Thinking of Retiring? Consider This

 

Just a note to my readers, this article was the first by my mom, she has been reading this blog for awhile now and wanted to write an article of her own. She expects to continue writing, so please encourage and leaves comments…Thanks!

My husband and I will be retiring within the next few years and we have found we have had many questions about Social Security.  Asking around and talking to friends and family they don’t know the answers when asked.  So, let’s just go over some brief facts about Social Security to get you started.

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Worried About Outliving Your Nest Egg?

If you’re a regular reader here on our blog you know that we post a lot of information about building up a nest egg for retirement. That being said, making sure that your nest egg lasts is actually sometimes a bit more difficult. The steps below will help you to make yours last a good bit longer. Enjoy.

What most investors realize when they begin trying to create what will be their income stream in retirement is that health care costs, market returns, life expectancy and inflation, among other things, are all unknown factors that can make it extremely difficult to figure out exactly how much money they can safely withdraw from any retirement accounts that they have. The fact that some people could easily be retired for 20+ years makes it even more difficult.

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Sometimes it’s OK to Use the Store Credit Card!

Here’s an great example of when using a store credit card was an excellent idea. A colleague of mine was planning for his wedding and, after visiting a number of suit rental shops, was leaving the mall and went through a Macy’s department store. It just so happened that it was one of their biggest sales days of the year and he decided to take a look at suits there.

Well as luck would have it he found the perfect suits for both himself and his groomsmen and also found out that he could save an additional 15% that day, plus get cash back, by signing up for Macy’s store credit card.

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How to get around the Roth IRA Income Limits

Most financial experts will tell you that a Roth IRA is one of the best retirement vehicles you can use. It does come with a number of challenges however, including limits that prevent some people from directly funding their Roth IRA account. If your income exceeds those limits the steps below will help you. Enjoy.

First, in order to open and directly fund your Roth IRA, including contributing fully to it, you need to have an annual income that’s less than $129,000 as a single person or, if you’re a married couple, hundred $91,000.

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Knowing When It Is Time to See a Financial Counsellor

Almost everyone in the country deals with financial struggles at least at some point in their life. While some financial strain it typically, there are times when you may need help with your finances in order to pull yourself out of severe debt or overwhelming bills. If you are on a low-income making ends each month may be extremely difficult. You may be thinking that you cannot afford a financial counsellor to help you with your bills.

The good news is that there are a wide range of financial counsellors that offer free financial services and they can help you today. The important thing, however, is to realise when you need help and when it is time to see a financial counsellor.

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Borrowing Money? Avoid using these 2 Methods

While it’s certainly true that everyone needs money, sometimes it’s rather hard to find if you need extra money quickly.

In many instances consumers find themselves in a financial bind but, rather than applying for a bank loan, they look for “simpler” and quicker methods. While there are a certainly number of alternatives, some are definitely better than others. The 2 borrowing methods below, while not always the worst choice, can oftentimes be financially disastrous.

One of the easiest ways to get fast cash is to use a Pawn Shop, where you can use valuable items like gold, jewelry, collectors’ items, firearms and so forth as collateral to get a 30 to 90 day loan. These loans usually come with high interest rates and “storage fees” that range from 10 to 20%.

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Save the Money, Stop the Fees: Why Bank Fees Don’t Have to Be a Monthly Expense

Too many times everyday people fall victim to bank fees for everything from overdrafts to monthly service fees. They can come out of nowhere during a particularly hard time when money is short and time is even shorter. Or they may be hiding in the statements you throw away each month because that small amount doesn’t ring any alarms when you look at your balance. Wherever they’re coming from, you can always avoid them and make sure both you and your balance are healthy and happy.

  • Avoid Overdrafts. Overdraft. Even the word makes me cringe. There’s something that seems unfair about kicking a person while they’re down but indeed that’s exactly what overdraft fees are there for. What you may not know is that there are ways to eliminate overdrafts altogether or reduce fees by the handful. Talk to your bank about opting out of overdraft service – this allows your debit card to be declined when you don’t have the funds to cover a transaction and save you a pile of angry letters when you didn’t even realize you were running low. Another option may be to seek out a loan when times get tight. Wonga.com is an online payday loan approver that allows you to choose the amount of time and money you need to get back on track. They’ll deposit the funds right into your account and you can avoid paying fees on top of fees while you’re waiting for your next paycheck to arrive.
  • Read the Fine Print. Banks aren’t exactly known for their transparency when it comes to fees, especially considering that’s how they make the big bucks. When you set up your account, ask the banker what needs to be done to avoid fees. The type of account you’re in may have minimum balance, direct deposit or transaction requirements to keep it free and by having them put it in plain terms you don’t have to worry about a nasty surprise. If you are already content with your bank account, check with your banker to see if anything has changed. Banks often alert their customers in the legal notices at the end of their statements if something will be changing that can cost money. If you happen to miss the notice your bank should be able to let you know.
  • Track Your Balance. Keep track of your balance to be sure you aren’t overdrawing your account or falling below your minimum balance. There are several great applications out there to help now that check registers have fallen out of style. Mint offers an app that not only allows you to keep track of your balance, but also gives you an overview of all of your bills and outstanding credit cards. This can help you avoid overdrafts while also allowing you to avoid finance charges or accrued interest.

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Can your Personality Determine your Income?

Experts will tell you that, when it comes to earning money, the type of personality that you have definitely influences how much money you will earn, save and/or put towards retirement.

On the other hand, they also cautioned that people shouldn’t read too much into personality tests or assume that their personality, if not geared toward financial topics, will automatically set them up for future failure.

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Cutting Those ‘Extra’ College Costs Down to Size

If you have a child in college, and you’ve got their college tuition and room & board “under control”, pat yourself on the back because you’re doing better than most, but don’t sit back and put your feet up on the desk just yet.

The fact is, the average student spends thousands of dollars every year on higher education “extras” that must be factored into the total cost of their college education.

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