Communication Breakdown: The High Cost of Technology

Imagine just for a minute what it would have been like if you were born at the turn of the 20th century and were told about all of the new and exciting ways you would be entertained and communicate during the next hundred years. It would have blown your mind and you probably would have thought it was science fiction. After all, the early 1900’s were barely the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and horses were more common than cars on the streets in those days. The telephone was still in its infancy and motion pictures were pretty much an experiment in a lab someplace here in NJ. The truth is that only a very few of the most inventive minds could have ever imagined what was to come over the next hundred years. But what about the price tag that comes with all of this progress? Are you happy with the tech impact in your life, your time, and your budget?

The past 100 years has seen amazing progress in the areas of entertainment and communication, but what about the cost of technology? Is it worth it?

The Communication Breakdown and the Impact on Your Budget

(With apologies to Led Zeppelin) Budgeting for things that entertain and communicate used to be pretty reasonable but not so much today. If you aren’t prepared for the costs of all of this technology that we now take for granted, be prepared to be shocked. It simply costs a small fortune to be living in an age of electronics unlike anything life has ever seen before because we are “plugged in” 24/7. Continue reading

Avoid a Summer Meltdown with These Ways to Keep Cool

Yesterday the temperature was in the 90’s here in New Jersey, and I was looking for some ways to keep cool without spending a fortune on air conditioning. It seems like this summer is off to quite a warm start all around the USA and it’s not even a month old yet. It’s been 100+ degrees in lots of places out west and in the 90’s here in the northeast, ugh! With another 10+ weeks ahead of us of warm and muggy days, what are you going to do to cool off?

When the temperature spikes, you'll need some ways to keep cool without spending a fortune. Try these simple tips to "chill out".

You could jet away to a fabulous resort vacation someplace in South America where the temps stay in the 60’s and 70’s in what is considered winter there. You can even take off and cruise in Alaska or Nova Scotia or camp out in the great state of Maine. Those trips would definitely do the trick except for one tiny problem. They can cost you a small fortune and if you are traveling with your family, kiss your financial peace of mind good-bye and say hello to Mr. Credit Card Debt! So what can you do to stay cool this summer without burning big bucks? Here’s my list of cool low- or no-cost ways to stay fresh, save you money, and not go into a costly “hot money mess”! Continue reading

What is Disability Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

Super Saving Tips aren’t only about saving money by clipping coupons or knowing when the best times of the year are to shop. They’re also tips or “words to the wise” about what you can do in advance about issues that can affect your life, which of course can affect your money. That’s why I am writing today about disability insurance.

What is disability insurance? If you don't have it, then it's time to consider it. I'll help you understand what it is and why you need it.

What is Disability Insurance?

You may think disability is unlikely to happen to you, but 56 million Americans, about 1 in 5, live with disabilities.  And for today’s 20-year-olds, more than 1 in 4 of them will become disabled at some point before reaching retirement age. If your disability leaves you unable to work, how will you provide for yourself (and your family)? Continue reading

21st Century Retirement Strategies That Will Make You Secure, Part 2

In part one of 21st Century Retirement Strategies, I talked about the need to start your retirement plans at the very beginning of your working career. I wasn’t kidding. I have a hard time believing that people don’t think about it 100% of the time. It should be done as soon as you are employed and eligible to participate in your employer’s retirement plan, or if self-employed able to contribute to a plan you create yourself. Not only that, it should also be a consideration when you are interviewing for a job, even when changing jobs. Finding out what the benefits are when it comes to retirement plan options may not seem that important, but it is.

In Part 2 of 21st Century Retirement Strategies, I cover the different factors and investment vehicles you'll want to consider in a well-rounded plan.

Retirement planning is as much of a skill as just about anything you that you do in life. The main problem is that for most of us there isn’t much education or preparation for it and we have to learn as much as we can on our own. Fortunately, you might say, we have a fairly long period between day one of work and retirement day to figure it all out. Today, I’ll cover some of those retirement strategies that can help you secure your golden years. Continue reading

21st Century Retirement Strategies That Will Make You Secure, Part 1

Having reached the age of 67, it’s only now that the realities of retirement have actually sunk into my brain. After all, like most of us, that kind of event always seems like it’s far off in the distant future. It’s a lot like thinking about your long term health prospects in that you seem invincible in some respects and working every day fortifies that feeling.

In the 21st century, retirement strategies are changing. In Part 1 of this series, I discuss how health and Social Security will impact your retirement.

Realistically, we all know that retirement is coming whether it is in a far distant future or just peaking over the horizon. But even knowing that, we sometimes don’t paint a realistic color to what it will actually be like. Will it be a time of exploration, fun, and peace of mind? Or will it be a time of struggle, difficulties, and a less comfortable lifestyle? The way your retirement unfolds is never 100% under your control but the ways you prepare for it are for sure. That’s why you need some solid retirement strategies. Continue reading

7 Easy Ways to Ramp Up Your Savings

For today’s guest post on increasing your savings, please welcome back fellow blogger Anum Yoon.

In today’s world, there are endless opportunities to make money, but not all of them are the definition of reliable. Unless you have a sizable, stable income, it can be difficult to build a hefty savings account. It can be intimidating to start putting your money away for the future, especially if you aren’t sure what’s the right way to do so. Thankfully, there isn’t just one way to save!

It's important to maximize your savings to increase your overall wealth. Guest blogger Anum Yoon shares seven easy ways to build up your savings.

Increase Automatic Savings Just a Bit

Don’t attempt to save money in big chunks at first. It will be discouraging to see the money drain from your account so fast when you’re not sure what your new budget will be. Give yourself a small goal, and let it grow bigger with time. For example, start saving 1% of your monthly income, and, after six months, increase it to 2%. The time frame can be whatever you need it to be, but the gradual saving will build your account quickly. Continue reading

Financial Freedom and the 4th of July

Today, on its 241st birthday, the United States of America is a completely different place than any of our founding fathers might have ever imagined. Back in 1776 on this day, the world was just beginning to expand for America, stepping outside of the shadow of Britain and King George III to develop their very own path to independence. That path included political freedom and economic freedom that ultimately links to what financial freedom is all about!

Today is the 4th of July, the anniversary of America's independence. It's a day when we celebrate our freedoms, including goals of financial freedom.

When you seriously think about the road that we have traveled over the past two centuries (I’m a history major so I can’t help doing that), you will see the sacrifices that were made over and over again by people who started this great experiment in “freedom”. They have kept that process alive over every generation. It makes us proud to be a part of that process. Continue reading

Kids Can Invest in the Market: The Stockpile Experience

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Have you ever purchased stocks for your children or grandchildren? Better yet, would you like your kids to learn about the market at a young age and develop some lifetime skills that just might be the best road to building financial wealth? Well, now you can introduce them to Stockpile, an online discount brokerage firm that will allow you and your kids to buy “fractional” shares of over 1,000 stocks and funds (ETFs) with a relatively new and simple, easy and straightforward access to the stock market.

If you want to buy stocks for kids, Stockpile is a great way to do it. Not only can you buy fractional shares, but kids can track their stocks too.

The idea of buying stock fractions isn’t totally brand new, it’s been around for a couple of years. However, Stockpile is just a little bit different. For the first time ever, you can now set up a custodial account that your kids can use and learn all about the market and even make trades (with your approval of course)! It even gives you the ability to reinvest any dividends automatically for free, unlike any other of these types of accounts. Continue reading

…And The Savings Awards Go To: The 2017 SST Awards

I really value my free time these days. Truth be told, almost all of my time is free and since I retired, I say “every day is Sunday” these days. That’s how it really feels most of the time. So having that time means my mind often wanders to thoughts that otherwise may never come into my head. Like, oh say, writing about the SST Awards (Super Saving Tips Awards).

The SST Awards are my attempt to give savings awards to the businesses and products that save you money and provide you with the best quality and service.

These are the savings awards that I give to the businesses and products that save you, the consumer, the most money or offer the best deals that will earn you the most in cash and rewards! Oh, you haven’t heard about them? Hmmm, that’s strange. It was in all the papers. 😉 Continue reading

Why Senior Citizens Want to Stay in the Workplace

Most people think of a “senior” or a retired person as someone who sits around in the back yard snoozing on and off or perhaps hitting the golf course for a round with his retired friends. After all, most retirees have spent decades rising and shining every day and working there as$$es off to provide for themselves and their families and deserve some time to relax and have some fun in their “golden years”. And in most cases, they really do deserve a chance to just hang out and not carry the weight on their shoulders they have had for most of their lives.

Senior citizen jobs are becoming more important & prevalent as retirees go back to work. Here's some of the reasons why they want to stay in the workplace.

But a not-so-funny thing has happened to many older people these days. Many of them have found out that sitting around in retirement isn’t all that it was cracked up to be. There are a lot of reasons for that, so today’s post is something I can write about firsthand and with absolute certainty: why senior citizens want to stay in the workplace. Continue reading