Financial Planning

Life Stages Planning: Starting A Career

Life Stages Planning: Starting A Career

You made it! Whether you’re just finishing up high school, graduating from university, or transitioning out of an apprenticeship—taking the leap into a new career is an exciting step. It’s one of the biggest markers of adulthood. You’ve prepared your whole life for this moment. Congratulations, you’re now a contributing member of society.

Life Stages Planning: Retirement

Life Stages Planning: Retirement

Retirement may sound like something that is way off in the distance for you. It may seem even incomprehensible to think about at your current stage in life. While these are common thoughts and feelings for many people, we hope that this article explains why it is so critical to start planning for retirement today. Below you will find several tips about important aspects of retirement planning.

Life Stages Planning: Divorce

Life Stages Planning: Divorce

Divorce is not something that anyone hopes for or expects to be a part of their story. Because of that, planning for divorce is not a reality, nor should it be. However, when divorce is a certainty in anyone’s situation and it is clear that your states can no longer be united, preparation and preparedness can help keep things civil.

Did You Know We're Partnered With The XYPN, NAPFA, And The Fee-Only Network

Did You Know We're Partnered With The XYPN, NAPFA, And The Fee-Only Network

With all of our terminology and acronyms in the world of finance, sometimes consumers can feel as if they are being spoken to in a foreign language. The confusion that results can lead to mistakes and regret, especially in the area of advisor compensation. Whether it’s fee-based, fee-only, or commission-based, the type of compensation model an advisor uses can make a huge difference in the kind of advice you receive and the type of relationship you are able to build with your advisor.

Your Parenthood Financial Checklist

Adding a child to your family is arguably one of the most momentous milestones in life. After months of preparation, a little one arrives and stirs up overwhelming emotions and a great sense of responsibility. But even if you had everything organized and prepared to bring your baby into your life and your home, there are some practical steps that you need to take now that your family has grown. From hospital bills to education, a child can cost half a million dollars, so your financial strategy needs to change to keep up!

Why I Became A Financial Advisor

Why I Became A Financial Advisor

It all started with witnessing the effect the dot-com market crash of the late 90s had on my parents. I saw the financial regrets they carried and wanted to break into the financial services industry to help other families avoid similar problems.

Ask An Advisor Series - Retirement and Investments

Ask An Advisor Series - Retirement and Investments

Should I rollover my 403(b) into a 401(k) or IRA? How can I buy oil as an investment? Which is the most tax-friendly account to distribute from? Should I use lifecycle funds or choose my own investments within my company's retirement plan? I recently inherited some annuities, is there a way to put a "floor under the market" to protect against a downturn in the stock market? 

How Financial Planning is Similar to Football

How Financial Planning is Similar to Football

A successful football team like a successful financial plan requires a high level of synergy across the board from several different components. In football, a significant amount of coordination from all levels of the organization helps drive the collective group towards working to achieve their end goal -- championships.

How much value does a financial planner add?

How much value does a financial planner add?

Look I get it, Americans are busy people, especially if you are raising a family or knee deep in your career. Quick answers have become the expectation. The problem is financial planning is very circumstantial and therefore a good answer to the value question must be adjusted to the person asking it. Rather than manufacture a blanketed response, the following is a detailed guide to the quatifiable value of financial advice.

Student Debt Repayment Guide

Student Debt Repayment Guide

Learn a step-by-step process to select the most appropriate repayment plan for your Federal student loans. For more visual learners or those who prefer to read picture books, you will appreciate the illustrative format.

Don't Make This Mistake with Private Student Loans or It Might Cost You Thousands

Don't Make This Mistake with Private Student Loans or It Might Cost You Thousands

The impact of student debt borrowing decisions and how to pay for college, even at the beginning stages, is substantial. For my client, Anne, we are talking about a difference of $94,100. It's why college planning is essential for families with college-bound kids. Especially when your kid wants to pursue a higher cost degree like a doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, or pharmacist. Regardless of career path, the economics of making sound choices, when it comes to paying for college, will have a dramatic impact on your child's adult life.

Financial Rules of Thumb

Financial Rules of Thumb

Do you find it difficult to sort through all the "expert opinions" and confidently know how much to save for retirement, how much debt is appropriate, or how much to set aside in savings for emergencies? You are not alone. To make life easier, Mellen Money Management created a list of benchmarks that can be useful for anyone looking for general guidance on whether or not they are on track financially.

Financial Lessons from Hurricane Irma's Destruction

Financial Lessons from Hurricane Irma's Destruction

Based on estimates by AccuWeather, the cost of Irma's devastation to our economy will be somewhere around $100-billion. If that doesn't make your jaw drop, it should. That amounts to 0.5% of the United States' GDP.Hurricane Irma's destruction is an unpleasant reminder to us all that there are life-altering costs associated with such natural disasters. Unfortunately, the financial aftermath will hit some people's wallets a lot harder than others.

To love, or to hate annuities? That is the question

To love, or to hate annuities? That is the question

An annuity in its most basic form is a guaranteed income stream from the insurance company. Did you know that the social security check that we all hope is around by the time we retire is an annuity? Remember the glory days of when everyone retired with a secure pension? Those are annuities too. Then why do advisors and investors have such a serious love or hate relationship with annuities? The reason is a lot of these products have been misrepresented by commission hungry investment reps.

Caution, Detour Ahead: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

Caution, Detour Ahead: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

My grandma, Marybeth Mellen, passed away the same year I started my company. She was the last of my living grandparents. Actually, my grandma and grandpa helped pay for my college education. The fact I was planning to incorporate student loan planning into my business inspired me to name my firm after them and honor their legacy. Somehow through all the chaos in my life, everything began to converge in a way that I knew I had something. On October 17, 2016, Mellen Money Management was born.

One-step Back, Two-steps Forward: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

One-step Back, Two-steps Forward: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

So what variables actually played a role in my decision to leave a great income, a highly successful team, and say goodbye to the best boss I ever had? In the end, too many aspects related to my job were totally outside my control and eventually my boss'.  So when no improvements seemed imminent, I decided it was time for a change. Quite frankly, I felt like I needed something fresh in order for my career to continue growing. 

A Road Less Traveled: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

A Road Less Traveled: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

Welcome to my first ever blog post. Given the amount of content, I am breaking up my first topic into a 4-part series called, My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm, which focuses on how my career path brought me to start my own firm. Part I, A Road Less Traveled, tells more about why I started a fee-only firm, while the other sequels provide a deeper look into the 3 places I worked prior to Mellen Money Management and how those experiences shaped my company's mission.  The purpose of this series is to give entrepreneurs a peek into how an idea can turn into a profitable company.