Refreshed and Revived: Insights From Abroad

I’m back after a three-week hiatus, and I am refreshed and revived. I am blessed that my husband and I could venture abroad to Spain. There are a few things that I want to share with you that I learned from the Spanish culture: 


Enjoy each day as if there’s no tomorrow.

Take in the beauty around you.

Eat good food every day.


I hope that you can take these learnings with you into the week.

Are you taking a vacation soon? Get excited as your time for rejuvenation is coming soon. If you cannot take a vacation right now, check out my previous post on how to simulate a necessary mental break


While I was away, I did have the opportunity to read a lot, and thus I want to share a couple of articles that should benefit you on your wealth-building journey:


Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage? The New Tax Law Changes The Math. The WSJ purports the following – “For 2017, 32 million tax filers got a mortgage-interest deduction. For 2018, that number will drop to 14 million.” This is alarming! Since the standard deduction is doubling to $12,000 for single-filers and to $24,000 for most married couples, filers will no longer benefit from breaking out mortgage deductions. Also, there is a new cap on deducting more than $10,000 of local income or sales and property taxes, also known as SALT, which is per tax return.


Some advisors argue that the changes to the mortgage deduction strengthen the argument for paying down or off a mortgage because you would want to pay off the debt with less tax benefit. However, I argue that you should also consider whether paying down your mortgage makes financial sense because it will also mean restricting access to funds that you may need. Consult your tax advisor now to see how the changes in the tax law may affect your decisions on paying off your mortgage.


How Baby Boomers Broke AmericaSteven Brill’s poignant article in Time magazine describes how the “core values that make America great began to bring America down” about fifty years ago. As you may know, I was both an Economics and American Studies major in college,  and thus I’m fascinated by the article’s honesty about how we got to a culture of income inequality and greed. Regardless of your political affiliation, I think you’ll find value in Brill’s perspective as he also provides a  glimmer of hope on how to put the pieces back together; It starts with everyday citizens (that's you) who can unite the middle class and the poor rather than divide them.  


Why You Probably Have Less Money Invested in Stocks Than You Should. I agree with Gary Smith’s opinion piece in Market Watch. I want to point out a few key points from the article  (1) Most investors are risk-averse; they are afraid to lose money. (2) Many investors have recently taken their money out of the market because they are waiting for prices to collapse so that they can buy stocks at bargain prices. While “it is a good idea to buy stock at low prices, it is seldom a good idea to try to time the market, sitting on cash while waiting for bargains to materialize.” (3) What is certain is that U. S. stocks will do well in the long run and you don’t want to be left behind.


I agree with these three points on stock market investing, and if you have any other points to add to the list, please leave a comment below. What will you do with your stock investments?