By: Andrew Rosen, CFP®, CEP®

Now that I’m one week off hating on all your most prized possessions with my “not worth the moolah” blog, I’d like to redeem myself. This week, I’ll hit on those items that people, including myself, seem to find worth it.

Again, this list is certainly subjective, and I’m doing my best to be impartial and simply state what I’ve observed through clients and friends. I’ll welcome any thoughts, as I think it is a fun topic for discussion and/or debate.

In the famous words of Ace Ventura, “Alrighttty then!” Here it goes, my 2020 list of “worth the moolah.”

1.Streaming Services– At the top of my list are Netflix ($12.99/mo.) and Disney Plus ($6.99/mo.). There are plenty of other streaming services out there, but these are my family’s favorites. Netflix has more content then anyone by a landslide, and for $12.99/mo., you can have like 4 or 5 users on the same account. Compare that with cable TV and the difference is astounding. Plus, you can watch it on your phone or iPad. As for Disney Plus, if you have kids just do it, you’ll thank me later.

2.Amazon Prime- Again, for $12.99/mo., you simply can’t go wrong. You get free shipping on most items, Amazon TV, unlimited storage of your pictures, and millions of songs. There’s a reason Amazon has 112 million members in the US alone. (For you math geeks out there, yes, that equals $17,300,000,000 of revenue from memberships alone!) If you’re late to the bandwagon, get on board. It’s almost a necessity these days.

3.Home Workout Subscriptions– We’re getting busier as a society, which means we have less time to focus on our health. They’re easy to use and the time saved from using one of the companies (my favorite is Peloton) is enormous. Not only do you get the workouts, but you basically get a personal trainer along with it. If you want to chat more about it, feel free to email me and I’ll give you my personal sales pitch!

4.Good Running Shoes– While we’re on the topic of working out, cross trainer shoes are not running shoes. If you’re a new or experienced runner and haven’t invested in top notch running shoes, do it asap! My Physical Therapist friend could tell you how bad running shoes keep him in business. Think about it this way, when you’re running, the only equipment you have is your shoes. So, you might as well get a good pair and take care of your feet.

5.Big TV– Notice, I didn’t say “expensive” TV. If you read last week’s, blog you know I think an expensive TV isn’t worth the money. However, a big TV can be purchased very inexpensively. There’s something about watching a big, crisp TV that really enhances the viewing experience. And honestly, most of us can’t tell the difference between ten million megapixels and fifty million megapixels (unless they were all lined up next to each other).

6.Good Mattress– I was late to this, but I’m a convert now. To me, a mattress was always just a mattress, until I slept on a really good one. We all know the positive effects of a good night’s sleep and since we spend about 229,961 hours of our life sleeping, we might as well splurge on something we spend so much time doing. (As an aside, I still can’t figure out why there are so many mattress stores around!)

7.Expensive Pillow– See above about sleeping. Do for your head what you do for the rest of your body and invest in a good quality pillow. The only issue I find here is deciding if you like a hard pillow, soft pillow, or medium pillow. All I know is, I always like someone else’s pillow more than mine.

8.Vacation– With what’s going on in the world these days, I don’t think anyone can dispute how badly they need a vacation. Also, if you’ve read my past blogs you know how important I think vacations are to one’s happiness. I’m a big experience guy and vacations are on top of that list.

9.Noise Cancelling Headphones– People love em and swear by em, that’s all I know. I know people who can’t fly or sleep without them. If they help, who am I to argue with that?

10.Electric Tooth Brush– Four out of five dentists recommend them. (Ok, I don’t know that for sure, but it sounded good). Every dentist I know touts about how electric brushes are better. I’ve used one for years and they ain’t wrong. I’m a bit of a teeth hygiene nut, so I feel strongly about this one.

11.Interior Designer– I’ve used one, had many clients/friends use one, and almost always the feedback I’ve heard has been great. There really is an artform to making a home look nice. There are a lot of tricks to the trade and many of them make up their reasonable costs with savings on furniture. Redoing any room is never cheap, but if you aren’t gifted in design and have the extra cash, I’d suggest investing in one.

12.Cloud Storage– Remember when you had that old Macintosh computer and buying a few gigs of memory was hundreds of dollars? Well now, for like $100, you can get terabytes (a boat load) of memory all stored on the cloud. All your pictures, documents, videos, etc., can all be stored forever for a nominal cost. I personally subscribe to like three of these services so I don’t lose those precious keepsakes.

13.CPA- A Certified Public Accountant for most of us costs around $500/yr. Yes, we have one internally at Diversified and he’s great. Truthfully, if you ask me for a few hundred dollars to not have to deal with taxes, a-freaking-men. The tax code currently has more words than the Bible and I’d rather drop my mountain of tax junk off at my accountant and let him deal with it.

14.Massages- (As I write this, I’m currently waiting for someone to come over and fix me right now.) I sit or stand all day and that creates issues for my entire body. Then, I exercise and compound these issues. Having a good masseuse putting me back together is worth the cash. The more frequent, the better. Although, I know that isn’t always budget friendly. But what’s more important than feeling good?

 15.LED Lights– I’ve changed every light bulb in my house to LED and it has reduced my electric bill quite a bit. I also no longer have to worry about changing bulbs every week.

16.Chef’s Knife– An expensive chef’s knife is king of kitchen tools. It’s safer as it cuts through anything and, man, don’t you feel like Gordon Ramsey when you use it to slice, dice, and chop. They usually come with lifetime sharpening as well. So, spend the money once and never have to again.

17.Good Pans– I own good pans and I own crappy pans. Let me tell you, the good pans are 10,000 times better. Wait until Black Friday and load up. Pans that don’t stick and need to be soaked or scrubbed after every use are a gift from heaven. Plus, you won’t have to get new ones every year.

18.Sonos– I love listening to music as it puts me in a very chill mood. I would listen to it all day every day if I could. From your phone, Sonos allows you to play music in different zones of your house, all from the comfort of your couch. Want to listen out back? No problem. In your kitchen? Got you. In the shower to test your singing skills? You bet-cha. You can get as crazy or not with it, but I’ve loved my Sonos from day one.

19.Pool– They are ‘the’ You want to be the coolest family on your street, get a pool. You want to survive a pandemic, get a pool. You want to tire out a bunch of little tikes, get a pool. You want to float out back with your Sonos blasting The Boss and a cold cocktail in your hand, get a pool. They also don’t have to be overly expensive either. If you want a pool for next year, you better get moving on it now, as these guys are way backed up because of Covid.

20.Certified Financial Planner– Bet you folks didn’t see this one coming, did you? Last but certainly not least, a good financial planner is a must. I’ve seen it change people’s lives and been witness to dreams coming true. According to Vanguard (and many other famous studies) the value starts around 3-4% and thus totally worth every cent. It’s a very esoteric world and having the ability to simply outsource with a real financial partner is a beautiful thing.

I hope you liked part two of what is/is not worth the moolah, and enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Starting today, I’m taking notes for next year’s list, so I am all ears until then.

What’s worth the moolah to you?

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