Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thrifty Thinking: Financial Tips from Joslyn Ewart

When it comes to most things, education is paramount; but if you don’t have the confidence to implement what you were taught, the knowledge is worthless.

Joslyn Ewart confidently embarked on her career as a teacher in a poverty-stricken area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974. Her dream was to help students embrace education as a fundamental life tool.  Students (of all ages and means) need other fundamental tools. For starters, they need confidence in their ability to combat the fear that holds them back from creating a different life and the intention to pursue the unknown. A few decades later, the world changed and allowed her to pursue her true calling, as a financial planner who helps others make the right choices at pivotal times in their lives—preferably with financial confidence.

So, Ewart just published a new book, Balancing Act: Wealth Management Straight Talk for Women, that demonstrates how to manage your wealth, protect your style of living now and into retirement, build confidence and leave fear behind.
I had a chance to interview her for her tips on wealth management.

What are some healthy holiday spending habits for parents?
Start by deciding how much of your current income you can earmark for holiday gifts and spending for special family times and stick with your planned amount by using cash instead of credit cards to purchase. Cash is king, and makes it far easier to stick with a plan.

How can teens make sure to manage their money wisely?
First and foremost teens need to write down- yes, paper and pencil -exactly how much they have. (Too easy to adjust or delete electronically and not as simple to see at a glance. Phones are small.) Then they need to decide how much they want to save and set that aside from their spending money, so they do not touch it. Many teens want to share with others. This can be in the form of cash or time, such as some type of community service. (Good on college applications.) When spending their spending money, teens need to write down each item that they purchase and compare their expenses to what they started with.

Why is it important to plan for the unexpected, and how can parents make sure they're prepared?
Families need to be protected financially and the place to begin is to be sure the income of the primary wage-earner is protected. Typically this requires adequate long-term disability insurance  as well as life insurance. The trick is to have the insurance you need for a reasonable price. For example, employee long-term disability insurance is often adequate, but rarely portable so if a job change occurs the family is unprotected, perhaps for as long as a year after a new position begins. Employee life insuance is often inadequte but also tends to go away if a job change occurs, again leaving the family unprotected. Legal documents that spell out what happens if a parent is no longer there to care for the family is another crucial portection need.

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