With recent data breaches in the news – from Target and Home Depot to Sony, Anthem and government agencies – I decided to attend a talk last week on identity theft. I used to regard this as one of those “not likely to happen to me” things. Not any more. What struck me most in the presentation was the amount of effort needed to relieve people of their money: i.e., not much!
The idea of paying off the mortgage – usually our largest single debt - has an iconic and seemingly straightforward appeal. But is it really the best financial strategy? The analysis of the relative benefits of paying off a mortgage versus saving for retirement can be complicated. To answer the question it is important to consider your individual situation. Are you close to retirement age, or many years away? Do you have significant retirement savings or not? What tax bracket are you in and how much benefit do you receive from the mortgage interest deduction? Will the returns on your retirement investments exceed what you are paying for the mortgage? I will provide some guidelines to help you think through your particular situation. If you are already feeling dizzy contemplating the range of factors affecting such a decision, you are not alone. Professional guidance may be needed.
I love lists like this; they almost always include at least one idea worth pursuing. I hope the same will be true for you here. In offering these top ten tips my wish is to help you start the New Year making conscious choices about money and spending in ways that support your values. Money […]
As I sit to write this piece it seems like these things have been said before. So, why write it? The answer is that we all need to be reminded. It is so easy to let our financial life coast on autopilot. Suddenly ten years have gone by and you’re still struggling to save, pay off credit card debt or make real progress toward retirement. Look at these five and ask yourself, what have I been neglecting and what can I do to improve my situation?
Regular statements or not, it is highly recommended that you login to the Social Security website, ssa.gov. The number one reason is to periodically verify that your earnings record is accurate. The SSA can make mistakes just as any other large business or organization can.
Many business owners assume that the effort spent throughout their working lives building a business will simply be transformed into a retirement solution by selling the business when the time comes. They will be set for life. The truth is that many stars must align to realize this dream.
I love lists like this; they almost always include at least one idea worth pursuing. I hope the same will be true for you here. In offering these top ten tips my wish is to help you start the New Year making conscious choices about money and spending in ways that support your values. Money and quality of life are integral to our sense of well-being and our outlook for the future. By aligning your values, goals and actions you take steps today to create a more meaningful life and future, regardless of your financial resources.