Finances

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Borrowing Money? What Loan is Best for You?

Most people need to borrow money at some point. Americans owe more than $13 trillion in total debt. Borrowing is clearly an expensive proposition for many American families. If you do find yourself borrowing to buy a home, a car, an education, or anything else, it is important to look at the pros and cons. It’s all about making the right long-term decisions and minimizing out-of-pocket costs. Let’s look at what you need to know to best evaluate loan options available to Americans today. Common Types of Loans Loans come in many names and forms. When looking at consumer loans…

7 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances Before the End of the Year

Did you know “saving [more] money” was one of the top three New Year’s resolutions in 2018? Chances are, it will rank among the top resolutions for 2019 as well. No matter how comfortable we are financially, most of us can do more with our money. If you’re among the many people considering a financial resolution in 2019, there are plenty of things you can do before the ball drops. Addressing your finances now to set yourself up for success in January. Here are seven things to consider doing right now: Check Your Credit Report You can check your credit…

How to Stop Procrastinating With Your Money in 4 Easy Steps

Personal finance prosperity requires a long-term plan, dedicated effort and regular check-ins to maintain focus. It takes work to reach financial goals. Millions of Americans complain about high debt, low savings and a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle that seems difficult to escape. But if you take the time to get your money systems setup, you can relax as your money goes to work for you. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to avoid putting off getting your finances in order.   Start a Budget Already Do you know you should budget but don’t think you have the time to put one together? Wrong!…

How to Turn a Financial “Don’t” into a “Do”

A lot of financial advice is framed as things you should never do. Here are a few “don’ts” you’ve probably heard more than once: Don’t borrow money from your retirement plan. For instance, see 4 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Take a 401(k) Loan. Don’t take a loan or use your credit cards to fund your dream to… [fill in the blank — start a business, go back to school, relocate, etc.] Don’t borrow money from (or lend money to) family or friends. Here’s a quick take from financial advisor Dave Ramsey on why this is always a bad idea.…

What to Know About Retiring at 62 Versus Retiring at 70

Ah, retirement. That long-awaited life stage when all your hours of working, saving and family-raising efforts finally pay off. You’ll be free to travel, spend time with friends and family and enjoy the hobbies you never had time for. No worries, no stress, nobody to answer to. Except, without careful planning that scenario could be a fantasy. A 2017 Ipsos/USA Today poll found 45- to 65-year-olds surveyed, 30 percent had less than $100,000 in savings. Another 30 percent had no savings at all. No matter how much money you have invested for your retirement, deciding when to make the leap…

Personal Finance Habits for Your 50s

After reaching important financial milestones in your 20s, 30s and 40s, things should calm down a bit in your 50s. If you followed good financial practices, you should have sizeable and growing retirement savings, shrinking debt and a clear path to retirement. And if you are off of your ideal plan, be sure to put the right habits in place right away to get yourself on the right track. While you can’t go back in time and change past spending and savings habits, you can start the right habits today. Start with these five personal finance habits for your 50s…

How to Survive Financially When a Marriage Fails

When the dream of living happily ever after turns into a nightmare of a marriage, divorce may be the only workable solution. In addition to the emotional turmoil surrounding a divorce, couples need to deal with the financial realities of going their separate ways. The cost of a lawyer and the loss of a spouse’s income may come at a high price for one or both parties. Couples may each walk away from the marriage with significantly lower income, assets and retirement savings. Although divorce is not recommended as an easy solution to marital problems, the situation need not necessarily…

Keep Your Finances in Balance With an Excellent Credit Score

Your credit score is much like an adult version of your GPA. It’s a grade that measures your level of financial responsibility in relation to others. Banks and lending institutions use your credit score when you apply for a mortgage, an auto loan or a loan for home improvements or a business. Credit card companies use scores to determine who qualifies for a card and at what interest rate. Increasingly, however, insurance companies, landlords and sometimes employers, study credit scores as a way to determine how responsible you are. Here are basics about where your credit score comes from and…

How to Face Off With Debt Before Retirement

As you enter your 50s and 60s, hopefully you find yourself coming face-to-face with retirement. You may also find yourself still in debt. You are not alone. In fact, nearly 70 percent of people over 55 are in debt. To really make the most of your retirement years, it is essential you do whatever you can to ditch your debt now. Still, it can be overwhelming to even know where to begin. Following these tips can help you pay down your debt before retirement. Reconsider Housing No one is saying you have to hole up in the wilderness or live…

Explaining the FIRE Movement

What if someone told you that you could retire in your 40s, 30s or even maybe late 20s if you put your mind to it? This sounds like some sort of fantasy to many people, but to a small group of dedicated budgeters it is anything but. They are members of the FIRE Movement, which stands for Financial Independence / Retire Early. If a very early retirement sounds like something you might enjoy, follow along to learn about the FIRE Movement and how you can get on track to your own early retirement. How FIRE Works for Early Retirement Early…

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