Mortgage or No Mortgage: Why Your Personal Financial Plan Is Crucial

Whether or not to pay off your mortgage is a very individual decision that is based on a number of factors. My sister and I were having a conversation not too long ago about mortgages as she and her spouse were refinancing their home in Northern California. I was throwing ideas out to her about keeping the original first mortgage they had in place and blasting away the second using a debt elimination tool like Shred My Mortgage. The first mortgage had a healthy balance but a relatively low interest rate and the second mortgage was hovering around $40,000 with a higher than market rate. I was trying to convince her that by creating income efficiency through leveraging a Home Equity Line Of Credit as a checkbook, she could knock out the 40k in a matter of a few months and be left with just the first lien (which could be paid back in about 7-10 years using this system). Then she asked me, “what if I don’t ever want to pay off my house?” That question got me thinking about their unique situation versus my unique situation. And to that extent everyone’s unique situation. My situation I’m a serial entrepreneur having not held a “real job” (as my in-laws have described it) for over 12 years. There is no pension plan waiting for me, no guaranteed health benefits down the road from a past employer, no 401k match (that’s not provided by yours truly), no paid time-off. So naturally, …

Should You Do Allowance With Your Kids? Here’s What We Do…

To pay or not to pay, that is the question. On the heels of my TEDx London Business School talk now on YT, I’ve been getting lots of questions about how we do allowance in our family. And truthfully, the answer would’ve been, not well… up to just a couple years ago, but in preparation for my talk I dove headlong into allowance programs that work with kids, how much to pay, what to pay for, if chores are tied to pay, etc. But before I dive into the mechanics of how and what we pay our kids, let me first cover why I think this concept is so important and worthy of a listen. At a money smart week event where I was presenting a father in the audience asked what to do about his 20 year old daughters who texted him every time their checking accounts were out of money. He said the texts would come in every week to 10 days, but that they had been given enough money to last for a couple weeks or more.  When I asked him what he does when they text he said, “well I put money in their account” — which prompted my question — why do you do that?  He said, “well I don’t want my girls to struggle.”  At which point I asked everyone around the room, “did you struggle when you were 20?” “did you struggle when you were 20?” And everyone around the room nodded in agreement. …