Personal Finance

When it comes to growing money, time is your best friend. Unfortunately, the biggest problem most people who are saving for retirement face is that they start too late in life to achieve a comfortable retirement lifestyle. As a result, the cycle of beginning late continues from one generation to the next.  As parents, we can end the pattern and set our kids up for success. But it starts with education and action.

The Power of Compounding Returns

Compounding interest is essentially earning a return on your past returns. Having this process continue year after year is what creates most of the wealth from people who have a lot of money in their retirement accounts.

The Rule of 72 is a method for estimating an investments time to double. In its simplest term, an investment growing at 7.2% will double every ten years. As an example, $100,000 becomes $200,000 in 10 years, $400,000 in twenty years and $800,000 at year 30. This assumes no additional monies invested.

It is through compounding interest and the power of money growing exponentially over time that you can make the greatest impact on the financial future of your children.

An Example

Assumptions:

10-year-old child

Goal:  Retire at age 65 (55 years from today)

Have $48,000 per year retirement income (in today’s dollars) at the time he / she retires

(This means he / she will need $11,887 per month in future dollars to equate to what $4,000 buys us today – based on a 2% annual inflation rate)

Investment averages 7.5% annual return

Needs investment to last until age 100 (35 years) – Balance will be $0 at age 100

To meet this goal, all that you need to commit to is investing $232 per month until the child retires at age 65. By starting young, this achievable goal can be accomplished. You will set your child up for financial success in a way that he / she can easily sustain. This is how legacies begin.

The Hardest Step is the First

A two-inch piece of metal can hold a train back from starting down the tracks. However, once in full motion, a train has the strength to break through a steel wall. Both good and bad habits are generally difficult to start. However, once in full motion, they are hard to quit. Saving is nothing but a habit that needs to be developed. Once mastered, the pain of breaking the habit of saving is greater than the pain of maintaining the discipline.

I encourage you to make room in your budget to help start the habit for your children. Once they are old enough to earn money, encourage them to continue to the habit. It will be much easier for them to continue growing a retirement account than it will be for them to start one.

Even if it’s only $40 per month, it’s much better than nothing at all. Over time, increase the amount contributed. Watching it grow and knowing that you are helping to build a legacy that will out-live you will inspire you to maintain the habit and increase the amount you contribute as time goes on. Once your child makes enough income to continue this goal, pass the responsibility on to him / her. It will be one of the greatest life lessons they will be taught.

What to do Next:

I encourage you to visit our website at citycreekmortgage.com, click on “Tools” and then “Retirement Calculator”. Run a scenario for yourself and then do one for your kids. By playing with longer timelines, you’ll clearly see the benefit of starting early. Then, call your bank or a trusted financial planner to help set up the accounts and get rolling!

Whether you’re looking to get a new mortgage or refinance an existing one, your credit score is one of the biggest financial factors in this world. A high credit score will help you get the best mortgage rate available and qualify for many special programs, while a low score may prohibit you from qualifying for your desired mortgage type.

At City Creek Mortgage, we’re here to help. We have a variety of loan programs for people with varying credit score ranges, and we also offer many tips to our clients for improving their score. One thing we often find helpful? Knowing how the various credit bureaus weight important factors in your score. Here are the five primary areas they inspect.

Payment History (35 percent weight)

Your history of paying off previous credit is the single most important factor in your credit score and how it changes. Things like late payments or past due charges are a big negative here, so try to avoid these at all costs.

Utilization Rate (30 percent weight)

Simply put, your credit utilization rate describes the amount you owe on all your credit accounts compared to your total credit limit. In general, it’s best to never go over 30 percent of your available credit in use – anything below this can start dropping your score.

Length of History (15 percent weight)

Not only is your payment history important, the length of time you’ve had accounts open also plays a role. Your history of payments might be great, but if it’s limited in its scope, banks still have to assume some risk.

Inquiries (10 percent weight)

This refers to any attempts you make to open new credit accounts or make credit inquiries. In some cases, opening too many new accounts in a short period of time will be viewed as a credit red flag meant to artificially inflate your utilization rate.

Types of Credit Used (10 percent weight)

How many accounts do you have open? Are you using options like revolving cards or installment plans? These will factor in as well.

For more on how credit bureaus weight your score, or to learn about any of our mortgage loan options, speak to the pros at City Creek Mortgage today.

You can hardly go out to dinner these days without overhearing someone talk about crypto currencies.
It reminds me of 2007 when 20-year-old waiters at restaurants would brag about how many rental
proper ties they owned. It seemed that everyone was jumping in.
Although I am in no way saying crypto currencies are set to mirror the housing market crash, I know
there are a lot of inexperienced emotional investors in Bitcoin that contribute to making it a risky
investment. For strong investors with the stomach to handle the ups and downs, this could prove to
be a winning play.
There is really no way to accurately predict the longevity of Bitcoin. Many speculate it will be a
currency replacement for struggling economies in the world. With the global reach of Bitcoin, that
may be the case. On the other hand, it could become the target of government regulator s who fear
losing power and cause Bitcoin to lose a large portion of its value.
Overall, I believe Bitcoin investments come with a high level of risk. Someone making such an investment
should be prepared to lose it all. If an investment made reflects 3% of an investors liquid asset, it’s a
fun, high-risk opportunity. However, I don’t suggest mortgaging your home to buy Bitcoin.

Bitcoin-Price-Recovers

Consumer debt among American families was recently
reported to total $12.73 trillion. To put this into
perspective, the US government debt is just shy of $20
trillion. The outrageous amount currently owned by
consumers is higher now than the peak reached in 2008
before the economic collapse. Although consumers are
handling this level of debt better today than they did in
2008, it still represents a tremendous risk to individuals
and our economy as a whole.
Interestingly enough, mortgage debt is now a smaller
percentage of total debt than it was back in 2008. Of
course, this is primarily due to tighter lending restrictions.
This means that Americans are holding more debt in
riskier loans such as credit cards, bank loans and car
loans for example. Much of this debt is subject to
fluctuating interest rates, which is now something we
need to consider as the Fed pushes short term rates
higher.
I believe that consumer debt is usually a habit. Unsecured
debt, such as credit cards, could be a sign of spending
more than the income flowing into the household. To
break this cycle, sometimes more extreme measures
must be deployed. If the goal is to get out of consumer
debt, it could be advantageous to use a mortgage or
home equity loan to help. With values rising to premarket
crash levels, most people have a decent amount
of equity in their homes. However, I strongly caution
against this without a plan to break the cycle that led to
the debt in the first place. Otherwise, the same situation
is likely to occur.

 

WB

Warren Buffett’s famous quote “Be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful,” seems to be applicable to today’s stock market environment. With the US stock market recently setting new all-time highs, confidence in the market has reached a peak not seen since 2005. This strong sentiment may be reaching a point of “irrational exuberance.”

History shows that a contrarian outcome is often the result of an extraordinarily high level of faith that the market will continue to improve. A look back on previous market corrections shows that confidence generally peaks just prior to the downturn. Given the current political, economic and global uncertainty, it seems that circumstances may be ripe for a correction later in 2017.

Any attempt to foresee the direction of a market should be taken with a grain of salt. There are strong arguments to suggest the stock market will continue its climb higher well past 2018. The level of confidence however, is a concern.

I recently lost my last living grandparent. My Grandpa Tom was an outstanding man, who loved and cared deeply for all of us. We will forever miss his repetitive jokes, his warm hugs and his fabulous cooking. Outside of the grief, this feels to be a strangely symbolic event. Since grandpas are generally considered to be the Patriarch of a family, his loss represents a “passing of the torch” if you will. A shift that is slowly working its way down to me. The reality is that I’m getting older and I need to decide what kind of legacy I want to leave behind.

Having lost his wife, my beautiful Italian grandma just two years’ prior, my grandpa’s health sharply deteriorated after her death. I believe that the pain of losing her was more than his body was able to handle.

Love stories like my grandparents are becoming less common and are a legacy worth repeating. For me, they will remain a vision of the commitment, love and compassion that I hope to model with my bride.

Within my own family, I have recently experienced first-hand the need for proper planning for aging parents and family members.  I found this especially true as it relates to health care and housing.  If proper plans aren’t established early on, it can complicate the process and cost far more than anticipated or necessary.

I strongly suggest every adult have a will and estate plan established by a reputable estate planning attorney.  The cost to establish a plan is minimal compared to the price of wishing one was in place after it is needed.  If you need a referral, please reach out to me.  I’ll make sure your estate planning needs are in the hands of a capable professional.

Key areas that should be considered early on:

  • Vesting of home, assets and other items of value
  • Long-term care needs, costs and insurance
  • When to begin taking Social Security distributions
  • Ensuring adequate health insurance coverage (beyond Medicare)
  • How to handle life insurance policies
  • Medical directive, power of attorney, guardianship and conservatorship
  • After life plans

I’ve personally learned that regardless of how hard you try to avoid them, financial storms happen. In all fairness, there is a wide range of what a financial storm means to one person relative to another. To some, it means an inability to afford health insurance, pay utilities or provide food for their family. In other cases, it means losing half of a multi-million-dollar investment. Both scenarios are painful and come with powerful lessons.

Although the method of protection from a financial storm will vary from one family to another, the basic premise begins with the word Safety. For some, this means ensuring they save a portion of their income for a rainy day. For others, it is ensuring that funds placed at risk are limited based on what can be reasonably afforded to be lost.

Having a strong understanding of money is an important part of creating financial stability. One of my favorite sources of financial knowledge is a book written by Tony Robbins, Money – Master the Game.

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Many families live under the pressure of financial pain on a daily basis. Regardless of the source of that pain, financial peace begins with making decisions. On this note, we have identified 12 Decision Points that we coach our clients on to help them through the process. As is true in most areas of life, once a plan is established, the pain begins to dissipate. It is faith in the future that creates power in the present.

As you review the Decision Points listed below, consider the areas in which you feel pain.

For many, it is the top three areas that are the day to day challenges relating to cash flow management and living paycheck to paycheck. For others, it may be that, like most Americans, they are not on track to retire comfortably.

Regardless of where you are, at City Creek Mortgage, we are committed to helping you make decisions that will allow you to feel at peace with your financial situation.

  1. Have a Budget
  2. Develop a Cash Reserve
  3. Eliminate Consumer Debts
  4. Create a Retirement Plan / College Funding Plan
  5. Create a Mortgage Strategy
  6. Credit and Identity Protection / Credit Repair
  7. Create a Tax Strategy
  8. Create a Real Estate Management Plan
  9. Protect your Assets with Property & Casualty Insurance
  10. Protect your Family with Life & Disability Insurance
  11. Create a Will and Plan for your Estate
  12. Legacy Planning – Dreams and Goals

For many families, the key to successfully creating a plan to progress financially begins with having someone to help walk them through the steps and provide encouragement, advice, tools and support. We have Financial Coaches that work with our clients at no cost while we are closing their mortgage. As a client of City Creek Mortgage, we can help walk you through the process to help you get on track in each area of importance.

Your mortgage is just one of many financial decisions that will determine your ideal future. I assure you that it is not just a loan, but a tool to either help or hinder your ability to realize your dreams.

At City Creek Mortgage, we take this responsibility seriously. We strive to not only structure a customized loan scenario to your unique needs, but for those seeking advice in the other areas, we will help you successfully navigate the other 11 financial decision points in your life