Financially Free

December 12, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

God vs. Your Financial Planner

I’d like to share my blog post (below) that was recently published at the Millennial, an online journal that provides Catholic opinion on the most pressing issues of our times in politics, religion, and culture.    ________________ As a financial planner, I encourage people to take control of their finances and plan for their future. I often […]

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November 24, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

5 Tips to Prepare for GOP Tax Bill

Significant tax changes are being discussed in Congress. If approved, these will take effect in 2018. Many deductions may be eliminated. While the proposed legislation is not yet a done deal, consider the following tax planning opportunities by end of 2017: If you pay estimated taxes, make your final state tax payment in December, instead […]

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November 7, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

How GOP Tax Plan May Affect You

2017 Taxable Income How You May Feel Reason         Single   $0 to $9,235     Why me?   Small tax hike (up to $190) $9,326 to $37,950   TY Small tax cut (~$280 to $1,100/yr) $37,951 to $45,000   Yay! Decent tax cut ($4,900 to $5,800/yr) $45,001 to $91,900   Meh […]

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October 25, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

How to Choose Your Health Care Plan for 2018

It is open enrollment next week, and we must evaluate and choose the best health care plan for our household for the coming year. If you get health insurance through an exchange, open enrollment for 2018 runs from November 1 to December 15 (instead of January 31). Shopping is fun, but it doesn’t apply for […]

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October 12, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

What You Need When You Can’t Follow Your Budget

Today, I would like to share this blog post by Rachel Schmidt, who’s a Spiritual Coach. She shares how we can deal with overspending by working through the mental blocks and emotions that keep us believing we need to spend to feel good. Here’s the link to the original blog post.   You’ve gone to your […]

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September 28, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Should You Follow These Four Money Rules of Thumb?

Rules of thumb help us make quick decisions without having to consult an expert. But as the definition suggests, it is not reliable for every situation. Below are four financial rules of thumb and when you may or may not want to follow it. 1)  Homeownership Rule: Pay at least 20% for down payment. Ideally, […]

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September 9, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Protect Yourself from Latest Equifax Breach

Yesterday, Equifax revealed that sensitive information such as Social Security numbers of 143 million customers were stolen through a cyberattack. That’s close to half the U.S. population. Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies. Here are four things we can do to mitigate potential damage to our credit: 1) Enroll in Equifax’s free credit […]

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September 5, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Four Money Tips for Young Professionals

It’s exciting to live in the Washington metropolitan area as a young professional. There are plenty of social activities in the city, and nature hikes are close by. I just enjoyed tubing and hiking last weekend with my Ultimate Frisbee friends at Harpers Ferry – loads of fun! As we enjoy life, it’s also good to […]

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August 18, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Thinking of Switching Careers? Consider Being a Financial Planner

The ideal job has three secret ingredients: purpose, mastery, and autonomy. You have all three in a financial planning career. Six years ago, my favorite pastime was to read personal finance magazines. I would learn a lot, and could immediately apply it to my personal life. “Follow these three steps to boost your credit score,” […]

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July 24, 2017 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Three Simple Steps to Revolutionize Your Budget

Do you want a vacation in the Caribbean next year? Save for a new couch? Watch concerts at Strathmore regularly? Having an effective budget can help us reach specific life goals. Contrary to public opinion, budgeting helps us achieve financial freedom. Less than half of Americans have a budget, and only a fraction of them […]

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