investing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/285/all en-US 9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_phone_city_64632093.jpg" alt="Man finding ways Siri can be his personal finance assistant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're still a few years away from having personal robot assistants, but voice-activated applications on most modern smartphones are already making our lives easier. Apps like Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana can be helpful in a number of ways, and are particularly useful as personal finance helpers.</p> <p>I personally use Siri a lot to help me <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-personal-finance-letter-id-write-to-my-younger-self" target="_blank">stay on track with my finances</a>, and I am always surprised at how much the app can help me get information without the need to even type or search the web myself.</p> <p>Siri won't make you rich, but it can help you be smarter about your finances without a lot of work. Check out these personal finance tasks that Siri and similar apps can help you with.</p> <h2>1. Check Stocks</h2> <p>It's easy to use Siri to track the performance of your investments or the overall stock market. Just say, &quot;I need the stock price for Apple,&quot; and Siri will tell you the price and the daily movement. It's also an easy way to check on the ticker symbol.</p> <h2>2. Helping You Calculate the Best Bargain</h2> <p>Quick, what's a better deal? Three 20-ounce cans of juice for $6, or four 24-ounce cans for $9? To find out, you'll need to calculate prices on a per-ounce basis. Asking Siri to perform some simple math will help you learn that the second deal is a little bit better.</p> <h2>3. Driving Directions</h2> <p>Yes, accurate driving directions can help you with your finances. That's because you can plan trips to ensure the shortest route, thus saving you gas. You can also find routes to avoid tolls and bad traffic.</p> <h2>4. Finding the Nearest ATM</h2> <p>You need cash right away, but you'd rather not go to the first ATM you see, because it may not be tied to your bank. To avoid a fee, you can ask Siri to find you the nearest branch of your bank or a surcharge-free ATM.</p> <h2>5. Research Food Ingredients</h2> <p>When you're at the grocery store, you may come across products that like to tout certain ingredients, and you sometimes pay a premium for them. (&quot;Sweetened with agave nectar!&quot;) Before you buy, you may want to do a little bit of research on what these ingredients are and whether they are worth paying extra for. Siri and similar apps can help you with this.</p> <h2>6. Set Reminders</h2> <p>You never want to be late paying your bills, and you don't want to be charged for missing things like doctor's appointments. You can use Siri to remind you of important things. All you need to do is tell Siri what you want to be reminded about, and when. (&quot;Remind me to finish this article for Wise Bread at 10 p.m.&quot;) There's even location-based reminders, like &quot;Remember to mail the mortgage check when you are near the post office.&quot; You can also use Siri to adjust or create to-do lists on your phone.</p> <h2>7. Figure Out Tips</h2> <p>What's 18% of $43.95? And how can you split that four ways? Siri can help you. Siri will even know local taxes, to help you calculate checks before they even come.</p> <h2>8. Find Out How Much Things Cost</h2> <p>Using Siri, you can look up pricing information for a wide range of products. If you simply ask &quot;Find me prices for a Toyota Corolla,&quot; it will provide you MSRP and invoice prices, plus other related charges, and even shows a chart with historical price information. It's still not easy to do true comparison shopping, but you'll learn enough to know if a particular store is trying to rip you off.</p> <h2>9. Find Budgeting Apps</h2> <p>If you need some extra personal finance help from your smartphone, Siri can help you find it. A simple query like, &quot;Find me some budgeting apps,&quot; will give you a list of saving and money management apps from the app store.</p> <p><em>How do you use Siri or Cortana or Google Now to help you stay on top of your finances?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows">Could the Chromebook Crush Windows?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-innovative-but-obscure-sites-that-put-money-in-your-pocket">10 Innovative But Obscure Sites That Put Money In Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology apple Cortana Google investing Microsoft saving Siri smartphone tools Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Tim Lemke 1778728 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retired_couple_happy_86773289.jpg" alt="Couple making money moves the moment they retire" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You deserve a big pat on the back, a rousing rendition of <em>He's a Jolly Good Fellow</em>, and a fat slice of cake when you decide to retire. You should enjoy it, too, because it's not necessarily all perfect bliss from that day forward. Rather, you have to devise a plan to keep yourself fed, clothed, housed, and healthy until the day you die, and that prospect is perhaps more daunting than the 45 years of solid work you put in.</p> <p>To help you along the way without having to breathe into a brown paper bag for the rest of your life, here are a few suggestions on what to do with your money when you set a date to punch your final card.</p> <h2>1. Establish Your Income Goals and Needs</h2> <p>Money matters rarely work without a plan in place, and that's exactly what you'll need when you retire. In anticipation of this major life milestone and transition, you'll need to take a hard and honest look at your finances to see where you're at currently, and figure out where you want and need to be. That might mean cutting the proverbial fat from your current budget, or it might mean contributing to your savings at a higher, more rapid rate. Whatever the case, changes will need to be made to set yourself on the right track. Financial expert Steve Anzuoni, of Fairway Financial, details a few practical steps to achieve this.</p> <p>&quot;First establish your income goals and needs, and then list all your expenses and liabilities; then you need to make sure that your monthly recurring expenses are covered by guaranteed income, not potential income,&quot; he says. &quot;Once that is taken care of, it's then a matter of allocating monies to different 'buckets' to account for inflation, future income needs, emergencies, and fun/vacation money.&quot;</p> <p>That last piece of the puzzle is important. Retirees often plan based on their current needs in the current economy. To stay ahead of the curve, it's a good idea to think ahead and plan for those what-if scenarios that pop up from time to time and can, in a worst-case situation, decimate your finances. Inflation and emergencies in particular can bleed you dry if you're not prepared, and now's the time for that consideration.</p> <h2>2. Eliminate Your Consumer Debt</h2> <p>You want to be as financially prepared as possible when retiring, and that means freeing yourself from the grips of consumer debt. The last thing you want to worry about when you settle into retirement are credit card payments, so concentrate now on eliminating them altogether. If you have the extra cash on hand, pay them off. If not, look into ways to reduce the required monthly payments to make them more manageable with the goal of being payment-free by the time you say so long to your coworkers and colleagues. We cover a million and one ways to help <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">pay off your debt</a> here at Wise Bread.</p> <h2>3. Manipulate Your Mortgage</h2> <p>Along with your consumer debt, you should try to pay off your mortgage &mdash; if you can swing it. This feat may not be feasible if you've recently purchased a home, but if you've lived at the same residence for the past 20 years or more, you might be able to meet this goal. Otherwise, find ways to reduce the mortgage to make it fit better into your new, tighter budget.</p> <p>&quot;Owning your home not only means a lot less money going out every month, it means a lot less worry should things get tight,&quot; says financial adviser Scott Hanson of Hanson McClain Advisors. &quot;Conversely, if you are unable to pay off your mortgage before you retire &mdash; even if you have as little as five to seven years remaining on the note &mdash; you might consider working with your lender to lower your interest rate and extend your loan out 15, 20, or even 30 years. Simply put, not only is cash-flow king, but why spend what are likely to be the healthiest years (of your retirement) struggling to pay down a mortgage at the expense of maintaining your pre-retirement standard of living? Money not going out is the same as money coming in.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Downsize Your Living Situation to Cut Costs</h2> <p>If you have more space than you realistically need, it's time to downsize. You can (hopefully) take the money from the sale of your home and purchase a new place that better suits your lifestyle, perhaps even in cash if you've tended well to your existing mortgage over the years and you're savvy about your new purchase.</p> <p>Financial planner Charlie Reading, author of the book <em>The Dream Retirement: How to Secure Your Money and Retire Happy</em>, agrees.</p> <p>&quot;If you have a house where the mortgage is paid off, an easy way to boost your retirement income is to move to a smaller or a cheaper house,&quot; he says. &quot;Releasing this equity and moving into a smaller home can provide you with valuable funds that you can use to generate an income. You also have the option of equity release here, however financially downsizing is likely to be a more astute choice if that is practical.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Relocate to a More Affordable Area</h2> <p>Along with downsizing your home, take some time to think about where you want to live and the associated cost of living in that area. If you live in an expensive area now, maybe it's a more sensible to move someplace where you'll get more bang for your limited bucks. Of course, you'll need to be happy wherever you move, so along with the financial factors you'll also want to consider your quality of life. Are there things to do to keep you occupied and social? Is transportation nearby? Is it relatively easy for family and friends to visit? Will you get fast and easy medical attention when you need it? These are all important questions to answer when contemplating a move to a new area.</p> <h2>6. Invest in a Rental Property to Earn Additional Income</h2> <p>I'm an investor in rental properties, and I wholly plan to use those properties to bring in additional income for savings and retirement for as long as the properties make money &mdash; and sense. If going this route is a legitimate option for you, I highly recommend it. Just beware of the hidden costs. If you manage the property yourself, like I do, all the income is yours (but don't forget to set aside a decent stash for taxes). If you require assistance, however, like from a management company, you could be looking at fees between 30% and 50% of your net income. There are more affordable options, like through the Evolve Vacation Rental Network, which charges the lowest fees in the industry at just 10%.</p> <p>Consider this anecdote: Jim and Laurel Whillock <a href="http://evolvevacationrental.hs-sites.com/case-study-kona?__hstc=235270366.eb7f97e450deb1291f24fe4d5e0ac9ed.1460397740307.1466114738612.1466171762596.19&amp;__hssc=235270366.1.1466171762596&amp;__hsfp=877489778">invested in a vacation property</a> on the Big Island of Hawaii as a way to earn income in retirement. They purchased a one-bedroom condo on the beach and hired a property manager, who charged a 43% fee, to help with the logistics and operation. During the first six months, the condo was occupied 35% of the time, earning the couple only $6,500. After switching to Evolve, in a 12-month period, the couple booked 260 nights generating rental income of $48,199, an increase of 242%.</p> <p>In any case, what I'm saying is, do your research before thrusting yourself into the rental-income market; there are other management options out there. The goal is to make money, not lose it &mdash; especially when finances are tighter during retirement.</p> <h2>7. Phase Your Retirement Over an Extended Period</h2> <p>Not ready to go all in for retirement? That's perfectly okay. There's no &quot;right&quot; way to retire, and if you need more time to ease into the transition, by all means take it.</p> <p>&quot;Go down to three days a week and enjoy the benefit of not taking your pension as early, and the growth that comes with it,&quot; Reading suggests. &quot;This doesn't have to be your current job &mdash; why not start working in a role you have a passion for, even if it doesn't pay you quite as much as your current one does? Who knows, maybe this will become your new purpose, and you won't ever want to stop.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Develop a Strategy for Medical Insurance</h2> <p>We're starting to enter into territory that nobody likes talking about, especially those nearing or at retirement age. But ensuring that you have proper medical coverage while also getting all your other end-of-life ducks in a row isn't something you can put aside or overlook. This is reality, however harsh it seems, and these items must be addressed &mdash; the earlier, the better.</p> <p>&quot;Because medical insurance can be very expensive, it may actually prevent you from being able to retire,&quot; Hanson warns. I strongly suggest you check into your options before retiring. If you can't afford to purchase medical insurance, you may be forced to find another job until you can apply for Medicare at age 65.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Re-evaluate Your Other Insurances for Optimal Protection</h2> <p>While you're assessing your medical insurance situation, it's a good idea to check in with your other insurance plans to make sure you have the kind of coverage you need at this stage, but also to see where you may be able to cut costs &mdash; though the latter should never affect your quality of life. Don't reduce coverage you'll need down the road just to save a few bucks in early retirement. To make the right decisions, you may want to enlist the help of an insurance adviser.</p> <p>&quot;[Insurance advisers] can advise on ways to adjust your insurance profile &mdash; around both your home and auto policies,&quot; says insurance expert Angi Orbann. &quot;They may be able to find cost savings and they will help you ensure that you are adequately protected as you move into the next phase of your life. An insurance adviser may not be the first person you think of when it comes to your money and retirement, so it's an important tip to remember.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Create a Last Will and Testament</h2> <p>Fact: 41% of Boomer Americans don't have a will, according to USA Today &mdash; and if you're among them, it can spell big trouble for your estate when you pass.</p> <p>Licensed funeral director Kelli Hoodman explains.</p> <p>&quot;Creating a will tells loved ones how one's property should be distributed after one passes away,&quot; she says. &quot;Depending on how complex one's estate is, one may want to contact an attorney or simply create a will online. Without a will, one's finances and property are distributed by the state, and they may not land in the hands the deceased would've wanted them to be in.&quot;</p> <p>Don't overlook the funeral planning, either. Your last will and testament isn't just about who gets what. It's also as much about where you'll go when you pass. You should have the final say in that while you're alive and kickin'.</p> <p>&quot;Expressing final wishes for funeral planning in a will is important, but it should not be the only place they are documented,&quot; Hoodman adds. &quot;Funeral planning is best done with a local funeral home or cremation society. Otherwise it may take time for a will to be found, and one's final wishes might not adhered to.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Preplan Your Funeral Services</h2> <p>It probably won't be your best day ever, but preplanning your funeral is not only therapeutic, says Hoodman, but it's also fiscally intelligent.</p> <p>Funeral costs rise each year, and a traditional funeral and burial today can cost over $10,000. Cremation, which has recently become America's preferred method of disposition, is far less expensive at only a couple thousand dollars, depending on which services are selected.</p> <p>&quot;No matter which choice one makes, inflation and other factors raise the price of cremation, burials, and funerals over time,&quot; Hoodman says. &quot;Companies like Neptune Society offer preplanning services that allow retirees to create a legal document that states one's wishes for memorials, cremation, and other matters concerning death care planning. Over the many decades a retiree may live, preplanning now could save them hundreds or thousands of dollars.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Designate a Power of Attorney</h2> <p>Lastly, if you want to be in control of your life &mdash; and afterlife &mdash; choose someone close to you whom you trust implicitly as your Power of Attorney.</p> <p>A Power of Attorney (POA or attorney-in-fact) makes decisions for a person when that person can no longer make decisions for themselves. For example, if a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, an attorney-in-fact would be legally permitted to make financial and medical decisions in that senior's stead.</p> <p>&quot;Choosing someone trustworthy is crucial for this role,&quot; says Hoodman. &quot;A retiree should ensure that their POA knows their preferences on medical dilemmas, like whether or not to use life support, and their financial information to ensure their money is spent properly.&quot;</p> <p>You don't like being taken advantage of while you're alive, so it's important to ensure that you won't be taken advantage of in death, either.</p> <p><em>Have you made any money moves to prepare for retirement?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-moves-you-should-make-five-years-before-retirement">5 Financial Moves You Should Make Five Years Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use">15 Personal Finance Calculators Everyone Should Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-strengthen-your-finances-before-retirement">5 Ways to Strengthen Your Finances Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund">Don&#039;t Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement aging debt downsizing estate planning goals investing medical care money moves mortgages relocating rental properties Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Mikey Rox 1768664 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/john_oliver_12450865504_98a7a40631_z.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons from John Oliver" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't often admit to it, but I have a little crush on comedian and <em>Last Week Tonight</em> host, John Oliver. I mean, what's not to like? There's his adorable British accent, his hilarious takes on the modern world, his dimples, his sound money advice&hellip;</p> <p>No, really. John Oliver is actually a pretty solid source for financial tips. Over the past few years, he has cemented his place in my heart by using his comedic platform to educate his audience on everything from credit scores to debt management and retirement savings</p> <p>If you haven't had a chance to watch all of John Oliver's money-related episodes, here are my favorite financial funnyman's seven best money management tips:</p> <h2>1. Before Taking a Payday Loan, Be Absolutely Sure There Are NO Other Options</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PDylgzybWAw" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>As seen on:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_959988635&amp;feature=iv&amp;src_vid=aRrDsbUdY_k&amp;v=PDylgzybWAw" target="_blank">Last Week Tonight: Predatory Lending</a></p> <p>Wise Bread readers are likely very well aware of the predatory nature of payday loans. Taking a short-term loan can kick off a terrible cycle of debt with annual interest rates as high as 700%. But, as John Oliver points out in his rant, a Pew survey found that &quot;a majority of borrowers say payday loans take advantage of them, [but] a majority also say they provide relief.&quot;</p> <p>The point is that there will be times when people need money in a hurry and feel that their choices are limited. However, most borrowers have more choices than they think they do. Prospective payday loan customers could always borrow from a family member or friend, pawn or sell an item, or even sell blood or plasma. In other words, it's a better idea to do almost <em>anything </em>else to generate some quick cash than visit a payday loan store. (Although some of the ideas suggested by Sarah Silverman, the official spokesperson for <em>doing anything else</em>, are clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek.)</p> <p>Many payday loan borrowers end up turning to these anything else options in order to get out of the cycle of payday loan debt, so it would be better to just start there.</p> <h2>2. Start Saving for Retirement Now &mdash; And Build a Time Machine and Start Saving 10 Years Ago If Possible</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gvZSpET11ZY" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>As seen on:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1249&amp;v=gvZSpET11ZY" target="_blank">Last Week Tonight: Retirement Plans</a></p> <p>We all need to be saving more money for retirement, and the earlier you start, the more time compound interest has to work its magic. According to a 2014 study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, a 25-year-old would only need to set aside <a href="http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IB_14-111.pdf">15% of her income</a> each year to adequately replace her income as of retirement at age 62 &mdash; but if she started at age 35 she would need to save 24%, and 44% if she waited until age 45.</p> <p>While I have no issue with encouraging people to save more (really &mdash; save more!), I do have a quibble with the slight whiff of shame clinging to the build-a-time-machine portion of this advice. We can't change our past financial behavior, but we can feel bad about it and let it affect our present behavior &mdash; which too many people tend to do. There's no point in offering coulda-shoulda-woulda advice when time machine technology is still a couple of thousand decades away from reality.</p> <p>However, the basis of this advice is more than sound. Don't waste your money on Elf School in Reykjavik. Put it in your retirement account where it can do you some real good.</p> <h2>3. Check Your Credit Report Every Year</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aRrDsbUdY_k" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>As seen on:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRrDsbUdY_k" target="_blank">Last Week Tonight: Credit Reports</a></p> <p>Your credit history can affect everything from whether you qualify to make large purchases, to your ability to land a job or rent an apartment. Unfortunately, credit reports are not always accurate, even if you have been a boy scout when it comes to your responsible credit usage.</p> <p>As John Oliver reports, the credit reporting bureaus make major mistakes in one out of every 20 credit histories. That may be a 95% accuracy rate, but it does leave 10 million consumers to deal with critical mistakes on their credit reports.</p> <p>The only thing we can do to fight mistakes (and identity theft, which <em>Last Week Tonight</em> did not even get into) is to regularly check our credit reports. We are legally allowed free access to a credit report from each of the major reporting agencies &mdash; TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax &mdash; once per year. You can access that information at annualcreditreport.com.</p> <p>If you're particularly organized, you can keep an eye on your credit on a rolling basis by checking one of the three agencies every four months.</p> <h2>4. Invest in Low Cost Index Funds</h2> <p>As seen on: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY" target="_blank">Last Week Tonight: Retirement Plans</a></p> <p>Seeing this particular piece of advice had me standing up and cheering in front of my laptop. The financial industry likes to tout the superiority of actively managed funds since there is an individual making decisions for your investments &mdash; which has got to be better than doing nothing.</p> <p>Except the active managers who are tinkering with investments have a couple of big detractions. First, they are human, which means they are subject to emotional reactions to market volatility. It is very hard to stick to a plan when ego, panic, or greed is driving the train. According to research by Nobel laureate William Sharpe, you would have to be correct about timing the market (that is consistently buying low and selling high) 82% of the time in order to match the returns you will get with a buy-and-hold strategy. To put that in perspective, Warren Buffett aims for accurate market timing about 2/3 of the time.</p> <p>In addition to the difficulty of market timing, an actively managed fund will have higher transaction costs because of all the active buying and selling (each of which generates a fee) going on. Even if you have the world's most accurate active manager, a great deal of your returns will be eaten up by your transaction costs.</p> <p>Low cost index funds, on other hand, keep their costs low by having fewer managers to pay, and they tend to outperform actively managed funds because they are simply set to mimic a certain index. The majority of consumers will not beat low cost index funds for satisfactory retirement investment growth.</p> <h2>5. If You Have a Financial Adviser, Ask if They're a Fiduciary</h2> <p>As seen on: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY" target="_blank">Last Week Tonight: Retirement Plans</a></p> <p>A financial adviser is a fiduciary if he or she is legally required to put your economic interests ahead of their own. This is an important distinction because the terms financial adviser, financial planner, financial analyst, financial consultant, wealth manager, and investment consultant are unregulated &mdash; which means someone introducing himself by any of these titles might not have the expertise to back it up.</p> <p>But even if your financial adviser does have the credentials necessary to help you manage your money, she might be paid via commission, which could mean she recommends products to you that help her bottom line more than your retirement.</p> <p>Since a fiduciary is legally obligated to put your interests above their own, you are more likely to get objective advice from them.</p> <p>While John Oliver recommends running the other direction if you find that your financial adviser is not a fiduciary, that may not be necessary as long as you understand how your adviser is paid and you are willing to commit to due diligence in double-checking your adviser's recommendations.</p> <h2>6. Gradually Shift From Stocks to Bonds As You Get Older</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gvZSpET11ZY" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>As seen on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY">Last Week Tonight: Retirement Plans</a></p> <p>This advice is part of target-date retirement planning. The thinking behind it is that you need to be invested in riskier (and therefore higher-earning) investments like stocks when you are young, because you have the time to ride out the volatility and reap the returns. But as you age, you need to be sure your principal is protected, which means gradually shifting more of your investments into bonds, which are more stable but have lower returns.</p> <p>This is pretty good general advice, and I love the show's take on when to remind yourself to shift more to bonds &mdash; whenever a new James Bond actor is chosen. (I'm team Gillian Anderson!)</p> <p>The only nuance I would like to add to this piece of advice is to remind investors that retirement does not mark the end of your investing days &mdash; and you should not be entirely invested in bonds by then. Theoretically, you still have 25 to 40 years ahead of you as of the day you retire, and you will still need to be partially invested in aggressive assets like stocks in order to make sure your money keeps growing.</p> <h2>7. Keep Your Fees, Like Your Milk, Under 1%</h2> <p>As seen on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY" target="_blank">Last Week Tonight: Retirement Plans</a></p> <p>Except for the fact that skim milk is a watery horror I would not wish on my worst enemy's morning Wheaties, this is probably my favorite of John Oliver's money tips.</p> <p>Fees on your investments work a lot like interest &mdash; in that they compound quickly. <em>Last Week Tonight</em> showed a clip from the 2013 PBS documentary The<a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/retirement-gamble/"> Retirement Gamble</a>, which illustrated how compounding interest would eat up 2/3 of your investment growth over 50 years, assuming a 7% annual return and a 2% annual fee.</p> <p>The only way to combat such termite-like destruction of your investment growth is to keep your fees low &mdash; under 1%. And the lower you can get your fees under 1%, the better you are. As John Oliver's segment points out, &quot;Even 1/10 of 1% can really [bleep] you.&quot;</p> <h2>Money With a Side of Funny</h2> <p>The majority of financial information is not exactly fun to read through. That's why it's so important for a satirist and comedian to take on these vitally important issues and make them entertaining. I'm thankful that John Oliver has decided to make money one of the issues he illuminates for his audience.</p> <p><em>Are you a regular watcher of Last Week Tonight? What valuable advice have you gleaned?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-win-the-lotto">4 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Win the Lotto</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-moves-you-will-always-regret">9 Financial Moves You Will Always Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-month-get-richer-plan">The 12-Month Get-Richer Plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment bonds credit reports fees index funds investing john oliver money advice payday loans retirement stock market Mon, 08 Aug 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1766934 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_thinking_laptop_88870639.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to tell if her 401K is good or bad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you work for a company, there's a good chance that your employer offers a 401K plan. (Some organizations offer 403b plans, which operate similarly.) These funds give you the chance to invest in a series of mutual funds and other investments, with the added benefit that any money you contribute is deducted from your taxable income.</p> <p>Not all 401K plans are the same, however, and there is a wide range in the amount of expenses and the quality of investments offered.</p> <p>It's not easy to immediately know if your 401K plan is a good one, and whether it's worth putting money into. But here are some things to examine.</p> <h2>Do You Get a Company Match?</h2> <p>Arguably the most positive aspect of a 401K plan is the ability of companies to match a certain percentage of employee contributions. Typically, a company might agree to contribute up to 5% of a worker's earnings, if the worker does the same. This match is essentially free money, so it usually makes participating in the 401K plan a no-brainer, even when the plan is otherwise subpar.</p> <p>If your company does not <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both" target="_blank">contribute to your 401K plan</a> or offer a match, you'll want to examine other characteristics of the plan to determine whether it's worth it to contribute. You may find that contributing to a traditional or Roth IRA is a better alternative.</p> <h2>Examine the Investment Options</h2> <p>A 401K plan is only as good as the investment options in them. There's no perfect menu, but a strong plan is anchored by one or two mutual funds that mirror the broader stock market. These are called &quot;index&quot; funds, because they are designed to mirror the performance of a specific index, such as the S&amp;P 500. A good plan will also have some large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap funds, and the ability to access international and real estate investments. Older investors will want to see a selection of quality bond funds.</p> <p>You'll want to look for a diverse array of investments, but there is a point at which more options aren't necessarily better.</p> <p>&quot;More funds can just confuse you,&quot; said Ralph Grauso, founder of ASC Financial. &quot;You don't need three different types of large-cap growth funds.&quot;</p> <h2>Check the Fees</h2> <p>One of the most common criticisms of 401K plans is that they often contain funds with high expenses. The best 401K plans should offer access to the lowest cost funds available.</p> <p>Management fees, plan operating expenses, and other costs can take a chunk out of your returns without you even being aware. Over time, that can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in lost earnings. A survey by AARP noted that 80% of 401K plan participants don't know what they are paying in fees. Most information on fees is available by reading plan and fund documents, but you may still have to do some digging.</p> <p>&quot;If you're investing for 30 years or more, those fees are going to take a huge chunk of your money,&quot; Grauso said.</p> <p>Grauso said it's best to find funds with expense ratios of less than 1%. Index funds are particularly low in cost because they are not actively managed, and often perform better than managed funds anyway, he said. Look for low-cost index funds from a broker such as Vanguard, and stay away from niche funds with high costs.</p> <h2>Study the Fund Performance</h2> <p>Ultimately, you want to put your money in funds that will generate a nice return and help you develop a sizable nest egg. Predicting future performance is not possible, but you can get a good sense of the quality of a fund by examining its long-term performance.</p> <p>Look at five-year and 10-year returns, and compare them to a comparable benchmark. (For example, a large-cap fund should be compared to a large-cap index.) It's also worth comparing funds to the overall performance of the stock market and the S&amp;P 500. If the fund has historically generated returns that are in line with or better than the overall stock market &mdash; especially after fees are taken into account &mdash; that's a good sign. Stay away from funds that appear to underperform the market and their respective benchmarks.</p> <h2>Who Is the Custodian?</h2> <p>When employers set up 401K plans, they partner with a company that actually manages the plans and many of the investments. Usually, it's with a brokerage firm such as Fidelity, Vanguard, or Charles Schwab.</p> <p>The best 401K plans will be managed by companies who have the expertise and ability to offer quality investment options with low fees, easy online account access, and research. It is worth noting that these custodians manage not only the plans, but many of the mutual funds in them, and that is often viewed as a conflict of interest. If it seems like the custodian is favoring their own underperforming plan in favor of a better plan from another company, that's a bad sign.</p> <h2>Look for Institutional Class Shares</h2> <p>There are many high-quality mutual funds that are unavailable to average investors unless they can meet very high account minimums. But, investors can often access these funds through their 401K plans, because companies can guarantee a sizable combined investment from their employees. Mutual fund companies will often waive fees and other expenses if certain investment levels are met. These funds are often advertised as &quot;institutional class,&quot; or &quot;premium class,&quot; and usually it translates into very low-cost funds for the investor. Fidelity's 500 Index Fund Premium class, for instance, has an expense ratio of just .045%.</p> <h2>Is There a Self-Directed Option?</h2> <p>A typical 401K plan will allow investors to put their money in any of about a dozen mutual funds. But some will offer the ability for account holders to take a more active role, through self-directed brokerage accounts. This is a good option for those wishing to have more direct control over their investing, though evidence is mixed on whether this actually results in higher returns for the investor.</p> <h2>Is It Wrapped in an Annuity?</h2> <p>Many 401K plans have an annuity option, in which earnings are disbursed in the form of monthly payments. This is a nice option to have, as it ensures a steady stream of income in retirement. However, some plans are &quot;wrapped&quot; in an annuity contract that is often expensive and with minimal benefit to the investor.</p> <p><em>How good is your 401K?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track">8 Signs Your Retirement Is on Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know">The Only 8 Rules of Investing You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-paying-off-your-mortgage-early-costing-you-money">Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-hidden-cost-sapping-your-retirement-savings">Is This Hidden Cost Sapping Your Retirement Savings?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement index funds investing portfolio retirement stocks Fri, 05 Aug 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Tim Lemke 1764992 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs Your Retirement Is on Track http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_retirement_accounts_78210119.jpg" alt="Couple finding signs their retirement is on track" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You feel like you're a diligent saver, and are doing all you can to ensure you have a comfortable retirement. But how do you know if you're doing things right? It's hard to predict how much money you'll need, and it seems impossible to know if you're on the right track when retirement is years or even decades away.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are some easy ways to tell if your retirement planning is sound. If your portfolio has most or all of these characteristics, keep up the good work and don't fret!</p> <h2>1. Most of the Funds Are in Tax-Advantaged Accounts</h2> <p>When saving for retirement, it's important to place your money in accounts that shield you from paying unnecessary taxes. A 401K is a common plan offered by employers that allows you to contribute and invest in a variety of different mutual funds. Any money you contribute will be deducted from your taxable income. It's also possible to invest in a Roth IRA, which allows you to invest and avoid paying taxes on any gains. If all or most of your money is in these accounts, you'll be saving thousands of dollars and will have a much higher net return on your investments.</p> <h2>2. You've Been Contributing Heavily</h2> <p>It's hard to know exactly how much you should put into your retirement accounts, but &quot;as much as you can&quot; is usually good advice. If you're maxing out your allowable contributions to 401K or IRA plans (or both), you're probably doing quite well. For 401K plans, you can contribute up to $18,000 annually. IRA plans can accept $5,500 in contributions each year. Even if you're not maxing out these accounts, contributing enough to take advantage of your employer's match of 401K contributions is one good threshold to hit. As much as people like to talk about stock market gains helping them get rich, the truth is that your portfolio's value is helped a lot more by the amount you're contributing in the first place.</p> <h2>3. You've Seen Steady Growth Over Time</h2> <p>Take a look at your portfolio's performance on a line chart. Are you generally seeing an upward trend, without a lot of wild ups and downs? Does it seem like your savings is steadily growing over time, even during periods when the stock market is not doing well? A good retirement portfolio should generally be free of volatility, and see steady gains as time goes on.</p> <h2>4. Your Projections Look Good</h2> <p>No one knows how the stock market will perform in the future, but you can make some reasonable assumptions based on historical market returns. The S&amp;P 500 has seen average annual growth of about 7% since 2006, and annual average gains are even higher the farther you go back. If your portfolio's performance has been in line with these annual averages, you're probably in good shape, as long as you're contributing a significant amount.</p> <p>It may be possible to project how much money you'll have in retirement by taking the amount you have now, then adding your contributions and the annual average return through your retirement year.</p> <h2>5. Your Investments Are Focused on Growth</h2> <p>Unless you are close to retirement, your portfolio should be heavy on investments that promise growth over the long term. This means a big dose of stocks, rather than bonds or cash. Small cap and value stocks should be a driver of most retirement portfolios, as they often promise the most growth potential.</p> <p>It's tempting to want to be conservative with your investments, because stocks can be risky, and no one likes to feel vulnerable to a bad day in the stock market. But building a large retirement next egg requires you to overcome your fears and recognize the positive historical returns of stocks.</p> <h2>6. Your Portfolio Is Well-Balanced</h2> <p>It's always a good exercise to examine your investments to see if you are too heavily invested in any one sector or asset class. Sometimes, your portfolio can get out of whack, and will require rebalancing of your assets. If you are working hard to keep your investments nicely balanced, you'll likely be shielded from any major swings in the market and should see solid growth over time. There is one caveat here, which is that buying and selling during rebalancing could have tax implications, so you'll want to weigh the costs and benefits each time you're considering it.</p> <h2>7. You're Not Paying Too Much in Fees</h2> <p>A robust retirement portfolio should probably contain some mutual funds and/or exchange traded funds (ETFs). But these investments often come with management fees, commissions, transaction fees and other costs. A typical investor pays about 1.5% in fees, according to Rebalance IRA. That could add up to thousands of dollars over time. To avoid losing money to fees, look for investments with very low expense ratios, and those that trade without a commission. Low-cost investments often outperform those with higher expense ratios anyway. So if the costs in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stabilize-your-portfolio-with-these-5-bond-funds" target="_blank">your retirement portfolio</a>&nbsp;are low, that's one more thing you're doing well.</p> <h2>8. You Haven't Spent Any of It</h2> <p>There may be times in your life when you'll be tempted to withdraw money from your retirement accounts to pay for other expenses. There's a cost to doing this; any money taken early from these accounts is subject to being taxed, and you'll have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you take money early from a 401K. And of course, on top of these penalties and taxes, you'll lose out on any future growth this money might have accrued. If you've been diligent about not touching your retirement savings early, you'll be in much better financial shape than if you had raided these funds.</p> <p><em>How's your retirement looking?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-brokerages-for-your-ira">5 Best Online Brokerages for Your IRA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-have-saved-for-retirement-by-30-40-50">How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement by 30? 40? 50?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement contributions ETFs growth index funds investing on track portfolio stocks tax advantaged Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1760749 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Win the Lotto http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-win-the-lotto <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-win-the-lotto" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_lottery_ticket_15458798.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves after winning the lotto" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This past June, $612 million went up for grabs in the lottery. As the pot grew, so did the dreams of ordinary Americans, many of whom hoped their lucky set of numbers would be the ones that lead to overnight riches.</p> <p>Still, no matter how high the payout, a staggering seven in 10 people who receive a windfall <a href="http://www.huver.com/Misc_Resources/Windfall%20Nefe.pdf">blow through it within a few years</a>, according to recent research by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).</p> <p>If you're one of the fortunate few who finds him or herself with a winning lottery ticket, and you want to hold on to that cash, check out our list of four must-make money moves for lucky lotto winners.</p> <h2>Try to Remain Anonymous</h2> <p>Instant riches can come with unwanted attention from long-lost friends and relatives, from scammers looking for a piece of the pie, and from incessant salesmen. Unfortunately, there are only six U.S. states &mdash; Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina &mdash; that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Still, for winners outside of those states, there are steps a winner can take to decrease the amount of attention they receive.</p> <p>Several additional states <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-01-15/should-lottery-winners-names-be-secret-states-debate-issue">allow prize money distributions to a trust</a>, and allow a third party trustee to collect the funds without disclosing the name of the ticket holder. Some states will also allow anonymity if winners expect a high risk of harm.</p> <p>If you don't live in one of those states, however, winners typically have 180 days (check the specifics of your state to be sure) to claim their winnings. You can always try to wait it out, before submitting your winning ticket, in hopes that media attention will die down after a good period of time has passed.</p> <h2>Don't Make Any Sudden Moves</h2> <p>Those new to wealth can sometimes be surprised by just how easy it is to blow through a seemingly endless supply of cash. As a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-of-improving-your-lottery-odds" target="_blank">lottery winner</a>, you may have the financial resources to make your dreams a reality, but only if you take the time to fully assess those dreams.</p> <p>The danger zone for money mistakes is six to 12 months after an influx of sudden money, according to the NEFE study mentioned above. Resist the urge to immediately splurge. Set limits with friends and family. Don't immediately quit your job. Instead, take some time to start thinking about how you want your life to look for the long term.</p> <p>While you wait, stash your newfound money somewhere safe &mdash; like in a checking or money market account &mdash; until you're better able to take stock of what you now own, and what you want to do with it.</p> <h2>Plan for the Future</h2> <p>A windfall can easily be spent in a single fell swoop &mdash; $40,000 on a new car, for instance or $400,000 for a new house. A financial boon may buy boats and houses, but it's the more pragmatic purchases that will make the largest long-term impact.</p> <p>Take retirement, for example. The sad truth is, the majority of U.S. households aren't on track to to <a href="http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/how-do-inheritances-affect-the-national-retirement-risk-index/">adequately fund their golden years</a>, according to research released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. A savvy lottery winner who foregoes a fancy new car in lieu of a well-managed investment account, meanwhile, could very well set him or herself up for life.</p> <p>It can be hard to delay gratification, especially when there's an unexpected windfall on the table. Still, consider the numbers. A $40,000 windfall could grow to more than $150,000 if invested for 20 years at a 7% rate of return. A $400,000 boon could grow to a staggering $1.5 million (assuming the same variables). Either way, slow and steady can add up to an even greater fortune, if the money is left to compound over time.</p> <h2>Talk to an Expert</h2> <p>Still, you may not know how to manage a large influx of funds, especially if you've never done it before. (And how many of us have?)</p> <p>A financial planner can help you make prudent spending choices with your new wealth, while also creating a long-term savings and investment strategy. In fact, recent research in the Journal of Personal Finance has shown that investors who work with financial planners are much more likely to be prepared for retirement when compared with those who make money decisions on their own.</p> <p>Why? Turns out we're our own worst enemies when markets get choppy. Despite the conventional wisdom we've heard all our lives (buy low, sell high, of course!), we get scared by the storm and sell when the market drops. Then, we calm down and buy when it's back on the rise.</p> <p>A financial planner, meanwhile, can help keep you calm when markets get rough, improving the odds you'll stay in the market when you most want to bail (even though you shouldn't).</p> <p>Even if you don't win the lottery (your <a href="http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-are-your-odds-of-winning-the-lottery/">chances are one in 14 million</a>, by the way), the above advice is sound for any type of financial windfall, be it an employee bonus, a lawsuit payout, an inheritance, or anything else. Stay calm, take time to think over your options, and when you're ready, consult a professional.</p> <p><em>You just won the lottery! How will you spend it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-win-the-lotto">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-month-get-richer-plan">The 12-Month Get-Richer Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-every-woman-can-take-control-of-her-finances">How Every Woman Can Take Control of Her Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-money-is-easy-if-you-set-the-right-goals">Saving Money Is Easy If You Set the Right Goals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance inheritances investing lottery mega millions Powerball retirement savings windfalls winning Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1756967 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_excited_hands_74632665.jpg" alt="Man making money moves after getting a promotion" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So your company finally recognized your hard work and gave you that promotion you've been wishing for. And it comes with a nice bump in pay!</p> <p>What should you do now? Do you immediately go and buy a new car? Celebrate with a trip to Saint Tropez?</p> <p>No. If you'll notice, exactly none of the suggestions below involves buying any material items. Celebrate your promotion if you want, but your new money is best off being used to secure your long-term financial future. Consider addressing these eight things if and when you are fortunate enough to get a promotion.</p> <h2>1. Build That Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Are you prepared if something big happens in your life? Do you have at least three months of expenses available in liquid savings? The new income from your promotion can be partially set aside to prepare for the inevitable disaster, whether it be a health emergency, car accident, or flooded basement. Once you get that emergency fund in place, you'll be able to invest and save for larger goals with a clear mind.</p> <h2>2. Get More Organized</h2> <p>If you're not making a lot of money, it's often hard to do anything more than deposit your checks and pay your bills. But with a bump in income, it may now be possible to be more strategic about your financial situation. Rather than having just a single bank account, open distinct accounts for specific savings goals. Begin using an account aggregation platform, such as Mint.com, to see a single view of your finances and track your spending. You may also benefit from meeting with a financial adviser to come up with a plan for short-term and long-term savings goals.</p> <h2>3. Evaluate If Your Expenses Will Increase</h2> <p>Getting a promotion usually involves more money, but it may also mean more expenses for you. Maybe now you will have to work longer hours, necessitating more child care expenses. Perhaps you will no longer be able to work from home, and will incur commuting costs. You may even have to spend more on professional clothing if you've moved into a high-profile position.</p> <p>Make sure to take these new expenses into account when determining how much your net income will increase from the promotion.</p> <h2>4. Bump Up Your Retirement Contributions</h2> <p>If you get a raise, you should strongly consider taking all or most of your increase and boosting your regular retirement contributions. (Or begin making contributions, if you haven't started.) If you have a 401K but aren't contributing enough to get the full company match, see if you can get to that level. If you've been saving more but are just shy of maxing out your annual 401K contributions ($18,000 for most people), try and see if you can reach that threshold. The same goes for making the maximum annual contribution of $5,500 into your individual retirement account (IRA.)</p> <p>Even if you can increase contributions by a mere 1% or 2%, that's additional money that can grow substantially over time.</p> <h2>5. Check Your Tax Situation</h2> <p>There's a dark side to earning more money: You may end up giving more to Uncle Sam. In some cases, a raise may even put you in a higher tax bracket, thus wiping out any salary gains. So before you go making any major lifestyle changes, check to see what your actual take-home pay will be. You may be able to avoid a big hit from Uncle Sam by boosting contributions to your 401K, contributing to a health savings account, or making other adjustments that reduce the amount of your income that is taxed.</p> <h2>6. Target Your High-Interest Debt</h2> <p>If debt is weighing you down, now's time to start tackling it in earnest. Use your extra income to go after the debt with the highest interest rate &mdash; usually, this is a credit card. Once you have that debt paid off, keep it up. You'll be amazed at the financial freedom you'll obtain through the extra income and the reduction in debt payments. It's almost like getting two salary increases! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">The Fastest Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>7. Ask for a Credit Limit Increase</h2> <p>This may seem counterintuitive, since we just suggested you get your credit cards paid off. But with new income, you can ask for a higher credit limit which will then improve your &quot;debt to credit&quot; ratio. That ratio compares the amount of debt you have to the amount of debt you can incur. Generally speaking, a low ratio of debt to credit is what will help your credit score, as long as you don't increase the actual amount you are spending.</p> <h2>8. Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage</h2> <p>You may have been wanting to lock in a lower interest rate on your home for some time, but found the upfront costs to doing so a hurdle. Now that you have some extra income, you might find it easier to pull the trigger on refinancing the loan, thus saving money in the long run. Interest rates are still historically very low, and your higher income may even help you get a higher credit score, making you even more attractive to lenders.</p> <p><em>Get a promotion recently? What did you do with your extra take home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women">5 Financial Obstacles That Are Especially Tough for Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income emergency fund investing mortgage promotions raises retirement saving Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1747766 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_thinking_money_84649931.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to wake up richer tomorrow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here at Wise Bread, we like to talk about building wealth over the long term. But what if you want to be worth more <em>tomorrow</em> than you are today?</p> <p>There are plenty of ways to make a quick buck, but more importantly there are <em>easy</em> ways to build your overall net worth in a single day.</p> <p>Here are a dozen ways that you can bolster your financial situation in quick order.</p> <h2>1. Buy a Stock</h2> <p>This is not a guarantee. But on any given day, the stock market is more likely to go up than down. In the last decade, there have been about 2,500 trading days. Of those, the S&amp;P 500 &mdash; the index that tracks the performance of the biggest companies &mdash; has finished up more than 1,300 times. So about 55% of the time, if you invest in a fund that mirrors the S&amp;P 500, you'll make money in a single day.</p> <h2>2. Spend No Money</h2> <p>One of the nice things about having some money in the bank is that you can make money by simply doing nothing. If you manage to get through a day without spending a dime &mdash; no runs to Starbucks, no impulse buys on Amazon &mdash; you'll have increased your net worth simply because your cash is earning interest.</p> <h2>3. Sell Stuff</h2> <p>These days, it's relatively easy to find buyers for things you don't need. Consider using Craigslist or eBay to sell your unwanted items. You'd be surprised how many people have made decent side incomes just by selling things online. If you don't want to go the Internet route, you may be able to get cash for your items at consignment shops or used book stores.</p> <h2>4. Earn Cash for Doing Quick Tasks</h2> <p>There are a number of websites that will pay you money to do things like fill out surveys, play online games, or even just surf the web. Check out <a href="http://trk.cotterweb.net/?a=13562&amp;c=16696&amp;s1=1079289">InboxDollars</a> and <a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a>, which have proved fairly popular. There's also TaskRabbit, which connects people with quick jobs like running errands, picking up groceries, or performing handyman work. You won't get rich this way, but you might make a few bucks and have more money in your bank account tomorrow than yesterday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;campagin=article">Effortless Ways to Make Money Online That Don&rsquo;t Require Skills</a>)</p> <h2>5. Refinance Your Mortgage</h2> <p>With interest rates still historically low, it may be a good time to examine whether you can save money on your house payments. A lower interest rate means more money available to pay off the house earlier, or invest. Any money that's not being used to pay back the bank is money that can be used to make you wealthier.</p> <h2>6. Pay Off a Debt</h2> <p>There are two ways to boost your net worth. One is to increase your income. The other is to cut down on the amount you owe. So if you can reduce or eliminate a debt, your net worth will be immediately higher, even if you don't earn any more money.</p> <h2>7. Watch a Pet</h2> <p>If your neighbor is going out of town for a day or two, offer to watch their dog, cat, or pet parakeet. If you're lucky, the pet may only need to be fed once or twice a day and taken for a short walk. (I got paid once simply to drop by and throw some food into a tank of tropical fish.)</p> <h2>8. House Sit</h2> <p>Here's another way to make a quick buck or two: When a friend or neighbor goes out of town, offer to water their plants, keep an eye out for mail and packages, and generally make sure their house is okay.</p> <h2>9. Claim Lost Cash</h2> <p>Did you know that there are billions of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/billions-of-dollars-go-unclaimed-every-year-is-some-of-it-yours?ref=internal">dollars in unclaimed property</a>? It's often things like insurance claim money, or perhaps even an inheritance from a long-lost relative. Most states keep a database of such items, or you can also check <a href="http://missingmoney.com/">MissingMoney.com </a>or <a href="https://www.unclaimed.org/other/">NAUPA</a>.</p> <h2>10. Buy Insurance</h2> <p>Your wealth and assets are worth more if they are protected. Being properly insured means that you can financially withstand everything from lawsuits to landslides and medical emergencies.</p> <p>Having a solid homeowners policy will protect you from financial ruin if your house gets hit by a tornado, volcano, or run-of-the-mill thunderstorm. Auto insurance will protect you if you crash your car. Health insurance will keep you from going bankrupt due to the injuries from that car crash. Life insurance will ensure your family is okay if you pass away unexpectedly, and some life insurance policies also have a cash value and will contribute to your net worth.</p> <h2>11. Sell Your Body</h2> <p>Relax, I am not talking about the world's oldest profession. But you can make a few bucks by donating your plasma, your hair, or taking part in medical trials. Check with your local Red Cross headquarters for blood donation information, and also go to sites such as <a href="https://www.clinicalconnection.com/">ClinicalConnection</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash?ref=seealso">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a>).</p> <h2>12. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>Wait, you can become richer by giving something away? It may not have an immediate impact on your bank account, but most charitable donations are tax-deductible, meaning that you can reduce your taxable income and keep more of your hard-earned cash. Look to donate big ticket items like used cars or even real estate.</p> <p><em>What are you doing today to become richer tomorrow?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-savings-rates-us-vs-japan">Comparing Savings Rates: U.S. vs Japan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women">5 Financial Obstacles That Are Especially Tough for Women</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Extra Income earning money get richer investing net worth saving side jobs Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1730464 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Personal Finance Calculators Everyone Should Use http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_computer_floor_70059811.jpg" alt="Man using personal finance calculator everyone should use" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Personal finance is ultimately all about the numbers, and you are better off armed with calculations than making decisions based on intuition, alone. Online calculators can be great tools to analyze your options and try out &quot;what-if&quot; scenarios to help plan your financial moves. Even if you are rusty at math, personal finance calculators make it easy to type in a few basic numbers and get quantitative answers to your personal finance questions.</p> <p>Lots of great calculators are available for free. Here are some of my favorites.</p> <h2>1. Mortgage Calculator</h2> <p>Buying a house is one of the biggest expenses most people will undertake. A mortgage calculator can help you evaluate how much your monthly payments will be for a house of a given price. You can try out different financing options, too, such as 30-year mortgage versus a 15-year mortgage. The monthly payments are higher for a 15-year mortgage, but you'll pay a lot less interest. How much less? Try out a <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx">Mortgage Calculator</a>.</p> <h2>2. Home Affordability Calculator</h2> <p>How much home can you afford to buy? Clearly you can't spend your entire paycheck on your mortgage payment, but how much is reasonable? Use a home affordability calculator to help figure out how much house you can afford based on your income and existing debts. Consider this <a href="http://money.cnn.com/calculator/real_estate/home-afford/">Home Affordability Calculator</a>.</p> <h2>3. Mortgage Refinance Calculator</h2> <p>If you have already bought a house, is it worth refinancing to get a lower interest rate? The answer depends on several factors, including how long you will keep the house and how much lower of an interest rate you can get. In some cases, you can save thousands of dollars by refinancing. Run some numbers on the mortgage refinance calculator and see if refinancing your house makes sense for you. See this one: <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/refinance-calculator.aspx">Mortgage Refinance Calculator</a></p> <h2>4. Home Rent vs. Buy Calculator</h2> <p>It can be more convenient and less expensive to rent a house instead of buying a home. However, a home can be an asset that appreciates in value over time. How long you will stay in your house is a big factor in evaluating the rent versus buy decision. Use this calculator to help decide whether to rent or whether to buy a house: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/25/upshot/100000002894612.mobile.html">Home Rent vs. Buy Calculator</a></p> <h2>5. Investment Growth Calculator</h2> <p>An investment calculator can bring the miracle of compound interest to life. Instead of waiting for decades to see how much your investment accounts will grow, use a calculator to find out now. Of course, no one knows how the stock market will perform in the future, but you can run likely scenarios and see how your investments would grow. This <a href="https://www.investor.gov/tools/calculators/compound-interest-calculator">Investment Growth Calculator</a> is a good place to start.</p> <h2>6. Traditional Retirement Calculator</h2> <p>The biggest question that people heading into retirement have is, &quot;How much money do I need to retire?&quot; Retirement calculators can help answer this question considering life expectancy and expenses. Here's one to play with: <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T047-S001-retirement-savings-calculator-how-much-money-do-i/">Traditional Retirement Calculator</a></p> <h2>7. Early Retirement Calculator</h2> <p>An unusual retirement calculator is FIRECalc. This calculator analyzes the risk that you will run out of money in retirement by using past actual economic data to evaluate how the stock market could perform, ranging from great to terrible. The inputs are the value of your portfolio, how much you plan to spend each year, and the length of retirement. The output is the probability that you would run out of money and a set of plots showing how your investment would grow during retirement years under a wide variety of economic conditions. This is a great tool to use to decide if you have enough money to safely retire early: <a href="http://www.firecalc.com/">Early Retirement Calculator</a></p> <h2>8. Credit Card Calculator</h2> <p>Everyone knows it is expensive to carry credit card debt, but how much is that debt really costing you? Find out with a credit card calculator. You can learn how long it will take to pay off your credit cards based on the balance, interest rate, and your payment amount. You can also find out how much you would save on interest with a balance transfer to a lower interest card by entering your consolidated balance and new interest rate into the calculator. Here is one to try: <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/managing-debt/minimum-payment-calculator.aspx">Credit Card Calculators</a></p> <h2>9. Auto Loan Calculator</h2> <p>Whether you are buying a new or a used vehicle, you can use an auto loan calculator to calculate your payments and see the total cost of the car loan. Try out different payment terms &mdash; for example, four years versus five years, and see how much that changes the monthly payment and total cost. Find out how much car you can afford before you go car shopping: <a href="http://www.cars.com/go/advice/financing/calc/loanCalc.jsp?mode=full">Auto Loan Calculator</a></p> <h2>10. Auto Lease vs. Buy Calculator</h2> <p>You can lease the same vehicle for a significantly lower monthly payment than buying a vehicle, sometimes about half as much. However, you don't get to keep the vehicle after the lease ends. Are you better off buying a vehicle or leasing? Check out your options with a lease versus buy calculator: <a href="http://www.cars.com/go/advice/financing/calc/loanLeaseCalc.jsp?mode=full">Auto Lease vs. Buy Calculator</a></p> <h2>11. Drive vs. Fly Calculator</h2> <p>It is often a difficult decision whether to drive or fly on a trip. Driving can be less expensive than flying, but the cost of additional meals, hotel stays, and time for a driving trip can make flying the less expensive option. Use a drive versus fly calculator to make sure you are factoring in all of the expenses when making your travel plans: <a href="http://www.travelmath.com/fly-or-drive/">Drive vs. Fly Calculator</a></p> <h2>12. Student Loan Payment Calculator</h2> <p>Is borrowing $80K in student loans to get a degree that will allow you to have a six-figure salary in a few short years a good idea? Use a student loan calculator to understand how much the payments on your student loan would be to help make an informed decision. Check this one from Sallie Mae: <a href="https://www.salliemae.com/plan-for-college/college-planning-toolbox/student-loan-payment-amount-estimator/">Student Loan Payment Calculator</a></p> <h2>13. College Value Calculator</h2> <p>How much is getting a college degree worth? Use a calculator to determine how much more money you could make during your career if you went ahead and got a college degree: <a href="http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/Calculators/what-is-the-value-of-higher-education.aspx">College Value Calculator</a></p> <h2>14. Pay Debt vs. Invest Calculator</h2> <p>Would you be better off paying off debts first before starting to invest, or should you start investing right away? The answer depends on the interest rates on your debt and the return you expect to make on your investments or savings account. Use a calculator to check the numbers and decide where to focus any extra dollars you have available: <a href="http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/calculators/should-i-pay-off-debt-or-invest-in-savings.aspx">Pay Debt vs. Invest Calculator</a></p> <h2>15. Cost of Living Calculator</h2> <p>If you are thinking about relocating to take a job or for retirement, check out the impact of moving on your cost of living. You can compare expense categories in your current city with other cities, and see an overall expense rating. This information is useful to determine how much more &mdash; or less &mdash; money you would need to spend to live somewhere else: <a href="http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/">Cost of Living Calculator</a></p> <p><em>What personal finance calculator is most useful for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-to-your-debt-after-you-die">What Happens to Your Debt After You Die?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-moves-you-will-always-regret">9 Financial Moves You Will Always Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-credit-scores">5 Things You Need to Know About Credit Scores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking calculators cost of living debt interest rates investing loans mortgages retirement student loans Thu, 09 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1727205 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_food_service_21858355.jpg" alt="Woman sharing money lessons she learned selling office supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My first real job came when I was 16 years old and landed a position at one of those large <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">office supply stores</a>.</p> <p>As jobs for high schoolers go, it was not a bad one. I earned some money to get through the summer, kept myself busy, learned a lot about varieties of printer ink, and made some friends in the process. I also took away some solid money lessons that have proven helpful over the years.</p> <p>So as we enter summer, let me offer these financial bits that I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler" target="_blank">learned from my first job</a>.</p> <h2>1. Work Isn't So Bad</h2> <p>Everyone fantasizes about not having to work. But by having a job at the office supply store, I realized that being employed isn't a bad thing. A job gives you income, which is a pretty important thing to have if you want do stuff. And working at a job allows you to learn and enhance key skills like communication, reliability, and even mathematics. A job, to put it simply, can give you a foundation for life.</p> <h2>2. Investing Is Better Than Spending</h2> <p>I can tell you for sure that the cash from my first paychecks did not go into a Roth IRA, or even a savings account with a decent interest rate. No, it went to movies, trips to Burger King, Stone Temple Pilot CDs, and baseball tickets. If I had enough money leftover for gas in my car, I was happy.</p> <p>I had fun as a teenager, but if I had saved more of my earnings and invested them, the total stash would have grown tremendously, and I'd have a lot more money in the bank now. Even just $1,000 invested in an index fund in 1996 would be worth about $4,000 now. If I had somehow managed to save $5,000, I'd have about $20,000 today.</p> <h2>3. The Government Get Its Cut</h2> <p>My first job meant my very first paycheck, which meant I got a glance at the amount of money Uncle Sam takes away. And it certainly seemed like a lot! By looking at my first check, I came to understand that you can only plan your spending based on take-home pay, not your gross wages. Later on in my work life, this understanding of the tax man led me to learn about 401K, Roth IRA plans, and other tax-advantaged ways to invest.</p> <h2>4. You Can Always Haggle</h2> <p>Everything for sale has a price, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's what you have to pay. There's very little downside to asking if you can pay less for an item if you believe it's overpriced. Often, stores will have price-match guarantees that aren't advertised. And you can always ask a manager to adjust a price if you think you have a good reason. When I worked at the office supply store, we had a small refrigerator for sale that had a damaged handle. It otherwise worked fine, but the manager agreed to cut the price in <em>half </em>simply because the customer asked.</p> <h2>5. Never Stop Learning</h2> <p>When I worked at the office supply store, we had many high-schoolers and college students on staff, but also a number of middle-aged and older employees who had been there a long time. Seeing these older workers made me realize that I did not want to find myself employed as a stockboy at an office supply store for the rest of my life. It was important for me to continue with school and develop a wide range of skills that would give me career options and the chance to earn more money over time.</p> <h2>6. Salespeople Want You to Part With Your Money</h2> <p>Though my primary job at the office supply store was to help with customer service, I also helped with sales of office furniture. I was encouraged to convince customers to buy our brand of chairs, desks, and shelves.</p> <p>Keep in mind, my job was not to ensure people ended up with the best product. It was to get them to <em>believe</em> our product was the best, whether that was true or not. I became a master in the art of spewing baloney, and it somehow worked a lot of the time. I earned a bonus each time a customer bought a product I helped sell.</p> <p>Remember this: A salesperson does not work for you and does not have your best interests in mind.</p> <h2>7. Everything Goes on Sale at Some Point</h2> <p>I worked long enough at the store to know that just about every product was discounted at one point or another. It wasn't always easy to predict when items would go on sale, but I learned that if you waited long enough, a lower price would come around. And certain items went on sale at certain times a year. There were usually deep discounts, for example, on many items at back-to-school time. And the holidays usually meant big <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campagin=article">Black Friday sales</a> and other promotions.</p> <p>I learned that the most patient shoppers were the ones most often rewarded with bargains.</p> <h2>8. Americans Love Their Credit Cards</h2> <p>As a teenager, I didn't have a credit card. And my parents were rather frugal people who used cash whenever possible. So it came as a surprise to me when, as a cashier, I would see most customers using credit cards, even for small purchases.</p> <p>It's possible that many of these customers were only using cards to collect reward points or cash back, but I can't help but think they were racking up considerable amounts of debt.</p> <p>We're up to about $1 trillion in credit card debt as a nation, and I can't help but think a portion of that is the result of people using cards for small purchases when they could have used cash.</p> <p><em>What was your first job? What did it teach you about money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-tips-for-introverts">8 Personal Finance Tips for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler">6 Money Lessons I Learned Working as a Corn Detasseler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income investing life skills money lessons saving summer jobs teenagers working Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1725703 at http://www.wisebread.com The Frugal Living Commencement Speech I'd Give to My Younger Self http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-living-commencement-speech-id-give-to-my-younger-self <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-frugal-living-commencement-speech-id-give-to-my-younger-self" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_grads_14381811.jpg" alt="Grads hearing frugal living speech from their future selves" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dear Younger Me,</p> <p>Congratulations on your graduation! You have worked hard and deserve a huge high five. Take some time to enjoy this moment, because pretty soon, real life is going to come at you like a train hauling nitroglycerin.</p> <p>But don't worry. You're prepared for this. You've got a good amount of life experience that will help you, and you have a good head on your shoulders. (You're also very handsome, and I wish I still had the hair that you currently have.)</p> <p>I'm going to give you some advice on how you can build a great life. If you do these things, your life will turn out great. Perhaps even better than mine. (Not sure if that's possible, since I am you and you are me. But whatever.) (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self?ref=seealso">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</a>)</p> <h2>Save Money</h2> <p>First, I strongly suggest you go make some money and then save it. Get a job, preferably doing something you enjoy. And pack your lunch. (Big money saver.)</p> <p>Work hard at your job, learn some skills. Maybe even get a second job. Get a paycheck. Take that paycheck and resist every urge to spend it.</p> <p>Okay, you'll want to spend some of it. Having friends is important. Go to concerts, go to ballgames, maybe even take a trip to Europe. But be smart. Don't spend money you don't have. Credit cards are your enemy. Fend off debt like a knight fending off a band of grim warriors.</p> <h2>Invest</h2> <p>Learn how to invest. Familiarize yourself with the stock market and things like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make">401Ks and a Roth IRA</a>. Put a little money in now. Then a little more. Then a little more. Understand that money you save now will have tons of time to grow, so that when you're older like me, you'll have a lot more in the bank. Because let me tell you something&hellip; you will <em>need</em> that money.</p> <h2>Fall in Love</h2> <p>Find a good partner. Listen to her, because she's probably smarter and more sensible than you are. Experience life with her. Cook her some eggplant parmesan once in awhile, because that is her favorite. Don't get mad when she insists on using a coupon for everything. Promise her a great trip every summer. Take her to ballparks, to the beach, to Europe, if you can afford it.</p> <p>But again: don't spend money you don't have.</p> <h2>Prepare for the Worst</h2> <p>You're going to lose your job at least once, maybe twice. And you're gonna need a new roof on that house you bought. And your cars will both have 140,000 miles on them at some point. And your heat pump is going to cut out during the Blizzard of 2016 (so maybe get it replaced before then).</p> <h2>Educate Your Kids</h2> <p>One day, you won't be a kid anymore and you'll have kids of your own. Love those kids. Spoil them, but not with money or possessions. Spoil them with education. Teach them about the world. Teach them how to take care of themselves and other people. Never let them say the words, &quot;I can't.&quot;</p> <p>And again&hellip; save your money. Because kids are not cheap! I cannot stress this enough.</p> <p>There's so much else I can tell you, but most of it you'll have to figure out on your own. I do suggest you call your folks on a regular basis. Read some books. Find a charity you like and give generously. Stay off of Facebook. (You'll find out what that is.) Eat healthy. Exercise.</p> <p>You'll figure it out. I'm sure you'll do great. I have faith in you.</p> <p>Best wishes,</p> <p>Future You</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-living-commencement-speech-id-give-to-my-younger-self">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-spend-your-money-while-you-can">Should you spend your money while you can?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living commencement frugal advice frugal living graduation investing life new grad saving money spending Tue, 07 Jun 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1725705 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Retire Rich http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-retire-rich <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-retire-rich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rich_man_money_000026485996.jpg" alt="Man learning how to retire rich" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here at Wise Bread, we've told you a lot about how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today" target="_blank">grow a retirement fund</a> that will allow you to live comfortably after you stop working. Usually, this means saving enough to be able to maintain your current lifestyle and prepare for your long-term care.</p> <p>But what if you want to really live it up in retirement? How can you accumulate enough wealth to be considered among the truly rich? There's no magic bean to help you get super-wealthy. But smart and disciplined investors <em>can </em>amass retirement accounts in the tens of millions of dollars, simply by earning a bit more, investing more aggressively, and for a longer period of time.</p> <p>Let's take a look at these strategies for building serious wealth in retirement.</p> <h2>Earn More</h2> <p>While it's certainly possible to build a very nice retirement fund even if you earn a modest salary, the path to top-tier wealth usually comes from having a high income. So get to work!</p> <p>Those with very large retirement accounts often have the ability to max out their 401K plans each year ($18,000 annually) and likely a Roth IRA, as well ($5,500 per year). Earning more money also helps you avoid debt, and it expands your ability to move into other great investments, such as real estate. Even an extra few thousand dollars a year will give you the ability to invest more aggressively in order to accumulate more over the long haul.</p> <p>&quot;I think people would be surprised to learn how hard the 1% work,&quot; said David Schneider of Schneider Wealth Strategies in New York. &quot;You've got to work long and you've got to work hard.&quot;</p> <h2>Start Investing Early and Stay in the Game</h2> <p>One of the most important tools for building wealth is time. We've written a lot about the power of compound interest, and time is arguably more important than the rate of investment return and contributions.</p> <p>Let's say you start with $50,000 and contribute another $5,500 each year. Assuming a 7% annual return, you'll have $280,000 in 20 years. In 30 years, you'll have $631,000. In 40 years, you'll have $1.3 million. In 50 years, it's $2.6 million. So you can imagine how important it is to begin saving for retirement right when you begin earning money.</p> <h2>Own Your Own Company</h2> <p>It's nice to own shares of companies and see their value grow over time. But if you want to get super rich, you will want to own the whole business. If you work for a company and take a salary, there's a ceiling to how much you can earn and invest.</p> <p>Most of the wealthiest people on Earth are people who started their own companies and watched them grow into huge enterprises.</p> <p>&quot;By building something, that's where you see the biggest successes,&quot; said Andrew Rafal of Bayntree Wealth Advisors in Scottsdale, AZ.</p> <h2>Don't Do Stupid Stuff</h2> <p>While all investing comes with risk, there are certain things that every person should avoid if they plan to retire rich. Financial advisers say it's imperative that investors avoid major mistakes that wipe out large portions of their savings. This means staying away from more complicated and risky things like options, or trading on margin (which Rafal called &quot;a recipe for disaster&quot;).</p> <p>Don't place all of your money with one investment, and stay away from get-rich-quick schemes or products that claim to be able to time the market.</p> <p>&quot;You have to sort of put a garbage detector on,&quot; Schneider said.</p> <h2>Invest in Small Cap and Value Stocks</h2> <p>Conventional investment wisdom suggests that people invest in a mix of equities from varying industries, often weighted toward stable, large-cap stocks. This is good advice, but those who are willing to take on a little more risk may be able to supercharge their returns.</p> <p>Investing more heavily in smaller companies and looking for undervalued stocks will help lead to longer returns over time, financial advisers said.</p> <p>Schneider noted that between 1972 and 2015, small cap value stocks generated an average return of 12.9%, compared to 10% for large cap. That 3% gap may not seem like much, but if you started with $10,000, it was the difference between $600,000 and nearly $2 million.</p> <p>&quot;Over time, smaller companies do better than large stocks, and if you combine that with value stocks, you get more bang for your buck,&quot; Schneider said.</p> <p>He acknowledged that there is more volatility with small cap stocks, but said the higher returns were &quot;compensation for taking the bigger risk.&quot;</p> <h2>Live Within Your Means</h2> <p>In order to retire rich, you will need to live modestly in your younger years. Maxing out retirement accounts requires the discipline to put money aside rather than spend it. It means avoiding debt, especially high-interest debt from credit cards.</p> <p>Financial advisers said that some of their best and most successful clients were those that lived humble, non-flashy lives, but ended up with massive retirement funds because of their disciplined spending habits.</p> <h2>Be Born Into It</h2> <p>There are plenty of stories of wealthy people who started with nothing and grew their fortune on their own. But the truth is that many of the world's ultra-rich started off with a certain level of financial comfort, thanks to the success of the generations who came before them. Presidential candidate Donald Trump likes to boast of his wealth, but his father was a successful businessman and loaned him money early on in his career. While he's become a successful businessman in his own right, it didn't hurt to have early loans from wealthy family. Billionaires like the Koch brothers, members of the Walton family, and Lilliane Betancourt all inherited much of their wealth.</p> <p>A 2013 report researchers at the University of California and London School of economics concluded that entrepreneurs are more likely to be born into privilege. And Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports that 80% of funding for new businesses comes from savings or from friends and family.</p> <h2>Use Debt Intelligently</h2> <p>Most financial advisers will say that staying out of debt is a key part of building wealth. After all, you can't put money into the stock market if you're too busy paying off high-interest credit cards or auto loans. But there are several instances in which borrowing money may help you build wealth over the long term.</p> <p>Rafal said using leverage to acquire real estate can be a sound wealth-building strategy, especially with interest rates at historic lows. He also said that if interest rates are lower than stock market returns, most people will be better off in the long run investing their money than paying off debt early.</p> <p><em>How do you plan to retire rich?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-retire-rich">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-woman-retired-at-60-and-traveled-the-world">How One Woman Retired at 60 and Traveled the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-resolutions-6-ways-to-take-control-in-2013">Money Resolutions: 6 Ways to Take Control in 2013</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track">8 Signs Your Retirement Is on Track</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement getting rich investing millionaires one percent savings wealth Wed, 25 May 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1715215 at http://www.wisebread.com The Only 8 Rules of Investing You Need to Know http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_tree_change_000067145743.jpg" alt="Learning the only rules of investing you need to know" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Investing may seem complicated. But it really isn't once you realize that most of what you need to know can fit on a fairly small list.</p> <p>No matter what your investing goal, you can make money just by following some simple rules. Here are eight rules that will get you on the path to investing success.</p> <h2>1. Invest as Much as You Can</h2> <p>It's very simple. The more you invest, the more you end up with over time. The stock market's S&amp;P 500, which tracks the performance of the largest American companies, <a href="http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/datafile/histretSP.html">averaged a 7.25% annual return</a> between 2006 and 2015, according to figures tracked by New York University's Stern School of Business. And it's averaged more than 9% annually since 1928. You won't get better returns on your money <em>anywhere </em>else. Even small increases in your investment contributions can make a big difference. A $5,000 annual investment would turn into $74,000 in 10 years, based on a 7% return. A $6,000 annual investment would be worth $88,000. A $7,000 investment would become $103,000.</p> <h2>2. Start Early</h2> <p>One of the most important things to know about investing is that the earlier you start, the more you'll end up with in the long run. There are many people who don't start investing for retirement until very late in life, and they end up with a far smaller nest egg than they first imagined. That's because they were unable to take advantage of the phenomenon of compounded returns. Let's say that you begin saving for retirement at age 40, putting aside $1,500 monthly. Assuming a 7% annual return, by age 60, you'll have about $789,000. But if you started at age 30, you'd end up with $1.8 million after the same period. Start at age 20, and it's a very comfortable $3.84 million.</p> <h2>3. Look Long Term</h2> <p>The stock market is volatile by nature, but as we indicated above, it generally trends upward over time. If you invest with a short time horizon of less than three years, you may not make any money at all. In fact, you might lose quite a bit. But if you extend your horizon to 10, 20, or 40 years into the future, you'll enjoy solid gains on an average annual basis <em>and</em> see the volatility smooth out.</p> <h2>4. Invest in Similar Amounts Frequently Rather Than in a Lump Sum</h2> <p>You may think you have a good sense of precisely when the markets will go up and when they'll go down. But chances are, you're guessing just like everyone else. &quot;Timing the market&quot; is not something the average investor can successfully do on a regular basis. It makes much more sense to invest a set dollar amount during regular periods, usually monthly or quarterly. This is called &quot;dollar cost averaging,&quot; and it works for investors because you end up buying more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high.</p> <h2>5. Use Tax-Advantaged Accounts, and Max Them Out</h2> <p>If you're focused on retirement &mdash; and you should be &mdash; there are great advantages to opening 401K and individual retirement accounts, due to tax laws that encourage people to save and invest. With 401K plans offered by your employer, any contributions you make are deducted from your taxable income. With a Roth IRA, your investments grow and you pay no capital gains tax when you withdraw your money when you retire.</p> <p>A 401K lets you deposit up to $17,500 annually. A Roth IRA allows up to $5,500 in annual contributions. If you can max these out, you'll be in great shape.</p> <p>There are other tax-advantaged vehicles, including 529 college savings plans and Coverdell accounts, which allow you to invest money without giving as much to the Internal Revenue Service. In some cases, money can grow tax free and you get a tax credit on top of that. Use these accounts, and your overall investment returns will be higher.</p> <h2>6. Be Aggressive When You're Young, More Conservative When Older</h2> <p>There's no exact consensus on the ideal investment mix, but most financial advisors suggest investing in nearly all stocks and index funds when you're young, because you're a long way from retirement and can make up and money you lose during down years. As you get closer to retirement, gradually shift your portfolio to include less volatile investments like cash and bonds.</p> <h2>7. Focus on Index Funds, Not Individual Stocks</h2> <p>It's fun to own shares of individual companies, and buying a few shares of a company you like is a good way to get started in investing. But trying to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stabilize-your-portfolio-with-these-11-dividend-stocks" target="_blank">build a balanced portfolio</a> of companies is very hard, and there's very little evidence that human beings are capable of &quot;beating the market&quot; on a regular basis. That's why for most investors, it's sensible to invest in mutual funds or exchange traded funds that mirror the performance of the overall stock market. This is called &quot;indexing,&quot; and it's a surefire way to make money over time without the volatility of owning individual company shares.</p> <h2>8. Pay Attention to Fees and Commissions</h2> <p>When investing in mutual funds or exchange traded funds, take a hard look a something called an &quot;expense ratio.&quot; That's the amount of money that the mutual fund company takes before you even see a dime in returns. These expenses range from well above 1% to a minuscule .05% by some brokerage houses. One percent may not seem like much, but it can definitely cut into your returns and cost you thousands of dollars over time. Mutual funds that are actively managed, rather than those that simply track an index, generally have higher expense ratios.</p> <p>Keep in mind also that there may be fees every time you buy and sell. Discount brokerage companies will charge between $6&ndash;$10 for every transaction. That can add up if you do a lot of trading.</p> <p><em>Any rules we've overlooked? Share with us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have">7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-hidden-cost-sapping-your-retirement-savings">Is This Hidden Cost Sapping Your Retirement Savings?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-your-first-stocks-or-funds">How to Buy Your First Stock(s) or Fund(s)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-moves-you-will-always-regret">9 Financial Moves You Will Always Regret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment investing mutual funds retirement rules stocks Mon, 23 May 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Tim Lemke 1713144 at http://www.wisebread.com The 12-Month Get-Richer Plan http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-month-get-richer-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-12-month-get-richer-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_catching_cash_000050636792.jpg" alt="Man following 12-month get richer plan " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous. It's a good thing it's all over the TV for us to gawk at and covet 24/7, because most of us will never attain that kind of excessive wealth. What we can do, however, is try to improve our own financial lot to the best of our abilities. Sure, that may seem like settling for second (or even farther down the line) best, but we can't all have everything &mdash; and at least we have a little <em>something</em>.</p> <p>Alas, even if we can't be swimming-in-gold-like-Scrooge-McDuck rich, there are ways to be wealthier at any income level. Simple moves we make for the betterment of our personal finances can increase our net worth. If you start today, you can be richer by this time next year. Here's what to do.</p> <h2>1. Get Rid of (or Reduce) One Expense Per Month</h2> <p>It's simple mathematics. The fewer expenses you have, the more money you'll have. Eliminating or reducing one expense every month may seem impossible, especially if you think you can't live without certain comforts, but the truth is, we don't need as much as we think. The problem, however, is that we don't realize how little we need until we start letting stuff go.</p> <p>Be honest about your needs. For example, out of 300+ television stations you might have in your cable package, how many do you watch on a regular basis? If you're spending $150 a month on cable, getting rid of this expense means you'll save about $1,800 a year. You can eliminate or reduce your cable bill one month, decrease your grocery bill by 10% or 20% the next month, get rid of a monthly subscription a month later, and so forth. The savings are there if you start looking for them, and they'll start to stack up quickly.</p> <h2>2. Get a Better Savings Account</h2> <p>As you cut or reduce expenses every month, don't leave the savings in your checking account. Keep track of how much you're saving every month and then automatically transfer this money into a savings account. Since the idea is to become richer in 12 months, a regular savings account won't do. You need a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts">high-yield savings account</a>, which offers a better savings account rate.</p> <h2>3. Think Outside the Box When Saving and Investing</h2> <p>Several banks offer programs to help customers build their personal savings. Wells Fargo offers a Way2Save account. For every debit card transaction, the bank transfers $1 from your personal checking account into your Way2Save savings account. Bank of America has Keep the Change, which rounds up your purchases to the next dollar and deposits the difference into your savings account.</p> <p>You can also take a round-up approach with investing. Using apps like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-investing-today-acorns-lets-you-invest-your-change-while-you-shop">Acorns</a> makes it easy to invest and grow your money. Download the app and then link a debit or credit card to your account. Each time you use this debit or credit card for a purchase, Acorns rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the difference.</p> <h2>4. Make Transactions With Cash Only</h2> <p>Nowadays you can use credit and debit cards everywhere, including fast food restaurants and vending machines. But although credit cards are simple and convenient, a cash-only policy can help you become richer in a year.</p> <p>When using plastic for purchases, physical cash doesn't leave your hand. And because there isn't a physical exchange of funds, there's a tendency to spend more. A study conducted by Dun &amp; Bradstreet found that people spent &quot;12% to 18% more when using credit cards instead of cash.&quot; If you only have cash, you can only spend a specific amount, thereby reducing the overall amount you'll spend in a transaction. Keep this up for a year, and you could see a significant reduction in overall outflow &mdash; and perhaps a change in your spending habits altogether.</p> <p>Alternatively, if you can commit to paying off your credit card balances <em>every month</em>, a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">cash rewards credit card</a> will put money back into your pocket for spending on the things you normally would anyway. Using the right <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit card for your everyday purchases</a> can easily <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">save you over $1,000 a year</a>.</p> <h2>5. Sell Everything You Never Use</h2> <p>We can accumulate a lot of stuff over the years, and in some cases, we don't use half the items in our possession. If you want to become richer in the next year, stop hoarding junk and sell everything you never use. Personally, I sell everything for which I no longer have a use and which still has some value. Even if you think your item is worthless, it's worth trying to sell it because you never know who wants your junk. Case in point: I sold a box of used bottle caps for, like, $50 once. Cha-ching!</p> <p>Deposit whatever you earn from the sale into a high-yield savings account. Items you can sell include clothes, furniture, and electronics. I had a friend with a garage and two storage units packed with stuff. He had a massive yard sale over three weekends and walked away with over $3,000.</p> <h2>6. Increase Your Retirement Contributions</h2> <p>Some people think they don't earn enough to increase their retirement contributions. But even if you can't increase contributions by a lot, upping your contributions by 1% or 2% can make a difference over a year, and you'll be better prepared for the future.</p> <p>Yes, extra money will be taken from your paycheck &mdash; and at first, you may feel the pinch &mdash; but I'm willing to bet that after a couple of months you'll adjust and no longer miss the money. It's just like getting hit with a new bill. You may not like the idea of a new expense, but you do whatever it takes to make room in your budget.</p> <h2>7. Skip Your Vacation for One Year</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with a little fun away from home. Honestly, I don't know what I would do without a vacation or mini-getaway here and there. But if you want to build your net worth over the next 12 months, you can make headway by sacrificing a vacation for one year. You should continue to save just like you would for the trip. But instead of spending the cash on airfare and hotels, put it toward building a bigger nest egg. Remember, rich people didn't get where they're at by spending their time on vacation, but they do get to go on more vacations now that they're rich. Keep this philosophy in mind when you're feeling the pinch to keep going the extra mile.</p> <p><em>What steps are you taking to get richer this year? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-month-get-richer-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-win-the-lotto">4 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Win the Lotto</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-every-woman-can-take-control-of-her-finances">How Every Woman Can Take Control of Her Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting expenses get rich investing retirement savings vacations Mon, 16 May 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1709580 at http://www.wisebread.com One Smart Thing You Can Do for Your Retirement Today http://www.wisebread.com/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000020745280.jpg" alt="Learning one thing you can do for retirement today" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retirement planning sounds like a daunting and confusing task. But there's one practical and surprisingly simple step you can take today to greatly improve your retirement preparedness &mdash; run some numbers to estimate how much money you'll probably need. You'll be happy to see how quickly you can do this, and how beneficial it will be.</p> <h2>A Quick Calculation</h2> <p>It's never been easier to estimate your retirement needs, with numerous free online calculators readily available. One of the simplest is <a href="http://personal.fidelity.com/planning/retirement/content/myPlan/index.shtml">Fidelity's myPlan Snapshot</a>. You just need to enter five bits of information (your age, income, how much you have saved so far, the monthly amount you're now contributing to a retirement plan, and your investment style). Then it will give you a quick read on how much you may need to have in your nest egg by the time you retire, and how much you should be setting aside each month right now in a 401K plan or IRA.</p> <p>For example, according to the calculator, a 25-year-old who makes $50,000 per year, has $15,000 saved so far, contributes $300 per month to their retirement plan, and invests aggressively, will need to have about $2.8 million saved by the time they're 65. If the market performs poorly, the calculator says they'll end up with about $880,000 at age 65; if it performs on average, they'll end up with about $2.3 million.</p> <p>The calculator enables you to easily change various inputs to see what you could do to get more on track. For example, what if they changed their investment style to &quot;most aggressive&quot; (100% stock-based investments), changed the amount they save each month to $500, and moved their assumed retirement age to 67? Now the calculator says if the market performs poorly, they'll end up with about $1.5 million. If it performs on average, they'll end up with a portfolio totaling nearly $4.8 million.</p> <p>After running the quick calculation, Fidelity gives you the option to run a more detailed analysis by clicking &quot;Create a Plan.&quot;</p> <h2>An Unpopular, Yet Helpful Chore</h2> <p>Despite how easy it is to run the numbers on retirement, relatively few people have done so. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, just 48% of all current workers have calculated their needs. Among workers age 25-34 &mdash; those who have the most time to take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-investing-concepts-everyone-should-know">compound interest</a> &mdash; just 38% have run some numbers.</p> <p>Those that have calculated their needs report higher savings goals than those that haven't and greater confidence in their ability to one day retire comfortably. Apparently, crunching the numbers on retirement motivates people to act on what they learn.</p> <h2>From Insight to Action</h2> <p>Of course, that's what makes a needs assessment beneficial &mdash; taking action on what you learn by making any needed changes to the amount you're setting aside for retirement each month.</p> <p>Don't be discouraged if there's a large gap between how much the calculator says you need to save and the amount you're now saving. Just do what you can to start narrowing that gap. Using a budget is one of the best ways to free up monthly cash flow that could be put toward increased retirement savings. Another is committing in advance to use at least a portion of any future pay increases to boost retirement savings.</p> <p>It's a good idea to run a new retirement needs assessment once a year. Circumstances change. Running new numbers annually &mdash; and making any needed adjustments to how much you're saving for retirement &mdash; will help make sure your retirement plan stays on track.</p> <p><em>Have you taken this step? Have you put a plan in place to begin acting on your insight?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement">10 Signs You Aren&#039;t Saving Enough for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-youre-sabotaging-your-nest-egg">6 Warning Signs You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Nest Egg</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-300000-on-lunch">Are You Wasting $300,000 on Lunch?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-false-allure-of-compound-interest">The False Allure of Compound Interest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-thing-will-get-you-to-1-million-tax-free">This One Thing Will Get You to $1 Million (Tax-Free!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement compound interest investing nest egg retirement calculators saving money Mon, 16 May 2016 10:00:03 +0000 Matt Bell 1703113 at http://www.wisebread.com