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Need to Control Your Spending? Try Zero-Sum Budgeting

Do you have a solid idea about where your money goes each month? You probably can list the big-ticket items – rent or mortgage, car payment, maybe even utilities or other fixed expenses. But hundreds of other dollars have a way of vanishing and you may wonder why your bank account looks a little thin by month’s end and why your savings don’t grow as much as you’d like. Some financial advisors recommend zero-sum budgeting as a way to track your money, resulting in finding big and little ways to cut expenses to a more reasonable level. This budgeting system…

Should Women Save for Retirement Differently Than Men?

With cost of living outpacing salary growth and an ever-increasing average lifespan, saving enough for retirement is daunting for anyone. Women, in particular, face challenges on the road to retirement that men do not, which result in reduced quality of living during their later years. A survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found only 12 percent of working women are “very confident” in their ability to retire comfortably. An additional 46 percent are “not too confident” or “not at all confident.” This lack of confidence is, unfortunately, warranted. The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older…

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…

Things to Consider Before Buying a Rental Property

Most everyone can use some extra, reliable income. That’s what makes the prospect of a rental property so attractive; it’s a long-term investment that, if managed well, can bring in long-term returns. But like any significant investment, a rental property is nothing to rush into. There’s homework to do. For instance, you’re not just buying a house—you’re establishing a business. Check with the local government about minimum requirements for rental properties. Knowing those requirements will be important when you actually shop for a property. You’ll want to find one that won’t need a lot of investment to bring it up…

A Little More Gold in Your Golden Years – Working During Retirement

Some people live to work and others must work in order to live. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, if you’re over 65, US Social Security statistics indicate an average of 20 years of life yet to live. Two decades (or more) of retirement requires a healthy nest egg and investing in some good hobbies. Whether for fear of outliving retirement savings or simply a desire to do something more than chase the grandkids or a little white ball, part-time work after retirement may be a good–or necessary–option.   And for good reason. Actually, seven: 1. Income According to Fidelity…

Thinking About Your Monthly Cash Flow Like a Business

If you were a business, would you be a profitable one? At the end of each month, do you earn more than you spend? Is your enterprise profitable? While individuals like us go to work and earn an income each month, few of us look at our finances like a business. However, just like a business, we need to earn more than we spend each month and regularly assess our finances to know we are on the right track. Follow these steps to start treating your finances like a business and establish a path to financial success. The Business of…

Real-World Options to Pay Down Debt

Debt—it seems to sink its claws into just about everyone at some point. From student loans and credit cards to car loans and mortgages, eight out of ten Americans have debt of some sort according to a July 2015 study from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Still, becoming debt free isn’t impossible. In fantasy land, you might inherit a cool million from a long lost aunt thrice removed and voila, you have the windfall you need to eliminate your debts. But for those of us facing reality, fear not. These real-world steps will work for anyone who is on a journey…

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