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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! Anyone can budget in the time it takes to check your email. And you can do it on your smartphone or laptop. Popular budgeting apps Mint (free) and YNAB (paid) connect to your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and other financial accounts to summarize everything in one convenient dashboard. Both…

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 can drastically affect how far those investments can carry you. Trying to decide when to retire? Here are some things to consider if you decide to retire at age 62 versus age 70. Your Social Security Benefits At age 62: More people (42 percent of men and 48 percent of…

What To Know About Taxes and Retirement

Retirement. No more workday grind. No more being a slave to the clock. No more having to worry so much about taxes. Just a second. What was that about taxes? Sorry, but it’s not true. A lot of people go into retirement thinking keeping track of taxes practically disappears. The reality is dealing with taxes may actually get more complicated. In fact, taxes can be a retiree’s biggest budget item. How could taxes possibly get more complicated? Situations vary, but let’s take a simple example. In your working life, odds are you’ve got income from essentially one source—your job. Taxes were taken from your paycheck and you didn’t think about it. Every April, you file a few fairly similar forms and there you go. In retirement, however income streams vary—social security, retirement plan payouts, post-retirement jobs, etc. And there are taxes along the path of enjoying that income. While you…

Are You Being Careful With Your 401(k)?

In time where traditional pensions are all but extinct, 401(k) accounts are key to many people’s retirement strategies. You just set them up, make sure you put money in and that’s it. Right? Trick question. A 401(k) needs management in order to be the retirement nest egg you want it to be. Your employer put it in place for you, but it’s up to you to make it work for you. There’s plenty of information out there on managing a 401(k) and the mistakes people make with their accounts. Even the IRS has some definite opinions on how you should go about making 401(k) decisions. We’ve assembled some of the more common things people don’t realize about their 401(k) accounts, along with some resources to help you make the most of yours. It Costs You Money to Have a 401(k) “Employer-provided” doesn’t mean “100 percent employer-funded.” There are personal costs…

5 Personal Finance Milestones for Your 40s

Competing priorities for your time and money is always at the forefront no matter your age but it’s especially evident in your 40s. With so many to-dos, you might find yourself wondering where to focus and what should be at the top of the list. This post includes the top five personal finance milestones to hit in your 40s to keep you on track for a great financial future. Get in a Stride With Your Income In your 40s, you most likely have a respectable decade or two behind you in your work and you are at an established point in your career. Unless you’ve changed career paths, you may be in a comfortable place with your income. It’s great if you don’t have to worry about where your next check is coming from or how you will pay bills. If you live paycheck to paycheck, take a hard look…

Save Big With Coupons

If you think couponing is about trimming squares of paper to save 25 cents on toilet paper, you have another thing coming. Couponing looks incredibly different in today’s digital age. Couponing has become much more streamlined and efficient, not mention more lucrative. Whether you are looking to pay down debt or hit a savings goals, learning to take better advantage of discounts and coupons really adds up. The Changing Face of Coupons Once upon a time, coupons were only found in the sales section of the weekly newspaper. Some papers came filled with sale inserts and manufacturer coupons on Sundays. Others included them midweek. While it is true that some newspapers still contain coupons, there are plenty of other ways to obtain them. There are popular online coupon databases to browse. Coupons.com makes it easy to sort by category and then print the coupons t help you save on your…

Money Moves to Help Millennials Save

A 2016 survey of 7,000 Americans found that 34 percent have nothing saved. When it comes to money and millennials in particular, though, things get a little confusing. While one study found a small percentage of millennials have already stashed away $100,000, another found 46 percent of young millennials have nothing saved. If you’re in the “no savings” camp, how do you get started when it feels like you don’t have a penny to spare? Set a Small Goal First things first. All savers have to start somewhere and sometime. It is all too easy to quit before you even start. If you are asking yourself how to start saving, congratulate yourself for taking the first step. Then create a small goal that will set you up for early success. If you saved no money last week, set a goal to put aside $5 or $10 this week. Set up…

10 Money Tips for New Grads

If you’re a new grad who’s feeling a little exhilarated, a little worn out and a little terrified about finding a job that pays the bills … take a deep breath. The great thing about this stage of your life is that while you have room to take your time, make mistakes and figure out what you want, you are also young enough to do a few key things right that will set you ahead of the crowd for years to come. Especially when it comes to money. Looking for financial advice after graduation? Here are ten tips to keep in mind: Follow Your Dreams … but Don’t Wait Around for Your Dream Job You’re smart, enthusiastic and ready to change the world – surely an employer will see that and offer you a job that pays well, has lots of vacation time and lets you make big decisions. Right?…

Saving: It’s a State of Mind

You probably hear a lot about saving. There’s saving for a first home, for college, for retirement and, of course, “saving for a rainy day.” All of that socking away of funds we’re being urged to do can seem daunting, especially when statistics show Americans are only putting aside about $3 out of every $100. As with so many things in life, getting your spending and saving in order has a lot to do with attitude, with your mindset about money. One way to help take some of the worry out of it all is to take immediate action about the spending in your life you can control. You’ve heard, of course, about the price difference between stopping for coffee on the way to work and making it at home. And you certainly don’t need us to tell you how much you’d save without a cable bill; if you have…

Can You Afford to Live Alone? Things to Consider Before Moving Into Your Own Space

Living with a roommate may bring on daydreams about what it would be like to live all by yourself. To wake up and go to sleep when you want, bring friends or dates over without consideration for your roommates’ schedules, to take long showers, watch whatever you want on TV and maybe wait to wash those dishes in the morning. However, like most daydreams, living alone isn’t always you imagined it would be. It’s important to consider what you’re really getting into before you commit to being the only name on a new lease. Here are some things to do before you make the decision to live alone: Take Your Time No matter how badly you want to get into your own space, signing the first lease you come across is a bad idea. In the few months before you make the leap to living alone, in addition to considering…

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