Independence Day? How About Independence Week?!

My greatest passions – when I am not hard at work for my clients, that is – are fishing, traveling and photography. Put them together and I am ALL my glory.

This week my family and I will be celebrating Independence Day Week in Sun Valley, Idaho, where my youngest daughter is attending a figure skating camp. I am told the scenery is spectacular, the rivers are loaded with ginormous fish, and they have an awesome fireworks display on the 4th of July!

If I can put down the fishing rod long enough, I hope to get some great fireworks photos this year. In the past, however, fireworks photos have been a real challenge for me.

For some tips I checked out this great article on fireworks photos from Digital Photography School. I thought you might find it helpful as well.

Whatever you are doing this week, I hope you are doing what you love with the people you love. I know I will be.

Isn’t that what this country is all about?

Happy July 4th!

Instead of Goal Setting, Tim Ferris Suggests This

Photo Credit: Luanne Olson

Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week and host of the Tim Ferris Show podcast has an interesting take on goal setting. Rather than set goals, define and address the fears that hold you back instead.

In a recent TED talk Tim Ferris asks “Where in your life might defining your fears be more important than defining your goals?”

According to Ferris, it’s the fear of the worst-case scenario that keep us from making the hard choices we sometimes face in life. And it’s often the hard choices that we most need to make. Most of the time the benefits of defining your fears and addressing life’s difficult decisions head-on can lead to a much better outcome than if we do simply nothing.

He offers a simple strategy to keep fear from standing between you and your goals.

Student Loan Interest Rates on The Rise

Interest rates for student loans are reset each year. Starting July 1 interest rates for new borrowers of Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans will rise to 4.45%. That’s up from 3.75% the previous year.

Direct Subsidized Student Loans are those in which the government pays the interest while the student is in school. These loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. Typically this means the Total Cost of Attendance at the school your student attends exceeds your Expected Family Contribution as determined by the FAFSA form. Even families with fairly high incomes and significant assets may have need at many private colleges and universities.

5 Reasons Why You Should Contribute to Your Company’s Roth 401(k)

Since 2006 retirement savers have been able to contribute to Roth accounts via their retirement plans at work. Known better as the Roth 401(k), these unique retirement plans allow you to save after-tax dollars in an account that grows tax-free and allows for tax-free distributions during retirement.

Not every employer offers the Roth 401(k) as a feature available in their retirement plan, but when they do you should take advantage of the opportunity.

Here are 5 reasons why you should contribute to your company’s Roth 401(k).

Before Sending Your Student Off to College, Do This

Imagine the following situation: It’s 10:00 a.m. on a beautiful spring day. The birds are singing. The sun is out – finally! Everything seems right with the world. Standing in line at your favorite coffee shop, you receive a phone call that your daughter was found unresponsive in her dorm room. She has been rushed to the emergency room at a hospital that you have never heard of before.

When you get there the hospital’s medical team refuses to give you any information about her condition or what kind of care she is receiving. They won’t even tell you what is wrong with her. As an adult she has a legal right to privacy that prevents the hospital from disclosing any personal, medical information.

While this may seem unlikely, it can happen. Do you know what you need in order to be involved in her care, now that she’s a legal adult?