Angelina Jolie – Brad Pitt Divorce Cost

 

As of now, many have heard the news of the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt divorce. Of course this is unfortunate, especially for their children, but there are financial lessons to be learned when couples marry, then, all-too-often, find themselves in a divorce.

Finances are emotional enough, but when we add in the ending of a union, many cannot separate the hurt from what is essentially a business transaction. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have teams of lawyers that will be sure to keep everyone’s best interest in mind.

The ultimate Angelina Jolie – Brad Pitt divorce settlement will be agreed upon by both parties and they will move on. This article will hopefully provide some insight for us “regular” folks facing this situation.

 

Much of the tears can be avoided if an appropriate pre-nuptial agreement is signed, but if not when faced with a potential divorce, I advice the following:

 

Gather all financial documents:

Many couples live separate financial lives, but when you are married each of your assets and debts are aggregated to determine how it is all divided. So, hidden bank accounts and/or hidden credit card debts can really be problems. This is the time you must figure out what you are “worth” as a couple to determine what each of you are responsible and entitled to going forward.

 

Monitor your credit report:

Likely, you have many debts that are joint. Even if the car is “his”, but the debt is joint, it is both of your responsibility to pay on this loan. Many times couples will be ordered to refinance the debt singlely, but that is not always possible. Be sure to pull a credit report immediately (at mycreditreport.com) and continue to monitor it.

 

Open account(s) in your name only:

It is important to gain some independence and to keep track of what this new stage of life will “cost” you. Having a separate account that you pass all your income and bills through will assist you in determining what level of support (or not) you need. You will be devising a new budget and this account will be very helpful in determining that.

 

Hire professional help:

This is obviously when you hire a competent attorney, but often overlooked is a financial advisor as well as a social worker/therapist. Your attorney is essential to navigate you through this difficult and often illogical time, but the other professionals will assist you with your current issues you are facing during your divorce. More importantly, they will assist with having a plan to go forward.

Separately and often most important is how your children’s future is determined. This includes custody as well as how they will be supported financially and emotionally. I leave that issue for another day, but my hope is Angela Jolie and Brad Pitt can have a somewhat amicable and private divorce for the sake of their children.

 

How “Brexit” Plunged World Economies

“Brexit”

One thing investors love, is stability.

The smartest investors often analyze trends, patterns, and other movements in the market in which they invest, allowing them to either invest or withdraw their investment, thus driving market stocks and value.

Britain just voted to exit the European Union, coining the term, “Brexit”, and it shook markets and investors worldwide.

European bank shares had their worst two day fall on record and the British pound fell to it’s lowest level in 31 years, Reuters reported.

You read that correctly, a political vote actually decreased the value of money worldwide.

What is in store for the United States economy since the Brexit confusion?

Are you secure in your investments, and does your family have a financial plan in case of economical collapse?

Tom Sirois of Berkshire Hills Financial can help you get on the right track.

Call today.

How to Invest Your Tax Refund

It’s April. The birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and you are banking on that big tax return to take your family on that vacation you have been dreaming of all year.

Maybe travel isn’t your thing, and you prefer possessions such as flat screen t.v.’s and the latest shoe craze?

In this post, we will show you how to invest your tax return and make it work for you.

We all know that debt is a huge deal in America. So many of us are plagued with high interest credit card bills. Want to improve your score, please your significant other, and be able to borrow more money should the need arise in the future? Use that hefty refund to pay off a few of those high interest credit cards and breathe a sigh of debt-free relief.

Tragedy hits people every day when they least expect it. Most people do not have a nest egg to rely on when tragedy strikes. What if you take at least a small portion of that refund, and tuck it away in an interest bearing account for any misfortune that could come your way? Having a few extra dollars put back when that transmission goes bad could save you in the long run.

Politics are all over the place right now, and the future of retirement seems to get more and more diminished every year. A large majority of elderly people are still working past the age of 65, and some, with multiple jobs. You worked all your life, but do you have anything to show for it? Putting back some money for retirement now, could pay off big in the future, as you finally get some time to relax with your family and enjoy the life you worked so hard to build.

Do you rent your home? Do you want to rent forever or would you rather bask in the glory of owning your own house for a fraction of what you would rent it for? Investing in the real estate market could pay off big in the future, and, if house buying is something you enjoy, the market of “flipping houses” has never been better. Invest your refund in a home and enjoy peace of mind.

Investing your refund may seem hard once you have it in your hand, but it could pay you off three-fold in the long run.

The High Cost of Veterinary Care

I was recently told by a person who adopted a rescue animal from their local animal shelter as a means to cope with the recent loss of their daughter. The story does not end well emotionally and financially due to what they were told the cost of veterinary care.

Everything was going great, until after they came home from the March of Dimes.

The couple opened the door to the room they kept their dogs in after hearing growling as soon as they arrived home.

Their small Dachshund had been attacked because the new dog introduced to the pack was trying to assert itself.

Folks who have had pets know that Veterinary bills are some of the most expensive and unexpected medical costs in our financial lives.

According to Washington Post, veterinary care in the United States jumped from $8 Billion in 2000, almost doubling to $14 billion in 2013.

This young loving couple was told that costs could estimate $4000 for surgery and wound care for their dog, and the vet hospital needed it up front. This was AFTER they spent $600 dollars out of their bill money for the appointment.

They were unable to provide any further care for their dog and had to put their dog to rest, devastating the owners.

Why should you let the cost of veterinary bills devastate a financially stable home, while veterinarian’s pay has increased by an average of $90,000 per year? Unfortunately, this is a fact of life. We often do not factor in worse case scenarios and/or unforeseen expenses.

You have many options, such as pet insurance, and deferred credit cards such as CareCredit, but, the best game plan, is good financial stability in order to have money set aside for emergencies just like this one.

Here at Berkshire Hills Financial, Tom Sirois can help you set aside money in increments that won’t affect you or your families expenditures, and avoid tragedy when it strikes next.

When do You Need a Financial Advisor?

When Your Finances Increase Significantly.

It’s no secret that a fool and his money are soon parted. With bankrupt celebrities and even Wall Street needing a bailout, we could all use a little financial education. At Berkshire Hills Financial, Tom Sirois can help you plan investments, take care of past debt, and consolidate your expenses.

When A Loved One Gets Sick

Healthcare is one of the most expensive things that people rarely prepare for. Before you know it, (God forbid), your aunt has cancer, your family is nowhere to be found, and she moves in with you to save money for treatments. At Berkshire Hills Financial, Tom Sirois can help you plan for these dark times, and put a silver lining on that dark cloud, and in your wallet.

When Planning A Large Purchase

Car, boat, truck, or house, a large purchase may seem like a great plan until disaster strikes and you realize you should have budgeted. At Berkshire Hills Financial, Tom Sirois can help you rearrange your finances to fit in the purchase you want and deserve.

Before you really need one

Finding unbiased advice is very hard to come by, but as with many things it is better to have a plan BEFORE your confront financial decisions. For example, if you have young people or individuals who are dependent on you as a source of income, you MUST protect your income if you can no longer work. This can be simply disability insurance or more commonly life insurance. It can cost just a few hundred dollars a year to protect your earning power for the future. But, as with all of these decisions, you need to know what is the best financial decision: Term Life? or a Whole Life Policy? The answer is not always easy to answer. That is where an unbiased financial advisor can help.

Unless you are wealthy like Warren Buffet as a simple conversation with a financial advisor can pay for itself over time many times over.

Tom Sirois

Great Barrington

A case for owning Stocks (and renting?)

Since “the Great Recession”, many American households have not recovered their former net worth.

Households in the upper 7 percent (households with a net worth above $836,033) saw their net worth INCREASE by 28%. The remaining households in the lower 93% net worth dropped by 4 percent (to roughly $134,000).

Stated simply, affluent households typically own stocks and other financial holding that increased in value (since 2009) and less wealthy tend to have more of their assets in their homes which have not rebounded.

To read more go to: Pew Social Trends.

 

Tom Sirois

Great Barrington, MA