Cheat Sheet Q&A: 


Topic:  Cord Cutting - the product of giving our kids more than we got?


Today’s entry: 

Cutting the cord, were to begin?  I was raised much like you spoke of - I paid for my own education (yet to be utilized), did chores around the house, started contributing to the household at 16 years of age with my first part-time job.  Now at 40 I am stunned at what I witness daily...  My landlord caters to every need of his girls, washes their cars when they visit, they have family credit cards to use as they seem fit, never touching their own money...


My landlord spoke of the sacrifices he and his wife endured being immigrants from Cuba in order to succeed...  Then why spoil the children?  I once read that this plague resulted in wanting to give our spawn more than what our parents had given, or actually their parents, like perpetuation.....  You're thoughts???


Bottom Line:  When I tackled this topic last Wednesday I expected a fair amount of pushback.  To my surprise I didn’t receive any from listeners (only Jim during the morning show).  I believe that you’re on to something with the idea you suggested.  I do think many parents want to provide for their kids in a way they weren’t provided for.  I think unfortunately at times that turns into giving them things rather than a platform for future success. 

I grew up in an affluent area of
Atlanta as the youngest of 5 with a father who worked harder than anyone I knew.  He made it clear that we’d have to earn everything from an early age.  That nothing other than a loving home and decent public school via the area we lived would simply be given to us.  That meant that as kids we not only had to do chores but if we didn’t do them to a satisfactory level we wouldn’t receive an allowance.  Our father made it clear that he wouldn’t buy us car or pay for our college.  Some would call that abuse in today’s day in age.  I’d call it wise. 


Many of my friends growing up were handed everything.  Money, cars, college - you name it.  I lost six friends to drunk driving during high school and watched $100 bills turn into illicit drugs by the time some of my friends were 15.  In later years many failed out of prestigious schools.  Many others graduated and ended up back with Mom and Dad (during much better economic times in the last 90’s early 2000’s). 


This is why/ how I adopted my philosophy that parents drive work ethic and often outcomes of their kids based on:  Parental behavior, expectations and financial need of the children.  It’s not unlike people who end up on Government assistance programs but are able bodied.  If you sunset the safety net history has shown that people will step up to the plate obtain work and take care of themselves.  If you permanently offer assistance some will improve their lot in life but it’s the exception not the rule.


If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:


Audio Report:




Google has streamlined the process for you to get started "Googleing" your business:


Bottom Line:  If you have a business, do this today.  Seriously.  It’s free and the truth is that Google is doing it for you if you don’t and that could lead to your business not representing well or incorrect information, often dated, being shared with potential customers when they look you up online.  So what is this that you should be doing today? 


Google has a new portal that will update your business info across all Google properties.  Google, Google+, Google Maps, etc.  If you don’t update information Google will generally just pull in information from public records searches.  This can lead to incorrect addresses, phone numbers, hours, etc. being made available to your potential customers.  This is a free service and since Google has greater than 70% search market share this is a must do.  Here’s the other benefit.  The more you engage these services the better your organic search will be.  Here is the direct link to get started:


Audio Report:




New study on the cost variance of medical expenses in a given area & where SFL stands:


Bottom Line:  This is one of my hot button topics.  Anytime new research is available on the cost variance of medical care I review and disseminate the information because if we’re going to turn the corner in our cost of healthcare crisis we’re going to have to become better consumers of healthcare.  The includes breaking the standard insurance model (in which we just hand over a card without knowing cost and agree to pay whatever they don’t). 

Castlight Health is the latest analytics firm to study this issue.  Here are some highlights (or lowlights as the facts may be) with regard to cost variance on the same medical care provided by different providers.  Here are some examples:


·          Lipid testing ranged in price by 23 times ($15 to $343) in the same geographic area

·          CT scans ranged by 12 times ($264 to $3,271) in the same geographic area

·          Even basic checkups with a primary care doctor range by 5 times in the same area


So how about South Florida?  We’re the 30th most expensive market in the country for healthcare cost.  This means that we are paying generally an above average price for medical care.  It also means that the variance in cost is likely to be high on like medical care.  So don’t be afraid to ask questions and become more informed.  It’s potentially worth thousands. 

Audio Report:




Boomers & retirement - a look back at what used to work, what didn't & what to do next:


Bottom Line:  Are you familiar with the old retirement standard of the 4% rule?  If you are how has it worked out for those who retired according to that rule over the past 30 years (what it was designed to be able to do)?  The answer is that it worked 85% of the time according to Vanguard.  That’s decent by still 15% too high in my view. 


The 4% rule was devised as follows:  Upon retiring you’d withdraw 4% of your principal per year to live on.  Your portfolio would be a 50-50 mix of stock and bonds.  Given the average rate of return in these investments you’d theoretically never fall behind.  So it was successful for most who’ve tried it but if you take 100 retirees and have 15 of them end up running out of money during retirement, that’s simply not good enough in my view. 

Part of the reason it fails is that when volatility strikes in the financial markets you’re still pulling out principal that’s no longer there to produce returns when the markets recover.  This gets back to the better way to build a retirement plan.  Don’t count on principal reduction (unless you’re uber wealthy).  Instead build an income stream from your investments and supplements like Social Security.  Retire when your income stream is large enough to sustain your standard of living.  Live within that stream and you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of money before your time here ends. 


Audio Report:




What we want in luxury real-estate - Hint Florida has a lot of it:


Bottom Line:  So Sotheby’s International Realty has released their findings with regard to what buyers of luxury properties have most desired over the last year.  Here are the results:


·          42% what waterfront property

·          21% what something in the mountains


The simple life of country living was third at under 20%.  So not surprisingly waterfront was/is most desirable.  It’s be so desirable for so long though that we have widespread shortages.  By supply demand here are the areas with the biggest shortages of waterfront property:


·          Northeast US

·          Florida

·          Southwest US


So our entire state has the second biggest shortage of the most desirable geography.  That bodes well for our luxury real-estate market and owners of water front property for years to come.

Audio Report: