Growing Your Retirement Nest Egg

Retirement is not something we often think about unless we are at that stage in our life but the truth is we must grow our nest eggs so we are not scrambling later in life.  What happens if you outlive your money?  Let’s not make that mistake!  Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Would you like to know how much that nest egg will be worth in ten, twenty, or thirty years, or whenever you plan to use it?
  2. Would you like to be able to substantially increase the size of your nest egg, without worrying about the ups and downs of stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and other volatile investments, simply by running your major purchases through yourself?
  3. Would you like to look forward to opening your retirement plan statements if they always contain good news and never any ugly surprises?
  4. Would you like to enjoy more of life’s luxuries guilt-free, because you know you can do that without robbing your nest egg?
  5. Would you like to leap ahead financially, gain control of your money and finances, have a sheer joy of beating the banks and finance companies at their own game, and win the money game?

It does not matter what stage you are in life it is never too late to build that nest egg!  If you answered yes to any of the above questions I can show you a plan that is painless and is very rewarding for your nest egg.

Contact me at

Written by: Elisabeth Dawson


Do you know what your lost opportunity cost is?

What is your lost opportunity cost?

Often times people do not realize that they have lost opportunity costs, and when they do how do we fix it?

What makes me unique is that I am a Financial Coach.  I navigate through all of the financial decisions that you have made at this point in your life, ask you important questions about them and ultimate determine their efficiency.  It is my job to find inefficiencies in your finances, help you recover them and ultimately achieve a much higher rate of return on your overall wealth.


If you are trying to earn 10% on your savings of $10,000.00 in a years’ time, that would equal $1000.00.  Correct.

If I can help you save $10,000.00 in your overall expenses in your finances in a year, what would that do to your rate of return that year?  That would create a 100% rate of return.

On average I help identify $10-$30,000.00 (sometimes more or less) for my clients on an annual basis.  If I can help a client identify this type of cash flow, then I ask my client to save what I have shown them what is being lost on an annual by annual basis to what we call “Lost Opportunity Cost”.  A lost opportunity cost, is a dollar you lose to a financial institution that you can no longer get back nor can you earn the interest on that money.  You lose it forever.  This is a calculation that the average advisor overlooks, because they are focused on what rate of return they can get their client only.

I am an advocate of my client to identify as many holes in their bucket of money, stop them and keep as much money at the end of the day.

I am more than happy to meet with you to review  your situation and goals.  Our first meeting of 30 to 45 minutes will be complimentary.  We will discuss my coaching fee’s at that time and see if this is a good fit for you to move forward.  I assure you my fee’s are not shocking, but worth every penny!

I would also recommend that you refer to my website, Linked In page, and also our Face Book page if you search for Copia Wealth Management and Insurance Services.  I have been in the business for the last 14 and ½ years as an Insurance and Financial Advisor.


Elisabeth Dawson

elisabeth dawson

Wealth Transfers: Don’t Give Your Money Away

In my book “Maximize Your Circle of Wealth,” written with Donald L. Blanton, we talk about wealth Stop giving your money away.transfers. A wealth transfer is paying money to government agencies, corporate entities or other organizations that you don’t need to pay. Most of us make these transfers of wealth regularly, but we aren’t aware of it. Here are some of the ways we transfer our wealth to others:

  • Compound interest and tax
  • Estate tax
  • Income tax
  • Property tax
  • Tax on Social Security
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Education
  • Financing cars
  • Trading cars

Let’s take income tax, for example, since it is a timely topic. Many people have more money withheld from their paychecks (via the IRS W-4 withholding election) than they need to. Some do this because they don’t understand how the withholding works; others do it because they like getting a tax refund every spring. I advise my clients to have an appropriate amount withheld, not too much and not too little. Here’s why.

Sam Jones claims three exemptions on his W-4 every year. In this very simple, fictitious example, let’s presume that, in 2012, his employer is withholding $25 more per paycheck than needed. Based on Jones’ tax return at year end, Jones’ is entitled to a refund of $650. Jones is thrilled. This will be his spending money for his annual trip to baseball spring training camp. Sounds good, right?

Sure, a little extra cash is always nice, but in this case, Jones has lost money. Considering inflation alone, Jones’ money is not worth as much today as when he earned it in the 2012 calendar year. In addition, Jones has lost out on other opportunities to use or save that $650 more wisely. For example, he might have purchased a permanent life insurance policy with those premium dollars which could have helped him save for retirement or his son’s college education.Those opportunities may still be available to Jones, but the cost in today’s dollars will be more.

This is just one example of how we are giving our money away on a daily basis. By educating yourself, however, you can take control of your financial future and make the best use of your money today.

Need help? Have questions? Please let me know. My initial consultation is offered at no charge and there is absolutely no obligation.

To your wealth and prosperity,

Elisabeth Dawson
Copia Wealth Management & Insurance Services


Why You Need A PUP – A Personal Umbrella Policy

A personal umbrella policy protects your assets when all other coverages are exhausted.In an earlier blog post, I talked about the different types of insurance you can’t afford to live without. One of those coverages is personal umbrella coverage, an additional policy that extends your personal liability limits as high as $5 to $10 million. This may seem like a lot of unnecessary coverage, but the premiums are minimal and having such a policy can save you from unforeseen financial devastation not covered by your other policies.

Let’s look at a simple example. Suppose you were in a serious car accident where you were not at fault, but which causes serious injury to another person or to property, racking up half a million dollars in damages. Your car insurance limits are exhausted, leaving you on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A personal umbrella policy, sometimes called a PUP, would cover you when all other eligible coverages are exhausted, potentially saving you from financial ruin or bankruptcy.

Depending on the coverage and carrier, this type of coverage can cost an average of $1 per day (varies by state). It’s a small price to pay for big peace of mind. A PUP should be part of your financial planning portfolio. You can’t afford to be without it. Ask about it today!

To your wealth and prosperity,

Elisabeth Dawson
Copia Wealth Management & Insurance Services

Are Portable Benefits Right For You?

Portable benefits might be right for you. Ask me why.In past generations, people worked for just one or two employers their entire lives. They’d start a job, maybe move up within the company and retire from that company, often with a full benefits package – life insurance, health insurance, pension, etc. Today, however, people are much more likely to hold multiple jobs, sometimes holding a job for just a few years.

Benefits are dwindling, employees are being asked to contribute more toward their insurance coverages, and some companies are only offering minimal benefits. So how does an employee provide for his or her financial future with needed benefits like life insurance, health insurance and a retirement plan? One new trend that I love is portable benefits.

This means that benefits follow the employee regardless of where they work or for how long. This concept is increasingly popular with temporary workers and self-employed independent contractors. The employee or contractor selects and pays for the benefits he or she wants, then takes those benefits wherever or however they choose to work. Salary can be negotiated by the employee to compensate for covering his or her own benefits.

As insurance costs rise and employees move around more frequently, I anticipate that portable benefits will grow in popularity. If this is an idea you’d like to consider, give me a call at 619-640-2622. I’d be happy to look at your current benefits package and make some recommendations for protecting yourself financially with portable benefits…no matter where you work!

To your wealth and prosperity,

Elisabeth Dawson
Copia Wealth Management & Insurance Services

FAFSA Can Help Your Child Go To College

Don't leave your child's college savings to chance.Regardless of what provisions you’ve made for your child’s college education, you will want to apply for Federal Student Aid to see if your child qualifies for grants, scholarships or other college funding. The process used to be done by pencil and paper and could get pretty complicated. Now the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available online and a bit easier to complete.

To do so, you’ll need some basic information including your most recent year’s tax return. For the 2013-2014 school year, you’ll need your completed 2012 1040 form. You’ll also want to have the prospective student select some possible colleges.

For federal student aid, the FAFSA filing deadline for the coming school year is June 30, 2013. For state aid in the state of California, the deadline is March 2, 2013, so you’ll want to complete last year’s tax return now and get moving quickly. For other states, view the FAFSA deadlines posted online here.

Here are some other quick links you might find helpful:

Submit a FAFSA now

Types of financial aid available

Basic eligibility criteria

If you have questions about funding your child’s education, whether she’s 8 or 18, I can help. I can explain the various options and offer savings vehicles that fit within your long-term financial plan. For example, did you know that you can use the cash value in a life insurance policy to help pay for college?

Don’t leave your child’s college savings to chance; call me today for a no obligation consultation. You can reach me at 619-640-2622.

To your wealth and prosperity,

Elisabeth Dawson
Copia Wealth Management & Insurance Services


Employee Benefits: Are They Enough?

Insurance policyMany of us working full-time jobs receive employee benefits as part of our compensation
package. Those benefits typically include paid time off, sick leave, and life and health insurance. Some companies also offer disability coverage, retirement plans, health savings plans and other benefits. These are nice perks to have, and they can come in handy when you need them. But is this coverage enough? Do you really understand what benefits you have? Do you know where the gaps in your coverage lie? How will you fill those gaps?

The problem I am seeing is that generous employers provide attractive compensation packages to recruit and retain employees. What they don’t do, however, is provide employees with a basic understanding of what those benefits mean or what options are available. They give employees benefits, but not the information they need to plan their lives. In my view, employers should offer financial planning services to their employees…or to at least provide referrals to trusted advisers in the area. That’s not going to change – at least not overnight. Here are some practical tips to help you figure out what to do with what you’ve got:

1)  Contact your employer’s human resource department to get a summary of all of your employee benefits. For insurance coverage, find out what type of coverage it is (e.g., health, life, etc.), the coverage limits and the premiums paid (by you and the employer). Note any limitations.

2)  Ask a human resources rep at your company to explain each of the benefits. For example, if your company has a 401(k) plan, how can you participate? Does the employer offer a matching contribution? Who administers the plan? Where can you get a copy of the plan document?

3)  Next, compile all other insurance coverages and benefits that you own personally. For example, let’s say you have long term care coverage. Gather those documents – premiums, benefits, limitations, etc. – and put them with your employer-provided benefits information.

4)  Identify any coverages you don’t have. Do you have short term disability coverage? long term disability coverage? Personal liability coverage?

5)  Contact a financial planner like Copia Wealth Management & Insurance Services and sit down with an adviser who is willing to go over your information and to make recommendations. Maybe you have coverage you don’t need, or maybe you’re missing valuable coverages that could protect your family against a future financial loss. Many advisers will provide an initial consultation at no charge. Copia, for example, does not charge a consultation fee for the first visit.

5)  With the help of your planner, create a plan that protects your family and your assets while also helping you reach your financial goals.

There might be a bit of work involved in this process, but you’ll gain peace of mind and a solid plan for moving forward while protecting your family. They’re worth it, right?

If you agree, call me at 619-640-2622 for a free, no obligation consultation. I can look at your situation, help you evaluate options and design a protection plan that fits you, your family and your budget.

To your wealth and prosperity,

Elisabeth Dawson
Copia Wealth Management & Insurance Services