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When Parents Can’t Say No: Financial Enabling

“Pleeeeeze?” Your nine-year-old daughter has spent her allowance but is begging you to buy her a toy she “just has to have.” “I really will pay you back this time. I promise.” Your 30-something son, despite a history of non-payment that would make a banker flinch, is asking for another loan to get him out […]

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How to Help Grandkids Pay for College

One financial goal held by many of my clients is to help pay for their grandkids’ education. This generosity can foster gratitude and family closeness. Unfortunately, it can also foster resentment and family misunderstandings. Here are some suggestions for helping with grandchildren’s college expenses in positive and supportive ways: 1. Be fair. This doesn’t necessarily […]

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Only Two Real Money Choices: Spend or Give

A colleague recently reminded me that there are ultimately two things we can do with money: spend it or give it away. That’s it. At first glance, this seems too simplistic. What about saving? What about investing for our future security? What about creating wealth?

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Giving and Happiness: A Complicated Partnership

Recently a reader suggested I write about the relationship between giving and happiness, noting that research shows people who give to charity are happier. One such study from Harvard Business School in 2009 is titled “Feeling Good About Giving.” It not only found a link between giving and happiness, but highlighted some thought-provoking issues about […]

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Charitable Giving and Tax Benefits

You may have read that Facebook founder, chairman, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced plans to gift substantially all of his Facebook stock to a philanthropic company called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, named after himself and his wife Priscilla Chan. I have read a number of accusations that setting up the LLC is simply a […]

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