A 2020 Look Ahead at Inflation and Interest Rates

As the dust settles here on 2019, it’s a really good time to take a look at where we are in the world of money, particularly inflation and interest rates. The end of any year gives you a chance to look back at it and then project ahead. Money smart people always do that.

Inflation and interest rates are related, and both are changing! Here's the outlook for 2020 and what it means for you and your finances.

Perhaps it’s just me, but anytime I see and hear someone talk about the inflation numbers, I immediately think about everything that I purchase that costs me more today than yesterday. One of the detriments of getting older is that you can actually remember the prices of things from 10, 20, 30, and 50+ years ago. So yeah, I may have a distorted view of rising prices (at least just a little bit). But reality tells me that prices keep going up. It reminds me of that great song, “The Beat Goes On”, cause it certainly does.

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Money Lies We Tell Ourselves That Make Us Poor

Ok, level with me…when it comes to finances, have you ever told yourself a “little white lie” to justify spending or debt? If I were to ask you why you owe money to your credit cards, auto loans, or your friends, you would probably have an answer ready for me. It’s probably the same answer you tell yourself whenever you think about your debts. Whatever those answers might be, are you being totally honest? If you are lying to yourself, you are hurting your chances for financial success. Today we’re going to face some of those money lies and break out of the financial traps they create.

If you're not honest with yourself about your finances, your money lies will keep you poor. Here are 7 money lies we tell ourselves and how to face them.

I feel pretty certain that most of us go through a stage in our lives when we try to justify our spending habits that then spiral out of control into mounting debt. I know that I have done it myself and the way I justified my actions was to try to fool myself, lie to myself if you will. When I did that, I temporarily would feel a little better about the debt. But, deep down inside, I knew what I was really doing. It sometimes takes a serious wake-up call to make your behavior change for the good.Continue reading“Money Lies We Tell Ourselves That Make Us Poor”

A Smile Is NOT the Best Insurance Umbrella

Just let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day
And if your sweetie cries, just tell her,
That a smile will always pay
Whenever skies are gray,
Don’t you worry or fret,
A smile will bring the sunshine,
And you’ll never get wet!
So, let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day!

When it comes to insuring your family's finances, you may need an umbrella policy. I explain what an umbrella policy does and why you might need one.

Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella” was a popular song written by famed Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal and Francis Wheeler. The song was published in 1927 and successful early recordings reached the charts of the day in 1928. Wouldn’t it be really great if just a “smile” would really protect you?

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2019 Year End Tax Tips That Help Your Bottom Line

Amazing at it may seem, 2019 is quickly fading and it’s actually time to start making those year end tax moves to get ready for April…now!

As we're reaching the end of 2019, it's important to follow these year end tax tips now to make sure you're in good shape to file your taxes next year.

As you’re putting the finishing touches on your financial and tax planning for this year, there’s a lot to review. The second tax year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 has brought to light some additional considerations that were either unclear or overlooked in 2018. Sometimes, when laws like this one come along you learn from them slowly. So here are some year end tax planning strategies for individual taxpayers, Schedule C taxpayers and business owners to carefully consider.

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5 Key Financial Planning Questions (and Answers) to Better Your Financial Future

For today’s guest post, please welcome Kyle from Financial Wolves, a blog about making money with side hustles to help you achieve financial freedom.

Let’s be honest—money decides how we live our lives most of the time. The kind of house you live in, the model of the car you drive, and the colleges your children will go to, all depend on money. To make our future better, we need to ask ourselves the right financial planning questions.

To insure your financial future, careful planning is key. Here are 5 financial planning questions and answers to help guide you.

Not all of us can afford a financial advisor to answer such questions. According to a CNBC study, 75% of Americans manage their finances on their own. Whether you are living on a paycheck to paycheck basis or have a healthy portfolio of financial assets, planning your finances can go a long way in delivering your future goals.

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What Do School Kids Know About Money?

You can’t have lived on planet Earth and not have heard or seen anything about the hit TV show, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” It was a game show in which adult contestants answer questions as if they came from an elementary grade school quiz, and actual 5th graders helped them and usually outdid the adults with more correct answers. The host, comedian Jeff Foxworthy, starred on the show beginning back in 2007 and after 2009 it ran in syndication and still appears on TV to this day.

It's our responsibility to teach kids about money, but they often aren't learning about it in school. Here are some money questions to ask your kids.

That whole thing got me to thinking. If 5th graders can answer some pretty basic questions about science, math, history, and the like better than adults, what can they do when the questions turn to money and finance? It just may be that they may know a lot, and forgive me for saying it, but they forget most of it by the time they turn into adults.

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“Will I Ever Be Able to Retire?”

Most people just took it for granted. What was it? The fact that when you’re young, you’ll go to college and get a great quality education that lands you a good job and starts a great working career. Or, perhaps you will take up some kind of trade after high school or even join the military and that will be your career path. The choices you make, they may eventually lead to—over the course of forty or so years (if you’re smart, frugal and make good money at your work)—your accumulation of enough money to retire comfortably at the age of 65 or so. That was then and this is now. Is it still true? You may wonder, “Will I ever be able to retire in the 21st century?”

If you're wondering, "Will I ever be able to retire?", you're not alone. But it's important to face where you're at and get started planning and saving!

A Cold, Hard Look at My Retirement – When It Happened

I made it. I am retired, albeit I didn’t do it with the full intention of retiring when I was forced to because of my health at the age of 62, eight years ago. A not-so-funny thing happened to me on my way to retirement and it’s called a heart attack, type 2 diabetes and CHF (congestive heart failure). Believe me when I tell you it wasn’t then—nor is it now—any fun.

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Everything You Need to Know About 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2020

When it comes to preparing for retirement, it’s very important to stay right up to speed with all the rules, regulations, and changes made by the IRS from year to year. With the next year looming just two months away, the IRS has made some 401(k) contribution limit changes for 2020 but still has left both Roth and traditional IRA contribution limits for 2020 flat.

The IRS has changed 401(k) contribution limits for 2020 and here's what you need to know about them to maximize your retirement savings.

The IRA limits are again unchanged from 2019’s $6,000, or $7,000 combined if you’re age 50 or older. This is the second straight year at those caps. The caps are the maximum amounts you can kick into those retirement accounts, whether you use just one type or in any combination. Before 2019, the IRA contribution limits stayed the same for six years in a row. So just in case you needed a refresher, today I thought I’d go over some of the things that you really need to know when you are saving in these accounts for your retirement!

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