retirement http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/416/all en-US 5 Financial Obstacles That Are Especially Tough for Women http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paying-bills-86530205-small.jpg" alt="woman paying bills" title="woman paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love being a woman.</p> <p>I love how far we've come, all the opportunities we're seeing now, and all the potential in our future. Plus, I love the shoes&hellip; women have a fantastically broad selection of shoes to work with.</p> <p>But when it comes to money, we still seem to struggle.</p> <p>Studies show that of the 62 million of us currently in the workforce, only 45% have a plan for retirement. Even more interesting is the mindset behind that statistic. In a 2013 study by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, over half the baby boomer women surveyed said they didn't plan to retire at all, and would continue working after age 65. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-one-third-of-americans-havent-saved-for-retirement?ref=seealso">Why One-Third of Americans Haven't Saved Enough for Retirement</a>)</p> <p>And for many women, working past retirement is their only option.</p> <p>But why is that? Why do intelligent, savvy women have such a hard time protecting themselves financially? The answer isn't always a simple one, but may well have to do with a number of factors,</p> <h2>1. Women Earn Less</h2> <p>Despite all the political movements, women still earn on average, one-third less than men. This is partially due to the long-standing wage disparities between men and women, and partially due to our own priorities. Women are <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/12/11/on-pay-gap-millennial-women-near-parity-for-now/sdt-gender-and-work-12-2013-1-05/">more likely to take part-time jobs</a> or less-demanding (and therefore less profitable) positions to give them more flexibility at home.</p> <p>Women are also more likely to take off for maternity leave or to care for an elderly parent, decreasing the amount of time they're in the workforce and actively contributing to a retirement plan. This same family-first mentality also makes it harder to compete for those higher-paid positions, so we have less opportunity to increase our income.</p> <h2>2. Women Are More Financially Conservative</h2> <p>While we might be more open to new experiences than men in other aspects of our lives, we have a tendency to play it safe when it comes to taking financial risk. <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/031313/women-and-investing-its-style-thing.asp">Men play the stock market; we like bonds and mutual funds</a>. And that means we're seeing fewer rewards for our efforts.</p> <p>Maybe we're just wired that way or maybe it's because we're working with less and don't feel we have the luxury of playing &quot;fast and loose&quot; with our retirement. But whatever the reason, the end result is the same&hellip; we're seeing smaller returns on our investments.</p> <h2>3. We Save Less</h2> <p>According to a<a href="http://aon.mediaroom.com/2013-08-14-Aon-Hewitt-Report-Shows-Women-Lag-Behind-Men-in-Saving-for-Retirement"> 2013 Aon Hewitt study</a>, <a href="http://aon.mediaroom.com/2013-08-14-Aon-Hewitt-Report-Shows-Women-Lag-Behind-Men-in-Saving-for-Retirement">women contribute less of their salary to retirement</a> than men do, 6.9% to 7.5% respectively. That means that even when we do invest, we're doing it in smaller increments, further reducing our potential for financial growth.</p> <p>In addition, because we're more likely to take those part-time positions, we're also more likely to be working without receiving any type of employer-sponsored retirement benefits, and that means more women are on their own when it comes to saving for retirement.</p> <h2>4. Women Live Longer</h2> <p>According to the Social Security Administration, a woman turning 65 today can expect to live just past her 86 birthday. And, the CDC says, that lifespan is going to continue to grow. Men, on the other hand, don't live quite as long &mdash; on average, about 7 years less &mdash; meaning that not only do women often have fewer financial resources to work with, but we also have to rely on them for a longer period of time.</p> <h2>5. It Isn't a Priority</h2> <p>For the most part, we've evolved beyond the &quot;my husband handles the finances&quot; mentality, but does that mean that savvy financial planning is always priority number one? Yes, we know the value of saving, and yes, we're concerned about retirement, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2011/12/05/study-women-multitask-more-than-men/">but those concerns are often lumped in with the gazillion other things we're busy managing</a>. And quite often, those gazillion other things take precedence. So, while we might have plans to learn more about investing or take a closer look at our 401(k) plan, we just haven't gotten around to it. But we will&hellip; really&hellip; right after we get through the holidays, finish with soccer season, bake these 40 cupcakes, help with the math homework&hellip;</p> <p>So tomorrow&hellip; Definitely, maybe tomorrow.</p> <h2>How to Make a Change</h2> <p>Okay, so now that we've painted this dismal picture, what can we do to change it?</p> <h3>Get Healthy Now</h3> <p>Since it's pretty clear that you'll need your money for a longer period of time, take actions now to improve your health and minimize the potential for illness down the road. Granted, sometimes things just &quot;happen,&quot; but there are things you can do to lessen your chances of becoming sick or disabled. Eat better, start a doctor-approved exercise program and do what you can to keep your mind active and alert. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund">Don't Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund</a>)</p> <p>Remember, basic necessities like rent and groceries aren't the only things you'll need to pay for in your golden years; health care expenses are more likely to increase during this time, so doing what you can now to maintain good health later is just smart.</p> <h3>Save, Save, Save</h3> <p>While you can't really give up maternity leave or your role as caregiver (nor should you have to), you can ensure that your savings don't suffer while you're out of the workforce. Opening an IRA is an easy way to continue contributing to your retirement, even if your career is on pause. Granted, that's still a challenge if you're working with less, which brings us to tip #3.</p> <h3>Learn to Negotiate</h3> <p>If your employer doesn't offer you a retirement benefit package, ask. If you think you're being paid less than you should be, start talking about a raise or promotion. Although we've gotten much better at it, women still have a tendency to &quot;take what they can get&quot; instead of negotiating for a better deal.</p> <p>So, how can you become a better negotiator?</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to improve your negotiating skills is to take time to learn what the other side really wants. According to Joyce Russell, President of Adecco Staffing U.S. and negotiations expert, Dr. Victoria Medvec, it's easy to leave money on the table (or fail to reach an agreement altogether) when we don't understand our opponent's objectives.</p> <p>Dr. Medvec suggests using a technique called <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/gaygaddis/2013/09/16/the-top-negotiation-trap-that-can-cost-your-business/">Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers (MESO)</a> &mdash; essentially, creating three different, yet equally satisfactory offers &mdash; to gain insight about what's most important to the other side. This technique exhibits your flexibility and opens the door to more productive conversations.</p> <p>But perhaps even more importantly, women need to learn to ask. <a href="http://lenski.com/top-5-negotiation-traps-for-women/">Failing to see the opportunity for negotiation is one of the biggest traps women face</a>, according to conflict resolution expert, Tammy Lenski. Simply learning to assume that everything is negotiable gives you new perspective on your situation and flexibility in deciding how you want to improve your circumstances.</p> <h3>Know Your Finances</h3> <p>You also need to get very clear about how much money you'll actually need to retire and then find a realistic plan to help you reach that number. The idea that you'll just work past retirement to boost your savings is a nice idea, but what if you can't? What if something happens that forces you to retire before you're ready?</p> <p>Increasing the amount you save now is the only real way to counter that possibility, so up your contributions if you can and plan to sock away any windfalls that might cross your path in the future.</p> <h3>Increase Your Investing Confidence</h3> <p>And lastly, do what you can to become comfortable with a little more risk in your investments. For example, experts at Fidelity Investments cite <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/investing-tips-for-women">diversification and education as good strategies to help you overcome the fear of risk</a>. Also remember, it doesn't have to be &quot;a lot&quot; of risk&hellip; just enough to balance things out. The same studies that showed we're more conservative in our investing strategy also revealed that an &quot;all-risk&quot; portfolio isn't the way to go, either.</p> <p>In fact, from a long-term perspective, <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0812/are-womens-portfolios-better-than-mens.aspx">women's portfolios tend to outperform men's investments</a> because our conservative nature allows us to hold the investment longer. Men on the other hand, tend to panic and dump the stock. This buy-and-hold mentality can pay off big if you learn to balance your &quot;safe&quot; investments with a few that offer a slightly larger payoff. You'll become more confident about investing in the process, and your portfolio will thank you for it.</p> <p><em>How are you preparing for retirement? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Financial Obstacles That Are Especially Tough for Women" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</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-questions-that-reveal-if-you-and-your-partner-are-a-money-match">7 Questions That Reveal If You and Your Partner Are a Money Match</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-financial-mistakes-we-dont-make-anymore-and-2-we-still-do">6 Financial Mistakes We Don&#039;t Make Anymore (and 2 We Still Do)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance gender and money investing retirement saving women and money Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:00:05 +0000 Kate Luther 1253610 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/financial-advisor-153824915-small.jpg" alt="financial advisor" title="financial advisor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Laying out a few hundred dollars for a financial advisor can seem like money down the drain if everything is going smoothly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner?ref=seealso">9 Signs You Need to Fire Your Financial Planner</a>)</p> <p>Until it isn't. Life's road bumps pop up, and good and bad things that happen can lead to financial problems or opportunities that you weren't prepared for. Here are seven occasions when a financial advisor should be called in to help.</p> <h2>1. Ruinous Debt</h2> <p>We're not talking about having payments for a credit card lapse for a month, but deep debt where you're having difficulty deciding which bills to pay and which to put off each month. This is a case where you don't want to have to pay a financial advisor &mdash; whether it's a one-time fee or percentage of assets that they manage. Instead, go somewhere such as the <a href="https://www.nfcc.org/index.php">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a> or look for <a href="http://www.usa.gov/topics/money/credit/debt/out-of-control.shtml">local nonprofit agencies for free help</a>. At the very least, get help setting up a budget.</p> <h2>2. Career Change</h2> <p>Hopefully, this is an opportunity to earn more money and therefore put more money aside in a retirement account. A financial advisor can help you pick a retirement account that's right for you.</p> <p>Young people with the potential for increasing their assets who are starting their careers should seek a financial planner, says Eric Roberge, a fee-only certified financial planner in Boston and founder of <a href="http://beyondyourhammock.com/">Beyond Your Hammock</a>. This is especially true for a single person earning at least $75,000 a year or a couple earning $150,000 because they should have more money to invest, Roberge says.</p> <h2>3. Sudden Wealth</h2> <p>An inheritance, insurance payout, lump-sum pension payment, divorce settlement, lottery winning, or any other sudden influx of new money can burn a hole in a pocket, says Mike Sena, a certified financial planner at <a href="http://www.whitestreetadvisors.com/">White Street Advisors</a> in Roswell, GA. It can be tempting to splurge a little &mdash; or a lot. Instead, seek advice on how best to use your windfall now &mdash; and for years to come.</p> <h2>4. Death in the Family</h2> <p>The death of a close relative can be a key time to get financial help. You could face tax implications or need help with estate planning, for example.</p> <p>Roberge had a client who didn't seek his advice after her father died with a $600,000 annuity she inherited, and she took some money out of the annuity. She ended up having to pay a $40,000 tax bill, which Roberge says he could have helped her avoid.</p> <h2>5. Passing on a Family Business</h2> <p>Your parents and grandparents may want you to continue running the family business when they die, but you may not. This is a conversation that a financial advisor can help with early, says <a href="http://charleskochel.com/">Charles Kochel</a>, a wealth advisor for a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor in Arkansas. Kochel specializes in helping farmers transfer the family farm from one generation to the next.</p> <p>&quot;A major concern of a large family farm is legacy planning,&quot; he says. &quot;The issue is usually lack of communication. Multigenerational farmers assume the next generation will want to come back home, after college, and manage the farm or the assumption is that farming may prove too costly.</p> <p>&quot;A series of conversations needs to take place, often emotional and uncomfortable,&quot; Kochel says. &quot;A family meeting and ongoing proactive conversations help monitor the wants and needs of the entire legacy.&quot;</p> <p>The family will likely evolve over the years, and a financial advisor can help systemize the process and create an ongoing conversation that will move the estate planning beyond a one-time event.</p> <h2>6. Big Drop in the Stock Market</h2> <p>If your portfolio includes stocks, a financial advisor can help you come up with a financial plan, and stick to it.</p> <p>&quot;Most people think they can handle their own investments, but when the stock market drops, they start second-guessing their plan,&quot; says Tyler Gray, a financial planner at <a href="http://www.sageoakfinancial.com/">Sage Oak Financial</a> in Tulsa, OK.</p> <p>In 2008-09, for example, &quot;you had a lot of people who pulled out of the market at the worst possible time because they didn't have an advisor to help them stay disciplined,&quot; Gray says. &quot;The worst part is that many of these folks never got back in the market and have missed out on a lot of growth over the last five years.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Growing Family</h2> <p>Whether you're getting married or having children, it's best to have a financial conversation ahead of time, Sena suggests. New couples merging finances or planning for a baby and all of the costs that go into raising a child should have a financial plan.</p> <p>&quot;In general, anyone who is not meeting or exceeding their life and financial goals should work with an advisor,&quot; White says. &quot;Most of us are simply too close to our money to be objective.&quot;</p> <p>For better or worse, major life events can cause people to rethink their lives and plan for the future. Planning for a financial future should be part of many major events in life.</p> <p><em>Have you ever sought advice from a financial planner? What prompted you? Was the advice worthwhile and helpful? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">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/intimidated-by-retirement-investing-get-professional-help">Intimidated by Retirement Investing? Get Professional Help!</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/is-this-hidden-cost-sapping-your-retirement-savings">Is This Hidden Cost Sapping Your Retirement Savings?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</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-ways-investing-sucks-and-why-you-should-do-it-anyway">7 Ways Investing Sucks (and Why You Should Do It Anyway)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-false-allure-of-compound-interest">The False Allure of Compound Interest</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Debt Management Investment Retirement debt financial planner financial planning investing retirement Mon, 03 Nov 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1248279 at http://www.wisebread.com The NFL's 5 Most Frugal Players http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/american-football-iStock_000033233020Small.jpg" alt="american football" title="american football" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Professional football players are among the highest-paid people in America, and yet the story of the bankrupt NFL retiree is so common it's become a stereotype. Sports Illustrated reported that 78% of former <a href="http://www.si.com/vault/2009/03/23/105789480/how-and-why-athletes-go-broke">NFL players experience financial hardship</a> after just two years of retirement.</p> <p>That's no great wonder, when you read about rampant spending of newly rich players, like Chad Ochocinco spending $100,000 for his own <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/775852-7-most-ridiculous-purchases-in-nfl-history/page/2">personalized semi truck</a>. Other players lend to friends and family who see their new salaries as limitless lending accounts, or, as inexperienced investors, sink money into ventures that never pay off.</p> <p>So it's refreshing to hear these five players &mdash; well compensated all &mdash; talk about gas mileage, retirement accounts, and distinguishing &quot;needs&quot; from &quot;wants.&quot; Read on to see who makes the list of the NFL's Most Frugal.</p> <h2>1. Aaron Rodgers</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Green Bay Packers</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Quarterback</p> <p>As one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Rodgers earns about <a href="http://www.forbes.com/profile/aaron-rodgers/">$22 million a year</a> in salary and endorsements. Yet he lives in a relatively ordinary &mdash; <a href="http://www.celebrityhousepictures.com/aaron-rodgers.php">some might even say ugly</a> &mdash; home in a suburb of Green Bay. He <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2013/06/09/quarterback-aaron-rodgers-q-and-a-mike-mccarthy-/2404843/">mows his own lawn</a>, shops at Piggly Wiggly, and likes to hang out at a modest-looking place called Chives Restaurant.</p> <h2>2. Giovani Bernard</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Cincinnati Bengals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Running Back</p> <p>Bernard signed a $5.253 million dollar contract in 2013, plus a $2.2 million signing bonus &mdash; hefty for a rookie. But instead of buying a custom Hummer with his first paycheck, he <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/giovani-bernard-lives-simple-rookie-life-including-driving-223332867.html">drives a minivan</a> he borrowed from his girlfriend's mother. He lives in a modest apartment near the stadium.</p> <p>Bernard knows how unexpectedly hard times can turn life upside down. After his mother died when he was a child, Bernard lived with his father, who owned a dry cleaning business. But when Bernard was in high school, his dad lost the business &mdash; and the two <a href="http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/patriots/content/20141004-trip-to-foxboro-reunites-giovani-bernard-with-friend-who-once-provided-a-home.ece">lost their home</a>. Bernard moved in with the family of his best friend, James White, now a <a href="http://projostats.projo.com/fb/playerstats.asp?id=27658&amp;team=17">running back for the New England Patriots</a>.</p> <h2>3. Antonio Cromartie</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Arizona Cardinals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>After <a href="http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/jets/antonio-cromartie-an-unlikely-mentor-for-younger-players-dealing-with-financial-issues-1.5386541">blowing an estimated $5 million</a> in his first two years playing football on nine (NINE!!) cars, lavish jewelry, and two homes, Cromartie realized he had spent everything he had coming to him. Instead of spiraling into debt, though, Cromartie wised up, sold the excess stuff, and bought a Prius.</p> <p>&quot;I'll fill it up every two and a half weeks or so, and I'm only spending 33 bucks, while everybody else is spending 80 or 90 bucks a tank,&quot; he told Newsday. &quot;Right now, I'm all about saving money.&quot;</p> <p>He'll need it: Cromartie is the father of 10.</p> <p>Cromartie now has his retirement account fully funded through age 100, and he advises younger teammates on how to avoid making the same mistakes he did.</p> <h2>4. Rod Smith</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Denver Broncos (retired)</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Wide Receiver</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciajessop/2012/10/31/not-broke-how-nfl-players-stay-financially-stable-after-the-game-ends/">Smith told Forbes</a> that he lives well in retirement because he always kept his post-NFL life in mind during his playing days, which led him to avoid spending like some of his teammates did: &quot;The most luxurious thing I bought was my house. I wasn't a big jewelry or car guy. I don't have Ferraris and Bentleys. I had a motto that I lived by, 'There are two places I want to look good at: home and practice.'&quot;</p> <h2>5. Prince Amukamara</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: New York Giants</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>Amukamara isn't just a professional football player, he's also <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/outside-game-prince-amukamara-royal-lineage-explains-name-205803570&mdash;nfl.html">Nigerian royalty</a>. Really. And no, he didn't email me about how I could get $100,000 if only I helped him transfer some money.</p> <p>Despite his paycheck and his pedigree, Amukamara isn't a wild spender.</p> <p>Back in 2011, just after leaving the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the NFL, he tweeted that he was &quot;<a href="https://twitter.com/PrinceAmukamara/status/136273464746184704">looking at getting a good deal at Husker Auto</a>.&quot; Apparently he proceeded directly to the <a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/prince-amukamara-a-frugal-football-rookie/">used car section</a> and successfully bargained for a lower price on an SUV by paying cash.</p> <p>A subsequent <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/2d5zh7/i_am_prince_amukamara_new_york_giants_cb_and/">&quot;Ask Me Anything&quot; session on Reddit</a> revealed more signs of Amukamara's frugal nature. He said the most common mistake NFL rookies make is &quot;Spending their money on 'wants' and not 'needs'.&quot; He also said that his favorite place to visit when he plays in California is In-N-Out Burger, where meals are under $10.</p> <p>Being thrifty is not the same as being a tightwad, though. Amukamara once spent<a href="http://www.sportsmedia101.com/newyorkgiants/2012/07/20/new-york-giants-prince-amukamara-donates-10000-to-nebraska-high-school-football-program/"> $10,000 outfitting a Nebraska high school football team</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you heard any tales of frugal-minded sports stars? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players" class="sharethis-link" title="The NFL&#039;s 5 Most Frugal Players" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players">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/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</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-stop-hating-yourself-about-money-and-actually-make-positive-changes">How to Stop Hating Yourself About Money and Actually Make Positive Changes</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/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</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/are-you-saving-too-much">Are You Saving Too Much?</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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Lifestyle frugal lifestyle retirement saving thrift wealth Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1245699 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Lessons People Learn at Their First Job http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-lessons-people-learn-at-their-first-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-lessons-people-learn-at-their-first-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed-businessman-479146411-small.jpg" alt="stressed businessman" title="stressed businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your first job teaches a lot of important lessons. For example, you learn how to be punctual, how to get along with others, and how to develop a thick skin. But these aren't the only lessons you learn. A first job teaches several lessons specifically devoted to money, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retail-job-lessons-learning?ref=seealso">7 Lessons Learned From Working Retail</a>)</p> <p>Here are five key ones.</p> <h2>1. You'll Bring Home Far Less Than You Expected</h2> <p>Whether your first job is in high school or after college, the amount you bring home is always less than your hourly wage or salary. Although everyone knows about the Tax Man, you might be surprised to learn just how much of your check goes toward federal and state taxes. You can lose up to 25% of your pay to taxes, and that's before other payroll deductions, such as retirement, disability insurance, and 401(k) contributions. So, if you're earning $50,000 a year, don't get excited and think you'll bring home $4,000 a month. After subtracting all deductions, you'll be lucky to bring home $3,000 a month.</p> <h2>2. You Realize How Much Things Really Cost</h2> <p>If you're living at home with your parents supporting you, you may not fully realize how hard it is to stretch a buck. Getting a first job can also give us a dose of reality. Before, you might have spent your allowance impulsively. But now, you have to budget and track where your money goes. This may seem like a major downer, but you'll develop smart money habits that offer long-term benefits. If you have a budget, it'll be easier to live within your means.</p> <h2>3. The Job Perks Aren't Always Attractive</h2> <p>While preparing for your first job in college, you might envision yourself working for a company that offers amazing benefits, such as a 401(k) match and paid health insurance. But once you get into the workforce, the reality isn't as picturesque.</p> <p>The truth is, many employers have been hit with economic problems and don't have the cash flow to offer an attractive benefits package. To survive, these companies might ditch their 401(k) match program and they may no longer offer paid employee health insurance, or they'll pay a very small percentage of this insurance. Either way, the absence of these perks can impact how fast you're able to grow your retirement account; and if you're paying your own health insurance, that's less money on your paycheck.</p> <h2>4. Bosses Don't Give Money That You Don't Ask For</h2> <p>If you're interviewing for a first job after college, you may feel that your knowledge justifies a particular wage or salary. However, your boss may offer far less for the position than you anticipated. Like most things in life, salaries are negotiable; and if you don't open your mouth and negotiate your salary, don't expect your boss to pay up.</p> <p>Even if you don't receive the salary or wage you had in mind, your boss might be willing to meet you halfway &mdash; but you won't know unless you ask. There's a simple way to approach this situation. You can say something like, &quot;I appreciate the offer of $30,000, but I was hoping to be in the $37,000 range based on my degree and average salaries in the area.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-higher-pay-at-your-next-new-job?ref=seealso">How to Negotiate Higher Pay at Your Next New Job</a>)</p> <p>If you start practicing how to negotiate salaries early in your career, you'll master this art and become skilled as you move up the corporate ladder.</p> <h2>5. Buying Lunch Every Day Adds Up</h2> <p>When you're rushing to leave the house each morning, there might be little time to make your lunch &mdash; or maybe you don't like sandwiches or frozen meals and prefer grabbing a hot meal each day. It might be fun and convenient to dine out with your coworkers, but one thing you'll learn at your first job &mdash; especially if it's also your first full-time job &mdash; buying lunch every day adds up.</p> <p>You might only spend $5 a day on food and coffee, but that's $25 a week or $100 a month. Since your first job will likely have an entry-level salary, spending $100 a month on lunch might be too much for a modest salary. There are better uses for your money, such as contributing more to a retirement account or beefing up your emergency savings account.</p> <p><em>Do you have other lessons to add that people learn at their first job? Did you learn it the hard way? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-lessons-people-learn-at-their-first-job" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Money Lessons People Learn at Their First Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/5-money-lessons-people-learn-at-their-first-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-new-job-heres-your-financial-to-do-list">Got a New Job? Here&#039;s Your Financial To-Do List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-we-dont-make-anymore-and-2-we-still-do">6 Financial Mistakes We Don&#039;t Make Anymore (and 2 We Still Do)</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-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</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/is-six-figures-really-that-much">Is Six Figures Really That Much?</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/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance Career and Income first job money lessons paycheck retirement taxes Mon, 06 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1227737 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Miss Kiplinger and NAPFA's Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Day! http://www.wisebread.com/dont-miss-kiplinger-and-napfas-jump-start-your-retirement-plan-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-miss-kiplinger-and-napfas-jump-start-your-retirement-plan-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retirement-savings-jar-86528026-small.jpg" alt="retirement savings jar" title="retirement savings jar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On September 25th from 9:00am EST through 5:00pm EST, Kiplinger and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) in association with the NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation will be holding Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Day! There will be an online chat at <a href="http://live.kiplinger.com/Event/Jump-Start_Your_Retirement_Plan_September_2014">live.kiplinger.com</a> to ensure Americans are prepared for retirement. Twenty-five financial advisors will be available to answer your question on topics including:</p> <ul> <li>Taxes and Retirement</li> <li>Saving for Retirement</li> <li>Income in Retirement</li> <li>Other Retirement-Related Financial Challenges</li> </ul> <p>If you want to participate, submit your questions in advance or during the chat!&nbsp;You can read about retirement-planning challenges at <a href="http://live.kiplinger.com/Event/Jump-Start_Your_Retirement_Plan_September_2014">live.kiplinger.com</a> as well as read questions and answers or request financial advice by tweeting using #JumpStart.</p> <p>Here is some information about Kiplinger, NAPFA, and The NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation:</p> <blockquote><p> <strong>About Kiplinger</strong></p> <p>For nine decades, the Kiplinger organization has led the way in personal finance and business forecasting. Founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger, the company developed one of the nation's first successful newsletters in modern times. The Kiplinger Letter, launched in 1923, remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947, Kiplinger created the nation's first personal finance magazine. Kiplinger.com is the fastest growing Web site in the personal finance space. Located in the heart of our nation's capital, the Kiplinger editors remain dedicated to delivering sound, unbiased advice for your family and your business in clear, concise language. Become a fan of Kiplinger on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kiplingers-Personal-Finance-magazine/65904782836">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/">Kiplinger.com</a> and follow Kiplinger on <a href="http://kiplinger.tumblr.com/">Tumblr</a> and <a href="http://twitter.com/kiplinger">Twitter</a>.</p> <p><strong>About NAPFA</strong><br /> Since 1983, The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) has provided Fee-Only financial planners across the country with some of the strictest guidelines possible for professional competency, comprehensive financial planning, and Fee-Only compensation. With more than 2,400 members across the country, NAPFA has become the leading professional association in the United States dedicated to the advancement of Fee-Only financial planning.<br /> <strong><br /> About The NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation</strong><br /> The NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation is built upon the expertise of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisor&rsquo;s 2,500 members and its high standing within the industry. The Foundation makes grants to organizations that demonstrate the ability to educate consumers about basic personal financial issues. The Foundation will partner with recognized educational organizations to expand the breadth, depth, and distribution of consumer financial education programming, including materials developed by NAPFA. </p></blockquote> <blockquote><p>For more information about the Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Days, please visit <a href="http://live.kiplinger.com/Event/Jump-Start_Your_Retirement_Plan_September_2014" target="_blank">http://live.kiplinger.com/</a> or contact Alex Kutler at <a href="mailto:alex@rosengrouppr.com">alex@rosengrouppr.com</a>.</p> </blockquote> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-miss-kiplinger-and-napfas-jump-start-your-retirement-plan-day" class="sharethis-link" title="Don&#039;t Miss Kiplinger and NAPFA&#039;s Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Day!" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-miss-kiplinger-and-napfas-jump-start-your-retirement-plan-day">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-5"> <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/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-1218-12pm-pst-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 12/18, 12pm PST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes!</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/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-1120-12pm-pst3pm-est-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 11/20, 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes!</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/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-417-12pm-pst-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 4/17, 12pm PST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes!</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-financial-mistakes-we-dont-make-anymore-and-2-we-still-do">6 Financial Mistakes We Don&#039;t Make Anymore (and 2 We Still Do)</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-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Announcements Kiplinger retirement Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:00:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1219952 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-top-10-retirement-planning-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-top-10-retirement-planning-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retirement-planning-stress-176759357-small.jpg" alt="retirement planning stress" title="retirement planning stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on retirement planning mistakes, money rules that nobody will ever teach you, and budgeting on a variable income.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/retirement-planning-mistakes/">Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes &mdash; Are You Making Any of Them?</a> &mdash; Are you making the retirement planning mistake of not saving enough? What about waiting too long to start saving? [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://studenomics.com/personal-finance/secret-money-rules/">The Secret Money Rules That Nobody Will Ever Teach You</a> &mdash; Chances are, no one will teach you that you should always live within your means. [Studenomics]</p> <p><a href="http://kylieofiu.com/2014/09/budgeting-on-a-variable-income/">Budgeting on a Variable Income</a> &mdash; It is vital to gather all your bills and track your spending when you budget on a variable income. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/one-person-responsible-financial-decisions/">The One Person Responsible for Your Financial Decisions</a> &mdash; Remember that financial advice, no matter how reasonable, is not one size fits all. [Mighty Bargain Hunter]</p> <p><a href="http://citi.us/1p0oTpk">6 Ways to Keep Your Top-Performing Millennials on Board</a> &mdash; Creating opportunities for international travel can help companies keep millennials on board. [Women &amp; Co]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/get-off-the-grid/">How to Get Off the Grid</a> &mdash; To get off the grid, consider trying to grow your own food. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2014/09/old-age-toll-physical-emotional-financial.html">Getting Old Sucks. We Can't Stop Father Time, But We Can Prepare Physically, Emotionally and Financially</a> &mdash; Are you taking advantage of how the tax code can help you in retirement? [Don't Mess With Taxes]</p> <p><a href="http://sweatingthebigstuff.com/ways-reduce-financial-stress/">4 Ways to Reduce Financial Stress</a> &mdash; If you want to reduce financial stress, create a budget and earn more money. [Sweating the Big Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Magic-Eraser-Uses-35760193">37 Creative Uses for Your Magic Eraser</a> &mdash; Use your magic eraser to remove stains on dishes and clean the inside of your oven. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/20-mostly-free-ways-to-enjoy-fall-with-your-family">20 Mostly Free Ways to Enjoy Fall With Your Family</a> &mdash; Enjoy fall with your family without breaking the bank by making hot apple cider and visiting a local farm. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-top-10-retirement-planning-mistakes" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-top-10-retirement-planning-mistakes">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-6"> <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-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford</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-balance-saving-for-retirement-emergency-fund-and-paying-off-debt">How to Balance Saving for Retirement, Emergency Fund, and Paying Off Debt</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/just-saving-isnt-enough-how-cash-flow-allocation-helps-you-retire">Just Saving Isn&#039;t Enough: How Cash Flow Allocation Helps You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things">If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Retirement best money tips Mistakes retirement Wed, 24 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1219314 at http://www.wisebread.com Why One-Third of Americans Haven't Saved for Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/why-one-third-of-americans-havent-saved-for-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-one-third-of-americans-havent-saved-for-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old-man-frustrated-bills-179813059-small.jpg" alt="old man frustrated" title="old man frustrated" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More than a third of <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/survey-36-percent-not-saving-for-retirement.aspx">Americans haven't started saving for retirement</a>, according to a recent report by Bankrate.com. Interestingly, it's not just young workers who aren't banking their bucks. The survey found that more than a quarter of those aged 50 &ndash; 64 haven't started saving for retirement, either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-supercharge-your-retirement?ref=seealso">10 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement</a>)</p> <p>While it's true that the current generation of retirees and pre-retirees are more likely to have a pension plan to cushion their financial burden, the Bankrate.com results point to a staggering conclusion. A large number of Americans &mdash; regardless of age &mdash; are unprepared to take financial responsibility for retirement. So, what's holding us back?</p> <h2>1. We're Living Paycheck to Paycheck</h2> <p>One-third of American households <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/bpea/papers/2014/wealthy-hand-to-mouth">live paycheck to paycheck</a>. Of those families, 66% are middle class and have a median income of $41,000.</p> <p>It's difficult to save for retirement when disposable income is limited, but if you manage to do it, most employers offer a match on your 401(k) contributions. An employer match can add a substantial boost to your retirement account balance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trick-yourself-into-saving-more-of-your-biweekly-paychecks?ref=seealso">Trick Yourself into Saving More of Your Biweekly Paychecks</a>)</p> <h2>2. We Procrastinate</h2> <p>It's tempting to put big decisions off and wait for the next big raise, until the next bill is paid off, or until the kids are through college. The problem, <a href="https://time.com/money/3265108/retirement-savings-crisis-solution/">as defined by one financial journalist</a>, is that savings levels aren't all that different between new workers and those already retired.</p> <p>Putting an end to procrastination can have a monumental effect on your end balance. According to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 401(k) participants who consistently contributed to their accounts over the five years ending in 2012<a href="http://www.ebri.org/pdf/PR1089.Longit.31July14.pdf"> saw a healthy 6.8% average annual uptick</a> in their collective balances, even despite a 34.7% drop during the financial crisis of 2008.</p> <p>Further, the earlier you start, the easier it is to build substantial savings. In his analysis of the Bankrate.com poll results, Greg McBride, CFA and Bankrate's chief financial analyst says, &quot;the power of compounding is most evident over long periods of time, and having a longer period of time for your retirement savings to grow and compound makes today's contributions much more impactful.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start?ref=seealso">This is Why You Can't Postpone Planning for Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>3. We Don't Have a Retirement Plan at Work</h2> <p>Even if you don't have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings option, don't let that keep you from having a plan of your own. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute study noted above, those with a plan are 72% likely to feel very or somewhat confident about their prospects for retirement. Those without a plan, meanwhile, are 69% more likely to feel not at all or not too confident about retirement.</p> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/01/pf/expert/retirement-savings/">Those without a plan</a> can benefit from several plans such as the traditional IRA, Roth IRA, MyRA, or a traditional brokerage account.</p> <h2>4. We're in Denial</h2> <p>Some workers assume they can maintain their current workload for the remainder of their lives and so choose to forego or limit retirement savings. While later-life retirements are increasing in frequency, the assumption that one can work until death doesn't account for uncontrollable factors like an unexpected job loss or medical issue.</p> <p>Even among those who are saving, many are not saving enough. In <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/101480388%23">a recent article</a>, one finance giant CEO tagged the average retirement contribution level at 6% while suggesting that 10% would be better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-harmful-money-beliefs-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso">6 Harmful Money Beliefs That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <p>Low or nonexistent contribution levels indicate that many workers aren't taking the time to figure out just <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-need-to-retire">how much they'll need in retirement</a>. Being aware of your end goal number is the first step to getting financially prepared for retirement &mdash; at every age.</p> <p><em>Are you among the one-third of Americans who haven't saved for retirement?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-one-third-of-americans-havent-saved-for-retirement" class="sharethis-link" title="Why One-Third of Americans Haven&#039;t Saved for Retirement" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-one-third-of-americans-havent-saved-for-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-7"> <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/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things">If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things</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-tax-moves-you-need-to-make-right-now">6 Tax Moves You Need to Make Right Now</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/you-may-be-putting-your-retirement-money-in-the-wrong-place">You May Be Putting Your Retirement Money in the Wrong Place</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Debt Management Retirement 401(k) retirement saving Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:00:06 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1218886 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Where Do You Want to Retire? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-where-do-you-want-to-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-where-do-you-want-to-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-couple-motorcycle-167449264-small.jpg" alt="senior couple motorcycle" title="senior couple motorcycle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-where-do-you-want-to-retire#comment-754938">Elle</a>, Betty, and Suz_Glo for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Retirement planning is a big deal for most of us. We want to have enough money to support a comfortable retirement &mdash; who doesn't? How much money each person needs will depend on their expected standard of living, and a major component of <em>that</em> is where you plan to spend your golden years.</p> <p><strong>Where do you want retire?</strong> Is it somewhere close to home, or somewhere completely different from where you are now? Do you plan to settle down, or will you be traveling the world?</p> <p>Tell us where you want to retire and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa135/" class="rafl" id="rc-79857dfa135">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script></p> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 15th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 15th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-where-do-you-want-to-retire" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: Where Do You Want to Retire?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us where you want to retire and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-where-do-you-want-to-retire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <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/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</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/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</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/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</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/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-celebrate-fathers-day">Ask the Readers: How Will You Celebrate Father&#039;s Day?</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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Giveaways Ask the Readers retirement Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:00:10 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1204542 at http://www.wisebread.com You May Be Putting Your Retirement Money in the Wrong Place http://www.wisebread.com/you-may-be-putting-your-retirement-money-in-the-wrong-place <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-may-be-putting-your-retirement-money-in-the-wrong-place" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-reading-newspaper-122577774-small.jpg" alt="man reading newspaper" title="man reading newspaper" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many investors, their primary &mdash; if not only &mdash; retirement investment account is their workplace 401(k) plan. But if you also have an IRA, perhaps because you rolled over the balance of a workplace plan from a former employer, it's important to make sure your account is at the best broker. Making that determination depends mostly on the size of your portfolio, the types of investments you prefer, and how much trading you do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/begin-your-investing-career-right-with-some-mutual-fund-basics?ref=seealso">Begin Your Investment Career Right With Some Mutual Fund Basics</a>)</p> <p>Let's take a look at some of the variables.</p> <h2>Portfolio Size</h2> <p>If you're just getting started with investing, the minimum amounts required to open a brokerage account (where you'll be able to open an IRA and buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, and other types of investments) are a good starting point for choosing a broker.</p> <p>Several brokers require no minimums for opening an account, including TD Ameritrade, E*TRADE, and ShareBuilder. At Fidelity, the minimum to open an IRA is usually $2,500, but if you commit to investing $200 per month automatically, you can open an account with your first $200.</p> <h2>Preferred Investments</h2> <p>What types of investments do you want to make and how often do you plan to trade? The main investment choices are stocks or mutual funds.</p> <h3>Stock Investing</h3> <p>While I recommend mutual funds over individual stocks for most people because funds are inherently diversified and therefore usually less risky, if you prefer stocks you can usually find a broker running a promotion for a certain number of free trades. For example, OptionsHouse is offering 150 commission-free trades for those opening a new account. After that, their commission is a low $4.75 per trade. TradeKing's stock commissions are almost as low at $4.95 per trade.</p> <p>It doesn't take much money to invest in stocks since you can buy as little as one share. For example, as of this writing, one share of Microsoft could be purchased for a little over $45 plus commission. Of course, you'll need to invest in more than one company in order to be adequately diversified, so the lower the trading fees the better.</p> <h3>Mutual Fund Investing</h3> <p>All mutual funds have minimum initial investment amounts that need to be taken into account, often starting at $1,000. In many cases, you'll also pay a transaction fee (commission). However, this is an area where brokers distinguish themselves by offering a number of no transaction fee (NTF) funds. Fidelity, Schwab, and Scottrade are some of the leaders here. Fidelity, for example, offers nearly 3,000 NTF funds. The fee for investing in most of the other funds offered through Fidelity's platform is $49.95, although some cost $75.</p> <p>To make up for the fee income they forego by offering NTF funds, brokers typically charge a short-term trading fee if you sell certain NTF funds within 60 to 180 days. For its funds that such fees apply to, Fidelity's short-term period is 60 days, which is the shortest short-term trading period I'm aware of. If you sell any of those funds more quickly than that, you'll pay a fee of $75. Schwab's and Scottrade's short-term holding period is 90 days. TD Ameritrade requires that you hold some of its funds for at least 180 days.</p> <p>If you're a buy-and-hold investor, short-term holding period restrictions may not matter to you. But if your <a href="http://www.soundmindinvesting.com/visitor/2013/oct/level2.htm">investment strategy</a> calls for a certain amount of trading throughout the year, such restrictions, and the potential fees involved, can make a big difference.</p> <p>If you're strictly an index fund investor and are partial to the low-cost funds offered by Vanguard, the company that invented index funds, open your account there. The vast majority of Vanguard's mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are commission-free. You can buy Vanguard's funds through other brokers, but you'll usually have to pay a commission for doing so.</p> <h3>Exchange-Traded Funds</h3> <p>ETFs are considered a type of mutual fund since they hold multiple stocks or other funds. However, they are bought and sold in a fashion similar to stocks. Investors can purchase a single share, for example, and the commission structure is typically the same as what a broker charges for stocks. Here, too, some brokers offer a number of no-commission ETFs. Schwab, for example, offers over 100 ETFs that may be bought or sold without paying a fee. Fidelity offers 80. Some brokers charge a short-term redemption fee if you sell a commission-free ETF within a certain time frame.</p> <p>Stocks and funds. If you invest in both stocks and mutual funds, you'll want a broker that charges a reasonable commission for stock trades and offers a wide assortment of no transaction fee mutual funds. Whereas ShareBuilder offers both types of investments and charges just $6.95 per stock trade, its lineup of NTF mutual funds is very limited. In this situation, Fidelity, Schwab, or Scottrade may be better options.</p> <p>As you can see, there are lots of choices when it comes to brokerage houses, and this represents only a framework for making an informed choice. See if account minimums apply to you and make sure you understand the fees involved for making the types of investments you prefer and for trading them as frequently as you plan to. Be sure to look at more than just the commission schedule, understanding short-term holding period requirements as well.</p> <p><em>If you have investments outside of a work 401(k), where do you keep them? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-may-be-putting-your-retirement-money-in-the-wrong-place" class="sharethis-link" title="You May Be Putting Your Retirement Money in the Wrong Place" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-may-be-putting-your-retirement-money-in-the-wrong-place">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/7-ways-investing-sucks-and-why-you-should-do-it-anyway">7 Ways Investing Sucks (and Why You Should Do It Anyway)</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/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-silly-reasons-people-dont-invest-but-should">9 Silly Reasons People Don&#039;t Invest (But Should)</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/this-one-thing-will-get-you-to-1-million-tax-free">This One Thing Will Get You to $1 Million (Tax-Free!)</a></span> </div> </li> <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/intimidated-by-retirement-investing-get-professional-help">Intimidated by Retirement Investing? Get Professional Help!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Investment 401(k) investing IRA retirement retirement saving saving Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:00:11 +0000 Matt Bell 1196855 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Investing Sucks (and Why You Should Do It Anyway) http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-investing-sucks-and-why-you-should-do-it-anyway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-investing-sucks-and-why-you-should-do-it-anyway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-financial-trouble-178554212-small.jpg" alt="couple financial trouble" title="couple financial trouble" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Okay, so you're thinking about investing, but you're finding it all to be bit annoying. Too much confusing information. Too much risk. Too many hidden costs. Yeah, investing kinda sucks.</p> <p>But here's the thing. You have to do it. It's not really an optional thing anymore if you want to build wealth over the long term. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-concepts-to-ignore-and-10-to-follow?ref=seealso">10 Investing Concepts to Follow</a>)</p> <p>Let's take a look at some of the biggest problems with investing, and why you should do it anyway.</p> <h2>1. It Can Be Confusing and Scary at First</h2> <p>If you're new to investing, you will probably find yourself overwhelmed by it all. There's a lot of special lingo and confusing terms, and you may have no idea how to even get started. You're afraid your money may disappear, and besides, the notion of saving for retirement seems ridiculous when you're young.</p> <h3>Why You Should Invest Anyway</h3> <p>Fear is normal, but you should not let it be an obstacle to getting started. When done sensibly, investing is a tremendous avenue to building financial security and wealth. And it's best to get started as soon as you can.</p> <p>Start slowly by investing a modest amount of money in a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account. Educate yourself about the basics of individual stocks and mutual funds. Read a few annual reports and a prospectus or two. And don't be afraid to seek advice. Find a certified financial planner who can help you get started for a relatively small fee. If you open an account with a discount broker such as Fidelity or Charles Schwab (a good idea), advice is often included at no cost, and these firms offer useful self-help videos and webinars. Get started. You won't regret it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/begin-your-investing-career-right-with-some-mutual-fund-basics?ref=seealso">Begin Your Investing Career Right</a>)</p> <h2>2 . It Takes Time to Manage</h2> <p>True, you'd rather be living your life than worrying about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and earnings reports. Every moment you spend watching the stock market is one less moment playing with your kids, watching a ballgame, or working on your novel.</p> <h3>Why You Should Invest Anyway</h3> <p>It's not as time-consuming as you think. A simple, balanced portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds doesn't require a lot of maintenance once you're all set up. If you are investing for retirement, you could go weeks without even checking your balance (and it's probably healthier for you mentally, too.)</p> <h2>3. It Might Take Away From Your Day-to-Day Living Expenses</h2> <p>If you decide to direct 5% of your salary to your 401(k), that's money you won't have available to spend. You'll have 5% less cash to do things like pay the rent, go out to eat, or take a vacation. And that stinks.</p> <h3>Why You Should Invest Anyway</h3> <p>If you <em>don't</em> sock that money away, you'll likely have a terrible retirement. The key is to invest as much money as you can and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Learn to live more frugally if you have to. You'll survive, and your future self will thank you.</p> <p>Investing for the long haul is the best approach, but you can also boost your income now through dividends and capital gains.</p> <h2>4. You May Lose Money in the Short Term</h2> <p>Investing comes with risk. Any money you place in the stock market or other investments could decline in value, as anyone who endured the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 can attest. And losing money sucks.</p> <h3>Why You Should Invest Anyway</h3> <p>There may be years in which the markets take a dive, but it's important to know that the S&amp;P 500 <a href="http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/datafile/histretSP.html">has averaged a return of more than 9% annually</a> since 1928. The key here is to avoid day-to-day market watching and take a long-term approach to investing. Don't think about how a stock or mutual fund has performed over the last week or even the last year. Think about how it will perform between now and when you want to retire. The longer you invest, the more likely you are to see your money grow substantially. (This is also an argument in favor of getting started as early as you can.) (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-time-horizons-to-make-smarter-investments?ref=seealso">Using Time Horizons to Make Smarter Investments</a>)</p> <p>It's important to note that you'll be protected against big losses if you have a diversified portfolio. Index funds are a great way to invest in the broader stock market and protect yourself against wild price swings. If you want to invest in individual stocks, buy shares of large, diversified companies that offer strong historical returns.</p> <p>If you are getting close to retirement, financial advisors suggest changing the mix of your investment portfolio to include safer investments like bonds and CDs.</p> <h2>5. Fees</h2> <p>Just about every time you invest, someone takes a small portion of your money. You might pay something like $9 every time you trade. If you invest in mutual funds, the managers of those funds might take a percentage point or two for their expenses.</p> <h3>Why You Should Invest Anyway</h3> <p>Over time, market returns usually more than offset any fees you pay. And you can avoid paying high fees in many cases. Discount brokers including Vanguard, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab offer well-performing Index funds with expense ratios of a tenth of a percent or even less. Also keep an eye out for investments that can be traded without a commission. (Fidelity, for instance, allows investors to trade its iShares Exchange Traded Funds <em>at no charge</em>.)</p> <h2>6. Taxes</h2> <p>Wait, so I have to pay normal taxes on my salary, and then I have to pay 15% or more in taxes on any capital gains and dividends from the money I choose to invest? This sucks!</p> <h3>Why You Should Invest Anyway</h3> <p>You wouldn't forego your salary because you have to pay taxes on it, would you? The same goes for investments. But it's important to know that even though the taxman likes to take his chunk, it's fairly easy to avoid or reduce the amount you pay. When you invest in a 401(k) or traditional IRA, the amount you contribute is deducted from your taxable income. If you contribute to a Roth IRA, you can withdraw your money as well as the capital gains tax-free when you retire. Other accounts, such as 529 College savings plans and similar education accounts can also allow you invest tax-free and have other tax benefits.</p> <p>There are other ways to avoid paying too much in taxes. It's worth a visit to your accountant to find the best way to invest and keep more of the money you earn.</p> <h2>7. You May Have to Wait to Get Your Money</h2> <p>One of the tough things about saving for retirement is that you often can't access your money until you reach a certain age. Most individual retirement accounts and 410(k) plans will not let you withdraw money before age 59&frac12; without paying a 10% penalty. You might have hundreds of thousands of dollars in an account, but you'll get stung if you withdraw that dough early.</p> <h3>Why You Should Invest Anyway</h3> <p>For most people, the primary goal of investing is to build wealth for retirement. It's important to understand that retirement planning is a marathon, not a sprint. Leaving your money alone for a long time will help it grow. Consider that if you invest $100 a month from now until 2039, you'll have about $221,000 based on average market returns. Keep going until 2045, and you'll have $356,000. That's right, an extra five years in this scenario will land you 65% more money. So embrace the wait. Waiting is your friend.</p> <p><em>What's keeping you from investing? Let us know in comments, and we'll see if we can't convince you why you should anyway.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-investing-sucks-and-why-you-should-do-it-anyway" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways Investing Sucks (and Why You Should Do It Anyway)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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-ways-investing-sucks-and-why-you-should-do-it-anyway">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/you-may-be-putting-your-retirement-money-in-the-wrong-place">You May Be Putting Your Retirement Money in the Wrong Place</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/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/intimidated-by-retirement-investing-get-professional-help">Intimidated by Retirement Investing? Get Professional Help!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things">If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Investment 401(k) investing IRA retirement Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1185370 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unexpected Things You Should Consider When Picking Where You Retire http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-things-you-should-consider-when-picking-where-you-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unexpected-things-you-should-consider-when-picking-where-you-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-couple-touring-166160155-small.jpg" alt="senior couple touring" title="senior couple touring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retirement often brings about relocation &mdash; possibly to a warmer area, a place with better health care, a quieter community, or just wherever Sal and Judy ended up. What a nice couple!</p> <p>Retirees often focus on things like hospitals, access to national parks, closeness to family, or an established community of senior citizens &mdash; and rightly so. Yet, while these factors will play a major part in the quality of a retiree's life, they aren't the only ones that should be considered.</p> <p>What about other factors that we don't immediately associate with where we're going to retire? Are we being too minimal when we consider the &quot;ideal&quot; location? Perhaps there should be a more comprehensive list of considerations when it comes time to choose the ideal retirement spot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford?ref=seealso">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford</a>)</p> <p>In essence, your retirement location should consider need, but it should also consider preferences and personality. What do you enjoy doing and what kind of atmosphere do you feel the most relaxed in?</p> <p>Here are a few things that if given some forethought, might impact where you decide to settle.</p> <h2>1. Tax Friendliness for Retirees</h2> <p>Tax policies for retirees (and in general) differ from state to state, so if you're on the fence about which part of the country you want to live in, this might be enough to tip you one way or the other. For example, <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-10-most-tax-friendly-states-for-retirees/">Florida and Alaska</a> have no state income tax, inheritance tax, or estate tax. There are also some helpful exemptions for retirees depending on the state.</p> <h2>2. Airport Proximity</h2> <p>If you plan to do a lot of traveling, consider the proximity of where you live to a larger airport. You can view all of the United State's airport locations on the <a href="http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/airports/">NCDOT website</a>.</p> <h2>3. Access to the Big City</h2> <p>Most retirees prefer to have some separation from big city life. If you do plan to live in a more quiet and rural area, consider how often you might want to visit a bigger city for entertainment, shopping, and just getting out. If you think you'll make that drive frequently, look for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-americas-awesomest-cheap-cities">best rural spots</a> that give you easy driving access to a bigger city.</p> <h2>4. The Restaurant Scene</h2> <p>An active and diverse restaurant scene can really improve your retirement experience, giving you a variety of places to eat and plenty of excuses to have a night out. You'll need to do some local research to find the more unique places. The <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/restaurant-finder/id324540243?mt=8">Restaurant Finder app</a> will allow you to search areas ahead of time.</p> <h2>5. The &quot;Tourism Factor&quot;</h2> <p>A lot of places that are retiree friendly (take <a href="http://www.thevillages.com/">The Villages</a> in Florida for example) are also active tourist destinations. While some people are attracted to that atmosphere, others prefer to avoid it.</p> <h2>6. Projected Town Growth</h2> <p>Small towns can grow quickly these days as communities that were once little more than a road and woods have become busy streets lined with businesses. If this is something you want to avoid, it can be tough to predict, though targeting more rural areas that are a sizeable distance from bigger cities is a good way to start. You can also do some research on sites like Forbes to get a feel for projected <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/09/04/a-map-of-americas-future-where-growth-will-be-over-the-next-decade/">population growth and development</a> over the next few years.</p> <h2>7. Agriculture</h2> <p>Farmer's markets and access to fresh food are good for your health and offer a small town sense of community. Some places are known for their agricultural prowess, so perhaps they should be on your short list.</p> <h2>8. Traffic</h2> <p>You've spent your entire life dealing with an awful commute, so do you really want it to continue when you retire? The best way to know for sure is by visiting a place during the busy driving times (Friday night, Saturday, holiday weekends), and by simple word of mouth.</p> <h2>9. Weather</h2> <p>With extra time to get out and do some sightseeing you wouldn't want those activities being constantly hampered by extreme temperatures or bad weather. Consider places with more yearly warm weather or a more moderate climate.</p> <h2>10. Availability of Part-Time Work</h2> <p>An increasing number of retirees are opting to continue working in a part time job. This is often to continue in a profession, put in the time, or to supplement retirement savings. Whatever your reasoning, if you plan to work part time it may have a big impact on where you retire.</p> <h2>A Comprehensive Approach</h2> <p>It's important to take your time when you're choosing a retirement location and to be sure you've got a list of considerations that encompasses everything that's going to impact your lifestyle as a retiree; In other words, a comprehensive approach.</p> <p>Family, health and finances are certainly the core issues, but don't dismiss your own preferences and what your day-to-day life is going to look like. Those things will matter, so take the time to get them right.</p> <p><em>Did you retire to a different area? What factors played a role in the decision-making process? If you're currently weighing your options, what factors are you considering? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-things-you-should-consider-when-picking-where-you-retire" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Unexpected Things You Should Consider When Picking Where You Retire" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/10-unexpected-things-you-should-consider-when-picking-where-you-retire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <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/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things">If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tax-moves-you-need-to-make-right-now">6 Tax Moves You Need to Make Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/just-saving-isnt-enough-how-cash-flow-allocation-helps-you-retire">Just Saving Isn&#039;t Enough: How Cash Flow Allocation Helps You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-must-open-a-roth-ira-before-april-15">4 Reasons Why You Must Open a Roth IRA Before April 15</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Retirement city life retirement retirement community taxes Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:00:02 +0000 Mikey Rox 1167640 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Retirement Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-retirement-edition-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-retirement-edition-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retirement-savings-183436662-small.jpg" alt="retirement" title="retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some of the best articles from around the web on retirement!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/05/15/all-you-need-to-know-about-saving-for-retirement/">All You Need to Know About Saving for Retirement</a> &mdash; When you start saving for retirement, try to save 10%-15% of your income. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id22963-5-ways-to-avoid-outspending-your-income-in-retirement.html">5 Ways to Avoid Outspending Your Income in Retirement</a> &mdash; Planning for longevity can help you avoid outspending your income in retirement. [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/tips-for-maximizing-your-retirement-savings/">4 Quick Tips for Maximizing Your Retirement Savings</a> &mdash; To maximize your retirement savings, minimize your account fees. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/starting-a-retirement-account-when-you-get-your-first-job.html">5 Tips for Starting a Retirement Account When You Get Your First Job</a> &mdash; If you just landed your first job, make it a point to try to max out your company match. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T037-C000-S002-work-longer-and-prosper.html">Work Longer and Prosper</a> &mdash; Sometimes working longer can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and one where you are forced to skimp. [Kiplinger]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/05/07/retiring-soon-dont-make-these-8-mistakes/">Retiring Soon? Don't Make These 8 Mistakes</a> &mdash; If you are retiring soon, don't underestimate your costs or celebrate with a big purchase. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/05/12/retirement-saving-size-isnt-the-only-consideration/">Retirement Saving: Size Isn't the Only Consideration</a> &mdash; When thinking about retirement savings, consider where you live and social security projections. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/average-retirement-savings-how-does-your-savings-stack-up/">Average Retirement Savings by Age &mdash; How Does Your Savings Stack Up?</a> &mdash; To get your retirement savings above average, open an individual retirement account. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Much-Do-I-Need-Save-Retirement-15193125">What's Your Number? Retirement Number, That Is</a> &mdash; One of the most popular ways to figure out how much you need to save for retirement is to set a savings goal of 11 times your working salary. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/should-parents-invest-in-roth-iras">Should Parents Invest in Roth IRAs?</a> &mdash; Money invested in a Roth IRA grows tax-free, but is taxed upfront. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-retirement-edition-0" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Retirement Edition" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-retirement-edition-0">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-12"> <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-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/just-saving-isnt-enough-how-cash-flow-allocation-helps-you-retire">Just Saving Isn&#039;t Enough: How Cash Flow Allocation Helps You Retire</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/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things">If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-balance-saving-for-retirement-emergency-fund-and-paying-off-debt">How to Balance Saving for Retirement, Emergency Fund, and Paying Off Debt</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-unexpected-things-you-should-consider-when-picking-where-you-retire">10 Unexpected Things You Should Consider When Picking Where You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Retirement best money tips retirement Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1146778 at http://www.wisebread.com This One Mistake Could Delay Your Retirement by 10 Years http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mistake-could-delay-your-retirement-by-10-years <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-one-mistake-could-delay-your-retirement-by-10-years" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-couple-budget-177715864-small.jpg" alt="senior couple budget" title="senior couple budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A while back, during a housing boom (remember those?), I watched a TV news segment about homeownership. The reporter was interviewing a young married couple shopping for a house and the wife said: &quot;My parents told me to buy the biggest house you can afford, so that's what we're doing.&quot; After all, her parents probably saw the value of their home rise to many times its original price, eventually becoming one of their biggest assets &mdash; just in time for retirement.</p> <p>In fact, on average home values do rise &mdash; by about 4% per year, keeping pace with inflation &mdash; and over the long term this growth can be substantial. So on the surface, this &quot;buy the biggest&quot; strategy seemed to make sense. A bigger purchase price must lead to a bigger ending price, right? Maybe so, but something bothered me about this advice; a piece of the puzzle seemed to be missing, but I just couldn't put my finger on it at the time.</p> <h2>Buy the Biggest You Can Afford?</h2> <p>Fast forward a few years later. My wife and I and our two infant sons were squeezed into a one bedroom unit of a 2-family home. It was time to find something a little roomier. But why buy something only a little roomier? Why not buy the biggest? That's what we did&hellip;we purchased a McMansion. The parents of that young couple from the news report would have been proud of us. Just think how big our home's ending price would be after 30 years!</p> <h3>My Big House Ate My Cash Flow</h3> <p>What I failed to realize was that 30 years was a long way off. It was time to live in the present, and that meant making an enormous mortgage + property tax + homeowner's insurance payment every month. Add to that the ongoing maintenance, utility, and repair costs and what at first seemed to be a golden nest egg turned out to be a money pit. Our McMansion drained every last cent of our monthly income.</p> <p>That's when I discovered that the missing piece of the puzzle I had been looking for was cash flow. Sure, a house is a large asset that grows in value; that's the good side. Unfortunately, there's also a flip side: It can be a cash flow killer. The bigger the mortgage the more negative your monthly cash flow.</p> <p>In our case, over the full term of the mortgage we would have paid an <em>extra</em> $420,000 on this super-sized house compared to a more modest one! That's money we could have used to repay other loans or to invest in our retirement account, enabling us achieve financial independence many years sooner.</p> <h2>Downsize for Better Cash Flow</h2> <p>What did we do to correct the mistake?</p> <p>We downsized. And it worked. Suddenly we had a comfortable monthly positive cash flow cushion. What a nice feeling that was.</p> <p>Ah, but sometimes even a good decision can take a bad turn. We soon realized that we over-corrected and downsized to a house that was too small and inadequate for our growing family. So what did we do next? We approved plans for a $120,000 addition. After that came the bathroom renovations. I think you know where this is going. The lesson this time was that a small house can become a money pit, too.</p> <h2>The Goldilocks Principle</h2> <p>The key, then, is to apply what I like to call The Goldilocks Principle to home buying: Look for one that's not too big or too small, but just right. How? Run the numbers beforehand, when you're shopping. To help with this use the following table, which allows you to compare the monthly negative cash flows associated with homes you're considering. Your goal is &mdash; all other things equal &mdash; to find a house with the lowest (or nearly the lowest) negative cash flow.</p> <p><img width="605" height="336" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/Whelan's Housing Chart 2.png" alt="" /></p> <p>I've pre-filled this chart with hypothetical numbers but the template is universal and you can use it to compare actual homes you're interested in purchasing. As you can see in this example buying Property 2, a bigger single-family home, would cost an additional $425 every month compared to Property 1, the condo. Over the term of a 30 year mortgage that adds up to an extra cost to you of $153,000. Ouch!</p> <p>Now take a look at Property 3.</p> <p>It's also a more expensive $250,000 house but is a two-family rental, which means there's some positive monthly cash flow (from rent) to offset all those negative numbers. In fact, because of the rental income from just one of the two units the total negative monthly cash flow is $655 lower than the single-family house having the same purchase price, and it's even $230 per month lower than the condo!</p> <p>So rental properties give you an opportunity to buy a higher-priced property (which translates to a much higher ending sales price over time) while also reducing your monthly negative cash flow. The rental income can even be used to help pre-pay your mortgage, which might then create a net positive monthly cash flow after all expenses. So it offers an opportunity to have your cake (or porridge) and eat it too.</p> <h2>Don't Forget Other Costs</h2> <p>One other thing to consider, though. In addition to these estimates of cash flow at the time of purchase, you should also estimate repair costs and future improvement costs after moving in. As I learned first-hand, those large lump sum future expenditures can make all the difference between a good and a not-so-good home choice, so be sure to also give them careful, honest consideration.</p> <p>Purchasing a home is a big, complicated decision. Emotional considerations are part of the equation, and they should be. After all, your family's comfort and your choice of a community are part of the package. But try not to let your emotions overwhelm the financial considerations. You'll want to get the decision right the first time rather than learn the hard way as I did. A bad decision on this one item, if uncorrected, can delay your progress towards financial independence by as much as a decade. So to help ensure a balanced review, filter your decision with immediate and longer-term cash flow considerations and let the numbers guide you to the choice that's best for your budget and for your long-term financial security.</p> <p><em>Was monthly cash flow a consideration for you when you purchased a home? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mistake-could-delay-your-retirement-by-10-years" class="sharethis-link" title="This One Mistake Could Delay Your Retirement by 10 Years" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keith-whelan">Keith Whelan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mistake-could-delay-your-retirement-by-10-years">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-13"> <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/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps</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/six-options-if-youre-underwater-on-your-mortgage">6 Options if You&#039;re Underwater on Your Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-take-if-youre-house-poor">5 Steps to Take If You&#039;re House Poor</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/whats-faster-for-mortgage-payoff-100-month-extra-or-1-payment-year-extra">What&#039;s Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Debt Management Real Estate and Housing cash flow mortgages rental income retirement Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Keith Whelan 1153953 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retirement-health-177852330-small.jpg" alt="retirement health" title="retirement health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Poor health can destroy your finances in retirement if you fail to build both a healthy retirement fund and a healthy retirement body.</p> <p>Research shows that physical and financial health are closely linked. In a 2002 University of Michigan study, <a href="http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/">married couples with excellent health averaged $500,000</a> in net worth, about three times that of married couples with poor health who had an average of $164,000. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-supercharge-your-retirement?ref=seealso">10 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement</a>)</p> <p>When it comes to costs, many Americans may underestimate how much money they'll spend on health care in their golden years. Over half of the respondents to a Fidelity Investments Retirement Savings Assessment survey say they'll need about $50,000. But Fidelity predicts an average couple will <a href="http://www.fidelity.com/inside-fidelity/individual-investing/fidelity-study-shows-84-percent">need more than $220,000</a> over the course of their retirement &mdash; just for health care!</p> <p>Indeed, retirees now spend more on health care than they do on food, and at the present rate, health care will be retirees' largest expense after housing.</p> <p>So to help you prepare, start thinking hard about the following steps.</p> <h2>Building a Healthy Retirement Budget</h2> <p>Investment broker Fidelity recommends <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/health-care-costs-when-you-retire">taking these four steps</a> to prepare for health care costs in retirement.</p> <h3>1. Set a Savings Goal</h3> <p>Set an annual savings goal of 10% to 15% or more of your income, including 401(k) plans and IRAs. Consider saving part of any raises, bonuses, or tax refunds and increasing contributions to savings plans by 1% every year.</p> <h3>2. Go on Auto-Pilot</h3> <p>Sign up for automatic savings plans with your financial services company. Use the automatic increase feature in your 401(k) plan if it's offered.</p> <h3>3. Use Health Care Savings Accounts</h3> <p>HSAs, offered through employers, offer a triple tax advantage. Contributions and investment earnings accumulate tax-free and roll over year to year if not spent. Distributions for qualified medical expenses are not subject to federal taxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-health-insurance-plan?ref=seealso">How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan</a>)</p> <h3>4. Understand Medicare Options</h3> <p>Most people qualify for Medicare hospital insurance, or Part A, at age 65 and don't pay for the coverage if they paid Medicare taxes while working, according to Fidelity.</p> <p>However, you pay monthly premiums for Medicare medical insurance, or Part B, which covers doctor visits and other medical services. Plus, there's no limit on out-of-pocket expenses.</p> <h3>4. Understand Unbundled Vs. Bundled Coverage</h3> <p>Unbundled coverage involves using Medicare Part A and Part B along with Veterans benefits, former employer retiree plans or purchasing supplemental, or Medigap, insurance from a private insurance company. That route may be best if you want to fill in gaps in coverage and keep the original Medicare coverage. You can use any doctor or facility you like but may pay higher premium. The policies don't include prescription coverage so you'll need to buy Medicare Part D to cover prescription drugs.</p> <p>Bundled coverage is Medicare Advantage or Managed Care plans, privately managed plans that combine Medicare Parts A and B, and supplemental coverage you purchase. They often include prescription coverage and can offer lower premiums or better benefits. Simpler than unbundled coverage, it requires just one ID card.</p> <p>The disadvantage is that it can limit you to only network providers.</p> <p>Medicare's website offers a <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx">useful tool</a> for comparing supplemental insurance in your state.</p> <h2>Building a Healthy Retirement Body</h2> <p>Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being informed during your working years is key to your financial fitness in retirement. Here's ten actions to take now to improve your health in the future (some pulled from health care insurer Aetna's excellent website, <a href="http://www.planforyourhealth.com">Plan For Your Health</a>):</p> <h3>1. Know Your Cholesterol</h3> <p>Cholesterol has a big impact on heart health. Healthy cholesterol levels are 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol-levels/art-20048245">lower for total cholesterol</a>, 100 mg/dL or lower for LDL cholesterol, and 60 mg/dL or higher for HDL (or &quot;good&quot;) cholesterol, and 150 mg/dL or lower for triglycerides (fat).</p> <h3>2. Don't Smoke</h3> <p>Smoking raises blood pressure, increases fatty plaque in arteries, and increases chances for heart attacks.</p> <h3>3. Check Your Blood Sugar</h3> <p>Have your blood sugar level tested once a year. High blood sugar levels indicate higher chances of diabetes, which in turn means higher odds for other health problems.</p> <h3>4. Eat Right</h3> <p>Eat high-fiber foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Apples can decrease the risk of cancer, according to <a href="http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/cancer-fighting-foods-drinks.html">AARP</a>. A handful of nuts a day may help prevent both heart disease and cancer. Beans and lentils are good for your colon, garlic fights off digestive-tract cancers, and curry has ingredients that may offer protection against brain tumors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy?ref=seealso">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a>)</p> <h3>5. Exercise Daily</h3> <p>Daily exercise reduces the ill-effects of aging, such as worsening eyesight and less bone density. Even 10 minutes of exercise a day helps, writes James Rouse, a naturopathic physician and host of &quot;<a href="http://optimumwellness.com/">Optimum Wellness</a>.&quot; The many simple exercise options, he says, include going for walking, dancing, bicycling, playing water volleyball, or jumping on a trampoline.</p> <h3>6. Be Friendly</h3> <p>Stress builds up if you keep your feelings bottled inside. Talk to your friends and family and ask for support. If you don't have a good support system, work to develop one to have someone to talk to when you're upset.</p> <h3>7. Relieve Pressure</h3> <p>To prevent or manage high blood pressure, use less salt, limit alcohol and caffeine, quit smoking, mind your cholesterol, and exercise daily. Besides making you unhappy, too much stress can increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. Try meditation, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, listening to relaxing music, or picturing pleasant scenes.</p> <h3>8. Take Health Tests</h3> <p>Women should have a Pap smear annually until age 65, a mammogram annually starting at age 50, a bone density test to guard against bone thinning, <a href="http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-04-2013/basic-health-guide-men-women-dr-oz.html?cmp=RDRCT-HLTHGD_MAR12_013">advises Dr. Mehmet Oz</a>, host of &quot;The Dr. Oz Show.&quot;</p> <p>Men should have a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test at age 50 for a baseline reading, followed by yearly testing. Both men and women should have a colonoscopy at age 50, then once every 10 years.</p> <h3>9. Watch Your Weight</h3> <p>Over 60% of American adults are overweight and a third are obese. An average woman of 5 feet 4 inches is obese at 175 pounds. An average man of 5 feet 9 inches is obese at 196 pounds, says Dr. Oz. Measure your waist above your hip bone and below your rib cage. It should be less than half your height.</p> <h3>10. Beware the Sun</h3> <p>Use sunscreen and reapply it every two hours when you're in the sun, Dr. Oz advises. Men should remember their ears and scalp where they're more prone to skin cancer than women. Wear sunglasses in bright sun to help ward of failing eyesight in latter years.</p> <p><em>How are you planning for health care costs in retirement? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund" class="sharethis-link" title="Don&#039;t Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund">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-14"> <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/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</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-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-killer-ways-to-really-actually-lose-weight">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</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-easy-ways-to-burn-almost-1000-extra-calories-per-day">10 Easy Ways to Burn Almost 1000 Extra Calories Per Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Retirement aging fitness Health investing retirement retirement fund Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Michael Kling 1153231 at http://www.wisebread.com If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things http://www.wisebread.com/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/401k-savings-452996721-small.jpg" alt="401k savings" title="401k savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you counting on your 401(k) to fund your dream retirement? If so, make sure you're not making the following common mistakes. By avoiding these pitfalls, you'll ensure that you end up with the most money possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/optimize-your-ira-and-401k?ref=seealso">Optimize Your IRA and Your 401(k)</a>)</p> <h2>Stick to the Default Contribution Percentage</h2> <p>If your employer automatically enrolls you in your 401(k), that's a great thing. More employees usually end up participating in the plan than if they had to sign up on their own. Sticking to the default contribution rate, however, is not that good. The <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2013/11/18/the-downside-of-401k-automatic-enrollment">average default contribution rate</a> for plans with automatic enrollment is just 3.4%.</p> <p>There are two reasons why this won't help your 401(k) grow.</p> <h3>1. Too Low to Earn the Full Employer Match</h3> <p>This may not be the amount that'll get you the full matching contribution from your employer. On average, most workers would need to contribute an average of 5.1% of pay to get the full match their employers are offering. The employer match is extra money your employer will give you for free, as long as you contribute your own money first. Since you're entitled to this money as part of your compensation package, it wouldn't be wise to pass it up.</p> <h3>2. Falls Short of the Contribution Limit</h3> <p>This may not be the amount that'll get you contributing up to the full <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/Retirement-Topics---401%28k%29-and-Profit-Sharing-Plan-Contribution-Limits">IRS contribution limit</a>. The contribution limit is the most amount of money you can invest in a single year. And the more money you put in now, the more money you'll have later. In 2014, you can contribute a maximum of $17,500. If you're age 50 or over, this amount increases to $23,000.</p> <p>In order to contribute at the 3% rate and still reach the maximum of $17,500, you'd need to be making about $590,000 per year. So if your salary is less than that, find ways to contribute more than 3%. Because the more money you invest now, the more you'll have later.</p> <h2>Stick to the Default Fund Choice</h2> <p>If your employer automatically enrolls you in your 401(k), they may also choose the fund you're invested in. Sometimes, this isn't the best choice.</p> <p>Check to see if the default fund is either a money market or stable value fund. If it is, you may want to switch to another fund. These funds aren't designed to really grow your money. Instead, their purpose &mdash; as their name suggests &mdash; is simply to keep the value of your money stable.</p> <p>Better investment choices include stock and bond index funds. For more help on choosing the best fund, check out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470067365/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0470067365&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=V3ISWB6EAGPEJZLJ">The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing</a>.</p> <h2>Put Too Much Money in Your Company's Stock</h2> <p>Professionals recommend no more than 5% to 10% in a company's stock. And there's a good reason why.</p> <p>Remember what happened to Enron? Employees who put most of their retirement funds in their company stock not only lost their jobs &mdash; they also <a href="http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/01/enro-j14.html">lost their retirement money</a>.</p> <p>Rather than investing most of your money in your company's stock, it's better to ensure that your money is properly diversified.</p> <h2>Borrow From Your 401(k)</h2> <p>The main reason not to do this is because if you take out a loan from your 401(k), then that money is no longer working towards your retirement needs. In other words, you lose the power of <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/power-of-compounding">compounding</a>.</p> <p>Also, if you leave your job, you'll generally be required to repay the loan balance <a href="https://guidance.fidelity.com/viewpoints-workplace/borrowing-from-your-retirement-sv">within 60 days</a>. If you don't, the unpaid balance is considered as defaulted. This means you'll need to pay a 10% penalty on top of owing income taxes on the defaulted amount if you are not at least age 59 &frac12;. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-when-you-should-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=seealso">This Is When You Should Borrow From Your Retirement Account</a>)</p> <h2>Cash Out If You Leave Your Job</h2> <p>By cashing out, you not only get taxed and penalized, but similar to borrowing, you also lose the earnings that money could have generated.</p> <p>Worst of all, you probably <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/fidelity/2014/04/17/the-risks-of-cashing-out-your-401k-early/">won't even get all of your money</a>: If you haven't reached age 59 &frac12;, your employer is required to withhold 20% for the IRS. On top of that, you'll need to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty.</p> <p>So for every $1,000 you cash out, you would only receive about $700. The other $300 would go to the IRS.</p> <h2>Settle for High Fees</h2> <p>Most employees don't realize it, but there are costs associated with investing in your 401(k).</p> <p>These include fees to pay brokers, accountants, administrators, and fund managers just to name a few.</p> <p>How much can all of this add up to?</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767929845/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0767929845&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=27ZD3XFCFMBL4UQV">Fight For Your Money</a>, David Bach found that when you add in these fees and hidden charges, the average 401(k) plan actually costs employees between 3% and 3.5% of what they've got invested each year.</p> <p>So what should you do?</p> <p>Ask your company or 401(k) provider for a breakdown of the fees you're being charged. If they are much more than 3%, <a href="http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/How_to_campaign_for_a_better_401%28k%29_plan">complain</a>.</p> <p>By ensuring that you don't make these mistakes, you'll increase your chances of building a nice, large nest egg for your retirement.</p> <p><em>Are you making any of these 401(k) mistakes? Any others we should be aware of? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things" class="sharethis-link" title="If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darren-wu">Darren Wu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things">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-15"> <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-reasons-why-you-must-open-a-roth-ira-before-april-15">4 Reasons Why You Must Open a Roth IRA Before April 15</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/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-investing-sucks-and-why-you-should-do-it-anyway">7 Ways Investing Sucks (and Why You Should Do It Anyway)</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/this-is-when-you-should-borrow-from-your-retirement-account">This Is When You Should Borrow From Your Retirement Account</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/12-things-you-didnt-know-about-retirement">12 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Retirement 401(k) investment IRA retirement taxes Mon, 30 Jun 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Darren Wu 1150361 at http://www.wisebread.com