About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 549 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity

A LOT of personal finance is very subjective in nature. An in-depth analysis of not only the money, but the psychology of the individual need to be considered. But, there are some things that should be solid and apply to everyone which I think the emergency fund falls right into. I couldn’t agree more that these funds need to be totally liquid and immediately accessible. I believe that each segment of finances should be strictly for a purpose–retirement accounts only for retirement, short-, medium-, and long-term saving for just those purposes and EF’s only for emergencies. Glad to see someone else thinks the same way as well.

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Hank

Thanks, Eric for the comment. I understand your point about personal finances being subjective. I think that the proportion of it leans a little more towards a very smaller protion than A LOT of PF. A lot of it is not subjective.

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YFS

Hank great tips! As Eric said personal finance is subjective. I also believe it is behavioral. All of these questions could have been answered with an “it depends”. Hank, how do you feel about using life insurance as an vehicle for building generational wealth or providing liquidity for estate taxes?

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Hank

YFS, you make a great point about behavioral. That has a lot to do with it, and how we react also makes us think that personal finance is more subjective than it is.

I’m not a big fan of building generational wealth. I guess it stems from that fact that we grew up without it. I’m not a big fan of setting my children up so they do not have to work much or get things handed to them. So, I shy away from that…maybe a little too far the other way. Life insurance to help pay estate taxes for high net worth individuals is a good tool especially if it keeps you from having to fire sale a business or other high value property for example.

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Shaun @ Smart Family Finance

I’m always asking question number 6 and yes, of course a 529 plan. My problem is how much to save and how much to save in a 529 plan. I don’t want to over do it on the 529 and get penalized for over saving for college (if there is such a thing).

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Hank

Shaun, thanks for the comment. I’m with you. I struggle with exactly how much to invest in 529s each year as well. I typically fall into the Dave Ramsey advice which pegs the number at $2,000 per kid per year. That’s the number I shoot for.

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jim

Old guy here – put 2 kids thru college (in state, great public universities) 1 just graduated last May, the other graduated 9 years ago. We had a total of $100,000 in each account before they started. Guess what? They both used every dime of it and we even cash flowed somethings (extra curricular, but educational nonetheless). I don’t see how you’re going to do it cheaper than that any time in the future. Just a word to the wise.

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Erik

Hi Hank, glad I found your site! Great post on the top ten questions – I find that one of the biggest issues people have is trying to decide which debt to pay off first in a debt reduction snowball strategy – the smallest debt to get rid of it, or the debt with the highest interest? I waver almost daily myself so it’s good to read other people’s opinions… and interesting you have also made the question number one on your list!

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Marissa - 2ndSkiesForex

Personally, I would hesitate to invest on college plans. What if your child doesn’t want to go college after all? Anything can happen in the future that you cannot control. Is there any option to just withdraw the money saved in case it couldn’t be used for college?

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martha

This could also be renamed questions you didn’t even know you should ask! This is great some of the questions are things I have been trying to figure for years and the others well now I know I should look into them!

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TheElevationGroup

Very interesting points, but I strongly believe in the power of having a good level of FINANCIAL EDUCATION, otherwise other will decide for you or tell you what to do with your money

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Carlos Sera

I couldn’t recommend that anyone use betterment or any roboadvisor when they could buy a low cost all equity etf. Save the fees and definitely invest the whole thing, there’s no need to keep cash in an investment account either.

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