You might be annually earning $80k up to $400k plus – but the financial and lifestyle questions you face are basically the same. The primary long-term costs for individuals are listed below and proper planning and decisions require the advice and guidance from a Financial fiduciary Advisor. Achieving these goals also requires Investment Management from your Financial Advisor. That’s what Hamilton Financial Planning does.

Is Home Ownership is Right for You?

Purchasing your family home is most likely the largest debt you’ll ever acquire and it is imperative you take this step rationally. You need to combine that initial feeling of “Ah ha! The perfect home for us!” with a solid financial plan and reasoning as to why a particular home is worth you committing to a mortgage of $350,000 or more.


Things to consider:

  • Is your job likely to keep you in the area for at least 5 years?
  • If not, is there similar employment in the area at a comparable or better salary?
  • Is the school system in the area top-rated? This has a huge impact on the sales and resale cost and desirability of the home.
  • Does the area have a solid trend of desirability?
Do you have an adequate down payment?
  • A down payment of 20% of the home cost is standard. Do you have that much in savings?
  • If you do have the 20% cash down, will using it wipe out your “emergency fund”?
  • Keep in mind that any “emergency fund” should equal 6 months of all your expenses. It really is important to plan ahead – and increase your savings appropriately.

  • A second mortgage is not a good idea as your debt and monthly payments increase drastically.
What type of mortgage makes the most sense?
  • Which makes more sense for you – a fixed rate mortgage or a variable one?
  • Which mortgage option(s) offers you the lowest rates?
  • Does it make sense for you to pay off the mortgage ahead of time?
  • Are there penalties for doing so?
  • Have you included home maintenance costs in your budget?

The list can feel endless ….

Saving for College Tuition

Ensuring there is adequate money to pay for your children’s college and post graduate work is vital.

You have probably paid off, or are close to paying off, your college loans and the last thing you want to do is saddle your youngsters with the same onerous burden. Granted, there is widespread public demand to drastically reduce the costs of university level education but the caveat of ‘you can’t see the future’ must prevail in your financial planning process. It is better to plan and save now and if education costs are lessened – you have savings that can be used for ancillary costs.


Things to consider:

What are your best options for saving for college?
  • If your kids are young and you are currently carrying a considerable monthly debt load, is the college savings program flexible enough to allow you to increase the monthly contribution when you can confortably do so?
  • Have you considered a Roth IRA for Minors?
  • Would it behoove you to utilize a 529 Plan? These are state, state agencies, and/or educational institutions tax-advantage savings plans designed to encourage saving for future education costs and authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Would non-traditional educational opportunities better serve your child?
  • What other options might exist?

Managing and Maintaining Health Care, including Dental, Orthodontic, and Vision Coverage for Your Family

We know proper healthcare is the ‘goblin in the room’ as it is a contentious issue based more on political parties than on what best serves the greatest number of people at the lowest prices - but it is a fact of live that every family must plan for. Since medical coverage can be amended on a yearly basis this allows for some flexibility and that is a plus.


Things to consider:

Does your employment offer adequate coverage for your family?
Can your spouse’s coverage be leveraged to absorb some of the costs?
Is your current coverage expandable to a new baby?
Is your coverage one that covers pre-existing conditions?
Would supplemental policies make financial sense?
  • What kinds?
  • Are the premiums affordable? Can your budget be adjusted to make them so?

Transportation costs

Unless you are lucky enough to live in a city with ample and reliable public transportation - San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan are the ones that come to mind – you need a vehicle.


Things to consider:

Does it make more financial sense to own or lease your car(s)?
Leasing usually requires a lower down payment, often lower monthly payments, plus repairs and major maintenance costs are usually included. At the end of your lease you don’t have to worry about selling the vehicle … and you get a new car of your choice.
Leases do require more comprehensive insurance coverage than you might want if you were to buy a car. Someone else owns the lease and your insurance protects their investment.
A word of caution on leasing a car – know the approximate mileage you will putting on the vehicle annually. If you exceed the allowable mileage, it will cost you.
Ask yourself do I really need to own a top of the SUV with all the bells and whistles or will a nice sedan do?

Safety is paramount; reasonable gas mileage is important. Other than that, the most important thing to remember is that a car is just a car. And it depreciates with time.

The above are primary concerns for every family and must be addressed.

The answers to each are contingent on an individual’s needs, income, and obligations. No one answer fits all. Helping you find the best solutions for today and tomorrow is where Hamilton Financial Planning comes into the scheme of things.

We understand your goals and obligations because we take the time to know you. While everyone has similar general parameters of needs, finding the optimum solutions is completely individual-centric. This is why Hamilton Financial Planning has a three-pronged approach. Financial Planning (including establishing a workable budget for today), Investment Management, and Wealth Building and Management. All three are inter-related and each relies on the other to work effectively.

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If you’re unsure if you have enough saved to retire; when you can afford to retire, or how much more wealth you need to build in order to retire, we should talk. HFP is offering a no obligation 30 minute planning session designed to provide you with a high-level view of your financial forecast to answer these key questions.

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