Life Stages Planning

7 Steps to Buying a Home You Can Afford

7 Steps to Buying a Home You Can Afford

Buying a house, especially for first time homebuyers, typically begins with a sense of excitement. However, without a good plan and team around that buyer, that initial excitement can quickly turn into an overwhelming process. It’s why having a plan of attack from the beginning is crucial to ensuring a successful outcome. After all, the ultimate goal of homeownership is getting that place you always dreamed of without that awful feeling of being house poor. With that in mind, my top tip for buying a house is this...

Life Stages Planning: Grieving

Life Stages Planning: Grieving

When a loved one dies, you may be the one responsible for making funeral arrangements and settling their finances, on top of grieving and adjusting to a new life without them. Settling the finances of a loved one can be a daunting process, and it can be difficult to know exactly what to do. Below you’ll find advice on how to pre-plan for the death of a loved one, as well as how to settle assets upon their death.

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.

Life Stages Planning: Marriage

Life Stages Planning: Marriage

Getting married is a very significant life event, where two individuals (oftentimes with very different backgrounds and experiences) come together to start a new life. When it comes to financial planning, marriage is a critical life stage, where it is important to take the time to make sure that your new household is fully aligned regarding your finances and long-term goals. While we know that marriage is built on a foundation of love, it is also essential to start your marriage off right when communicating about money, planning for your future, and creating life and financial goals together. Below are some pieces of advice for anyone that is in (or around) the life stage of marriage.

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!

Ask An Advisor Series - Housing

Ask An Advisor Series - Housing

Given what's at stake with buying and selling a house, today's Q&A article is certainly worth the read. Here is a quick preview of the topics that we will be diving into:

  • Are we in a housing bubble?

  • Why are home prices soaring?

  • When is it better to choose a higher interest mortgage with no PMI versus a lower interest rate mortgage that includes PMI?

  • What are the tax consequences of selling a primary residence at a gain?

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? 

4 Bone Chilling Student Loans Mistakes to Avoid

4 Bone Chilling Student Loans Mistakes to Avoid

Having helped several clients overcome their own set of student loan problems, I decided the best way to get in front of the issue is to make more borrowers (and their parents) aware of what pitfalls they should be avoiding. Today's blog article will kick-off by examining the 4 most common student loan mistakes and what you can to do to avoid those landmines. Then, I present 2 case studies to show you how the numbers crunch out.

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 ROTH IRA SAVINGS STRATEGY FOR HIGH-INCOME INVESTORS

A ROTH IRA SAVINGS STRATEGY FOR HIGH-INCOME INVESTORS

Raise your hand if you like paying more in taxes than you need to?  Yeah, I didn’t think so… If your answer is like most Americans and you make a sizable income, then a backdoor Roth IRA is a strategy you may want to consider. However, before explaining how to unlock this financial planning tool to your advantage, it is important to know the following Roth IRA phaseout limits set forth by the IRS...

The Adventure Begins: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

The Adventure Begins: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

A once stereotypical Millennial, I spent a good part of my 20s wrestling between "adulting" and seeking a good time. In other words, I really wanted to be an adult. Yet I felt like an imposter because I had other priorities. Pre-wife, I was perfectly content going out with the guys and getting into a bunch of nonsense. Responsibilities? Sure, when the mood struck me. I did buy my first home at the age of 25. So a part of me was trying, but honestly, beer-thirty was high on my list of to-dos every weekend.

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.