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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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The Argument For Healthy, Simple Eating

I enjoy reading financial blogs as well as deal blogs.

What I find is that while financial blogs tend to argue that raising your income through your job and creating a side income is the best way to get ahead financially, many deal blogs argue that saving money, in part by using coupons, is the best way to get ahead financially.

Extreme Couponing Isn’t All It Is Cracked Up to Be

Several years ago, I was impressed to see a blogger share how she bought groceries with a retail value of $53 for only $3.67, but the cynic in me has taken over, especially after I watched an episode or two of TLC’s Extreme Couponing and watched how stressed out and uptight the couponers could get about finding the right deal, not to mention the time they were investing.  I also looked closely at what they were buying—pop, chips, frozen meals, boxed food, and bags and bags of candy.

If you can get it for free, that doesn’t mean you should be eating it. Continue Reading

Benefits of an Online Checking Account

What kind of benefits does an online checking account provide over a standard checking account with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank?

Should you be enticed to try an online checking account or stick with the options in your local area?

4 Benefits of an Online Checking Account

Here are a few benefits of switching to an online checking account.

Interest on Deposits

For your average brick-and-mortar bank, offering interest on the deposits held in the checking account isn’t necessary.
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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Makes Consumer Complaints Publicly Available

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Do you know about Yelp?  Maybe Tripadvisor?

If you’re looking for a new restaurant or you’re traveling and find yourself in an unknown place, Yelp and Tripadvisor take some of the guesswork out finding a quality restaurant by publishing customer reviews.  You can search for restaurants by the amount of positive reviews and companies can respond to the review in an attempt to rectify a negative customer experience.

Websites like these have caused some local businesses to clean up their act since they know that savvy consumers reference these sites en masse.  They know that bad reviews can affect their bottom line just as positive reviews can increase traffic.

Not all businesses have such a low tech yet effective system of oversight.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how a certain bank in your community treats its customers?  When trying to choose from the sea of credit card offers, wouldn’t it be nice if you could see what other card holders around the country think of the card?

Credit Card Complaints Made Public

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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.

Don’t Spend on Something Just Because You CanContinue Reading

What is the Buffett Rule Tax Plan and Why Are We Hearing So Much About It?

Warren Buffett has publicly stated many times that he thinks the richest individuals in the United States don’t pay enough in income tax.

He consistently gives the example that he pays a smaller percentage of his overall income in tax than his secretary does.

He’s been so adamant that the Obama administration picked up the baton and ran with it, dubbing a new proposal the “Buffett Tax Rule”.

What is the Buffett Tax Rule?

So what exactly is the Buffet tax rule?

The administration’s proposal would set a floor of a 30% income tax on those with incomes over $1,000,000 in a given year.  The goal is that no middle income taxpayer would pay a larger share of his or her income than someone making millions of dollars.

Why is the Buffett Rule So Popular Right Now?

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Should You Discuss Money In Front of Your Kids?

The economic downturn beginning in 2007 caused financial hardship for many families who had to cope with job loss, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. 

While not every family may have had such a difficult time financially, there are still other strains on family finances such as rising gas and grocery prices.

As a parent, should you talk about money with your spouse in front of the children?

Of course, this is a deeply personal issue, and many will have differing views.  However, there is a valid reason to talk about money issues in front of your kids.

Benefit of Talking about Finances in Front of Your Kids

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