Are Personal Finance Blogs Really Important?

I’m not the kind of person who thinks of himself as really important. I mean, yes I am important to my family and friends, but I mean important in the sense that I should be treated “special” in some way when it comes to discussing and writing things about personal finances. I don’t get much recognition or praise and that’s fine. Sure, it would be nice, but I am happy that so many have reached out to me over the years with comments and views and that number has kept on growing every year. Thank you so much. But I don’t do it for attention. Why I write is based on a couple of things:

Recently some people have suggested that personal finance blogs are repetitive and boring. But they are really important. Here are two reasons why.
  1. I think that sharing my money experiences in life—both the good and bad—can help others
  2. I have definite opinions about money habits that make sense if you apply them to yourself
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The SECURE Act: The New 2020 Retirement Plan Rules

With all the news we are bombarded with every day, you may have missed this information which is new and will affect every single person in some way in their life. It is the passage of the new SECURE Act which became the law effective January 1, 2020 and changes retirement plan rules.

The new SECURE Act has made some important changes to retirement plan rules that you need to know. Here are some of the details and how they may affect you.

The new law has 29 new provisions or major changes, but I want to focus on just a few major areas. Some of this news is good news and some of it could be bad.

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How Someone with a Disability Can Plan Now to Make Long-Term Care Fit Your Financial Picture

For today’s guest post, please welcome Ed Carter, a retired financial planner who uses his expertise to help people with disabilities plan their futures.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many adults with disabilities are faced with financial challenges. According to a report from the National Disability Institute, adults with disabilities are three times more likely than others to have trouble paying medical bills, and 55% of individuals with disabilities do not have savings to cover a financial emergency. These concerns are troubling at any age, but when you think about paying for care later in life, financial planning takes on a new meaning. This is why it’s so important to make a financial plan now to safeguard your future.

It's important for individuals who have a disability to plan financially for their long-term care. Here are three steps to take in planning for the future.

Make Sure You’re Covered

If you haven’t done so recently, start by reviewing benefits you may be eligible for, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and more. You may be surprised by the types of services you can access, such as housing assistance and special savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Make sure you’re also taking advantage of all tax benefits that you’re eligible for.

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The Best Time to Buy Things This Year

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Every year I am amazed at how many people ask me when is the best time to buy certain items that they need. Unfortunately, my reaching out to a few friends and acquaintances helps only a little bit. Most people buy things on impulse or just when they absolutely may need something and never have a well-made plan when they do it. No matter how many times I see it, I have to shake my head and ask, “Why didn’t you wait or didn’t you know that it was just on sale last week?”

To get the best deals, it helps to know the best time to buy your purchase. Here's a month-by-month guide to finding the hottest bargains.

The prices of most things that are “on sale” are sometimes questionable. By that I mean: sale prices are determined by the retailer and that’s why items at one store’s prices are sometimes very different from another. Competition has an effect and helps keep prices in line and similar, but not always. There are other factors such as seasonality, store location (like a resort gift shop compared to your local Kohl’s store when you need a bathing suit, LOL), and the amount of inventory a store has on hand at any given key time of the year.

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How to Get 20/20 Financial Vision for 2020

It has arrived…2020. Wow, it almost seems it should be followed with the words “A Space Odyssey” to someone like me. After all, it’s been over 50 years since that great sci-fi movie “2001” hit the screen and now we are living in 2020. You can imagine that feeling by thinking how 2070 might be now if you had to guess what life would be like then? A bit scary, isn’t it?

In order to have a clear financial vision, it's important to know how you did financially in 2019, and to create a budget you can live with for 2020.

But having said all that, there is the real fact that we have to deal with 2020 right now using pretty clear vision, a la “20/20 eyesight”. The reason is obvious: if we don’t, we will be working with a handicap. And here’s the problem, without a 20/20 view to guide your finances, you are bound to fall short of your goals and there just aren’t any type of corrective lenses that will make your financial vision clear.

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Can Your Holiday Wishes Come True?

In the spirit of the holidays, I am going to be recharging my batteries and taking some time off to celebrate and reflect. I will return with my next post on Friday, January 3, 2020, so I hope to see you all then and thanks for being a loyal reader! Happy holidays and a healthy new year!

When the year end is just about here, I always want to take the time to reflect on how it all went. Was it a good year? Did I do anything to improve myself and my family’s lot in life? Did I take the time to help anyone with their problems? Did I take the time to appreciate all the things that I have and not dwell on those things that I want too much?

Especially at this time of the year, it's not unusual to have holiday wishes, but can you make them come true? Here are some ways to focus on those wishes.

So now, in this time of year when we get a small break (at least for a few days), we have this chance to get together with our families and friends and enjoy the holidays. That’s a good time to do the reflection about how your year went, isn’t it?

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6 Money & Lifestyle Predictions for 2020 and Beyond

I know that no one has a crystal ball that predicts the future. It is at best a guess and at worst voodoo when you try to make predictions on the future of things like the stock market, economic forecasts, and other money-related areas, but it’s all just so damned tempting to try to project on some of the “what-if” scenarios and give it a try. At least in my world it is.

No one knows what the future holds, but still I can't help but make some predictions on what will happen in the 2020s when it comes to money and lifestyle.

With that in mind, here are six 2020 and beyond predictions that I think are trending and very possible and could really happen in the coming decade.

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Dealing with the Hell of Living Paycheck to Paycheck

The subject of living paycheck to paycheck is as old as working for a living is. Despite the fact that we all strive to be financially well off or even financially independent, we have to face reality. Many of us aren’t well off and many of us struggle just to get by week to week. That’s true even in a country where the economy is strong and the stock market is breaking records almost every minute these days. Here are a few startling statistics from a survey taken in 2017 by CareerBuilder.

It's time to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Here are the steps you need to start taking control of your finances and building your future.
  • 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck
  • About 10% of workers making $100,000+ live paycheck to paycheck
  • More than 25% of workers do not set aside any savings each month
  • Nearly 75% of workers say they are in debt today and more than half think that they always will be
  • More than half of minimum wage workers say they have to work more than one job to make ends meet
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