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How to Decide if Renting or Buying a Home is Right for You

Written by Tim Decker, AIF. Posted in The Patriot News

Q: I'm currently renting a house and I'm considering buying. Which makes more sense financially? 

A: This is a complex question, and the answer depends on a lot of factors. But even if you could identify all of the factors and put numbers on each, this wouldn't necessarily answer the question of which is the better choice for you.

For most people, the best reasons to own a home have little or nothing to do with whether it's a good financial investment. Everyone desires a comfortable place to live and raise their family. Which house you choose, and how you pay for it, is not just an investment. First, it's a lifestyle choice.

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3 Questions to Ask When Planning Your Financial Future

Written by Tim Decker, AIF. Posted in The Patriot News

Q: I know people who have a set financial plan and those who don't, preferring to figure this out as they go along. Who's right?

A: Your friends with specific plans are on the right road – provided that these plans are realistic and well thought-out.  

Not only do many people not have a financial plan, many of them don't understand what such a plan should involve. One way to deal with this is to engage a qualified financial planner. Whether you take this route or go it alone, a financial plan should be the answer to issues raised by key questions about your future, including:

  • When will you have enough assets to retire, and how long will these assets last? Will you outlive your retirement resources?
  • What will be your income streams during retirement? What's the best strategy to timing the beginning of your Social Security benefits and what will your total monthly figure be? Do you have any pensions? What will be your withdrawals from your investment portfolio?
  • What will your standard of living be during retirement? How much will you need for this, and do these figures account for likely inflation? What kind of spending items would be included in a retirement budget? Does this budget include costs for health care and for long-term care if you or your spouse needs it? Do you have long-term care insurance now to take care of this, or are you planning to self-insure?
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Wise Money | Stubborn Bulls and Stubborn Bears are Both Wrong

Written by Tim Decker, AIF. Posted in The Patriot News

I have one friend who's always overly optimistic about the stock market and another who's always predicting a crash. Whom should I believe?

Neither. Some people—perma‐bulls—are always predicting that the stock market will go up, and others—perma‐bears—are always predicting that it will go down. Both groups are misguided because, as history shows, the market randomly and unpredictably goes up and down. This historical reality doesn't stop stubborn bulls and bears from fixating on events in ways that are consistent with their views.

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Beware of “free lunch” seminars

Written by Tim Decker.

If you’ve ever received an invitation from a financial or investment company attempting to entice you with the lure of a free meal, you were probably skeptical.

sleazy-salesmanYour intuition couldn't be better. Your skepticism is encouraged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which recently issued an investor alert titled "'Free Lunch' Investment Seminars – Avoiding the Heartburn of a Hard Sell." The reason you're on the free-lunch mailing list is that the company determined that you have the financial resources to buy their products and services. It's all quite enticing: a free meal with all the trimmings at no obligation, they say. Many large financial service companies routinely hold these events at expensive steakhouses.

On the Air

newsradio-WHP-webTim Decker hosts the weekly radio show “Financial Freedom” on WHP 580 AM Harrisburg every Saturday at 10:00 am Eastern.

He brings his extensive knowledge and over 28 years of experience to the discussion of current financial and wealth management topics. Each show also includes a Q&A session when Tim provides straightforward, unbiased answers to questions from callers. This is the program that represents your best interests, not Wall Street's.

Listen Here

The Sleep-Well-at-Night Investor

The-Sleep-Well-At-Night-Investor

ISI Financial Group helps clients take all necessary steps to properly develop and implement a holistic financial plan using evidence-based, time-tested strategies centered around financial science. In his book, “The Sleep-Well-At-Night Investor,” Tim Decker shows readers how misinformation from the mutual fund industry has created widespread harm amongst investors. The book also discusses the temptation to think of investing like gambling, and the tragedy of gambling away savings and security under the guise of investing.

Buy the Book!