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Cut Costs and Save Some Money Every Month

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Want to take control of your money? By making a few little changes, you can begin now with a plan to get your spending and savings back on track.

From cable bills to everyday spending habits, these tips will aid you to save more, reduce spending, and get on the right track to financial success!

Have Goals

You might feel that first on our list should be the well-known New Year’s resolutions we’ve become so used to every year. But since New Year’s resolutions tend to flop by January 2nd  every year, goal setting is a much better choice.

Establishing goals is a habit for folks who win with money, and it should become a habit for you as well. Research has shown that just by having a goal for something it gets you closer to that goal instead of not having any goals at all.

A critical part of this equation is ensuring your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time oriented. Yes, SMART! Once you have a goal in mind that has all these attributes, slice your goal into little pieces or milestones that you can hit more simpler. Once you get to each milestone, rejoice. This will aid in encouraging you as you go forward toward your financial goals.

Also, jot down your financial goals and place them in an noticeable place so you see them often, like on your mantle, refrigerator, or front door.

Negotiate prices

Did you know that you can negotiate a price in nearly any kind of buying situation? Make your money work for you the right way!

Though you might have formerly thought negotiation was only for big purchases like cars and homes, you can also negotiate online and at retail stores. You can even negotiate to get your bills reduced.

How Much You Need to Retire at 55

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If you would like to retire at age 55, there are a couple of things you will need to think about that a person who retires later will not have to consider. Below are a few things to consider if you are serious about planning for an early retirement.

Longevity

If you retire at 55, supposing you will have an average life expectancy, your assets need to produce income for a longer period than a person who retires at 65.

It means you need to create an exact projection of what you think you will spend yearly. Then you can compare that to your income sources for retirement you feel you’ll have ready for you.

Social Security doesn’t begin until age 62. Also, there are restrictions and penalties for getting to your retirement money before 59 1/2 .

What this means is that if you want to retire at 55, you must have money or have a way to get it. One source of money won’t cut it. One choice you might think about is using 72 payments to take out from your IRA.

Medicare coverage won’t begin until 65. If you are thinking about retiring at 55, make sure you will have a solid health insurance coverage that you can depend on until you can get Medicare.

Filling Up Your Time

An long vacation sounds nice, but some find it isn’t as satisfying as they thought it would be. When considering early retirement, give real thought as to what you’ll do with your money and your time. Getting serious about a hobby or consulting are ideas.

You could volunteer or help raise the grandchildren. If you decide retiring at 55 might not work for you, move the age up to 62. For many, this is doable. Just make sure that you are emotionally and financially ready when you decide to do so.

The Top Budgeting Apps

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We all realize that keeping your budget balanced can not only aid you staying on track financially, but can also lessen your stress when it comes to your lifelong financial health. But if your system is a untidy folder of receipts or wads of cash in numerous wallets/purses, it may be time to rethink your strategy.

If your attention is more on saving your money and counting each penny, there a plan for that as well. There are many ways to save and it’s not just about clipping coupons or keeping tabs on your bank account with your bank app. There are savings apps for anything from investing to personal budgets to customize savings plans.

Here are some of the top money management apps, spending trackers, budgeting apps, and other financial tools for managing money. You can have a better handle on your daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly spending practices. Read on a gain back control of your finances.

If you’re still figuring out how to make a workable financial budget for your income you’re your lifestyle, these tools could change your mindset. A few may even increase your net worth.

Top Picks

  • Mint.com
  • BillGuard
  • The Rest of The List
  • The Birdy
  • You Need a Budget
  • Adaptu
  • HelloWallet
  • GoodBudget
  • Mvelopes
  • Pocket Expense
  • HomeBudget
  • Expensify
  • Level
  • Unsplurge
  • Toshl Finance
  • FamZoo

Mint.com is a fan favorite when it you talk about money managing apps. It assists in managing your saving, budgeting, spending, and earnings. It can even combine all your accounts, including you IRA and 401K.

BillGuard is another great money management tool and a fan favorite. This well-known budgeting app has two key purposes: to aid you in totally recognizing your spending habits and to protect your credit cards from falsified charges, two very crucial goals when it comes to trailing your spending.

Choosing the Right Financial Advisor

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Planning is key!

You finally want to hire a financial advisor. You know this is a vital decision, but you have no idea where to begin. The amount of financial information available is endless and getting started can be frightening. But the process can be easy if you divide it into steps.

Selecting an advisor type:

Almost anybody can refer to themselves as a financial advisor. Let’s begin by reducing the field. There are three basic types of advisors according to how they are paid: commission, fee-only, and fee-based.

Commission: Commission-based advisors (insurance agents, registered representatives, brokers) sell financial products like mutual funds, annuities, insurance and mutual funds, getting commissions on those products. They are often working for big financial institutions and have their Series 6 or Series 7. Because what they are paid is based on what they sell, there is a huge conflict of interest. It’s critical to be aware that the temptation of commission is there and it can play a part in their recommendations for you.

Fee-based: These advisors are somewhat new to the financial industry. Fee-based advisors are usually associated with a broker/agent and like the commission-based advisors, usually hold a license to sell insurance or investments for a commission. Fee-based advising is complex because like the fee-only advisor, the fee-based advisor offers financial planning for a fee. However, the vital difference is they also sell products and get paid commissions. So, there is still that big conflict of interest, because their fee-based recommendations could, and typically do, include buying products they get commissions on.

Fee-only: This is the only type of advisor recommended for complete financial planning and/or asset management. Fee-only advisors possess a fiduciary duty to work in the best interest of their clients. They only make money through hourly rates, flat fees, or a % of the assets they manage.

What Happened to US Savings Bonds?

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There was a moment when billions of dollars in U.S. savings bonds were given for weddings, graduations, birthdays, or just because. Those days are over. After selling billions of dollars of saving bonds every year, the Treasury is selling less than $50 million right now.

An older style EE Bond

What happened to U.S. Savings bonds? The government messed with the interest rate formula, making them unattractive as an investment by fixing rates for the lifetime of the savings bond. Then in ‘12, the government no longer offered paper savings bonds, eliminating their attractiveness as gifts. Furthermore, the Treasury no longer marketed savings bonds, probably due to the fact that the government was getting a big debt by overspending. They didn’t want to bring attention to the fact that it needed to borrow money.

U.S. Savings bonds have had a long and detailed history, beginning with Series A-D bonds, provided in the depression to offer folks an enticement to save correctly. The Series E bond was started in April of 1941 by as a way of financing World War II. These bonds, offered as an American investment, had an initial 10-year maturity and were offered at a reduction of face value. They had an interest rate of 2.9%. During the war, over $35 billion worth of saving bonds were sold to the public, in amounts as small as $25.

When Series EE bonds were a Great Deal

Saving bonds were introduced in the early ‘80s. This was a period of rising interest rates, making buying them more striking. These saving bonds had a lifetime, fixed base rate that was put in place every six months for all bonds sold during that time.   The bonds had a “floating rate” portion of the interest, which altered every six months to stay with the established rate on Treasury notes.

Think Twice About Early Retirement

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Most workers, even if they like their jobs, get excited at the thought of early retirement. They can swiftly come up with numerous reasons why they would be nuts not to take an early retirement if it was given to them. There are good things about taking an early retirement, but there are a few things you should think carefully about before you choose to end your working career.

The benefits of early retirement are obvious. Not having to work full-time means more time to do things you love more than work. The thought of devoting every day to doing things you love sounds too good to be true. Who would not enjoy hours to garden, read, have lunch/coffee with friends or indulge in a secret hobby. Taking an early retirement brings more time to travel and spend time with friends and loved ones.

You must take time to think with caution all the ways your life will be different due to an early retirement. Think beyond all the pleasures and freedoms you will enjoy and think about your financial situation for a moment. Do you have money in place that will be able to support you if you take early retirement? How will you pay for your home, cars, insurances, and travel desires? It’s much simpler to dream about the kind of life early retirement will bring than it is to pay for that kind of lifestyle. If you have a family, you must also think about the responsibilities you have to take care of and support them.

The foremost thing in deciding about early retirement is not to hurry to the decision. Take your time, consider all your options and understand who you are before making a big life change. If it is right for you, early retirement can bring joy and blessings. However, if you retire too early, you may regret it for the rest of your life.

The Need to Be Flexible in Your Retirement Plan

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When saving for retirement, you’ll want to make a detailed, yet realistic goal. After all, you need to understand how much money you should save. Even if you are young (20s or 30s), having retirement goals are vital, even if later on they may change.

To decide how much money you must save for retirement, there are several important questions that you first must ask yourself:

Where do you want to live? Do you want to relocate?

What type of home or living arrangement do you want?

Are there any hobbies/activities would you like to start?

Do you want to start a small business in retirement?

For these questions, you need to begin thinking about their costs. When doing so, also take into consideration basic living costs, like shelter, food, and transportation. Inflation should be taken into account as well.

A Financial Adviser can get you started

Once you have finished the above steps on how much you need to save for retirement, you will want to increase that amount. You should always save more money than you need. The reason for this is that the simple fact is that there aren’t any guarantees with retirement or an age increase. Your retirement spending plan should take into account flexibility, as there are many occurrences that can come about that call for you to be flexible with your spending.

As stated earlier, inflation should definitely be taken into consideration. The price of goods and services will only keep on rising as you age. Not taking into consideration this rise can make you not have enough retirement money. Online, you can find numerous tools that can help you figure out the approximated inflation rate at your time of retirement. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that these are only approximations. A retirement financial advisor can also give you these numbers, as well as assist you with setting up an accurate retirement plan.

How to Find the Best Retirement Plan

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A retirement plan is a necessity if you’re to take pleasure and benefit from the time you’ve decided to retire.

More often than not, folks aren’t bothered about retirement plans. They just pass the time and think that retirement will ultimately take place, with or without retirement plan.

What they don’t realize is that creating a retirement plan is the most critical thing any working individual should deal with. What lies ahead is never too obvious for people who don’t have solid retirement plans.

What Is Retirement Plan?

Retirement plans are types of agreement that give people a nice amount of money by the time they have reached their retirement age. These amounts are enough to recompense their continuous struggle for existence even if they are no longer working or getting the kind of income they used to make before.

In many cases, retirement plans are provided by government, employers, trade unions, or some financial institutions such as insurance companies.

In essence, there are only two major types of retirement plans: defined contribution and defined benefit. These plans are categorized according to how the compensations are resolved.

Defined contribution denotes retirement plans that will give disbursements according to the amount of contributions that the benefactor has paid.

On the other hand, defined benefit refers to a particular type of retirement plan, wherein the disbursements are based on the flat rate as computed from the employee’s membership years and the amount of income received while employed.

Considering these facts, not all retirement plans are considered equal. Therefore, it is best to analyze your status and decide what type of retirement plan will work best for you. You need to think about some important factors to help you with your decision, like lifestyle, dependents, and monthly budget. But one way or another, you should be thinking about your retirement plan now. Don’t wait until retirement to try and deal with this.

Want to Start Investing Your Money? Here’s How

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If you are eager to get going on your investments, you can do so right away without knowing a lot about the stock market. Begin by being a careful investor with a low risk tolerance. This will offer you a way to let your money grow while you study more about investing.

You need to start somewhere!

Begin with an interest-bearing savings account. You should have one and if you don’t, you should. You can open a savings account at the same bank that you have your checking account at. Typically, a savings account should provide between 2 – 4% on the money that you already have in the account.

It’s not a lot of money, unless you have a million dollars in that account. However, it’s a start, and it is making money.

Also, invest in money market funds. This can be done through your bank. These funds offer higher interest payouts than normal savings accounts and work much the same way. These are short term investments, so your money isn’t tied up for long periods of time. However, this is your money earning money, so…

Certificates of Deposit are also good investments with zero risk. The interest rates on CD’s are usually higher than those of savings accounts or money market funds.

You can select the length of time on your investment and interest is paid consistently until the CD becomes mature. CD’s can be bought at your bank, and your bank insures them against any loss. When the CD reaches maturity, you get your original investment and the interest that the CD has earned.

If you are just beginning, one or all of these types of investments is the best starting point. Again, this will get your money to start making money for you while you learn more about investing in other places.

Is a Savings Account Necessary?

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Is a Savings Account Necessary?

savings-piggybank

Opening a savings account could be a terrific suggestion for some consumers however it may not be the ideal choice for all customers. This posts analyzes what a savings account is as well as for which it may be beneficial to have one.

For those brand new to banking, an interest-bearing accounts is not the like a checking account. They share some resemblances, yet at the core they are various.

Generally terms, a savings account is a type of account that you can open up at a financial institution or lending institution. With this kind of account, you deposit money into the account and also leave it there in order for it to earn interest. You can, obviously, take the cash out of the account, yet that beats the purpose.

A savings account is an excellent means for some people to conserve cash as well as to earn some interest off of that money. It is specifically valuable for those people that have limited quantities of money to do away with. Young people, especially more youthful married couples, frequently find that opening up a savings account is the best method for them to conserve money. The factor for this is easy. Unlike some other sorts of financial investments which require a specific amount of money be deposited or maintained in any way times, a basic savings account allows you to down payment whatever you like, whenever you such as.
The 2nd security feature that savings accounts have is that money that is transferred into a bank is safeguarded by the Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Firm (FDIC) for up to $100,000. If the financial institution is burglarized or the bank burns down, you will certainly still have your money. Even if the bank files bankruptcy, your money is risk-free.