News

Inter-Generational Gifting: Strings or No Strings?

My brother and I are having a disagreement. We’re both grown adults with grown children, so our disagreements look like discussions with the occasional pointed jab that recalls old childhood tensions. This disagreement started when the three of us – me, my brother, and our mom – were sitting around

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Kids These Days

Financial planning clients tend to fit a specific demographic – they’re usually retired or approaching retirement or thinking about financial independence. A few younger people (and I mean those in their 30s and 40s) might want a financial planner to help them make decisions about company stock, the sale of

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Your Financial To-Do List

I was preparing for a last-minute holiday get-together—making pasta salad, arranging cookies, setting the table—when I heard a beep. A minute or so later, I heard another beep. I stopped what I was doing to change the battery in the kitchen smoke detector. A minute or so later, there was

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Be the Boss of Your Money

When I was in marketing management, my least favorite part of the job was organizing the end-of-year party for a thousand employees and their guests, a third of whom would sign up but never show up. Those who did attend seemed to be having a marvelous time, gobbling plates of

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Accounting for Your Health

When I told my daughter I was doing noon workouts at the local pool, she was shocked. “What?” she said. She thought I had said, “nude workouts.” As a matter of fact, just about the only suit I put on these days is the one I wear lap swimming. I

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Winning Big and Scamming Big

My 85-year-old Mom got a call from Publisher’s Clearing House. The caller told her she’d won $3.7 million and a new Mercedes Benz. The car was going to be delivered to her house that afternoon. All she needed to do was go to the store right away and get a

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Love, Honor…and Spend Wisely: Money and Marriage

It’s been a while since I’ve attended a wedding. This summer I was invited to three. There seems to have been an outbreak of post-pandemic pairing among the niece and nephew generation. Wedding ceremonies are all about love and commitment and the coming together of families. As I watched the

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Surprise! Life is Unpredictable

You don’t have to be superstitious to believe you can predict the future. In fact, if you think about it, you’re making predictions all day long. That doesn’t make you clairvoyant. For example, when I need to go somewhere, I assume that I can rely on my car to take

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Phone a Friend is Not Always the Best Plan

Last week my daughter called to ask about the best way to cook a salmon fillet. My mom called for help setting up a new app on her computer. And I called a friend to ask her advice on how to use ChatGPT in my writing. Isn’t it great to

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Vacation Home Dreamin’

There’s a place in Alaska that’s been in our family since 1939. A beautiful lake-front spot on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s eight acres of land originally purchased for $500. Not long ago the old miner’s cabin was torn down and replaced with a big log cabin. The cabin was a

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They’ll Always Be Kids to You

I chuckle when I hear people talk about parenting as an eighteen-year responsibility. Eighteen? I passed that age more than a few decades ago and my Mom still takes care of me. Okay, and I take care of her, too. I also don’t expect to be turning off the tap

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Taking the Leap into Early Retirement

I like answering surveys. They’re kind of a professional curiosity for me, like a baker tasting chocolates. But lately, I’ve been stumped by one of the questions at the end of the survey. It’s the one that asks about employment status. The choices are: Employed full time, employed part time,

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Build Your Plan Around Your Goals

When my daughter was in elementary school, I got her a Moon jar – a foldable bank with three compartments labeled “Share, Spend, Save.” Moon jars were created to help kids learn about money and goal setting. I encouraged my daughter to sort her money – allowance, earnings from chores,

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Giving that Gives You Joy

It seems that every Sunday when I visit my Mom for dinner, she shows me a pile of envelopes from charities asking for money. She regularly sends modest checks to several groups, but they always seem to want more. I remind Mom that giving tends to trigger more asks, and

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Let Your Retirement Plans Know Who’s Boss

When I went through a major layoff as a twenty-something, my Dad didn’t hide his concern about my career choice. Advertising, I told him, was simply not going to be as secure as his life as a tenured professor. When I went on to secure a job at the regional

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Investing in your Child’s Future Dreams

It seems that part of parenting is imagining what your kid is going to do when they grow up. A child who enjoys tinkering may be destined to be an engineer. One who loves to put on a show might become a director one day. We’re always on the lookout for the spark that will

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Permission to keep caring about Social Security

When my 20-year-old daughter looked over the wage summary for her summer job, she zeroed in on the money that was taken out before the paycheck even hit her account. She grudgingly acknowledged the income taxes, hoping she may get some back as a refund. But Social Security? From the buzz she’s hearing among her generation, Social Security will be

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When World Events Rock the Stock Market

It’s a crazy world out there, and it all seems to be happening in real time. Four decades after CNN brought us 24-hour news, we now carry an endless supply of news and information in our pockets. We can see world events unfolding before our eyes, and watch moment-by-moment as

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Into house and home

One recent weekend I painted my bedroom walls a dark cobalt blue. Then I sent a photo to my cousin who said, “That’s going to be hard to paint over when you decide to sell your house.” I know. And I don’t care. The color makes me happy. My home

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Map Life’s Adventure with a Financial Plan

Before the whole world was carrying a GPS around in their pockets, I loved planning weekend camping trips using detailed topographical maps. I’d unfold a section of the wilderness on my kitchen table, locate a starting point, then trace alternate routes into scenic high country, waterfalls, or alpine lakes. Using

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What does risk tolerance mean?

Are you Bunny Slope or Black Diamond? I have to be honest, whenever I meet with my financial planner and we get to the questions about risk tolerance, I suddenly become extremely uncertain: Am I a low risk person? Highly risk tolerant? Or somewhere in between? Most of the time

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December 2021

Greetings from Arrivity® Financial Planning! We hope this finds you well as the year end approaches. It’s our mission to help our clients navigate their path in the financial world. We believe financial planning is not a one-time event. It should be ongoing throughout life’s many changes. We value our

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New Washington Long Term Care Trust Act

Washington State recently passed the Long Term Care Trust Act. Starting January 1, 2022, all W-2 income in WA State will be taxed at 0.58% to fund this new program. Prompt attention may be required for those who are working and already have a private Long Term Care Insurance policy

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CARES Act Commentary

Goddard Financial Planning remains “open for business” albeit in new configurations with the team working remotely. We are busily working with clients who need help navigating the current landscape. Note that currently e mail is our preferred means of communication. While we strive to respond to client inquiries within 24

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SECURE Act Commentary – January 29, 2020

While most of the country was enjoying the holidays in late December, Congress was busy putting the final touches on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, better known by its acronym of the SECURE Act. After being signed into law, the new provisions went into effect January

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Market Commentary – December 2018

Greetings! We hope this email finds you well and looking forward to the holidays. For many of us in the Pacific Northwest, autumn can be a favorite time of year as we transition from the hot, dry end of summer to shorter days, cooler nights, and plenty of color in

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Recommendations for Identity and Credit Protection

Greetings, In light of the recent data breach at Equifax, we would like to share with you some of the information we have gathered to help protect yourself and your family from credit and identity theft. The decision of which lines of defense to take in preventing identity theft is

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John Goddard’s Blog – May 11, 2016

I’ve been retired for a bit more than a year now. I’m stunned to write this. Where did the time go? Time moves at the same pace, of course, but it seems to be zipping by faster now than in earlier stages of my life. I think becoming more sensitive

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Aspiring School Counselor Struggles with Debt

By George Erb – Special to The Seattle Times “Like many young adults, Tacoma graduate student Taylor Reyes is pursuing her dreams of a career and a home while college debt piles up around her. She’s worried whether she can earn enough money as a school counselor to buy a

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John Goddard’s first retirement report.

Here’s my first official report on retirement: it’s great. I talked about retirement every day for years with planning clients who needed help in figuring out how to become financially prepared themselves. I knew I was ready to follow my own advice when the desire to shift into a slower

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