Entries by oliverplanning

Disability Insurance for University of Michigan Employees

If you work for the University of Michigan (U-M) and have not elected its optional group disability insurance, you have a unique opportunity during Open Enrollment this fall. You can elect U-M’s Expanded Long-Term Disability insurance benefit without having to go through medical underwriting. That is a big deal if you have a past or […]

We’ve Moved!

Oliver Financial Planning has moved. We’re now located at 202 E. Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor at the corner of Washington and Fourth. See you there!

Have You Considered Eating Less?

“Have you considered eating less?” A blunt doctor recently asked a friend of mine this question. (Really, it wasn’t me!) Apparently the doctor inquired in a tone that was neither judgmental nor rude, which is no small feat. Although his question ignored the fact that there are many reasons people are overweight, there was something […]

Buying Cars and Annuities

What do buying annuities and buying cars have to do with each other? Not much actually, but I’ve recently responded to questions about each on the new personal finance website, Dimespring.com. Check out my answers at the links below: How much should I save before buying a car? Is a variable annuity right for me? […]

Financial Advisor Compensation Models

Rob Oliver explains how financial advisors get paid and suggests questions to ask advisors about how they are compensated. Resource links: The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) SEC’s Investment Adviser Search CNN-Money: Ask How Your Advisor is Paid Wall Street Journal: How to Pay Your Financial Adviser Financial Planning Association: How Planners Charge […]

Talking Mortgages with Kim Clugston

I recently interviewed Kim Clugston, Vice President and Senior Mortgage Officer at the Bank of Ann Arbor. We discussed the local real estate market, current interest rates, how to shop for a mortgage or refinancing, and the expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, among other topics.     Links to resources mentioned during the […]

Pick A Number

Imagine I gave you the option of picking an envelope from one of two hats. Hat One holds 100 envelopes each containing $920. Hat Two contains 100 envelopes that hold either $751 or $1,016. Which hat would you choose? Before you pick, you should know how many of the envelopes in Hat Two contain $751 […]


My wife wanted the kickstand back on her bike. I had taken it off years ago when we were competing in triathlons. No serious triathlete (which we weren’t) would have a kickstand on her bike. I tried to put the kickstand back on myself. How hard could it be? There was only one screw and […]

Recommended Reading: Debt-Free U

One of my financial planning colleagues recently suggested I read Debt-Free U by Zac Bissonnette. Although I was in the middle of three other books, I decided to buy Debt-Free U since I wanted to try out an e-book on my new iPad. At first, I thought the book was about general debt reduction. Turns […]