The 3 Best Tips to Save Hundreds on Funeral Expenses

Today’s guest post on funeral expenses is sponsored by Safe Passage Urns.

As funeral costs continue to rise, families are looking for any alternative way to save money. Unless the person who has passed away has a last will or life insurance plan in place, the family of the decedent will be responsible for paying the funeral expenses. These expenses can amount to well over $7,300, which is the national average cost for a burial funeral according to the National Funeral Directors Association. The average American family simply does not have this kind of money laying around to foot the bill, but hopefully, after reading this guide you will be better prepared to save money while planning a funeral.

Funeral costs continue to rise, with the national average for a burial funeral costing $7,300. Here are several ways you can save money on funeral expenses.1. Selecting the Right Funeral Home

The variance between funeral home pricing can be much greater then what you might imagine which is why it is so important to do some comparison shopping beforehand. Some funeral homes charge much more for the same exact services. People will often select a funeral home because it is close to their home or has served their family in the past. It might seem easier to just go with what is most familiar, however, if there is a funeral home that is farther away from your family but it is significantly cheaper than other funeral homes closer by, then it makes sense to drive the extra half hour to save hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars. Continue reading

Is The Nostalgia Trap Cluttering Up Your Life?

Last week my wife and I saw the film “Nostalgia” (free of course!) courtesy of AARP’s “Movies for Grown-ups” program for its members and guests that they offer every month or two. Nothing quite like a great night out (with popcorn) and a movie for free! It was great seeing the “Black Panther” premiere the last time too. It’s just another reason why I love the AARP even though some of you have told me that you aren’t particularly a fan. Oh, I might just add that my membership is also free this year thanks to a deal I got through a Walgreen’s promotion, so can that be bad? But I digress, here. The movie we saw, Nostalgia, got us thinking quite a bit. It’s a series of stories about people’s relationships to their memorabilia or the memorabilia of their family members.

My wife and I saw the film Nostalgia last week, and it really started me thinking about the memorabilia and other trappings of nostalgia that many of us collect. So how do we keep these "treasures" from cluttering our homes and our lives?

What today’s post is all about is a little deeper than just seeing a free movie. It is about the role that nostalgia plays in our lives today and what it may mean to you and your family’s future.
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What? – It’s Blogiversary #4!

Back at the end of 2013, I was forced to stop working and “retire” because of health issues. I had had a heart attack earlier in the year and was also suffering from increased effects from diabetes, making me feel old and for the most part kind of useless. Yes, you could say I was thinking “pity party” and was selling that idea to anyone who would listen. Problem #2: no one wanted to listen.

As I'm celebrating my 4th blogiversary, I look back on where I started. Time flies when you're having fun!

Sunday?

So what does a formerly busy guy do when he’s forced to wind his life down and face the reality that he’s entered into a new phase…and he isn’t really mentally prepared for it? I began to call it the “every day is Sunday” syndrome, and looking at it you may see the reason why. Continue reading

Why Learning to Say No is So Powerful

Saying “yes” to almost everything requested from us feels safe, avoids conflicts, and takes less time than pausing to decide whether or not that request is truly important and valuable. Too often we are just so darn busy that we don’t have the time to stop and think about much of anything and so we default to our standard answer, “yes”. That used to describe the way I was, but not today. That’s why I’m learning to say no as my default answer.

As part of our quest for success, we are often conditioned to say yes to every opportunity. But learning to say no gives us the power to determine what's valuable to our work and personal lives. Here's why I'm learning to say no as my default answer.

What Made Me Change My Mind?

Saying no, thoughtfully, may be the most undervalued action of our time. In our world of relentless demands and infinite options, we really need to prioritize our tasks and responsibilities so that they can add the most value to our work and personal lives. That means deciding what to do more of, less of, and what to stop doing altogether. Saying no gives you the time you need to do just that. Continue reading

Health, Wealth, or Something “Elth”?

Remembering back to when I was kid (that’s way back!), the local Chinese American restaurant might offer special “family” combinations leading to the iconic phrase “Choice of one from Column A and two from Column B” and its variables. Those restaurant menus used to have long columns of dishes (Column A, Column B, etc.) and whenever you were ordering food family style, it was a pretty cool way for each member of the family to get their own special choices. And even better, it was usually specially priced because you were getting multiple items at once for the big meal.

If life were like a Chinese menu, with choices from column A and column B, what would you select? Are you working in real life to obtain these life choices?

Column A or Column B?

One could choose one item from Column A, two items from Column B, and so forth and this method became so familiar that choices from “Column A” and “Column B” in anything (business, mathematics, whatever) often were called a “Chinese menu” in the slang of the time. The “Column A, Column B” sorta became a joke around the country back then. Continue reading

12 of My All-Time Favorite Money Songs

From time to time, I sit down and cruise through YouTube and amuse myself with songs I like and haven’t heard in a while. My days of commuting and listening to the radio every day are in my rearview mirror so to speak, so I use YouTube a lot to revisit my favorites. That led me to write this post about my favorite “money songs”, most of which you probably have heard yourself if not when they were popular but in some cases on the elevator as they might now be part of the “Muzak family” by now.

When we hear a message in a song, it somehow gets through to our brain in a whole different way. Here are 12 of my favorite money songs, each one telling us something about how money affects our lives.

So here are 12 great picks on my list of money songs that can speak to you about life, money, and lessons to be learned. Continue reading

Risk Tolerance and How It Leads You to Rewards

Most people are hesitant to take risks in their lives. It’s kind of human nature for people to fear risk. With the possible exception of Evel Knievel, Neil Armstrong, and a couple of others, it’s tough for us to step out onto that ledge and take a chance. You probably won’t be considering riding a motorcycle and jumping over a dozen cars or rocketing to the moon and back for fun or profit like Evel and Neil did back in the day, but what about other risky things that you deal with in your real life all the time? It all has to do with your risk tolerance.

It's important to know your risk tolerance, not only when you are investing, but in life as well. If we're afraid to take big risks, we may never know big rewards. Here's the smart way to deal with risk.

What Are Some Risks You May Have to Face?

There is a laundry list of things and events that we face regularly that may involve risk. That means everything from meeting your future in-laws for the first time to making financial investments for your future and retirement. Continue reading

Protect Your Parents From Frauds and Scams

Being an older person (I’m 68), I know what the real world situation is when it comes to frauds and scams. Scammers tend to prey upon the elderly. Protecting yourself from fraud and scams would be a big enough job by itself, but you also need to protect your older parents from becoming victims of con artists.

While we all can be duped, your elderly parents are at greater risk of becoming victim to frauds and scams. Here's how you can help protect them from these financial dangers.
These days, many of us no longer live near our parents, making this effort even more difficult. You may not be aware of what phone calls, emails, and letters they receive which may be luring them into financial ruin. It’s a growing problem for a number of reasons and the biggest one is that the older generation is a soft target, many with assets that are fairly accessible for everyday use from a checking or savings account. Continue reading

Tipping Guidelines – Are There Really Any Rules?

There’s a tricky subject out there that many people fear to talk about with their friends and family. No, I’m not talking about the usual controversial stuff like sex, politics, or religion here. I’m talking about the subject of tips and tipping! Believe me when I tell you it’s a subject that you deal with pretty often and it involves so many different angles for you, your family, and of course to the people with whom you are interacting, the “tippees”. So today I’m going to cover my tipping guidelines.

Tipping can be a very confusing and even controversial subject, so here, along with some tipping history, are my tipping guidelines for all sorts of situations.

I can honestly say that this is a subject that can cause friction and even arguments for some and lots of second guessing and confusion for others. I have to be honest; it has been on more than one occasion for me. If you think about it, tipping adds a chunk of expense to your experience and you want to get the most for your money when you tip. That’s why today, I’m asking out loud this question: “Are there really any rules for tipping?” Continue reading

For St. Patrick’s Day, How Green is My Money?

There’s a good chance if I say the word “green” your mind might wander to thoughts of money. The color of our money is so iconic that it has become synonymous with stacks of cash. I thought that today we might have a little fun and ponder the color green since it’s fast approaching St. Patrick’s Day 2018, March 17th, a day when green is at the forefront no matter what your ethnic background!

For St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd have some fun looking at why money is green, and checking out the color green throughout our culture.

“Greenback” Dollars

The color green has been used in federal currency dating back to 1861 and the Civil War. Before then, the Continental Congress had experimented with issuing notes called “continentals” to fund the Revolutionary War, but they were printed at such a high volume that they quickly lost their value. These new green notes were printed for a similar reason, but this time it was the Union side of the Civil War that needed financing. Continue reading