Business Columnists

Main Street money: What’s in a name? Three basics to retirement income

About a year ago, Stanford University released a study about retirement planning in a defined contribution world. It concluded there were three basic threats to retirement. They are: 1. Inadequate savings. Various studies show that roughly half of all older American workers (age 55-plus) ...

Money Matters: Is your retirement a Jenga tower?

The market bounces back after suffering its worst 4th quarter open since 2008. No one seems to agree on what’s next. Last time, we were talking about why we believe 401(k)s and other tax-qualified (tax-deferred) plans are not the best way to save for retirement. At the heart of this opinion ...

My email from Tom, Part 1

I recently received the following in an email from a man named Tom. “Normally I wouldn’t take the time to write this, but I find your ad and corresponding ‘The Great 401k Rip Off’ website a totally irresponsible attempt to stir up fear and confusion around financial planning. I am ...

What you say outside of work could cost you your job

Recently, there has been news coverage regarding whether certain Bedford School guidance counselors should keep their jobs after they wrote letters of support for a former Exeter High School guidance counselor, Kristie Torbick. Ms. Torbick pled guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year old ...

It’s your future, so what are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for? This is the question going through my mind as I watch the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director, the president, and the local governors begging people to leave the areas most apt to be hit by Florence. Winds of 110 mph. Nearly four feet of rain. Floods. ...

Money Matters: Do financial planners have your interests at heart?

One of the most common claims by people in my business is, “It’s about the people, not the money.” Indeed, we make that claim as well. It’s a great line, isn’t it? If only it were true. A first step in working with us is going through an online survey. One of the true/false questions ...

Threatening co-workers not excused due to mental disability

State and federal employment discrimination laws require employers to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities in order to enable them to do their job. However, employee misconduct does not usually afford any reasonable accommodation. By way of example, if an employee threatens ...

Creating your own safety net

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” This nugget of pure gold from Albert Einstein is one of my favorite all-time quotes, and that’s saying a lot. It’s the key to creating a good income plan; when you come right down to it, it’s ...

Money Matters: Who owns your retirement account?

Most of us have some kind of retirement account, either an employer-sponsored account such as a 401(k) or 403(b), etc., or a privately managed account like a traditional IRA. Some of us even have pensions that we have earned through the years, and most of us who worked will have a Social ...

Individual liability in running your business

There are legal benefits in operating your business through a corporation or a limited liability company (hereinafter “LLC”). If you have a corporation or an LLC and you enter into contracts in your representative capacity, you are often not personally liable for that obligation. For ...

Be careful of what you type:Emails and texts could cost you your job

It is not uncommon to use emails and texts as casually as a regular conversation. However, once sent, those emails and texts could be saved in perpetuity. Under some circumstances, deleted emails could be revived by a computer forensic expert and the extra steps an employee takes to erase ...

Find a Sherpa to execute tough financial terrain

Not too long ago, I was on a walk with my dogs. I should note that a couple of years ago, I broke my ankle. Since then, it, both hips, and my left knee haven’t let up, so walking can be a challenge. Walking on rough terrain can be an ordeal. Anyway, I was walking my dogs and we came to a ...

What’s your retirement plan?

One of the sad truths about people, especially with regard to their money, is they almost always have to experience some kind of major setback prior to making a plan. In other words, people tend to react as opposed to prepare. And often, even when they do prepare, it’s not enough. For ...

Main Street Money: Is financial planning only for the wealthy?

When was the last time you went to a doctor? Do you remember how that appointment went? The last time I went, my doctor weighed me, asked me questions about how I was feeling, looked at a blood test I took, poked and prodded me with various instruments and popsicle sticks, and sent me on my way ...

Money Matters: Too soon old, too late smart

I was reading an article from Morningstar the other day, and while I was agreeing with much of what the author said, a lot of it was troubling to me. Allow me to explain. The title of the article was, “These Products Offer Protection, but at What Price?” Just that title is troublesome to ...

Employee theft is possible in your company

While on occasion we hear in New Hampshire and Massachusetts news of a bookkeeper who has embezzled money from a company, many such embezzlements are resolved by private restitution agreements and therefore do you get to the public eye. Theft by employees does occur in the workplace and ...

It’s easier to fool some than to convince them they’ve been fooled

Although no one really knows where this saying came from, I have managed to fool myself into thinking it was Mark Twain. So, on my emails, this quote sits proudly in the signature area with the attribution (light): “attributed to Mark Twain.” Talk about equivocating! Regardless, it’s one ...

Work hard; play soft with co-workers

Throughout the year, and particularly during the holiday season, coworkers may be interacting socially off the clock. While employers do not have an obligation to monitor a worker’s off-the-clock activities, what happens between coworkers after hours can affect their employment. If ...

What’s missing from this retirement picture?

You’ve done what you’ve always considered a good job saving for retirement. Following the suggestions of your financial planner, you began paying yourself first, putting away 10 percent of your earnings at a relatively young age, maxing out your employer matches and then some. You have ...

Initial response to discrimination claims is critical

Notwithstanding diligent screening in the application process, sometimes employees are not found to have the same capabilities or work ethic they purported to have during job interviews or their situation changes and their job performance suffers. Many employees when fired for job performance ...