insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3139/all en-US 9 Financial Mistakes You're Making at the Doctor's Office http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-financial-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_with_stethoscope.jpg" alt="Piggy bank with stethoscope" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have an ongoing medical condition, you know how expensive health care can be. Medical costs have skyrocketed the past several years, leaving people facing the very real possibility that doctor's visits, prescriptions, and procedures could deplete their bank account or even land them in debt.</p> <p>There are ways to make medical care more affordable. However, a lot of people miss out on some important discounts. Below, find out what costly mistakes you might be making at the doctor's office.</p> <h2>1. You don't comparison shop for prescriptions</h2> <p>When it comes to medication, the price you pay can vary from location to location. If you go to the same pharmacy every time and never shop around, you could be overpaying for your prescriptions.</p> <p><a href="https://www.goodrx.com/" target="_blank">GoodRX</a> is a site that allows you to compare prices at several different local pharmacies at once, ensuring you get the best price. According to the site, if you had a prescription for the antidepressant Lexapro and filled it at Walmart, you'd pay $46.29. But, if you filled it at Costco, you'd pay just $10.50.</p> <h2>2. You don't ask for generic medication</h2> <p>If your doctor prescribes you a new medication, going with a name brand can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. For example, if you were to fill a prescription for Crestor, a medication for high cholesterol, it would cost you about $825 for a 90-day supply, according to Drugs.com. By contrast, if you got the generic version &mdash; rosuvastatin &mdash; you'd pay just $96 for the same supply.</p> <p>When you're at the doctor's office, be sure to ask your doctor if there is a cheaper generic version available.</p> <h2>3. You don't use a discount prescription card</h2> <p>If you don't have insurance and need to fill a prescription, you can expect a hefty bill. However, you might not have to pay the sticker price on your own.</p> <p>There are free discount programs you can sign up for to get your prescriptions at a much cheaper price. For example, if you sign up for a program like <a href="https://familywize.org/" target="_blank">FamilyWize</a>, you can get up to 90 percent off your prescriptions' prices. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-you-can-save-money-on-prescription-medications?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways You Can Save Money On Prescription Medications</a>)</p> <h2>4. You don't show up to appointments</h2> <p>Many doctor's offices are cracking down on people who miss appointments by charging them no-show fees. These fees can run anywhere from $20 to the price of a full visit, which can easily cost you hundreds.</p> <p>If you can't make an appointment, contact the office as soon as possible to cancel or reschedule. If you do so early enough, you can prevent no-show fees from being added to your account.</p> <h2>5. You don't always pay your bills on time</h2> <p>If you owe your doctor money but don't pay your bill on time, you can quickly rack up late fees and interest charges. Over time, your bill can balloon thanks to those penalties. What's worse, if your doctor decides to send your delinquent account to a collections agency, your credit will also take a hit.</p> <p>It's important that you make all of your payments on time. If you're in danger of falling behind, contact your doctor's office right away to see if you can get on a more affordable payment plan. It's better to be upfront about your situation than to ignore it.</p> <h2>6. You use the emergency room for illnesses and minor injuries</h2> <p>If you go to the emergency room for minor injuries or illnesses like strep throat or the flu, you could end up spending thousands. According to a 2016 report by the Health Care Cost Institute, an emergency room visit cost an average $1,917. That's an awful lot to pay for the flu.</p> <p>In many cases, going to an urgent care facility rather than the emergency room can be a more cost-effective option. An urgent care visit typically costs between $100 and $200 out of pocket. These facilities can handle most minor illnesses or injuries, including broken bones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/urgent-care-or-er-how-to-decide-where-to-go?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Urgent Care or ER? How to Decide Where to Go</a>)</p> <h2>7. You don't negotiate costs</h2> <p>Although you can't negotiate costs like copays or coinsurance &mdash; your insurance provider determines those &mdash; you can negotiate services and treatments that aren't covered by insurance.</p> <p>If your insurance provider refuses to cover a necessary service, explain to the office administrator that you'll be paying out of pocket and ask if they offer any discounts for cash-paying patients. In some cases, you may pay significantly less than if you used insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-negotiate-medical-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Negotiate Medical Bills</a>)</p> <h2>8. You see out-of-network providers</h2> <p>If you've always gone to the same doctor, finding a new one might be a real pain, and you might put off finding someone else. However, if your current doctor is out of your insurance provider's network, this can be a costly mistake.</p> <p>Depending on the type of insurance plan you have, your insurance company might only cover a portion of a visit with an out-of-network doctor. If you have an HMO, they might not cover any of it, and you'll be solely responsible for the charges. Taking the time to find a doctor within your network can save you money (and headaches) over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-the-best-primary-care-physician?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Choose the Best Primary Care Physician</a>)</p> <h2>9. You don't keep copies of your test results</h2> <p>If you need to have an MRI, CT scan, or blood work done, ask the doctor or lab technician for a copy of your results. Keeping a copy for yourself can help you in the future if another doctor wants to run the same tests. If you have a recent version, you can skip getting another round of expensive tests, saving you a lot of money.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-financial-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Financial%2520Mistakes%2520You%2527re%2520Making%2520at%2520the%2520Doctor%2527s%2520Office.jpg&amp;description=9%20Financial%20Mistakes%20You're%20Making%20at%20the%20Doctor's%20Office"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Financial%20Mistakes%20You%27re%20Making%20at%20the%20Doctor%27s%20Office.jpg" alt="9 Financial Mistakes You're Making at the Doctor's Office" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office">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/7-ways-you-can-save-money-on-prescription-medications">7 Ways You Can Save Money On Prescription Medications</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/4-common-mistakes-to-avoid-when-you-enroll-in-medicare">4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When You Enroll in Medicare</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/5-places-to-check-out-medical-care-for-the-uninsured">5 Places to Check out Medical Care for the Uninsured</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/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</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/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover">11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty billing copays doctor's offices drugs health care insurance late payments medications Mistakes no show fees prescriptions Mon, 04 Jun 2018 08:30:18 +0000 Kat Tretina 2145006 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make When It's Too Hot to Go Outside http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_with_heat_exhaustion.jpg" alt="Man with heat exhaustion" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The heat wave is coming &mdash; are you ready? For many, summer marks the start of vacation season, especially for kids or those who have several weeks off work. While it is good to take a much-needed break, don't get too lackadaisical when it comes to your bank account this season.</p> <p>Here are a few money moves you should make when it is too hot to do much else. You will be thankful later that you didn't take a vacation from managing your money wisely.</p> <h2>1. Comparison shop insurance plans</h2> <p>When you've had the same auto insurance and home insurance for over a year, you might be stuck in the mindset that you are paying the best price, especially if you shopped quotes the year previously. Recently, my husband and I thought we were getting the best price for our car insurance because it had been the cheapest option for us for the past six years, and we had racked up several discounts for being on the plan so long.</p> <p>However, replacing our paid-off SUV with a new van and having a minor accident the year before slowly made our rates creep up. I honestly didn't think another company could offer cheaper insurance, but a few quick searches online helped us find the same coverage for $500 less a year.</p> <p>Bottom line: Don't assume you are paying the best price for insurance just because your plan was the cheapest when you shopped for rates earlier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Put investing on autopilot</h2> <p>Don't want to think about investing on your summer break? Me neither. Investing is similar to exercising. Only a select few really love to partake and the rest of us know we must do it to remain (financially) healthy. Thankfully, you don't have to become an expert in the stock market to start investing your money. Instead, try these simple ways to put your investments on autopilot:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Start with setting up automatic deposits from your paycheck into your 401(k) through your employer. If you can set your account to increase your investment by 1 percent each year, you can grow your retirement fund without feeling the monetary sacrifice.</p> </li> <li> <p>Use an app like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-investing-today-acorns-lets-you-invest-your-change-while-you-shop?ref=internal" target="_blank">Acorns</a>, which rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically invests your spare change.</p> </li> <li> <p>Set up automatic payments to investment accounts. Both Fidelity and Ally offer different online investment accounts where you can set up automatic transfers. While they might require a minimum amount to start the account (i.e. Ally's professionally-managed portfolio account requires $2,500 to open), you can set up small amounts of money to be transferred each week. Think about it. You really won't miss $10 to $20 a week, but setting up the transfer will equate to $520 to $1,040 invested each year.</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Questions All Rookie Investors Should Ask</a>)</p> <h2>3. Declutter, sell, and donate</h2> <p>It may be too hot for a garage sale, but that doesn't mean you can't sell some unused items and free up space around the house. Make a game out of decluttering and tackle one small area of your air-conditioned home each day of the week. You can worry about your garage, basement, or attic in the cooler months. Make your decision quickly about what to keep, sell, and donate. Remember, anything you don't use regularly is taking up prime real estate in your home. Don't try to justify a need for it in the future.</p> <p>If the item is larger, such as a baby swing or chair, list it on Craigslist, OfferUp, or local Facebook selling groups. If the item is easy to ship and can make you more than $10, like designer jeans or an old iPad, list it on eBay. For eBay sales, I schedule postal pickups so that I don't have to deal with the heat and post office lines.</p> <p>If the item does not sell well locally or through eBay, schedule a donation pickup. Fill up a box of unwanted goods, schedule a pickup with a local second hand store, leave it on your porch, and save the donation slip for tax season. Finally, enjoy a large glass of lemonade in your decluttered home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay</a>)</p> <h2>4. Review your credit reports and credit score</h2> <p>Plan to get your credit in tiptop shape this summer, especially if you hope to purchase a car, home, or open a new credit card in the near future. An excellent credit score will save you money on lower interest rates.</p> <p>First things first, order a free copy of your credit report through <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action" target="_blank">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. You are entitled to three free copies &mdash; one each from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; every year. Check the report for inaccuracies and make sure everything looks as expected. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <p>Next, order your credit score. You can purchase your FICO score from <a href="https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1150834&amp;u=255320&amp;m=41089&amp;urllink=&amp;afftrack=" target="_blank">myFICO</a> &mdash; it will run you about $19.95 a piece from each of the three credit bureaus. You can also get a good idea of what your score is through free sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, or through <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards that offer free credit scores</a>.</p> <p>Note that these free scores often have their own metric for credit scoring, and that number may differ slightly from your official FICO score, which is what most lenders use when determining whether or not to approve you for credit. Still, a free score will give you a good ballpark estimate of where your score stands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">I Checked My Credit Score in 11 Places &mdash; Here's What I Learned</a>)</p> <p>What I like about both Credit Karma and Credit Sesame is that they will show you which areas you need to improve to boost your score. For example, if your credit usage is too high, the site may recommend that you boost your score by paying off debt and/or increasing your credit limit, either by opening up a new card or asking for a limit increase. Of course, be aware that asking for a credit increase and opening up a new card can be reported as hard inquiries on your credit report, and too many hard inquiries can negatively affect your credit score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>5. Start your holiday savings fund</h2> <p>Even though Thanksgiving and Christmas are months away, they are coming, and they will be costly. Avoid the holiday debt trap or credit card hangover by saving way ahead of time. If you start in June, you have six months to build up a savings fund without the stress. Calculate how much you spent on Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa the year before, and use it as a guideline for how much you should save.</p> <p>For example, if the winter celebrations cost your family $1,000 between food shopping, decorations, presents, and outfits, divide that number by six and aim to save that much each month. It is much easier to save $167 each month for six months than to try and find an extra $1,000 in your budget between November and December. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a>)</p> <p>Don't waste your summer months wishing you were on a beach somewhere or enviously looking at friends' and co-workers' vacation pictures. Instead, work on your finances with these easy steps so that you can be the one enjoying a debt-free vacation next year.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520When%2520It%2527s%2520Too%2520Hot%2520to%2520Go%2520Outside.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20When%20It's%20Too%20Hot%20to%20Go%20Outside"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20When%20It%27s%20Too%20Hot%20to%20Go%20Outside.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make When It's Too Hot to Go Outside" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside">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-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</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-easy-money-moves-to-make-on-a-rainy-day">7 Easy Money Moves to Make on a Rainy Day</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/5-money-accomplishments-you-should-be-proud-of">5 Money Accomplishments You Should Be Proud Of</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/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</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-the-fair-credit-reporting-act-protects-you">How the Fair Credit Reporting Act Protects You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit report credit score decluttering Holidays insurance investing money moves savings funds selling summer Mon, 21 May 2018 09:00:30 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2140372 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Parts Every Successful Budget Needs http://www.wisebread.com/6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/building_a_tight_household_budget.jpg" alt="Building a tight household budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Budgets aren't perfect. No matter how much you plan, it's impossible to predict every single expense, which can make it challenging to stick to your plan. Fortunately, you can weather any financial storm by making sure your budget has these at least these components.</p> <h2>1. Emergency fund</h2> <p>A car repair, medical expense, or sudden job loss can all wreak havoc on your normal monthly budget. Instead of panicking and going into debt after an emergency, you can give yourself peace of mind by starting an emergency fund.</p> <p>How much money should you keep in an emergency fund? Well, the answer depends on many things, including the cost of your daily expenses, how hard your job would be to replace, and any other unique circumstances. One savings guideline is to save at least three to six months' worth of daily living expenses, though some people may need more. That way, if you ever suffer a job loss, you would be covered for a few months until you found another job.</p> <p>To prevent yourself from using the money you are saving for a rainy day, it's a good idea to stash your cash in a separate savings account. You can start building your emergency fund by having money automatically deposited from every paycheck. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>2. Debt repayment</h2> <p>Debt can add up quickly and become overwhelming if you do not have a repayment plan in place. Whether you have a mortgage, car loan, student debt, or a credit card balance, it's your responsibility to manage your debt.</p> <p>You can take away the burden of debt repayment by tallying up the payments you owe and putting them into your monthly budget. This will keep you on track, accountable, and working to hit your repayment goals. To make more progress, aim to free up extra dollars every month and put that toward your debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy First Steps to Paying Off Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Retirement fund</h2> <p>Do you have a plan to take care of your future? If not, it's time to start a retirement savings plan.</p> <p>Retirement might seem like a long ways away, but failing to save now can have dire consequences later. The more you save while you're still young, the longer you'll have to earn compound interest on your investments. The longer you wait to save, the harder it will be to catch up. Retirement savings needs to be a line item in your budget every single month.</p> <p>If you work for a traditional employer, you likely have a company 401(k) or IRA plan you are eligible to participate in. Most employers can set up paycheck deductions, making it incredibly easy to start contributing to the account ASAP. In addition, check with your employer to see if they offer any company match. As part of your benefits package, many employers will match a percentage of what you contribute to your retirement account. Failing to at least meet the requirements for a match is leaving free money on the table, so make sure you take advantage of it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fun money</h2> <p>You can't have all work and no play. Allow yourself a break and start putting money into a vacation or fun fund. Whether you prefer to take a trip, play a round of golf, or spend the day at the spa, you can treat yourself guilt-free by budgeting for it in advance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Funds for irregular expenses</h2> <p>Not every expense is billed monthly. Most people find they have at least a few quarterly or even annual expenses, such as HOA fees, insurance premiums, club membership dues, and more.</p> <p>Since they aren't regular bills, it can be easy to forget that they are coming due. Don't panic &mdash; you can still budget for them and ensure you always have the cash for odd expenses.</p> <p>An easy way to handle these types of bills is to create an irregular expense savings account. Calculate what you owe in total irregular expenses for the year and divide it by 12. That's how much you should save every month to cover irregular expenses. Just remember to start saving before your first bill is due so you can ensure you have enough to cover what you owe.</p> <p>It may also be helpful to keep a financial calendar. You can mark when each bill is due throughout the year, so no quarterly or annual bill will come as a surprise.</p> <h2>6. Regular review</h2> <p>Circumstances change, and your budget should change accordingly. By regularly reviewing your budget, you can see what's working and what isn't. Are there areas where you are constantly going over the amount you budgeted for? Areas where you are spending less? Has your income changed? Do you need to set aside more for savings?</p> <p>Review your budget at least once a month. If you have a significant other, sit down together and discuss your financial goals. By making small tweaks as you go, you will discover how to use your money most effectively.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Parts%2520Every%2520Successful%2520Budget%2520Needs.jpg&amp;description=6%20Parts%20Every%20Successful%20Budget%20Needs"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Parts%20Every%20Successful%20Budget%20Needs.jpg" alt="6 Parts Every Successful Budget Needs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs">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/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</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-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer">5 Money Goals You Can Achieve This Summer</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-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</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/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You</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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting buffer debt emergency fund expenses fun money insurance line items retirement saving money Wed, 16 May 2018 09:00:26 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2138312 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Money Moves You're Never Too Old to Make http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old_man_smile_to_you.jpg" alt="Old man smile to you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We often assume as we get older that money matters become more simple, and in many cases, this is true. You may be done worrying about saving for the future, and may be free of many of the expenses you had when you were younger. But this doesn't mean you're too old to make financial decisions that will still benefit you.</p> <p>There are many money moves that you made when you were younger that still apply. Not all of these actions below will make sense for everyone. But age, by itself, shouldn't rule them out.</p> <h2>1. Buying a home</h2> <p>You may think that by a certain age, it makes no sense to purchase a home because you may not live long enough to pay it off in full. But there are some great financial advantages to homeownership, even for older people.</p> <p>For one thing, if you want your retirement nest egg to last, you are better off putting money into something that builds equity and may increase in value. That's money that can be used in the future for your long-term care, or passed on to your heirs. Some older citizens even fund their retirement using a reverse mortgage, which allows you to draw equity from your home to pay expenses.</p> <p>Additionally, when you own a home, you can make adjustments to the design and features to accommodate any health needs. For example, you could install a chairlift or add a bedroom on a lower floor so you won't have to go up steps. These are things you may not be able to do if you live in a rental property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>2. Getting life insurance</h2> <p>Many older people don't bother with life insurance past a certain age, because the premiums do get more costly. But there are many cases where it makes sense.</p> <p>If you are still working and your spouse relies on that income, term life insurance can come in handy. You may also have some debt &mdash; mortgage debt, for example &mdash; and want to ensure there is enough money to pay it off if you pass away. Guaranteed Universal Life policies can be good for seniors who want to ensure there's money to pay for final expenses or estate taxes.</p> <p>There are many different insurance products; be sure to closely examine the costs and benefits of each to see if they make sense for your situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-insurance-every-retiree-should-consider?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Kinds of Insurance Every Retiree Should Consider</a>)</p> <h2>3. Shopping for health insurance</h2> <p>We assume that older Americans are simply covered by Medicare and that there's nothing more they need to know. But the reality is that Medicare doesn't cover everything, and it's often important to get supplemental insurance to protect yourself.</p> <p>You are never too old to shop around to find the lowest premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. No matter your age, it's smart to re-evaluate your insurance periodically to ensure you have the right coverage at the right cost. This is especially true if your health situation changes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare</a>)</p> <h2>4. Investing</h2> <p>If you are retired, you may be of the mindset that you already have all the money you need to live comfortably. But are you sure this is true? People are living longer these days, and you can spend as much time in retirement as you did working. Thus, it may be necessary to continue to accumulate money as you get older.</p> <p>Even if you think stocks are not right for you at this stage of your life, continuing to buy bonds, real estate, and other investments can help bolster your nest egg and ensure that you can cover all of your life expenses as you age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <h2>5. Rebalancing your portfolio</h2> <p>At a certain age, you may feel like your investments don't need much baby-sitting. If you've shifted to a lot of fixed-income investments, it may be true that your portfolio doesn't need much maintenance. But that doesn't mean you should ignore it.</p> <p>Even the oldest investors need to check in to see if they are on track to hit their savings goals. All investment portfolios can get out of whack if they are not monitored properly. An older investor may find, for example, that stocks make up too much of a percentage of their portfolio and represent a risk if the market goes down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-outside-the-index-when-you-rebalance-your-investment-portfolio?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Think Outside the Index When You Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio</a>)</p> <h2>6. Building an emergency fund</h2> <p>You may have accumulated enough money to retire on, but did you take into account the cost of a new roof for your home? Did you count on thousands of dollars in unreimbursed medical expenses? It helps to have a separate account to cover these types of expenses, separate from the money you use to cover everyday costs.</p> <p>If you are no longer working, you may still be able to fund your emergency account through income from stock dividends, interest, or capital gains. Just be sure you're not tapping into money you may need in the future for living expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-still-need-an-emergency-fund-in-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Still Need an Emergency Fund in Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>7. Crafting a will</h2> <p>You are certainly never too old to outline your final wishes. If you haven't done this yet, don't delay. A will offers family members guidance on how you want to spend your last days, freeing them from making difficult choices. You can assign an executor to help carry out your wishes, and a clearly written will can help avoid fights over how to divide your assets. Many families have been broken apart due to spats regarding their inheritance.</p> <p>It helps to have a will in place while you are still relatively young, but it's never too late to change a will as long as you are of sound mind. If you have a will already, it may be worth reviewing it periodically to make sure the information is accurate and up to date. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a>)</p> <h2>8. Saving for college</h2> <p>You can go back to school at any age. But you can also save money for your children, grandchildren, or anyone else who you'd like to see get a degree.</p> <p>Most states offer college investment plans, known as 529 plans, that allow you to invest money for the purposes of education. You can designate a beneficiary of the funds and that money can be withdrawn tax-free as long as the money is used for qualifying education expenses. Depending on where you live, your contributions may also be tax deductible. The new tax law allows these funds to be used for K-12 schooling as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>9. Starting a business</h2> <p>If you have skills and knowledge built up over a long life, why not make it work for you? Who says retirement has to involve sitting at home and doing crossword puzzles? Maybe you can start a quilting business. Perhaps you can launch a new career investing in real estate. Heck, you can build your own tech startup. At this point in your life you probably have the money, time, and experience to give it a go.</p> <p>If you have your wits about you, you're never too old to start a new venture. Obviously, you need to be realistic about how much time and energy you want to devote to a new company, and you should avoid putting your retirement savings at risk. It's also important to have a clear succession plan in place to ensure the organization will keep running after you are gone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-retirees-should-ask-before-starting-a-small-business?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions Retirees Should Ask Before Starting a Small Business</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Money%20Moves%20You%27re%20Never%20too%20Old%20to%20Make.jpg" alt="9 Money Moves You're Never too Old to Make" width="250" height="374" /></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-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</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-for-the-newly-independent">8 Money Moves for the Newly Independent</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-to-talk-to-mom-and-dad-about-their-money">How to Talk to Mom and Dad About Their 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/4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big">4 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Big</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/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance aging college savings emergency funds estate planning homeownership insurance investing money moves retirement small businesses wills Wed, 09 May 2018 09:00:13 +0000 Tim Lemke 2137657 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When You Enroll in Medicare http://www.wisebread.com/4-common-mistakes-to-avoid-when-you-enroll-in-medicare <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-common-mistakes-to-avoid-when-you-enroll-in-medicare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old_man_looking_at_his_laptop.jpg" alt="Old man looking at his laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're close to retirement age, you might soon be eligible for Medicare. The federal health insurance program is an important resource, helping you cover the costs of hospital stays, doctor's visits, and prescription medication. The challenge? Signing up for Medicare can be complicated. It's not unusual for new enrollees to make mistakes, and these mistakes can prove costly.</p> <p>Your goal is to sign up for Medicare services on time and correctly to avoid financial hits. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for when enrolling in Medicare coverage.</p> <h2>Thinking you haven't worked enough to qualify</h2> <p>You might think that just because you haven't worked much, or at all, that you can't sign up for Medicare. That isn't true.</p> <p>To be enrolled in Medicare Part A, you might hear that you need to rack up 40 eligibility credits by paying Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. That comes out to about 10 years of work for most people. But this only means that you won't have to pay for Medicare Part A coverage, which covers medical services provided by hospitals. You can still sign up for Medicare Part A if you haven't worked long enough to earn those 40 credits. You'll just have to pay a premium.</p> <p>Some people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B &mdash; the insurance that helps cover doctor visits, trips to the outpatient clinic, and any expenses for medical equipment &mdash; when they sign up for Part A (together, the two comprise Original Medicare), while others enroll separately. You don't need any work credits to sign up for Medicare Part B. You can qualify for this part of Medicare even if you've worked fewer than 10 years. You just need to be 65 or older and a U.S. citizen or legal resident who's lived in the country for at least five years. The same holds true for Medicare Part D, which covers prescription medications. As long as you already have Parts A and/or B, you can enroll in Part D. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare</a>)</p> <h2>Signing up too late</h2> <p>Medicare.gov is clear about the risks of signing up too late for Medicare. In many cases, you'll need to sign up for Medicare coverage during your seven-month initial enrollment period. That period includes the three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and the three months after.</p> <p>There is an exception: You can delay signing up for Medicare coverage if you have health insurance coverage past the age of 65 from an employer for which either you or your spouse still actively work. If this employer has 20 or more employees, you can delay Medicare enrollment until the job ends and not face a penalty. If your employer has fewer than 20 employees, you should sign up for Medicare when you are first eligible.</p> <p>If you do sign up late &mdash; especially for Part B coverage &mdash; you will face a stiff penalty. According to Medicare.gov, your monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be 10 percent higher for each full 12-month period that you could have had this coverage but didn't sign up for it. And that penalty will last as long as you are enrolled in Part B coverage.</p> <p>Here's an example from Medicare.gov: Say your initial enrollment period ended Sept. 30 of 2009. You didn't sign up for Part B coverage until the general enrollment period in March of 2012. Your Part B penalty will be 20 percent. That's because you waited two full 12-month periods before signing up.</p> <p>There is a penalty for signing up late for Medicare Part A, too, if you don't qualify for premium-free coverage and instead have to pay. Again, your monthly premium might increase by 10 percent. You'll have to pay this penalty for two times the number of years you could have had Part A coverage but didn't sign up for it.</p> <p>Again, here's an example from Medicare.gov: Say you were eligible for Part A coverage for two years before finally signing up. You will have to pay the higher premium for four years &mdash; twice the number of years in which you waited to enroll. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked</a>)</p> <h2>Skipping Medicare Part D</h2> <p>Medicare Part D helps cover the costs of prescription medicine. It's not free &mdash; you'll have to pay a monthly premium. Because of this, you might be tempted to skip this coverage, especially if you're healthy today and you don't take any medications.</p> <p>Don't. You can't predict how healthy you'll be in the future. You can't predict whether one day you will need costly prescription medications.</p> <p>Sign up for Part D coverage as soon as you are eligible. Like with Medicare Part A or B, if you wait too long &mdash; any continuous period of 63 days or more after your initial enrollment period ends, unless you have approved medication coverage from a different source &mdash; you will face a penalty added to your monthly fee.</p> <h2>Not understanding what open enrollment means</h2> <p>Medicare does offer its own open enrollment period, which runs every year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. If you are new to Medicare, though, this isn't when you must sign up. New enrollees get their own enrollment periods.</p> <p>The open enrollment period starting Oct. 15 is reserved for those already receiving Medicare and who want to change their coverage choices for the next year.</p> <p>If you are enrolling for the first time, you still need to sign up for Medicare sometime during your seventh-month initial enrollment period.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-common-mistakes-to-avoid-when-you-enroll-in-medicare&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Common%2520Mistakes%2520to%2520Avoid%2520When%2520You%2520Enroll%2520in%2520Medicare.jpg&amp;description=4%20Common%20Mistakes%20to%20Avoid%20When%20You%20Enroll%20in%20Medicare"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Common%20Mistakes%20to%20Avoid%20When%20You%20Enroll%20in%20Medicare.jpg" alt="4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When You Enroll in Medicare" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-common-mistakes-to-avoid-when-you-enroll-in-medicare">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-financial-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office">9 Financial Mistakes You&#039;re Making at the Doctor&#039;s Office</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-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline">How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline</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/15-important-financial-dates-to-mark-on-your-calendar">15+ Important Financial Dates to Mark on Your Calendar</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/6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score">6 Monthly Bills That Won&#039;t Affect Your Credit Score</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-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget">10 Pointless Fees That Are Sabotaging Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance health care insurance medicare Mistakes open enrollment original medicare part a part b part c penalties Tue, 01 May 2018 08:30:19 +0000 Dan Rafter 2134243 at http://www.wisebread.com Could You Make Ends Meet If You Were Suddenly Disabled? http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-make-ends-meet-if-you-were-suddenly-disabled <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/could-you-make-ends-meet-if-you-were-suddenly-disabled" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/empty_wheelchair_in_living_room.jpg" alt="Empty wheelchair in living room" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Becoming disabled is not a worst-case scenario, but it's one that can wreak irreparable havoc on your finances. You may have little to no control over whether or not a disabling illness or injury will impact your life, but you <em>can </em>prepare for the what-if. If you don't, you could find yourself &mdash; and your loved ones &mdash; facing financial ruin should the what-if become reality.</p> <p>We all need to ask ourselves: Could we make ends meet if we were suddenly disabled?</p> <h2>Build your emergency fund ASAP</h2> <p>Ideally, you should have at least six months' worth of salary in an emergency account, but even three months' worth can be a big help when you're facing a disability. Even if you can go back to work eventually, you'll probably be out for some time &mdash; first in the hospital, and then recovery time at home, which may be an extended period depending on the severity of your condition. If your emergency fund is currently running on empty, now is the time to focus on beefing it up. Illness or injury could happen at any time, to anyone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <h2>Identify other sources of income or savings</h2> <p>If you don't have a lot of money in your emergency fund, maybe there are other sources of income or savings that you can rely on. Do you have valuables that you can sell? Can you downsize to put cash in the bank? Will your disability allow you to get a new job based on your skills and limited mobility? Do you have stocks or bonds you can cash in? None of this is ideal, of course, but it may prevent or at least hold off mounting debt while you recover or figure out how to best move forward based on your disability.</p> <h2>Disability insurance is a must</h2> <p>If you're gainfully employed, I highly recommend that you get disability insurance &mdash; while you are still healthy and able-bodied &mdash; even if it's short-term. Short-term disability insurance will pay roughly half your salary while you're out of work. Short-term disability duration can range, but the maximum amount of time is generally a year.</p> <p>If you can get long-term disability through your employer, even better; that will protect you after the short-term expires, paying around 50 to 70 percent of your normal salary until you can return to work or for the amount of time stated in your policy.</p> <p>If you're not sure what kind of disability benefits you may need, talk it over with a financial adviser or planner. You may also be able to get coverage for the eventuality that your spouse has to quit their job to become your caregiver.</p> <p>Disability insurance may not seem necessary when you're young (I was invincible in my 20s, too), but you could wind up in major financial trouble later in life, especially if you're starting your career with very little money in the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>Social Security Disability may be able to help</h2> <p>If you didn't invest in a disability insurance policy before the injury, you can file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits and see if you qualify. Just don't count on it right away. This can be a very long, tedious process, and many claims are denied the first time they are filed. If you are denied, you can file an appeal. A lawyer may be able to help you expedite the process, though it will come with the added expense of legal fees.</p> <h2>Consider your loved ones, too</h2> <p>You don't want to burden your family with taking care of you if you can help it. Preventing them from having to make financial sacrifices on your behalf is another case for investing in disability insurance.</p> <p>Your loved ones' lives can change drastically along with yours in the event of a disabling illness or injury. They may have to quit a job to become your caretaker, sell or modify their home, or make various other types of serious financial sacrifices. You can lessen that risk with proper planning. Quality of life is even more important when faced with a disability &mdash; for all those impacted, not just the injured individual &mdash; and it's your responsibility to take care of yourself while you're still healthy and ensure you have a plan.</p> <p>The reality is, you can't assume that your loved ones will be able to drop everything and make financial sacrifices for you. Illness or injury can be a very stressful situation in anyone's life, and if you can lessen that stress ahead of time, you owe it to those who would be tasked with your care.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcould-you-make-ends-meet-if-you-were-suddenly-disabled&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCould%2520You%2520Make%2520Ends%2520Meet%2520If%2520You%2520Were%2520Suddenly%2520Disabled_.jpg&amp;description=Could%20You%20Make%20Ends%20Meet%20If%20You%20Were%20Suddenly%20Disabled%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Could%20You%20Make%20Ends%20Meet%20If%20You%20Were%20Suddenly%20Disabled_.jpg" alt="Could You Make Ends Meet If You Were Suddenly Disabled?" width="250" height="374" /></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/could-you-make-ends-meet-if-you-were-suddenly-disabled">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/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance">4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance</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-ways-to-boost-your-financial-resilience">5 Ways to Boost Your Financial Resilience</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/urgent-care-or-er-how-to-decide-where-to-go">Urgent Care or ER? How to Decide Where to Go</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-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office">9 Financial Mistakes You&#039;re Making at the Doctor&#039;s Office</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-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty Lifestyle caregivers disability emergency funds illness injury insurance loss of income out of work social security Wed, 07 Mar 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 2111739 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times Travel Insurance Is Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hiker_using_mobile.jpg" alt="Hiker using mobile" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling is one of the best things you can do for yourself, but it can also be quite costly. This cost can be exacerbated if you end up being forced to cancel or cut your trip short and are unable to get your money back.</p> <p>Travel insurance can help you avoid losing money if your plans change unexpectedly, or if you encounter an emergency while on your trip. It's not always worth the added expense to purchase travel insurance, but there are a number of instances when it's wise to get it. Consider these when planning your next trip.</p> <h2>1. The trip is expensive</h2> <p>Perhaps you managed to book a pricey, customized, VIP tour of the Antarctic ice shelves, complete with a penguin encounter. Maybe you got an exclusive after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums. You saved up enough money to book these bucket list vacations. It took you a long time, and a lot of hard work. These are trips that you may never be able to book again if you are forced to cancel. Travel insurance is not necessarily going to allow you book that expensive, once-in-a-lifetime experience again, but at least you'll avoid the pain of also losing all the money you spent to book it.</p> <h2>2. You've had recent health issues</h2> <p>One of the most common reasons you may be forced to cancel a trip is an illness or injury that prevents you from traveling. If you are battling cancer, for example, you may feel good one day and not so great the next. It may also be impossible to predict when treatments or surgery may be needed. In this case, travel insurance can give you some peace of mind and allow you to go ahead and book that trip.</p> <p>Older travelers who may have certain health conditions that have the tendency to flare up may also find travel insurance useful. It is important to note, however, that many travel insurance policies do not cover trip expenses if you cancel due to a pre-existing health condition, so be sure to check the specific provisions of the policy before buying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Exactly Does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover?</a>)</p> <h2>3. There's a chance you may be pregnant</h2> <p>If you and your partner have been trying to have children, you may be wary of vacationing because you don't want to cancel a trip if you do get pregnant. At the same time, it seems silly to avoid traveling if you're not expecting. Travel insurance can come in handy here, because it will allow you to book travel without worrying about losing money if you get some good news. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>4. If you're cutting things close</h2> <p>Let's say you've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">booked a cruise</a> departing from Barcelona leaving on Saturday, but your schedule only allows you to fly to Barcelona that day. To make things dicier, you have to take two connecting flights to get there. If you experience any delays or miss a flight, you may miss the cruise departure entirely. Travel insurance could reimburse you for costs you incur to catch up with your cruise.</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that travel insurance may only cover you if you're delayed due to weather or mechanical problems with the airline. Missing a flight because you overslept, for example, may not be a valid reason to seek reimbursement.</p> <h2>5. If you're going somewhere with unknown medical care</h2> <p>Getting sick or hurt on a trip can be a harrowing experience, and that's especially true if you find yourself in a place where medical care is below American standards. Even today, there are many countries that lack a robust health infrastructure, and medical staff there may not be equipped to perform surgeries or other emergency procedures. A good travel insurance plan can cover travel to better health facilities or hospitals, to ensure you have the best possible medical care even if you are far from home.</p> <h2>6. If you're traveling to a &quot;high-risk&quot; country</h2> <p>Adventurous travelers may find themselves in places that carry some risk to personal safety. Some nations are torn apart by civil war or unrest. Others are prone to incidents of terrorism. Even countries that have general political instability can be risky places to visit.</p> <p>It's possible to buy travel insurance that covers you for a variety of things if you go to these countries. You can be covered for injuries, for example, or if you have to be evacuated. There are even policies with provisions relating to kidnapping and extortion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <h2>7. If you're in the military</h2> <p>Those serving in our armed forces must be ready to travel anywhere at a moment's notice. If you are on active duty or a reservist, you know that any vacation could be interrupted if duty calls. Travel insurance can reimburse you for costs if you have to cancel or interrupt a trip due to military service.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Times%2520Travel%2520Insurance%2520Is%2520Worth%2520It.jpg&amp;description=7%20Times%20Travel%20Insurance%20Is%20Worth%20It"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Times%20Travel%20Insurance%20Is%20Worth%20It.jpg" alt="7 Times Travel Insurance Is Worth It" width="250" height="374" /></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/7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it">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-emergency-medical-coverage-could-save-your-vacation">How Emergency Medical Coverage Could Save Your Vacation</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-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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/6-unexpected-benefits-of-solo-travel">6 Unexpected Benefits of Solo Travel</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/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel health insurance illness insurance military travel insurance travel tips trips vacation Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 2112384 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions to Ask Contractors Before Hiring One http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/contractor_talking_to_a_woman_at_home.jpg" alt="Contractor talking to a woman at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hiring a contractor to waterproof your home's leaky basement, add that dream master bedroom, or renovate your kitchen is a big decision. These projects can cost thousands of dollars. You might have even tapped your home's equity in the form of a home-equity loan or line of credit to fund the renovations.</p> <p>You want to be certain that you're hiring the right people for the job. And you can do that by interviewing several contractors and asking the right questions.</p> <h2>1. Do you have a contracting license?</h2> <p>Contractors require different licenses depending on the state or county in which they do business. You want to make sure that whatever contractor you hire has the proper licenses to work on your project. Otherwise, if local government officials discover that you are working with an unlicensed contractor, they could shut down your project, leaving you with a half-finished bathroom remodel or kitchen renovation.</p> <p>Licensing requirements vary widely by state, so make sure you do your research before hiring. For instance, in Florida, contractors can hold one of two license types: certified and registered. A certified contractor can work anywhere in the state, while a registered one can only work in a specific community.</p> <p>In Iowa, contractors who earn more than $2,000 for the year must be licensed with the Iowa Division of Labor, while in Indiana, the state only licenses plumbers. All other contractors are licensed at the local level, having to earn licenses from the individual municipalities in which they work.</p> <p>Because states and individual counties and municipalities vary so widely in licensing requirements, it's best to call your local government before hiring anyone.</p> <h2>2. What kind of insurance do you have?</h2> <p>Any contractor you hire should have three types of insurance: personal liability, workers' compensation, and property damage. And don't just ask contractors if they have these policies. Ask to see the actual certificates of insurance.</p> <p>If your contractor doesn't have these forms of insurance, you could end up paying big for any injuries or property damage that occurs during your home-improvement project.</p> <h2>3. How long have you been in business?</h2> <p>It's not always true that the most experienced contractors are the best. It's equally untrue that contractors newer to the business will cause you grief. But in general, more experienced contractors know how to stick to schedules and budgets. They've also experienced the common problems that can come up on a construction site and are more likely to know how to resolve them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a>)</p> <h2>4. Can I contact past customers?</h2> <p>Before hiring any contractor, it's important to speak with their previous customers. These past clients can tell you how well the contractors stuck to schedules, if the budget on their project steadily swelled, or how well they cleaned up after themselves on a job site. They can also tell you whether the work the contractors did was high quality and worth the cost.</p> <p>If a contractor can't or won't provide you with references? Hire someone else.</p> <h2>5. Will you use subcontractors on this job?</h2> <p>Many contractors rely on subcontractors to complete a renovation project. Your general contractor, for instance, might hire an electrician or plumber to help finish your job.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with this. But you want to make sure the subcontractors are reliable and that they also carry the right amount of insurance. If they aren't reliable, they could slow down your project. And if they don't have enough insurance coverage, you could again be responsible for paying for damages or injuries on your job site.</p> <h2>6. Will I need a permit?</h2> <p>It varies by local municipality, but your construction job, even if it seems like a small one, might require a government permit. Even something as small as installing a backyard fence might require one. Ask your contractor about this. Contractors who work in your area should know whether a permit is necessary for your job and what steps you must take to qualify for one.</p> <h2>7. How long will my job last?</h2> <p>Anyone who has worked with contractors knows that construction schedules can, and usually do, change during a job. But you will want at least a rough estimate of how long your home-improvement project will take. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves</a>)</p> <h2>8. How will payments be handled?</h2> <p>Ideally, you'll want to pay for your construction project throughout the process, making payments after your contractor reaches certain milestones. This will give you more financial protection than if you pay upfront. And if contractors are falling behind schedule, they might be more inspired to catch up if they won't receive their money until after they hit a goal.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-one&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Questions%2520to%2520Ask%2520Contractors%2520Before%2520Hiring%2520One.jpg&amp;description=8%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Contractors%20Before%20Hiring%20One"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Contractors%20Before%20Hiring%20One.jpg" alt="8 Questions to Ask Contractors Before Hiring One" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-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-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-modern-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Modern Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</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/20-questions-to-ask-during-an-open-house">20+ Questions to Ask During an Open House</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/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</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-home-renovations-that-will-attract-pet-owners">5 Home Renovations That Will Attract Pet Owners</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-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing construction contractors home repairs insurance licenses permits questions remodeling renovations Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2110112 at http://www.wisebread.com Why a Deferred Annuity May Be a Smarter Buy Than Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/why-a-deferred-annuity-may-be-a-smarter-buy-than-long-term-care-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-a-deferred-annuity-may-be-a-smarter-buy-than-long-term-care-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/miniature_people_looking_future_with_stack_coin.jpg" alt="Miniature people looking future with stack coin" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people look forward to the latter years of their life. Most expect to retire and live at a relaxed pace that allows them to savor moments they may have missed while living as a worker-bee.</p> <p>For this reason alone, many people take time to plan every aspect of their retirement &mdash; from savings, to housing, and even long-term care. The only problem is that some of this planning is made on <em>assumptions</em>. And many of these assumptions change over time. For instance, premiums for long-term care insurance have been increasing steadily. So much so, that many insureds are wondering if they should keep their policies in place or bail and look for other options.</p> <p>Dawn-Marie Joseph, founder of Estate Planning &amp; Preservation in Williamston, Michigan, explains the problem many people face. &quot;Back in 2000, the cost of long-term care policies doubled, if not tripled, for many policyholders,&quot; she says. &quot;This forced many people to cancel their policies and lose the money that they had paid premiums with.&quot;</p> <p>Fast forward almost 20 years later, and many retirees are still in a bind without long-term care options. The worst part is that it seems like there aren't that many alternatives to paying rising premiums for long-term care. Aside from dropping the insurance altogether, or accepting reduced benefits at the same premium, many policyholders feel stuck.</p> <p>There may be one other alternative to these policies if the circumstances are right: a deferred annuity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-you-dont-run-out-of-money-in-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Sure You Don't Run Out of Money in Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>What is a deferred annuity?</h2> <p>A deferred annuity is an insurance product that acts as a savings vehicle. It is simply a way to receive consistent payments from an investment over a period of time, rather than all at once. Annuities help many people cover expenses in retirement, such as long-term care costs.</p> <p>A deferred annuity differs from an immediate annuity in that you contribute to the account over time or put in one lump sum and wait for it to grow through investment gains. Gains are not taxed until your monthly payouts begin.</p> <p>Before we get into how the deferred annuity works, it's helpful to know about the different types of deferred annuities: fixed and variable.</p> <h3>Fixed annuities</h3> <p>These are more like bank CDs. You deposit a certain amount of money, and the insurer will pay you a guaranteed amount of interest over a specific period of time. With a fixed annuity, taxes are deferred until the contract moves into the payout phase in which the accumulated funds are annuitized for monthly payments. At that point, earnings are taxed as ordinary income.</p> <p>With a fixed annuity, you are locked into a certain interest rate. The investment yields returns like a bond or other lower-interest investment. This option would be better for you if you don't mind a lower rate of return in exchange for the security of knowing your return is guaranteed.</p> <h3>Variable annuities</h3> <p>Variable annuities are more like mutual funds. You typically get to choose from a variety of investments like stocks, ETFs, or money markets. There's more potential to earn higher yields as the stock market does well, but you'll also be exposed to market volatility.</p> <p>The insurance component makes it so that annuity investors will get at least a return of their principal, in case their chosen investments don't perform well. Contributions grow tax-deferred and, like fixed annuities, are taxed at withdrawal.</p> <p>If you have an appetite for risk, there's more of an upside potential with a variable annuity. Your monthly payouts could be higher if the investments in your annuity do well. However, if you are more interested in getting a guaranteed minimum monthly payment, as opposed to higher returns on your investment, a fixed annuity would be a better fit.</p> <p>With both products, withdrawals taken before age 59&frac12; will be subjected to a 10 percent tax penalty.</p> <h2>What are the advantages of a deferred annuity?</h2> <p>In general, many people use this savings strategy when all other retirement accounts have been maxed out. A big advantage to saving money in a deferred annuity is the ability to defer taxes. As money grows in this account, the compound interest effect is not slowed down by tax payments that cut into the principal deposit.</p> <p>Another advantage of an annuity is that income is guaranteed. At minimum, there is a promise to return your principal investment. And if you die before using your annuity, most include a death benefit component that allows your beneficiaries to receive at least your principal investment plus any gains (this would be taxed as ordinary income).</p> <h2>Deferred annuity versus long-term care insurance</h2> <p>A deferred annuity is not for everyone, but it can be an option for some people. For example, if you plan to self-insure for potential long-term care needs, this product could help.</p> <p>As mentioned earlier, many people are finding the cost of rising long-term care insurance premiums unbearable, so it might make more sense to divert that premium money into a product with better prospects of delivering benefits without breaking the bank.</p> <p>Another reason for choosing a deferred annuity may be out of necessity. Emily Stroud, a financial adviser, recommends &quot;purchasing a deferred annuity instead of long-term care insurance, if the applicant is not likely to be approved for insurance after going through medical underwriting.&quot;</p> <p>She goes on to explain, &quot;I have had clients in the past who had pre-existing health conditions who were denied coverage because the insurer thought they were too risky to insure.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long-Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <p>Unlike long-term health care insurance, deferred annuities may be used for long-term health care needs or for anything else money can buy. For example, if the owner of the annuity doesn't ultimately need long-term care, they could either drawn down their money or leave the annuity proceeds to a beneficiary.</p> <p>Additionally, there are hybrid policies that let you choose various riders that allow you to customize the benefits that make sense for your particular situation.</p> <h2>What are the downsides of a tax deferred annuity?</h2> <p>The biggest downside is that this product typically requires a large sum of money to make the initial deposit. Furthermore, it has to be an amount of money that you won't actually need for the length of time the deferred annuity requires. Sometimes, this can be five, 10, or even 20 years. Withdrawing funds early often comes with steep penalties.</p> <p>Another issue is that the guaranteed interest rate may not keep pace with higher market returns. Though you'll get regular payments from an annuity to cover living costs, you could miss out on better returns if you had invested in stocks instead.</p> <p>Annuities, in general, have a bad reputation for being costly due to commissions and fees passed on to the annuitant. But not only is it possible to find low-cost annuity products, but one could also argue that the high premiums for long-term care insurance are just as costly or even more so.</p> <h2>Who would benefit most from a deferred annuity?</h2> <p>Still not sure if a deferred annuity is for you? Here's a list of situations in which you might benefit from a deferred annuity:</p> <ul> <li> <p>You've got a lump sum of money you can invest or deposit for five, 10, or 20 years.</p> </li> <li> <p>You are not eligible for long-term care insurance or life insurance in general.</p> </li> <li> <p>Long-term care insurance is too expensive for the benefits it would offer to you.</p> </li> <li> <p>You don't need payments from your annuity right away.</p> </li> <li> <p>You don't mind the additional fees that you could incur with an annuity policy.</p> </li> <li> <p>You'd like a predictable stream of income.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it might be a good idea to sit down with your financial adviser to find out if a deferred annuity would be better for you than long-term care insurance.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-a-deferred-annuity-may-be-a-smarter-buy-than-long-term-care-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520a%2520Deferred%2520Annuity%2520May%2520Be%2520a%2520Smarter%2520Buy%2520Than%2520Long-Term%2520Care%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=Why%20a%20Deferred%20Annuity%20May%20Be%20a%20Smarter%20Buy%20Than%20Long-Term%20Care%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20a%20Deferred%20Annuity%20May%20Be%20a%20Smarter%20Buy%20Than%20Long-Term%20Care%20Insurance.jpg" alt="Why a Deferred Annuity May Be a Smarter Buy Than Long-Term Care Insurance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aja-mcclanahan">Aja McClanahan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-a-deferred-annuity-may-be-a-smarter-buy-than-long-term-care-insurance">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-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money in 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/5-retirement-struggles-nobody-talks-about-and-how-to-beat-them">5 Retirement Struggles Nobody Talks About — And How to Beat Them</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/the-right-way-to-withdraw-money-from-your-retirement-accounts-during-retirement">The Right Way to Withdraw Money From Your Retirement Accounts During Retirement</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/which-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you">Which of These 9 Retirement Accounts Is Right for You?</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-to-claim-social-security-benefits-while-living-abroad">How to Claim Social Security Benefits While Living Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement deferred annuities fixed annuities insurance long-term care lump sum retirement costs taxes variable annuities Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:30:14 +0000 Aja McClanahan 2104314 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/this_team_is_built_for_success.jpg" alt="This team is built for success" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're young, it's hard to think of retirement planning as a priority. You have barely entered the workforce; now you have to think about what to do when you've <em>stopped</em> working?</p> <p>But if you are of the millennial generation, the road to a comfortable retirement should begin now. And with the right moves, you may even be able to retire early. Consider these financial moves to supercharge your retirement plan.</p> <h2>1. Develop a net worth mindset</h2> <p>One of the keys to saving for a comfortable retirement is to focus on accumulating things that grow in value while reducing your liabilities.</p> <p>This means earning and saving as much money as possible while eliminating debt. It means investing and watching your money grow, through things like stocks and real estate. It means avoiding spending money on things that will lose financial value or have no value to begin with.</p> <p>This mindset will help you develop a high &quot;net worth,&quot; calculated by how much your assets exceed your liabilities. You can't retire unless you have a high net worth, and you can't get there unless you make the right financial choices &mdash; especially at an early age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative</a>)</p> <h2>2. Open an IRA</h2> <p>If you have any earned income at all, you can open an individual retirement account (IRA), which allows you to invest in almost anything and enjoy tax savings along the way. With a traditional IRA, any money you invest is deducted from your taxable income. With a Roth IRA, contributions are taxed upfront, but any investment gains can be withdrawn tax-free when you retire. You will pay a penalty and taxes if you withdraw money before you turn 59&frac12;.</p> <p>These retirement accounts can be powerful saving vehicles if you have the discipline to set aside as much money as you can. The earlier you invest, the more time your money has to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open</a>)</p> <h2>3. Put money in a 401(k)</h2> <p>If you are employed by a company, there's a good chance that you have access to a 401(k) or similar plan. Don't ignore your human resources representative when they hand you a stack of plan documents urging you to sign up.</p> <p>A 401(k) plan allows you to invest in a variety of mutual funds and other investments, and your company will often match your contributions up to a certain amount. Money you contribute is deducted from your taxable income. You should invest as much as you can into your 401(k), but it's imperative that you at least contribute enough to get the maximum in matching funds. Your contributions, coupled with the matching funds, can add up to millions of dollars by the time you decide to retire. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401K or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>4. Open a taxable brokerage account</h2> <p>There's no rule that says all your investments need to be in retirement accounts. Regular taxable brokerage accounts don't have the same tax advantages as IRAs or 401(k) plans, but they do offer other perks, chiefly the flexibility to withdraw money whenever you want it. This is especially key for someone looking to retire before age 59.</p> <p>Taxable brokerage accounts can be used to accumulate dividend stocks, bonds, or other investments that provide income that will allow you to retire early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>5. Get a side hustle</h2> <p>To accumulate enough money for an early retirement, you'll need a healthy and steady income. If your day job doesn't quite pay enough, look for other ways to generate cash. This may mean freelance writing or playing guitar at local coffee shops. Maybe it's tutoring math, working as a DJ, or doing ASMR videos on YouTube.</p> <p>If you're young, you have energy and freedom, and the ability to make some cash on the side. Earn it, invest it, and watch it help you retire for good from work at an early age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h2>6. Learn to budget</h2> <p>It's simple: The only way to invest money is to save it, and the only way to save it is to spend less than you earn. This may be easier said than done, especially if you aren't making a lot of money early in your career. But it needs to happen.</p> <p>Start by tracking your spending so you know precisely where your money is going. Then create buckets for various categories of spending (rent, food, entertainment, etc.). Budgeting requires focus and discipline, but can be fun &mdash; and ultimately rewarding &mdash; when you see your savings grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-staying-on-budget-can-be-fun-really?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways Staying on Budget Can Be Fun (Really!)</a>)</p> <h2>7. Tackle that debt</h2> <p>You may have student loans. As a result, you may also have credit card debt. If this is weighing you down, it's time to do something about it or an early retirement will be impossible.</p> <p>Begin by going after some of the most onerous debt first &mdash; usually, this is the credit card debt with the highest interest rate. Once the debt is eliminated, you can begin to focus on actually saving and investing, rather than simply making ends meet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>8. Get insured</h2> <p>The ability to retire early is as much a product of avoiding disaster as accumulating wealth. It's hard to save and invest aggressively if you find yourself saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, or expenses to replace items lost when your apartment flooded.</p> <p>You may think that health insurance is a waste of money because you are young and in good shape. You may think that you're a good driver and don't need comprehensive auto insurance. But if you truly want to gain financial independence and work toward an early retirement, you must be properly insured. Even if you have insurance now, review your policies to make sure you're covered at the right levels. Fail to do this, and you may find a single disaster will send your financial future off track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-insurance-policies-you-might-need?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Surprising Insurance Policies You Might Need</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Things%2520Millennials%2520Can%2520Do%2520Right%2520Now%2520for%2520an%2520Early%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=8%20Things%20Millennials%20Can%20Do%20Right%20Now%20for%20an%20Early%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Things%20Millennials%20Can%20Do%20Right%20Now%20for%20an%20Early%20Retirement.jpg" alt="8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></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-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">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-10"> <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-biggest-ways-millennials-risk-their-retirements">5 Biggest Ways Millennials Risk Their Retirements</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/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</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-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents">How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents</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/6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask">6 Questions All Rookie Investors Should Ask</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-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement 401(k) budgeting compound interest extra income insurance IRA millennials net worth saving money side gigs taxable brokerage accounts young adults Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 2084738 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Longevity Is Changing Retirement Planning (And What to Do About It) http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-longevity-is-changing-retirement-planning-and-what-to-do-about-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-longevity-is-changing-retirement-planning-and-what-to-do-about-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-680410686.jpg" alt="how longevity is changing retirement planning" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no doubt about it: People are living longer and need more money to support their extended life spans. In the U.S. alone, the average life expectancy has reached the mid-80s for people turning 65 today, though it's not unusual for someone to live well into their 100s.</p> <p>Longer life spans should be a reason to rejoice &mdash; after all, it means additional memories and experiences that come with having more time on earth. However, living longer also brings legitimate concerns about saving enough money to support such a long stay.</p> <p>If you're uncertain that you'll have enough money to enjoy a retirement of 30 or 40 years, you should start planning now. Take a look at how living longer could affect your retirement income and what you can do to prepare for it.</p> <h2>1. You need to save more money</h2> <p>Much of the financial advice for retirement hasn't considered a retirement period that could last 30 or 40 years. If people aren't advised to save enough during their career, they'll likely have a smaller nest egg that will be depleted much faster. In the case of a long life span, saving the typical 10 to 15 percent of income traditionally recommended for retirement probably won't be enough.</p> <p>You should consider working with a financial planner to discuss the prospects of a longer retirement. Get solid numbers on your potential cost of living to cover various scenarios. Calculate what you could need 20, 30, and even 40 years after you leave the working world, and figure out the amount of money you should be saving to cover those scenarios. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Face These 7 Scary Facts About Retirement Saving</a>)</p> <h2>2. Your investments may need longer exposure to risk</h2> <p>There are a couple of ways your investing strategy may change with a longer life span. For one, you may find yourself using catch-up contributions and may opt to max out every retirement vehicle you can as early as your 40s and 50s.</p> <p>Then, there's the idea of allocation and risk. Morgan Ranstrom, CFA of Trailhead Planners, says that moving away from equities into bonds may no longer be a good strategy. &quot;It may be necessary to maintain more stock and/or risk exposure in a retiree's investment portfolio to reduce the risk of outliving their money,&quot; he says.</p> <p>An investment adviser can help you create a reasonable asset allocation plan that considers a longer retirement period. Make sure you have a rebalancing plan for each stage of your life, from pre-retirement through 20 or 30 years post-retirement. Seeing these scenarios, with possible outcomes, will give you an idea of how to adjust your investment strategy both now and later on in life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <h2>3. You'll need more insurance</h2> <p>Michael Dinich, professional estate and tax planner, points out that, &quot;Many universal life policies were funded at a level that would only guarantee coverage until mid-80s.&quot; Extending policies for older retirees can be extremely costly, leaving people without coverage when they need it most.</p> <p>In addition to life insurance, longer life spans could increase the need for long term care insurance. This type of insurance can help cover nursing home costs. Getting this insurance in your 50s or 60s can be expensive, but it will be significantly cheaper than if you wait until you're older. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance</a>)</p> <p>Check your existing insurance policies to find additional products that may cover your needs. For example, some policies can be converted partially or completely once the term expires so they last longer. There may also be hybrid products that cover a combination of life, burial, and long term care. The key is to check into these options early to prevent being ineligible at an older age.</p> <h2>4. You may need to work longer</h2> <p>Living longer means you may need to keep working longer to continue growing your retirement savings. Kevin Langman, financial planner at Finovo, says he sees clients with a more fluid concept of their working careers. &quot;Instead of working to a set date and stopping,&quot; he explains, &quot;we see careers going through stages, with a few decades of full-time work followed by a shift to more part-time and passion-fueled work.&quot;</p> <p>Just because you may need to work later in life doesn't mean it has to be stressful or you have to languish in a job you dislike. Investigate ways to extend your career in a way you don't dread &mdash; maybe turn a passion or hobby into a side gig. Langman encourages his entrepreneurial clients to explore residual income options like, &quot;products and services that can continue to generate income even once they are not working on them full-time anymore.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-retirement-jobs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Great Retirement Jobs</a>)</p> <h2>5. You'll need to account for inflation</h2> <p>Brian Saranovitz, of Your Retirement Advisor, says that planning for inflation can be tricky such a long way out. He says, &quot;In some cases, retirees will need to create an inflation-adjusted retirement income for 25, 35, or possibly more years.&quot; With such a far-out horizon, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly how much inflation will affect an asset base.</p> <p>Work closely with your retirement planner or investment adviser to control the effects of not only inflation, but other forces that can erode assets quickly like taxes and market volatility. Some options include exploring alternative investments and insurance products to increase the effectiveness of your portfolio. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-protect-your-retirement-from-inflation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Protect Your Retirement From Inflation</a>)</p> <p>Roger Whitney has been a financial adviser for 27 years. He sums up the idea of a longer retirement in this way: &quot;Traditional retirement planning worked for our parents. They lived retirement on the park bench of life. The modern retiree will likely live longer, be more active, and spend more in retirement. They'll still be on the playground.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-ways-longevity-is-changing-retirement-planning-and-what-to-do-about-it&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Ways%2520Longevity%2520Is%2520Changing%2520Retirement%2520Planning%2520%2528And%2520What%2520to%2520Do%2520About%2520It%2529.jpg&amp;description=5%20Ways%20Longevity%20Is%20Changing%20Retirement%20Planning%20(And%20What%20to%20Do%20About%20It)"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Ways%20Longevity%20Is%20Changing%20Retirement%20Planning%20%28And%20What%20to%20Do%20About%20It%29.jpg" alt="5 Ways Longevity Is Changing Retirement Planning (And What to Do About It)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aja-mcclanahan">Aja McClanahan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-longevity-is-changing-retirement-planning-and-what-to-do-about-it">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/7-reasons-youre-never-too-old-to-buy-stocks">7 Reasons You&#039;re Never Too Old to Buy Stocks</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/4-ways-to-protect-your-retirement-from-inflation">4 Ways to Protect Your Retirement From Inflation</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-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</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-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</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-roadblocks-to-retirement-and-how-to-clear-them">7 Roadblocks to Retirement (And How to Clear Them)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement inflation insurance long term care longer life span longer retirement longevity nest egg old age risk saving money stocks Mon, 22 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Aja McClanahan 2091126 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Signs It's Time to Quit Freelancing http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-its-time-to-quit-freelancing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-signs-its-time-to-quit-freelancing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired_girl_with_hands_on_her_face.jpg" alt="Tired girl with hands on her face" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tell someone you're a freelancer, and you'll usually be treated with a mix of envy and admiration. Freelancing brings with it a perception of freedom and flexibility that is a definite plus, but much harder to sustain than many people might realize.</p> <p>As a freelancer, chances are you put in more hours and are on the go more than regular full-time employees. You don't get subsidized health care, a 401(k) match, or paid vacation. It can be tough &mdash; sometimes, too tough. And when the following red flags appear, it may be time to throw in the towel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>1. You don't enjoy it anymore</h2> <p>Let's start with the most obvious reason. If it's just not something you like doing anymore, maybe it's time to start thinking about a different career path. Remember when you first decided to jump into the freelancing pool? The buzz you felt going it alone. Hustling for clients. Being your own boss. It all felt like the world was your oyster. If you now get up every day wishing you'd made a different choice, that's life telling you you're wasting time.</p> <p>Our job takes up the majority of our waking hours, so to be doing something that makes every one of them painful is just not worth it. What do you daydream about doing instead? What would reinvigorate those passions you once felt for freelancing? Listen to your gut and make a move in that direction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-the-9-to-5-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs the 9-to-5 IS Right for You</a>)</p> <h2>2. It's getting harder and harder to find work</h2> <p>When you first dipped your toe into the freelance pool, you had to hustle to get those initial clients. But, after some hard work, you built up a nice client roster and had enough regular work to make freelancing a financial success. However, things change. Markets change. Freelance industries can become flooded with new and cheaper talent. And, of course, there are those sites like Fiverr and Guru that are crammed with people all over the world charging rates that you cannot even begin to compete with.</p> <p>That mix of more competition, lower freelance rates, and even corporate downsizing can have a serious impact on the time you spend trying to find work. And if you spend more time looking for it than working on it, you could be in real trouble. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-land-more-freelance-clients-in-a-snap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Land More Freelance Clients</a>)</p> <h2>3. You can no longer afford to pay for your own health care</h2> <p>This is a big reason freelancers are returning to the workforce, and it's a sad sign of the times. Corporations and small businesses have the clout to negotiate excellent rates for their employees. Not only that, but the company pays the majority of the monthly premium, with some companies even offering completely free HMO coverage for an employee and family.</p> <p>As a freelancer, you don't have that kind of power. According to data gathered by eHealth, the average individual health insurance premium for 2017 was $393 a month. It skyrockets to $1,021 a month for families. That's not taking into account deductibles, which you have to meet before the insurance kicks in. It's a huge burden for a freelancer to take on, and coming back into the fold can be a relief. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Work Perks You Can't Get as a Freelancer</a>)</p> <h2>4. You miss the interaction with other employees</h2> <p>Freelancing can be a lonely business. Many people take daily human interaction for granted. In fact, some people tire of it all, and it becomes a major reason for freelancing and going solo. But over time, you can go days without talking to anyone except the checkout cashier and the dog.</p> <p>Humans, for the most part, are social creatures; it's only natural to start longing to be around other people again &mdash; for those water cooler talks about last night's killer season finale, or the latest and greatest music you've discovered. And while texting and calling people can help with the loneliness, it can become depressing. If it's starting to weigh on you every day, and you are making excuses to leave the house, it's time to think about returning to the workforce. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-freelancers-and-telecommuters-can-make-friends-and-network?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</a>)</p> <h2>5. You're bored and you're coasting</h2> <p>Has the freelance life lost its spark because you are simply not being challenged anymore? It's possible that your daily work routine is filled with the same projects, for the same clients, over and over again.</p> <p>Some freelance writers get stuck penning annual reports and company brochures week in, week out, and it becomes monotonous work. Some freelance photographers get stuck doing weddings and graduations, and although it's special for the people being photographed, it can be tedious taking the same shots every time. Whatever your freelance gig, if you are dreading getting out of bed in the morning because you have &quot;those projects,&quot; you have lost your passion. Dive back into something more challenging, for your own mental wellbeing.</p> <h2>6. You can't make ends meet</h2> <p>Freelancing is a constant hustle. It can be exhausting to find work for yourself. What's worse is when the jobs start paying less, or you lose a few clients. Some clients will be tempted by younger freelancers offering lower rates. Others may just be retiring, or going in another direction. And while it's important not to panic if you do lose some regular monthly income, you have to be prudent about how long you ride it out.</p> <p>Can you find something that will make up for that income loss before it really starts to eat away at your emergency fund? Do you even have an emergency fund? What can you cut out to keep going? Examine the budget carefully, and if things are looking bleak, you may need to cut and run to a regular, full-time salary. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a>)</p> <h2>7. The work-life balance is no longer acceptable</h2> <p>When you first started freelancing, you knew you'd have to put in extra hours to get the business off the ground. After that, it should have been more like a day job, with regular hours that you work, regular time to relax, and hopefully, a week or two of vacation. However, some freelancers swear by the saying, &quot;Never turn down work &mdash; they may never ask again.&quot;</p> <p>That can be a huge problem. You don't want to turn work away and risk an income stream drying up. But you're tired. You've been putting in 60-hour weeks and you need a break. If you have reached that stage where you are living to work, and not working to live, you should consider quitting and finding a full-time job with an employer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-signs-its-time-to-quit-freelancing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Signs%2520It%2527s%2520Time%2520to%2520Quit%2520Freelancing.jpg&amp;description=7%20Signs%20It's%20Time%20to%20Quit%20Freelancing"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Signs%20It%27s%20Time%20to%20Quit%20Freelancing.jpg" alt="7 Signs It's Time to Quit Freelancing" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-its-time-to-quit-freelancing">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/5-tax-mistakes-freelancers-need-to-stop-making">5 Tax Mistakes Freelancers Need to Stop Making</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-ways-freelancers-can-make-sure-they-get-paid-on-time">8 Ways Freelancers Can Make Sure They Get Paid on Time</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-ways-to-tell-if-that-used-car-used-to-be-an-uber">7 Ways to Tell If That Used Car Used to Be an Uber</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/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</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-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office">9 Financial Mistakes You&#039;re Making at the Doctor&#039;s Office</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship cons freelancing health care insurance loneliness losing clients loss of income red flags self employment warning signs Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 2086410 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don't Require a Bachelor's Degree http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-that-pay-over-50k-and-dont-require-a-bachelors-degree <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-jobs-that-pay-over-50k-and-dont-require-a-bachelors-degree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_repairing_electrical_component_of_a_computer.jpg" alt="Woman repairing electrical component of a computer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Growing up, you probably heard the same thing from parents, teachers, and friends: You need a four-year college degree to earn a good living. However, that's not always true. Although higher education can be valuable, the high cost of tuition makes going to college cost-prohibitive for many. Students increasingly rely on loans to pay for school and are saddled with crippling debt for years after graduating.</p> <p>Thankfully, you don't necessarily need a bachelor's degree to earn a comfortable salary. Several fields pay above-average wages while only requiring an associate degree or high school diploma. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary in the U.S. as of 2016 was $49,630. Each of the jobs on this list pays more than the national mean; in fact, you could earn nearly double that number. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Low-Cost Alternatives to a 4-Year Degree</a>)</p> <h2>1. Electrician</h2> <p>The nation is currently facing a nationwide shortage of skilled workers, particularly electricians. Thousands of baby boomers, including skilled electricians, are retiring. At the same time, outdated, negative stereotypes about blue-collar jobs persist. The result is that fewer people are entering the field, leaving companies scrambling to hire what workers they can find.</p> <p>That demand can work in your favor. Electricians need a high school diploma, and you will have to complete either a trade program or an apprenticeship. However, because there is such a shortage of candidates, many companies are paying entry-level workers to receive their education and on-the-job training. As of 2016, the mean wage for electricians stood at $56,650.</p> <h2>2. Insurance sales agent</h2> <p>As an insurance sales agent, you'll contact potential customers and try to sell insurance policies. Depending on the agency you work for, you could be selling individual policies, such as car insurance or renters insurance, or you could sell policies that cover businesses.</p> <p>The mean annual wage for insurance sales agents in 2016 was $67,760. There is also the potential to earn bonuses and commissions, which can increase your income even more. Best of all, entry-level positions only require a high school diploma or its equivalent.</p> <h2>3. Web developers</h2> <p>Web developers create and design user-friendly websites. They handle the behind-the-scenes aspects of a site, such as coding, security, and speed.</p> <p>Although some developers have an associate degree, there are a growing number of coding boot camps that provide a cost-effective alternative. These tend to be accelerated, intensive programs that teach you how to code and get your first job within a few months, rather than years. It's a field where your talent and ability is far more important than your education. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-employers-care-about-more-than-your-degree?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things Employers Care About More Than Your Degree</a>)</p> <p>The mean wage of web developers in 2016 was a whopping $72,150, with the potential to earn six-figures as your career progresses.</p> <h2>4. Dental hygienist</h2> <p>If looking into people's mouths doesn't gross you out, and you're willing to get an associate degree, a career in dental hygiene can be a lucrative option. Dental hygienists earned a mean wage of $73,440 in 2016, though some can earn salaries well into six figures.</p> <p>In your role, you'll clean patients' teeth and look for signs of oral diseases or dental issues. This position is in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job outlook to grow by 20 percent &mdash; far more than the national average. That means it will be easier to find a job and maintain job security when you're out of school. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-jobs-for-the-next-10-years?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Great Jobs for the Next 10 Years</a>)</p> <h2>5. Elevator installer and repairer</h2> <p>Think of all of the buildings you see each day during your commute. Most of them have elevators, which means someone has to install, repair, and maintain those elevators. A career in elevator installation and repair can provide job stability, as the industry is expected to grow at a higher-than-average rate (12 percent).</p> <p>To enter the field, you only need a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with an apprenticeship. That's a very budget-friendly way to earn the highest mean salary on the list: $76,860 as of 2016.</p> <h3>Choosing an alternative career path</h3> <p>While pursuing a trade job is a nonconventional choice today, it can be a smart decision. With lower education costs and little to no student loan debt, you can begin working and building your financial future sooner.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-jobs-that-pay-over-50k-and-dont-require-a-bachelors-degree&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Jobs%2520That%2520Pay%2520Over%2520%252450K%2520and%2520Don%2527t%2520Require%2520a%2520Bachelor%2527s%2520Degree.jpg&amp;description=5%20Jobs%20That%20Pay%20Over%20%2450K%20and%20Don't%20Require%20a%20Bachelor's%20Degree"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Jobs%20That%20Pay%20Over%20%2450K%20and%20Don%27t%20Require%20a%20Bachelor%27s%20Degree.jpg" alt="5 Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don't Require a Bachelor's Degree" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-that-pay-over-50k-and-dont-require-a-bachelors-degree">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-old-school-jobs-that-are-making-a-comeback">9 Old-School Jobs That Are Making a Comeback</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-10-best-high-paying-jobs-for-introverts">The 10 Best High Paying Jobs 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/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</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/6-quick-ways-to-retrain-for-a-new-career">6 Quick Ways to Retrain for a New Career</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/6-job-myths-boomers-should-stop-believing">6 Job Myths Boomers Should Stop Believing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting apprenticeships bachelor's degree experience high-paying jobs insurance job growth no degree salaries sales skilled labor web developers Tue, 09 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Kat Tretina 2083336 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves for the Newly Independent http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-for-the-newly-independent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-for-the-newly-independent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/singing_in_the_living_room.jpg" alt="Singing in the living room" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're done with college. You have a job. Your mom is hinting that she wants to turn your bedroom into a space for scrapbooking. It's time to set out on your own.</p> <p>This is an exciting but scary time: You'll have a rent payment and other bills to pay now, and you need to start saving for the future. Now that you've fled the nest, there are some key money tasks that you should tackle. Do these, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence.</p> <h2>1. Start building that emergency fund</h2> <p>Young people living at home aren't too concerned with emergencies wiping out their savings. But once you are out on your own, you are more vulnerable to events that can throw you for a financial loop. Your car might break down and require thousands of dollars in repairs. You may have a medical emergency that's not entirely covered by insurance. You may even find yourself without a job but with bills to pay. This is why it's hugely important to begin putting money aside to cover unexpected events.</p> <p>Start by working to accumulate three months' worth of living expenses, and then shoot for six. Don't invest this money; you need to be able to access it quickly if there's an emergency. Having this cash on hand could be the difference between continuing to live on your own and crawling back to the Parental Chateau. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <h2>2. Shop around for bank interest rates</h2> <p>Before you went out on your own, you probably didn't think much about banks. You may have put your money in the same place as your parents, or the bank closest to your house. Now it's time to do a little homework to make sure your savings account is doing more than just holding your money.</p> <p>Interest rates are still low these days, but you can bump up your passive income by shopping around for the best rate. If you are willing to have some money tied up for a while, consider putting some money into certificates of deposit, which offer higher rates.</p> <h2>3. Learn to budget</h2> <p>Being on your own means you have to actually pay attention to your income and spending. This is especially true for young people who may have student loans and aren't earning a lot (yet). It's imperative that you spend less than you earn, and this means paying close attention to your expenses.</p> <p>You should begin by tracking your expenses each month so you have a good idea of where your money is going. Then, create small budgets for various key categories like groceries, gas, and rent. Your budgets for entertainment and frivolous expenses should be as small as possible. You may be free from Mom and Dad, but you aren't truly financially independent until you're avoiding debt and saving money at a good clip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>4. Examine your credit card situation</h2> <p>You may have opened a credit card or two when in college, and perhaps you accumulated some debt. You never stressed about it when you were living at home, and Mom and Dad may have even helped you pay the bills. But now you are on your own, so it's time to get a handle on things. Take a look at how many credit cards you have and their interest rates. If you have piled up some debt, assess which cards carry the largest balances.</p> <p>You don't necessarily want to close out cards, since that can hurt your credit score. But stop using ones with high interest rates and little other benefit. Come up with a plan to reduce your debt by tackling the highest interest cards first.</p> <p>Moving forward, you'll want to get in the habit of using credit cards responsibly, avoiding debt, and hopefully earning some rewards along the way. Once you are in the habit of paying off your bill in full every month, examine which cards offer the best benefits, such as cash back or points you can redeem for merchandise retailers or air travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>5. Make sure you are properly insured</h2> <p>It's common for young people to remain on their parents' health care plans, but at a certain point you need to get insurance of your own. You also need to obtain things like auto insurance, plus renter's or homeowners insurance. If you have a spouse or dependents, you should look into life insurance as well. This requires some research and discipline so you can find plans that are reasonably priced but also provide an appropriate level of coverage.</p> <p>If you are employed, you may be able to get subsidized health insurance from your employer. (Be sure to pay attention to the open enrollment dates.) Those without insurance through their job can get it through the marketplace exchanges set up in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.</p> <p>Choosing to go without health or auto insurance could subject you to penalties from the federal or state government. But more importantly, you place yourself at risk of financial disaster if a bad event takes place. Purchasing proper insurance plans is a key component of sound financial planning.</p> <h2>6. Take advantage of your employer's retirement plan</h2> <p>If you have a full-time job, there's a good chance your company will help you save for retirement by offering a 401(k) or similar plan. These plans allow you to place a portion of your salary into a wide range of mutual funds and other investments, and your employer may match a certain portion of those contributions. Plus, any money you contribute is deducted from your taxable income, so you save money. There is very little downside to opening an account right away, and you should do your best to at least get the full amount of the company match. The earlier you start, the more time your money has to grow.</p> <h2>7. Open a Roth IRA</h2> <p>Even if you take advantage of your employer's retirement plan, it's a good idea to open a separate individual retirement account that offers different tax advantages. With a Roth IRA, you can invest up to $5,500 annually in just about anything you want, and the gains on those investments can be withdrawn tax-free when you retire. A Roth IRA is available to anyone with earned income, so it's a great way to save for retirement if you are self-employed or don't get an employer-sponsored retirement plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open</a>)</p> <h2>8. Educate yourself about taxes</h2> <p>Guess what? Being financially independent also means you get to do your taxes! The IRS will always get a cut of your money, and it's important to understand how that will impact your take-home pay.</p> <p>If you are employed full-time, you will likely have taxes taken out of your paycheck, but you need to adjust your withholding so that you're not stuck with a large tax bill or refund. If you are self-employed, you will need to plan to pay taxes on your income, and it may require you to pay taxes quarterly. Perhaps most importantly, you must learn all about the various tax deductions and credits that may be available to you.</p> <p>If your taxes get too complicated, you can always pay someone to do them for you. But remember that there's a cost to going that route, and handing off your taxes to a professional doesn't mean you should remain ignorant as to what's going on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Tax Return Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-moves-for-the-newly-independent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Money%2520Moves%2520for%2520the%2520Newly%2520Independent%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money%20Moves%20for%20the%20Newly%20Independent"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Money%20Moves%20for%20the%20Newly%20Independent%20%281%29.jpg" alt="8 Money Moves for the Newly Independent" width="250" height="374" /></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-for-the-newly-independent">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/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</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-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</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/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</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/10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money">10 Reasons to Cut Millennials Some Slack About Their 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/4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big">4 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance banks budgeting emergency funds financial independence insurance interest rates investing millennials retirement young adults Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2068610 at http://www.wisebread.com First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses http://www.wisebread.com/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_financial_opportunity.jpg" alt="Business Financial Opportunity" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The task of accumulating wealth and ensuring long-term financial security is often discussed alongside the idea of winning. And while it's fine to think of financial planning this way, it may be just as important to simply <em>avoid losing</em>. Smart investing involves looking for gains over time, but also escaping costly losses when the market goes down. Let's take a look at some ways we can &quot;win&quot; financially simply by avoiding losses.</p> <h2>1. Avoid overpriced stocks</h2> <p>The last thing you want is to buy a stock and immediately see it take a dive. If you are a young investor with a long time horizon, you can usually get away with putting your money in the market at any time. But it is important for anyone to avoid buying stocks when they are overvalued and perhaps due for a correction.</p> <p>It's tempting to buy a stock if shares have been moving upward, because we all like to invest in companies that are doing well. At a certain point, however, share prices can be too high based on the company's earnings. It's important to learn the basics of how to tell if a stock is fairly valued.</p> <p>A price-to-earnings ratio is an important consideration in valuing a stock. A P/E ratio is the share price divided by earnings-per-share (EPS). A P/E of more than 25 is on the high side, though P/Es vary by industry. Take time to learn what typical P/E ratios are for the sector you're looking to invest in.</p> <p>Another rule of thumb to keep in mind: If a stock has been consistently setting new 52-week highs, it may be due for a pullback.</p> <p>If a company's share prices seem overvalued, it's wise to practice patience or look elsewhere for better value. This will decrease your likelihood of losing money on the investment.</p> <h2>2. Know when to cut your losses</h2> <p>One common piece of investing advice is to stay the course and avoid panicking when shares of stock fall. This is sensible, but it should be balanced with an awareness of when to cut your losses.</p> <p>There's a fine line between being patient and sticking with a dud investment for too long. It's OK to stick with an investment if the company's underlying financials are still strong, but if the company is seeing shrinking profit margins and revenues, or has completely lost its competitive advantage, it may be time to cut and run. In particular, hanging onto investments during major market downturns can result in massive losses that will take years to recover from. Some financial advisers suggest selling an investment if it drops more than 10 percent in a short amount of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-a-stock-is-about-to-tank?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Signs a Stock Is About to Tank</a>)</p> <h2>3. Be truly diversified</h2> <p>Most investors know to avoid investing in too much of one thing. Diversification of investments is a key way to avoid a big loss. But sometimes, it's possible to think you are diversified when you aren't. For example, you may think you are diversifying your portfolio by investing in both U.S. based and international stocks. But have you considered that many U.S. companies already have a huge presence internationally? And even if you think you are diversified with various investments and asset classes, many investments still perform similarly, meaning that you're not as diversified as you think.</p> <p>Financial advisers have varying thoughts on the ideal way to diversify. Of course, everyone's portfolio will differ depending on their age, risk tolerance, and projected retirement year. But the basic tenet applies: Don't be too invested in one area.</p> <h2>4. Watch out for investment fees</h2> <p>When you buy and sell stocks and other investments, you'll likely be stuck paying a variety of fees. There are transaction costs for every trade, and maintenance fees and other costs for mutual funds and ETFs. These are costs that are taken out of money you invest, so you not only lose money immediately, but lose out on its potential gains. This can add up to thousands of dollars in the long run.</p> <p>Savvy investors know how to invest well while avoiding high costs. Discount brokerages such as Fidelity and Scottrade allow you to buy and sell stocks for as little as $4.95 per trade. Mutual fund companies including Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, and others have become more cognizant of fees, and are increasingly offering funds with super-low expense ratios. (Generally speaking, it's best look for funds that charge less than 1 percent for expenses.)</p> <p>Keep your costs low when you invest, and you'll find that avoiding these &quot;losses&quot; can boost your gains.</p> <h2>5. Understand when the markets may be due for a dip</h2> <p>It's very difficult to time the stock market, and for young investors, it's a good idea to just invest as soon as you can. But it's also possible to avoid big losses by recognizing when the markets may be due for a correction. If it seems like stocks are priced too high based on their earnings, that's one bad sign. A slowdown in economic growth is another, and you should be wary of a spike in inflation and interest rates, too. It's also worth noting if companies are downgrading their earnings predictions for the upcoming quarter, as that could be a sign that business executives are pessimistic. If you recognize any or all of these signs, it may be worth waiting a while before investing too heavily.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffirst-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFirst%2520Rule%2520of%2520Financial%2520Wins_%2520Avoid%2520Losses.jpg&amp;description=First%20Rule%20of%20Financial%20Wins%3A%20Avoid%20Losses"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/First%20Rule%20of%20Financial%20Wins_%20Avoid%20Losses.jpg" alt="First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses" width="250" height="374" /></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/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses">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-9"> <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/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-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/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz">Are Your Emotions Costing You Money? Take This Quiz</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-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps budgeting cutting expenses energy efficient fees insurance investing losing saving spending stocks winning Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:31:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 2053314 at http://www.wisebread.com