Social Security COLA for 2018: Is It All Good News?

Right about now, retirees and Social Security recipients are anxiously awaiting the Social Security Administration (SSA) announcement of what might be a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) (if there is one) for 2018. I say “if” because as we have seen in recent years, the COLA adjustment hasn’t always been there for the many who depend on it to survive in a very costly 21st century world. So, will it be all good news?

It sounds like Social Security will announce a COLA (cost of living adjustment) for 2018, but is it all good news? Check out the reasons it might not be.

Social Security beneficiaries have lost almost one third of their buying power since the year 2000 as the cost of things purchased by these recipients, typically the elderly, have continually outpaced any inflation adjustments made by the government and the SSA according to a recent report by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Continue reading

The Absolute Best and Worst Types of Life Insurance

For today’s guest post on types of life insurance, please welcome insurance agent and fellow blogger Chris Huntley.

When it comes to life insurance, getting the wrong policy can be like flushing money down the toilet. On the flip side, getting the right one can adequately protect your loved ones without breaking the bank.

If you ask most life insurance agents which type is best, the answer is no surprise.

…it’s the one that offers the biggest commissions.

It's critical to get the right types of life insurance so you don't waste money, but you're still protected. Here are the best & worst types to choose from.

It’s not your responsibility to pad their pocketbook, though, so read on to learn which types of life insurance you should consider and which you should avoid.

The two best types of life insurance

The whole point of life insurance should be to provide for your loved ones financially if you pass away without being a big financial burden now. Continue reading

How Financial Success Can Make You Forget Frugality

Generally speaking, I have always thought myself to be very frugal and smart with my money. It’s a lesson I learned as a kid from my mother who was really good at stretching a dollar and more than that, she understood that extravagance just wasn’t a virtue. My parents provided a pretty good life for me as a child, and I was never all about having the biggest or best of everything anyway. I often saw that others were demanding that kind of thing. Being practical and even “frugal” was fine with me all through my formative years.

Your relationship with frugality can change over time and financial circumstances. If you've drifted away from frugality, here's how to get it back.

But something happened, a blip along the way. That’s something I’d like to share with you.

My financial successes led to erosion of my frugality! Continue reading

The Cost of Climate Change and Its Effect on Your Finances

Climate change isn’t just about our weather changing. If the world continues to heat up and continues to have more powerful storms and other natural catastrophes at what seems to be an increasing frequency, our finances will be taking a big hit. Even it doesn’t happen right where you live, you’ll still be affected financially. That’s not good news. As we just have all witnessed with Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana as well as in the western U.S. with numerous wildfires, not to mention the impending Hurricane Irma, the damages from weather can change your life in a heartbeat, and the recovery from it can take years of suffering and billions of dollars. The cost of climate change is real and will affect us all.

The cost of climate change may be more than you imagine. Here are just some of the ways it will affect our personal finances.

 

The changes in our climate are being debated and that seems like a waste of time and goes against one of the most basic planning techniques that exist. “Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst” has no truer relevance than when we look at the possibilities and effects of climate change, and you can quote me (and many others) on that one!

In the short term, we need to support those affected by these natural disasters. But for the longer term, we need to be focused on how to prevent some of those disasters from occurring at all. If we don’t, we’re going to have to pay a very steep price. Continue reading

How to Eliminate Debt, Minimize Debt and Save Money

This is a paid post written by me on behalf of Discover Personal Loans. All opinions are my own.

The accumulation of debt is something that all of us try to minimize in our financial lives. While most of us may be pretty smart about managing our money, many of us have debt and are paying it off at a higher interest rate every month than we need to be, instead of saving.

If you have existing debt(s), a personal loan might be a solution for you. It can allow you to consolidate your debts and save money on interest.

 

In fact, household credit card debt today is over $750 billion in total. There are many reasons for accumulating debt. The most common use revolving debt; credit cards and medical expenses, which can frequently be due to an unexpected situation. To be financially successful, first try to avoid taking on more debt than you can handle. Second if you already have debt, create a plan to pay it off. For example, if you’re someone who has debt from spending outside your budget, find ways to pay off your debt and to reduce and eliminate your excess spending. Become more familiar with the “why” you acquire more debt and possibly fall behind in your monthly bill payments and then you’ll be able to find a solution to pay it off. Ultimately, taking these steps could lead to finding the best ways for you to avoid unwanted debt, and only having debt that helps you reach your goals, like a mortgage you can afford or loan that helps you consolidate debt and pay it down faster. Continue reading

Do You Suffer From FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out?

Often we spend a lot of time trying to rationalize why we haven’t achieved all of our goals in life and yet we spend a lot of our time looking at others and wondering why and how they were able to have made it. Enter FOMO, or fear of missing out.

FOMO, or fear of missing out, can cause us to focus on social media instead of the goals that are truly important to us. Don't let FOMO hold you back.

Wondering why about our lack of achievements seems like a waste of valuable time. Yet it doesn’t take long in a conversation among busy adults to get into it and for someone to raise a pervasive, underlying concern: “Am I making the right choices for my career, my family, and my life?” We’re so often consumed with what we—or our loved ones—might be missing out on or not achieving that it’s not a surprise to me that FOMO, the acronym for the fear of missing out, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary a few years ago. Continue reading

How Smartphone Apps Can Earn You Extra Cash!

Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

If you are anything like me, you are always on the hunt to find some new ways to earn some extra cash. It might be a side hustle like selling at the flea market (which by the way is one of the most popular posts I have ever written) or it might be working a second job, part-time. There’s even the weird idea of writing a blog to make some money, albeit not quite as easy as it says it is on paper (or actually in cyberspace). In any event, if I were to ask you the question, “Do you want to make some extra money”, 99% of you would most likely answer a resounding “YES”! (I hear you!!)

Most of us are attached to our smartphones, but have you considered using smartphone apps to earn money? Here are 5 apps that can help you make some cash.

The many reasons we love that extra cash

So you want to start earning some extra income? You are not alone, my friend. Maybe you want to save up toward a weekend getaway with your significant other or need to generate extra cash to supplement some lost income. Are you desperately trying to save for a new car? Continue reading

Fire Safety & Insurance: Are You Really Protected?

Sunday evening around 9:30 pm, my wife and I were sitting in our living room watching a movie when we heard the sounds of a fire engine racing nearby and saw the flashing lights outside of our window. At first we didn’t pay too much attention to it, but a minute later a second, third, and more engines started to turn in across the street in our condo complex along with several police cars and ambulances. Before you could say holy sh*t, we realized that someone’s condo was in the middle of a serious blaze. It was a complete shocker and very scary.

If you haven't reviewed your fire safety and insurance lately, you may be surprised to learn that you aren't protected as completely as you thought.

Fires can happen, we all know that!

Living in a condo where over 400 units are so close together makes the thought of a fire even more dramatic. A fire in one home easily spreads quickly and can engulf an entire block of homes in a short period of time. Even if you live in a single family home on a plain somewhere in Montana, a fire can happen and kill someone or ruin your home and life. Continue reading

The Money Quiz That Can Change Your Life

Ok all of you “personal finance buffs”, so you think you can dance? No, wait a second, that’s a whole other thing, Monday nights on Fox at 8 PM. With hostess Cat Deeley! But I digress…

You think your know your finances? Try this money quiz to see how much you really know, and you might just change your life, and your finances!

Personal expertise about money issues is a subject all of us strive for and some of us are really good at it. The truth about it is that we usually learn the ins and outs of money the hard way, and hopefully we all learn from our mistakes and never repeat them. Since I have made many a money mistake in my lifetime, I consider myself an expert. Hmmm, is that a good thing to admit? Well, whether it is or not, it has helped me learn a thing or two about what and what not to do to build good finances. Continue reading

Why Your Insurance Company Isn’t Always Your Friend

Insurance and insurance companies in the United States today are a major topic of conversation. In healthcare, for example, you literally cannot escape the debate on whether the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should remain as is, be fixed, or be repealed and replaced. Millions of Americans could lose their coverage or simply won’t be able to afford it unless something is done about our healthcare system. That whole topic of insurance problems is very, very painful. But that isn’t exactly what this post is about.

Insurance can literally save you and your finances, but there are also serious insurance problems you may deal with along the way. Here's what can happen.

Today’s post is about how your insurance policies and the coverages you pay for are managed that can be even more painful than any illness, injury, or accident. That goes for health, auto, homeowners, and even your life insurance. Here’s why. Continue reading