Ah, the holidays. A time when you want to spend more money than usual, but your bills and paycheck stay the same. According to the ubiquitous ads on the radio, you should be refinancing your mortgage and all of your financial dreams will come true.
Is this really the case? I went to mortgage expert Dave Majcen, Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate Mortgage, to learn about the signs that you should refinance your home loan. Here are his tips:
- Consider time frame: Make sure you are staying in the house long enough to recoup the closing costs and monthly savings. If you are unsure, look into a no closing cost refinance and let the lender pick up the tab. This way your return on investment starts with your first payment.
- Don’t go backwards. If you have been paying on your 30 year fixed mortgage for 10-15 years, don’t go back to a 30 year fixed or you will be paying interest on top of interest. Consider a 15 year fixed with current rates below 3% and put more towards principal.
- Use a trusted local lender. In Colorado, appraisers won’t even accept orders from out of state lenders. If they do, it can take months and the costs can be much higher than average causing frustration.
- If you are paying mortgage insurance, consider refinancing now. Values in Colorado have risen substantially which will allow you to refinance and eliminate mortgage insurance and reduce your interest rate. A win, win!
Thanks for the perspective! For more info or to see if a re-fi is right for you, contact Dave Majcen at 720-399-7065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While it may be tempting to drop certain commitments and handle all of the caregiving needs alone, it can sometimes have devastating effects on an adult child professionally, personally, and financially. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more caregivers are hospitalized due to burnout and stress-related illness than from worsening medical conditions, simply because they tend to put themselves last.
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“Thanksgiving is an emotional time. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they see only once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.” ~ Johnny Carson
Does this sound familiar? What if this is the year that tough conversations need to take place with parents and siblings about caregiving? How about if you know your kids are spending way above their lifestyle with no savings and it’s driving you crazy?
No one wants to ruin the holidays with awkward conversations or arguments. However, with today’s spread out families, it can be hard to have face-to-face discussions about important issues at any other time.
Here are 3 tips to combining family business with holiday celebrations:
- Delay the conversation until after the holiday: If you need to stay an extra day this year to discuss family business, plan for it. Also let your siblings, parents, or kids know that you have some ideas you’d like to discuss during the extra time together. That lets the others know that it won’t all be about Black Friday bargains.
- Start with an outside example: If you are worried about your parents’ finances in retirement or your kids’ lack of an emergency fund, bring up a story about another friend or news article you read about the subject. Family may naturally open up about their preparedness for a similar situation. Or you could ask an open ended questions like, “How do you see yourself spending time in retirement?” Avoid confrontational questions like, “How much do you have saved in your emergency fund?”
- Prepare the adult kids for changes: Sometimes parents are planning to sell the family home, need to live on a tighter budget, or plan to move away from their kids for various reasons. Boomer divorce rates are, well, booming, as people retire and realize they don’t want to spend the next 20 years of downtime with the person they raised the family with. Again, this conversation may not be appropriate over pecan pie (you might ruin pecan pie for your kids forever and that would be sad), but you should carve out some time prior to everyone leaving to have the talk.
Remember, as life situations change, our relationships change, too. It’s important to treat your family members as adults, prepare to compromise, and don’t overreact to big changes. Some time to digest family news before making huge decisions or dramatic statements will benefit everyone. Maybe we can all just relax over Christmas!