Financial Considerations

The Social Security Dilemma: The Best Decision is a Personal One

The early bird gets the worm. The slow and steady tortoise wins the race. There are a multitude of adages defending both quick-acting people and those who delay decisions. When it comes to Social Security, there are advantages and disadvantages to collecting early or postponing the start of retirement benefits. Retirement Age and Percentages People who have paid into Social Security are eligible to start collecting their retirement benefits as early as 62 or as late as age 70. The amount of benefits received depends on how close someone is to their full retirement age when they begin collecting. Depending…

Seven Ways to Spend a Little to Save a Fortune This Spring

Congratulations. You and your home survived another winter. If you got through it without frozen pipes, a damaged roof or furnace failure, consider yourself fortunate. Don’t press your luck now that spring has arrived. Spending a few dollars or hours on low-cost or DIY maintenance this spring can stave off thousands in repairs down the road. Here are seven of the more doable and valuable home maintenance tasks for your to-do list: Get After Those Gutters Water will always flow in the path of least resistance. Ideally, it’s through wide open gutters and downspouts. But leaves, sticks and other debris…

Filing Taxes as a Remote Employee

Thanks to the rise of the gig economy and technological advances that allow for true globalization of corporations of all types, more and more workers have the ability to work where they please. The office can now be in a home, the coffee shop down the road or even a beach chair. By and large, employees love the flexibility afforded by remote work. They can do their jobs where they feel most productive and comfortable, break up the monotony of a day in a cubicle, avoid the time drain of a commute and more easily tackle personal errands on their…

6 Steps to Spring Clean Your Financial House

After many of us have experienced months of a cold, dreary winter, the tide turns to warmer weather, bringing with it new life and a fresh start. As you sweep out the dust and brush away the cobwebs, consider not only spring cleaning your home but also your finances. Take these six steps to put your financial house in order. Plant Seeds for Future Financial Success When it comes to planting vegetables and flowers, March and April stand as key months for starting seeds indoors. Spring is an ideal time to sow financial seeds as well. If you don’t have…

Last-Minute Tips to Help You Be Prepared for Tax Day

Did you wait to file taxes this year? You’re in good company. The IRS estimated approximately one-fifth of filers waited until April to file their tax returns in 2016. That’s nearly 30 million people. When Ben Franklin listed two things in life that are certain—death and taxes—he apparently also should have added procrastination to that list. Since there’s no denying the inevitability of taxes, try these last-minute tax tips to get you through. Get Organized Before you begin your taxes, spend time gathering all of the necessary documents. While the exact documentation and information each filer needs depend on your…

Understanding Bitcoin

Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin as a reaction to the financial crisis of 2007-2008, when the global banking industry required mass bailouts by the world’s governments in order to stay solvent. Having grown weary of traditional institutions, which Nakamoto believes are failing because they cannot adapt to an information-based society, bitcoin was designed to be controlled by its users. Nakamoto’s stated intentions for bitcoin were bold enough: a peer-to-peer electronic cash system for anonymous internet transactions, one that required no involvement by a bank or government — or any centralized third-party institution — in order to function. It’s important to note,…

6 Things That Can Derail Your Savings and How to Get Back on Track

Finding extra money to save at the end of each month can be difficult. Mortgage, car payments, insurance, school loans and groceries, the list of budgeted expenses goes on. Add in unexpected expenses that are bound to pop-up and, at the end of the month, your paycheck is spoken for. While many of us have good intentions when it comes to saving, roadblocks often impede the way to savings success. Here are six things that can derail your savings and tips to get back on track and achieve your savings goals. Not Having a Clear Savings Plan and Budget Without…

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Have you ever compared the purchase price of your home with the amount you’ll actually end up spending to pay it off over the life of the mortgage? If you have, you’ll know the sobering realization that comes with seeing just how much your home will cost you, and the inevitable question that follows – should I pay off the mortgage now, so I don’t have to fork over all that interest? It’s an exhilarating thought, freeing up so much extra cash. But when it comes down to it, whether you should actually pay off your mortgage early is dependent…

Insurance in the Sharing Economy

Sharing may be caring, but now it is also a booming economy. The sharing economy—otherwise known as collaborative consumption or the peer economy—is disrupting everything from transportation and lodging to errands and the exchange of goods. One of the latest areas to feel this disruption is the insurance industry with the peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance. What is Peer-to-Peer Insurance? Insurtech, a fusion of new insurance models and technology, is the broader umbrella peer-to-peer insurance is sheltered under. Based on the success of fintech, insurtech looks to disrupt the conventional insurance industry in a host of ways. A handful of startup companies…

Freelancing and Consulting: Becoming Your Own Boss Out Of Necessity

In many ways, being your own boss is the embodiment of the long-held American dream. Currently, an estimated 53 million people are working as independent contractors and that number is expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future, comprising a full 40 percent of the workforce by 2020. A recent study by the Freelancers Union and Upwork found that while 63 percent of freelancers were working independently voluntarily, that means 37 percent – a not-insignificant portion – were doing so out of necessity. Much of that 37 percent is workers who were laid off or otherwise let go from full-time positions…

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