family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4558/all en-US Beyond Disney: 8 Affordable Family Destinations in the US http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/it_is_a_piggyback_horserace.jpg" alt="It&#039;s a piggyback horserace" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While some kids have a unique bucket list of travel dreams and goals, nearly every child dreams of going to Disney World one day. For many kids &mdash; and many families &mdash; Disney is a box that must be checked off no matter the cost or the inconvenience involved.</p> <p>But, with Disney World tickets approaching $100 per person, per day, many families can't justify the cost. This is especially true if you need to fly to the park, since even domestic airfare can add an extra $300&ndash;$500 per person to the cost of your trip.</p> <p>Fortunately, there is an array of other family-friendly destinations just waiting to be discovered all over the United States. If you're planning a fun trip with your kids but want to spend less than you would at Disney World, consider these affordable vacation spots all over the country.</p> <h2>1. Orlando, Florida</h2> <p>Sure, Orlando is home to Disney World, but that's not all. This southern city is actually bursting with affordable things to do and see that have little to do with Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.</p> <p>For starters, you'll find plenty of non-Disney parks, including Fun Spot America Theme Park and Aquatica Orlando Water Park, both of which are less than $50 per person, per day to visit. Also keep in mind that the Disney Springs district (formerly Downtown Disney), which features plenty of Disney stores and attractions, is free to visit even if you're not going to one of the parks. You'll also find numerous non-park attractions in Orlando, including a wax museum, the Orlando Science Center, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not.</p> <p>The best part about Orlando is that there is a nearly endless supply of affordable hotel and condo options. Not only can you book a three-bedroom Orlando condo for less than $99 per night, but three-star hotel properties around the city start at just $50 per night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney" target="_blank">8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun as Disney</a>)</p> <h2>2. Santa Claus, Indiana</h2> <p>While Santa Claus, Indiana probably sounds obscure (and it kind of is!), this tiny town is actually home to Holiday World &amp; Splashin' Safari &mdash; a theme park/water park that was recently named number four in the nation and number 13 in the world. The big difference is, instead of Disney's $100 per person ticket price, a day at Holiday World starts at just $27.99 per person. You also get free sunscreen, soft drinks, parking, and Wi-Fi, making it easy to save even more.</p> <p>But, there's other stuff to do in Santa Claus, including Santa's Candy Castle (a sweets shop), Santa's Stables (horseback riding), golf courses, and a berry farm. You can also pitch a tent affordably at Lake Rudolph Campground &amp; RV Resort, or book a local two-star or three-star hotel for as little as $56 per night in October. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-ways-to-save-on-your-next-rv-camping-trip" target="_blank">Easiest Ways to Save on Your Next RV Camping Trip</a>)</p> <h2>3. San Diego, California</h2> <p>San Diego is well-known for its year-round perfect weather, its beautiful beaches, and its endless bounty of things to do. You can visit the famous San Diego Zoo, check out the USS Midway Museum, explore Balboa Park, or enjoy a beach day in nearby (and famous) La Jolla.</p> <p>While California is an expensive state to visit overall, San Diego can be surprisingly affordable. For example, you can book an overnight at a downtown hotel this October for as little as $70 per night. Heck, even the Wyndham Garden San Diego near Sea World can be booked for as little as $83 per night this fall. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to" target="_blank">5 Most Affordable Cruise Lines for Families</a>)</p> <h2>4. Branson, Missouri</h2> <p>Branson is known for its honky-tonk music and over-the-top shows, but that's not all. The city is also home to a range of family-friendly activities to please kids (and parents) of all ages. You can check out an inexpensive country or Broadway-style show, visit the famed Titanic Museum, or ride rides at Silver Dollar City theme park or take on the Runaway roller coaster at Branson Mountain Adventure Park.</p> <p>Branson hosts a wide range of lodging options, many of which have amazing pools and on-site entertainment of their own. You can book a nightly stay at Castle Rock Resort &amp; Waterpark this fall for as little as $69 per night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/family-friendly-hotel-and-resort-chains-where-kids-stay-free" target="_blank">Family-Friendly Hotel and Resort Chains Where Kids Stay Free</a>)</p> <h2>5. Grand Canyon</h2> <p>The Grand Canyon is a natural wonderland with jaw-dropping scenery and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Depending on where you stay near the Grand Canyon, you can find hiking, white-water rafting, and waterfalls to explore.</p> <p>The Grand Canyon Skywalk allows your family to walk over the expansive canyon without fear, while the historic Grand Canyon Railway offers a fun way to see the area without too much work.</p> <p>Amazingly, you can book a four-star hotel in Flagstaff for as little as $120 per night this fall, or a simple room at Country Inn &amp; Suites for as little as $99.</p> <h2>6. South Dakota</h2> <p>South Dakota is constantly overlooked as a top travel destination, which is a shame. Taking your kids to South Dakota is both a walk through time and a celebration of our country's natural beauty. Not only is the state home to historic Mt. Rushmore, but it offers the scenic Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest, and quirky spots like the Corn Palace and Wall Drug Store.</p> <p>South Dakota is perfect for a family RV or camping trip, or as part of an extensive road trip across the northern states. Hotels in Wall start at about $70 per night, while lodging in cities like Keystone starts at just $50 per night.</p> <p>Even some of the pricier hotels in the state are rather affordable. A night's stay at the three-star Black Forest Inn Bed &amp; Breakfast, for example, will set you back just $160 per night this fall.</p> <h2>7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina</h2> <p>Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is beautiful indeed, but it doesn't get enough credit as an affordable beach destination. Believe it or not, you can book an oceanfront condo for as little as $700 per week this fall. Oceanfront hotels like Bar Harbor start at just $44 per night. If you want something fancier, even the Embassy Suites on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront can be booked for as little as $219 per night.</p> <p>While the beach will keep everyone in your group busy, there is plenty of other stuff to do when you tire of the sand and surf. For example, Myrtle Beach is home to several small amusement parks and water parks, plus a state park and a Ripley's Aquarium. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to" target="_blank">10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To</a>)</p> <h2>8. Gatlinburg, Tennessee</h2> <p>Gatlinburg, Tennessee sits in a beautiful setting among the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains. The area is known for its mountain scenery, outdoor recreation like hiking and climbing, and a family-friendly atmosphere with plenty to do and see.</p> <p>For example, you'll find the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, which features over 10,000 exotic sea creatures from all over the world. You can also enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in all its glory, dozens of breweries and mom n' pop diners, and shopping. Dollywood, an Appalachian-themed family park, is also just 20 minutes away in nearby Pigeon Forge.</p> <p>Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are affordable spots for families as well, with three-star hotels starting at just $109 per night this fall during peak leaf-changing season.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbeyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Affordable%2520Family%2520Destinations%2520in%2520the%2520US.jpg&amp;description=8%20Affordable%20Family%20Destinations%20in%20the%20US"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Affordable%20Family%20Destinations%20in%20the%20US.jpg" alt="8 Affordable Family Destinations in the US" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us">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-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To</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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</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-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</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-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable children family grand canyon kid friendly kids orlando san diego theme parks united states vacation Mon, 25 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 2025391 at http://www.wisebread.com How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_looking_out_window_at_airport.jpg" alt="Family looking out window at airport" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to travel rewards, families have different needs than single travelers and couples. For example, families are typically less flexible than other travelers, as they need to work their vacations around school schedules. Families also tend to go to popular vacation destinations during peak travel seasons, while others may be more interested in out-of-the-way destinations. And obviously, families tend to travel in larger groups than singles or couples.</p> <p>So, if you need to earn rewards that you can use toward a family vacation, consider these award travel strategies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-miles-and-points-for-a-big-award-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Miles and Points for a Big Award Trip</a>)</p> <h2>The Southwest plan</h2> <p>Southwest Airlines is an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">ideal carrier for family travelers</a>. It offers two free checked bags for everyone, and it doesn't impose fees for changing your reservation once you've purchased tickets. It also features early boarding for families with young children, and an open seating policy that makes it easy for families to ensure that they are sitting together.</p> <p>Southwest also offers the Companion Pass, which lets you book a second extra ticket at no charge (other than taxes), on every flight including award tickets. To receive a Companion Pass, you need to earn 110,000 points within a single calendar year. Fortunately, Southwest offers various credit cards that help you get there. The pass can significantly cut your family's travel costs for the year.</p> <h2>Earn miles that can be redeemed as travel statement credits</h2> <p>The problem that most families have with traditional frequent flyer programs is that awards are seldom available at the lowest mileage levels. This is especially true at peak travel times when families travel, and for groups of three or more.</p> <p>Therefore, the best way for families to earn award travel is to use a credit card that offers miles that can be redeemed as statement credits toward any travel reservations. These <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> allow you to book your own travel (flights, hotel, car rentals, cruises, tours, and more) on any booking site you prefer, and then use your points toward those purchases. This gives families the most flexibility in terms of being able to use their hard earned travel rewards for an actual trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Easy Travel Redemption</a>)</p> <h2>Earn points that can be transferred to different frequent flyer and hotel programs</h2> <p>Another great award travel strategy for families is to earn flexible <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards that can be transferred to numerous travel partners</a>. This gives you the ability to earn points on your credit card without having to commit to a particular airline or hotel chain.</p> <p>Cards in this category may allow you to rack up points, and then transfer them when you're ready to use one of several popular airline or hotel rewards programs. While travel statement credits are even more flexible, with those programs your points are usually worth about 1 cent a piece. You can often get a better rate when you transfer to, say, an airline program and book an expensive flight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline Rewards Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</a>)</p> <h2>Be flexible with travel plans and expectations</h2> <p>Redeeming travel rewards for a trip is not for the faint of heart. While going with the flexible redemption option allows you the most freedom to plan a trip according to your precise preferences, being flexible with your plans will give you the most <em>value</em> out of your hard earned rewards. This means that if you want to get the largest discount off your trip, you'll want to identify the destinations and resorts that are available under that travel program. You might not get the exact hotel you want, or even visit the exact city that you want, but if you can be flexible and open minded, even a large family can take advantage of travel rewards and redeem them for an amazing vacation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Families%2520Can%2520Earn%2520and%2520Use%2520Travel%2520Rewards.jpg&amp;description=How%20Families%20Can%20Earn%20and%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Families%20Can%20Earn%20and%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards.jpg" alt="How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airlines awards family frequent flyers hotels miles points rewards tickets trips vacation Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Jason Steele 2020048 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_tourists_smiling_at_the_camera_near_eiffel_tower.jpg" alt="Kids tourists smiling at the camera near Eiffel Tower" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In early June, my husband and I took a bucket list trip to Europe with our kids. While we've visited countless countries worldwide as a couple, this was our first &quot;big trip&quot; with our daughters, ages six and eight. In addition to the four of us, we took a family caregiver to help with the kids and give Mom and Dad a break. Over the course of 19 days, we spent time in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. The entire ordeal was exhausting, but it was an absolute blast!</p> <p>Fortunately, we planned far enough ahead that we didn't spend too much out of pocket while we were there. By leveraging <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> and setting a daily spending budget, we were able to get the entire trip, which would normally cost $20,000 retail, for around $3,500. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation with Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>In addition to the virtues of planning ahead as a savings strategy, we learned numerous financial lessons during our travels. While we were aware of most of these lessons already, seeing the world through our children's eyes served as the perfect reminder of the reasons behind some of our most important financial decisions.</p> <p>Here are a few lessons we relearned thanks to our trip abroad.</p> <h2>1. Failing to plan means planning to fail</h2> <p>One of the most expensive components of our trip was dining, mostly because there were five people in our group. No matter how cheaply you try to eat, feeding five people three meals a day means your food budget adds up quickly.</p> <p>While we tried to minimize our food costs by eating breakfast in our condo and searching for budget options, there were times where we didn't plan ahead and paid a steep price for our lack of preparation.</p> <p>One meal in particular stands out. We traveled by train to Rome in the morning and arrived in early afternoon without researching restaurants or stores in the immediate area. In a tired and hungry daze, we entered the first restaurant we walked past near Piazza Navona.</p> <p>Unfortunately, we paid big time for this oversight. Not only was the food overly touristy (pictures on the menu &mdash; blech), but our lunch set us back nearly $90. If we had searched ahead of time, we would have known we could have found much cheaper (and probably tastier) options had we walked a block in the other direction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>2. Expensive does not equal better</h2> <p>That meal also served as a reminder that expensive isn't always better. We paid $90 for a lunch that was mediocre at best on that particular day, but at other times we enjoyed meals that were absolutely delicious and downright cheap.</p> <p>One that comes to mind was a meal we had in nearby Florence, Italy. In order to keep our food budget under control, we started researching local restaurants once we arrived. Eventually, we stumbled upon a sandwich shop &mdash; Panini Toscani &mdash; that was uber-cheap but was also the third highest rated restaurant in Florence.</p> <p>We wound up eating there twice. The food was delicious and convenient, and our total meal for five people was less than $20 both times.</p> <h2>3. Even budget trips can be fun</h2> <p>By the time we got to Switzerland (our last stop), I was pretty tired of spending money in general. So, when we had our final &quot;free day&quot; in the country, I spent some time looking for something fun and affordable to do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a>)</p> <p>Eventually, I remembered a town we drove by that had the most beautiful, clear-green lake I had ever seen. After looking up the details, I found that the tiny village of Lungern had a public beach and a few waterslides with a daily admission cost of about $5.25 per adult.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/man_jumping_in_a_lake.jpg" width="605" height="454" alt="" /></p> <p>This relatively cheap day was probably the most fun we had. All of us swam and rode waterslides the entire day, stopping only to have a low-cost lunch.</p> <p>It just goes to show that budget travel can absolutely be fun, and that you don't have to spend a ton of money to enjoy yourself.</p> <h2>4. There's more than one &quot;right way&quot; to do things</h2> <p>One of the most rewarding components of travel is watching my kids react to the many ways other countries handle things differently. My kids were obsessed with euros, for example. They couldn't understand why anyone would choose to offer two euros in the form of a coin.</p> <p>I also had to explain why we didn't tip as much as we normally do. Since workers in Europe are paid higher wages, you don't have to tip 15&ndash;20 percent like you do in the states.</p> <p>While we could argue all day over which way is better, I told my kids there is more than one &quot;right way&quot; to do things sometimes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-dont-have-to-tip-at-restaurants?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Don't Have to Tip at Restaurants</a>)</p> <h2>5. We actually need very little</h2> <p>While I wasn't sure we could pull it off, we made it through the entire trip with just carry-on luggage and two school-sized backpacks of stuff. It helped that one of our condos had a washing machine, but I was still amazed we enjoyed ourselves without many comforts from home.</p> <p>This just goes to show that most of us don't need a lot to be happy. We need clothes, food, and shelter, but everything else is optional. We can be happy and content without having a bunch of stuff to bog us down.</p> <h2>6. Most people are honest, but not everyone</h2> <p>Most of the people we dealt with abroad were both kind and honest &mdash; except for a couple of small incidences. First, we encountered a taxi driver who tried to charge us $28 (instead of running his meter) to take us four blocks in Rome. Not only was this outrageous since we'd paid $7 for the same ride earlier that day, but it was illegal for him to do this since the city of Rome regulates official taxis.</p> <p>Second, when we got home from the trip, we received a fraud alert from Chase. Apparently, someone had swiped our card information and tried to make a purchase in Peru.</p> <p>This kind of stuff happens no matter where you are, so it's important to always stay vigilant. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>7. Exchange rates matter</h2> <p>Whenever I travel abroad, I almost always struggle to keep track of the currency exchange rate and how it affects everything we buy. But, since a single U.S. dollar is currently worth just .87 euros, this is an important detail to keep in mind. If something costs 10 euros, for example, you're actually paying $11.55.</p> <p>While I used a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card with no foreign transaction fees</a> to pay most of our expenses, I tried hard to impart this lesson on our kids. No matter where you are in the world, chances are good the money isn't worth the same as at home. And, if you don't pay attention, you could wind up spending a lot more than you think!</p> <h2>8. Some experiences are worth the money, even if they're expensive</h2> <p>While we definitely saved a bundle on this trip due to the way we leveraged credit card rewards, we still spent $3,500 of our hard-earned dollars. On top of that, I probably spent 30&ndash;50 hours planning not only our credit card rewards strategy, but our hotels, flights, and trains.</p> <p>The thing is, I don't regret a single cent &mdash; or a single second. Over my lifetime, I've learned that some experiences are worth the money and the time, even if it seems like a lot.</p> <p>It's hard to put a price tag on a fun family trip that exposed us to cultures in a completely different part of the world. I believe it was priceless. Some memories are worth saving up to splurge on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Money%2520Lessons%2520I%2520Learned%2520From%2520Three%2520Weeks%2520in%2520Europe.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money%20Lessons%20I%20Learned%20From%20Three%20Weeks%20in%20Europe"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Money%20Lessons%20I%20Learned%20From%20Three%20Weeks%20in%20Europe.jpg" alt="8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</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-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Travel Europe exchange rates experiences family food costs money lessons rewards vacation Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2007686 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Problems Our Grandparents Never Had http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-problems-our-grandparents-never-had <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-problems-our-grandparents-never-had" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/social_worker_is_visiting_a_senior_woman.jpg" alt="Social worker is visiting a senior woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life has changed quite a bit over the past 75 years. Sometimes, it's hard for us to think about what life was like for our grandparents and great-grandparents all those years ago. This can be especially true when it comes to money.</p> <p>Financial problems are not immune to changing times. As the times have changed, so have the issues and challenges we've had to deal with. While our grandparents and great-grandparents surely had their share of financial problems, there are some they simply never had to face.</p> <h2>1. Online identity theft</h2> <p>Identity theft has been around as long as there have been identities to steal. But, since our grandparents didn't have the internet (at least until they were much older), identity theft was not as big of a concern as it is today. Since information wasn't digital, no one could hack into a database to steal credit card numbers, Social Security data, and other personal identification details. Our grandparents didn't have to peruse their credit reports for cards, loans, and other lines of credit that had been fraudulently taken out in their names.</p> <p>Today, we have to be proactive about protecting ourselves from fraud. According to a recent study by Javelin Strategy &amp; Research, 6.5 percent of consumers experienced identity fraud in 2016, a number that continues to rise every year. The same report from the previous year found the average incident cost was $1,585.</p> <p>Though our financial institutions are looking out for us, we have to be wary about where we use our credit cards online, and we have to pull those yearly credit reports, just in case. Every year, we have to deal with the potential for tax fraud, and we must constantly weigh whether it's worthwhile to share our information online in return for whatever goods and services we are getting in exchange. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen?ref=seealso" target="_blank">18 Surprising Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen</a>)</p> <h2>2. Credit cards</h2> <p>Our grandparents and great-grandparents simply didn't have or use credit cards in anywhere near the same capacity as we do today. For the most part, their mentality was this: Either they had the money to buy what they needed, or they didn't. If they didn't, they simply went without. This straightforward approach to money meant they were probably better at budgeting than many of us are today.</p> <p>Now, according to the Federal Reserve, 70 percent of Americans have at least one credit card, with the average being 2.6 cards according to Gallup. In houses that carry credit card debt, a NerdWallet study found the average amount to be a whopping $16,425 as of 2017. As a nation, that's a grand total of $764 billion that we owe on our cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>Our grandparents didn't have to deal with credit card debt, but they also missed out on many of the benefits of credit cards, like points, miles, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back programs</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>3. Student loans</h2> <p>The first federal student loans in the United States <a href="http://www.edcentral.org/edcyclopedia/federal-student-loan-programs-history/" target="_blank">were offered in 1958</a>, under the National Defense Act. The institution of student loans simply missed most of our grandparents' generation. Now, according to Student Loan Hero, 44.2 million Americans are dealing with student loan debt, and repayment is so difficult that it is a crisis for many people.</p> <p>In homes that carry student loan debt, NerdWallet found the average amount owed is over $50,000. Since 1985, inflation has seen the cost of college fees and tuition rise by nearly 500 percent. It's no wonder we have to take out loans to pay for school.</p> <p>While our grandparents didn't have to deal with these enormous student loans, there was a trade-off: They also found it much harder to go to college. Loans today make it easier for people to get the education they want or need to pursue their dreams, so we have more educational opportunities than our grandparents did. But, that opportunity comes at a steep price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. High health care costs</h2> <p>Getting quality medical care didn't always cost as much as it does now. In 1958, the average person spent <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2012/12/22/the-cost-of-health-care-1958-vs-2012/#7c4abff44910" target="_blank">$134 per year</a> on health care costs (and many of our grandparents were born before that, when costs were even lower). Even if you adjust for inflation, that's only around $830 by today's standards. In 2016, the average person spent <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/new-peak-us-health-care-spending-10345-per-person/" target="_blank">$10,345 dollars on health care</a>. That's a massive leap.</p> <p>It shouldn't be a surprise that health insurance is a huge debate in our country, because most people can't afford this much out of pocket. Health care costs have gone up for many reasons, including the advancement (and expense!) of technology, the high cost of becoming a doctor, and the drain of long hospital stays and drawn out illnesses. Our grandparents and great-grandparents may not have had such high health care costs, but again, there was a trade-off: They also didn't have access to the advanced technology and treatments that we have today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-plan-on-the-health-care-marketplace?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Plan on the Health Care Marketplace</a>)</p> <h2>5. Saving for retirement</h2> <p>In our grandparents' day, many jobs came with pensions. You worked a certain number of years, or until you reached a certain age, and the company let you retire with plenty of money to live out the rest of your life. It wasn't up to you to figure out a 401(k), the various types of IRAs, and more. Instead, you invested in a company, and that company took care of you when you left the working world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</a>)</p> <p>Now, we have to invest for ourselves, because pensions are disappearing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1990, 42 percent of private industry employees who worked full-time had a pension. By 2012, that number was down to 22 percent. And it's still falling. Companies aren't looking out for our retirement anymore, so we have to do it ourselves.</p> <p>While pensions had many perks, they didn't give workers the flexibility that we have today in planning for retirement. Now, we can choose how to invest our retirement savings, and exactly how much we put into those accounts. Although funding our retirement takes a lot more work these days, we at least have the benefit of more control and flexibility with our savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-retirement-rules-of-thumb-that-actually-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Retirement &quot;Rules of Thumb&quot; That Actually Work</a>)</p> <h2>6. Rising food costs</h2> <p>Things cost more now than they did in our grandparents' day. While we also make more money than they did, it's not enough to keep up with the rising cost of everyday life. Since 2003, food and drink costs have risen by 36 percent. Our earnings, on the other hand, have only gone up 28 percent.</p> <p>A dozen eggs only cost <a href="https://www.bls.gov/opub/uscs/report991.pdf" target="_blank">$0.60 in 1950</a>. By 2010, that cost was $1.79 per dozen, and it's only getting higher. Sure, that's one small item. However, when you multiply that by all of your groceries, that's a significant change between the prices our grandparents paid and the ones we pay now.</p> <p>The silver lining to those rising food costs is that we now have many more options in where and how we purchase groceries, which gives us a chance to find the best deals. Apart from the grocery store, you can do a cost comparison with your local farmers market or wholesale retailer, like Costco. Recent years have also seen a boom in community-supported agriculture (CSA) shares, in which you receive farm-fresh, seasonal produce (and sometimes dairy!) for a fraction of what you'd pay at the store. Today, you can even save money by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">having your groceries delivered</a> right to your doorstep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <p>We also have more ways to find savings on those rising food costs. Apart from good, old-fashioned coupon clipping, there are numerous apps and websites (such as Ibotta, SavingStar, and Checkout 51) that offer stellar deals and cash back on grocery purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 8 Shopping Apps That'll Actually Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-problems-our-grandparents-never-had&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Money%2520Problems%2520Our%2520Grandparents%2520Never%2520Had.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Problems%20Our%20Grandparents%20Never%20Had"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Problems%20Our%20Grandparents%20Never%20Had.jpg" alt="6 Money Problems Our Grandparents Never Had" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-problems-our-grandparents-never-had">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-child-from-identity-theft">How to Protect Your Child From Identity Theft</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-protect-your-credit-after-the-equifax-breach">How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Breach</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/your-good-credit-doesnt-mean-you-have-good-money-habits">Your Good Credit Doesn&#039;t Mean You Have Good Money Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-identity-was-stolen">9 Signs Your Identity Was Stolen</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-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance family generations great grandparents health care costs identity theft money problems pensions retirement savings Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:31:10 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2005634 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Build a Back-to-School Capsule Wardrobe That's Trendy and Affordable http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-477988890.jpg" alt="build a back-to-school capsule wardrobe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You want your kids to have clothes they both love to wear and that didn't cost an arm and a leg to buy. Especially as kids get older, they tend to want the latest trends to help them fit in, but that isn't always compatible with your budget. So, how do you balance trendy fashion and affordability? Helping your child build a capsule wardrobe is the perfect solution! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <p>A capsule wardrobe is made up of a few essential clothing items that can be paired with seasonal pieces. When it comes to dressing your kids, planning a capsule wardrobe that fits into each season can help you make sure they have the clothes they need year-round while sticking to your budget.</p> <h2>Check your inventory</h2> <p>Before you go out shopping, take inventory of what's in your child's closet. Have them decide on a number and go through the items together or with their friends for help. Place items they'll no longer wear in a discard or donate pile. Hang up the final keeper items in the closet and see what you've got. Decide together what type of clothes your child needs to finish their capsule wardrobe for each season that year, such as shorts, skirts, or warmer jackets.</p> <p>In order to keep on top of your child's wardrobe, and not have to suffer through last-minute shopping when you realize that they don't have a quality jacket that fits for winter, it's important to write down each type of clothing they will need and which season it can be used for. This way you can shop for specific pieces when you can get the best prices. Keep in mind the majority of their capsule wardrobe should remain the same with only select seasonal pieces switching out as the weather changes.</p> <p>Tweens and teens who are allowed to have a smartphone may benefit from adding virtual closet apps that show each piece and outfits available in their closet, such as <a href="http://about.stylitics.com/" target="_blank">Stylitics</a>, or <a href="http://closetapp.com/" target="_blank">Closet</a>. These apps also suggest randomized outfits in the mornings.</p> <h2>Choose the basics</h2> <p>The capsule wardrobe is all about combining reliable, affordable clothing plus a few trendy, seasonal pieces each year. Typically, this number for a full wardrobe is around 30 pieces, but your child should be free to pick a reasonable number that makes them comfortable. Overall, your child's capsule wardrobe should mean less clothes overall, which will save you money.</p> <p>The pieces can be interchangeable and layered to create completely new outfit selections. The total number of items could easily double the number of outfits to choose from in the closet. Included in the capsule are day-to-day looks and matching shoes, but pajamas, workout clothes, snow clothes, and accessories don't count. Basic starter pieces in a fall capsule for a girl could include:</p> <ul> <li>Four pairs of jeans or khakis.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>One pair of black dress pants.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three solid color undershirts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three overshirts or cardigans.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Five dressy tops of choice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three dressy skirts of choice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three dresses.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shoes: a pair of street shoes, formal shoes, and ballerina flats.</li> </ul> <p>Or, your child's capsule may be simpler, with six tops and five pairs of pants. A go-to hoodie or jean jacket is a great option to consider as an extra staple. Aside from smart basics that are easy to interchange, and are comfortable and appropriate for school, your child may add in whatever else makes them feel confident. Try to find pieces that your child can grow into as well so the item can last for a year or (or perhaps two) within the capsule wardrobe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-parents-can-save-on-back-to-school-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways Parents Can Save on Back-to-School Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>Plan for the seasons</h2> <p>Most likely, the majority of your child's capsule wardrobe will flow from season-to-season. You may add a few cardigans or jackets to layer over the summer tank tops. You'll also want to switch out the shorts for warmer pants or thick leggings.</p> <p>Allow for one big splurge on an item that's trendy or is clearly loved by your kid, such as a pair of purple pants or boots. Remember, for every item that you pull out of storage or purchase new, remove an item to keep the total number in the closet the same.</p> <h2>Get creative, sell, or reuse outgrown pieces</h2> <p>Don't be afraid to get creative to stay trendy and on-budget. Moms and dads will have '90s items their children may love to wear or repurpose. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts" target="_blank">T-shirts can easily be upcycled</a> into dresses, tanks, and more, while old jeans may be cut down into shorts and secured by sewing or fashion tape. Have your kids invite friends over to do a clothing swap, complete with a pizza party or sleepover.</p> <p>Used clothing boutiques or sites like <a href="https://www.thredup.com/" target="_blank">thredUP</a> or <a href="https://letgo.com/" target="_blank">LetGo</a> are also great ways to get rid of clothes that don't fit and can cover at least some of the cost of adding new items to the existing capsule wardrobe. It's cheaper to replace just a few items than to buy them a full new wardrobe as they grow or as the seasons change.</p> <p>Back-to-school shopping doesn't mean you have to break the bank or disappoint your kids with less than fashionable clothes. Creating a kid's capsule wardrobe is the perfect solution to keep the budget in check while letting your child have control of their fashion choices, remain trendy, and actually wear the clothes in their closet.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Build%2520a%2520Back-to-School%2520Capsule%2520Wardrobe%2520Thats%2520Trendy%2520and%2520Affordable.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Build%20a%20Back-to-School%20Capsule%20Wardrobe%20Thats%20Trendy%20and%20Affordable"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Build%20a%20Back-to-School%20Capsule%20Wardrobe%20Thats%20Trendy%20and%20Affordable.jpg" alt="How to Build a Back-to-School Capsule Wardrobe That's Trendy and Affordable" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable">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/6-back-to-school-items-you-can-buy-used">6 Back-to-School Items You Can Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-effortless-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-shopping">4 Effortless Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-parents-can-save-on-back-to-school-clothes">6 Smart Ways Parents Can Save on Back-to-School Clothes</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-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping back-to-school family saving money school shopping shopping for kids Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Anum Yoon 2004470 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Questions You Need To Answer Before Relocating in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-need-to-answer-before-relocating-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-questions-you-need-to-answer-before-relocating-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior_couple_hugging_over_living_house_background.jpg" alt="Senior couple hugging over living house background" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do your post-career plans include a change of address? If so, you're not alone. A 2015 Bankrate survey found that one in five Americans age 65 or older would consider moving to a different city or state for retirement.</p> <p>If a change of scenery in your later years sounds appealing, the most important question to consider is, &quot;Why?&quot; It's easy to romanticize the benefits of living in a different city. So, before you start packing boxes, here are four key questions that'll help make sure you're relocating for all the right reasons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Exciting, Affordable American Cities to Retire In</a>)</p> <h2>How would a move impact your finances?</h2> <p>Many people who move in retirement do so for financial reasons. In fact, nearly 75 percent of people age 65 or older said finding a lower cost of living was &quot;extremely important&quot; when thinking about where to retire, according to Bankrate.</p> <p>Moving for monetary reasons can make sense as long as you look at all sides of the equation. If your retirement account isn't as fully stocked as you'd like it to be, selling a home that you own outright or have a lot of equity in and buying one that costs less may be wise. Just be sure to factor in other ongoing costs in the town you're thinking of moving to, such as property taxes, insurance, sales taxes, and more.</p> <p>You can get a feel for how your cost-of-living may change by using an online calculator, and the <a href="https://taxfoundation.org/state-and-local-sales-tax-rates-2016/" target="_blank">Tax Foundation</a> has information about state and local taxes. But do some additional checking. Talk with a realtor to ask about property taxes, and call an insurance agent to see how your homeowners and vehicle insurance costs may change.</p> <h2>How would a move impact your extended family?</h2> <p>A couple of years ago, an older couple I know sold the home they've owned for many years and moved closer to two of their adult children and their families. They're enjoying spending more time with their grandchildren, attending various school and sports events. And, when the woman in the couple had to be hospitalized recently, their adult children didn't have to fly across the country to be there for her.</p> <p>On the other hand, my in-laws live about five hours away. When my father-in-law recently became ill and eventually passed away, it was very challenging for my wife and our whole family to be there as much as we would have liked.</p> <p>Relocating to be closer to family is generally a good idea. However, there are also some risks. For example, the adult children you move to be closer to could end up moving because of career or other reasons.</p> <p>Be sure to manage everyone's expectations as well by having a conversation with your adult children before you move. How often will you get together? How available will you be to baby-sit your grandkids? And how much help might your adult children provide if and when your health declines?</p> <h2>How would a move impact your friendships?</h2> <p>When considering a move, it's easy to make the mistake of overstating the importance of some factors while underestimating others. For example, Midwesterners are especially open to the idea of relocating for retirement, according to Bankrate, mostly because of their desire for better weather. However, weather is something people tend to get acclimated to fairly quickly, whereas it takes time to develop true friendships. Don't be too quick to move away from close friends.</p> <h2>How would a move impact your future medical care?</h2> <p>Our quality of life is largely dictated by the quality of our health, and as we age, our health is likely to become more fragile. That makes easy access to high quality health care an especially important factor in where we live during our later years. How is the health care in the town you're thinking of moving to? Here are some resources that can help answer that question.</p> <p>Medicare's <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html" target="_blank">Hospital Compare</a> database keeps tabs on hospitals throughout the country, monitoring their 30-day readmissions and deaths by surgical procedure, patient ratings, and more.</p> <p>The <a href="https://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/state/select" target="_blank">Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality</a> provides state health score cards that look at how the health care in each state compares to national benchmarks.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2013/09/national-directory.html" target="_blank">Robert Wood Johnson Foundation</a> maintains a database of health care reports, rating hospitals in each state on a wide variety of measures.</p> <h2>Take your move for a test drive</h2> <p>One final idea: If you're thinking about relocating in retirement, before you pull up stakes and hire movers, consider taking an extended vacation to the area you're considering. That'll help you figure out if it's just a nice place to visit, or you would actually want to live there.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-questions-you-need-to-answer-before-relocating-in-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Questions%2520You%2520Need%2520To%2520Answer%2520Before%2520Relocating%2520in%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=4%20Questions%20You%20Need%20To%20Answer%20Before%20Relocating%20in%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Questions%20You%20Need%20To%20Answer%20Before%20Relocating%20in%20Retirement.jpg" alt="4 Questions You Need To Answer Before Relocating in Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-need-to-answer-before-relocating-in-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-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/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-retirement-hotspots-that-are-cheaper-now-than-ever-before">9 Retirement Hotspots That Are Cheaper Now Than Ever Before</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-overcome-these-4-common-retirement-fears">How to Overcome These 4 Common Retirement Fears</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-choose-the-perfect-country-to-retire-in">How to Choose the Perfect Country to Retire In</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-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving">How to Face These 7 Scary Facts About Retirement Saving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement considerations family friendships health care hospitals moving pros and cons relocation Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Matt Bell 1970115 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brother_and_sister_having_fun_in_water_park.jpg" alt="Brother and sister having fun in water park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning a summer vacation with the kids? While you hammer out the details, you'll need to plan&nbsp;on spending a pretty penny. According to an&nbsp;Allianz Travel Insurance study,&nbsp;the average family planned to spend $1,798 on travel last summer. That's no small chunk of change.</p> <p>Of course, summer travel is even more expensive if you fly your whole family to a faraway destination, or visit an expensive theme park like Disney World. Even if you&nbsp;use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card travel rewards</a>&nbsp;to pay for your airfare or hotel, you can expect to spend a bundle.</p> <p>But, what if you could have just as much fun without all those costs? Some of the nation's best water parks offer exceptional value within driving distance of a slew of major cities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids" target="_blank">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>If you want to skip airfare but still take the kids on a fun, warm-weather trip they'll never forget, consider one of these options.</p> <h2>1. Holiday World and Splashin' Safari &mdash;&nbsp;Santa Claus, Indiana</h2> <p><a href="https://www.holidayworld.com/" target="_blank">Holiday World and Splashin' Safari</a>&nbsp;is the ultimate stop for a few days of family fun. The park offers both roller coasters and an expansive water park all for one low price. As a bonus, both parks offer free sunscreen and free fountain drinks all day long.</p> <p>One-day admission to both parks starts at around $26 per person, although prices increase through peak months of July and August. Check out the giant Thunderbird roller coaster or the popular Raven coaster. Or, ride the park's giant water coasters with seating for six. Pitch a tent next door at the popular&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lakerudolph.com/" target="_blank">Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort</a>&nbsp;for affordable camping fun and proximity to the parks.</p> <h2>2. Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Texas</h2> <p><a href="http://www.schlitterbahn.com/south-padre-island/resort" target="_blank">Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Water Park</a>&nbsp;offers one of the largest water parks in southern Texas, along with an on-site hotel for ultimate convenience and comfort. Water park-only tickets start at just $51 for adults and $39 for kids. Kids age two and under are free.</p> <p>Once you arrive, you can float the day away in a lazy river dotted with rapids, boogie board in a wave pool, or thrill your way down more than a half-dozen water slides. Schlitterbahn also offers splash pads and small rides for the little ones, along with plenty of spots for shade and rest.</p> <h2>3. Kalahari Resorts &mdash; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin</h2> <p>Wisconsin Dells is a city known for its many, many water parks and outsized attractions.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kalahariresorts.com/wisconsin" target="_blank">Kalahari Resorts</a>&nbsp;offers one of the broadest selections of both indoor and outdoor water rides. Their indoor water park alone is 125,000 square feet, while the outdoor park features exciting water races, a meandering river, whirlpool spas, water slides that zip and turn, and so much more.</p> <p>With an on-site room booked, you might qualify for free water park passes. If you stay off-site, water park-only passes start at $34, and kids under the age of two are free.</p> <h2>4. Water Country USA &mdash;&nbsp;Williamsburg, Virginia</h2> <p><a href="https://watercountryusa.com/en/williamsburg/" target="_blank">Water Country USA</a>&nbsp;offers extreme value and fun in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. Families can experience a white water rafting adventure together on the Big Daddy Falls, slide through curving chutes on the Colossal Curl, or fly face-first down the Nitro Racer. For the little ones, there are tiny slides, splash zones, and plenty of shade.</p> <p>A one-day water park ticket starts at $60 at the gate, but you can scoop one up for as low as $40 online, depending on the date. You can also buy a combo ticket that includes admission to the adjacent Busch Gardens for $80 online or $120 at the door.</p> <h2>5. Legoland California Resort &mdash;&nbsp;Carlsbad, California</h2> <p>West Coast families can delight in numerous easy-to-reach water parks, including&nbsp;<a href="https://www.legoland.com/california/legoland-water-park/rides-and-attractions/" target="_blank">Legoland California Resort</a>. Here, you can build your own rafts incorporating giant Legos, get blasted by water cannons in the Joker Soaker, ride the Orange Rush through its twists and turns, and master an array of other water coasters built for kids and adults of all ages.</p> <p>You can get two-day admissions to both Legoland and its water park for $89 for kids under 13, and $95 for everyone else.</p> <h2>6. Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee</h2> <p>Families can enjoy mountain scenery and cool down in the waters of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dollywood.com/waterpark" target="_blank">Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park</a>.&nbsp;Race one another down the TailSpin Racer, take the Big Bear Plunge in a family floater made for five, or play with the little ones in their own special park within a park, Little Creek Falls.</p> <p>Driving distance from many places in the South, Dollywood also offers a theme park perfect for family affairs. One-day admission to the theme park starts at $67 for adults and $54 for kids ages four to 11. Water park admission is $49 for adults, $44 for kids.</p> <h2>7. Roaring Springs Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Meridian, Idaho</h2> <p><a href="http://www.roaringsprings.com/" target="_blank">Roaring Springs</a>&nbsp;is a sprawling water park in southern Idaho that offers fun for the whole family. Ride the new Corkscrew Cavern looping water slide, relax in a private cabana, speed down the nearly vertical Cliffhanger, or float in the wave simulator all day long. Of course, there are plenty of dining options available, too, from pizza to salads.</p> <p>Full-day admission for adults is $32, while kids under 48&quot; are $27. Children ages three and under are free.</p> <h2>8. Water-Zoo &mdash;&nbsp;Clinton, Oklahoma</h2> <p>Oklahoma's <a href="http://www.water-zoo.com/" target="_blank">Water-Zoo</a>&nbsp;offers an array of indoor water slides and rides that will delight even the pickiest young traveler. Inside, you'll find more than 300,000 gallons of water, 500 feet of water slides, a wave pool, a lazy and crazy river, and a small slide for little kids, too.</p> <p>Admission is $23.49 for guests under 48&quot;, and $34.99 for everyone else. Children ages three and under are free.</p> <h2>9. Six Flags White Water &mdash;&nbsp;Atlanta, Georgia</h2> <p><a href="https://www.sixflags.com/whitewater" target="_blank">Six Flags of Atlanta</a>&nbsp;offers a water park filled with fun and crazy rides to keep the kids entertained. The Wahoo Racer lets you zip past your family and friends in a six-lane water race. You can also swoosh down the Bahama Bob slide, or ride the waves in the 700,000-gallon Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool. There are nearly two-dozen water attractions for guests of all ages (and sizes) to enjoy.</p> <p>You'll save big here, too. Advance purchase tickets are $40, and children ages two and under are free.</p> <h2>10. Wild Waves Theme &amp; Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Federal Way, Washington</h2> <p><a href="https://www.wildwaves.com/" target="_blank">Wild Waves</a>&nbsp;offers both roller coasters and water rides in a single, inspiring setting. The water park features eight wet and wacky attractions, including a giant wave pool, relaxing river, warming tubs, and thrilling water coasters for the daredevils in your crew.</p> <p>Summer entrance is surprisingly cheap for families, especially if you prepay online. You can get advance purchase starting at $17 for adults and children. Adult tickets go up to $30 later in the season. Kids ages three and younger are always free.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Affordable%2520Water%2520Parks%2520You%2520Can%2520Drive%2520To.jpg&amp;description=10%20Affordable%20Water%20Parks%20You%20Can%20Drive%20To"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Affordable%20Water%20Parks%20You%20Can%20Drive%20To.jpg" alt="10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">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/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us">Beyond Disney: 8 Affordable Family Destinations in the US</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-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</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-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable driving family kids pools road trip summer swimming vacation water parks Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Holly Johnson 1957456 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-185090450.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teenagers need guidance to build their first budget. But with sporting events, extracurriculars, and homework to worry about, it can be easy for parents to let budgeting skills fall through the cracks. And if you were never taught how to budget by your own parents, you might not know how to teach your children this skill.</p> <p>Helping your teenage child create a budget does not have to be overwhelming or time consuming. The important thing is to be proactive and consistent as you teach your teen how to handle money in the real world.</p> <h2>Offer a Monthly Allowance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Providing a monthly allowance will help your child recognize the importance of long-term money planning. If they blow the entire month's worth of allowance in the first weekend, they'll learn an important lesson in delaying gratification. The most important thing you can do is be consistent about paying the allowance each month, and refuse to bail your child out of a problem if they use up their money before the month is over.</p> <p>If your teenager also decides to take a job, consider that a supplement to their allowance, rather than a substitute. Just as you would hate to see your initiative at work penalized by a reduction in pay, your child would hate to see their allowance docked just because they're showing initiative in getting a job.</p> <h2>Require Them to Take Over Some Necessary Spending</h2> <p>Many parents allow their teens to use their allowance and salary as pocket money. While there's nothing wrong with letting your kid have fun money, a big part of budgeting is making sure you have enough money to cover fixed bills. You can help your teenager learn to do this by asking them to take over a necessary bill.</p> <p>For example, you could ask them to cover a portion of the family cell phone plan, or their portion of the automobile insurance. Learning to pay these bills on time will give your teen an important first taste of what it will be like to pay their own way as an adult.</p> <h2>Create Targeted Savings Accounts<strong> </strong></h2> <p>It's likely that your child has some big goals for the future, whether that's going to a private college or buying a car. You can show them that they can achieve these financial goals through targeted savings accounts.</p> <p>Many banks allow you to create several targeted accounts, each with its own nickname. You can help your teen set up a few of these targeted savings accounts and encourage them to transfer some of their allowance or salary into the accounts when they get paid. They'll learn the importance of paying themselves first, and that consistent savings adds up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-savings-faster-with-a-multiple-account-strategy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Savings Faster With a Multiple Account Strategy</a>)</p> <h2>Help Them Track Their Spending</h2> <p>Financial tracking is a necessary part of creating a healthy budget. They should know where their money is going each month, and whether those expenses were worthwhile. If they discover they're spending a good portion of their allowance on going to the movies, introduce options to them, like discounted movie passes or skipping the popcorn, soda, and snacks while there. Remind them to spend their money consciously.</p> <h2>Have Regular Budget Meetings</h2> <p>Plan on checking in at least once every two or three months to see how their finances are faring. They should get into the habit of reviewing how they've spent their money and whether those expenditures align with their goals. This will set your teen up to regularly review their budget on their own, and one day have regular budget meetings with their spouse.</p> <h2>Teach Your Children Well</h2> <p>Budgeting is the cornerstone of financial health, but knowing how to budget is hardly intuitive. Spending can easily become automatic and savings be pushed to the back burner. By getting your teen used to reviewing their finances and planning for their future, you're creating a powerful habit that will guide them wisely for the rest of their lives.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">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/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</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-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</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-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family allowances budget meetings family kids saving money savings accounts teenagers tracking spending Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1889843 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-597659170.jpg" alt="your kids will love these books about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Chances are, you want your child to be financially wise, but every time you start to talk about money management or smart spending, your kid conveniently tunes out. Fun books are the perfect way to get your children thinking about money.</p> <p>You don't necessarily need to force your kids to read heavy economic books. Instead, allow them to enjoy and be inspired by these books about saving, giving, and starting businesses.</p> <h2>1. <em>The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2i7aviQ" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense</a> helps teach kids about allowance management. The book has tear-out checks so that kids can practice writing their own. While most of the population uses <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison" target="_blank">debit cards and credit cards</a>, writing checks is still something that should be learned.</p> <h2>2.<em> The Berenstain Bears' Money Trouble</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1dwBl" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Money Trouble</a> features the same lovable bears as they start several businesses to earn money. Starting a business isn't easy, even when it's just a lemonade stand. This book goes through those initial obstacles in a fun way.</p> <h2>3. <em>The Berenstain Bears' Piggy Bank Blessings</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1fFwW" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Piggy Bank Blessings</a> has an overall religious tone, quoting verses, but the story follows the bears as they save money for a surprise birthday present for their mom. My four-year-old enjoys this one, and I enjoy that the book shows the main characters thinking of others.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></p> <h2>4. <em>If You Made a Million</em> by David M. Schwartz</h2> <p>Kids throw around &quot;million&quot; without really knowing what it represents. <a href="http://amzn.to/2iw7QSV" target="_blank">If You Made a Million</a> helps children ages seven and older understand the complexity of big numbers in a fun way. While the book was published over two decades ago, it remains a classic, having won the ALA Notable Book and a Reading Rainbow Feature Selection.</p> <h2>5. <em>Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down</em> by David Adler</h2> <p>The well-loved author of the Cam Jansen series, David Adler, also happens to be a former math teacher. His book,<a href="http://amzn.to/2iAlvqd" target="_blank"> Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down</a> has such fun illustrations and tackles the concepts of supply and demand.</p> <h2>6. <em>Amelia Bedelia Means Business</em> by Herman Parish</h2> <p>Amelia Bedelia is a lovable and quirky character who takes everything literally. There have been many times I have laughed out loud while reading the original Amelia Bedelia series to my daughter, especially when she is told to &quot;dress the turkey&quot; and makes a little suit for the turkey dinner.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2iAnk6j" target="_blank">Amelia Bedelia Means Business</a> is not written by the original author, but the story still follows the same theme. This one follows a young Amelia Bedelia as she tries to make money, even getting in trouble with the local police.</p> <h2>7. <em>American Girl Library: A Smart Girl's Guide: Money</em> by Nancy Holyoke and Sarah Hunt</h2> <p>American Girl non-fiction titles are both engaging and useful for young girls. <a href="http://amzn.to/2hMVXnq" target="_blank">A Smart Girl's Guide: Money</a> is written in an engaging, magazine-type format. Topics covered are smart shopping tips, making money, and investing. The book includes fun graphics and easy-to-use quizzes.</p> <h2>8. <em>The</em> <em>Babysitter's Club Series</em> by Ann Martin</h2> <p>There might not be any set money lessons in the <a href="http://amzn.to/2iAhDW9" target="_blank">Babysitter's Club Series</a>, but I remember clearly that it helped spark an entrepreneurial spirit in me during my tween years. The idea that a group of teen girls start their own babysitting club had me planning and thinking about doing that myself. While I never started a babysitting club, I still have that entrepreneurial spirit that has allowed me to creatively earn money without a 9-to-5 position. The book series has been redone as a graphic novel, so it will appeal to today's generations.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></p> <h2>9. <em>Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock</em> by Sheila Bair</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1rmUr" target="_blank">Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock</a> follows twins whose grandpa offers them a 10-week savings plan. Every dollar they save will be matched. One twin saves his money and has over $500 after 10 weeks, while the other twin spends the money foolishly. Tons of great money lessons in here.</p> <h2>10. <em>Isabel's Car Wash</em> by Sheila Bair</h2> <p>From the same author as the title above,<a href="http://amzn.to/2j1rvqX" target="_blank"> Isabel's Car Wash</a> is about a girl who wanted a doll that cost $10. She decides to start a car washing business, but first needs money for supplies. The book follows her adventure of starting a small business so that she can buy her doll.</p> <p>There are so many wonderful books out there that teach kids important money skills. Look for books that teach children the money basics in a fun way, and also look for books that features the main character acting as an entrepreneur.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Family budgeting family kids money parenting saving money Spending Money teenagers tweens Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1869549 at http://www.wisebread.com These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bike_dog_492263352.jpg" alt="Woman finding things that cost a lot less in retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of scary headlines out there about how poorly prepared people are for retirement. And it's hard to deny the research: Many people simply are not saving enough.</p> <p>One silver lining in the retirement funding equation, though, is that you'll probably spend less in your later years. Let's take a look at some of the most common costs that decline after exiting the workforce, along with some that may go up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Housing Costs</h2> <p>Ideally, you'll retire your mortgage by the time <em>you</em> retire. Of course, you'll still be on the hook for property taxes and insurance, but entering retirement mortgage-free is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of living in your later years.</p> <p>You may also decide to downsize, which could cut the cost of home maintenance, repairs, and insurance, too.</p> <h2>2. Work Costs</h2> <p>If you're no longer working, you no longer have to worry about the cost of commuting, work-related clothing, or all those restaurant lunches. Plus, you'll no longer have to contribute to Social Security or Medicare as you probably had been doing via withholdings from your paycheck.</p> <h2>3. Car Costs</h2> <p>If you've been a two-car household during your career, it's possible that you could make it just fine as a one-car household in retirement, which would reduce the cost of vehicle maintenance, repairs, insurance, and gasoline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what?ref=seealso">You Can't Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Saving &quot;Costs&quot;</h2> <p>It's hard to call adding money to a 401K or IRA a cost, but the reality is that once you're done working you'll probably stop contributing to your retirement accounts and start withdrawing from them.</p> <p>By the same token, if you had been stocking a 529-plan account or two with college money for your kids, hopefully they'll be done with school by the time you retire, so those &quot;costs&quot; should disappear as well.</p> <h2>5. Kid Costs</h2> <p>Speaking of kids, even though people are marrying and starting families later in life, by retirement, the kids should be on their own. Just think of all the money you've been spending on their clothing, food, activities, medical care, insurance, and more.</p> <h2>Caution: Your Retirement Spending May Change</h2> <p>While many costs may come down when you leave the workforce, keep in mind that retirement is not a homogeneous season of life. You'll probably be healthiest and most active when you're newly retired. That means some of your costs could actually go <em>up</em> right after retirement. You may spend more on travel and recreation, for example.</p> <p>Then, as you age, you'll probably become less mobile, which means eventually you'll spend less on recreational activities than before you retired.</p> <h2>The Big Unknown</h2> <p>The largest question mark looming on the retirement horizon is health care. Your monthly insurance premiums may decline once you go on Medicare. However, what about your potential need for nursing home care?</p> <p>While that's not the happiest topic to think about, it's far better to deal with it now than when you actually may <em>need </em>the care. To manage that risk, you may want to look into the cost of long-term care insurance. And keep in mind, your choice is not just between paying the high cost of as much coverage as possible or none at all. You could opt for a more affordable policy that would help with <em>some </em>of the costs, while leaving you responsible for some, as well.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>The very real possibility that your living expenses will be less in retirement than they are now is not an excuse to shortchange your retirement accounts. The best approach is to run some numbers, creating pre- and post-retirement budgets based on your unique circumstances and retirement goals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-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-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/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-its-time-to-retire">8 Signs It&#039;s Time to 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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt">What to Do If You&#039;re Retiring With 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/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Cars expenses family housing costs kids saving money spending the future vehicles working Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Matt Bell 1852822 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_education_money_45175586.jpg" alt="Kid learning frugal living skills from parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to pass our frugal living skills on to our kids, but what lessons are most important? How specific should we get? How soon should we start? Don't sweat the details. Sometimes the most important frugal living skills aren't financial skills at all &mdash; they're life skills that serve us well in dozens of ways. Here are seven frugal living skills you should be teaching your children, no matter how young or old they are.</p> <h2>1. Patience</h2> <p>The ability to delay gratification is the foundation of frugality. It gives us space to mentally separate our needs from our wants, time to find the best deals, and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; a chance to let momentary impulses pass us by.</p> <p>As with most lessons, patience is easier to embrace when taught early. For items your kids want, build in wait times that are dependent on their own effort (grades, chores around the house, or progress toward their own personal goals). If their wants change during that time, which is inevitable with children, complete the lesson by pointing out how the slight delay translates into dollars saved. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-being-patient-saves-you-money?ref=seealso">8 Ways Being Patient Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Self-Confidence</h2> <p>Here's the dirty little secret that keeps our consumer culture thriving: Advertisers and marketers hate personal confidence and they do everything in their power to knock our self-image off kilter. Every day, we face a barrage of neuroses-inspiring messages that tell us we have the wrong car, wrong clothes, dull hair, bad breath, and hopelessly yellow teeth.</p> <p>Instilling a strong sense of self-confidence can help kids avoid falling victim to these messages for the rest of their lives &mdash; and sacrificing a large part of their personal wealth in the process. Seize every opportunity to reinforce the idea that your kids are fine just the way are and model that truth yourself. Then, when age-appropriate, pull back the advertising curtain. Point out how commercial messages are artfully crafted to make us all spend more than we should by making us all feel less than we are. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money?ref=seealso">3 Ways Confidence Makes You Better With Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Collaboration</h2> <p>In our hyper-consumer culture, collaborating and sharing are revolutionary acts because they slightly erode the need for more. Why buy your own lawn mower if you can borrow one from a close neighbor? Likewise, why should your neighbor buy a snowblower if he can use yours a few times a year?</p> <p>Encourage sharing at an early age by helping your kids develop strong communication skills, showing them how to make and honor agreements, and teaching them how to be good stewards of what they (and others) own.</p> <h2>4. Creativity</h2> <p>Making do with less takes creativity and ingenuity. It's how the moms and dads of yesteryear stretched meals, made new clothes from old, bartered for goods, and kept life going on what was often a shoestring budget. Foster your children's imagination with free-form toys, unstructured play, and arts and crafts &mdash; anything that gets them moving, thinking, and exploring new ideas.</p> <h2>5. Negotiation</h2> <p>Knowing how to negotiate on price, payment terms, and extras can save a person thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Teach <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">essential negotiation skills</a> by example; take your kids with you to flea markets, yard sales, and the used car lot &mdash; any venue where a bit of friendly haggling is expected. Show them how to use to research to their advantage, develop a rapport with sellers, and be fair but fearless in what they ask for.</p> <h2>6. Contentment</h2> <p>Much like low self-confidence, discontentment moves product. Keeping consumers in a constant state of desire is how retailers sell us more than what we need. To complicate matters, teaching children to be content is tricky business in America because we're all afraid of sapping their motivation. While encouraging kids to strive for more is important, make it less about things and money. Instead, help them focus on achieving their personal goals, expanding their experiences, appreciating the moment, and building rich friendships.</p> <h2>7. Individuality</h2> <p>In a world where consumerism and consumer debt is a way of life, choosing a different path takes a steely sense of self. Promoting a spirit of individuality in children helps them cope with &mdash; and even celebrate &mdash; being different. Point out how your family's own spending and saving habits go against the grain and don't be afraid to show the benefits (monetarily and otherwise) of your simpler, saner lifestyle. It will serve them well for the rest of their lives.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family children family frugal living lessons life lessons money lessons parenting parenting tips skills Tue, 15 Nov 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1833153 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sailboat_89092071.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What kind of retirement do you imagine? Do you picture taking a long cruise, traveling to international destinations, and racking up the frequent-flier miles? What if your partner is dreaming about a retirement of lazy days spent reading books, watching movies, and visiting the grandkids?</p> <p>Those retirements are two very different kinds. And if you and your partner can't agree on a version of your after-work years that satisfies both of you, your retirement might be a stormy one.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can boost the odds that you and your partner will enjoy your retirement years by asking five key questions before you leave the working world.</p> <h2>1. What Kind of Retirement Do You Want?</h2> <p>This is the most basic of questions, but it might be the most important. Couples need to hammer out exactly what kind of life they want to lead after their working years are over.</p> <p>When you're working, much of your life is planned out for you. You know when you have to be on the job, for instance. If you're raising kids, your weeks are often filled with band practices, soccer games, and gymnastics meets. You and your partner might not even spend much time together during an average week.</p> <p>But when you retire? That all changes. Those hours in the office are now hours spent at home. You and your partner need to determine what you want to fill those hours with. You might want to travel and take on new hobbies. Your partner might prefer quiet days with favorite books.</p> <p>The type of retirement you want also impacts how much money you'll need to save. You'll need more money if you plan to travel the globe and less if you picture quiet nights in your existing home.</p> <p>If you discuss this before retirement, you might be able to work out compromises. Maybe you agree to take two trips a year. Maybe you agree that you'll investigate a new hobby while your partner plows through <em>War and Peace</em>. But you won't be able to agree on anything if you don't first talk about what your ideal retirements look like.</p> <h2>2. Where Do You Want to Live?</h2> <p>Do you want to stay in your current home? Or perhaps you'd like to sell your home and move into an apartment in the middle of downtown? These are both good choices. But you and your partner need to discuss them before you retire. You don't want to be dreaming of a downtown apartment if your partner is making plans for a new sunroom in your current home.</p> <p>And what about your grandkids? Do you want to move closer to them? Or do you want to stay put? This, again, is another conversation that you must have before retirement.</p> <h2>3. When Do You Want to Retire?</h2> <p>You might plan on working late into your 70s. Your partner might be counting down the days to 67. Make sure you and your partner discuss when you both plan on retiring.</p> <p>Your partner might expect that you'll both retire at the same time. Don't make it a surprise that you want to retire earlier or later. The timing of your retirement plays an important role in how much you have to save each year to meet your retirement goals. So talk about this choice early and often.</p> <p>And if you change your mind? Don't keep it a secret from your partner.</p> <h2>4. How Much Money Do You Need?</h2> <p>This might be the most perplexing question of all to couples. It's also the one that couples need to talk about early in their relationship. Couples need to agree on how much money they'll need each year to live a comfortable retirement. If they don't? The odds are high that money issues will be a constant source of tension.</p> <p>How much money couples need in retirement varies depending on the lifestyles that they want. Couples who want to travel during their retirement will need more money. Those who want to spend their time visiting their grandkids will need less.</p> <p>Those couples who plan on living in a pricey seniors' center or an urban apartment building will probably need more money than those who plan to live for as long as possible in a home that they have already paid off.</p> <p>There are plenty of formulas for determining how much money couples should save during retirement. Your best bet, though, might be to meet with a financial adviser who can help you and your partner work through your retirement goals and determine the best way to save for them.</p> <h2>5. Who Will Do What Chores?</h2> <p>You might have been happy with being the home's main cook if your partner worked longer hours. But what about when you are both retired? Will you still want to handle the bulk of the cooking chores then? Maybe not.</p> <p>It pays to talk with your partner about who will handle the bills, cook the meals, clean the house, and mow the lawn once retirement arrives. The old ways of splitting these chores might no longer make sense after you both settle into retirement.</p> <p>Again, not talking about this issue could cause tension. You might not be thrilled to serve your partner dinner if that partner spent all day watching TV or reading a book. So don't be shy about the chores conversation. It might be time to work out a new household schedule.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-country-to-retire-in">How to Choose the Perfect Country to Retire In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-couples-should-have-before-retirement">5 Money Conversations Couples Should Have Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-need-to-answer-before-relocating-in-retirement">4 Questions You Need To Answer Before Relocating in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</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/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement chores couples family grandchildren lifestyle marriage moving relocating retirement planning saving money traveling Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1830271 at http://www.wisebread.com Term vs Whole Life Insurance: Here's How to Choose http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_father_hugging_88776971.jpg" alt="Family choosing between whole and term life insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know you need life insurance. It's a way to provide financial protection for your spouse, children, or other dependents should you unexpectedly die. But knowing that life insurance is a smart move and knowing which type of policy to take out are two different things.</p> <p>Studying up on life insurance isn't fun. Fortunately, most consumers choose between just two different types of life insurance policies &mdash; term and permanent. And if they choose permanent life insurance, they usually opt for what is known as whole life insurance.</p> <p>What's the difference between the two? And which type of insurance is best for you? Here's a crash course in the difference between term and whole life insurance.</p> <h2>Term Life Insurance &mdash; The Cheaper Choice</h2> <p>For most people, term life insurance is the smart financial choice. That's because this insurance provides solid financial protection for loved ones, while also costing far less than a whole life insurance policy.</p> <p>As the name suggests, term life insurance remains in effect for a certain period &mdash; or term &mdash; of time. You can choose the term, usually anywhere from one to 30 years. The Insurance Information Institute says that most people choose a 20-year term.</p> <p>When taking out a term life policy, you'll provide a list of beneficiaries, such as your children or spouse. Your term life insurance will pay out your death benefit to your listed beneficiaries if you die &mdash; and your death meets the requirements spelled out in your policy during this term (suicide cancels a payout, for example). After the term ends, the policy ends, too, unless you pay to extend it. Your annual premium will usually remain the same during the term.</p> <p>If you take out a term life insurance policy, you'll have to decide how long you want your policy to remain active. Most people choose a term that will last until their dependents no longer need their financial assistance. They might take out a term policy that lasts until their children will have left their home and started their own careers, for instance. Others might choose a policy that ends only after they know they will have paid off their home and built up a significant amount of savings.</p> <p>How much you pay for term life insurance depends on many factors, including your age, health, the amount of coverage you want, and the length of your policy. TrustedChoice.com, a website that helps consumers find independent insurance agents, says that a healthy 35-year-old male nonsmoker who takes out a 20-year term life insurance policy with a value of $500,000 will pay an average of about $35 a month for a policy. A 35-year-old healthy female nonsmoker would pay about $61 a month for $1 million worth of life insurance with a 20-year term.</p> <p>That comes out to $420 a year for the male and $732 for the female taking out the more valuable policy.</p> <h2>Whole Life Insurance</h2> <p>Whole life insurance is a more complicated product. That's because it is really two different financial products in one. It provides life insurance benefits like a term life policy, but also comes with an investment component known as a cash value.</p> <p>Part of every payment you make goes toward growing this cash value on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that you won't pay taxes on any of these cash gains while they are growing. You can borrow against your life insurance account or surrender it at any time to take the cash that has grown in it.</p> <p>You will, though, have to repay any loans you make against your whole life policy, with interest.</p> <p>Whole life also lasts, as its name suggests, for your entire life. No matter when you die, a whole life policy will pay out its death benefits to your listed beneficiaries, as long as the cause of your death is covered under the policy. Your premiums will remain the same until you either cancel the policy or you die.</p> <p>Because it comes with an investment component and lasts for your entire life, whole life insurance is considerably more expensive. TrustedChoice.com says that a healthy 35-year-old male who does not smoke would pay an average of $98.50 a month or $1,119 a year for a whole life insurance policy with death benefits valued at $250,000. A 35-year-old healthy female who doesn't smoke would pay an average of $82 a month or $960 a year for the same policy.</p> <h2>Which Is Right for You?</h2> <p>Which type of insurance is right for you? If you simply want to provide protection for your loved ones until they are financially independent, a term life insurance policy is usually the better choice thanks to their lower costs.</p> <p>If you want a life insurance policy that also generates cash value, then you might consider the whole life version. Whole life might make sense, too, if you need to provide financial protection for a loved one who will be dependent on you for your entire life, such as a child with special needs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose">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/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough">Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough</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/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</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-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</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/did-your-parents-give-you-a-whole-life-insurance-policy-heres-what-to-do-with-it">Did Your Parents Give You a Whole Life Insurance Policy? Here&#039;s What to Do With It.</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/choosing-life-insurance-term-or-permanent">Choosing Life Insurance: Term or Permanent?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance beneficiaries cash value dependents family life insurance payouts term whole life Thu, 03 Nov 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1825853 at http://www.wisebread.com It's the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th? http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_friends_piggy_bank_74667997.jpg" alt="Woman learning why her money is stuck in the 20th century" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you read financial advice these days, you could be forgiven for checking the date to see if you'd wandered back into the 1990s (or 1970s).</p> <p>What was good advice for the 20th century? Go to the best college you can, get a good job, live frugally, save and invest, buy a house, and max out your retirement savings.</p> <p>But all that generic financial advice of the 20th century isn't necessarily the surest route to success anymore. Millennials figured this out a while ago. That's why so many aren't bothering with college, why so many are living at home with their parents, and why so many are getting by with casual jobs &mdash; or no jobs.</p> <h2>Smart Moves for the 21st Century</h2> <p>So, what's the right financial advice for the 21st century? Well, Millennials' instincts aren't wrong. But these are hard waters to navigate purely on instinct. Here's what I'd do.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Don't Go to College&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Don't <em>go into debt</em> to go to college.&quot;</p> <p>Even that is a bit extreme, because there are career paths &mdash; engineering, technology &mdash; where you can earn enough to pay off student loans. It would probably be even better to say, &quot;Keep your student loans small, relative to your prospects of paying the money back.&quot;</p> <p>In particular, don't pay up to attend a mid-tier college. In the 20th century there was real ROI in going to the best college you could get into. In the 21st century, I think that's only true at the top. If you can't get into (or afford!) one of the absolute top colleges, there's no reason to pay extra to attend a second-tier college. The cost-benefit ratio shifts strongly in your favor if you do a couple of years at community college and then finish your degree at a good state school. Of course if your family is rich or you can get excellent scholarships, there's no reason not to go to a second-tier college &mdash; just not if you have to borrow extra to do it.</p> <p>Even if you can get into a top-tier college, consider whether its cost is justified. Will your degree ensure a job upon graduation, or result in better-compensated roles than you might otherwise have access to? Will it make entry into a graduate program of your choice easier? Will it materially benefit your intended life path in some way?</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Live at Home With Your Parents&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Live a lifestyle you can really afford, <em>even if that means</em> living at home with your parents.&quot;</p> <p>Do not go into debt to support your lifestyle! In fact, you'll be way ahead of the game if you can start accumulating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-the-importance-of-having-capital">a little capital</a>. Even just a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">small emergency fund</a> can make your life enormously better.</p> <p>Other sorts of debt may not be as bad as student loan debt (which can't be discharged even in bankruptcy, and which lenders will give you even if your planned course of study gives you no hope of ever paying it off), but that doesn't mean the other sorts are okay.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Work Casual Jobs&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Find a way to support your low-cost lifestyle, <em>even if all you can get</em> are casual jobs.&quot;</p> <p>There are all kinds of ways to make money. There are good jobs, there are crappy jobs, there are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">side gigs</a> of all sorts. The key is to fund your lifestyle (plus a little extra).</p> <p>In today's economy there are times and places where crappy jobs are all you can get. That's unfortunate.</p> <p>Also unfortunate is that so many people writing about &quot;kids these days&quot; don't see that <em>these two items are paired</em>. Millennials are (very wisely) matching lifestyle choices with income opportunities, while journalists (and even financial advisers) are pretending that these two things are independent of one another.</p> <h3>All the Other Generic Financial Advice</h3> <p>Investing used to be easy.</p> <p>From around 1980 through the end of the 20th century, just about any mix of cash, bonds, and stocks purchased through low-cost index funds would yield several percentage points above inflation, letting anybody be an investing super-genius.</p> <p>Housing prices didn't go up in a straight line through the whole period, but between the tax advantages of homeownership and the leverage of mortgages with a low down payment, as long as you didn't pay too much, anybody could have both a home <em>and </em>a valuable capital asset.</p> <p>Because none of this stuff is true any more, investing is now really hard.</p> <p>The return on cash has for years been so close to zero as to be not worth worrying about. Bonds, stocks, and real estate are all up so much since the crash that they're probably a lousy place to invest new money.</p> <p>None of which is to say that you shouldn't be frugal and accumulate some savings, but doing so will not be the path to wealth this century that it was last century.</p> <p>That means that we need to look someplace besides the 20th century for financial advice. And for that, I have an idea.</p> <h2>Look to Earlier Centuries</h2> <p>The 20th century was genuinely different. For about two generations &mdash; the generation that fought World War II and the Baby Boomers &mdash; we had a unique set of circumstances that made it possible to work for a paycheck and eventually, before you got too old to work, get rich.</p> <p>Until then, for all of human history, there were only two paths to wealth: You could inherit wealth, or you could achieve wealth through some sort of risk-taking endeavor (entrepreneurship, speculation, etc.).</p> <p>Those unique circumstances no longer apply, and because of that, the best place to look for strategies for the future is to look at the strategies that worked before the 20th century. The 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries will provide fertile ground. Things that worked then are going to work <em>better </em>going forward than reflexively copying what worked in the 20th century.</p> <p>Perhaps financial professionals can be forgiven for not having figured this out &mdash; the whole financial industry is a product of the 20th century.</p> <p>I have a book of financial advice from 1883 called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Worth-Wealth-Collection-Miscellanies-Merchants-ebook/dp/B0071IGXEG">Worth and Wealth</a> by T.L. Haines. It's a fascinating book. Much of it reads exactly like personal finance advice from today (minus any high-tech stuff like automating your bill paying) &mdash; getting an education, finding a job, living frugally, and so on &mdash; except that it has nothing about what we would consider investing. There's nothing about stocks or bonds. Instead, there's <em>investing</em> the way it was done in prior centuries.</p> <h3>Buy Productive Land</h3> <p>Land was the basis of <em>all</em> wealth right up until the 19th century. In the old days it would have been land with crops or pasture, but rental property counts too. Of course, both running a farm and being a landlord are more like a second job than like passive investing. Speaking of which...</p> <h3>Invest in a Business</h3> <p>That is, invest in <em>your own</em> business.</p> <p>The sorts of paper investments &mdash; stocks and bonds &mdash; that did so well in the 20th century are not going to go away, and no doubt a lot of people will make a lot of money in the market. But I don't think we'll see a continuation of the days in which a simple diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds provided a safe, high return.</p> <p>Of course, running a small business is more like a full-time job than like passive investing. And that's my point. The right response now to any the article on investing for &quot;passive income&quot; is to shake your head and say, &quot;That's so last century.&quot;</p> <h3>Organize Like a Family</h3> <p>The idea of an individual person as the fundamental economic unit is an idea of the late 20th century. Before that the fundamental economic unit was the <em>family</em>.</p> <p>There are all kinds of advantages to organizing your economic life around a family with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/strategies-for-households-with-more-than-one-adult">more than one adult</a>. It meshes especially well with the ideas I've already mentioned. Family members may work outside the family to bring in wages or a salary, but if there's family land or a family business, family members who lose their jobs can work them until they find a new job. That way the family still has some income and the family member has productive work to do.</p> <p>One mental model for this might be the big farm families of the 19th century, but I suggest that you think bigger. Model your home economy after the aristocratic families of the 18th century. Everyone can contribute. The most able can be given scope to vastly increase the family's wealth, while the young and the old and those who simply lack that spark can still contribute to (and share in) the family's success.</p> <p>If organizing like a family doesn't work for you, consider organizing like a tribe. It's probably an even better metaphor.</p> <h2>The Way Things Are Going to Be</h2> <p>In all these areas, I think that the Millennials' instincts have been pretty good, except that I think they've bought in on the 20th-century idea that the economic unit is the individual.</p> <p>That's understandable. It's an appealing model, one that gives maximum freedom with minimal responsibility &mdash; you're only responsible for yourself.</p> <p>Because of this, I worry that many of them, even those who are making the right moves on a piecemeal basis, have not figured out that the 21st century is going to look a lot more like the 19th and prior centuries than like the 20th.</p> <p>The choices that they make &mdash; in particular, the choice to live at home with their parents &mdash; show them instinctively moving in the right direction, but until they can correct their mental model, they're missing out on some useful perspective that history can provide.</p> <p>Look into how families organized their home economy before the 20th century. There's a lot of practical wisdom there.</p> <p><em>Where is your money &mdash; in the 20th century or the 21st?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fits-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIt%2527s%2520the%252021st%2520Century%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520Why%2520Is%2520Your%2520Money%2520Stuck%2520in%2520the%252020th-.jpg&amp;description=It's%20the%2021st%20Century%20%E2%80%94%20Why%20Is%20Your%20Money%20Stuck%20in%20the%2020th%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/It%27s%20the%2021st%20Century%20%E2%80%94%20Why%20Is%20Your%20Money%20Stuck%20in%20the%2020th-.jpg" alt="It's the 21st Century &mdash; Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">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/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</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/not-free-to-be-poor">Not free to be poor</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves">8 Wise Tips Famous CEOs Would Give Their Younger Selves</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-things-successful-millennials-do">7 Things Successful Millennials Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle 20th century 21st century advice baby boomers business education family investing millennials property investing Mon, 05 Sep 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Philip Brewer 1785277 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Second Home in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_house_retirement_21246021.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before buying second retirement home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's nice image: You, your children, and your grandchildren gathering every summer at the lake house you bought after you retired from the workforce. Or maybe you instead picture these same children bringing their grandchildren for long weekends at the downtown city condo you purchased immediately after heading into retirement.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-retire-rich" target="_blank">Buying a second home after retirement</a> can be a reward for years of hard work. It might also be a good investment if you buy the right property; real estate, after all, has historically increased in value.</p> <p>But buying a second home in your retirement years can also be a financial misstep. These potential pitfalls are why you need to ask five key questions before you invest in that second home after you retire.</p> <h2>1. How Will You Pay for It?</h2> <p>Buying a second home is fairly simple if you plan to use cash from your savings. You still have to be careful, though, to make sure that such a big expenditure won't eventually make it more of a struggle to meet your other retirement goals. It might not be easy to take that long-awaited cruise if you've spent too much of your savings on a second home.</p> <p>If you need to finance the purchase of a second home with a mortgage, you might face an even bigger challenge. Under federal law, lenders can't reject you for a mortgage loan because of your age. They can, though, reject your application if they think you don't have enough income to afford your monthly mortgage payments.</p> <p>Lenders rely partly on your debt-to-income ratio when making mortgage decisions. Lenders want your total monthly debts, including your new mortgage payment, to equal no more than 43% of your gross monthly income. Income, of course, isn't just money you receive from a salary. You can also count Social Security payments, pension payments, monthly rent checks, money from legal settlements, and any other recurring source of monthly income. But if your income is so low that your debt-to-income ratio sails over that 43% mark, you'll struggle to get the mortgage you need to buy a second home.</p> <h2>2. Can You Afford It?</h2> <p>This, of course, is the big question: Even if you can buy a second home, can you afford the monthly expenses that go with it now that you can no longer rely on your regular paycheck?</p> <p>If you are financing the second home with a mortgage, can you afford to add those monthly payments to your existing expenses? And even if you are not taking out a mortgage, you'll have to face the normal expenses associated with owning a home: Furnaces go out, water heaters leak, and utility bills add up. If you buy a condo as a second home, are you okay with paying association dues each month?</p> <p>In short, can you afford the financial burden of owning that second home?</p> <h2>3. Who Will Maintain It?</h2> <p>Homes require regular maintenance. Someone has to mow the lawn, shovel the walks, sweep the floors, and replace fading paint jobs. Is this something you are willing to do, even as you get older? You might think your children will be happy to spend a few hours pulling weeds and mowing the lawn. But are they really okay with that?</p> <p>You might need to hire a service to handle the regular maintenance of your second home. That will ease your burden. But these companies don't come cheap. Can you afford the additional expense of hiring someone to maintain your second home?</p> <h2>4. How Often Will You Use It?</h2> <p>You might dream of spending months at your vacation home surrounded by visiting family members. But that dream might not be realistic. Your children and grandchildren have lives of their own. They might visit far less than you expect.</p> <p>And what about you? You might think now that you'd like to spend every summer at the lake house in that quaint, touristy town. But after three or four summers, you might get tired of that restaurant you've eaten at every visit or you might no longer have the appetite for all those fudge shops and antique stores. Yes, you might get bored with your second home, too.</p> <p>Instead of vacationing in the same spot, you might instead want to travel to new places each year. If so, a permanent second home might not be the best choice.</p> <h2>5. What Happens After You Die?</h2> <p>We don't like to think about dying. But when you buy a second home in your retirement, you need to consider it. What will happen to that second home after you pass on?</p> <p>You might want to leave it to one of your children. You'll have to decide, though, who gets it, without causing strife among them. What if none of your children want the home? They'll then have to go through the hassle of selling the property after you die. You'll need to determine before your death, just how the proceeds of that sale &mdash; if there are proceeds &mdash; will be divvied up.</p> <p><em>Have you considered buying a second home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-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-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/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</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/frayed-relationships-damaged-credit-and-costly-additions-what-a-multi-generational-home-might-cost-y">Frayed Relationships, Damaged Credit, and Costly Additions — What a Multi-Generational Home Might Cost You</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-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</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-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Retirement condos family maintenance mortgages second homes vacation homes Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:00:03 +0000 Dan Rafter 1737542 at http://www.wisebread.com