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Playing the Retirement Catch-Up Game in Your Forties

So, you’re in your forties and have little to no retirement savings.  ”What shall I do?” you ask yourself.  First thing you need to do is not lose hope.  You have a challenge ahead of you but you can win this battle.  It’s something I like to call “Retirement Catch-Up.”  At its core, it’s a fairly simple game.  You have a certain time horizon and need a certain amount you need before you can retire.  With the proper knowledge, anyone can win this game.

Here’s you have a sort of “cheat sheet” to win the retirement catch-up game:

Max out your 401(k) plan immediately

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Can’t Pay On Time? Change Your Due Date!

Way back in the dark days when my credit card debt felt like a ball and chain around my neck I would have problems paying my credit card bills on time.

And man, was I so close a lot of those times!

I’d miss the due date by a day here, three days there.  See, my budget was timed badly such that my paycheck and my credit card due date were within days of each other (I was living paycheck-to-paycheck for a while).  By the time I could get my bills out they would already be late.  You can always ask the credit card company to waive a late fee but I had too many to ask anymore.

One day I found out I could ask the credit card company to move my due date.

“They would do that,” I thought?  I mean, why would they work with me since I owe them money?
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The Lure of the Infomercial

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Have you ever been up at night, flipping through channels, and been bombarded by the infomercials?  The Magic Bullet, for example, is a little mini blender.  Yet if you invest the time to watch the full infomercial, you will discover that the Magic Bullet is perfect for all of your kitchen tasks.  It can blend up ingredients for a personal sized smoothie, an omelet, and muffins (never mind that the blueberry muffins actually come out blue after making their way through the Magic Bullet).  You can also use the Magic Bullet for grinding coffee, chopping onions and garlic, the list goes on.

The advertisement features a pleasant man and woman surrounded by their friends.  The group could easily be away for a weekend at a lakeside cottage.  Everyone is relaxed and delighted to watch all the tasks that can be completed with the Magic Bullet.  If you, the viewer, are not careful, you may begin to subconsciously marvel at the Magic Bullet until you decide you need one too.
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Hedging Against Inflation

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One of the realities of our economy is inflation. Inflation, which is a rise in prices (or a reduction in purchasing power) has a very real effect on your finances.  As inflation increases, your ability to get more for your money decreases.  This means that it takes more money to buy the same amount of product or service as you could buy a few years ago.  Unfortunately, there is almost no way to stop inflation.  Hedging against inflation, is something you can work on so that your wealth grows at pace with inflation — or beats it.Continue Reading

How to Make More Money: Stop Watching TV!

If you are like most people, you probably have a desire or a strong need to generate more income but you just don’t know where to start or how you will find the time in with juggling all of your responsibilities. 

The question is always “how to make more money?”

You need to ask yourself,  what are you spending time on?

Have you seriously thought about it?

One of the biggest time killers is that black box that sits in your living room, bedroom, kitchen or den.  Know what I am referring to?  Yep, it’s your super sleek, shiny big flat screen TV!  You are proud of your big black box, you carefully wipe it down with all the rest of your possessions, and it may even be the “ooh and  ahh” focal point of your home when entertaining.  Heck, you probably spent a pretty penny on it, so why not get your money’s worth out of it right?

And you know what – there is nothing wrong with it.

The question you may need to ask yourself is this: how many hours a day do you find yourself zoning out in front of the television?  Is it only a couple of hours, or is it several hours in a day?  Do you use your television as a way to escape the things that aren’t working for you in your life?

If you do, you are not alone.  Most people nowadays use the television as a way to entertain themselves, as a babysitter, and as a way to escape from life’s problems.
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Try Out Your New Lifestyle Before You Actually Live It

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Life can be full of financial changes that you must adapt to.  One of the best ways to make the transition smoother is to try out your new lifestyle before you actually live it.   Take, for example, the stories of two women, Jessica and Maureen.
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How to Create a Budget for Variable Income

With people increasingly using technology to make money from home, it is becoming more common for many of us to live on a variable income. The problem for many, though, is how to create a budget for variable income?  Whether you have a stable base of income, with some variable elements, or whether your entire income is variable, you need to have some sort of plan for your money.

Estimates: Break Down Your Monthly Income and Expenses

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