3 Things You Can Learn From Early Retirees

Your retirement is something you think about with a smile and some pleasant thoughts even though it might seem like it’s light-years away. But if you get to your golden years with insufficient funds, it’s guaranteed to be a nightmare and very unpleasant! You don’t want to live through that scenario, I promise you.

If you're having difficulty saving enough money for retirement, take a lesson from those who have been there. Here's what you can learn from early retirees.

Saving up enough money over a 45-year career to maintain your lifestyle in retirement is pretty challenging. But there’s a lot to be learned from the people who have managed to hit their savings goals well before that point, people who then retire early. You can learn a lot even if you haven’t been bitten by the early-retirement bug. That’s why it’s important to concentrate and learn about these three things you can learn from early retirees when you think that your retirement is at hand. But before you find out the answers…

Continue reading“3 Things You Can Learn From Early Retirees”

We Purchased New Laminate Wood Flooring and Here’s Why

We have lived in our current home now since 2007. That’s just over 12 years and during that time we haven’t done much to the floors around here. We had new carpeting in our living room, dining room, and hallway when we first moved in and truthfully, they’ve been looking pretty worn and stained to the point where it was really bothering us. After all, it wasn’t the finest carpeting when we purchased it and it really didn’t owe us anything after 12+ years of use, did it? It was time for an update and we decided on new laminate wood flooring.

It was time to update our floors and after considering our return on investment, we purchased laminate wood flooring. Here's what went into our decision.

When you do any home improvement, you often hear the abbreviation ROI (return on investment) mentioned. That’s why when we decided to make a change we asked ourselves this question:

“What might be the ROI if we purchase new flooring and besides the beauty aspect, does new flooring mean an increase in the value of our home?”

Continue reading“We Purchased New Laminate Wood Flooring and Here’s Why”

13 Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Live

I really don’t like to write long-winded posts about anything, even if I sometimes do just that. But, sometimes there are subjects that do require that kind of detail. Like, for example, the subject of picking where to live. Maybe you never actually had to pick a place to live, but these days it has become a much more common thing to have to do, and that’s especially true in retirement.

Choosing where to live is a major decision and there are many factors that you should consider. Here are 13 areas to examine to find your ideal location.

I’m sure that there are plenty of good and obvious reasons why you live where you live. In retirement, many need to live in a less expensive place or a place closer to family. For others, it may be that they always wanted to live in a mountain area or a beach environment. Those are all good reasons to consider and get advice about.

Continue reading“13 Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Live”

The True Cost of Owning a Home

There is an ongoing discussion about whether or not buying and owning a home is a really a good idea. I have been a homeowner myself continuously (with just a small blip on that screen while I recovered from my divorce) since 1976 and that’s roughly 40+ years, so I can testify that owning your own home has been a great move for me. That’s why I wrote about it several times (most recently with “Damn Those Skeptics: Owning a Home Does Build Wealth” in January 2018) and said it is definitely a good thing.

The cost of owning a home can be more significant than it first appears. If you're a renter, you may be in for a big surprise when it comes to ownership.

But, and here’s the big but, maybe not for everybody! Why? There is a list of reasons as to why home ownership may not be the right decision for you, but one of the most underestimated and overlooked is understanding:

What is the real price of owning your own home?

Continue reading“The True Cost of Owning a Home”

Freon and the Exploding Cost of Your Air Conditioning Units

Ever since 1970, we have been celebrating Earth Day and we just did that again this past week. You probably saw something on the news about it and maybe even participated to help celebrate it and defend the honor of our planet, too. Even if you didn’t actually celebrate it, you at least, hopefully, did some recycling of your own garbage that helped. And soon, like it or not, you’ll have to trade in your freon air conditioning for something more ecologically-friendly.

Freon air conditioning is a danger to our planet and is about to become significantly more expensive. Find out why and what you can do about it.

Let’s face it, Mother Earth has been fighting a huge battle against pollution now for what seems like forever and she hasn’t exactly been winning the war, has she? Climate change that has been aided by humans is a real issue and there are some ways you can actually help in the fight.

Continue reading“Freon and the Exploding Cost of Your Air Conditioning Units”

Emergency Planning – Are You Insured and Storm Ready?

We are not yet through November and some of us have already experienced a fall snowstorm. Storms of all kinds can hit with little notice no matter where you live and even if it’s not weather related, many scary problems strike and can be very dangerous, costly, and life threatening. We have seen that just in the last two weeks with the worst California wildfires ever (and now potential mudslides) that have taken dozens of lives and destroyed so much property. For these reasons and more, it pays to have an emergency plan.

Emergencies happen, but are you prepared? You need an emergency plan in case of a storm, fire, or other disaster. Here's what you need to plan in advance.

What Can You Do About Any of This?

If storms, fires, or other disasters strike, the very least you can do is be prepared with a plan and adequate emergency supplies. Even if you need to eventually evacuate, and I hope you never have to consider it, you need a plan of action.Continue reading“Emergency Planning – Are You Insured and Storm Ready?”

Geoarbitrage: The Power of Money Depends on Where You Live

I have always earned my living in the greater New York City metropolitan area, technically here in suburban central NJ (and as the late great Rodney Dangerfield often said, “we don’t get no respect!”). Because of that fact, I have always known that living around here was way more expensive than most other places and the purchasing power of a buck got you significantly less here than, say, someplace in the southern part of the USA. That’s always been one of the big downsides of living in this area.

Geoarbitrage is taking advantage of the fact that your financial power depends on where you live. In retirement, this becomes especially important.

This fact is verified every year by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that has been measuring this phenomenon since 2013. It recently published its latest data and using this info, the Tax Foundation demonstrates the real value of what $100 buys you in every state in the Union. It revealed once again that the power of your money really does depend on where you live. I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.
Continue reading“Geoarbitrage: The Power of Money Depends on Where You Live”

The 10 Household Tools Everyone Needs to DIY

Or “Never Use a Butter Knife as a Screwdriver!”

Everyone knows you can save money by doing it yourself (DIY) when it comes to maintenance and small (or even large) repairs. But in order to make this work, you need to make a minor investment…in household tools! There are a few basic tools that everyone needs to own, and that’s what today’s post is all about.

In order to do it yourself (DIY) and save money around the house, you need to make a small investment in these 10 household tools.

I grew up in a home where doing the little “odd jobs” were not a subject of interest by my dad despite the constant complaints by my mom. Everything from changing lightbulbs in that high up chandelier to tightening screws on the dining room chairs was a battle and my dad would use the excuse that he didn’t have the tools he needed so he couldn’t do it. Since I was the next in line to do those jobs, I tried in vain to handle them but the lack of knowledge and training combined with not having the basic tools doomed every project to failure.Continue reading“The 10 Household Tools Everyone Needs to DIY”