Steven J. Richardson, Esq public
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At its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple announced that it would be offering a Buy Now, Pay Later program as a part of its financial services to customers. This alternative form of payment for goods and services has had a resurgence during the pandemic, and Apple’s announcement has put it in the news. But what is Buy Now, Pa…
 
Back in Episode 80 I talked about Health Savings Accounts in conjunction with some high deductible health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act. An HSA is a great idea if you have one of these plans. However, since I have been talking about retirement planning and saving lately, I wanted to revisit this great savings option, as these acco…
 
In the past two episodes, I have talked about financial education for our children and instilling them with a basic working knowledge and literacy when it comes to money. I also discussed in Episode 136 about how you should start saving for retirement in your 20s and how it can be done. But what if you started earlier than that? What if our kids st…
 
In the last episode I talked with Jake Cousineau, a California educator who teaches financial literacy to high school students. But looking into this further I discovered that attitudes about money (called Financial Personalities) form way before a child reaches high school. Thus, teaching children from an early age (as I discussed in Episode 130) …
 
When I was growing up, the boys took shop, and the girls took home ec. The latter, as we would say today, stressed gender roles, and consisted of cooking, sewing, and the like. But real home economics should deal with household finances, budgeting, credit, and the like. It should help to prepare high school students for the real world. That’s why i…
 
There are many challenges that face people on the road to financial freedom, including credit card debt, student loans, and a loss of employment or reduction in income. Overcoming them can be a real struggle, but necessary in reaching financial independence. But women, particularly widowed or divorced women, face particular challenges that need to …
 
The pandemic has been disruptive economically to many people, to say the least! Jobs have been lost, income has been scaled back, and as we come out of all this, people are looking to rebuild and get a fresh start financially. Part of this is rebuilding their credit. But there are those out there who will be hampered from the start because of all t…
 
U.S. News reports that more than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt. Even as new infections wane, and it looks like we are coming out of the pandemic, it may still have a longer term economic effect on many Americans. That is why, even though I covered this topic …
 
Tax time approaches as we head into spring, so it's a good idea to start thinking about what to do once your return is prepared and ready to file. Do you owe money? If so, are you able to pay it? On the other hand, if you're getting a refund, have you thought about what to do with it once it arrives in your bank account? So in this episode of the p…
 
At this time of year, high school seniors are trying to select a college or university for their higher education. They’ve made their applications, filled out the FAFSA form, and are starting to get financial aid award letters. It’s an exciting time! But the decisions they make now can have far reaching consequences for their future, either good or…
 
In Episode 136 I talked about how important it is to start planning and investing for your financial future as soon as possible, preferably in your 20s. In the last episode, Episode 144, I talked with Joe Okaly on the challenges families in their 20s and 30s face in achieving financial freedom. Certainly, the earlier you start, the better. But is i…
 
In Episode 136 I talked about how important it is to start planning and investing for your financial future as soon as possible, preferably in your 20s. Even if you can’t put aside that much initially, that money has the maximum growth potential between now and retirement. But young families face some unique challenges that can make it difficult to…
 
Once the holidays are over and our attention is drawn to the coming new year, it is inevitable that we start thinking about New Year's resolutions. How can we make 2022 better than 2021 as far as our financial freedom is concerned? That's why in this episode of the podcast, as in December podcasts in previous years, I wanted to talk about the resol…
 
These days, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is in the news quite a bit. People are talking about using it for online purchases of goods and services, as well as investing. It is, in effect, becoming the “next big thing.” Buy what is cryptocurrency, how do you get it, and how do you spend it? Plus, is it safe or even a good idea to use? So in this episod…
 
With all that has happened with the pandemic to date, holiday shopping this year will be a challenge to say the least. Between supply chain problems, inflation, and employment shortages at retail establishments, staying within your budget and still getting the perfect gift for everyone on your list will not be easy. That’s why in this episode of th…
 
When it comes to the job market and the economy, the pandemic has created an interesting and unusual phenomenon. Called The Great Resignation (or the Big Quit), it is an ongoing trend of workers quitting their jobs that started in the Spring of this year. Characterized by Wikipedia as being in response to the pandemic, the government refusing to pr…
 
In Episode 110 I talked about how to become a millionaire and discussed the book, The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley and Dr. William D. Danko. It showed that the vast majority of American millionaires are not who you think they are, and that becoming wealthy is something that can be done. But the path to wealth is a choice and a min…
 
In the last episode, Episode 137, I talked with Myles Gage about starting a business after graduation. We talked about whether you should take the entrepreneur path, what kind of business you should start, and how you should prepare yourself financially for this step. But starting a business is very risky, as most businesses fail. That’s why in thi…
 
Those that graduate with a degree and enter into the real world face a challenge and a choice. How do they make a living? How do they start paying back their student loans? How do they make a successful start down the road to financial freedom? In this episode of the podcast, I address that issue and whether you should get a job and work for someon…
 
When it comes to saving for retirement, there is no better time to start than yesterday. The sooner you start putting money away, the sooner it has a chance to grow and ensure your financial future. But most people, fresh out of school and into their first job aren’t thinking about something that will happen in 40 years or so. That’s why in this ep…
 
Although we are slowly coming out of the pandemic, nobody knows when it will be over, especially with the delta and lambda variants out there. People are still hurting economically, especially couples with children. Even if they’re back to work, childcare costs can really eat into the increased income. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wa…
 
One of the most stressful parts of back-to-school season is making sure your children get everything they need, while spending on a budget and within your means. Teachers today seem to request more and more supplies than ever before. Whether physical or electronic, it’s a tall task to find and purchase the items at a reasonable cost. That’s why in …
 
It’s been a rough 17 months with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it looks like we are finally coming out of it. One sign that it is ending, though, are all of the end dates of CARES Act programs that have been helping people through the economic crisis, with two of them coming up at the end of this month! That’s why in this episode of the podcast I want…
 
There’s been quite a bit of talk in the media about how we are heading into inflation. With demand for goods being lower during the pandemic, a surge in demand could cause prices to soar. But how do you deal with this? What can be done to plan for inflation? More importantly, how do you maintain your financial freedom and retirement plans with this…
 
There are only so many hours in a day. So, if you want to increase your income, but don’t have the time to work a second job, what do you do? How do you generate that income to meet monthly expenses, save for emergencies, and invest for retirement? The answer is: passive income! I talked about this in Episode 91 but wanted to take a deeper dive int…
 
For some reason, parents seem to have difficulty talking to their children about money. The mindset of good money habits doesn’t seem to get passed down to the next generation. This is why 7 out of 10 American millionaires are first generation. That’s why in Episode 97 of the podcast I talked about this subject at length. However, as this topic bea…
 
Investing and saving for retirement is something that the earlier you do it, the better! But getting involved in the stock market (or even just mutual funds) can be an intimidating prospect, and many people end up putting off doing it for that reason. But where do you go to learn about it? How can you get the information you need to feel confident …
 
The impending divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates has been in the news a lot lately, and journalists have been discussing whether or not they should have gotten a prenuptial agreement before getting married. I remember thinking at the time of the wedding that I hoped that he had one, but apparently not. So with so much attention being drawn to the su…
 
People that are in debt are in a difficult situation when it comes to planning for their financial future. It can be difficult enough to amass enough disposable income to pay down their debt, let alone have any left over to put towards retirement! But if they concentrate on paying down the debt, they delay their retirement investing, which puts tha…
 
In many states, including New Jersey, the car insurance bill can amount to quite a bit every year. It can be a struggle to pay, and many Americans either get the bare minimum coverage or don’t get it at all, hoping that they never need it. But having good car insurance is not only key to your financial freedom, in New Jersey and other states it is …
 
When it comes to retirement, the focus always seems to be on the saving and investing part of it. Will you have enough money to retire? Although this is a very important part of the process, and should not be taken lightly, it is not the only thing you should be thinking about when it comes to that topic. Many people retire and are comfortable fina…
 
If you work for someone else, your income is what they pay you, unless you get a raise or a promotion that pays more money or get a better job. But if you own your own small business, your household income rises and falls with the profits of that business. So, if you want a raise, you have to do it yourself by increasing profits. One way to do that…
 
As the pandemic continues to drag on, even though people are starting to receive a vaccine, lots of folks here in New Jersey and the nation are still suffering financially. Congress and the President are currently working on more economic relief, but as of this episode, nothing is definite. As listeners may have a lot of questions about the relief …
 
One of the budget line items I often discuss with my bankruptcy clients is their utility bill. The gas, electric, water, and sewer bills can get out of hand and threaten their fresh start after they get their discharge. But even if you aren’t filing bankruptcy, getting a handle on that expense can help balance a budget and free up funds for more lo…
 
In Episode 96, I talked about getting your money ready for marriage. But what if you’re already married and have been for years? If you are both of the same mind when it comes to money, then great! But what if you have different money mindsets? What if you are having trouble coming to agreement on spending? That is why, as we round out a series of …
 
In previous episodes I’ve talked about budgeting and how it’s important to have one to keep your spending in line with your income and help you towards your long-term financial goals. I also discussed in the last episode setting goals and being more strategic in how you handle your finances. In the process of researching that episode, I ran across …
 
As the year 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about our financial goals for 2021. This year has presented some challenges and shown us how important it is to plan for bad times, so that when they come, we are ready, and our financial freedom isn’t threatened. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I step you through what you nee…
 
In Episode 114 I started a series of episodes around reducing expenses in your budget in order to help you live within your means and have money left over to save for the future. It was also in follow up to Episode 113 in which I talked with “Tightwad Todd” Miller about living below your means. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I take on th…
 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have lost their jobs because their employer had to close up shop; the work could not be done remotely. Some of them were able to pivot successfully to other jobs or transfer their skills to one that can be done from home. Unfortunately, many others are still looking. That may be because they haven’t been ab…
 
Way back in Episode 13 of the podcast I did a review of an app from personal finance guru Dave Ramsey called EveryDollar. It is an app my wife and I have been using since then, and it’s great! But there are a lot of other apps out there that can help you keep your finances straight, and one of them might be better for you than EveryDollar. Which is…
 
People trying to achieve personal financial freedom are often initially struggling with debt and trying to get out of a financial hole. They are getting letters from collection agencies and law firms that are demanding that the debt be paid. They have to get out of debt before they can ever hope to achieve their goal. But people in debt, in my expe…
 
In Episode 113 of the podcast I talked with “Tightwad Todd” Miller, a personal finance consultant and coach on the subject of spending below your means. I did this because reducing spending as much as possible to free up money to save and invest for the future is a key part of achieving long term financial independence and freedom. So, I thought it…
 
Achieving financial freedom in the short term requires living within your means. In other words, your monthly expenses need to total no more than your monthly net income, so that you don’t sink into debt. But achieving long term financial freedom requires even more discipline; you need to live below your means. By doing this you generate unused inc…
 
Every business should have a web site to promote its goods and services and attract new customers, especially as more of them are functioning virtually. Despite this, so many of them don’t have a web presence, or just have a domain name for e-mail. By not having one they are leaving money on the table and passing by an opportunity for growth. That’…
 
With the COVID-19 pandemic going into its sixth month, many businesses have either filed bankruptcy, closed for good, or have shed employees to slim down. No matter the cause, a lot of people are now out of work and looking for a new job. This has become especially urgent with the end of the supplemental unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. L…
 
A major part of the American Dream is to strike it rich, to become a millionaire. However, for the vast majority, that is just a dream. 3.5% of our population holds nearly half of our wealth. Back in 1996, a couple of Ph.D.s, Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, decided to do some research into America’s millionaires. The surprising answers they…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has now reached over 3.9 million cases in this country (with over 179,000 in New Jersey) and has caused over 144,000 deaths (with over 15,000 in New Jersey). Even those who have survived the illness have had a tough time, with many having lengthy hospital stays. This taste of our own mortality has been sobering for all of us; …
 
Due to the pandemic, lots of people are either working from home or have lost their jobs because they cannot be done from home. Those in the latter group may be looking for a job that allows them to do so. On the other hand, many small businesses are looking for help, but are unsure whether hiring someone (and taking on the payroll and other admini…
 
On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law to help people deal with the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus. Many of the provisions help student loan borrowers, and while they provide some welcome relief, the law doesn’t address all of the problems that student loan borrowers face. In addition, these provisions are set to expi…
 
Social distancing orders in light of the coronavirus pandemic have forced companies to send workers home and have them work remotely. The trend might continue. According to a Gartner survey of 317 finance executives on March 30, 3 out of 4 chief finance officers and finance leaders are considering moving at least 5% of their on-site workforce to re…
 
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