What should I do if I don’t have enough?What’s the difference between saving and investing?How come so few people know this stuff?Take Away:Hold about 3-6 months of living expenses in a high yield savings account as an emergency fund, anyReferences:https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/most-americans-dont-have-the-savings-to-cover-a-1000-emergency.htmlhttps://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/files/2018-report-economic-well-being-us-households-201905.pdfhttps://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/financial-security-january-2019/

30mins

27 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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Never Retire

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffToday’s topic is retirement: When did the idea of retirement start? What should retirement look like? How do we plan for it?The concept of retirement hasn’t existed for very long, really only since the late 19th centuryMore and more research is forcing us to question this made up 20th century phenomenon and whether it’s necessarily good or healthy for us. But our entire industry is built around creating a stable retirement. Why is that the goal? Should it be? If not, what should be?New RetirementalityHappiness Equation “And those four S's of social, structure, stimulation and story bring us great joy and deep happiness.”Discussion Topics:What images make up what you think of as the right way to retire?Is there anyone in your life who has retired well?What do we hear from (most of) our clients when we discuss retirement as a goal?Why is there a generational gap?How do people plan for something other than retirement?Take Away:Planning for “Financial Independence” rather than “Retirement” may actually be better for your health AND your wallet.

21mins

25 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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Getting Sick is Expensive

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffToday’s topic is health insurance and HSAs: What are some ideas to combat the ever rising cost?Last year, employers spent an average of $15,159 in premiums to cover a family of four, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. In all, that’s an increase of 51% from a decade ago.The average family of four paid a total of $7,726 in 2018, according to the foundation. That’s an increase of 67% from 10 years ago. Of that amount, families paid $4,706 in premium contributions for coverage at work, plus $3,020 in cost-sharing — that is, deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. (Bear in mind, employers still shoulder a large share of premiums. Employees also have the advantage of paying premiums on a pretax basis, as opposed to buying coverage elsewhere with after-tax dollars.)In contrast, on the private market, a family of four with an annual household income of $80,000 would pay $7,888 per year in premiums for a silver plan purchased through the health insurance marketplace — provided they are eligible for a premium tax credit of $9,961 per year, according to Kaiser. Without the credit, the plan would cost close to $18,000 per year.“Insurance companies get a lot of heat for raising deductibles and premiums,” said Cynthia Cox, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “But if you look at what’s driving health-care costs year to year, it’s the price of health care: the cost of doctor’s visit, the cost of a hospital stay,” she added. “That’s really what’s making those premiums and deductibles go up each year.”Discussion topics:A medical bill that we have each received that was shockingly high.Policy wise: What’s the solution?HSA: Is it the magic bullet to combat rising health costs?As Advisors, how do we estimate future health care costs with so much uncertainty?Take away:Take advantage of an HSA if you are able to. They’re a great hedge against unexpected health care costs.

27mins

25 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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Credit Cards - To Churn or Not To Churn

Welcome to the Making Margin podcast! Greenway’s team is here to discuss common financial mistakes and to help you navigate them. Meet the voices behind Making Margin:NickAllieJeffToday’s topic is credit cards. Should you use them? How should they be used? Do they lead to excessive spending and impulse buys?As of February, Americans have over $4 trillion in consumer debtThe average American has a credit card balance of $4,293, according to the latest Experian data.At the same time, credit card interest rates have never been higher. The average card interest rate is currently 17.41 percent, according to CreditCards.com’s latest report. That’s up from 16.15 percent one year earlier and 15.22 percent two years ago.Studies have suggested that people spend 12-18% more when they use credit cards instead of cashMcDonald’s reported that the average ticket is $7 when people use credit cards, $4.50 for cash.Discussion topics:There is nothing inherently wrong with credit cards, but they may lead to impulse buying, which can often lead to discontentment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unhappy with your purchase, but usually that purchase takes money away from an area that would have added more value to your life. Little things can quickly add up to big money.Internet buying makes impulse buying/over spending that much easier. One click versus the hassle of getting to a store.One tip to help with this is to not store your credit card data on any sites; sometimes having to enter it is too much of a burden.Take Away:Choose your credit cards wisely and pay them off each month. If used in this way then they can be a great tool for free money, assuming you can control your spending.Resources:Greenway’s Spending PlanGreenway’s Goal Setting Workbook

22mins

21 Nov 2019

Rank #10