It's pretty safe to say that if you want to do a better job managing your money, one of the first changes you're going to need to embrace is how to live frugally. I know, I know ... The word frugal makes most people want to cringe! Why? Because they associate it with another word that brings about unpleasant thoughts: Cheap! I think we can all agree - no one wants to be thought of as "cheap". And for good reason. The idea of people being cheap implies that they are being stingy with their money. It means you hold yourself back from buying the things you want or even need, and for no … [Read more...] about How To Live Frugally Without Being Cheap
If you’ve got questions about how 401(k) matching works, there’s only one phrase you need to remember: Don’t leave free money on the table! 401(k) employer matching contributions are one of the biggest reasons why American workers should utilize their 401(k) plans. Simply put, they are an opportunity to earn more money from your employer without any extra effort. When some generous employers match their employees’ 401(k) plans dollar for dollar, this is effectively the same thing as getting a 100% return on your investment! When was the last time you found an investment … [Read more...] about How 401(k) Matching Works – Don’t Leave Free Money on the Table!
Are you wondering about the benefits of starting a revocable living trust vs just a will? For years, my wife and I put off what we know we have to do as responsible adults and parents, and create a will. Without a will, the courts decide what happens to everything you leave behind: Your kids, your money, the house, the family dog, … everything! Ask yourself this simple question: If my spouse and I were to get hit by a car tonight, is there anything in place to protect all of those things I just mentioned? If the answer is “no”, then you absolutely need to sit down and do a little … [Read more...] about Why We Started a Living Trust Instead of Just a Will
Question: Is it possible to retire on $500K (i.e. $500,000) in your 50’s and 60’s? Unfortunately, not all of us are great savers. Most financial articles will recommend that you’ll need at least $1 to $2 million dollars in savings before you can even consider retirement. But the reality for a large segment of the population is anything from that. To give you an idea, a study from the Government Accountability Office found that those savers between the ages of 55 to 64 have an average of just $104,000 in their retirement accounts. This is not surprising at all. With the … [Read more...] about How to Retire on $500,000 In Your 50’s or 60’s
The foundation of any solid financial freedom plan is in knowing the best ways to budget your money and save effectively. It’s absolutely fundamental to preserving your wealth. Have you ever wondered why so many lottery winners end up going broke a short while after winning? Fortune reports that nearly a third declares bankruptcy within 5 years. You’d think that all those millions of dollars would solve their financial problems. But as it turns out: If you don’t know how to budget your money normally, than more money isn’t going to make a difference. But “budgeting” … [Read more...] about The 10 Best Practical Ways to Budget Your Money and Save More
Saving your money into a 401(k) or IRA can have some very powerful wealth-building benefits. But clearly one of the biggest drawbacks is that you’re not allowed to access your money for years or even decades. If you try to take it out sooner, than you'll have to pay a penalty! So what happens if you need the money now? What if life becomes difficult and you need to pull the money out for some kind of emergency? Or what if you have done an excellent job of managing your finances and would like to retire early? How can you work around this problem and gain early access … [Read more...] about When Can You Withdraw From Your 401(k), IRA, and Other Retirement Savings?
If you're curious to find out what's the difference between an IRA and 401(k) retirement plan, then this is the post that is going to explain everything you need to know! For most U.S. employees, when it comes to saving for retirement, they are offered two main tools to work with: A 401(k) and IRA. Though a lot of people will likely have the opportunity to contribute to both, sometimes the amount of money you plan to set aside for retirement each month can be limited by all the other financial demands going on in your life. That's when you might find yourself having to choose between … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between an IRA and 401(k)? Which is Better for My Retirement Savings?
Are you using the power of compound interest to your advantage? Have you ever wondered how compound interest works? Or better yet, why compound interest can make you so INCREDIBLY RICH over time? Albert Einstein has often been credited as famously stating "Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it." Great quote! But it just barely begins to describe shear potential behind this wonderful financial phenomenon. When used correctly, compounding interest is what can take your modest, periodic savings and turn it … [Read more...] about The Power of Compound Interest and How It Can Make You Rich!
As if the decision in estate planning over whether to create a will or open a trust isn’t confusing enough, I’ve come to understand (on a personal level) that even this may not be sufficient for ensuring your lifelong savings get passed on to your loved ones. In short: With the way things work now with elder care, there may not be anything left to give! Here’s my story. Recently, my wife’s grandparents both developed a very bad case of Alzheimer’s, and somewhat rapidly. This has caused the family to make a quick decision to move them from their residence and into the care of … [Read more...] about Could an Irrevocable Trust be the Key to Leaving a Financial Legacy?
Have you ever wondered what sets you apart from people who retire young? All over the Internet, you can find incredible success stories of regular folks who were able to pull off the impossible. But what is their secret? How do you retire young in today’s world when so many of the odds seem stacked against you. It’s one of my personal hobbies to read these stories and look through the details to see what makes them different. And you want to know what I’ve noticed? It’s not that they won the lottery or received a huge inheritance. It’s also not that they were … [Read more...] about What’s the Best Way to Retire Early? By Doing This One Important Thing