wealth-care checkup


How long should you keep paperwork around?

“How long should I keep paperwork before shredding?” I get this question a lot, but it’s not a quick answer. Here’s an article I wrote to help clarify it. Regarding income tax returns: The IRS has 3 years from the time you file to audit a return or the due date, whichever is later, so absolutely keep all the backup materials to your tax return for at least three years. They get 7 years to […]


Insurance for workers

When I was in my early twenties a grad student at my University drowned. He left behind a widow and a small child and no life insurance. They had been living in University housing and his new widow was left homeless. When we had children I made sure my husband and I each had life insurance. These sorts of tragedies are really visible and really dreadful and so life insurance occurs to people like this […]


Book Review: “All Your Worth” by Elizabeth Warren

I’ve heard wonderful things about Elizabeth Warren and I was intrigued by the concept of this personal financial husbandry book. The title of the first books I read, “All Your Worth”, made me cringe as it makes me think of a misspelled contraction. But it’s not a pronouncement or a discussion of what you are worth. Instead, it is a suggestion that you might be better off if you built some net worth. The basic […]


Book Review: Pay It Down

Jean Chatzky’s take on debt.   This was a quick read from the library: Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10/day by Jean Chatzky.   The  book is abbreviated and condensed into this series of articles on Money.cnn. First off, this book is nearly entirely about budgeting.  Figure out what you’re already spending, and then take a look.  The topic was just as dreary as it could be in this relentless little book.  It would not let you […]


Five characteristics of financial wellness

I work closely with the finances of hundreds (and over the years, thousands) of people.  I learned early on that income doesn’t correlate to happiness once you get past starvation level.  But in recent years I’ve really been noticing that feeling rich is almost entirely unrelated to income levels.    For the past year or so I’ve been trying to nail down what being “wealthy” actually means. I think a better term for “wealthy” is […]