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So far Lupe Camargo has created 21 blog entries.

Understand Your Money Script

Do you know and understand your money script? Our beliefs about money begin taking shape early in life. Unpacking stories from our youth can help us decipher why we make the decisions we make as adults. Identifying unconscious influences may reveal what we tell ourselves when it comes to money, and why we continue to make decisions that harm us.

A Kansas State University study published in the Journal of Financial Therapy identified four money beliefs, or “money scripts,” that can drive our behavior.

Money scripts are neither right nor wrong. They are simply the financial lens through which we view the world. That’s why it is important to understand your money script.

  1. Money Avoidance: Common thinking here is that good people should not care about money; you tell yourself that living with less money is a virtue. Taken too far, money becomes a source of anxiety, fear or disgust.
  2. Money Worship: Money worshipers believe money is the route to happiness and fulfillment. This script says you can never have enough; it’s impossible to be poor and happy. This may lead to compulsive shopping and the pursuit of wealth above all else.
  3. Money Status: Similar to worshipers, those with a status belief equate net-worth and self-worth. This is where “keeping up with the Joneses” comes into play, and it can lead to hefty debt.
  4. Money Vigilance: This belief drives cautious and careful spending. At its extreme, it can create anxiety and prevent you from enjoying the money you worked so hard to save.

Do any of these money scripts sound like your internal dialogue? Do they support your life goals, or create roadblocks on your path? If it’s the latter, take comfort in knowing these scripts are not set in stone. You can rewrite them.

Intentionally creating better habits is the first step in rewriting your money scripts and getting closer to your goals.

By |2020-07-16T16:04:38-07:00July 27th, 2020|Financial Planning|

Thinking About Legacy

thinking about legacyOur energy and passions are often focused on personal achievement, financial success and building a life during our 20s, 30s and 40s. Though we also spend time giving back to our families and our community in different ways, something seems to happen when we reach our 50s and 60s. We begin thinking about legacy.

Author David Brooks calls this the second mountain in his latest book titled the same. He explains how early in our lives we spend our time climbing the first mountain, expending most of our time and energy striving for professional and financial success.

Sometimes, we fall down the mountain, into the valley.  In that space, we may experience isolation and sadness. Perhaps we lose a loved one, or feel a lack of purpose or connection to others. Once we discover what we believe to be missing, we begin to think about ascending that second mountain.

“Here we can discover greater fulfillment and joy very different from that First Mountain,” Brooks writes. “We begin contemplating the legacy we want to leave our loved ones and our community, by making the world a better place in a small or big way.”

If you find yourself in that place and want to begin climbing that second mountain, make time for some self-reflection.

Here are questions to ask yourself when thinking about legacy:

  • Who are the people most important to me? How am I showing up in their lives?  Am I supporting them and sharing what I’ve learned to improve their lives?
  • What stirs my passions? What experiences, both personally and professionally, have motivated me to help, support and connect with others? What talents can I share?
  • How do I want to be remembered? How can I align my time and resources to what reflect who I am and what matters most to me? How do I want to be remembered? How can I align my time and resources to what reflect who I am and what matters most to me?

There’s no better way to enable our legacy to live on, than to spend time and resources on the people and causes closest to our hearts.

By |2020-02-13T13:01:57-07:00February 24th, 2020|Books, Estate Planning|

Understanding Probate

understanding probateAn individual’s will designates how personal assets should be distributed to beneficiaries upon death. A revocable trust enables the smooth transfer of those assets. Without a trust, if assets are titled solely in the decedent’s name, the estate must be funneled through the probate court. Understanding probate can go a long way in alleviating stress during an already difficult time.

Probate is the court-supervised process that transfers assets of someone who has passed away to the rightful beneficiaries. Depending on the complexity of the estate, the process can last roughly six months to two years. There are financial costs associated with probate, such as attorney and appraisal fees. These expenses can be hefty depending on the size of the estate.

Understanding Probate

Here are the typical steps of the probate process.

1) A petition is filed to open probate and a personal representative is appointed by the court.

Even if an executor was named in a will, before probate can begin that person must be authorized by the court. Executor, administrator and personal representative are different titles used to describe the person who will be managing the estate.

2) Notice of the death is given to potential creditors.

Any claims against the estate must be presented to the executor; there is typically a time limit within which a claim can be made.

3) Assets are collected and valued.

The executor needs to take inventory of and properly appraise the decedent’s assets before determining how and to whom they will pass.

4) The estate is managed by the executor.

This process includes opening an estate checking account to pay bills, maintaining investments and real estate, and filing appropriate income tax returns.

5) Remaining assets are distributed.

Once debts, expenses and taxes have been paid, the executor must distribute any remaining assets according to the decedent’s will. In the absence of a will, assets are distributed according to the state’s probate laws.

 

By |2019-09-16T19:35:29-07:00September 23rd, 2019|Estate Planning|

Assessing Life Insurance Needs

Assessing life insurance needs is part of estate planning.No one wants to think about their death and how it will impact others. But, if you have anyone in your life who depends on you, you must think about it. While you can’t ease the emotional burden of your loved ones when you die, you can help alleviate their financial burdens. An important part of the estate planning process is assessing life insurance needs.

Everyone’s situation is unique; and different types of life insurance policies meet different needs. Is your salary the main source of your family’s income? Are you a stay-at-home parent or caregiver? Do you have a child with special needs? Are you a small business owner? Have your children grown and started their own families?

This information from Nerdwallet.com demonstrates how life insurance funds can help in different scenarios. It can:

  • provide income replacement, so that your family can continue to pay everyday expenses;
  • cover the cost of paying for services the stay-at-home parent does for “free,” such as child care and home cleaning;
  • fund a trust, to ensure a child with special needs will have life-long financial support no matter when a parent dies;
  • cover mortgage payments, student loans or other debt, so your family won’t inherit debt or be forced to move;
  • fund a buy-sell agreement that allows a business partner to buy out your share;
  • provide a supplemental source of income for someone who has maxed out other retirement plans.

Term life lasts for a specific number of years and can be purchased, for example, to cover your mortgage or other debt. If the term expires before you die, there is no payout. Whole life and other types of permanent life insurance policies usually include a “cash value” account that builds value over time. This could help during retirement, if needed.

Assessing Life Insurance Needs

If you haven’t reviewed your life insurance in the past few years, schedule an appointment with your financial planner to help make sure your needs are being met.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:45-07:00April 23rd, 2019|Insurance|

End of Year Checklist

Lupe Camargo offers a financial end of year checklist for review.Where has the year gone? Throughout the year we have several ways to help lower our tax bill and save more money. Although most of the year is behind us, there is still time to take advantage of some things that can help put you ahead. Take a minute to review this end of year checklist.

Maximize retirement account contributions.

How much more can you save before year-end in your IRA or company retirement account? Traditional and Roth IRAs have a limit of $5,500 with catch-up contributions of $1000 for those over age 50. The 401K contribution limit is $18,500 with a catch-up contribution of $5,500. These extra contributions may push you into a lower tax bracket, so it’s worth evaluating.

Don’t miss your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).

At age 70 ½ you are required to withdraw at least the required minimum distribution from your IRA or face a steep penalty. Remember the option of doing a Charitable IRA Rollover. This allows individuals to use their RMDs to make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 per year to qualified charities without incurring federal income taxes. Remember though, because taxes are not taken out when you complete a Charitable IRA Rollover, these funds may not be listed on your tax return as a charitable contribution.

Spend your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) money.

Is there money left in your company FSA? Use it before the end of the year, or lose it. Buy those glasses, or get the dental work done, before the money disappears.

Capitalize on tax-loss harvesting opportunities.

At Perspective, we regularly review portfolios for tax-loss harvesting opportunities. This helps to offset taxable capital gains you have had throughout the year by selling investments that have lost value.

Review your spending.

Are you confident you know where your money is going? Begin the process of reviewing your statements and identifying opportunities to save more. By focusing on what you can control, you can help kick off 2019 in the right direction.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:47-07:00December 3rd, 2018|Financial Planning|