OMG, I’m Rich! Now What?


Five tips on how to save and play responsibly with your newfound wealth Have you just landed a big windfall? Maybe you’ve received an inheritance, gotten a bonus at work, sold your business, or won a lawsuit. Congratulations on this infusion of cash. You now have the means to create more financial stability in your […]

Is Fear Running Your Investment Strategy?


It is impossible to think about money, (especially YOUR money), without bringing your emotions along. We all have a huge and complex tapestry of emotions connected to our concept of money. For many women, money represents security, and they fear putting any of it at risk. The thought of becoming a “beggar lady on the […]

A Christmas Wish From Long Ago

Old-fashion doll

In the spring of this year my mother passed away. As my first Christmas without her approaches, I remember a Christmas story that she once told me. In 1934, my mother was eight years old, and she wanted only one thing for Christmas – a Shirley Temple doll. Shirley Temple was the most popular movie […]

Why The Best Investors Are History Buffs


Oh, how easy it is to get distracted by the day-to-day fluctuations in the market. Many investors have a herd mentality. Poor jobs report? Suddenly gold prices spike. A major CEO has the flu? Their company’s stock falls ill as well. The best investors, however, step back from the herd and take a long view […]

Put Your Goals in Pictures


Recently my client Jennifer called me. “I did it!” she exclaimed over the phone. “I bought the vacation home that I visualized.” That excitement in her voice was a pleasure to hear. Seven years ago she was widowed at age 27 when her husband died in an auto accident near their home in Southern California. […]

A Couple’s Money Meet-Up

Dancing Together

Let’s imagine that you and your mate have a very important financial date today. It’s a regularly scheduled get-together that happens every month like clockwork. You may recall that when you first began these state-of-our-finances meetings, it was rocky. Lots of things needed to be shared and talked through, some quite jarring. Now, though, it’s […]

Life Events and Your Finances: Are You in the Know?

Life Path

The old saying, “what we don’t know can’t hurt us,” is good for a laugh when we’re talking about the number of calories in a mocha frappuccino. However, we really do want to know as much as we can about how certain predictable life events can affect us, especially our finances. Although we can’t know […]

Women’s Prosperity Check 101

Women's Prosperity Check

“You’ve come a long way, baby!” said the 1968 ad, aimed at patting women on the back for their amazing progress in the world. Fortunately, today’s women can look back and laugh at the idea that they had reached their potential in 1968. Women were just getting started back then and have since continued to […]

Estate Planning, Especially for Women

Fitting the Planning Pieces Together

Everyone who’ll be leaving this world needs an estate plan, and they probably need financial planning while they are here. Women in particular should pay attention to this crucial and life-affirming process. Regardless of marital status or net worth, women need to make decisions and arrangements today in order to protect themselves, their husbands or […]

Life After Divorce: What You Need to Do Now

Now, more than ever, you need to make sure that your finances are on the right track. You will then be able to put the past behind you and set in place the building blocks that can be the foundation for your new financial future.  Review your insurance needs Typically, insurance coverage for one or […]

Life After Divorce: Time to Reevaluate Your Financial Life

Ironing out a divorce settlement, attending various court hearings, and dealing with competing attorneys can all weigh heavily on all the parties involved.  But now that you’ve made it through the process, it’s time to reevaluate your financial life as a single person. Take control of your debt While you’re adjusting to your new budget, […]

Life After Divorce: Time to Assess your Financial Situation

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally trying time, but it is also an opportunity to start fresh.  Now that you are single, it is important to begin with a strong financial base. Assess your current financial situation Following a divorce, you’ll need to get a handle on your finances and assess your current […]

What is Your Greatest Risk?

Long Term Health Care

My grandmother and my mother-in-law each lived to age 96. Many of us know women who lived to age 100 or later.  A lot of women are afraid of a stock market decline, but because we are living longer than ever before, there’s actually something that could be more devastating to your hard earned wealth—the […]

A Wise Risk Today Brings Good Fortune Tomorrow

Wise Risk

Investing for the future is always a game of chance, and risk-taking is part of the game plan. All investing involves some element of risk. The secret is to be a wise risk-taker and find the right balance for you between hopeful excitement and sleepless nights. While it’s natural to fear risk, it helps to […]

Beware These Risks to a Comfortable Retirement

Retirement Risks

Americans are more at risk than ever before of not being able to maintain their same standard of living after they retire. The National Retirement Risk Index shows that in 2012 the number of at-risk households increased from 44% to 53% in the previous five years. This reflects the effects of the poor job market, […]

Mrs. Winkler Was Right

Elementary School Education

Many years ago in a Milwaukee schoolroom my first grade teacher Mrs. Winkler worked hard to instill in her young pupils the principles of personal responsibility and proper behavior. She also made sure we girls and boys left her care with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of basic math—Two plus Two equals Four. Mrs. […]

Five Ways to Safeguard Your New Baby’s Financial Future

Saving for your child's financial future

Your beautiful new baby has arrived and you think you’ve got the safety thing under control. The house is childproofed, you’ve got the pediatrician’s phone number posted on the fridge, and a brand new car seat sits in the back of your minivan.  But physical safety is just part of the challenge. Unless you’re Julia […]

Cutting College Costs

Belt Tightening: cutting costs

Hopefully you planned ahead and have a nice chunk of change set aside for the costs of college. Figure out how much you’ll need for junior’s education with the Save for College at VISA USA’s education website Practical Money Skills. If your savings come up short, don’t despair — there are a lot of things you can […]

Are You an Enterprising Woman?


Do you dream of having your own business? More and more women each year discover the excitement of being self-employed. If it sounds good to you, the prospects have never been better or the resources greater to help you get started. Enterprising women across America are building businesses that now employ 7.8 million people and […]

Going Back to Work? Start Fresh…And Smart!

Wearing Many Hats

If you are among the thousands of women who will be sticking their toes back in the job-hunting stream soon, take a deep breath! It’s okay to feel a bit nervous. Whether you’ve been at home raising a family, suffered recent divorce or widowhood, lost your employment, or re-located, the game remains the same. You […]

Managing Inherited Wealth

Money Eyes

Dream or Nightmare? Money Can Be Both Tamara had dreamed that one day she’d have wealth. One day she did, but it came as a nightmare rather than a dream, when a fiery plane crash killed her husband and two of her four children. For five long years she battled the airline at fault for […]

Money Talks … Love Listens


This month, as wedding bells ring for hordes of happy, hopeful newlyweds, my husband and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary. We’ve learned a lot over the years, and we wish all the new kids on the block as much happiness and good fortune as we’ve enjoyed. We especially wish them the will and wisdom […]

4 ways to stretch your paycheck and put your money back in your pocket!

Wait! Before you reach into your pocket you might want to read this. Switch to a free ATM card. Automatic teller machines (ATM) are a great convenience, but if you’re being charged a fee to use them, the costs can add up. If your bank charges a fee find a different bank. ANNUAL SAVINGS: $30+ […]

4 Credit Score Secrets

So you want to buy a car or a house? How about get a credit card or a mobile phone? You won’t get any of those things until they check your credit score. There are three main credit scoring agencies – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. They each issue credit reports showing your creditors’ names, […]

5 steps you can take to ease your financial transition from divorce

Just because your marriage went down the drain, doesn’t mean your money has to follow. The emotional burden of a divorce can be overwhelming. Now add to that the financial adjustments you have to go through and it becomes frightening. But don’t fret, there are certain steps you can take to get your “Divorce and […]

Patience is a Virtue

Is the recent stock volatility in the market making your head spin? You’ve probably heard the comparison between the current stock market and a roller coaster ride. Both have a lot of sudden ups and downs that can make keeping your lunch down a chore. But ask yourself this question- when the roller coaster is […]

Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie!

Do your kids think you’re made of money? Does it seem like every time you turn around your forking out dough to your kids? Maybe, it’s time to start teaching them the meaning of that old expression, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” Here are some helpful ideas to make them start respecting the hard work […]

Building Wealth Basics

5 Basic building blocks that will  start you on the road to financial freedom. When the great master told her pupil, “You must first learn to walk before you can run.” She could have very well been giving financial advice. Wealth building is a result of organization, planning, and motivation. Take these 5 tips to […]

On-Line Investment Information

Love to browse on-line? Use the Web to locate valuable investment information. In today’s computer driven era, it seems there’s nothing you can’t find on the Internet. For all you investors out there, or even those of you thinking about investing, the Internet is a goldmine of free information. Whether it’s a company conference call, […]

Social Security Retirement? Plan for Social In-Security…

Thinking Social Security is a major source of retirement income? Think Again. If you’re counting on Social Security as a major part of your retirement income…watch out! The Social Security system is increasingly strained. With people living longer and better health care, more and more people are drawing benefits. To give you an idea:  In […]

A Penny Saved

Before saying you have no money to save, check out the “Latte Factor.” This may be a savings strategy you’ve overlooked when looking for ways to save money. What is the “Latte Factor”?  Let’s make up an example. Tom is a 23 year old, working in an office somewhere, and not getting paid a whole […]

Help your tax preparer help you

Tax Planning

Tax time is right around the corner and for a lot of us that means meeting with a tax preparer. Sure, you can do your taxes yourself, but sometimes it pays to have a little advice and direction. Keep in mind that, even though you’re using a professional, an accurate return still depends on good […]

Be Safe, Not Sorry

What Steps Can You Take Now to  Protect the Security of Your Family? One of your first financial goals should be protecting your family’s security from a financial crisis.  To do this, you need to look at four things: First, it’s important to have enough insurance in all major areas. These major areas are life, […]

Heart to Heart


It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have with your parents…and I am not referring to the birds and the bees. This one involves their estate and resolving any uncertainties before they’re gone. Death is not a pleasant subject, but it is going to come eventually and it’s better to be prepared. Assure your parents that you […]

Your Investment Strategy

Volatile Times in the Market Raise Lots of Questions. Wondering how to invest and what to invest in? Your first step should be to formulate an investment strategy. To do that, ask yourself these questions concerning your exceptions and preferences.  What period of time are you investing for?A short-term investor needs the money in one […]

Decorate Your Financial Future With Style

When I was first given the opportunity to write this column, some of my staff asked, “Why put a financial advice article in a magazine about home decorating?” They wondered whether my readers would have any interest in financial planning, and whether they would embrace the concepts I wanted to address. I understood however, that […]

The Cost of Raising a Child


When our daughter Carrie was in high school, she worked at Starbucks after school and on weekends. She saved half of her paycheck for future college expenses and spent the rest on current teenage “necessities” such as MP3 players, shoes and fashion. If you asked Carrie, she was practically self-supporting.  She loved the independence, and […]

Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed


If you work for yourself, either full time, or to generate side income — and you’re wondering how you’re going to plan for retirement…. Read on. Do you work for yourself? Many of us do these days. Women make good entrepreneurs because they are able to juggle lots of tasks and respond to a myriad […]

A Nice Place to Visit, But…

Beach Vacation

Many people decide to move when they retire.  But choosing where to live means more than deciding whether you prefer sand or trees.  In fact, many people make their biggest retirement mistakes when deciding where to live.  One very helpful strategy, if you can manage it, is to make extended visits to your chosen location […]

Minimizing Your Tax Burden in Retirement

Retirement Nest Egg

If you think you don’t need to worry about taxes in retirement, think again. Although your taxable income will probably be much lower than when you were in the workforce, you could still get hit with capital gains taxes on your investments, property taxes, and other expensive surprises if you don’t plan ahead. Here are […]

Widow Finds Credit Tied Up in Husband’s Name

After being widowed this spring at age 55, reader Lorraine from Temecula found out that her deceased husband’s credit was worth more than hers. Once she began to recover from the shock of losing her husband, she knew she should change accounts to her own name. She started with Sears, where she and her husband […]

It’s Your Life

When I hosted our firm’s quarterly women’s luncheon last month, I again was struck at the community and support women offer each other. Although we talk about financial issues, it’s the sharing and honest discussion of what is going on in each of our lives that inspires and encourages each one of us. Helen, in […]

Put Your Goals in Pictures

Recently my client Jennifer called me. “I did it!” she exclaimed over the phone. “I bought the vacation home that I visualized.” That excitement in her voice was a pleasure to hear. Seven years ago she was widowed at age 27 when her husband died in an auto accident near their home in North County. […]

Don’t Abandon Your Career if You Decide to Leave Work


Can you live on one income? If you are like many couples, you can’t even get by on two! But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay home to raise your children. It may be less expensive to run the household with only one spouse working. That’s because two careers mean additional expenses for childcare, commuting, […]