I don’t care who you are or how old you may be, you have thought about Social Security from time to time. It may be because you are wondering if there will even be such a thing when you retire. Perhaps you are approaching your retirement years and are wondering exactly what you will be getting every month once you start to draw upon it. Whatever the reason that Social Security has crossed your mind, the time for thinking about it isn’t when you are turning 66 or 67. Figuring out how to maximize your Social Security benefits starts long before that.
In fact, the time to think about your Social Security benefits is always now. Here’s why. There are a dozen factors that determine what you will get as your monthly payment when the day finally arrives for you to collect. Many of those items are things you do when you are young, middle aged, and then finally retired and each of those things will affect the amount you receive. Don’t believe me? Here are 12 ways you can increase you Social Security payouts when you retire by simply following these behaviors along the way starting right now! Continue reading
Americans are well known around the world for certain things. One prime thing is our tendency to talk and even brag about our lives and our abundances. We are pretty proud of living in what we refer to as the “greatest country” in the world and we have good reasons to feel that way. If you are a bigtime world traveler, you are probably sending a clear message to everyone you meet: you have lots of money and you enjoy spending it freely. You probably stay at a fine hotel, eat at a fancy restaurant, travel at the height of the season, etc. and that is the message you’re sending.
The Art of Braggadocio
Speaking of bragging, we also have great fervor when spreading good news to others, especially our family and neighbors. We make it obvious so they will notice when we drive into our garage with that big new $85,000 2017 Land Rover that’s so perfect for those cross country trips and exploring the Gobi Desert, but will more likely spend its time parked at little Debbie’s soccer practices every Tuesday and Thursday! Continue reading
I have to admit that I’m a bit of a collector, and I’ve been gathering collectibles since I was a kid. I’ve also been looking around for ways to make some extra money and wondered: could my collections make me a profit?
As the saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and that’s certainly true when you collect items. It is an activity that almost everyone has participated in at some time or another in their lives. I have done it and I’m betting that you have as well. It says something about you and your personality when you are a “collector” as your collection usually involves something that’s close to your heart and that you really enjoy. Continue reading
This week, January 1-7 2017, is National Women’s Money Week #WMWeek17 and there is no better time to learn about, discuss, and attempt to correct the disadvantages that women face in the world of personal finance and in their own financial future. I think we are all quite familiar with what is known as the gender wage gap, the fact that women earn less than 80% of what men do. Equal pay for equal work is an ongoing struggle that is making just small inroads at best. You may be surprised to learn that the wage gap itself is just the tip of the financial iceberg that hinders women and their abilities, and potential for financial security and independence. The vast majority of adults in poverty in America today are women.
What causes the gender wage gap?
There are several reasons why women, even in the 21st century, are facing roadblocks to financial security and there is more to it than systemic sexism and discrimination (which certainly play a large role). Let’s look at a few issues first that are influencing women and their continued lack of financial equality in the workforce which hinders their overall financial wellbeing: Continue reading
You hear it said frequently, “Follow your passion and the money will follow”. After all, if you work, wouldn’t it be really great to do something you love? I’ve always envied and been a bit jealous of the people who do that. You know, either they have some sort of talent or an ability that lets them not only make a living but even become wealthy. They wind up doing something in life that they would actually “pay” someone else to let them do. I’m talking about artists, entertainers, athletes, and others who have some sort of a gift and that gift fires their soul to be what and who they are.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who were born with a gift that would have enabled me to be the rare and special person that I was just talking about. Yes, I know we are all special in our own way, but in so many ways I’m just an ordinary guy, one who worked hard and if anything was rewarded based on the merits of that work. I’m proud of that, but if I have to confess, I never felt 100% fulfilled in my career. I always felt that I missed out on something. The feeling that these others must feel, that passion about what they love to do as they follow their dreams. Continue reading
Earning extra money can help just about anyone deal with the pressures of trying to make ends meet these days. If you have a job, even a good job, getting a pay raise has been tough over the past few years. It’s been so tough that side hustles, a way of earning extra cash, have become pretty common. It may be a cure for a specific financial problem (like getting out of debt), or it may be the way to get ahead long term. And even better, it can be fun and fulfilling too!
My own experience comes from something I did for several years…making money at the flea market. Continue reading
Sometimes when I’m just not centered in the right mindset about my personal finance, I start to wander off on tangents about money issues I am facing and how to handle them. I know that I worry about them even though I now have a solid base in my financial plans. I am always completely honest in my approach to what has to be done and when to do it. And then it hits me. I am not alone in my worries about money nor am I alone in the many ways that are out there to deal with the money issues that I, and in fact all of us, face every day of the year. These are common problems we all have and we need the required common sense and money “cents” to solve them.
So let’s break it down. Here’s a few of the issues that I think we all worry about and what we can do to help us get through them. Continue reading
If you have ever wondered why so many people aren’t successful at becoming financially healthy, wealthy and wise in the real world, you may have discovered that a lot of people are adept at the practice and behavior of being unproductive. After so many years of working in business, I think I’ve seen and heard just about every kind of excuse making for lack of productivity there is to be had. Those attitudes are pretty easy to spot in people and it matters not if you are a co-worker or the supervisor; it adds nothing to your day and hinders everyone around. In fact, it’s scary in the ways it can affect a business and even affect you, a productive dedicated employee.
In past posts, we’ve talked about how you can be more successful, earn more, and get ahead in your career and thus your advancement on the road to financial health and wealth. Actions like going the extra mile, not being a clock watcher, and contributing your ideas to help solve problems will put you on that track every time. If you’re not careful, the unproductive people you see every day, or your own unproductive attitudes, can pull you into their karma and have you spinning your wheels just as they do. Continue reading
I began my post-collegiate working career back in 1971. Does that seem like a century ago to you? Well it may be in many ways! It was a time when the computer was something rare unlike it is today. There were no cell phones around for 24/7 availability. There weren’t 400 TV channels on cable and the internet just didn’t exist for regular folks. Even the word blog wasn’t in our vocabulary. But there was something that hasn’t really changed over the years and probably never will. It’s the desire to be a success at whatever you do for a living and the search for financial wellness that comes in finding the job you really want that will earn you the kind of income you desire. And the drive to get it no matter what!
Back in the day, when I graduated college, I have to admit I wasn’t certain about what I really wanted to do with my life. I wasn’t a great student for most of my time in school, but I did do well in my junior and senior years at college. I was all over the place when it came to fields of study however, majoring in Secondary Education and History and minoring in Philosophy. As I look back at that, I realize that if I truly wanted to be a Philosopher, I’d probably have to dead before I could reach the level that would earn me a good living! Continue reading
Money makes the world go round. At least that’s what we seem to think. So when you go to work, the big reason is most likely to earn money. And you want to get as much money for your work as you can. Therefore it seems logical that you want to learn how to get a raise at work. But what if you are trying your best, and you just aren’t getting anywhere?
You feel like you work hard and you deserve that raise. After all, they gave Dave a big raise and a promotion and everyone knows he’s not half as smart as you. So why not you? What did he do that you didn’t do?. You did everything they asked you to do and you always do. You‘re a model of consistency, you show up every day on time and you never miss a day. What’s the heck is wrong with them? Can’t they see you need a raise? Continue reading