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Six Things to Do When Your Aging Parents Have No Retirement Savings

It sounds like the makings of a sitcom, but your parents may end up rooming with you if they haven’t started saving for retirement.An analysis for the Harvard Health Letter using U.S. Census Bureau data concluded that some 3.4 million people aged 65 or older were living in a grown child’s home in 2016.

Before you start counting the ways your life will change once your parents move in, prepare to do some information gathering. Your parents may not have much in savings, but the faster you can get their finances in order, the better off you’ll all be.

1. Get your siblings on board 

Start by having an informal chat with your siblings to share perspectives. Has anyone already had this conversation with mom and dad? If so, how’d it go? Also find out who’s willing to join forces with you to ensure your folks have a good plan for the future.

2. Invite your folks to an open conversation about finances 

Your parents may be defensive about their financial situation, so it’s important to set the tone carefully. Do your best to treat this as a shared circumstance. You’re not fixing or blaming. You’re simply looking out for them by planning for their future.

By starting the conversation with an offer to help, you can keep from playing the blame game. You might say, “Mom and Dad, I’d like to help you guys plan for your later years. Can we set aside some time to talk about financial stuff?”

3. Ask for the numbers 

It may feel better to talk about finances in generalities, but to be successful, you need to resist that urge. You can be most helpful when you know how much your parents spend, their income, what they own, and what they owe. It’s also useful to chat openly about how stable they think their income is. For instance, Mom may plan on working another 20 years, but things are more complicated if she’s worried about getting pushed out next year.

When you understand their income outlook, you can broach the topic of Social Security benefits, and help them strategize on when to take those benefits. If they aren’t sure where they stand with Social Security, help them set up an online account withmy Social Security. And while you’re at it, see if they’ll share passwords to their other financial accounts in case you need to check in on those.

If your folks have a ton of debt or are borrowing to cover their expenses, help them find ways to spend less. Review their credit card statements and checking accounts for subscription services they don’t use, encourage them to shop around for cheaper rates on home or auto insurance, and introduce them to streaming TV so they can cancel cable.

A consistently high grocery bill is a harder challenge to tackle. You might introduce them to a grocery delivery service to minimize impulse purchases. A produce delivery service can also eke out some savings, as these focus on less expensive, seasonal produce that’s locally sourced.

Once your parents’ spending is in line with their income, every bit of savings should go towards paying down the debt.

5. Consider downsizing on homes and cars 

If your parents are open to it, downsizing now may result in more freedom later. Selling an extra car raises some quick cash to pay down debt, and also reduces insurance and maintenance expenses. Downsizing the home may be a tougher conversation to have, but it’s worth exploration. A smaller place that’s fully paid off provides a lot more security for your parents than a bigger place with a mortgage. Ongoing maintenance and expenses will be less, too.

6. Brainstorm new streams of income 

Even after you help your parents streamline their debt and expenses, they probably won’t have access to the traditional, work-free retirement lifestyle if they haven’t been saving diligently for years. That’s not to say they’ll be fully dependent on Social Security either. They could start up aside hustle to generate income and protect their lifestyle.

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The joint effort pays off 

A little teamwork between you and your folks could have them on sustainable financial ground in just a few years. In other words, the best way to head off the parent-roommate situation is to start those tough conversations now.

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The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Source: Six things to do when your aging parents have no retirement savings

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More Canadians are living well into their eighties. Chances are that many of us will be involved in caring for at least one aging parent and will be concerned if their retirement savings will be enough. Planning ahead will help ensure your parents’ financial independence and for you – piece of mind. BlueShore Financial advisor David Lee explains the nuances of financial planning for aging parents, including RRSPs, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Long Term Care Insurance and more. Learn more about helping your parents with their financial plan: https://www.blueshorefinancial.com/We…

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Now That Commissions Are Free, Here’s How To Avoid The Big Costs Of Investing

TRADE FOR FREE! NO COMMISSIONS! Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is and it isn’t. Allow me to explain.

Within the past few weeks, a slew of brokerage firms reduced the rate their customers pay for online stock and ETF trades. In fact, they reduced them to dust. Interactive Brokers (IB) started it. Schwab joined in. Then, the cavalry arrived. Many of the largest firms followed suit in different forms. They joined IB, Schwab and the many robo-advisors who have offered free trading for a while.

What does it all mean for you?

Let’s start with the simplest part. Whether you trade your own accounts, or a professional advisor manages your assets, there is a very good chance your costs to execute trades has been reduced. It might even be zero.

However, that does not mean that investing is now “free.” It never was. Now, I know what you are thinking. You don’t use mutual funds, and you don’t use ETFs. So, your returns are not reduced by those “expense ratios” that are embedded in managed funds. If you buy and sell individual stocks, that is true.

You may also point out that you have most of your assets in tax-deferred accounts, such as an IRA or your 401(k) plan. Again, you are correct in assuming that you will not be taxed on those assets until you take them out or reach age 70 1/2. So far, investing sounds pretty darn inexpensive to me!

Today In: Money

The real costs of investing

One of the most frustrating things to me after more than 3 decades in the investment business is how quickly people jump at the chance to get something for “free” without considering the whole picture. Zero commissions on stock and ETF trades is just the latest example.

Trading, execution (how good a price you get when you place an order with a brokerage firm), and expense ratios get all the hype in the “race to the bottom” that is today’s big Wall Street.

Taxes…and how Wall Street tries to make them exciting

Taxes get some respect as a cost to reckon with. However, here too, the industry (especially the Robo firms) has created unnecessary drama by touting something call “tax loss harvesting (TLH).” This is something many of us in the field have done religiously for taxable client accounts for years. And we have done so with a focus on each client’s specific tax situation.

Now, firms will put your account on an automated system that hyper-actively swaps you from one security to another similar one, in order to generate a constant stream of tax losses. These can be posted against gains to reduce your tax bill. Great in theory.

TLH does not mean TLC

However, from the live examples I have seen, these TLH programs crowd out some very good investment strategy work. This would take an entirely separate article to explain. Perhaps I will post one.

For now, suffice it to say that in some instances, investment firms are charging an extra fee for something that is potentially overkill. That same service can be done more carefully and inexpensively as custom work for each client. It is just one of those things that you need to be aware of.

In an era of zero commissions, these for-profit firms are not going to find other ways to profit. In no way am I saying they don’t provide a helpful service. Just don’t get caught up in the hype.

Money market rates…also going to zero?

For example, the interest rate paid on money market funds at brokerage firms is, shall we say, in a bear market. That is, the rates are plunging. This is because brokerages are returning to one of their most profitable business, now that short-term interest rates have popped up from 0%.

For example, if T-bills yield 1.50%, you would hope that the money market fund that is used to sweep cash in and out of when you trade would pay somewhere in that range. Check carefully. Many firms have dropped those rates so that they are way, way lower than T-bills.

Cash management: the new tool in your toolbox?

That does not mean that it is a bad deal for you. If you trade actively, and don’t hold a high cash balance anyway, your interest in dollar terms is quite tiny to begin with. But if this is not the case, perhaps you are better off sharpening your skills as a “cash manager.”

I know I have done this in the accounts I manage over the past year. There are ETFs that invest in short-term, high-quality bonds like Treasuries. And, now that there is no commission cost to trade them through many firms, they may be worth considering as a money market surrogate.

The BIG cost of investing that gets too little attention

Drum roll, please…its lousy performance in down markets. Or, as David Letterman said, its all fun and games until someone loses an eye. So, amid all of the excitement about how little it will cost you to “play the market” with no trading costs and low expense ratios, there is still an issue. If the stock market drops 20%, 30%, 40% or more, you had better have a plan.

And, the plan can’t be to figure it out on the fly. Ask the folks who were suddenly faced with that in 2000 and 2007, the winds shifted. We all want to get our “fair share” of the ups. But when markets freak out and $20 of every $100 you had in your portfolio can potentially vanish in a few weeks (as stock index funds did around this time last year), lack of risk-management becomes the only cost that matters.

To try to put a bow on this cost discussion, consider the following if you have $500,000 to invest, and you are not a day trader, nor a straight buy-and-hold investor:

* The cost of 40 trades a year used to be about $5 each. That’s $200 a year you saved, with commissions going to zero.

* You switched to index funds from active funds, and maybe mixed in some stocks. Let’s say that shaved your portfolio expense ratio from 1.00% to 0.20%. You saved $4,000 on that $500,000 portfolio.

* Taxes: you generated capital gains of $30,000, but used TLH to knock that down to $10,000. Assuming a 30% tax rate, you saved $6,000 in taxes. This is getting better and better!

Minimal risk-management: the market fell by 20%, and you escaped with “only” a 18% loss. But that’s still a $90,000 decline in the portfolio! If you had practiced risk-management using some of the techniques I discussed in recent articles (tactical positioning, options, inverse ETFs, etc.), you might have kept that loss to half that.

Naturally, everyone’s situation and objectives are different. However, the key is to recognize the relative impact of the different types of investment “cost.” In the examples above, the cost of trading was well under 1%. The impact of expense ratio was a bit under 1%. TLH helped (assuming you had gains to offset with losses), to the tune of just over 1%.

However, risk-management can be “worth” well over 1%. That’s the point, and what you should focus on when evaluating your total “cost” of investing.

Comments provided are informational only, not individual investment advice or recommendations. Sungarden provides Advisory Services through Dynamic Wealth Advisors

To read more, click HERE

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am an investment strategist and portfolio manager for high net worth families with over 30 years of industry experience. A thought-leader, book author and founder of a boutique investment advisory firm in South Florida. My work for Forbes.com aims to break investment myths and bring common sense analysis to my audience. Connect with me on Linked In, follow me on Twitter @robisbitts. Visit our website at www.SungardenInvestment.com.  What do you think? I welcome your questions and feedback at rob@sungardeninvestment.com. For more on this and related topics, click here.

Source: Now That Commissions Are Free, Here’s How To Avoid The Big Costs Of Investing

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https://www.sbmoneytips.com/ Learn the first secret of successful investing with Part I of our three-part series! *** Did you know that the average individual investor does worse in the stock market than the market itself? In other words, if you just held a broad index fund and did nothing but hold on until you hit retirement you would do better than most. It turns out that the problem has nothing to do with a lack of market savvy or anything like that. Instead, it has everything to do with human emotions. Once you learn the enemy you can master it! So let’s take a quick look in the mirror and get acquainted with our opponent! The first secret is simply to invest as soon as you can. Don’t sit on the sidelines! Start now and let compounding do the heavy lifting over time. Make the effort to learn something new: like how to set up an account and put some money to work. Either do it on line or call one of the big brokerages. You’ll be richly repaid for your efforts! The next secret is to avoid being too conservative when investing for long-term goals. Many people are reluctant to invest in the stock market because they are afraid they’ll lose money. And they’re right – they will! But allow enough time and the results come back to the long term averages. Take a look at this chart showing the S&P500’s results from 2007 through 2015. That drop in 2008-2009 was pretty terrifying – I know! I personally lost over a third of my money in it! And it was really uncomfortable. But look what happened after that. It took several years but the market came back and is now well above where it was before the great recession. The right thing to do is to stay the course. Invest when you have money to do so and only sell when you need the money. This is really important. Hang on when you’re in the middle of one of these lurches and don’t sell or change your game plan.

12 Things You Should Do To Save Money In October

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In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to prepare for your financial future.

And one of the easiest ways to add to your nest-egg is to simply cut your biggest household expenses and save more of your hard earned money.

We often forget some of the golden rules to saving that our parents taught us. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to save on bills in 2019. No matter your circumstance, there’s something here that everyone can use like cutting down your mortgage bill and save on utilities.

1. Take Full Advantage Of These Tax Deductions

Owning a home can be very lucrative. Seriously, owning a home can not only give you a cheaper monthly payment than renting but in many cases, the tax benefits make the decision a no-brainer.

Here are a few of the larger deductions that you need to be sure to take:

Interest you pay on your mortgage: If you own a home and don’t have a mortgage greater than $750,000, you can deduct the interest you pay on the loan. This is one of the biggest benefits to owning a home versus renting–as you could get massive deductions at tax time. The limit used to be $1 million, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) reduced the limit and made some clarifications on deducting interest from a home equity line of credit.

Property taxes: Another awesome benefit to owning a home is the ability to deduct your property taxes. Before TCJA, the rules were a little more flexible and you were able to deduct the entirety of your property taxes. Now things have a changed a bit. Under the new law, you can deduct up to $10,000. The deduction for state and local income taxes was combined with the deduction for state and local property taxes, too.

Tax incentives for energy-efficient upgrades: While most of the tax incentives for making energy-efficient upgrades to your home have gone away, there are still a couple worth noting. You can still claim tax deductions on solar energy–both for electric and water heating equipment, through 2021. The longer you wait, though, the less money you’ll get back. Here’s the percentage of equipment you can deduct, based on time of installation:

Between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019 – 30% of the expenditures are eligible for the credit
Between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 – 26%
Between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2012 – 22%

2. Use Government Rebates To Get Solar Panels And Slash Your Energy Bills

Warning: Do not pay your next energy bill until you read this…

This is the 1 simple truth your power company doesn’t want you to know. There is a new policy in 2019 that qualifies homeowners who live in specific zip codes to be eligible for $1,000’s of Government funding to install solar panels. Has your power company told you that? Of course not. They hope homeowners don’t learn about this brilliant way to reduce your energy bill tremendously!

When homeowners check whether they qualify many are shocked that subsidies and rebates can cover a lot of the costs associated with installation so it greatly reduces the amount you’ll have to pay. Many may qualify for $0 down! Soon, you could be on your way to significantly reducing your electric bill in a matter of weeks.

Smart homeowners are setting out to do their own research and determine whether this new program lives up to its reputations. Over and over again, many are reporting back on their findings, with the most exciting part being that they are now able to save $1,000s a year on their own energy bill.

Estimate Your New Power Bill >>

3. Install CFLs or LED Lights Where You Can

New lighting technology has really come a long ways. Now although they do cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED bulbs can last for years without having to replace them. You don’t even need to replace every bulb in the house at once. Even swapping just your four or five most-used light bulbs can save you $45 or more a year!

CFL vs. LED

CFLs, which use a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last for years, are the next cheapest option after traditional bulbs. But they also have some drawbacks: They take a while to warm up to full brightness, and they also contain a small amount of mercury.

Meanwhile, LEDs are more expensive. However, they’re getting cheaper all the time, and they are easily the best lighting option available: They light up instantly, are efficient as CFLs, produce a warm glow without getting hot to the touch, and can last for decades.

4. Automate Your Thermostat

One of the easiest things you can do to instantly start saving money on your heating and cooling bills is to get an automated thermostat. These smart thermostats will learn when you are home and make sure the home is at a comfortable setting during those hours.

You may even be able to get a rebate from your utility provider for installing one of these in your home. It’s a win-win!

5. Make A Grocery List

You ever go to the grocery store when you’re hungry and find yourself checking out with way more than you intended? We call this “Hunger Shopping” and it’s quite dangerous to your wallet!

Before going to get groceries, make a list of groceries that you need for the upcoming week. That way, you only buy what you’re intending to use and the amount that will get thrown away from being expired is kept to a minimal.

6. Buy in Bulk

One of the easiest things you can do to instantly start saving money is to buy in bulk! Retailers often give a MUCH better deal on products such as paper towel, toilet paper, detergent, etc if you buy in bulk.

This might seem like an obvious one, but we often forget how much money we waste by not buying in bulk.

7. Want a Patio? Consider Concrete Over Pavers

Building a patio can add great value to your home, as well as creating enjoyable outdoor living space for you and your family. But patios can come at a great cost.

When we decided to add a patio to our home, we looked at the different surface options carefully. Although many landscapers would recommend pavers over concrete because of their durability over time, we decided that the cost savings was more important to us. We personally love the clean look of concrete as well.

Now one thing to remember with concrete is that it WILL crack eventually. But if you have a good concrete crew, it should be prepped right where the cracks are minimal. So we expect to see cracks, but are hopeful that it will be minimal.

8. No Life Insurance? You’ll Want To Use This Brilliant Life Insurance Trick

If you don’t have life insurance, you better read this.

It’s not something any of us like to think about or plan for. But when the worst happens, it’s essential to know your family and loved ones are covered financially. That’s why it’s essential to have a life insurance. A good life insurance policy can help cover the cost of a mortgage, childcare costs and safeguard your family from inheriting any debts you might have.

 

But the sad truth is, a shocking number of Americans do not have a life insurance policy and their family is at financial risk if the worst should happen.

There is a service that is now allowing users to get free life insurance quotes from some of the top insurance companies out there. People are shocked at how cheap an excellent policy is after requesting their free quotes. But the reality is, life insurance rates are at a 20-year low and thanks to new program policies you could qualify for a great new policy at an extremely affordable price.

To get your free quote today, click below and complete a few questions (about 60 seconds). Once you’re done, you will be presented with choices and rates you never thought possible (no login required). Enjoy your savings!

Get Your Free Quote Now >>

9. Give Your Air Conditioner Some Space

Just like we need to breathe, your air conditioner needs space where it’s getting air easily. Many AC units are surrounded by shrubs that can restrict the airflow it needs to run efficiently. Take a few minutes this weekend and do the following:

Trim up any bushes that are are touching the unit so there is at least 1 foot of clearance

Clean up the ground for any loose debris or leaves

If the outside of the unit has a lot of debris clogging it up, consider having a professional service and clean it out

10. New Auto Insurance Policy

Here’s what auto insurance companies don’t want you to know…and what thousands of consumers are quickly learning about their current auto insurance plan:

If you’re paying more than $63 per month for auto insurance, this auto insurance comparison tool can help you check to see if you’re overpaying in a few minutes. This is something every driver should be doing every 6 months or so to ensure that they are getting the best deal.

 

Insurance companies are always competing to win your business, but if you turn a blind eye and keep the same policy in place for a long period of time, your rates might have increased. By checking rates, drivers saved an average of $531 per year with a new policy.

So do yourself a favor and do a quick comparison by filling out a short form (about 4 minutes). This is a fast way you can start saving on your auto bills.

Compare Auto Insurance Rates >>

11. Veterans Get a Massive Discount at Lowes

All active military and veterans are entitled to get a 10% discount on all in-store purchases at Lowe’s.

To make it even better, Lowe’s extends this offer to their spouses! Need new tools? How about new appliances? How about a kitchen remodel? Lowe’s carries a variety of things, so take advantage of this incredible discount!

12. Born Before 1985? Get $3,000/year Taken Off Your Mortgage With The Government’s New “Enhanced Relief” Program

Banks Don’t Want Homeowners Knowing This

Still unknown to many is a brilliant Government Program called the Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance Program (FMERR) that could benefit millions of Americans and reduce their payments by as much as $3,000 per year! You could bet the banks aren’t too thrilled about losing all that profit and might secretly hope homeowners don’t find out before time runs out.

 

So while the banks happily wait for this program to end, the Government is making a final push and urging homeowners to take advantage. This program is currently active but could be shut down at any given time in 2019. But the good news is that once you’re in, you’re in. If lowering your payments, paying off your mortgage faster, and even taking some cash out would help you, it’s vital you act now and see if you could qualify for FMERR or a better rate in today’s marketplace.

Source: https://article.expense-cutter.com/save-big-this-year-with-these-useful-tips-fbvlm

334K subscribers
It’s not about how much money you earn. It’s what you do with the money that matters. In this video, I’m going to show you a business strategy on how to manage your money. I’m not gonna tell you what to invest in. That’s not my role. Here are the best ideas of what the best professionals do to manage their money. Learn more from Tom LIVE at the next Summit event: https://tfi.media/2UC21rg ———— I hope you got some helpful tips and new ideas from this video. To ensure you don’t miss all my FREE training videos all you have to do is sign up here with your email: http://bit.ly/TomFerry-VideoTraining Get a FREE copy of my new book: http://bit.ly/2Bblstw Download FREE Agent Scripts and Resources: http://bit.ly/2iDEjpJ Tom Ferry Coaching: http://bit.ly/2eP8UlA Tom Ferry Events: http://bit.ly/2gQBjbD Join Tom’s VIP List: http://bit.ly/2sMb73n ————- Connect with me on my other social channels: Website – http://TomFerry.com Facebook – http://facebook.com/TomFerry Twitter – http://twitter.com/TomFerry YouTube – http://youtube.com/CoachTomFerry Instagram – http://instagram.com/TomFerry Podcast – http://soundcloud.com/CoachTomFerry

 

Here’s Why This 44-Year-Old’s Happiness Grew After She Abandoned Early Retirement

When Lisa first learned about the financial independence, retire early (FIRE) movement she was stunned that so many people, often younger than her, could possibly save enough to retire. Reading the blogs and first-person stories invigorated her. She wanted to follow suit. It changed the way she and her husband spent money. They cut out restaurants, wore old clothes and avoided coffee shops, funneling all the extra cash into paying down debt and building retirement funds.

“It really did motivate us,” Lisa said.

But as someone who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years, she never had a huge problem with her job. The more Lisa saved, though, the more she felt annoyed at going to work. The more she saved, the more she wanted to watch HGTV before bed. The more she saved, the more she couldn’t understand why she should walk around in a coat with holes in it simply to prove that she was good with money.

The whole effort “made me unhappy,” said Lisa, who asked to only use her first name since she’s still working full-time. That’s why, four years after starting her FIRE goal of retiring young, Lisa and her husband decided to abandon the ‘retire early’ portion of their savings plan. Instead, she’s decided to focus on financial independence, but also not worry if they want to eat out on a Friday night.

Today In: Money

There’s a fine line between frugality and feeling guilty over every dime that you spend in order to save a little bit more. Those that enter FIRE often ignore that line during the accumulation phase, saving as much as possible without regard to how it makes them feel today while sometimes sacrificing their health or well being. But it’s not a feat for everyone. For Lisa, this excessive frugality only became a hindrance to life.

It doesn’t mean she’s giving up saving. Or now, suddenly, going to rack up credit card debt. Instead, Lisa, who blogs about her experience at Mad Money Monster, is reevaluating her life again, figuring out what to keep and what to ignore when it comes to her financial independence (FI) strategy.

Abandoning Her Great Health Care Wasn’t An Option

As they saved, one factor that grew increasingly concerning was the health and welfare of her mom. “My mother depends on us for help for basic living expenses,” Lisa said. She expects to care for her mother as she grows older. While Lisa was making strides paying back debt under the FIRE plan, she had to spend $2,000 on her mother’s dental expenses.

Usually that cost comes out of pocket, and they expect to have to do the same with vision care and some other wellness needs.

This unknown complicated their financial picture. But also Lisa sees her mom’s situation, and then recognizes her luck with her current health care plan, which she describes as “really good.” The idea that she would walk away from that plan, simply so she could retire early – she’s about 60% of the way to her original FIRE mark – she now views as “selfish.” And she’s not comfortable with some of the other options out there for health care coverage, including the public markets or health shares.

“For me to walk away from that [healthcare] would be kind of dumb,” Lisa added.

Keeping A High Savings Rate

Despite rejecting the idea of early retirement at this point in her mid-40s, she’s made great strides in reshaping her financial situation.

When she learned about FIRE, her and her husband had just walked away from buying a large, expensive home that would have put them in a tricky financial predicament. They thought they needed the big house because that’s what people did after getting married. Instead of getting the house, she’s paid off her student loans, two cars and some credit card debt. The family has also invested in two single-family hoes, which they rent out, covering the mortgages.

At the peak of their saving they stashed away about 70% of their income. Now it’s closer to 50%. Still a strong level, but not with early retirement as the goal.

Lisa’s realization that there’s little desire to retire before traditional age has given her the freedom to build wealth for other purposes. She has the financial knowledge now and she’s using it to provide a large inheritance for her daughter one day.

“I want to build legacy wealth for my family,” she said. She has no problem staying at her job to grow that wealth.

But she’s also in a much more secure position, whenever her job does go away.

She’s Not Deprived Of Time

Often when people say they want to retire in their 30s or 40s they have dreams of traveling across the world, seeing new sights and meeting new people. That’s not the case for Lisa. “I’m so content with and entrenched in the adult family life,” she said.

She doesn’t demand much more travel than the summer vacation her family already goes on. Meanwhile, her husband, who works in the film industry, never wants to retire because he’s already found a job he would do even if he didn’t have to work.

“I feel like [we’re] not being deprived of time,” said Lisa.

And now that she has clarified her goals, it makes going into work much easier.

Follow me on LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’ve written about personal finance for Fortune, MONEY, CNBC and many others. I also authored The Everything Guide to Investing in Cryptocurrencies.

Source: Here’s Why This 44-Year-Old’s Happiness Grew After She Abandoned Early Retirement

21.4M subscribers
‘Time poor’ is the catch-cry of our era, and yet end-of-life retirement means we have an average of two decades of feeling time rich to look forward to… when we’re old. In this talk, Lacey shares how combining financial independence and mini-retirements is one way to bring that time rich feeling into our youth.  Lacey Filipich started her entrepreneurial journey with a hair wrap stall at 10 years old. Today, she is the co-founder and director of two successful businesses; Money School and Maker Kids Club. Between hair wraps and start-ups, Lacey graduated as valedictorian from the The University of Queensland with an Honours degree in Chemical Engineering. She moved to Australia’s ‘wild west’ to begin her career in mining, rising quickly through the ranks. A health scare and her sister’s suicide opened Lacey’s eyes to the world beyond work, leading her to redesign her life and take five mini-retirements in the next five years. This was achievable because of Lacey’s financial position: she started investing at 19 and now earns a passive income. Lacey considers herself time rich: able to choose if, when, where, how, on what and with whom she works. Her story is one of many in the Financially Independent Retiring Early (FIRE) movement supporting the idea that end-of-life retirement is optional. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Retirement Savings By Age: How Does Your 401K Balance Stack Up – Personal Capital

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401ks are one of the most common investment vehicles that Americans use to save for retirement. The 401k is an employer-sponsored plan that allows you to save for retirement in a tax-sheltered way (up to $18,500 per year in 2018, with a $6,000 catch-up contribution limit) to help maximize your retirement dollars. According to a Personal Capital-sponsored study conducted by ORC International, a majority of Americans (63%) with full-time or part-time employment participate in an employer-sponsored retirement program, yet just 21% max it out…..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/personalcapital/2018/10/16/retirement-savings-by-age-how-does-your-401k-balance-stack-up/#1d3009f047c1

 

 

 

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America’s Real Economy: It Isn’t Booming – Peter Georgescu

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Ostensibly, for the past ten years, US economy has been recovering from the 2008 collapse. During the past few years, our comeback seems to have gained momentum. All the official indicators say we’re back in boom times, with a bull market, low unemployment and steady job growth. But there is an alternative set of data that depicts a different America, where the overlooked majority struggles from month to month.

The Nation recently published a stunning overview of the working poor and underpaid. One of the most powerful data points in the piece described how empty the decline in unemployment actually is: having a job doesn’t exempt anyone from poverty anymore. About 12% of Americans (43 million) are considered poor, and yet they are employed. They earn an individual income below $12,140 per year, and slightly more than that for a family of two. If you include housing and medical expenses in the calculation, it raises the percentage of Americans living in poverty to 14%. That’s 45 million people.

At that level of income, there’s almost no way to pay for food and shelter in any sizeable American city. That means people now can both be employed and homeless. Rajon Menon writes, for The Nation:

In America’s big cities, chiefly because of a widening gap between rent and wages, thousands of working poor remain homeless, sleeping in shelters, on the streets, or in their vehicles, sometimes along with their families.

Fewer and fewer people have savings to weather time between jobs or an emergency expense. A third of the U.S. population has no savings and another third has saved less than $1,000. Two-thirds of American households, by this measure, are desperately scrambling to make ends meet from check to check. Nearly half the American population earns too little to live on comfortably:

One-third of all workers earn less than $12 an hour and 42% earn less than $15. That’s $24,960 and $31,200 a year. Imagine raising a family on such incomes, figuring in the cost of food, rent, childcare, car payments (since a car is often a necessity simply to get to a job in a country with inadequate public transportation), and medical costs.

Even in households that combine income from two wage-earners, it’s rarely enough to live on without anxieties about money. It takes an average of a little more than $100,000 per year now for a household to be able to live without anxieties about money.

Slow and steady inflation has eroded buying power over the past decade. According to The Nation, the minimum wage rose to $7.25 by 2009, but since then inflation has eroded 10% of its buying power. So this year, someone will have to work 41 additional days to make the equivalent of the 2009 minimum wage.

  • Healthcare costs are projected to go up 20% in the coming year.
  • Credit card debt has crested at a trillion dollars and is projected to increase at 4.7% by 2020.
  • Wages have been increasing by only 2.9% per year.
  • For the young, education debt has reached a record $1.52 trillion.

How long is this sustainable?

What’s genuinely astonishing to me is that the private sector doesn’t see the immense danger in all this—not simply the prospect of a collapse from enormous household debt loads, but the prospect of civil unrest after another huge correction like the one in 2008. Our current course is unsustainable. And for all the proposals for changes in public policy to ameliorate income inequality, only the private sector can get the nation on a better track by raising wages, increasing benefits and investing in new ventures and expanded markets.

There are numerous ways in which our wealthiest companies could help change the course of our economy. Here are some suggestions from Larry Thompson, former executive VP for PepsiCo, and his coauthors writing for Fortune magazine:

  • Get involved in early education for children of employees. Programs that start at birth can lift their earnings by up to 26%. At PNC Financial Services Group, their Grow Up Great program has served over 2 million children throughout the U.S., through grants to organizations that support early learning in math, science, and the arts.
  • Fund higher education for existing employees. In collaboration with Southern New Hampshire University, Anthem Insurance (ANTM, -0.06%) recently began making associate’s or bachelor’s degrees available at no cost for 50,000 eligible workers. Another company, FedEx, partners with nearly 20 higher education institutions including Western Governors University.
  • Businesses also should look to re-employ the long-term unemployed, Frontier Communications has hired more than 250 of the long-term unemployed in 2014 alone by eliminating most qualifications and simply observing how well applicants communicated.

These initiatives only scratch the surface, but they are exactly what all companies need to be thinking of doing. If every employer in America came up with even just one modest step—higher wages, regular profit sharing, tuition reimbursement—to help workers spend and save more, the nation would begin to right itself economically. It needs to happen now. We’re running out of time.

 

 

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21 Little Ways to Save Money Every Day

21 Little Ways to Save Money Every Day

Saving more money is one of those broad goals everyone sets for themselves at the start of a new year. But with so many tips and tricks out there, it can be hard to know exactly where to begin, especially when the temptation to buy a new pair of sneakers is always looming in the back of your head. Fear not, budget newbies! The tips below are so doable, even a shopaholic can accomplish them on a daily basis. Get ready to save some major dough.

1. Skip out on your daily skinny vanilla latte. “Sorry, Starbucks, but we’re taking a break. It’s not you, it’s me.” This one may be hard, especially if you rely on caffeine to jump-start your day, but a coffee maker is a worthy investment when you realize how much this seemingly innocent cost can add up. And if you simply can’t go your separate ways from Starbucks, try out one of its cheaper drink options.

2. Start painting your own nails. Sure, sometimes a salon mani-pedi is just what you need to unwind and treat yourself, but those visits add up. A bottle of nail polish can cost anywhere from $4 to $15 and will last you years, whereas a pedicure can cost as much as $20. The math says it all.

3. Cook your own dinner most nights. You don’t have to be a whiz in the kitchen to prepare an enjoyable meal. There are plenty of simple dinner recipes out there that are easy on the wallet. Bonus points if you cook enough to give you leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day!

4. Speaking of lunch, make your own every day. This one’s a no-brainer, but the temptation of a fancy $10 salad often cancels it out. Sticking to this tip throughout the year will save you major bucks.

5. Discontinue your cable subscription. Unless you’re really utilizing your cable every day, it may be time to consider a more affordable online-streaming option like Netflix or Hulu.

6. Stow away a dollar a day. Invest in an adult-approved piggy bank and stash away a dollar (or your loose change at the very least, if you can’t stand to part with your precious Washingtons every day). At the end of the month, you’ll have around $30!

7. Buy a reusable water bottle and actually use it. Investing in a high-quality water bottle will save both the environment and your budget. The cost of those plastic water bottles adds up, and Mother Earth will give you a pat on the back for this one.

8. Sip on some drinks at home before hitting the bars. College students had the right idea with their beer-chugging “pregames.” Enjoying a few drinks at home ensures that you won’t fall victim to buying one too many overpriced drinks once you get to the bar or club.

9. Always remember to turn off your lights and air conditioning. Those little expenses can add up to a whopping utilities bill at the end of the month. Get in the habit of hitting the light switch every time you leave a room in your house or apartment.

10. Consider selling your random knickknacks. Though this is technically a money-making tip, the end result is still having more cash in your wallet. Set up an eBay account and finally get rid of that random dog figurine that’s gathering dust in the back of your closet.

11. Seek out discounts. Whether you become a coupon champ at the supermarket or start taking advantage of sites with heavily discounted clothes, it’s best to think twice before paying full price for something. Examine all your options before swiping your card. The website RetailMeNot is a great resource for tracking down discounts from some of your favorite stores and websites in real time. It does the legwork for you!

12. Make a shopping list before stepping foot in a store – and don’t stray from it. Precisely planning out your meals, down to the exact ingredients you need each week, is crucial for saving some green. Venture down the aisles with a written checklist of items in hand rather than aimlessly browsing your options. The same goes for when you hit the mall for clothes.

13. Speaking of groceries, try to only buy versatile staples. OK, that random exotic vegetable may look cool, but is it really worth $5? Stick to those adaptable and affordable essentials like eggs, canned beans, and pasta.

14. Roll up your sleeves and become a DIY pro. When it comes to DIY projects, the options are endless. You can make your own cleaning products, holiday gifts, and decorations. Before throwing away things like old jeans or books, consider how you can upcycle them.

15. Think twice about your transportation options. This is mostly dependent on where you live. If you reside in a car-reliant city like Los Angeles, consider carpooling to split the cost of gas. In a bustling city like New York, try walking or taking the bus or subway instead of an overpriced cab. And if you’re traveling somewhere like the airport, opting for UberPool instead of UberX is always the way to go.

16. Quit smoking. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Your wallet (and your lungs) will thank you.

17. Go for the generic brands at the store. With goods like toothpaste and soap, the generic brand is usually just about the same as the more expensive, well-known brands. We all have that one brand we’re loyal to, but is it really worth it to pay an extra $3 for body wash if the off-brand version is just as effective at getting the job done?

18. Take an inventory of your monthly subscriptions and cancel the ones you don’t need. Unless you’re really reading every single page of that one magazine or constantly listening to music from that one streaming service, it may be time to nix that monthly cost.

19. Buy your home staples in bulk. Purchasing toilet paper, laundry detergent, and paper towels – aka those pesky items we hate lugging home from the grocery store – in bulk will always pay off in the long run.

20. Suggest free activities when hanging out with friends. Those happy hours and dinner dates add up over time. Instead, research fun and free activities like doing outdoor yoga, checking out a museum with free admission, or watching the sunset.

21. Take five before making impulse buys. Ask yourself, “Is this something I want or something I really need?” Your response should reveal if it’s a worthy purchase or not, so try your best to answer honestly. And if anything, reach out to your mom or a trusty friend who will give their honest opinion about whether it’s something you should really spend money on.

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