Viewing entries in
Tools You Can Use

529 Plans - The Basics

529 Plans - The Basics

529 Plans - The Basics

What you need to know about these tax-advantaged ways to save for college.


Whether you already have children or you’re planning to start a family someday, the sooner you start to put money away for college, the better.  That’s why we encourage you to learn all you can about 529 plans, a college savings plan created to help families save for education expenses and get a tax break in doing so.

 

Here are some 529 plan basics that every family should know.

 

What is a 529 plan?


According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” were added to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in 1996.

 

How do 529 plans work?

  • 529 plans offer tax and financial aid benefits to the person funding them (account holder). Earnings in 529 plans accumulate on a tax-deferred basis and distributions are free from federal and state income tax when used for qualified education expenses.

  • 529 plans are offered/sponsored by states, state agencies or educational institutional agencies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least one 529 plan. 

  • You can invest in any state 529 plan, not just that offered by the state in which you reside.  Also, the student (beneficiary) is not required to attend a school in the state where the plan was opened.

  • You can change the named beneficiary of a 529 plan at any time.  However, if you change it to someone other than a family member, there may be tax implications.

 

Are there different types of 529 plans?


Yes, there are two types: Prepaid Tuition Plans and Education Savings Plans.

  • There are important differences between the two types –– fees, certain restrictions, expenses, investment options, to name a few.  (For details, ask your Lenox financial advisor, contact your 529 plan sponsor, or visit www.sec.gov.)

  • You can find out more about a particular 529 plan by reading its offering circular. The National Association of State Treasurers created the College Savings Plan Network, which provides links to most 529 plan websites. 

 

How can 529 plan savings be used?

  • A 529 plan can be used to save and pay for higher education costs –– tuition, room and board, computers, and other qualified expenses. The plan also may be used to pay for up to $10,000 annually for K-12 tuition. 

  • In most cases, your 529 plan can be used to cover expenses at any qualified college or university.  There are more than 6,000 qualified colleges and universities in the USA and an estimated 400+ eligible outside the USA –– most anywhere federal financial aid   is accepted. (Check with each individual plan for its list of qualified schools.)

 

Who can open and contribute to a 529 plan?

  • Parents and/or grandparents can open a 529 plan and be the account holder for a student (beneficiary).  (See our prior blog, “Grandparents and 529 Plans” for information on why parents instead of grandparents might want to be the plan’s account holder.)

  • You can even open an account before a baby is born, opening it in your own name and   transferring it once the baby is born and has a Social Security number.

  • Anyone can contribute to a child’s 529 plan –- aunts, uncles, other family and friends –- which makes the 529 a good idea for birthday or holiday gift giving.

  • The account holder will want to name a successor as you would with any other assets in the event of death or inability to continue as account owner.

 

How is your money invested?

  • Generally speaking, 529 plan contributions are invested in mutual fund-based investments.  Some plans also offer FDIC-insured banking options. 

  • You can typically choose from planned portfolios or create your own investment options.

  • To see which investment options are best for you, check with your financial advisor. 

 

Let us know how we can help.  Lenox professionals are here to explain 529 plan fundamentals and to help guide you in your plan selection and investment options.  Give us a call at 513-618-7080.

  

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from education funding, to generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.


If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.


 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

 

401(k) Plans – Understanding the Basics

401(k) Plans – Understanding the Basics

401(k) Plans – Understanding the Basics 

Our quick primer on this retirement savings vehicle, whatever your age.

If maximizing your retirement savings is a priority, and you’re looking for a little motivation to establish and/or get more involved in your 401(k) plan no matter what your current age, consider these findings from a recent Wall Street Journal report entitled “The Unprepared––A Generation of Americans is Entering Old Age the Least Prepared in Decades”.

                                                “Unprepared”, Geoffrey Rogow, WSJ, August 7, 2018

 

            “More than 40% of households led by people aged 55 through 70 lack sufficient resources    to maintain their living standards” in retirement.”  

 

            “Households with 401(k) investments and at least one worker aged 55 through 64 had a median $135,000 in tax-advantaged retirement accounts as of 2016, according to the latest calculations from Boston College’s center.  For a couple aged 62 and 65 who retire today, that would produce about $600/month in annuity income for life, the center says.”

 

 

The why behind 401(k) plans

In 1978, the United States Congress authorized a tax-law change that ushered in 401(k) plans, retirement savings vehicles provided/sponsored by employers.  Such plans allow employees to reduce their taxable income by placing their own pre-tax dollars in a 401(k) account (aka a “defined-contribution account”).  The goal then and now has been to encourage and help people build their retirement funds.  A dual goal back in the late 1970s was to supplement the pension payouts employees often received in those days.  Since then, however, many companies with their pension funding squeezed by economic cycles and recessionary periods over the years have limited pensions or replaced them altogether with 401(k) plans.

 

How 401(k) plans work

•  Employees who put money in a 401(k) can deduct their contributions from their taxes.  Their 401(k) contributions are invested and grow tax-free until retirement, at which time retirees pay taxes on withdrawals from their 401(k).  Current legislation requires that retirees start taking mandatory distributions from retirement accounts once they turn 70-1/2 years of age. 

 

•  Employees decide what percentage of their pay they want to contribute.  The designated amount is deducted from the employee’s paycheck and automatically placed in their individual 401(k).

 

•  Employees are capped at how much they can put in a 401k annually –– either up to earnings or $18,500. If you are over age 50, you have a catch-up option of up to an additional $6,000 contribution per year.

 

•  A 401(k) plan is portable meaning that when changing jobs, employees maintain ownership of their account and can move it from one company to another without penalty.  They can roll from 401k to 401k – or to an IRA with no penalties.

 

•  In 401(k) plans, employees are allowed to choose their own investments from a limited selection (typically mutual funds) offered by their employer and overseen by an independent plan administrator.  While the employer will offer information on the funds, the onus is on the employee to decide which is best for them. Selecting one’s own stocks can make a 401(k) somewhat of a DIY retirement plan.  This has worked well for some people and not so well for others.  Like any investment, there is risk involved and losses can occur.  For example, many people lost a significant portion of their 401(k) in the 2007-2009 recession, and/or they cashed out or borrowed from their 401(k) savings to cover other expenses, funds they have not been able to replace.

 

• Monies withdrawn from a 401(k) before the account owner is age 59-1/2 typically results in the employee paying a10% early withdrawal penalty on top of any taxes due.

 

•  Many employers offer to match employee contributions –- typically up to a percentage one’s annual salary.  It is wise to take advantage of “matching programs”.

 

 What is a Roth 401(k)?

A Roth 401(k) is a type of 401(k) offering tax savings that is essentially the reverse of a traditional 401(k).  Employees pay tax on their 401(k) contributions at the time the contributions are made, but they do not have to pay any tax in retirement when they withdraw their savings.  As such, all money in their 401(k) account grows tax-free. 

 

Making 401(k) plans more accessible

Because it is not mandatory for employers to offer employees a 401(k), Congress in 2006 enacted legislation to help private-sector workers without workplace 401(k) plans enroll in a 401(k) via state-run-retirement-savings programs.

 

Currently, an executive order is being considered by President Trump that would make it easier for small businesses to offer employees 401(k) plans.  The idea is for small businesses to band together in order to share the overhead costs of 401(k) plans and, thus, have the economies of scale that larger companies enjoy.

 

Learn all you can about 401(k) plans

We’ve given you some 401(k) highlights, but we encourage you to learn or refresh yourself on the specifics of your 401(k).  Let us know how we can help.  Lenox professionals are here to explain 401(k) fundamentals and to help guide you in your 401(k) plan investment options.  Give us a call at 513-618-7080.

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from education funding, to generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.


 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Grandparents and 529 Plans

Grandparents and 529 Plans

Grandparents and 529 Plans 

3 important 529 Plan questions to ask

For generations, one of many ways grandparents have chosen to support their offspring is to help fund their grandkids’ education.  They may have done so via designated savings accounts, trusts or simply by writing a check.  Introduced in the mid-1990s were 529 Plans, an education savings plan offering tax benefits to the plan funder as an incentive to help them save for their grandchildren’s college or post-secondary education expenses.

 

The unique tax advantages of 529 Plans have made them an increasingly popular way for grandparents to help cover tuition, room and board, computer software or other equipment needed for the student.  And thanks to the 2017 Tax Laws, savings from a 529 account may now also be used to pay for tuition at K-12 private or religious schools (with certain caveats regarding annual withdrawals for students of pre-college-age).  We would be happy to discuss such details with you at your convenience. 

 

Whether you already have a 529 Plan for a grandchild or are considering opening one, here are three questions you should ask.

 

Who should own the 529 plan?

Anyone can own a 529 Plan –– grandparents or parents –- and the owner can select (and change) the beneficiary of the plan, as well as direct the plan’s investments or trust their financial advisor to do so. However, while the grandparents may be the ones funding the 529 Plan, it might make more sense for the parents to officially own it. 

 

Here’s why. It’s a matter of putting the student in the best possible position for obtaining financial aid, if needed.  When applying for financial aid, the family must complete a form called FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Part of the FAFSA form is something called the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The EFC takes into account the student’s income and assets and the parent’s income and assets. 

 

If grandparents own the 529 Plan, the savings that come out of the plan are considered part of the student’s income on the FAFSA form for two years after the funds are received.  By FAFSA calculations, income for the student is weighted significantly higher than if it were income for the parents, which means the funds can work against the student in terms of financial aid eligibility.

 

Can grandparents gift the plan to their adult kids?

A better idea might be for the grandparents to gift the plan to their adult son or daughter (parent of the student) and let them, in turn, make the 529 contribution. However, making this switch in ownership of the 529 Plan is not permitted in all states, so you will want to explore your options.

 

Can grandparents continue to deduct the contribution?

If the 529 Plan is gifted to their adult kids, can grandparents continue to deduct the contribution?  In Ohio, you can, but again this rule changes by state so you will want to do your due diligence.

 

Let us know if we can help.  Our Lenox professionals are experts in education funding.

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from education funding, to generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

What’s your plan for your digital assets?

What’s your plan for your digital assets?

What’s your plan for your digital assets?

Yes, They Are Part of Your Estate Plan.

What exactly do you have stored on your computer?  Tax and financial records?  Online banking access?  Health information?  Business contracts?  Insurance policies?  Usernames and passwords?  Family history?  Social media accounts?  Hundreds if not thousands of photos?  Business correspondence?  Personal and business contact lists?  Etsy or eBay pages?  How about your favorite Pinterest boards, valuable web domains, or the details surrounding that new business idea you’ve been nurturing?

 

Most of us have become so accustomed to using our computer, tablet or smartphone that we forget how much information (valuable, personal, private) is actually stored on these digital devices. 

 

DIGITAL ASSETS AND YOUR ESTATE PLAN

Try to picture how many metal file cabinets it would take to hold all of the data you carry around with you each day!  Why?  Because your digital files, like your other tangible personal property, will be considered part of your estate and will need to be bequeathed to someone after your death or if you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your own affairs.  It may not be metal files of manila folders you pass on, but it’s still your information.

 

THE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER

Who do you trust and designate to have access to all of your digital assets when you are no longer on this earth?  It’s a critical question to address and one that has legal ramifications. 

 

Simply put, giving someone a username and password does not give them legal authority to access your digital files.  Even if one spouse provides login information to another or to a close family member, this is not considered legal authorization for digital access. Instead, it can be considered hacking for anyone to knowingly access a computer or account without legal authorization.  There are written statutes that cover this matter.  Also, laws and punishment can vary by state.

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING?

Whatever your age, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney for legal clarification about ownership of your digital assets and for guidance in appointing a guardian or custodian of such assets as part of your will. You should also contact your financial advisor to discuss digital estate planning and steps you can take now to get your digital life in order and to help keep it that way, including: developing an inventory of accounts, usernames and passwords; cleaning out old files and deleting unnecessary or dated information; ensuring the security of private data, and more.  

 

 

LET US HELP

Want to know more about this subject, call or email us at info@lenoxwealth.com.  Let us help you take control of your digital assets as part of your overall financial future.  It’s one more way we help you look at all parts of your life to FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE®.

 

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

 

 

 

Free agents in the corporate world

Free agents in the corporate world

Free agents in the corporate world

The growing opportunities of our “gig” economy

You’re not part of a rock band playing a one-night gig or an artist working in residence for a few months.  You’re a career professional working in a major corporation.  You’ve put in your time to get where you are.  So, what’s with the growing number of consultants, contract workers and freelancers you see working alongside you?  Is this a shift that has some permanency and if so, is it a good thing or a bad thing?  More importantly, what might it mean to your career and financial planning long term?

 

WHAT’S GOING ON?

Some say it’s all part of America’s gig economy, an outgrowth of nearly a decade ago when jobs were scarce and people became comfortable hopping from one role to the next to survive.  “That was then, this is now,” says John Lame, Lenox CEO, who believes “free agents signal the Uberization of the professional workforce, and that as many as one-third of employees in large companies will eventually participate.” 

 

WHY NOW?

There are a number of theories around the popularity of “free agents” in the corporate world. Here are just a few.

1.     More job openings than people to fill them.

Some employers are scrambling to fill positions and are defaulting to contract, part-time workers and retirees to get the job done.  According to the WSJ, “Jobs Go Unfilled as the Economy Expands”, August 8, 2018... “Job openings are piling up in the transportation, retail and business services sectors as workers become scarce in the fast-growing economy.  According to Labor Department data released yesterday, there were 6.7 million job openings on average in the three months ended in June 2018––the highest quarterly level on record dating back to 2001.”

 

2.     No time to find, interview, vet and hire a full-time employee.

If a business is already slammed with orders and work is piling up, they need to find someone with the skills they need now!  It makes sense they would bring in people on a project basis to get the work done until they can find the full-time worker they seek.

 

3.     Free agents can be less expensive than a full-time employee.

While consultants may command a higher fee per hour, they are available without the overhead, benefits, healthcare costs, etc. of a full-time employee, making them a financially-sound choice for project-based assignments

 

4.     Your company is undergoing change and hiring full-timers is too big of a commitment. 

In most cases, free agents are a short-term hire making them easier to get rid of than full-time workers.  Their higher cost per hour is balanced by a company’s ability to let them go on short notice without a severance or hard feelings.  The temporary relationship is understood by all parties.

 

5.     Free agents can add a fresh perspective and broader insights.   

It can be a good thing to get some new thinking and a different set of eyes on one’s business. Free agents have the benefit of exposure to a variety of companies and best practices.  It might be interesting to see what they bring to the table.

 

HOW DO YOU SEE IT?

Where do you stand on the matter of free agents in the corporate world?  Do you see yourself a forever full-time corporate employee, or are there aspects of being a free agent that might well suit your skill sets, your personality, your family and financial life, your income aspirations and your ability to build personal wealth?  Are you willing to rethink how your career might shake out over a lifetime doing what you love but as a free agent?  Change is rarely easy, but the idea of being a free agent can prove to be both personally and financially rewarding.

 

“Too often we get lulled to sleep and believe we have to have one employer, never recognizing    when we can make more money, have more flexibility on time, do more interesting and unique work, and increase our personal growth rate by choosing to be a ‘free agent’,” notes John Lame.

 

Want to know more on this subject, call or email us at info@lenoxwealth.com.  We’d love to help you look at your specific opportunities.

 

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

It's okay to talk about money with your kids.

It's okay to talk about money with your kids.

It’s okay to talk about money with your kids.

The lifelong impact of dinner table dialogue.

Even when they don’t act like it, your kids are listening to and hearing what you have to say about money –– everything from chatter over household expenses and bills to pay, to telling a store clerk that a certain item is beyond your budget, to your fretting over a pending tuition payment. 

 

You might remember hearing your own parents talk about the family budget, or saving for a vacation, or how much they could spend on a new car, new furniture, new clothes, school supplies, and why you “didn’t need that” whatever “that” might be. 

 

The dinner table was a traditional forum for such discussions.  Who doesn’t remember hearing a parent say, “when I was your age, we had to work all summer for our fun money... we waited until our birthday or Christmas for new toys... we wore our older siblings’ hand-me-down clothes...” and on and on. 

 

The fact that so many of us can recall these money talks, often in great detail, means they made an impact.  It was a great teaching opportunity for parents and learning opportunity for kids.  These opportunities still hold true today.  Talking about money with your kids is still time well spent.

 

Here are some tips for engaging your kids or grandkids in talking about money and building the next generation of dinner table dialogue and memories.

 

MAKE IT RELEVANT

Whether the kids are begging for a jungle gym for the yard, a day at an amusement park, or a ski weekend, include them in the conversation about how to prioritize their wants versus the family’s needs. Discuss with them the costs of their wants, and the sacrifices that may be needed to purchase what they feel is important.  Today’s tech-savvy kids can go online to research and compare the cost of items, experiences and trips.  Older kids can create a spreadsheet and provide a cost-comparison report for the family to review.  

 

MAKE IT FUN

Want to talk to your kids about saving, spending, donating to charity, creating a budget and don’t know where to start?  There are books galore to help you.  With a quick visit to amazon.com, we found a bevy of titles for kids of all ages, toddlers to teens, with fun illustrations, puzzles and money-oriented games for the whole family. If you prefer online teaching, check out sites such as www.parents.com or www.daveramsey.com for kid-focused lessons about money. Whether a book or website, make the learning experience a family affair to give it more meaning and impact. 

 

MAKE IT REWARDING

Getting kids to understand that money needs to be earned before it can be spent, and that earning requires doing some type of work in exchange for the money can be one of the tougher lessons to teach.  Some families have great luck in making a list of weekly chores for each child and assigning an amount of money for the completion of each task –– all of which adds up to a performance-based allowance, if you will. 

 

The goal is to include children of all ages, assign age-appropriate tasks, and check off a job well done.  For example, even a two or three-year-old can take their non-breakable drinking cup and plate from the table to the sink, put their shoes in the closet and dirty clothes in a hamper.  Older kids can take out the trash, make their bed, load the dishwasher, help with yardwork, etc.  In exchange for performing their chores, they receive the total amount of money they’ve earned for the week.  (NOTE:  Chores not completed are not compensated.  Stick to your guns on this one.)

 

MAKE IT ASPIRATIONAL

One family we’ve met has a bucket list generated by their sons, ages four and six.  Never too young to dream.  What’s on the boys’ bucket list?  A trip to Disney World.  A trip to the National Air & Space Museum.  A big house with a swimming pool.  A trip to the moon.  And helping the less fortunate families in their city.  Nothing wrong with those aspirations.

 

Have favorite tips or resources of your own for teaching kids about money?  We’d love to hear them. Want to know more about family budgeting, generational wealth building, and personal financial planning, give us a call at 513-618-7080.  We’d love to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE® today and for generations to come.

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Will you have enough money to retire?

Will you have enough money to retire?

Our 5-step guide will help you determine “your enough”.

What’s “enough”?  You can’t know if you’ll have enough money to retire until you define your enough –– the amount of money you personally will need annually to live the way you hope to in retirement.

Long-held thinking has been 70%-80% of your final, pre-retirement annual gross salary would be a reasonable amount to qualify as “enough”.  The problem with this thinking is that it’s not necessarily panning out for today’s retirees, especially considering the number of retirees who are active, involved and who may have a retirement that lasts 20 to 25 years or longer.  Conventional wisdom is that people tend to slow down in retirement and as a result don’t spend or need as much money as during their working years.  Today’s retirees don’t necessarily fit that profile. Many are busier than ever. They’re traveling, shopping, dining out, renovating their home, taking up hobbies, going to concerts and events, working out, visiting family and friends, taking classes –– all things that cost money.

The point is this: there’s no one formula (percentage) that works for all retirees.  Believing that “your enough” is like everyone else’s is a mistake that may lead to a lot of disappointment in your later years.   

A better approach to determining “your enough” is to take out a pencil and paper and start now wherever you are on your road to retirement to assign real costs to the things you imagine wanting to do, buy, own, see, experience and enjoy in your non-working years.  Planning your retirement around well-considered personal projections beats relying on a arguably dated percentage.

At Lenox, we advise you follow a simple, 5-step guide to help determine how much money will be “enough” for you personally to retire in the manner you desire.  It’s based on a number of variables and financial projections pertinent to you individually.

GET STARTED HERE (A Brief Look at Our Guide)

Make five lists, following the steps below.  Be as complete as possible in making your lists.  Next, assign honest numbers to each item on your lists, projecting out as best you can into your retirement years.

Step One –– The Expected

List all of your basic expenses that will continue into retirement:  mortgage or rent, utilities, insurances, auto, groceries, medications, etc.  Assign costs to each.

Step Two –– The Unexpected

You’ll still need an emergency fund in retirement.  Think unexpected healthcare costs, accidents, home repairs, increases in insurances or fees, replacing major appliances, etc. when making this list.

Step Three –– The Family

Retirement means finally being able to dote on and spend more time with family.  Whether that translates to gifts, trips or both, you’ll want to plug in a number to cover these costs.

Step Four –– The Change of Habits

Having more free time can be both wonderful and expensive. In a nutshell, habits change in retirement that can cost more money than you might imagine.  Eating out more often than usual is one example.  Same for playing more golf, shopping more frequently, spending more on personal grooming, etc.  Retirement is the perfect time to enjoy one’s life, but remember there’s always an associated cost.

Step Five –– The “I’ve Always Wanted to...”

Call this your bucket list or dream list.  What are the things you’ve always wanted to do?  Travel the world?  Visit every state?  Traverse America’s back roads?  See museums and monuments?  Take cooking classes in Italy?  Create the media center of your dreams?  Take your grandkids to major league sporting events?  Build your dream home?  Collect art?  This list can be anything or everything.  List your top five priorities and estimated costs, then your next five and so on.

TIME TO TOTAL UP YOUR ESTIMATED RETIREMENT COST OF LIVING

If your total falls into the 70%-80% range of your final, annual gross salary, good for you.  However, don’t be surprised if your total doesn’t actually surpass your final salary. Not to worry.  The trick to having “enough” money to retire is to start now to get a clearer picture of how much money you will need to live the life you imagine in retirement.  Write it down.  Plan for it.  Make it happen.  We’d love to tell you more and work with you one-on-one to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE® all lifelong.  Let’s talk.

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or contact us here to Fund a Life You Love.

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

The Other Talk

The Other Talk

The Other Talk

Talking to your adult children about the rest of your life.

 

Our seminar will guide you through this important discussion.

 

Make plans now to join us at Lenox on September 27 at Noon for a free and highly important seminar on how to talk to your adult children about the rest of your life. 

 

Our seminar is based on the poignant and award-winning book, “The Other Talk:  A Guide to Talking with Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life” by Tim Prosch.  We present it as part of our Embrace program at Lenox which is focused on providing our senior clients with real-world, relevant information to live their life fully, and with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that essential matters are being addressed thoughtfully and in keeping with personal desires.

 

Topics will include:  Why Have the Other Talk?... Getting Ready for the Other Talk... and Turning the Other Talk into an Action Plan.  Specific discussion will cover everything from getting important documents in order, to selecting the best living arrangements, getting the medical care you may need, financing your uncertain future, and more.

 

The mood will be upbeat but pragmatic as we share real-world scenarios of how families can turn this potentially touchy topic into a successful, productive and even heartwarming family discussion. 

 

Attendees will leave the seminar with actionable steps as well as online and other resources to help them move forward with taking charge of the later stages of life.

 

Our goals are to equip families with a template from which to discuss, explore, and think about end-of-life issues, empower adult kids to make the tough decisions if and when their parents can’t, and set an example for the adult kids to share with their own kids someday.

 

Call us at 513-618-7080 to reserve your seat(s) for the complimentary seminar on September 27 from Noon- 1 pm.   Family members are also welcome. This information-rich seminar conducted by Anne Burney, Vice-President/ CSA® will be the go-to event for preparing all generations to have “The Other Talk”.  Registration at 11:30 am. Lunch will be provided.

 

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Education and Career Planning

Education and Career Planning

Education and Career Planning

When the rules no longer apply.

 

“Whatever you do, you need to get your college degree.”

“Get your masters while you’re young; you may not have a chance to go back for it later.”

“A degree from XYZ University will mean an exponential increase in income for a lifetime.”

 

This kind of thinking has been the mantra for many a family for decades.  The better the education, the better the career, the better one’s lifetime earning capacity.  No longer is it necessarily a formula for success.

 

Three dramatic shifts in today’s workplace are making an impact on the traditional approach to higher education and career planning. The old rules may no longer apply.  Let’s take a look.

 

First, America’s burgeoning economy has created a hiring environment where there are more jobs available today than people to fill them.  In the post-recession years circa 2009, companies were imposing ever stricter standards for hiring as a means to whittle down the stacks and stacks of resumes they received.  Back then, companies had the pick of talent.  Today, many of those same companies are reducing qualifications for hiring –– requiring only a high school or 2-year college degree, eliminating drug tests, hiring self-trained versus formally-trained workers, etc. –– in order to have a larger group of candidates from which to draw. Some companies also are loosening standards for promotions, filling management positions from within and, in turn, making room for easier-to-find entry-level workers.

 

Second, many of the highest-paying jobs available today require skills typically not part of a four-year bachelor’s arts and sciences degree.  Instead, they are positions demanding specific technological, mechanical or other skill sets.  To fill these slots, some companies have initiated or expanded their on-the-job training programs in order to ensure they have the precise talent they need.  It’s a win for employees who can learn lifelong skills on the employer’s dime while also earning a paycheck.

 

Thirdly is the growth of what’s known as the “gig” economy.  An increasing number of people are working on a contract or freelance basis, choosing their freedom in terms of time and client base over making a commitment to any one company.  Others are working from home, finding clients on a global scale thanks to online sites where they can share their talents and be compensated as a sole proprietor.

 

With this new reality, some parents and young people are left wondering if a college degree is all that it’s cracked up to be or if it’s necessary at all. It also raises the question, is the average cost of a college education, currently estimated at $9,970 per year for a public university in-state student, $25,620 for out-of-state students attending public universities, and $34,740 per year for private colleges, a smart investment? * 

 

If you have kids who are in college or nearing college age and are pondering their future path, a question we at Lenox strongly suggest you ask is, “What are your kids already really good at... what do they love to do... what are their natural strengths and talents?”

 

If the answer is they love academics, studying and research, that’s one thing.  College feels right for them.  However, if you say they can take a car apart and put it back together, or they’ve been doing basic computer programming since they were five years old, or they are more creative and amazing in the kitchen than chefs twice their age, you might have a blockbuster kid whose talents won’t necessarily be nourished via a traditional college education track.  It’s not that they shouldn’t experience a college education; it’s more that it might not result in the income, happiness or fulfillment they imagine.

 

Education and career planning are big decisions for families.  Our Lenox professionals are here to help you look at things from a number of perspectives –– financial planning for college, non-traditional options for skills training, career coaching, and the value of achieving both personal wealth and personal happiness.  It’s part of how we help generation after generation to FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE®.  Give us a call.  We’d love to tell you more.

 

* College Board, average cost of tuition and fees for 2017-2018 school year

 

 

 

At Lenox, we work with clients to help guide them through every aspect of their financial life –– translating personal strengths to financial strength, setting financial priorities, optimizing income, eliminating debt, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  We start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Adult Kids and Aging Parents: When Roles Reverse

Adult Kids and Aging Parents: When Roles Reverse

Adult Kids and Aging Parents: When Roles Reverse

The seminar that will move you to tackle this touchy topic.

 

Recently, we overheard a man tell his high-school-age son, “The people who love you most want you to be ready and prepared for the rest of your life.” The advice couldn’t have been better.  It was concise, loving and on point.  The man may be delivering that same advice again, but next time when speaking to his parents, versus his teenager. 

 

From our experience, most aging parents declare they don’t want to become a burden on their adult kids, chances are they will.  Getting older equates to needing help in one way or another. One way to minimize the chances of one generation being a burden on the other is for families –- the aging parents and their adult kids –- to work together to plan ahead. 

 

While that sounds good, all too many families deal with the challenges that come in later life is through procrastination and inertia. Adult kids don’t want to usurp their parents’ autonomy any more than the parents want to give it up.  The result is that nothing gets discussed or decided until it becomes urgent to do so. This approach, though entirely understandable, can be devastating to a family financially, psychologically, logistically, and emotionally.

 

It was quite unnerving to see how quickly the winds of our parent care crisis morphed into a full-blown tornado, sucking in family members and family resources with relative ease.
— “The Other Talk”, Tim Prosch

 

What needs to happen is a planned and anticipated role reversal in which adult kids gradually take over some or all of the decision making, financial affairs, and day-to-day responsibilities of their parents.  All of this requires thought and discussion.  Ideally, decisions as to who does what, who gets what, what goes where, and the timing around all of it are discussed while everyone is mentally coherent and physically able to participate in the discussion. 

 

Planning ahead also allows aging parents to weigh in on where one or both want to live if failing health forbids staying in their home, how they wish financial assets and/or debts to be handled, what to do if they outlive their savings, their desired funeral arrangements, and on and on.  It’s not only unfair to leave these decisions to the adult kids; it also can be overwhelming.  Without the wishes of parents known, families can be torn apart by adult kids having all of this on their plate.  Worse yet is the potential squabbling and family relationships ruined over the distribution of money and possessions.

 

Making the gradual role reversal easier is entirely doable.  All it takes is families having the right attitude, going about the decision making ahead of time, and following a clear step-by-step strategy to take charge of things in the later years of life.

 

At Lenox, we work closely with families who are facing these kinds of situations.  Our special program called “Embrace” helps guide our senior clients and their adult kids through the process of thinking about, establishing and facilitating an end-of-life plan that is in everyone’s best interest. 

 

Our goal is to equip families with a template from which to discuss, explore, and think about end-of-life issues, empower adult kids to make the tough decisions if and when their parents can’t, and set an example for the adult kids to share with their own kids someday.

 

Want to learn more about Embrace and how you can take charge of your later life? Mark your calendar for The Other Talk to be held on Thursday, September 27 at the Kenwood Towers, 8044 Montgomery Road, 45236. This information-rich seminar conducted by Anne Burney, Lenox Senior Vice-President, CSA  (Certified Senior Advisor) will be the go-to event for finding out how to tackle the touchy topic of role reversal with clarity and the right tone to support every member of your family. A complimentary lunch will be provided.

 

 

Take steps now to show the people you love most how to be ready and prepared for the rest of your life.

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  We start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Schedule a 15-minute call to see how we can help you. Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Back-to-School Finances for Your Kids

Back-to-School Finances for Your Kids

As the school year begins so do the tuition bills, costs of room and board, fees, dues, and endless other expenses. Read the 7 realities of back-to-school finances all parents and students should understand.

What I'd Tell My 25-Year-Old Self About Money

What I'd Tell My 25-Year-Old Self About Money

What I’d Tell My 25-Year-Old Self About Money

The answers might surprise you.

 

When we’re young, we don’t want to hear it.  When we’re older, we can’t wait to give it.  Advice, that is.  Speaking of which, one of our favorite questions to ask friends, clients and our own team of Lenox financial advisors is, “what would you tell your 25-year-old self about money.”  Below are recent responses.  Some you might expect.  Some might surprise you.

 

I would tell my younger self...

 

“Start saving earlier.  I wish someone had told me to do so.  Nobody really talked about it.  And, we didn’t have SEPS, IRAs or 401(k) plans when I was 25.”

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, if you don’t know about the compounding of money (aka the time/value of money) learn about it and put it to your advantage sooner rather than later. Starting in your late 20s to routinely stick away even a small percentage of your monthly income will amount to a significant amount of money when you’re ready to retire.

 

“Don’t rely on the government to fund your retirement.”

For years, the federal government has warned that the Social Security trust fund will run out of money by year 2034 or thereabouts, meaning that annual benefits will not be available to future generations or not in the amounts people are expecting to receive.  Workers currently ages 37 to 55, might have the most to lose while lawmakers try to figure out how to handle the insolvency of the Social Security program.  Today’s millennials will face the same uncertainty unless policy changes are put into effect that will improve the picture by the time they plan to retire.  To be safe, do not count on Social Security when planning for retirement.

 

“Maximize your 401(k) contributions.”

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, enroll in it! Many employers offer matches if you contribute to it – this is FREE MONEY, take it.  When you consider the power of free money and compounding returns at age 25, it will cost you substantially less to save now for retirement, vs if you wait until you’re older. 

 

“Make sure you are financially self-sufficient at every age, separate from your spouse.”

One thing you realize as you get older is that life can change in a matter of seconds.  Illness, an accident, divorce, loss of your job, a family hardship –– any or all of these events can alter life in ways we never imagine when we’re young, healthy, and things are going well.  However, when life gets turned upside down for whatever the reason, it is all the more important to understand your personal finances, know where important documents are located, have a relationship with a trusted financial advisor you can call for guidance and, above all else, be prepared to take financial charge of your future.

 

“Make yourself a priority.  Don’t wait until you’re old to enjoy life or to do things for yourself.”

This person followed with, “On the other hand, don’t be stupid either... don’t blow your income or waste money.”  It gets back to your finances –– like life –– being a constant balance between being responsible and enjoying the moment at hand... having fun without having regrets... being both pragmatic and playful.  While no one guarantees us tomorrow, we also may live to be 100.  Best we plan for both scenarios.

 

“Don’t spend your life trying to keep up with anyone else.”

It can be mighty tempting in our 20s to crave our friend’s awesome car, or to spend our last dollar traveling the world like our co-worker, or to buy more house than we need or can afford because the neighborhood we covet is the place to be.  Warning!  A habit of trying to “keep up with the Jones” can be financially devastating.  Envy is not only unattractive; it can be expensive.  Better to be yourself, live life by your own rules, and within your means.

 

“Take care of your health.  Money doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have good health.”

Make decisions in your 20s that will help to ensure your healthiest life for decades to come.  No one is suggesting you need to be perfect, but a healthy lifestyle –– not smoking, moderate drinking, regular exercise, a healthy diet, a curious mind, strong values, time with family and friends –– will pay off time and again in your personal life, career advancement and financial life.

 

“Don’t worry so much about money.”

We heard this idea expressed in a number of ways.  “No need to obsess and fret constantly –– everything will work out okay.”  “Life is going to unfold as it will. As long as you’re doing your best, you’re doing all you can.”  “You don’t need to get everything you want right away; you have your whole life to save up for things.” 

 

Have some advice you’d tell your 25-year-old self?  We’d love to hear what you have to say.  Send us your thoughts at info@lenoxwealth.com and we’ll post them in a future blog. 

 

 

At Lenox, we enjoy and work closely with Millennials, single or married, to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

You. Your Spouse. Your Budget.

You. Your Spouse. Your Budget.

You. Your Spouse. Your Budget.

7 strategies for marital and financial bliss

 

Anyone married for any length of time has likely noticed that marital bliss doesn’t always equal financial bliss.  Experts will tell you that money –– what to spend it on and how much –– is a top source of contention for married couples, especially newlyweds. 

What happens after the walk down the aisle?  In a nutshell, sharing, not only of income and other monies, but also your philosophical view when it comes to budgeting, saving and spending.

Simply put, the financial priorities and money habits you had as singles may have been quite different of one another.  It wasn’t a big deal when you were managing your own money, but now that you’re married and planning your financial future as a couple, getting on the same page in terms of saving, spending and budgeting can get a bit dicey at times.

 

Here are 7 strategies for more blissful budgeting and a happier financial marriage.

 

1.    Together, you and your spouse make one list of your monthly financial obligations.

These are the expenses you have to pay every month, such as your mortgage/rent payment, food, utilities, condo or other fees, car payments, insurance, taxes, healthcare, emergency monies, and savings.  Write them down to the exact dollar amount or as close to it as possible.  These take priority. Budget for these first and what’s left can be used toward #2 and #3 below.

 

2.    Make a shared financial priority list.

Here’s where you write down all of the things you’d like to have as a couple, both in the near and long term.  Included here might be your first or a larger home, new furniture, starting a family and associated costs (baby gear to college savings and everything in between), a dream trip, a second car, home improvements, etc.  To make these things become a reality, you’ll want to set aside at least some money each month and not touch it for anything non-essential.

 

3.    Individually, you and your spouse make separate lists of your personal wants.

Your lists might include anything from clothing and shoes, to artwork, hobbies, dining out, tickets to concerts or sporting events, travel, gifts, etc.  After covering your monthly financial obligations, consider putting aside a set amount of money for each of you to spend in any way you desire for items on your own lists.  Think of it as an adult allowance.  No questions asked.

 

4.    Outsmart your own budget.

If you’re not already a savvy shopper, become one.  It can be fun.  If you’ve always bought the name or luxury brand, consider trying the less costly version.  This applies to everything from wine to groceries, T-shirts to socks, bedding to towels, makeup to shoes, cleaning products to lawn gear, etc.  Most people are surprised at what they can save without sacrificing quality.  The old saying is true, “a penny saved is a penny earned”.

 

5.    Play the “what if” game.

Some young couples can get very creative when it comes to trimming costs and stretching their budget.  It usually involves a simple change of habit.  One couple we know plays the “what if” game.  For example, “what if instead of eating out the next month or two, we eat at home and not only save money but also make it fun by each of us taking turns preparing a new dish.”  Another example, “what if instead of buying any new, non-essential clothing items for the next three months, we shop our closets and push our fashion sense with what we already own.” (This latter example also led to a great closet purge and the sharing of items with people in need.)

 

6.    Be a bit crazy now and then.

Without blowing your budget, allow yourselves to spend money now and then on something you don’t need but would love to have.  A little “retail therapy” can go a long way, especially in celebration of a birthday, anniversary, special achievement, new job, etc.

 

7.    Ask us about our Lenox MONEY MIND™ Analyzer

All of us have a Money Mind®.   It’s determined by how we think and feel about money which, in turn, affects every financial decision we make in both our personal and work life.  There’s no getting around these inherent feelings we hold inside.  Instead, it’s critical that we understand and acknowledge them.  Doing so couldn’t be easier or more engaging thanks to our unique Money Mind® Analyzer tool.  In just minutes, you’ll gain insights you and your spouse can use for a lifetime.

Bottom line, the most important benefits of budgeting are learning what matters to each of you when it comes to money, and being aware of where your money is going each month.  This understanding alone can help you and your spouse to avoid making impulse purchases and have a happier financial marriage.

 

At Lenox, we work closely with people of all ages to help guide you in every aspect of your financial life –– from wealth creation, wealth building and wealth management, to budgeting and money management, career planning and coaching, funds for education, retirement planning, working through financial hurdles, and more.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Protection | Which of 3 Money Minds Are You?

Protection | Which of 3 Money Minds Are You?

Which of 3 Money Minds® are YOU?

Meet Carol.  She’s a PROTECTION Money Mind.

 

If you haven’t already done so, click here for our MONEY MIND® Analyzer –- the quick online exercise that helps you take control of your financial future.

 

All of us have a Money Mind®.   It’s determined by how we think and feel about money which, in turn, affects every financial decision we make in both our personal and work life.  There’s no getting around these inherent feelings we hold inside.  Instead, it’s critical that we understand and acknowledge them.  Doing so couldn’t be easier or more engaging thanks to our unique Money Mind® Analyzer tool.  In just minutes, you’ll gain insights you can use for a lifetime. 

 

Simply answer a few quick questions, and our Money Mind® Analyzer tells you what your primary influence in life is and, thus, your dominant Money Mind –– commitment, protection, or happiness.

 

Carol took the Money Mind® Analyzer and found out she’s a “Protection” Money Mind.

Here’s the report Carol received.  Check it out. Think of all the ways she can use this information to make financial decisions, to understand her priorities about spending, saving and risk taking, and to better align her financial attitudes with her spouse, family members, and business associates. 

 

 

It’s your turn. Take the Money Mind® Analyzer, and see what you’ll learn about you.

 

The innovative Money Mind® Analyzer is one of many powerful tools that we are excited to bring you as part of our Financial Life (FinLife) experience.  Don’t miss this no-cost opportunity to gain valuable information you will reference again and again.

 

At Lenox, we work closely with people of all ages to help guide you in every aspect of your financial life –– from understanding your attitudes about money, to wealth creation, wealth building, wealth management, career planning and coaching, funds for education, retirement planning, working through financial hurdles, and more.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Happiness | Which of 3 Money Minds® are YOU?

Happiness | Which of 3 Money Minds® are YOU?

Happiness | Which of 3 Money Minds® are YOU?

Meet Jack.  He’s a HAPPINESS Money Mind.

 

If you haven’t already done so, click here for our MONEY MIND® Analyzer –- the quick online exercise that helps you take control of your financial future.

 

All of us have a Money Mind®.   It’s determined by how we think and feel about money which, in turn, affects every financial decision we make in both our personal and work life.  There’s no getting around these inherent feelings we hold inside.  Instead, it’s critical that we understand and acknowledge them.  Doing so couldn’t be easier or more engaging thanks to our unique Money Mind® Analyzer tool.  In just minutes, you’ll gain insights you can use for a lifetime. 

 

Simply answer a few quick questions, and our Money Mind® Analyzer tells you what your primary influence in life is and, thus, your dominant Money Mind –– commitment, protection, or happiness.

 

Jack took the Money Mind® Analyzer and found out he’s a “Happiness” Money Mind.

Here’s the report Jack received.  Check it out. Think of all the ways he can use this information to make financial decisions, to understand his priorities about spending, saving and risk taking, and to better align his financial attitudes with his spouse, family members, and business associates. 

 

It’s your turn.  Take the Money Mind® Analyzer, and see what you’ll learn about you.

 

The innovative Money Mind® Analyzer is one of many powerful tools that we are excited to bring you as part of our Financial Life (FinLife) experience.  Don’t miss this no-cost opportunity to gain valuable information you will reference again and again.

 

At Lenox, we work closely with people of all ages to help guide you in every aspect of your financial life –– from understanding your attitudes about money, to wealth creation, wealth building, wealth management, career planning and coaching, funds for education, retirement planning, working through financial hurdles, and more.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Commitment | Which of 3 Money Minds® are YOU?

Commitment | Which of 3 Money Minds® are YOU?

Commitment | Which of 3 Money Minds® are YOU?

Meet Ted.  He’s a COMMITMENT Money Mind.

 

If you haven’t already done so, click here for our MONEY MIND® Analyzer –- the quick online exercise that helps you take control of your financial future.

All of us have a Money Mind®.   It’s determined by how we think and feel about money which, in turn, affects every financial decision we make in both our personal and work life.  There’s no getting around or ignoring these inherent and dominant feelings we hold inside.  Instead, it’s critical that we understand and acknowledge them.  Doing so couldn’t be easier or more engaging thanks to our unique Money Mind® Analyzer tool.  In just minutes, you’ll gain insights you can use for a lifetime. 

Simply answer a series of quick questions, and our Money Mind® Analyzer tells you what your primary influence in life is and, thus, your dominant Money Mind–– commitment, protection, or happiness –- followed by the other two options being your secondary influences.

Ted took the Money Mind® Analyzer and found out he’s a “Commitment” Money Mind.

Here’s the report Ted received.  Check it out. Think of all the ways he can use this information to make financial decisions, to understand his priorities about spending, saving and risk taking, and to better align his financial attitudes with his spouse, family members, and business associates.

It’s your turn.  Take the Money Mind® Analyzer, and see what you’ll learn about you.

 

The innovative Money Mind® Analyzer is one of many powerful tools that we are excited to bring you as part of our Financial Life (Fin Life) experience.  Don’t miss this no-cost opportunity to gain valuable information you will reference again and again.

 

Coming soon.

 

Watch for upcoming blog posts where we’ll feature a report showing what it means if you are a Protection Money Mind® or Happiness Money Mind®.

At Lenox, we work closely with people of all ages to help guide you in every aspect of your financial life –– from understanding your attitudes about money, to wealth creation, wealth building, wealth management, career planning and coaching, funds for education, retirement planning, working through financial hurdles, and more.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Personal values and the decisions you make

Personal values and the decisions you make

It’s time to get your personal values, goals and money priorities out on the table... literally.  Our Honest Conversations® exercise helps you prioritize money goals, make important tradeoffs, and get to money-related decisions that everyone can live with at home or at work. 

Life is Learning

Life is Learning

At the rate in which the world keeps changing... technology keeps expanding... and innovation keeps surprising, it takes a concerted effort to keep up with things. Discover why ‘Life is Learning’ and how you can take simple steps to keep up.

FINANCIAL LIFE GUIDANCE - TOOLS TO USE STARTING NOW

FINANCIAL LIFE GUIDANCE - TOOLS TO USE STARTING NOW

FINANCIAL LIFE GUIDANCE – TOOLS TO USE STARTING NOW

Ready to take next steps to meet your Wealth Creation, Wealth Management and Wealth Impact goals?  Let’s get busy.

At Lenox, we are proud to team up with United Capital and bring you their leading-edge tools you can access online to put your financial plan in motion. 

The process is easy, eye opening and exciting.  Discover your personal attitudes towards money.  Identify the values and goals that determine your financial choices.  Understand trade-offs in making investment decisions. Explore questions such as, “What do you want your life to be like?” and “Do you have the resources to live the life you want?”

Our platform offers tools such Money Mind®, Honest Conversation®, Investment Viewfinder, Guidecenter, a Priority Action List, and the Financial Control Scorecard®.

Over the next few weeks, we will highlight each of the elements on our platform to help you understand how Lenox can help you Fund a Life You Love®.

Stay Tuned!

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review or a quick 15-minute to see if we can help.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love®.

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.

Have you heard of Cog's Ladder?

Have you heard of Cog's Ladder?

Have you heard of Cog’s Ladder?

This tool for team development has been used in business for almost 50 years!

 

Every company struggles with team development at one time or another.  Perhaps that explains why there are hundreds upon hundreds of books and courses written on the topic.  Working your way through the maze of processes, models, systems and approaches offered can be as challenging as their facilitation. 

Some companies devote an entire department to team development.  If you’re a small business, you may not have that luxury, so let us introduce you to a team development model that we’ve used successfully at Lenox with many of our growth-oriented business clients.  It’s called Cog’s Ladder.  First developed by a Procter and Gamble manager, George Charrier, in 1972, this model simplifies team development to a five-phase process based on his observation of how groups interacted, from their initial meeting to becoming an aligned and high-performing team.

 

Here is a quick snapshot of the 5 Phases of Team Development according to Cog’s Ladder.  For more details, give us a call at 513.618.7080.

 

Phase #1:  The Polite Phase

Think of this phase as walking into a party and not knowing anyone.  You’re scoping out things, not yet sharing much about yourself while, at the same time, trying to figure out the people around you and where you fit into the group.  The focus at this stage is on people as individuals.

 

Phase #2:  The “Why are we here?” Phase

You’ve met the people in the room, now it’s time to learn why you’ve been called together.  The “host” (moderator) gives you the lay of the land, conveys your team’s purpose, and delegates responsibilities.  As things become clearer, communication increases and conversation is easier, more open and more natural.  The focus at this stage is on the formation of the team.

 

Phase #3:  The Power Phase

The team is beginning to form its own natural hierarchy as the variety of personalities blend and find their comfort zone.  Get ready for the “alpha” personalities –- the most confident and competitive individuals –- to come to the fore.  These more vocal team members will speak up as to how they see things should be done, while more reserved individuals will decide with whom they agree.  The focus at this stage is on the moderator letting this natural shake-out of the team to occur.

 

Phase #4:  The Cooperation Phase

With team members knowing their role, the group can start to work toward its purpose.  Ideally, everyone is contributing and feeling fulfilled in their respective role.  As progress is made, momentum and camaraderie build.  The focus at this stage is on continuing to nurture all team members and the importance of what each of them brings to the table for the team’s shared success.

 

Phase #5:  The Esprit de Corps Phase

By now the team is working smoothly with productivity and efficiency at a peak.  Team members are content and appreciated; their skills and energy applied toward the team’s purpose.  The focus at this stage is to keep this high point of performance going as long as possible in order to attain all goals.

 

 

 

At Lenox, we work closely with business owners, executives and leaders to help guide coach you through the challenges of business from a financial and business growth perspective. You can trust that we’ve experienced many of your same concerns and, as such, are happy to share what we’ve learned as to what works and what doesn’t. It’s one more way we help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

 

This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.