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Decisive Action & Personal Finance
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Decisive Action & Personal Finance

It is important that you realize that the “decisions” that you make in your daily life will shape your and your family’s credit, finance and other areas of your life in a major way!

Many of my past clients have made the right decisions when pursuing the right path to take with their credit and finances. 

Still others have come by our office after having made bad decisions with their credit and finances.

This site along with our companion site and the formation of Realty 1 Strategic Advisors, LLC was formed in part to respond to the high number of consumers who made bad decisions with their credit and finances!

If you get nothing else from this discussion it is imperative that you recognize, understand and know that it is “your responsibility” to make the "right decisions" when it comes to addressing your credit and finances!

Regardless of what stage you are at in your life you must reduce or eliminate your debt. 

If you have high credit card debt, mortgages, college costs for your kids, financial needs of your elderly parents or any other debt obligations that are making life difficult for you and your family—you must address them now!

If you are elderly you should be particularly concerned about reducing or eliminating your debt—as you must put a plan in place to live at a decent level during you retirement years! 

It is important that you know that your health and your ability to work usually deteriorates as you get older.

Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages are not your best options as you age.  Long-Term-Care Insurance costs are rising and there are now companies offering gender-specific policies where women will pay significantly more than men—for the same coverage.

We have recently seen an uptick in the number of elderly consumers seeking credit counseling and filing bankruptcy over the last few years.

Home-equity and refinancing is no longer a feasible option for many consumers and the increase in their credit and financial difficulties are in part due to the falling value of real estate and investment (retirement) accounts in many cases.

You must put an effective plan in place to avoid using credit to live off of during your retirement years. 

You must be aware of financial scams—whether mortgage modification scams, investment scams, debt settlement scams along with many others that will only push you into a deeper financial hole!

Even if you are on a good track with your credit and finances you must still understand the pitfalls and the decisions that you might make that may not be in your best interest. 

A major life event (in your future) could force you to make the wrong decisions as far as your credit and finances go.


Many consumers have become overburdened with credit card debt after a major life event such as a job loss, high medical expenses, investment (retirement) losses, educational expenses and other unexpected obligations.  

Debt consolidators and others are doing heavy advertising targeting the senior population and you must be aware that many used deceptive practices that may not be in your best interest.

If you “withdraw” from your 401(k) or IRA to pay off your consumer debt—taxes will be due and they could offset the benefit of debt payoff that you may have in mind (note: debt forgiveness for "home mortgage debt" has been extended for tax year 2013)!

Consumers also make mistakes in their “decision-making” by taking on additional debt when they are not in financial position to do so. 

Many take out loans for their kids (PLUS Loans) when they should have taken a better approach such as contributing to a college savings plan years in advance of their child attending college, using their current income to assist their child or grandchild with college costs or helping their kids or grand-kids pay down their debt after they get their financial house in order.

You can go to for information on repayment plans if you or your child or grand-child are having difficulties with repayment or you anticipate having difficulty.

We have seen consumers who were in a financial pinch deplete their retirement accounts and still end up filing bankruptcy in the end. 

It is imperative that if you have high credit card debt and there is no way out for you that makes good financial sense—bankruptcy should be considered as an option “prior to”—not "after" depleting your retirement or other accounts—as retirement accounts are in many cases protected against creditors. 

However once you take the funds out—they are fair game for your creditors!

We have seen clients who did debt settlement on their own with their credit card companies in many cases settling for 30% on the dollar and then they went into their retirement accounts—(borrowed against their 401(k) or withdrew retirement funds from 401(k’s), IRA’s etcetera).

Although they felt great at the time and felt they had used their negotiating skill in an effective manner they never considered that they would eventually receive a statement from the creditor informing them that they owed tax on the forgiven debt.

That is just one example of why making the “right decision” at the "right time" is so important.

Many were unemployed or underemployed at the time and the tax bill that they received in many cases forced them to file bankruptcy—as they had never considered the “possibility” that they would owe taxes on the forgiven debt. 

In addition, many were taxed on the withdrawal and faced an additional penalty for the early withdrawal from their retirement account as well.

If many had filed chapter 7 bankruptcy prior to “tapping into their retirement accounts” they would have eliminated their credit card debt in a manner where the debt would not be taxable to them at all.

In addition their retirement accounts would have been protected from creditors and would have a higher balance—that they could have used for their benefit in their future. 

It is true that their credit would take a hit—however, in many cases most ended up filing bankruptcy anyway so their credit and credit score hit was inconsequential.

You must know what you need to do at all times when it comes to managing and improving your credit and finances and in this MILLENNIUM it is more important than ever that you get it right on the front end. 


That is the prime reason that you are able to visit this site and our companion site along with having the ability to purchase Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM—a book that we believe is one of the most powerful ever written that gives you the “mental working knowledge” that is needed on a daily basis to obtain success at a high level and help you make decisions that are good for you and your family. 

By doing so you will know how to avoid  bad decisions that consumers make on a constant basis without even realizing they are making a bad decision!

Even if you have great credit and are on a path to success at a high level you will gain powerful insight by navigating this site and our companion site—as well as  purchasing Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM!

Always remember that even though you may think that you are taking "decisive action"—if you don't approach your credit and finances in a comprehensive and effective manner you could find yourself in an unfortunate situation—similar to those mentioned above.

You must understand that if you gain the proper preparation and the proper knowledge on the front end—you can gain the needed insight that is essential for success in today's economy!

You no longer have to let anxiety and uncertainty rule your life!

Imagine having eighty thousand dollars of credit  card debt reduced to twenty thousand dollars and you think you have your life headed in the right direction.

You then find out later that in addition to your retirement account being reduced (due to the withdrawal and payoff of the twenty thousand dollar settlement amount)—you owe taxes on sixty thousand dollars and you were unemployed or under-employed!

Do you realize that if you were in the 25% tax bracket you could face a tax bill of up to roughly fifteen thousand dollars?


By navigating this site properly you will not only put yourself in position to avoid a bad situation you will put yourself in position to achieve success at a very high level.

However, your "decisive action" at this time is the key!

Learn How To Manage Your Credit & Finances With an “Effective Site Search” So That You Can Have The Knowledge That Is Needed To Manage Your Credit & Finances More Effectively So You Can Improve The Living Conditions For Yourself & Your Family!

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About This Article:


The above article was written by Thomas (TJ) UnderwoodThomas (TJ) Underwood is a former fee-only financial planner, a former top producing loan processor and is currently a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia. 

He is the writer behind The Real Estate & Finance 360 Degrees Series of Books that include The Wealth Increaser, Home Buyer 411 The Smart Guide to Buying Your Home, Home Seller 411 The Smart Guide to Selling Your Home, and  Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM.

In addition he is also the writer who created The 3 Step Structured Approach to Managing Your Finances, and CREDIT & FINANCE IMPROVEMENT MADE EASY—NEW GUIDE that you can download right now "(at MIMIMAL cost $3.95)" to learn more about his writing style and how you can achieve "more" success in the current economy.

He is the creator of where he regularly blogs about helping consumers improve their credit, finance and real estate pursuits in an intelligent, consistent and proactive manner. 

He’s always looking for ways to make intelligent finance improvement happen for those who “sincerely desire” success in their future. He was the first financial planner to coin the phrase "financially alert mind"  and he consistently writes in a style that is designed to provide consumers the ability to take control of their lives and achieve great results.

You can contact him from a number of sources but the most direct way is to contact him through the contact us block that can be found at the bottom of this page.  You can also get highly relevant tips on "living your life more abundantly" and link to and possibly earn revenue by logging on to

He is also an IRS registered tax planning professional with over 30 years of tax experience and can be reached at:



Atlanta South Location:

Realty 1 Strategic Advisors, LLC

77 Prestwick Lane

Peachtree City, GA 30269

770-719-4550 (Direct)

Atlanta Central Location:

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2940 West Stubbs Road

Atlanta, GA 30349

404-952-9284 (Direct)

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