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, …

5 Beneficial Ways To Use Your Tax Refund

5 Beneficial Ways To Use Your Tax Refund While tax time can be a dreaded time of year, your tax refund can set you up for greater financial success IF you use it to your benefit. Seemingly unlike everyone else, I really enjoy tax season. Working at a financial firm for years, we were consistently busy just before tax day. While our clients were stressing to make the deadline, I had started preparing my taxes January 1. Minus the fact that I am a finance nerd, the excitement of  filing my taxes and deciding what to do with my refund made the process enjoyable. Assuming you’ll be receiving a refund, the big question is what to do with it to gain the greatest benefit? While the majority of people want to spend their tax refund right away, maybe this year you should put a little more thought into how you will use those newfound funds in the best way for your finances. Here are 5 ways to use your refund that pose the greatest benefit to your financial health: 1. Pay off Debt Whether you have credit card debt of $500 or a student loan debt of $42,000, paying off some of this debt can be beneficial to you. Paying off your debt may not seem glamorous, but it could boost your credit score and take away some financial stress. Consider using the amount on the lowest balance you have remaining in an attempt to knock out that debt once and for all, …