The Inflation Rate Slows, But Is It the End Yet?

I have been talking and writing about the inflation rate in the U.S. (and around the world) for a year now and I am worried about it. That makes me a little different than say Jay Powell over at the Fed who keeps saying that inflation isn’t quite a “real thing” and it’s “transitory”. If you don’t know what that means, it means that it’s just a fad and isn’t going to last. If you believe that one, well there’s that proverbial swamp land in Florida that I’d like to sell you.

A roller coaster at sunset, representing the wild ride the inflation rate is taking us on

The inflation rate has been climbing at the fastest pace in over a decade, as Americans pay more for gas, groceries, and many other items. The rate of inflation has slowed over the past few weeks, but don’t get too excited by that news. Inflation will be hanging around at high levels for quite a while longer: this year, next year, and even beyond that. If inflation were a stock, I’d say invest in it. It’s guaranteed to be going up!

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Women and Personal Finance: How Women Can Boost Their Financial Power

Women and finance. It’s not a secret and we all are well too aware of it: Women lag behind men when it comes to their finances. Sadly, despite some of the glass ceilings that have come down over the recent years, financial inequalities between men and women continue to be a hot spot of major concern. I guess on the surface it may be puzzling for you to hear a man say it and that he would write about such a subject or even care about it. But I do care. It’s an important subject to understand and to make it change. So the discussion today is about how women can boost their financial power.

Woman holding hundred dollar bills representing women and finance

The Basic Facts

Many women try to do it all. They care for the kids, for aging parents, and even for their partners. With all these responsibilities, they try to earn money, be a great wife, and in the end, get totally stressed out along the way there. It creates an enormous amount of pressure that women didn’t face as recently as just 50 years ago. Ironically, the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s may have ended some problems, but invented new ones.

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Preparing Your Life Insurance Beneficiary: 3 Steps to Handle Now

I have written several blog posts over the years about insurance of all kinds. Insurance is so important to have for many reasons, but it is also a very unpleasant thing to think about, discuss, and to shop for and buy. That’s mainly because you are hoping you never really need it, but yet you know that you will or just might someday. That’s why you pay for it so grudgingly. It’s protection for you and your assets for the things that your fear will happen.

Grieving loved ones who were prepared to be your life insurance beneficiary

With things like a house, a car, or a boat, well, they are all just things. When it’s just a thing, insurance can cover it and even replace it so you’re as good as new…well almost. Just ask anyone who just experienced Hurricane Ida and all of the damage done to property for example. But with your life insurance policies it’s a little bit different.

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Will Your Taxes on Social Security Income Spike When You Get Your Next COLA Increase?

At first thought, I was pretty happy about the idea of getting the largest Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) increase in decades, whether it is 6.0%, 6.1%, or 6.2%! It seems no matter what that final number is going to be, it will be a big increase. Let’s face it: even with all of the financial pressures and problems we have been dealing with for the past year and a half, the cost of living for Social Security recipients is always a topic of drama and concern. If you aren’t one of “us” now, you will be one day and then you will be much more sensitive to it, I assure you.

Elderly woman’s hands clasping her cane as she considers whether she will have to pay taxes on Social Security income

But what about your income taxes on Social Security income? If you receive Social Security, will your taxes spike because you just got a big COLA increase in 2022?

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Retirement Plans: Do You Know What You’ll Do The Day After You Retire?

You’re focused on that big day, the day you retire. It’s something that you have been thinking about and planning for years now. You even have a “pre-retirement” checklist drawn up so you can get to your destination with ease. Well, maybe you do and maybe you don’t actually have it all written down and planned, but if I were to ask you, you’d probably say you did. But whether you have it all planned out and written down or not, there is usually one great big hole in just about everyone’s retirement plans and that is this: What are you going to do the day after you retire?

Senior woman holding her hat in front of blue sky, thinking about her retirement plans

There’s Got to Be a Morning After

Out of all the items that appear on your real or make believe pre-retirement checklist, having something to do after your retirement might be the most neglected item of them all.

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What Is the Most Important Financial Decision You’ll Ever Make?

Wouldn’t it be just great if you could ask yourself a question like the one in the title of today’s post and get all the information and the answer you need to make a great financial decision? I guess first you need to know what questions to ask to find out the answer. That seems to be much more difficult than it appears and if you were to ask ten people that big question, you might get ten different answers. And they all may be right! Life is so confusing and so intimidating when you first start out on its highway, isn’t it?

Chess board representing the most important financial decision you’ll ever make

If you actually ask yourself the right questions, then the answers come a lot more quickly and easily. The problem, however, is that sometimes we don’t ask the right questions or even worse, we don’t ask any questions at all and just let life take us down the highway all by itself. That’s dangerous and like riding in a car and traveling at high speed without any brakes! So let’s try to answer it: “What is the most important financial decision you’ll ever make?

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How to Avoid Money Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Finances

I have blogged in the past about some specific no-no behaviors and money mistakes to avoid in life. They all are important to know and understand. But today I want to talk to you about some of the real basics of those mistakes, and how to avoid them.

Woman reacting after making money mistake, it's better to avoid money mistakes

Kids Do and Kids Learn

When you first were exposed to having some money in your life as a kid, it’s such a big deal that I bet you were just like I was. I held onto it as tight as I could, evaluating every single penny and how I would spend it.

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Your 2022 Social Security COLA Increase May Be Huge

The pandemic we have all been experiencing has resulted in so many hardships. The ongoing spike in inflation that has Americans paying more for gas, food, cars, and many other things could lead to the biggest Social Security COLA increase in almost 40 years when officials announce the cost of living adjustment for 2022 in October. That’s just two months from now. And wouldn’t it help if that announced increase was to be a biggie? Well, it appears that it just might be. 2022 may see the largest Social Security monthly payout increases in almost 40 years!

Senior couple shopping in the supermarket after receiving a huge Social Security COLA increase

Social Security Changes – Are They on Your Horizon?

Every year some nuances are adjusted in the Social Security system. Usually it’s a modest increase in the amount you will receive and that is based on the CPI, the index that measures inflation each year. We can debate whether or not the index is a valid one. For years seniors have been claiming that it isn’t and doesn’t accurately reflect the “real” costs to seniors like medical costs.

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