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How to Spend Less on Some of Your ‘Needs’

How many times have your children said, “I need this?”

Or how many times has your spouse said it?  What about you?  How many times have you said it?

At the risk of dragging out the old, “I had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow,” argument, what Americans consider a need today is much different from the past.

In addition, Americans have created a culture in which the concept of “need” is much different from anywhere else in the world.

Enough about historical comparisons and international economics.  Let’s look at a few examples of what Americans today consider needs and just how ridiculous (and expensive) they are.  While we’re at it, let’s consider some common sense alternatives.

How You Can Spend Less on These ‘Needs’

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Multi-Generational Living – Is a Next Generation Home for You?

The economy has hit many hard. 

Retirees have seen their investments drop leaving them with less money to pay their living expenses and ever rising medical and prescription costs.

College students struggle to pay their college and living expenses while not going too deeply in student loan debt.

Meanwhile, the so called sandwich generation, those who have elderly parents who need support as well as children that also need support, struggle to make ends meet and take care of both generations while also saving for their own retirement.

Multi-Generational Living:  Coming Back in Style

The idea of generations living together is not new.  One hundred to one hundred and fifty years ago, 3 generations living together was quite common.

Yet, as our society changed and people became more independent, multi-generational living fell out of vogue.  It is no longer necessary, so most people don’t do it.

However, the current economy has changed the most recent housing dynamic. 
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Do I Need Life Insurance In Retirement?

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You can save a boat load of money by re-evaluating your life insurance needs once you retire.

If you do, you’ll probably find that you need a whole lot less insurance after you retire than you needed while you were working.  In many cases, you’ll discover that you won’t need life insurance at all during retirement.

So Do I Need Life Insurance in Retirement?

The Purpose Of Life Insurance is the Key

Counter to what many life insurance agents tell you, life insurance isn’t an investment.

That’s one reason why term life is far better than whole life.  It’s also one of the reasons I question the need for life insurance on a non-working spouse.

Insurance is a financial tool and nothing more.
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Gold Price Shakeup and Links

The price of gold took a big hit a few weeks ago.

In the last 30 days the price has dropped from a high of $1,606 to a low of $1,360.  The drop was significant and only over a few day period.  The price has since rebounded a bit to $1,453 but that is still a drop of $153 or 9.5%.

Those that are pro-gold used it as an opportunity to buy even more while detractors pointed out the instability in the price of the commodity.  If you were able to snag more gold at $1,360 you have since earned a return of 6.8%.

No matter how you feel about gold you need free cash available to be able to purchase some. That means taking care of your finances, which these articles will help you do:

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Should You Ever Cosign a Loan? Probably Not

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One of the absolutely most risky financial decisions you can make is to cosign a loan for someone.

The FTC has even done research to show consumers exactly how atrocious of a decision cosigning a loan is.  It can be really hard to turn down the need to cosign a loan; usually the person asking you is a relative or very close friend.  They are promising that it won’t be a big deal and they’ll be able to pay on time.

But is that true?

Should you ever cosign a loan?

For anyone?

Ever?

The Risks of Cosigning a Loan

Here are three risks of accepting the offer to cosign a loan.

The Person Asking is a Credit Risk

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Blue Cash Everyday ® Card from American Express – Review, Now With Amazon Prime and a $50 Bonus

American Express has a great card in it’s “Blue” family – the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

This is a nice no-nonsense cash back card that’s easy for people to understand.  These days that’s getting harder to find as credit card companies make their rewards harder to get or increase the annual fee to make up for the benefits of the card.

Let’s take a look at what the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has to offer.Continue Reading

The Dark Side of Health Care – Paying Extra Because of Our Health

There’s no doubt that obesity is an epidemic in the United States. 

Our children may be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents thanks to obesity and the many related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease.

Among adults, according to the CDC, 35.9% of U.S. citizens ages 20 and older are obese.  Another 33.3% are overweight, but not obese.  That leaves slightly less than 31% of United States citizens who are at a healthy weight.

It doesn’t take a scientist to understand that those who are chronically obese or overweight will likely cost a company more in health care.

In addition, those workers are absent from the work place more often.  “A 2011 Gallup survey estimated obese or overweight full-time U.S. workers miss an additional 450 million days of work each year, compared to healthy workers, resulting in more than $153 billion in lost productivity” (Wall Street Journal).

While we may consider obesity a personal issue, each person’s obesity and related health issues affect not only themselves, but their employers and their families.

Should You Have to Pay Extra for Health Insurance If You’re Overweight?

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