Tag: financial goals

Finance Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Published in: Resources |

Are you getting ready to buy your first home? What an exhilarating (and probably nerve-racking) time.

Preparing to buy a home can be the cause of conflicting emotions. On the one hand, it’s incredibly exciting. The prospect of choosing a new place to live, potentially for the rest of your life…a place that you will make memories in, build the life you envision for yourself, and decorate to your heart’s desire. But on the other hand, it’s a very large, very expensive commitment, and one that you should be fully prepared to undertake.

If you’re getting ready to buy a home, here are three of the major expenses to keep in mind.

1. Down payment

The first large expense associated with homebuying is the down payment. Your down payment is the percentage of the purchase price of your home that you pay upfront, and it will vary based on the type of mortgage you choose, as well as the lender. Be sure you are ready to commit to a loan, as the average mortgage loan term is between 15 and 30 years, according to Rocket Mortgage.

To check if you have saved enough and see how your down payment translates to your home price and monthly payment, consider using a down payment calculator.

2. Closing

The second big expense comes at closing. Closing costs include the expenses and fees that you pay to finalize your loan, such as lender fees, third-party fees, and prepaid items. These costs are often overlooked due to the focus put on the down payment, but they’re extremely important to factor in.

3. Move-in expenses

Once you’ve gotten the paperwork and legal bit out of the way, it’s time for the fun part…right?

Not quite.

There is one more large expense that sometimes gets overlooked in the excitement of closing on a property. Move-in expenses include everything from immediate home repairs and upgrades, to moving services, to furnishings for your new space, and they can quickly add up. Make sure you have some money set aside for any move-in expenses that may arise.

Tips to stay on track as a first time homebuyer

Now that the expenses of purchasing a home are front and center in your mind, here are some tips for how to stay on track throughout the homebuying process.

  • Work with a real estate agent. Real estate agents offer objective information and serve as your guide throughout the buying process. They expand your search power, save you time, and are in your corner when it comes to negotiations.
  • Maintain your credit. Lenders want to see that your credit and money patterns are consistent, so it’s critical to maintain your credit during the purchasing process. Be sure to pay your bills on time, and avoid taking out a new line of credit or trying to influence your credit rating.
  • Hire a home inspector. Don’t rely solely on the appraisal of the home, which simply tells you how much a house is worth. Be sure to hire an inspector as well, who will conduct an examination of the structure and systems of a house. You can use the results of the inspection to learn more about a property and negotiate with the seller.
  • Stick to your budget. It can be easy to get carried away as a first time homebuyer, allowing your emotions to get wrapped up in “the perfect space,” but you made a budget for a reason, and it’s important to stick with it.
  • Work with a financial advisor. At The Humphreys Group, we evaluate your priorities, goals, and resources to help you see the big picture when it comes to important financial decisions like buying a home. If you have questions or want a second opinion, reach out to us today.

Grey Divorce: How to Navigate your Finances

Published in: Resources |

Going through a divorce is tough. From the division of assets and worrying about children, to the emotional toll that separation takes on an individual, untangling two people’s lives is bound to come with some messiness. Unfortunately, one of those inevitable burdens is your finances. Even in the most amicable of divorces, separating finances is an unpleasant, yet unavoidable part of the process. However, there are ways to make the proceedings a bit more smooth and straightforward.

Here are five tips for navigating your finances during a divorce.

1. Focus on finances

When dealing with the financial aspect of a divorce, focus on the finances. Talk to a financial advisor for a second opinion. Leave anything unrelated to finance in your lawyer’s office. This may seem like an obvious one, but for some people going through a divorce, the “rip the bandaid off” method is the most appealing. It might be tempting to try and deal with every aspect of your divorce at once, but focusing on one thing at a time will likely simplify proceedings in the long run and help you to cross things off your to do list in a more organized and sensical fashion.

2. Close any joint accounts you have

Avoid doing damage to your credit scores and credit reports by closing any joint credit accounts you have as soon as you can. Continuing to rack up joint debt could complicate the divorce process further. Don’t forget to close any joint checking and savings accounts as well, and open solo bank accounts in their places.

3. Track your finances and create a budget

Now that you have your own bank accounts, begin carefully tracking your expenses, including any divorce expenses. Going from a two income household to a single income household, there is bound to be an adjustment period. Having a budget will help you stay on top of your finances and help you adapt to your new normal. Tracking your expenses will also be helpful for your lawyer when it comes to divvying up any debts or assets.

4. Update your records

Be sure to update any bills in your name, your insurance, tax records, and property titles. Don’t forget about any wills you may have, powers of attorney, beneficiaries on life insurance or retirement accounts, etc.

5. Consult professionals

It may be temping during an emotional time to confide in anyone who will listen, however, due to the personal nature, as well as the legality of the divorce process, it is advisable to consult professionals and keep the details to yourself.

At The Humphreys Group, we are experienced in guiding clients through transition. From teaching recently divorced clients the fundamentals of managing their finances, to our comprehensive and accessible long-term sustainability analysis, we are prepared to assist in any way we can. By listening to your hopes and concerns and taking the time to gain a thorough understanding of your financial situation and your goals for the future, we are able to craft strategies and solutions that are both appropriate and effective. Get in touch with The Humphreys Group today for a second opinion.

What The Humphreys Group Does to Give Back

Published in: Resources |

At The Humphreys Group, we strongly believe in living our values, and one of our core values is generosity. Not only is giving back beneficial to our communities, but it can also enrich our lives and contribute to our overall sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

We strive to always give back through the three Ts; time, talent and treasure.

Time

Over the years we have consistently dedicated our time to various hands-on community organizations, but one that we keep coming back to is St. Anthony’s. St. Anthony’s is an organization that provides meals, clothing, resources, and shelter for the underserved and hungry in San Francisco. Our team has volunteered on several occasions in the dining room, serving lunch and talking with those who come to eat one of the thousands of meals served each day.

Some other organizations we have volunteered with include Native Plant Nursery in the Presidio, where we’ve repotted seedlings and pulled weeds, and Project Open Hand, where we’ve made PB&J sandwiches and sorted groceries.

It’s always a treat to be able to volunteer our time in meaningful ways that positively impact the communities we call home.

Talent

In addition to donating our time, we are lucky to have opportunities to utilize our talents by providing pro bono financial planning services to several Bay Area organizations. We work with a few different programs and centers that focus primarily on domestic violence prevention and providing safe spaces to survivors, including Shalom Bayit, San Francisco Safe House and La Casa de Las Madres.

Additionally, we participate in San Francisco Financial Planning Days, which provide an opportunity for those with financial planning concerns who haven’t had the means or opportunity to consult a professional and have their questions addressed.

Treasure

Last but not least, we make contributions to nonprofit organizations on behalf of our clients to celebrate milestones in their lives, as well an an annual year-end holiday donation in honor of all our clients. The organizations we choose reflect our vision and values, as well as our commitment to women’s issues.

Past recipients have included:

By getting out of the office and donating our time and resources, we challenge ourselves to try new things and get out of our comfort zones. Engaging with a broader slice of the community allows us to really step back and put things in perspective. In turn, we’re better able to meet our clients wherever they may be on their path to financial stability and empowerment, and to work with them to achieve their goals. To get started with us, we invite you to give us a call.

Starting a Business During a Pandemic

Published in: Resources |

It may surprise you to learn that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in over a decade.

If your first instinct amidst the pandemic wasn’t to open a new business, you wouldn’t be alone. Many people have been weighed down by financial burdens and health concerns over the last year.  However, despite all of the question marks currently floating around about the state of the world, if you’ve always wanted to open a business, now is not necessarily the time to rule it out. While the future remains unpredictable, (vaccines? fourth waves? new strains of virus?), we are living in a once-in-a-lifetime situation created after global and nationwide shutdowns reshaped the economy.

Here are some tips and things to consider for anyone thinking of starting a business during the pandemic.

Be real with yourself

Why are you starting your business? Is it because you are passionate about something? Are you filling a need or a hole in the market? Are you trying to make a difference in your community? Perhaps you’re following a lifelong dream?

It’s crucial to be honest with yourself, your ideas, and your expectations so that you’re not setting yourself up for unrealistic expectations. As the pandemic shut down the country, many businesses were forced to close, which has created many gaps in the market, but the truth remains that the majority of businesses don’t make it past the five year mark. Owning a small business takes dedication, energy, money, patience, and constant attention. You should feel confident that you’re prepared to give it all you’ve got.

Consider your finances

How do you plan to fund your business? Most entrepreneurs start a business with a very limited amount of money, which can put a serious strain on you as an entrepreneur. Do you plan to borrow money from friends and family? Do you have investors lined up? Also consider small business loans and government funding.

Start slowly

While you might find yourself wanting to dive right in and focus your full attention on your new business, it’s usually best to start slowly. If you have a job, consider going down to part time and starting your new business as a side venture. If your eggs aren’t all in one basket, you’re at less of a financial risk.

Hire freelancers

One of the most costly expenses of running a business is hiring help. Luckily, there are many quality freelancers out there, and odds are, thanks to the pandemic and current high unemployment rates, they are looking for work. Utilizing freelance workers eliminates many of the costs employers typically have to pay.

Give back

After all of the suffering and misfortune that the last year has brought most of us, people are especially keen to give back, support one another, and make a positive difference. Consider donating a percentage of all profits to a local food bank or sponsoring a day care program for children of frontline workers. When you give, you almost always get.

At The Humphreys Group, clients come to us because they aspire to something greater, and we welcome these challenges with a deep commitment to providing you with a comfortable, collaborative setting to explore your concerns and follow your dreams. Our planning process has a single purpose: to manage your wealth so that you may live fully and confidently.

If you’re considering starting a new business and want a second opinion, consider reaching out! We are devoted to seeing you thrive, both financially and personally.

Long-Term Planning for Women in a Post-COVID-19 World

Published in: Resources |

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we never know what’s in store for us. You could discover your new favorite flavor of ice cream this week. You could meet your future best friend next month. Or you could go to bed tonight living a normal life, and wake up tomorrow to find yourself in a global pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic thrust the world into a state of panic and uncertainty. Trips were canceled, plans were put on hold, and suddenly many of us began to question our life’s trajectory. However, over a year later, as restaurants show signs of life, people start to visit with friends again, and vaccines are (slowly) rolled out, it’s an important time to consider your long-term plan.

Although 2020 showed us that even the best laid plans are subject to unpredictable exterior circumstances, we should still be as prepared as possible, especially when it comes to finances. Due to women’s typically longer life-spans coupled with systemic and societal issues like the gender pay gap and career interruptions, long-term financial and estate planning is especially important for women.

How to map out your long-term financial plan

When it comes to thinking through your personal plan, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Think about your dreams, goals, and aspirations. Start by thinking about your life 5-10 years from now and go from there. What does your life look like? Are you retired? Are you starting a new business? Are you raising a family?
  2. Now, think about each of those dreams, goals, and aspirations with a dollar amount attached to them. Are you living off of a pension or a retirement savings account? Are you taking out a loan to get that new business up and running? Do you have a child to care for, or even two or three? At the end of the day, you want your money to work for you and align with your ambitions. It may not be romantic to lay out your dreams with price-tags attached to them, but momentarily taking off those rose-colored glasses to look at your goals through a pragmatic lens could be the difference between making those dreams a reality and just fantasizing about them.
  3. Once you’ve sufficiently thought things through, it’s time to make a solid plan and put that plan in action. From saving money to investing, each person’s plan will look different. Working with a financial advisor to create an individualized plan tailored to your specific needs is a great place to start.
  4. Now that you’ve thought about your personal plan, go the extra mile and think beyond it. If you were to pass away or become incapacitated tomorrow, how would you want your assets distributed, and who would you want to handle your responsibilities? It may feel like an unpleasant topic and one that you’d rather put off, but one of the best things you can do for your future generations is put a sound plan in place, and when it comes to your estate, the sooner you start planning, the better.

At The Humphreys Group, we know that it can be difficult to put a short-term plan in place, much less a long-term plan. We’re here to help. Over 30-plus years, we’ve seen that it takes care and clarity to build the trust needed to personalize your financial plan. We take the time to learn about you, your dreams, and aspirations to develop a financial plan that will evolve with you during your life. If you’re interested in getting a second opinion on your long-term financial plan, reach out to our team today.

Overcoming Financial Imposter Syndrome

Published in: Resources |

You’ve probably heard of imposter syndrome — the psychological phenomenon in which an individual doubts their talents and qualifications, believe they only succeeded due to luck, and fear that they will be exposed as a “fraud.”

But do you know what financial imposter syndrome is? It’s when you finally start making a living wage, but you still feel poor and old habits remain. “If you’ve spent most of your career not earning much, then it’s more familiar to you than being financially stable,” New York Times writer Eric Ravenscraft writes. “Making enough money doesn’t feel real yet, and you’re afraid it will all go away.”

This anxiety can prevent you from taking care of yourself even though you can afford to — you put off expensive dental work, avoid getting your car fixed, or buy cheaper but not as healthy food.

It’s smart to keep living within your means; you don’t want to fall into the trap of “lifestyle inflation,” where you spend more money because you earn more money. But financial imposter syndrome can greatly affect your mental health, and it’s a problem you shouldn’t ignore.

Here are some tips on how to get over financial imposter syndrome.

1. Give yourself permission to spend money.

When you’ve struggled with paying your bills for so long, it can be hard to justify buying something you simply want and that would “only” bring you joy and improve your life. As New York Times writer Eric Ravenscraft writes, “If you manage to get a better paying job and improve your financial situation, no one automatically comes along to teach you what you can do with your new paycheck.” Try to make a conscious effort to break out of old thinking patterns; allow yourself to spend money on things from time to time that bring you joy.

2. Talk about it.

Voicing out loud what you’re going through — with a therapist, a financial advisor, a friend, or mentor — can help you see the financial facts of the situation versus your perception. The Humphreys Group regularly hosts Conversation Circles where we talk about the emotional aspect of money; consider coming to one of our events!

3. Create a script for times when you feel financial imposter syndrome creeping in.

When you feel old insecurities and unfounded worries coming in (e.g. “I can’t buy that — that’s something that ‘other people’ do,” “I’m selfish for spending money on better clothes/food/etc.,” or “It’s just luck that I got this job; I don’t deserve this money.”), have a mantra/script to remind yourself that you deserve financial success and that you worked hard to get where you are now.

Managing the Emotional Side of Money

At The Humphreys Group, we know that wealth management is best delivered with equal doses of expertise (the technical number crunching) and empathy (emotional intelligence). We know that addressing the non-numerical aspects of money results in better financial outcomes for our clients. If you’re interested in talking to us more about financial imposter syndrome, reach out to our team today.

The Top Money Podcasts to Add to Your List

Published in: Resources |

Podcasts have become increasingly popular over the years, but even more so during the pandemic. Spotify recently reported that podcast consumption has more than doubled. With everyone at home, people have been turning to podcasts for entertainment, information, advice, and community. We asked our Humphreys Group team what their favorite finance-related podcasts were. Here are their answers:

1. HerMoney with Jean Chatzky

2. Ellevate Podcast: Conversations With Women Changing the Face of Business

3. So Money with Farnoosh Torabi

4. Afford Anything

5. BiggerPockets Money

6. This is Uncomfortable

7. Side Hustle Pro

8. Money For the Rest of Us

9. Future Rich

10. Eye On The Market

11. Odd Lots

12. Masters in Business

13. Planet Money

14. Secrets of Wealthy Women

Financial Planning with The Humphreys Group

Let us know if there’s any other podcasts you’d recommend adding to the list! Don’t forget to check out last week’s blog post too, where we shared our favorite investment reads. Want more tips on personal finance? Check out our blog archive; every week, we share personal finance tips, commentary, and resources.

The Investment Reads You Need on Your Bookshelf

Published in: Resources |

With so much time at home during the pandemic, many of us have found ourselves reading voraciously and revisiting some of our favorite books. If you’re looking for some inspirational and educational reads in 2021, here are some of our favorite books on investing and personal finances:

1. The Investment Answer by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon Murray

2. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel

3. On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor

4. Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms by Amanda Steinberg

 

5. Women’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence by Eleanor Blayney

6. The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack

7. The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life by Lynne Twist

8. Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck

Financial Planning with The Humphreys Group

Do you have a favorite finance book to add to the list? Let us know! And if you’d like to continue the conversation about your favorite reads, join us at one of our Conversation Circles, where we have authentic conversations about personal finance beyond the numbers.

Company Stock Options and Financial Planning: What Works For You? 

Published in: Resources |

Your job likely offers you some form of equity compensation. Equity compensation can represent financial security and sustainability — but it also can come with a degree of risk. There are various factors to consider with compensation packages, such as your financial goals, taxes, and diversification strategies. In this week’s blog post, we go over the basics you should know.   

Equity Compensation 101

Equity compensation is non-cash pay offered to employees that represents ownership in a company. This includes options, restricted stock, and performance shares. Public companies and some private companies, especially startup companies, offer equity compensation to make up for lack of cash flow and attract high-quality employees.

Employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) are company-run programs that let employees purchase company stock at a discounted price. Employees can usually contribute through payroll deductions; this typically builds up between the offering period and the purchase period.

Restricted stock unit (RSU) plans are company stock plans offered to employees as additional compensation. Instead of paying you your entire salary in cash, part of it is given to you in the form of company stock. It is usually listed alongside your base salary when you’re hired.

Stock option plans, also known as an incentive stock option (ISO), is a type of equity compensation given to employees and executives. Rather than giving you shares of stock directly, the company might offer derivative options of the stock.

The Role Of Equity Compensation In Your Financial Plan

Where does equity compensation fit into your financial plan? To understand this, you should go over the following with your financial advisor: figure out what kind of investor you are, watch out for concentrated wealth, understand the tax consequences of your investment decisions, and understand how recent tax law changes affects your wealth. This will help you make informed decisions about how to manage your equity compensation.

Work with The Humphreys Group Today

The right financial advisor can help you identify your core values, establish clear financial goals and create a financial strategy.

When you work with a financial advisor at The Humphreys Group, you’ll know that you’re working with a financial advisor that understands the importance of values. In August 2020, we earned the B Corp certification, which recognizes for-profit companies that use business as a force for good. B Corp companies are working toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. 

If you’d like to get started on your financial plan, reach out to our team today.

Why Mentors Are Still Important Mid-Career 

Published in: Resources |

When thinking of the typical mentor-mentee relationship, the image that comes to mind might be of a seasoned professional advising a new college grad over coffee. 

But mentorships should exist at every stage of your career. As Nilanjana Dasgupta, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, says in CNN Moneypart of it is subverting our ideas of what mentorship looks like. “Mentoring doesn’t always happen in a hierarchical way,” she says. “Often, mentoring happens in bidirectional ways, and you learn different things from different people.” 

Mid-career women might feel embarrassed or nervous about seeking out a mentor, for fear of looking incompetent or being rejected. But this move does exactly the opposite. Mentorship expands your career opportunities, builds crucial connections within your professional network, creates a community of support and trust, and ultimately brings you a sense of purpose and meaning.

The benefits of mentorship are numerous, and mentorship helps break down systemic barriers within organizations: “Growing research has also shown that intentional mentorship programs have a positive impact in chipping away at the promotion or opportunity gap, gaps that keep women and people of color from advancing within organizations,” Fast Company notes.

As Seena Mortazavi, CEO of mentoring software and platform Chronus, says, We know that people really don’t get promoted without having a champion and someone that can speak about you behind closed doors. Having mentoring as a part of the employee journey helps to level the playing field so everyone has the same opportunity to progress in their careers.” 

Mentorship During a Crisis

Mentorship is especially important during this COVID-19 crisis, a time filled with uncertainty and loneliness and when mid-career women might be considering a career change. The culture of inclusion and belonging that mentorship fosters is just what mid-career women need during this stressful time.

Mentors help boost confidence during difficult times and build trust. Even if it’s just through Slack messages or Zoom calls rather than handshakes and lunch, these moments can help professionals weather through the COVID-19 crisis.

Join Us at One of Our Conversation Circles 

The Humphreys Group is passionate about connecting women at all stages of their career through our Conversation Circles.

Our circles consist of a group of 12–15 women sitting together (now virtually), and we have honest, authentic conversations about money beyond the numbers. We have discussed topics ranging from “What’s Your Worth? The Art of Advocating for Ourselves” to “Fiscal Unequals: Finding Common Ground with Friends and Family” to “What’s in Your Resilience Toolkit?” If you’re interested in joining us at our next event, reach out to us today!