The Brexit: Independence Day for England or a Big Mistake?

Today we bring you a special edition of Inside the Economy with SH&J. As many are now aware, last Friday, 52% of voters elected for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union after a 43 year partnership. While it is not a legally binding referendum, the UK will begin a 2 year clock negotiating the terms of their exit. As a result of the vote, the global markets fell approximately 12% and the U.S. markets fell around 5%.

The jury will be deliberating this unprecedented event for several months or longer but one thing is for sure, markets hate uncertainty and increased volatility is expected over the short term. Although we have been assessing the investment ramifications of a Brexit for some time (knowing that the polls showed the vote would be very close), we don’t necessarily feel it will have any significant impact on the U.S. economy. The correction of the U.S. markets in particular over the past two days, in our opinion, is primarily based on fear of change and has little to do with U.S. economic reality. The same cannot be said for England. Continue reading

The Top 3 Advisors You Need for Optimum Financial Health

SH&J Top Three Advisors Your Need in Your LifeThroughout the course of our lives we often find ourselves in need of the benefits various advisors provide. In the realm of finances, there are three types of advisors we see as invaluable to your long term financial health.

1. Estate Planning Attorney
A recent Gallup poll found only half of Americans have created a last will and testament (source). Furthermore, estate planning services seem to be a dime a dozen from cheap online solutions to attorneys who draft the same plan for every client.

Estate planning is often misunderstood. It involves much more than paying estate taxes. Estate planning done well allows you to provide guidance to and appoint person(s) of your choosing to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation and may help ensure that your assets are divided amongst heirs as you desire. Building a relationship with a reputable estate planning attorney who understands your unique situation not only makes sense for you, but it also can help offer your loved ones peace of mind that you have a plan in place. Continue reading

Should I Live for Today or Save for Tomorrow?

SH&J Live for Today or Save for Tomorrow?There seems to be conflicting advice in modern media. On one hand, there are plenty of articles stating the importance of saving money. On the other hand, there is an emergence of articles encouraging living for today and letting the money “work itself out later”. This leaves the audience confused and internally conflicted. Should I live for today or save for tomorrow?

The answer can be deeply personal, and while your family or advisor may offer advice, ultimately the decision is yours. It is no secret that life can be short and there is no guarantee of tomorrow. Embracing and living every day to the fullest can be vitally important for your emotional and mental health. Spending your hard-earned money to travel, further your education, pursue a hobby, support a loved one, or explore your creative mind may provide much more personal fulfillment now than building a savings/investment account for your future. Continue reading

Avoid Being “House Rich, Cash Poor”

Starkey Howes & Javer Home Loans

Recently, a client was trying to understand how much home he could afford in the current Denver real estate market. Over the course of his home search, his maximum price point grew from $500,000 to $700,000 as he discovered how much it would take to purchase a home that fit within his criteria. The lender had approved him for the higher amount, so he assumed it was something he could comfortably afford. In addition, he had used several online “Home Affordability Calculators” that justified his inflated price point.

Thankfully he came to us before any of his offers were accepted. We calculated his new expected housing costs relative to his gross annual income, taxes, savings goals, and monthly obligations. In the end, he opted for the lower mortgage price point we proposed and was relieved that it would allow him to continue supporting his family and saving for long-term goals, many of which he would have had to forego had he chosen the higher priced home.

After our meeting, we reviewed several of the online “Home Affordability Calculators” by plugging in our own information and the results were breathtaking. The suggested home price points we received were also dramatically inflated.

Therefore, when you are shopping for your next home, we suggest taking a look at the difference between the approved home loan amount and the home loan amount that is appropriate for your own personal financial situation. Oftentimes, the two numbers are vastly different.

Why might this be the case? Although monthly obligations (debt, child support, etc.) and long-term savings are often considered in the mortgage lender’s calculation, the assumed savings (for retirement, education, etc.) are typically insufficient to reach your goals.

The term “house rich, cash poor” is a common term for being in the predicament where you’ve got lots of home, but not a lot of cash to meet your other needs. In order to avoid this destiny, we suggest working with a Certified Financial Planner™ to find the appropriate price point when purchasing a new home. If you are interested in a complimentary consultation or meeting with your current advisor, please do not hesitate to call us at 303-639-5100.

5 Questions to Ask Before Taking on More Debt

The term ‘debt’ generally has a negative connotation. While being in too much debt or the wrong kind of debt can be risky, sometimes debt makes sense. If you are considering taking on more debt, sit down and answer the questions below first to make sure the new debt won’t get in the way of your long-term goals.

How much debt do I currently have?
When thinking about debt, it’s important to first analyze your current financial landscape. Be sure to review everything: credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, loans and possibly IOU’s to family or friends. Once you have totaled all monthly recurring debt payments, divide that number by your gross monthly income to find your debt to income ratio (DTI). The lower the number, the better. Talk with your financial planner about your ratio and ask for his/her recommendation on whether you should consider taking on more debt. Continue reading

Inside the Economy with SH&J: January 4, 2016

Larry Howes kicks off the New Year with his outlook on the economy in 2016. How did the interest rate increase in December affect mortgages? Will U.S. inflation reach the Fed’s target rate of 2%? What is expected from the U.S. economy and markets this year? What will happen to the U.S. dollar? What can we expect to see in Europe this year? Listen in as Larry addresses these questions and more!