Should You Buy Mortgage Origination and Discount Points?


When you purchase your first home, you will be inundated with terms you may find difficult to understand. This is not your fault. The American educational system—even at the collegiate level—is woefully deficient when it comes to preparing us for real-world financial situations.  (more…)

5 Ways To Restore Your 401k and Get Off Life Support


When the economy crashed, real estate and stock markets took a massive hit—a hit that they are just now beginning to recover from. This hit started what we now refer to as the “Great Recession.” In this period, many Americans saw their retirement savings—particularly 401ks—routinely post losses or, at best, minimal gains. Now, that the American markets are beginning to dust themselves off and make a comeback, it’s time for people to begin to set right their retirement accounts. (more…)

Is Paying off Your Mortgage Early the Best Use of Your Money?

How much are you paying for the peace of mind of owning a free and clear home?

We are taught from an early age that debt is bad, and in most cases, carrying significant debt is not a good idea. If you are carrying a large balance on your credit cards, you should pay that off as soon as you can. If you have other secured or unsecured debt, you should pay that off as well. But when it comes to your mortgage, opinions differ regarding whether you should pay your mortgage off early or use the money for other purposes. (more…)

What Does It Mean To Be Wealthy? (Part 2)

Examining the Wealth Paradigm Shift

In the first portion of our three part series, we discussed how to define your own personal version of what being wealthy truly means. We looked at James and how he lost everything but found his own personal way to live a wealthy life. In this article, we look at how the American idea of wealth is changing before our eyes. Just like after the Great Depression, we may be seeing a return to ideas about saving, investing, and liquidity. (more…)

What Does It Mean To Be Wealthy? (Part 1)

Does Being Wealthy Mean a Big House and a Nice Car?

In this three part series, we will address what it means to be wealthy in today’s world. In years past, wealth was associated with the accumulation of material things such as a large house, several nice cars, a summerhouse, and expensive vacations to Europe, etc. While that is still associated with wealth, it no longer defines wealthy. Freedom from debt and the ability to live life to the fullest define the wealthy of today. (more…)

Should You Take Out a 30-Year, 20-Year, or a 15-Year Mortgage?

Should You Take Out a 30-Year Mortgage or a 15-Year Mortgage?

When applying for a home loan, one of the primary questions you must answer is whether to choose a 15-year, 20-year,  or a 30-year fixed mortgage. All three options have their merits and flaws, and with interest rates at near historic lows, it is an excellent time to apply for or refinance to a 15 or 30-year mortgage, or even the less common but very sensible 20-year mortgage. Rates are great, but which is the best option? Not surprisingly, it depends on your personal goals and your financial situation. (more…)

What to Expect When You Apply for your First Home Mortgage

The first time you buy a home can be intimidating. You are entering into a new realm of responsibility. For many, it is the transition from young adulthood to full adulthood. There are many aspects of home ownership that make people nervous, but for many first time homebuyers, applying for a loan is the most intimidating. Looking for your first house is fun, but going in front of a loan officer isn’t how most people would choose to spend a Thursday afternoon. (more…)