The (almost) invisible threat to your finances, and the life it is suppose to fund

Written by   in 

The coffee can full of $100 bills buried in the back yard is the safest investment available, right? Not really. The assumption is that the number of dollars contained in the can will not rise, or more importantly, fall. Right? Kind of. The number of bills is fixed, but the price of what they will purchase is going up everyday. Those pieces of paper are not intrinsically very valuable. 

Whether it is tennis shoes and cheerios, golf clubs and sails or cruises and plane tickets, they are all subject to inflation. Inflation has averaged a bit more than 3% annually in the long run. Just 3%. No big deal. Those cheerios that costs $2.99 today will cost about a third more ten years from today ($3.89). In 20 years, twice as much, ($5.98) and in 40 years, the price will have quadrupled to $11.96!

Viewed another way, that coffee can lost 3% of its value each and every year. A CD earning 2% only lost 1%. Not as safe as it might seem. 

To be sure, assets which are intended to fund expenses which may well occur in the relative nearer future need to stay in a more liquid, stable asset form, where the impact of inflation is less pronounced because of the shorter time period.

What’s Your Number

Written by   in 

These days, “what’s your number” isn’t just a pick-up line as it is a question that keeps you up at night.

How much should I save to pay for my kid’s college?  When can I retire?  What if I retire today?  What if I quit/get laid off today?  Am I spending too much now that I am retired?  What does it cost me when I retire to go on that cruise now in terms of reduced future income?  How much will it affect my monthly income if the markets drops 10 percent? 

Since the answer to that sort of question might generate a number that is uncomfortable, too many of us avoid the question altogether.

But knowledge is power. It puts you back in control.

At Context Financial, we believe it is far better to know the number because it is usually nowhere near as unpleasant as what you imagine it to be. Planning and preparation begin with knowledge and end in a better night’s sleep. 

As these numbers alter with changes in your life – those of your choosing and those that happen to you, it is good to identify them. Often we can help you navigate changes and achieve your dreams and goals at the same time.

Live Your Legacy

Written by   in 

There are many facets to legacy. 

One is the worldly goods you bequeath to some person or some organization. As big as a bucket of bucks, or as small as an old book of poems. 

Another aspect is charitable giving, whether at death or during a lifetime. If properly constructed, charitable giving during life can actually generate more income for the donor during life, more asset to the family, a deduction to the donor, and a gift to the charity at death.  Not to mention recognition and involvement for the donor during their lifetime.

Perhaps the greatest aspect of your legacy is the effect you have had on the lives you have touched. This would include your family and your friends for sure. What about the folks you have worked and played with over all of your years? The gal who bagged your groceries? What about that “not very lovable” neighbor? Every contact in your day affects your legacy in some way, large and small.

The lives you changed for the better, the sort of heirs you leave to carry on, the actions you take today – all will create your legacy. It’s not the balance in your account, the house you live in, the car you drive or your handicap on the golf course. 

Your life,accomplishments and contributions are your legacy. By paying attention to that now, you can experience more joy today.

We are here to help in all the facets of your life — with decades of charitable giving experience and a knack for listening carefully to your goals and wishes.