Cash is King. Life Lesson 19 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Cash is King

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

You might find my statement hard to believe, but take that extra moment or two to let it sink in. Cash is genuinely misunderstood in our world today and how it fits into one’s own financial plan. This is why I think too many people have too little cash.

Take for example the recent government shutdown. Each newscast showed people who couldn’t pay for groceries, rent, mortgage or their insulin. his is a great example of people living paycheck to paycheck. I suspect for most people, it’s easy to remember when that described a period in our lives.

Yet, the statistics I read today are amazain – 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Many are only one paycheck from losing their homes. In our world today, we are so focused on “stuff” to bring us happiness. One of my client’s recently pointed out that it’s not until you turn 50 years old that you realize you don’t need all this stuff. We are spending our way into working longer when we have to.

Having cash isn’t a problem nor does it create a problem. If you had $100,000 or $250,000 just in your saving account today, what problems does that truly create? The answer is none!

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I shop at Walmart. Life Lesson 18 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

I shop at Walmart

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Yes, I shop at Walmart. I shop at Walmart for all the staples in my families life. I shop at Walmart to save money, especially our grocery bill. Food is one of our major household expenses each month, and I suspect it’s the same in your home. Walmart does save us money on our day to day grocery items.

Recently we started using the Walmart Grocery Pickup service. And wow, it is convenient and saves time and money. They let you know when your order is ready, and they can even tell when you are on your way to pick them up – a little “Big Brother” but that’s Ok.

With these savings, I’m not a big coupon clipper and it doesn’t seem coupons are as prevalent as they once were.

Costco, Lunds & Byerlys, Cub, Aldi and Trader Joe’s are also places I shop. Each one o has items we like but I’ve yet to find one a one stop shop. By the way….Aldi has excellent German chocolate at a cheap price.

So with a little planning each week, it’s not hard to save money on your grocery bill. And put more cash into your pocket.

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Turning off Technology. Life Lesson 17 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Turning off Technology

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s something I’ve failed at for as long as I can remember. Technology has become a way of life for me. It’s an ongoing feeling that I feel like I always need to check my email and phone. If I had one habit I’d like to change it is to be less dependent on technology.

Granted I’m getting old, I know I don’t show it, but growing up technology wasn’t a big part of our lives. Back in the day, I remember having a TV channel changer that was a 30-foot cord. Back then it was cool. Today, cords are old school expect for charging your phone and soon Apple will capture the cordless charing marketplace.

I’ve been trying to not check my emails from Friday at 5 p.m. until late afternoon on Sunday. Some weekends are better than others where I can resist checking during that time frame. But it’s a struggle and I feel the need to keep up second on what’s happening.

I’ve always liked the touch and feel of an actual book. I never understood the appeal of reading a book from a device. Recently, I purchased an iPad Pro for work and it turns out I enjoy reading books in that format. I like the portability of not having to carry a book or two with me. Plus each book I read on the iPad I can highlight and takes notes, which was I like the old school of actual physical books. Turns out the iPad saves me the time of retyping my notes from the books I read.

Technology isn’t going to leave my life anytime soon. I’ll continue to have off limit times on checking emails and texts and focus on family and quiet time. It’s not unreasonable to have a day of rest each week from technology.

Now if I could just teach my youngest this lesson about technology and limiting its power on their lives. That would be great.

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7 + 5 =

Cancer – Life’s Short. Life Lesson 16 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Christmas 2017 Message

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

As I think and experience this lesson second hand through my mom, I’m sitting with her as she’s receiving a host of different types of Chemo feed through an implanted pump. Today was an 8 hour day, one bag after another, along with Potassium and fluids to help keep her hydrated. And it followed with a take-home Chemo pump for another 48 hours. I think of how one word can change your life forever – Cancer.

The treatment center has rows of chairs, IV pumps, TVs, places for family and friends, and even warm blankets and recliners that have built-in heaters which I’ve enjoyed. For the most part, it’s usually a quiet room. Not much talking between one another beyond the type of cancer and how long you’ve been dealing with it. Most patients and families just keep to themselves. Yet, everyone is friendly. The majority of the patients I’ve seen so far have been women – almost 80%. Nearly all are of 65 years old or older. As I hear the patients sharing their stories, some have been coming for a short time, and others have coming here for 2, 5, 10 and event 20 years. Wow! And to think, some days I have the nerve to complain my cheeseburger took to long.

Cancer isn’t always a death sentence. Great strides have been made with research. Patients talk about when they first diagnosed and that the types of treatment were not even around. One person mentioned she’s been coming to this facility for 17 years. That’s proof that life doesn’t stop when you’ve told you have Cancer.

Many patients seems to have a pep in their step and others seem to be physically and mentally exhausted I suspect for them, you and I included, never pictured getting sick. At times, the realities of life set in for what life and bring our ways.

Life short, we can’t take tomorrow for granted.

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10 places to visit before you die. Life Lesson 15 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

10 places to visit before you die

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

I am in no way a world traveler, but I’ve been to some of the best places this planet has to offer. From the Red Rocks of the Grand Canyon, the sunsets off the tip of South Africa in the Mediterranean, to the mountains of Swiss Alps, I’m in awe of the beauty this world truly has.

When I see this Nature’s beauty, I see God. I don’t believe the Earth was created because of a “big bang”. It took so much more planning beyond my own comprehension. I have a ton a places I’d like to see and experience during my time on earth. So here’s my list of the top 10 places to travel before you die.

1. Swiss Alps
2. Grand Canyon (Arizona)
3. Alaska
4. Galápagos Islands
5. Australia and New Zealand
6. Rome
7. Northern Lights in Iceland or Norway
8. Everglades
9. Any Rainforest
10. Amsterdam

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Paying for college – Why do we think others should pay for it? Life Lesson 14 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Paying for college – Why do we think others should pay for it?

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s a real worry parents have today and not surprising because college can cost upwards of $100,000 or more. Paying for college has become very worrisome and we’ve created a system that encourages you to want others to help pay for some or all of your child’s education.

It’s a natural question to ask where a high school graduate is going to college? And if the response is anything but a four-year degree, it seems like we look down on them. Not every kid is college bound or right for a four-year program. And that is Ok.

There are so many high paying jobs were a technical school provides the skills necessary. From an auto mechanic, HVAC, LPN, RN, plumber, lineman, etc. I know because I hire many of these people because I have no idea how to perform these tasks myself.

College tuition has gotten out of control and I suspect will never change in our society. Here are a few ways to help you plan for paying for college.

1. Start setting money aside the day children are born
2. Start at two year program if needed and then transfer to a four year program.
3. Look at options at technical colleges.
4. Don’t go to college. My most financially successful clients do not have formal educations and instead pursued their passions and worked hard.
5. Find an employer who offers tuition reimbursement or on the job training.

Kids have more options than ever before. If your child’s education is a top priority, you might need to redirect your financial priorities to saving for their education.

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