Behind the Scenes: What the SH&J Team Has Been Reading

Sharkey_Howes_Javer_Books_Weve_Been_Reading

Did you know many members of our team are avid readers? Whether it is a good story or a book to help us improve as planners, you will often find our noses in a book during our downtime. Today we thought we would share our latest book reviews with you. We’d love to hear what you’ve been reading as well in the comments below!

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A Look at Tax Rates By State: Where Does Colorado Rank?

With tax day quickly approaching, it’s interesting to look at where Colorado tax rates fall in comparison to the rest of the United States. WalletHub* recently performed an interesting analysis of each state’s tax rates.

They found that Colorado falls into the bottom 25% of all fifty states with a median tax rate of 9.41%, compared to the highest taxed state, Illinois, with a 14.54% tax rate. According to their findings, living in Colorado could save the average family $700 a year in taxes. Continue reading

You Purchased a Timeshare, Now How Do You Get Rid of It?

Starkey, Howes & Javer Selling Timeshares

If you have ever traveled to a resort associated with a timeshare, it’s likely you have been approached with a presentation about timeshare ownership. You’ve enjoyed the amenities and accommodations throughout the week and daydream about how nice it would be take a similar vacation every year. Timeshares give you the ability to return and relive your travel experiences or, for an additional fee, you may opt to exchange for a different resort location expanding your vacation options. You are able to enjoy home-like accommodations and your long-term savings over hotels may even outweigh the upfront purchase price. Many are drawn to the appeal of owning a timeshare; however, once purchased, you own an asset that could become more of a hassle than you originally planned for.

Over time, your situation may change and you may find that you are unable to use your timeshare as much as you would like. At that time, you may want to sell it or simply walk away. Or perhaps you have enjoyed your timeshare for many years and have no plans to sell, but start to wonder, “What will happen when I pass away?” Continue reading

10 Tips to Boost Your Travel Smarts

Starkey, Howes and Javer: 10 Tips to Boost Your Travel Smarts

Traveling is fun, exciting and sometimes stressful. Break-ins, identity theft, pickpocketing, and other traveling mishaps can not only ruin a vacation, they can have a tremendous impact on your life. Learning a few travel lessons before hitting the road can help eliminate many travel misfortunes and free up your vacation for more fun!

1. Leave Home Lived In
Whether you are gone for a long weekend or a trip overseas, it’s important to leave your home looking lived in. Consider putting a light or two on a timer, ask a neighbor to bring in mail, and put a stop on daily newspaper delivery while you are away. Lock up valuables you aren’t taking with you such as jewelry, social security cards, and family heirlooms.

2. Freeze Your Credit
If you plan to be gone for an extended period, consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze blocks access to using your credit so no one can open a credit card or apply for a loan while you are away. Continue reading

Presidents Day: Fascinating Facts About 10 Past Presidents

For many, Presidents Day is simply a three-day-weekend. For others it is another day at the office. Presidents Day was first known as “Washington’s Birthday” and was established in 1885 in recognition of George Washington’s birthday. After the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, the day became commonly known as Presidents day. (source)

Join us today in learning a few facts about some of our former presidents:

George Washington (1st President 1789-1797)
George Washington’s estate was worth about $780,000 when he died which was about 0.19% of the nation’s GDP at that time. In 2014, his estate would have been worth about $34 billion in today’s dollars. (source) Continue reading

What If the World Isn’t Coming to an End? How the Media Affects our Financial Decisions

Recently we had a hesitant client tell us about all the reasons she was nervous about investing in the markets:

What if interest rates increase? What if they don’t?
What happens if we elect a Republican president? How about a Democrat?
What effect does global warming have on the markets?
What if we break out into cyber war? Continue reading