5 Keys to a Frugal Retirement

When we think about frugality, many of us consider the here and now.

However, it doesn’t hurt to consider that you might need to be frugal during retirement as well.

While many of us hope to be able to forget about frugality during our golden years, the truth is that you never know what will happen in the future to create uncertainty in your finances.

It makes sense to be prepared to live frugally in retirement, if the need should arise.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you prepare your retirement finances:

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Steps to Take if You Lose Your Job and You’re Now Unemployed

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Many of us live in fear of possibly losing a job.

After all, the job is what provides income stability in the household, and is often the source of benefits, like health insurance, for your family.  Without a job, you are on the hook for a number of these costs, and may find it difficult to make ends meet.

Losing your job doesn’t have to be the end of the line, however.

There are steps you can take to alleviate the situation, as well as ways to make unemployment an opportunity.

Before you panic into doing something unwise, take a deep breath, step back, and consider the following actions if you lost your job:

Apply for Unemployment Benefits

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Why You Need a Small Business Credit Card

Many of us with small and home businesses don’t think a lot about getting a credit card.

After all, what do we need with a business credit card, when everything is so…small?

However, a small business credit card can be a good move for just about any small business — even if you don’t think that you need one. There are advantages to having a credit card in the name of your small business.

Here are some of the advantages of having a small business credit card:

Build Credit for Your Business

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6 Steps to Take in a Financial Emergency

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Every now and then, financial catastrophe strikes.

You never know when you will run into a financial emergency.  Sometimes, things are simply out of your control.

When a financial emergency arrives, though, it’s important to take control as quickly as possible.

While you can’t control what happens in terms of an unexpected financial setback, you can control your reaction to it.  When you find yourself dealing with a financial emergency, here are 6 steps you can take to get back on track as soon as possible:

1. Take a Deep Breath, and Evaluate the Situation

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Don’t Let These 4 Things Hold You Back from a Successful Retirement

Each person’s idea of a successful retirement looks different from someone else’s.

However, no matter who you are, there are some things that can keep you from achieving your vision of retirement success.

As you plan for your future, be careful; don’t let the following 4 things hold you back from a successful retirement:

1. Insufficient Savings

If you aren’t setting aside enough for retirement, it will be hard to live the lifestyle you want.
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Just Because You Can Spend More, Doesn’t Mean You Should

One of the things I heard a lot when my husband and I were shopping around for a new house a few years ago was this: You can borrow this much!

This much invariably turned out to be more than we were strictly comfortable spending.

One lender (specializing in no-doc loans for the self-employed) was even prepared to approve us for a mortgage loan with a payment that would have amounted to about 42% of our monthly income.  This was in the heady days just before the mortgage market crash and the financial crisis.

I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to buy a home, but I knew I wasn’t comfortable with a payment that large.

Home buying isn’t the only time you need to be guarded in your spending decisions.  You might be told that you can “afford” a certain monthly car payment, or think that it’s easy to buy a brand new electronic device if you put it on a credit card and pay only the minimum payment.

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Are Credit Monitoring Services Worth It?

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You know that your credit is important.

From getting a mortgage, to buying a car, to getting the best insurance rates, your credit can impact how much you pay, and whether you get the loan you need.

Staying on top of your credit is important if you want to save thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

On top of that, identity theft is the fastest growing crime, and everyone is vulnerable.

No matter how hard you try to keep your information safe, there is no way to completely guarantee that you won’t end up the victim of identity theft.

One of the earliest ways to catch identity fraud is to keep tabs on what is happening with your credit.

Because good credit is such a concern, and because identity theft is a very real fear, many people turn to credit monitoring services.  These services can help you keep track of whether or not your credit is improving, as well as notify you when someone opens credit in your name (and signaling that someone else might be using your identity).

But are credit monitoring services worth it? Continue Reading

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