Financial Pathway Advisors, LLC
James Kinney is the founder and owner of Financial Pathway Advisors of Bridgewater New Jersey. Financial Pathways also has offices in Flanders and Cranbury New Jersey.
Jim is a Certified Financial Planner and a NAPFA registered fee only financial advisor. Fee only advisors are committed to maintaining a compensation model that eliminates the potential conflicts of interest which may result when parties other than the client are paying for advice. Fee only advisors are not permitted to accept commissions, referral payments, or any other form of compensation from investment firms, insurance companies, or other professionals.
Jim is a strong believer in the power of financial planning, when done with the clients’ best interests in mind, to improve lives, reduce stress, and achieve goals. Both Jim and Luba have analytical backgrounds (both have spent time working in IT, as well as business and finance), which are demonstrated in the care and attention they pay to even the smallest detail in their clients’ financial plans.
In addition to retirement planning and investing, Jim has specialized training in planning for college, while his partner, Luba, is a Certified Divorce Financial Planning Specialist.
Jim believes that investment risk management should be at the core of every financial plan. Again, his analytical approach is on display as the firm carefully creates, for each client, portfolios that are optimally diversified to balance investment risk vs. the need for positive returns. There are no cookie cutter investment solutions at Financial Pathways. Each client’s investment recommendations are unique and based on his or her carefully considered financial plan.
Jim lives in Hillsborough New Jersey with his wife Laura. They have four adult and college age children. Jim earned his bachelors degree in Business Administration from Drexel University in 1984, his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1990. Prior to beginning his current career, Jim had been a successful entrepreneur, founding and growing a successful international manufacturing and data management company from 1990 to 2003. He started his financial planning career in 2004, founded Financial Pathways in 2007, and earned his CFP® certification in 2008. Luba Globerman joined his practice in 2009. Jim is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) as well as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). He has been an active adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America for 18 years, and enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, running and the outdoors.
BS, Business Administration, Drexel University
MBA, Fairleigh Dickenson University
Financial Pathway Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of New Jersey. Advisory services are offered only to residents of the State of New Jersey, except as permitted by applicable state and federal securities regulations.
To me, the difference is largely one of time frame.
Lets offer an example. We have 2 ten year olds with $100.
Amy uses the $100 to buy lemons, sugar, an old table, and some poster board and sets up a lemonade stand on a busy road. Business is brisk, and she reinvests her profits by buying more supplies. By the end of the summer she has turned $100 into $500. Some days (rainy, cool days) business was slow, some days (the hot sunny ones) it was brisk. She was never discouraged. She did not throw up her hands on the first rainy day and say "no one is ever going to buy lemonade again - I'm going to sell my stand". She is an investor.
Johnny on the other hand goes and spends his entire $100 buying lemons, which he hopes to sell to Amy next week at a higher price. He heard the price of lemons will go up because the forecast is calling for record heat and lemonade is popular in the hot weather. Lo and behold, the forecast is wrong, the price of lemons drops, and Johnny is wiped out. Johnny is a speculator.
Speculators are forever trying to be smarter than the market. Investors simply participate in the markets. Speculating is akin to gambling. Investing is like going to work.
This is complicated. If your 20 year old is receiving financial aid, getting married could increase your Expected Family Contribution and reduce available financial aid.
Federal income tax considerations alone may not be sufficient to sway the decision. Ask your accountant to do a "what if" tax scenario to be certain. I am expecting that the difference will not be sufficient to sway such a big decision on its own.
Does the pension plan allow for non-spouse beneficiaries? If not, this could be important. If the spouse with the pension dies and the pension is lost, will the other spouse have sufficient resources to carry on?
Similarly with Social Security (although maybe less so since you may have similar earnings history) the surviving spouse would have choice of the larger of two benefit payments. So if one partner had a much higher benefit, the surviving spouse (but not unmarried partner) would have greater income security if married.
If you choose NOT to get married, make sure you have done thorough estate planning (will, power of attorney, medical directive). This is crucial for unmarried partners. If you die without a will, the state will pass assets to your living relatives - not to unmarried partners. I would advise working with a financial planner and an estate attorney to dig into these questions in more detail.
My experience is to just forget it. If I told you some specific indicator that would tell you whether to buy or sell, the only way it could work is if you were the only one who knew about it. If any indicator were truly reliable, millions of traders around the world would seize on it, try to profit from it, and in the process, destroy any advantage to be gained from that indicator. People spend thousands of dollars going to "trading schools" to learn how to analyze charts. If it worked, most of these people would get rich. In fact, those who taught the schools would be making so much money, they would have no reason to do the more difficult work of teaching classes. The truth is there is no shortcut to time and patience. Invest, reinvest your dividends and profits, ride out the ups and downs. This is how people actually make money in the markets.
Taking 401k money to pay off a mortgage makes no sense. You are paying 28% to access the money, and only saving 3-4% in interest cost. That math doesn't add up. You can certainly use the Roth money, as long as it has been in there for 5 years (otherwise only the principle) - but why would you give up the powerful tax free compounding in Roth IRA. Better to use excess cash flow to prepay on a monthly basis as much as you can afford, in my opinion.
No, a car loan is a better choice. 401k loans should be used only for dire emergencies, in my opinion. If he loses his job anytime during the next 5 years, the loan will have to be repaid in full, or the outstanding balance becomes an early distribution subject to taxes and penalties. Also, the funds you borrow are not invested for the next 5 years, which cuts into long term growth. Yes, you pay yourself interest in theory - but paying yourself is not the same as your investments actually earning money! Car financing is quite cheap right now, so why go tapping your retirement money? Maximimizing your 401k contributions will help lower your taxes, but taking out a 401k loan has no effect. (if you happen to have an open Home Equity Line of Credit, you could use that to buy the car, and interest is deductible.- but make sure you pay it back before you are ready to buy another car!)
Generally I like people to pay cash for cars, but I admit that not many people heed that advice. Cars are a tremendous drain on financial resources. Loans and leases encourage people to buy more car than they would otherwise pay, because they focus on the small monthly payment. If you actually have to write a check for the vehicle price, you will almost certainly spend far less money. And that money can be put to more productive use. Most of the clients I work with who are in the best shape for retirement live below their means when it comes to cars and houses.