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Author: Kidmuse Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75605  
Subject: Financial Planning Advice Date: 9/14/2007 8:43 AM
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Thanks to all who responded to my post last night. I knew you would want more data and so do I.

A couple of answers:

1. We have a home that is currently worth @$650K and our mortgage is $390K. It's an ARM (@7.25% and always climbing these days). The upside of our loan is that we can pay a lower amount in slow months (we're musicians), although we usually pay the full amount. We also have a home equity loan that we've unfortunately ran up to $80K. I'm wondering if we should consider refinancing and rolling the HELOC into the new mortgage. Any thoughts about this? One of my friends did this CONSTANTLY when the value of his property kept increasing so that he could take out more home equity loans and improve his lifestyle. This behavior can catch up with one, I'm sure. I might need to talk with a debt consolidation expert instead of a mortgage broker.

2. We haven't done a budget, yet, so I cannot adequately answer this portion of the life insurance puzzle. My wife and I are 45 and 43 years old. We love our job (we work together) and we would love to keep doing it until we're 70 or so. And I definitely don't want to work at WalMart as a greeter. To his credit, the planner did suggest that funding our retirement is more critical than funding our kids' college funds. One of the tricky things about our line of work is that in the event of one of our deaths, we would have to either hire a new musician to take the spouse's place or switch careers. Should we have a bigger life insurance plan because of this? Or a disability plan?

3. He did not give specifics about the Mutual Funds he's pushing, although they are loaded funds.

4. My kids' 529 plans are split into four equal funds from Vanguard. Value Growth, Small Cap, Index funds, etc. I'll have to get more information for my next post if it's still relevant, but it seems likely that I'll be concentrating more on retirement as opposed to college. The planner said, "the kids can always take out loans on college. You can't take out loans for retirement."

5. The individual stocks in our retirement plan are very aggressive small companies. I do have some balance in bond funds and International index funds and there's a mid cap fund, too. I've basically gone lockstep with Motley Fool's Hidden Gems program and done a 25-35% return since I invested the money last year. Not bad, but I might be playing this too risky. Should I keep some of the money here or invest it all into the safer 10.5% percent S&P Index types?

6.Also on the subject of IRAs. We have a traditional IRA. The planner is suggesting that he wants to discuss ROTH IRAs, SEPIRAs, IRAs for our business, etc. I guess these are tax related vehicles to save for our retirement. Any thoughts here or places I can look to get more information?

Thanks,
Scott
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