In many respects, people can be their own worst enemies in their quest for financial security. When you consider that our lives are nothing more than a culmination of the decisions we make each day, if we tend to make more bad decisions than good decisions, or worse, if we can’t make decisions at all, it’s should be no surprise when financial security remains elusive.
Many people deal with credit card debt all of their lives with most of them giving little or no thought to what happens with their debt after they die. The fact that nearly 60% die without a will is a strong indication that they’ve given absolutely no thought to it.
Watching the roller coaster ride of the stock market can make many investors queasy. Even though the stock market has, historically, always trended up, investors can’t help but feel uneasy as they watch the values of their portfolios rise and fall with the market.
These are truly remarkable times in the mortgage industry. Mortgage rates are still at their lowest point in more than 50 years presenting homeowners with a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to lock in rates while they’re at or near the bottom. No one can say for certain whether rates can or will drop even further, but what is certain is that, at some point, they will go up.
Along with most consumer prices, college tuition costs are heating up again. It seems as though we have become accustomed to college cost increases that have outpaced the rate of inflation; however, recent data shows them rising at an even more alarming rate into the double digits in many states and as high as 30% in California.
Much is written on the “biggest financial mistakes” that people make with helpful tips for avoiding them. We’re used to seeing many common examples of how people can get themselves in trouble through certain activities, such as charging up credit cards, making minimum interest payments, buying cars new rather than used, not shopping auto insurance plans, etc.
When you change jobs, everything you need to take with you can usually be packed neatly into a couple boxes for your move - everything except your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Of course, you will likely enroll in your new employer’s retirement plan, but the decision as to what to do with your existing 401k plan may not be all that clear.
With the holiday season looming, it’s not too soon to do your year-end tax planning. One of the consequences of achieving financial success is that, what was once a relatively straightforward tax return increasingly becomes more involved as more tax issues come into the picture.
Most people are aware that they can begin collecting their Social Security retirement payout at age 62, and, in doing so, they are informed that they will be collecting a reduced benefit. And most people also know that, the longer they wait to collect benefits, they will receive a higher monthly benefit.