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Exposing 7 Popular Money Myths

Myths about money are common. Just because you’ve heard a saying or two through the years doesn’t make it true. Take advice from financial experts and learn the facts rather than accepting these common money myths: Myth #1: All Debt Is Bad Carrying a huge balance on a credit card or taking out a high-interest loan to pay off other debt is not good financial management, but certain debts can help you move ahead and achieve your personal financial goals. Funding an investment – in your home or in your education – can be financially beneficial in the long run. The interest rates on those types of loans are typically much lower than rates on credit cards or personal loans; plus, the interest can be tax deductible. When you do need to fund a valuable investment in your future, be sure to research the best rates available from quality lenders…

What You Should Think About When Thinking About Retiring

A Gallup Poll in 2016 reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans worried they did not have enough money for retirement. With other polls showing the retirement age is rising and more data showing Americans should expect to retire even later in life than previous generations, what effect does that have on your future plans? Check Your Savings and Create a Budget It seems to be an obvious first question: Do you have enough money socked away in savings? A majority of pre-retirees probably don’t have enough in savings if they wanted to quit working tomorrow. Life expectancies are growing, yes, but many Americans simply don’t save enough of their income to begin with. Savings should be at least 10 percent, if not more. For whatever reason, and it’s not always for reasons we can control, people tend to save less. How do you know if you’ve saved enough? And what…

Should Women Save for Retirement Differently Than Men?

With cost of living outpacing salary growth and an ever-increasing average lifespan, saving enough for retirement is daunting for anyone. Women, in particular, face challenges on the road to retirement that men do not, which result in reduced quality of living during their later years. A survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found only 12 percent of working women are “very confident” in their ability to retire comfortably. An additional 46 percent are “not too confident” or “not at all confident.” This lack of confidence is, unfortunately, warranted. The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is less than $14,000 per year, compared with $18,000 for men. As a result of this disparity, Women over 65 are 80 percent more likely than men to be living in poverty, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. TIAA Chief Income Strategist Diane Garnick authored a report in…

10 Money Tips for New Grads

If you’re a new grad who’s feeling a little exhilarated, a little worn out and a little terrified about finding a job that pays the bills … take a deep breath. The great thing about this stage of your life is that while you have room to take your time, make mistakes and figure out what you want, you are also young enough to do a few key things right that will set you ahead of the crowd for years to come. Especially when it comes to money. Looking for financial advice after graduation? Here are ten tips to keep in mind: Follow Your Dreams … but Don’t Wait Around for Your Dream Job You’re smart, enthusiastic and ready to change the world – surely an employer will see that and offer you a job that pays well, has lots of vacation time and lets you make big decisions. Right?…

How to Face Off With Debt Before Retirement

As you enter your 50s and 60s, hopefully you find yourself coming face-to-face with retirement. You may also find yourself still in debt. You are not alone. In fact, nearly 70 percent of people over 55 are in debt. To really make the most of your retirement years, it is essential you do whatever you can to ditch your debt now. Still, it can be overwhelming to even know where to begin. Following these tips can help you pay down your debt before retirement. Reconsider Housing No one is saying you have to hole up in the wilderness or live in a tiny house. But what you do need to do is think about where you live and why. Give particular consideration to housing extras like property taxes and homeowners insurance. Typically, housing is the biggest expense in a budget, but people often only think mortgage payments when it comes…

The Social Security Dilemma: The Best Decision is a Personal One

The early bird gets the worm. The slow and steady tortoise wins the race. There are a multitude of adages defending both quick-acting people and those who delay decisions. When it comes to Social Security, there are advantages and disadvantages to collecting early or postponing the start of retirement benefits. Retirement Age and Percentages People who have paid into Social Security are eligible to start collecting their retirement benefits as early as 62 or as late as age 70. The amount of benefits received depends on how close someone is to their full retirement age when they begin collecting. Depending on someone’s year of birth, the full retirement age can vary. For example, individuals born between 1943 and 1954 have a full retirement age of 66.  Those born in 1960 or later have a retirement age of 67. If someone begins collecting benefits prior to the full retirement age, the…

Explaining the FIRE Movement

What if someone told you that you could retire in your 40s, 30s or even maybe late 20s if you put your mind to it? This sounds like some sort of fantasy to many people, but to a small group of dedicated budgeters it is anything but. They are members of the FIRE Movement, which stands for Financial Independence / Retire Early. If a very early retirement sounds like something you might enjoy, follow along to learn about the FIRE Movement and how you can get on track to your own early retirement. How FIRE Works for Early Retirement Early retirement has been a long-time dream for many American workers, but the FIRE movement emerged over the last decade as a viable method for many workers to escape their daily 9-5. One of the first noteworthy FIRE movement members is Mr. Money Moustache, an early retirement blogger who left his…

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Have you ever compared the purchase price of your home with the amount you’ll actually end up spending to pay it off over the life of the mortgage? If you have, you’ll know the sobering realization that comes with seeing just how much your home will cost you, and the inevitable question that follows – should I pay off the mortgage now, so I don’t have to fork over all that interest? It’s an exhilarating thought, freeing up so much extra cash. But when it comes down to it, whether you should actually pay off your mortgage early is dependent on many things – primarily, your overall financial situation, your attitude toward investment, your life stage and how you would make it happen. Do the Math From a purely mathematical perspective, most experts agree it is not a smart idea to pay off your mortgage early – especially if you…