US dollar versus China yuan

What to Make of the 2018 “Trade War”

The past few weeks, we’ve finally seen evidence that the investment markets are getting jittery about the escalating tit-for-tat tariffs and threats of tariffs that some economists are calling “America vs. the World.”  Many investors are wondering whether new taxes on items flowing into and out of the U.S. really are something to worry about and the […]

Apps for Boosting Brain Power

It’s no secret that as we age, our brain function declines.  Whether it’s to focus, stay sharp, or reduce stress and anxiety, there are various reasons for wanting to boost brainpower and improve mood. Studies have suggested that keeping mentally active may help maintain cognitive functioning and psychological well-being.  Brain training apps may improve memory, problem solving[…..]

graduation

Beware of Scholarship Scams

Figuring out how to pay for college is stressful for most parents and may be out-of-reach for some families. My husband and I have three college-bound teenage daughters, and our oldest will be attending St. Lawrence University in New York this year. Tuition, books, and room and board will exceed $70,000 annually, not including countless round-trip flights[…..]

tax charity

States vs. SALT or “How to turn taxes into charity”

Each year, thousands of CPAs and financial planners—like us—use their creativity and ingenuity to try to determine the best (legal) ways to lower your federal taxes.  You know you’re living in interesting times when state lawmakers join that crowd! The reason state legislators are working so hard to lower your federal taxes is something popularly known as[…..]

old woman

Financial Planning for Women – Part 4 (Helping Widows)

In my previous blog post, Financial Planning for Women – Part 3 (Long-Term Care), I talked about why Long-Term Care is so important for a woman’s longevity. In this post, we will discuss how we help widows through one of the toughest times of their lives. We recognize that the death of a spouse is a traumatic[…..]

Uncle Sam

Is That Really Your Money?

When you look at your monthly brokerage statement, you see the values and what has happened in your account over the last 30 days.  It’s pretty simple math: “You started there, you finished here, and what happened to cause the changes—dividends (increase), market gains (increase), market decline (decrease), and withdrawals and fees (decreases).  But we are not[…..]

woman crossroads

This Is Not What I Expected; Musings of an Unlikely Entrepreneur Celebrating the 15th Birthday of Her Company

Fifteen years ago in March 2003, I founded Inspired Financial from a home office (in my basement, no less) with only my faithful canine companion, Rusty, on my “team.” I had left the cocoon of a secure job with The Vanguard Group to strike out on my own because I thought I could make a greater difference[…..]