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Chad NehringCFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. Speaker/Trainer with a common sense approach to personal financial planning.

Appleton, WI
Shareholder, Conceptual Financial Advisors, LLC
Fee Structures: Asset-based, Commissions, Hourly
Typical minimum client assets: No preference

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  • 4 out of 5 people found this answer helpful

    I'm single, mid 20s with a 50k job. I have no debt, no bills, live with parents. Over 2 years I've saved up about 40k, but have spent around 20k. Should I be saving more by this point?

    Personal Finance

    At this stage, with no other obligations to speak of, saving should be an objective.  Don't feel

    more »

    At this stage, with no other obligations to speak of, saving should be an objective.  Don't feel bad about spending, with the ratio of saving to spending right now, you're fine.  (Just spend smartly!) 

    However, I'd submit that you need to prepare yourself that things are not likely to stay this way forever.  At some point, you'll move out and establish your own residence.  What will those expenses be?  You may wish to marry, start a family, or continue your education.  Again, what will those expenses be. 

    Establish a current budget for yourself, based on today's expenses and income.  From that, you can start to run "what if" scenarios to see what your budget may afford. 

    Continue what you're doing to maintain low debt and saving where you can.  It's a great habit to have, and it's likely you'll continue it.  Take full advantage of your employer's retirement plan and any company match, if offered.  Also I'd recommend fully funding a Roth IRA (assuming you have no other plans for your saved dollars). 

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  • 4 out of 5 people found this answer helpful

    What kinds of returns can I expect from my inherited investments, and how can I better educate myself about personal finances and investing?

    Retirement Savings, Personal Finance, Investing, Retirement

    First of all, I think you are in a great spot (NerdWallet) to get some great financial information, and

    more »

    First of all, I think you are in a great spot (NerdWallet) to get some great financial information, and on the "Ask an Advisor" section, a lot of good advice from a lot of experienced financial folks.  There are also many other decent financial information websites and books, and a few that aren't so good.  My advice is read all you can, glean from it what you can, and apply portions of it to your situation. 

    Rates of return can be a bit subjective and have a lot to do with "how" your account is invested.  For planning purposes long term, I tend to lean conservatively and say that between 6-8% in a well diversified, balanced portfolio is obtainable as an average over a period of time. 

    You may want to Google "the Rule of 72" which will talk about the effects of returns over time. 

    Have a couple of meetings a year with your advisor, take good notes, and get a 2nd opinion once in a while.  Continue to fully fund a Roth IRA in your name each year, even if you have to take money from the inheritance to do so.  Do your own estate planning so if something where to happen to you, these assets transfer in a manner you desire. 

    The individual that left you this inheritance no doubt would be happy to see you are asking these questions, and it's a great tribute to them that you are seeking to let them continue to grow and work for you. 

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  • 2 out of 2 people found this answer helpful

    I was trying to find out if I can take an insurance policy out on my kids' absentee father. They will be the primary holders of the policy. They are ages 17, 15 & 12.

    Insurance

    I agree with Curtis in most areas.  Insurable interest should not be difficult to prove (for underwriting

    more »

    I agree with Curtis in most areas.  Insurable interest should not be difficult to prove (for underwriting purposes) especially if there is a court order.  You may have more difficulty getting the absentee father to agree to the underwriting portion. If he does so voluntarily, that's great.  If not, it may involve getting the intervention of the court.

    Ownership will more than likely have to be by you, as an adult, for basic contract purposes for now, and as stated, a transfer later (although you could still remain as payor, if desired)  I don't see any tax issues arising with a difference in ownership and beneficiary, especially if the policy taken out is a basic term life policy (and it should be).  

    Without knowing your relationship with the other party, does he have any existing life insurance that he would be willing (with or without court order) to list the children as beneficiaries now?  That may avoid a lot of extra aggravation. 

    Make sure also that you have a will and powers of attorney for yourself, so that in the event something untoward happens to you, that there are guardians appointed for your minor children that are what you want, not what the court decides.  

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  • 2 out of 2 people found this answer helpful

    I'm a recent college grad looking to put some money away. What are my best options? An online savings account will lose me money with inflation rates correct? Is a Money Market account the way to go? Not looking to fully "invest" yet.

    Investing

    Unfortunately, in today's ultra-low interest rate environment, there's not a whole lot of places to stash

    more »

    Unfortunately, in today's ultra-low interest rate environment, there's not a whole lot of places to stash truly "safe" money,  And you are correct (and very astute!) in saying that with inflation rates where they are, it becomes a losing proposition.  Here's a few suggestions that might help you to "eek" out a little more interest, then I'll delve into another option that is considered investing, but might help you to tip-toe into things. 

    I'm going to run on an assumption that you've accumulated a sum of money already, and are looking to do something with it.  

    First of all, consider the time frame that you may need this money (for purchase, or whathaveyou).  If it is short term, then your best option is going to be to just keep it in regular savings, and accept the fact that you'll accumulate no interest. 

    If your time horizon is a bit longer, then you might consider a very old-fashioned, yet still completely worthwhile tactic called "CD Laddering". Go to a local credit union or bank, and talk to the oldest teller they have working there.  They will know the tactic.  Basically, you are splitting your funds up between different CD's of varying maturities, with the idea that every so often, one will "come due" and you can decide at that point what to do with the money. 

    To keep things simple and give you the concept...let's say you have $5,000.  You could split up the money as follows:

    $1,000 - regular savings
    $1,000 - 90 day CD
    $1,000 - 180 day CD
    $1,000 - 270 day CD
    $1,000 - 365 day CD

    Use the money in savings first, if needed.  Otherwise, every 90 days, a CD comes due. You could either use the money, or take it and re-buy a 365 day CD.  In the meantime, the other CD's have 3 months less of maturity left.  I give you here more of a concept than a recommendation, but I wouldn't probably extend maturities much beyond 2 years at this point, if even that.  As interest rates rise, so will the rates on CD's, albeit slowly, and a five year CD might be a mistake. 

    If you are willing to take more risk, you might consider looking at a short term municipal bond fund.  This will be more volatile, and you could lose money. Interest earned would be generally free of federal income tax.  Be mindful of any sales charges and internal expenses, which could chew into the return.  Again, more risk here than you may be willing to take, but it does get you tip-toeing into the investment world. 

    Congratulations on graduation and looking into some great first money saving ideas! 

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  • 2 out of 2 people found this answer helpful

    Early 20s, ready to start investing. Where should I start?

    Investing

    Wow!  You've done your homework and have a great base established. You mention you have an IRA,

    more »

    Wow!  You've done your homework and have a great base established. You mention you have an IRA, but not if it's a Roth or traditional. I might lean towards having you fund a Roth IRA in this case. You would fund this with after-tax dollars, and the growth would be tax free towards retirement. You could, subject to a few restrictions, draw your principal back out for purchase of a home down the road. 

    As to what to invest in, if you've got some tolerance for risk as you state, but a 5-10 year time horizon, I might suggest some type of balanced mutual fund (meaning a mix of bonds and stocks, most of the stocks are likely to be larger, blue-chip dividend paying varieties). You could also choose some index funds that have similar makeups. Keep an eye on expense ratios as well as if you are paying any sales charges (if you use a broker or commissioned representative)

    Give yourself a pat on the back for having some great money habits and establishing a great base (savings, 401k) etc to start from ! 

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  • 2 out of 2 people found this answer helpful

    I have terrible credit and want to improve it. Would opening a secured card and buying a car help me do that?

    Personal Finance, Credit Scores

    The passage of time will do more to clear your credit.   The tactic you describe "may" work...but

    more »

    The passage of time will do more to clear your credit.  

    The tactic you describe "may" work...but I think it's a big "may".  I would be more inclined to have you visit a local credit union and discuss the situation with them.  Keep some money liquid for emergency savings, see if they will give you a small car loan if you put a decent down payment on it, and a (VERY) small secured card wouldn't hurt. 

    Also, look backwards and try to find the reasons why your credit went the direction it did.  It may be a very easy answer, or something that takes a little more digging.  Don't be afraid to discuss this with the credit union folks, my experience has been in the CU world they are more than willing to help...after all they'd like to have you as a member for a long period of time.  

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  • 2 out of 2 people found this answer helpful

    I'm 26 and I have about $5,000 in credit card debt. I'm looking for the best way to repay it. Should i consolidate or just keep paying more than the minimum on each card each month?

    Personal Finance, Debt

    Thanks for your question!  First of all, this is a manageable amount of debt although I'm guessing

    more »

    Thanks for your question!  First of all, this is a manageable amount of debt although I'm guessing it feels a little overwhelming at times. 

    There are numerous schools of thought as to how to go about paying down debt.  I'll explain two of them. 

    The first one is to look at the various cards, and pay the minimums on each, except for the one that charges you the highest interest rate. You focus all of your efforts on paying down that one first, and then once that one is paid off, go to the next highest...then so on and so forth.   I don't particularly care for this one as I don't think you get the psychological reward as quick as the next one I'll explain.  But it does work. 

    The other one I recommend a lot more has been called the "Debt Snowball" - I don't think any one person came up with the strategy, but a syndicated radio host uses the term almost as a trademark.  I dug my way out of 33K of credit card debt this way when I was your age, and I can attest that it works.  Here's how:

    1.  Sort your balances from low balance to high balance.  
    2.  Ignore the interest rates.
    3.  Make sure you are current on all payments...if you're not, get current.
    4.  Pay the minimums on each card, except for the one with the LOWEST balance.
    5.  As above, focus all of your efforts on paying that card off. 
    6.  Once that's done, add those payments to the next lowest balance card, which will be slightly lower since you've been making minimum payments.  The snowball gets a bit larger.
    7. Focus on that one, kill it, then move to the next...snowball keeps getting bigger.

    The idea here is that you'll have "small victories" in a quicker fashion.  There are two points where you could get sidetracked.  First is after you've paid about 2 things off, I got cocky and thought I could go back to my old habits. You have to drive through that.  Second was when I had most of the smaller ones gone and was working on the last large one...the mental reward wasn't there as often. You have to drive through that again. 

    Post-all of this...make sure you have adequate savings for what you want to buy, before you buy it. That will avoid the use of credit cards almost entirely.  

    Best wishes and luck to you! 

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  • 2 out of 2 people found this answer helpful

    I would like to trade in my Camry for something more sporty, like a 2010 Camaro or a 2011 Charger. My credit score should have gotten better by now and do you think this would be a good idea? (Details below)

    Personal Finance, Debt, Credit Scores

    I sense a few issues here.  First, 16% interest rate on a car is high.  Very high.  That

    more »

    I sense a few issues here.  First, 16% interest rate on a car is high.  Very high.  That tells me the credit score was pretty miserable at the time, but you've said it's improved. 

    Second, with a $23,000 loan less than a year ago on a car that is 4 years old, I doubt you are right-side-up on the loan.  Use Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com) and get the average trade in value for your car in the condition it's in, with the mileage that you have on it. I don't think you'll be close to 23K or whatevers left on the loan. 

    Third, have you thought of what your insurance payment might be for a larger car?  Keep in mind insurance companies use credit scores and reports as part of their risk assessment of you.  Issues there could lead to higher rates. 

    Fourth, the Camry, while certainly not a "sporty" car has a good reputation for being a reliable, economical car to own.  That's an important part of a long term financial plan.  Plain and reliable generally makes more long term sense than "sporty". 

    Probably not what you wanted to hear, but take it from someone that made the mistakes flipping vehicles when already upside down on the loan.  Yeah, me..in my 20's.  Took me 6 years to get sensible.  

    So to your final question, based on what you're telling us...NOT a good idea. 

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  • 3 out of 4 people found this answer helpful

    How can I help my daughter build credit?

    Personal Finance

    I would visit a credit union and raise this question.  With some employment income (doesn't have

    more »

    I would visit a credit union and raise this question.  With some employment income (doesn't have to be much) and a "painfully" low credit limit assigned by the credit union, a card may be issued to your daughter.  The other idea would be having your daughter purchase a vehicle and take out a small credit union loan for it.  (Manageable payment goes without saying). 

    If I sound like I'm touting the benefits of a credit union, I am.  Almost all are locally based and help their members establish and maintain good credit. 

    You could go the co-signing route if there is no other alternative, but I'm leery of recommending that. 

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  • 3 out of 4 people found this answer helpful

    What happens to my 401(k) if I change jobs?

    Investing, 401(k)

    I see vesting hasn't been addressed.  Let's discuss it.  Vesting refers to the amount of time

    more »

    I see vesting hasn't been addressed.  Let's discuss it. 

    Vesting refers to the amount of time you have been employed by the employer, and refers to the money that the employer puts into the plan for you (if any). 

    Generally, you are always 100% invested in your OWN money, the hard dollars you contributed into the plan.  If you leave, you'll take that money with you. 

    The employer's contributions (matching dollars, profit sharing, etc.) are usually subject to a vesting schedule.  In a 401(k), there are many options, with the most common ones that I see being five years.  In the first year, 0% of the employers dollars would be yours if you leave, then 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and finally 100% after five years, when you are considered "fully vested".  There are also other vesting schedules. 

    Certain plans (Safe Harbor 401(k) plans, Simple IRA's come to mind) have 100% full and immediate vesting. The trade off in some cases for the employer is less administrative time and expense (generally in the Simples).

    The portion you don't get is called "forfeiture" and is placed into a general fund in the 401(k) plan, where your employer can use it to pay for plan administrative expenses, or for matching dollars, at their discretion.  

    Your Summary Plan Document (call it the FAQ for your retirement plan) will have more information.  You should have received a copy of it when you enrolled in the plan. If not, just ask your HR person for a copy. 

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About

My name is Chad Nehring. I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a partner at Conceptual Financial Planning, Inc. and Conceptual Financial Advisors, LLC both located in Appleton, WI. 

I am also founder of MyFirstFinancialPlanner.com, an online financial planning service designed for those using a financial planner for the first time, and looking to "Get on Track". You can find more information at http://www.myfirstfinancialplanner.com

I specialize in providing understandable, common sense financial planning guidance to families, done in an unbiased and independent fashion. I believe that no two families' financial situations are alike, and one's value system is a big determiner in how their finances are handled. 

I enjoy speaking and teaching, and doing so in an engaging fashion that employs humor...yes this is possible in finance! 

I've been featured in many news outlets, including online at MSNBC, Registerd Rep magazine, CNN.com, Currency.com and local television and radio.

In my spare time, I enjoy being a tech-geek and spending time in the Northwoods, either camping or snowmobiling. 

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Email
cnehring@conceptualadvisors.com
Phone
920-731-9500
Web
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Address
3962 N. Richmond St.
AppletonWI 54913
Firm Website
Focus Areas
Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
Client Specializations
People near retirement, Young couples, Young professionals
Registrations
Firm CRD #167513
Regulatory Records
Please visit FINRA's website to review Conceptual Financial Advisors, LLC's records
State Licenses
WI Insurance License #2413183
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*Financial Advisor Disclaimer:

Advisory Services offered through Conceptual Financial Advisors, LLC and/or Conceptual Investment Advisors, Inc. both of which are Registered Investment Advisors in the State of Wisconsin. 

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.


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